Open Houses – What are they good for?

open house

In a day and age where the vast majority of homebuyers start their search process on the Internet some Agents and Brokers, (not to mention homeowners) grumble about the effectiveness of Open Houses. But this Inman News poll found that 60% of real estate agents currently use Open Houses as part of their marketing strategy.

Although Open Houses remain a tried and true way of marketing a house, the way agents promote them has changed.

Nearly all (98.3%) of the agents and brokers polled who hold Open Houses said they promote them on the Internet, posting details on multiple listing service (MLS), broker and agent websites, and listing portals like

Most (57.6%) said they also use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Yard signs were also seen as an essential tool for promoting open houses by 89% of those surveyed, but only 46% advertised the events in newspapers. Most real estate agents find the newspaper to be a very small bang for their buck.

Open Houses can help agents prospect for buyer-clients and create a “buzz” around well-priced and well-located properties.

It’s typical that the first Open House will generate a lot of traffic – most of it curious neighbors. But thats OK, sometimes noisy neighbors are great word-of-mouth marketers for a great home. Open Houses are also good for getting honest feedback for the sellers, and to demonstrate to the seller that his agent is working for him.

Overall, the effectiveness of Open Houses to sell that house is rather low, but Open Houses certainly have their place in the marketing mix, just as yard signs, newspaper ads, social media marketing and postcards do.

Normally we like to do at least three Open Houses, and more if the home is still generating good traffic. Sunday’s are without a doubt the best day to do Open Houses, but Saturdays can be good too. Alasdair and I do more than 100 open houses a year.


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