When I first started my real estate career I couldn’t wait to get my first listing. Not only was there an opportunity for income, but the company would give me three Open House signs of my very own presumably to use every weekend. I couldn’t wait.
Now I can’t wait to sell them off.
Switching companies requires changing out all of my marketing material. Since the bulk of what I do is online, there were only a handful of things that needed to be purchased – new business cards, name riders (and in time brand new for sale signs), thank you cards.
One item I will not be purchasing is new Open House signs. I don’t need them.
In making the decision last year not to hold homes open, I’ve done nothing to diminish my sellers’ chance of selling. Sales from an open house require a perfect storm – motivated buyers happening down the street, seeing the sign, following the signs, walking into the open house, deciding the home fits their needs, making an offer, actually being qualified to make an offer, negotiating the offer, and then everything else needed to close escrow.
Open houses are the least effective form of marketing – you’re throwing a sign out for hundreds of drivers to see, but only one or two (if any) actually are looking for a house even similar. Yes, it only takes one. But even that one or two needs to be qualified and actually want that one particular house.
Open houses are far more effective for agents looking to pick up buyers. Your usual open house conversation stops being about the host home 35 seconds in, once it’s determined the buyers don’t like this house. Then it’s off to other homes. That’s why some agents carry a list of other homes for sale in a subdivision. Or conveniently have the MLS handy in front of them.
It’s not your home they’re trying to sell. Well, at least not as a primary function.
One seller wanted an open house this weekend even though the property is 3/4 of a mile from a major road and inaccessible inside a gated community. Even if people followed the signs, how are they going to get inside the home? Illogical at best.
Think about it – how many times do you see the same home held open weekend after weekend after weekend after weekend? If open houses really worked, wouldn’t it have sold by now?
And so I didn’t buy the signs. There are other agents who will hold houses open to make a seller feel better. That’s fine if it works for them. I prefer to be upfront about the realities of selling a home and work where the buyers really are, on the Internet.
[tags]real estate marketing, Phoenix real estate[/tags]