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Veronika Barash's Blog

By Veronika Barash | Agent in Roswell, GA

OPEN HOUSE: YES or NO?


All these years I had open house leads resulting in additional 4-5 transactions annually, up until this year... I have held several listings open since January just to find out that every potential buyer who came to it had an agent already...  Same neighborhood, same price range as before, same season and timing but... different results?

I may have lost touch with now-days buyers, I said to myself. I must go back to practice scripts or... serve some cookies and soda.
But then I thought what if it's another sign of our changing market? First, FSBOs had extinct as "species", at least in my market area. Now, the unrepresented buyers have gone too?
Are buyers scared enought by the troubled market even to browse through open houses on their own? Do they spend less time now for a prep work, but rather hire an agent right away? If that's so, it must be a great change!
I should hold aa few more open houses to prove either point though )) What say you?

 

Comments

By Gene Hellums,  Wed May 9 2012, 20:17
I agree that obtaining leads via open house has waned. I find the most productive open houses are ones in tighter subdivisions. I make a point of going outside between visitors. I cannot tell you how many contacts I have made with curious neighbors or neighbors just walking around the neighborhood. Take a non-sales approach, talk to them, and you would be surprised how much information you can obtain which may lead you to a future listing.
By Veronika Barash,  Thu May 10 2012, 05:59
Thanks, Gene! Great comment!
By John Souerbry,  Thu May 10 2012, 07:08
In my never humble opinion: holding open houses is about attracting sellers, not buyers. Yes, in ancient times - before Al Gore invented the Internet - unrepresented buyers roamed open houses like herds of bison on the open plain. Then the number of licensed agents reached historical highs and soon everyone had an agent in the family, as a friend, or living next door. It became stylish to say "I have an attorney on retainer, a hairdresser who also does Madonna, and a real estate agent on speed dial."
I believe open houses are the perfect opportunity to compete with these pre-existing relationships. The Internet is an ocean of competition in which we are all just guppies. Trying to out-spend the large advertising co-operatives (also called "franchises") is futile. At the open house we meet people face-to-face, which even online video falls short of doing. If a potential listing client wants to know what you would do with their sale, invite them to one of your open houses and SHOW them - it's the ultimate stage for an effective listing presentation.
And let's face it, buyers change agents all the time. While it's obviously unethical to pitch a buyer who is already represented, the open house is an opportunity for buyers to see that there are alternatives available if their faith in their current agent faulters.
The open house is a property showcase first and foremost, but agents can use it to spotlight their own capabilities to buyers and sellers, too.
By Veronika Barash,  Thu May 22 2014, 18:23
@ John - love your the excertps of your "never humble option"! What area are you working? BTW, 30% of my annual buyer's busines comes from open houses.

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