Open Houses, Are They Relevant?

Real Estate Agent with New Native Realty NCREC# 216375

As a broker I have certainly done a number of open houses over the years. I have found them to be a very inefficient use of time and an ineffective marketing tool. The problem is, I may be wrong. I have been thinking more about this tool lately due to the increased implementation of the internet by the consumer for house hunting. According to the National Association of Realtors most recent survey of home buyers and sellers over 90% of people looking to buy a home look on the internet first before even contacting a realtor.  If that is the case, are open houses a useful way for these same consumers to view the homes in person that they have seen on line. I am not sure. The same survey cites over 87% of home buyers still contact an agent prior to viewing a home in person. This is the reason I have traditionally told new agents that realtors sell homes, not open houses, not newspaper ads, not blimps flying over the neighborhood(no I haven't tried that). I have interviewed a few of my colleagues that have been in the business for a respectable period and they all seem to agree. Why then, do we still continue to do open houses? I think the answer lies in our need to do something, anything, to show our value to our client. I feel this pressure even when I know  my value lies in my ability to manage the process, negotiate the deal, navigate the bumps (there are lots of bumps)and get my client to closing. Perhaps I should install a cerebral tracker to show my client just how much time I spend thinking about their home and how to sell it. On the other hand it might not be a good idea to let the average consumer inside my head. It can get scary in there sometimes. In any event I think this business is evolving and we need to think of new ways to generate interest for our listings and help our clients get where they want to be when they want to be there. 

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