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Real Estate Agent with The Michigan Group - Livingston

The Big Open House


What was The Big Open House?

The biggest open house event in Michigan's history, it was today, April 27,  Sponsored in part by Chase Bank and the advertising department of The Detroit News/Free Press and The Livingstn County Daily Press & Argus, and newspaper adds paid for by local Realtors.

The Metropolitan Consolidated Association of REALTORS  teamed with Detroit Media Partnership to present The Big Open House, a region-wide community open house designed to highlight both the unparalleled variety of homes available to today's consumer and the many great communities that comprise southeast Michigan.

In a desperate attempt to reduce the 20 month supply of unsold inventory, Real estate agents in four counties-Oakland, Macomb, Wayne and Livingston-were encouraged to hold open houses on Sunday, April 27  Projections from The Detroit News/Free Press predicted they would sell 67pages  encomassing 67 adds on each page, totaling 4,489 home adds. In reality the homes covered 8 pages and totaled 537 properties, resulting in a newspaper 88% shortfall in projected advertising revenue!

Livingston county homes contributed 22% of the open house adds  and yet we have only has 5% of the inventory in Southeastern Michigan market! If one consideres the additional "local Paper" Press-Argus, our county contributed 40% of the total market advertising  market, with The Micigan Group - Realtors comprising over 50% of Livingston County's open houses.

The Livingston County Area's results were nothing to brag about. Agents reported that no one attending the Open House were a result of reading the Expensive Adds in the Newspaper!  (all open house guests came as a result of the yard Sign), the agents reported!

If you missed this great event, you'll be able to get a preview ( 24/7) all of the houses that were featured during the The Big Open House. Just visit my website and you'll soon see the first of these listings appearing online. http://BillFear.com

So My question is: Do you feel that holding an Open House is an effiecive way to market a home?

Pam Pugmire
Silvercreek Realty Group - Meridian, ID
Meridian Idaho Real Estate
I think it is just another example that print advertising is ineffective.  The web, signs, and word of mouth are where we should be focusing our energy and resources.
Apr 27, 2008 03:57 PM
Lynda Eisenmann
Preferred Home Brokers - Brea, CA
Broker Associate ,CRS,GRI,SRES, Brea,CA, Orange Co

Hi Bill,

Yikes a 20 month inventory, guess I should be grateful mine is only 7 1/2 months. A question, did the open house promotion also include online advertising?

As for open houses, yes I used them occasionally, especially if I'm not getting many showings during the week. Consider this, maybe the lack of activity had more to do with the "print" media, it's pretty much dead in my area.

BTW, my closing last Thursday was a direct result of a prior open house.

Apr 27, 2008 04:04 PM
Eric Bouler
Gardner Realtors, Licensed in La. - New Orleans, LA
Listening to your Needs
It all depends upoon your area and how people think. It works well in certain areas and print works less and less. I stopped my ads five years ago.
Apr 27, 2008 05:11 PM
Robert Smith
Preview Properties, PC - http://www.RealEstateMich.com - Brighton, MI
SRES, Search for Homes Brighton-Howell-SE Michigan

I did an open house yesterday, too - also in Bill's market. I didn't run an ad as part of the 'event' and I held my open from 10am - 1 pm.  I had three families visit, all brought in by just the signs.

I received an offer on another property yesterday, also from a local agent. She was part of the Big Open House event and had 13 groups through!  Sometimes open houses work, sometimes they don't. She picked up two new buyers and a listing from her efforts.

I've never had that result from an open house, but it's good to know that it can happen.  In this market, I wouldn't discount any effort. If you find a way to be productive while you're at an open house, it's not time lost any more than staying at home or sitting at your desk in the office.

Apr 27, 2008 11:40 PM
Carla Harbert
Full Time REALTOR in Ohio - Brunswick, OH
RE/MAX Omega, Brunswick Ohio

wow - a 20 month inventory of homes... Ohio is suffering from a huge inventory of homes, too. I believe in Open Houses, sold many of my own listings this way. My husband is very creative & able to customize my open house ads, sends them print ready to the newspaper & placed in the Homes for Sale section (where most of the for sale by owner ads are placed. It works. See examples:

Russia Rd in Elyria OH 44035     145 Lafayette in Elyria OH 44035  -- Carla

Apr 28, 2008 04:08 AM
Lu Kalaj
Vision Realty Centers - Brighton Township, MI
Good job advertising the big open house.  I look forward to hearing great things about it.  I'm sorry I keep missing the great activities at The Michigan group.  I know all  your hard work will pay off.  Keep up the good job. Lu
Apr 28, 2008 07:36 AM
Lu Kalaj
Vision Realty Centers - Brighton Township, MI
My personal experience with open houses have not been successful.  Yes, people looking in the paper would come by, but not one yielded a return on my investment.  I certainly hope that others have better experiences.  Lu
Apr 28, 2008 07:39 AM
Red Hot Ryder

Bill, Good article about the lack of effectiveness of this campaign among buyers and agents. 

Tell me, is it a RESPA violation to have one lender and one title company sponsor this?  I believe that's why many agents didn't advertise. Were either of these your companies affiliated business??

We'll see how the National Open House does in November.

May 20, 2008 10:44 AM
Michael Wayne Jackson
Coldwell Banker - Novato, CA
Broker - Seniors Real Estate Specialist Novato

I do think that holding an open house is an effective way to market a home.

May 23, 2008 06:25 AM