Since the question came up yesterday while talking to some folks in Westbrook Village, let’s talk a little bit about Broker Open Houses and Broker Tours.
First of all, let’s define a Broker Open House. Unlike it’s public Open House counterpart, a Broker Open is designed to be visited only by real estate agents so they can look for themselves at this newly listed home just in case they might have a buyer looking for just that home. And if they don’t, at least they can get some free food out of the deal.
Of course, if a real estate agent has an electronic lockbox key and access to the MLS, they probably don’t need to attend the Broker Open House; if they have a client looking for a home just like this one, they’ll likely see the home online when it comes on the market and will set up their own time to see the house … unless they want the free food.
Case in point … this past weekend, a home in Sun City Grand came on the market that matched what one of my clients was searching for. They’re interested in two floor plans and two floor plans only, so the vast majority of listings that come up in Sun City Grand are of no interest to them or me. There’s a Broker Open House scheduled for today at the house – a fact I learned when I went to preview the home myself Saturday afternoon.
So, you may ask, why do agents still hold Broker Open Houses when any good (or even middling) buyers agent will either preview or take their clients to a home well ahead of the scheduled Open House? Because the presence of multiple agents makes it look like the listing agent’s working hard, even though far more agents are checking online than going for the free food.
Broker tours aren’t much different than Broker Open Houses, except a series of homes are viewed one after the other on a given morning. There’s one almost universal rule to have a home on tour – you have to be present on the tour yourself.
So who is signing up for these four-hour tours? Yep … agents who are there only because they have to be there to have their home on tour, and they want the home on tour so they can show a bunch of business cards to the seller even though it’s likely none of the agents who left the business card have any interest in any house other than their own home on tour. (Or they were hoping to snag a free bagel from the sponsoring title company.)
Going back to Westbrook Village, there are 20 to 30 visitors every day to my Westbrook Village Real Estate.com – not ESPN.com numbers, to be sure, but still solid considering these are people only interested in Westbrook Village. Put another way, every day I attract more people to see the featured listings on my site than will ever come through an open house.
And this doesn’t take into consideration those agents who spend their days poring through the MLS looking for that one home that meets their clients needs … such as the two other properties in Westbrook that I was able to match with buyers in the past two weeks by using the MLS and previewing myself.
Real estate agents are slaves to obsolete methodology, not because it works but because it gives them something tangible to show their clients even if that something tangible has nothing whatsoever to do with the eventual sale of the house. It’s like hiring a kid to rake the leaves in your yard only to see the leaves stacked in a dozen piles but never put into the trash; sure, he didn’t do what you hired him to do but at least he was busy!
Maybe it’s my background in corporate America but I’m spent far too much time simply shuffling papers from one side of my desk to the other or enhancing my career by using pretty colors on an Excel spreadsheet. I’d rather focus on activities that lead directly to the actual desired results than waste time attempting to look busy by doing unproductive work.
Unless I can score some free food, that is.
[tags]Phoenix real estate[/tags]