This weekend, I held an open house and was suprised with the high volume of traffic I received.
I've heard every opinion about holding an open house. Some say don't waste your time, while others think it's the lifeblood of their business. I'm somewhere in between. As a guy, I feel a little silly putting up balloons or setting up the house properly. I typically go with flags and keep it pretty simple. I know it's not necessarily the most productive use of time compared to other activities. I guess it depends on the property, the market, and what I have going on in my business at the time.
But I think holding them at least every now and then is a great way get in tune with the current state of our market. Where else can we go where buyers and sellers walk up to us and talk about real estate? Even if you don't get any leads, you had an opportunity to make an impression on the neighbors (who are all curious how much their home is worth too) and listen to the concerns of both buyers and owners. Sure, some are reluctant to talk, but that's where our people skills come into play. If you're not approachable, open houses will never work to your benefit. Also, the amount of traffic might clue you into area demand. If nobody shows up, did you do a poor job marketing or is there just a low demand for that property?
There are tons of agents who do a much better job than I do. I only put out 6 signs, but I still found my self in one conversation after another the entire time on both days. I had over 30 groups of people show up, about 65 people in all. We got a full price offer on Saturday night from one of the visitors and their agent. The conversations were all positive, and since I love talking about real estate, I had a pretty good time.
Not all of my open houses go this way, but I usually have a decent turnout. I try to choose good properties, priced well, in an area that I want exposure.
I'd love to hear your ideas and feedback of what does and doesn't work for you.