There is more behind the door of that “Open House”

On a recent post, one of my esteemed friends from Florida discussed his views on open houses. He offered some statistical data and suggested that any agent that included them in a marketing plan during a listing presentation should be thrown out the door.

I won’t disagree with the statistical analysis that was presented. I am wondering why it is even an issue. He and many others feel that open houses are a waste of time. I accept that. He and others are quick to point out that one of the side benefits of holding an open house is that the agent may come in contact with buyers or others that are considering selling their home. Some how, this is presented as a bad thing for the owner of the home.

He is quick to point out all of the possible dangers. He mentions theft, injury to visitors, injury to the agent as things that may occur. He fails to acknowledge that theft can occur when visitors view the home with their agent, injury may occur when visitors visit the home with their agent, injury may occur to the agent when they are showing the home. Somehow, he and others perceive that bad things only happen during the open house. There is always risk. A meteor may strike the house during an open house as well. The same meteor would strike the house if no one was there when it arrived. Just because one event occurs during another does not create a causational relationship of one with the other.

A broker’s open is a good opportunity to showcase the home for other agents. This showcase often increases the awareness of the home with other agents in the market. Increased awareness may land the home on a short list in the future.

People do visit open houses. In some cases, people buy the house. In other cases, neighbors recommend the home to a friend that is seeking to move into the neighborhood. There are times that viewing a home will enable the buyer to focus on exactly what they are seeking. In these cases, one open house helps sell another. I personally believe that open houses are a long continuem of product on the market. Making the product available for viewing does help increase the overall sales figure for the market.

It is one thing, to adamantly believe there is no value to your personally holding an open house. If you feel that way, I would suggest your chance for success in holding open houses will be limited by your attitude regarding them. I do not feel that they should be the “deal breaker” regarding hiring an agent. Throwing an agent out because an open house may or may not be part of their marketing plan is short sighted at best.

The beauty of our profession is found in the wide array of opportunities available to us to use in our day to day operations. Post cards work for some, farming works for others. Phone calls works for some and personal “pop bys” work for others. Shown by appointment only works for some and open houses works for others.

If we are to stop marketing in every fashion that is not singular in purpose, our costs would increase significantly. If we are to be honest about all the reasons we market, our listing appointments would go on for hours. Should we toss every agent that suggests the use of craig’s list because in addition to marketing the home, it may bring potential buyers and sellers? Should we toss every agent that suggests placement of the home on their personal website because in addition to marketing  the home, it may bring potential buyers and sellers? I, for one, think not.

I think that our job is to expose the home to as many potential buyers as possible. The greater the pool of potential buyers, the more likely we may receive an offer on the property. The ad for the open house brings exposure. The neighborhood notification about the open house brings exposure. The signage on the street regarding the open house brings exposure. The open house brings exposure. Exposure brings the potential for opportunity.

I will accept that he sees no value in them. I accept that others may see no value in them. Neither of those facts is sufficient to denigrate those that hold them nor is it evidence that they have no worth.

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