The Too Open House
March 1, 2022
Founder / CEO
Open Houses Direct
Why the “Too Open Open House” is going away and why, in a Market with Low Inventory, Open Houses are the Fastest Way to Sell a Home
Open Houses, since 2010, have been a proven method for Realtors® to sell a home and to meet potential clients. They have also been the easiest way for Realtors to physically get in front of consumers wanting to do something in real estate, whether it is buying or selling a home. In a market with low inventory though, they are an even more effective way for buyers to find a home and for sellers to sell a home with multiple offers on the table.
Why are they now so popular? Open Houses are “available to buy”. When inventory drops, companies like Zillow, Redfin, and Realtor.com have to publish ALL listings, active or under contract, or they wouldn’t have any listings to publish. This has become extremely frustrating to buyers, and Realtors, so they have taken their home searches into their own hands and are going out and finding homes through other methods, such as open houses.
The average open house 3 years ago would have had about 5 to 10 groups coming through over the course of a weekend. Now, open houses are drawing between 30 and 50 groups in the course of two days. An open house marketed the right way online can draw 25-30 “unrepresented” buyers, with 50% of those buyers currently having a house to sell. When buyers don’t have a lot to choose from, they have to go outside of their set search criteria to find a home, which leads them to driving around looking at open houses. This incredibly large number of open house visitors is a goldmine for Realtors to generate hot buyer and seller leads. Realtors who are regularly holding open houses on their listings the day the go active are not only finding a buyer for the home, but are generating 20-30 new buyer and seller leads, all in one day.
Realtors who decide not to have an open house the day a home goes active, and accept an offer prior to the house going active, are not only losing the opportunity to generate potentially 25-30 leads per open house, but are losing the opportunity for all buyers to have the opportunity to see the home. Open houses also create a competitive environment where buyers see other buyers interested in the home which creates a sense of urgency, leading to multiple offers. Multiple offers warrant a higher purchase price for the seller.
With open houses being in such demand now, there is no reason to have the “Too Open Open House” where buyers are free to roam a house without checking in. With homes being in such demand for the buyers to see, Realtors can require every guest to check-in at the door. Technology now allows us to instantly check in all open house guests verifying their contact information instantly “prior” to entering. This not only creates a safer environment for both the seller and the Realtor, but it also gives the Realtor a chance to capture all buyer and/or seller information and track who has visited the home. Sign in sheets don’t verify information.
This is why new companies such as Open Houses Direct, an app and website for marketing and finding open houses, are becoming more popular for both the Realtor and the consumer. All the homes on Open Houses Direct are “available to purchase”. Realtors are allowed to publish open houses for Active and “Coming Soon” listings giving buyers direct access to homes that aren’t on the market yet. With direct access to Coming Soon listings and to the Realtors who are listing the properties, buyers have a better chance of getting ahead of other buyers who are waiting for the home to hit Zillow; which by that time the home is under contract.
Open Houses Direct also offers one of the only open house check-in systems for Realtors that allows them to instantly check-in all open house visitors with verified contact information. Being able to check in all guests at the door, and validate their information, transforms an “open house” into a day of showings where the Realtors know every person who visited their seller’s home.
Realtors can also learn how to run open houses more effectively as well by taking workshops such as www.openhousemasters.com/ workshop. Open House Masters is an online open house coaching program that teaches Realtors how to run safer more effective open houses, as well as marketing tips and tricks to circumnavigate sites like Zillow who hijack their open house leads before they come in the door.