Friday, October 3, 2008

Open Houses

Open houses have been a mainstay of the real estate industry for decades. Sellers have come to expect the sign in the front yard advertising that the house will be open on Sunday from 1 until 3 or whatever time. They look for the ad in the newspaper proclaiming to their community that their house is for sale and will be available for viewing.

Yet I rarely do an open house. Some sellers question this policy. Naturally, I will do an open house if a seller very much wants to try it. Yes, once I did have buyers who viewed the house first at an open house, but that is not the norm. Open houses are where I connect with new buyers, not where I sell houses. From a selling perspective, they are a waste of time these days.

With today's technology, buyers do not have to wait until Sunday at 1 to view the house they are interested in. A quick journey around the computer gives buyers what they want to know when they want to know it. Today, people want information on their schedules, and as a realtor, it is my job to market a house to today's real estate buyer. High quality, well edited photos are now selling houses in the way that open houses used to do. 80% of buyers are searching themselves on the internet, contacting realtors to see the homes after previewing the online open house of photos, description and virtual tour. How available is your home? Is it on one site, five, ten, fifty? A strong web presence is more important in my marketing plan than sitting at your kitchen table editing photos in Photoshop and walking the neighbors through. (That is how I spent my last five open houses.)

So, instead of looking for your realtor to put the open house sign in your yard, make sure she puts it where it really matters today - on the internet.

No comments: