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August 30, 2014

Open Houses Important Piece in Marketing, Agents Say

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Open Houses Important Piece in Marketing, Agents Say

Open houses are still an important component of marketing a home for-sale to many real estate professionals, according to a recent Inman News poll of real estate agents and brokers. 

The REALTOR® Nationwide Open House Weekend event wrapped up this past weekend, as agents across the country held an estimated 31,078 open houses. 

Sixty percent of Inman News readers say open houses are a part of their marketing strategy in listing homes for-sale, according to the poll of 218 real estate professionals. 

So how do agents spread the word about their open houses? Nearly all of the real estate professionals polled said they use the Internet to promote their open houses. They feature details about it on the multiple listing service, broker and agent Web sites, listing portals, and a growing number also say they use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to promote it, according to Realtor.com data. 

But the question of how effective open houses really are in getting a home sold continues to be debated among the real estate industry. Some real estate professionals argue open houses just aren’t worth the extra work nowadays, since they rarely bring about a sales contract immediately afterward. For those surveyed who do not hold open houses, nearly 85 percent say it’s because open houses aren’t worth the time and energy involved, and 27 percent say they don’t hold them because they’re worried about safety and liability issues. 

Meanwhile, other real estate professionals argue open houses still have their place. Fifty-six percent say they use open houses to also prospect for new clients and nearly 44 percent say open houses are good at generating buzz for a listing. 

Open houses "have their place in the marketing mix, just as yard signs, ads and postcards do. You wouldn't solely market a house using postcard, nor would you rely on an open house as your only means of promotion," says Steve McKenna with The Home Advantage Team in Arlington, Mass.

Source: “Survey: Open Houses Still Have Their Place,” Inman News (April 27, 2012)

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