Okay everyone … Things are changing for both Buyers and Real Estate Agents in promoting and checking out Open Houses. Here are a few tips for both agent and buyer:
1. Technology is forcing new ways to promote and research for open houses.
2. According to a recent Trulia (website) survey conducted by Harris Interactive, homebuyers are twice as likely to look for Open Houses online than in print media. Some 62% reported using online sites, compared to less than 33% who used print sources of any type (including newspapers and local flyers).
3. Homebuyers like the internet research better because they have more information about the properties --- more photos, better property description, and sometimes even school data and local price trends, which go beyond a newspaper staying simply the number of bedrooms and baths.
4. Many homebuyers like to do their own homework and get a more comprehensive view of a listing before making the effort to do a “drive-by” or “visit” to the property. If they see that an Open House is scheduled they will more apt to go see the property.
5. The comment of one prospective buyer was captivating from the survey. The person said, “I search online because I usually only have time to do my research late at night. I don’t do newspapers!” Wow…that is eye-opening.
6. Another prospective homebuyer gave this one-word-answer. “Easy.” He was referring to the internet search.
7. Moving forward in your thinking to --- get ready for this one --- the mobile phone. Many of the prospective buyers who are “tech-savvy” are open to Sunday iPhone type applications with the “on-the-fly” approach to seeing available Open Houses. This may be the new major source of Open House information.
8. Agents: go to the basics with the scheduling of your Open House --- post it on your personal website, your company website, highly trafficked locations and even national real estate sites.
9. Agents: Pique consumer interest by showing multiple photos, detailed information, and links for more information on said property. And, be sure to interview your attendees at the Open House to see how they found it.