Top Educator Jodi O’Brien explains.
It is Sunday afternoon and your sellers are thrilled to have seen their home in several newspapers and to see balloons and signs all over the neighborhood. They greet you with a big smile saying “this will be the day their home sells!” You agree, with all of this marketing. And then you wait and sit and wait some more only to see a few curious neighbors and disinterested buyers. Sound familiar?
Are open houses just another thing sellers want but that doesn’t work? Are open houses victims of the down market? Or, is it one more thing in your real estate world that has changed? Who moved your open house and how do you get that marketing and prospecting activity back.
First, let’s look at the fundamental reasons you may conduct open houses.
-They are part of your marketing plan to sell the house.
-They are part of your prospecting plan to find more buyers.
-They are part of your prospecting plan to find more sellers.
The next step is to access how effective this is using the recent NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers for 2011.
-7% of buyers found their agent at an open house.
-4% of sellers found their agent at an open house.
-No one reported buying the home they saw on an open house.
Now before you decide never to do an open house again, take a look at a few more facts from the survey:
-40% buyers found the house they purchased on the Internet.
-75% of all first time buyers drove by or viewed the home they found online.
-46% of buyers used the Internet to search for open houses.
-55% of buyers said information about upcoming open houses was very to somewhat useful.
This data is the map to your new open house plan and begins where all real estate transactions start today…the Internet! Your website must have vibrant and useful information about your open houses such as mapping, open house search functions, and save features.
With as many as 40% of buyers finding, viewing, and then buying that house on the Internet, you may want to create new ways for them to “view” it. You can conduct a virtual open house with lots of pictures with room and feature descriptions or even video with audio.
Why not use social media to drive prospects not only to your open house, but to the open house section on your website where they can continue to come back and find useful information. Since we know the number of hits on each listing is highest in its first week on your site and 75% of buyers drive by and view the home, why wait until Sunday for the first open house. How about a series of short open houses midweek? Don’t sit around and wait for the buyers to find your open house, go find them on the Internet.
Once you set these plans into motion, create a marketing plan for the seller with each of these activities, and be sure to have an explanation of the benefits of this new plan. Don’t forget to bring your laptop or tablet so you can show the seller and follow up with an email to give the seller links to all of these activities.
Set your GPS (Great Prospects for Selling) to the new open house and arrive in style.