The Carlsen Blog

Open Houses – 21st Century Real Estate

Posted on: Friday, June 24th, 2011 at 7:34 pm and is filed under Article, Blog.

Back in the day, an open house was something you went to on a Sunday afternoon to pass the time.  Maybe you could pick up an idea for re-decorating your bedroom or kitchen – or even just share a cookie!   The realtor would put a sign topper on their car, unlock the door and hope to sell the home.  Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t.  Today realtors have an entirely different view on holding an open house – mostly based on results.  Statistics show that open houses are effective 20% of the time.  Today’s realtor has to work a lot harder in order to have a successful open house – successful meaning more than 4 people show up

The days of putting up a sign on your car and unlocking the door are over.  There’s a whole lot more to holding a successful open house.  We’re talking internet advertising, newspaper ads, flyering the neighbourhood or direct mail to neighbouring homes, at least 10-12 direction signs.  There’s staging – and some realtors even provide refreshments (especially chocolate chip cookies to provide that inviting aroma!). 

But what happens when you get there?  Remember, realtors know the likelihood the house will sell is only 20%.  So why even hold an open?  Of course, the seller is one reason.  If a realtor is doing their fiduciary duty, they have to follow the client’s instructions and if the client wants an open house, the realtor should do an open house!  However, there are major security reasons why they don’t.  Last year in the Fraser Valley, realtors were actually warned about frequent thefts occuring in the Langley area during open houses.  Two years before that, realtors were warned about criminals targetting agents for theft, as well as assault.  The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board actually holds personal safety classes for their realtors to learn how to protect themselves.

So now not only does a realtor need to worry about their own personal safety, they need to consider providing extra security for their clients. 

So why are visitors continually surprised when they step into an open house that they are required to give personal contact info before they see the property?  Our office actually has signs posted outside the front door that read, “for the safety and security of our realtors and their clients, you will be required to register and show photo id”.  And surprise, surprise – the realtor is actually hoping to do business while spending 2 hours of their Saturday or Sunday afternoon away from their family.  Getting contact info from open house guests is a way of adding to their database.  It’s a great way, actually! 

It’s a total benefit to you as well.  What better way to interview realtors than by attending one of their open houses?  You can see them in action, without them even knowing they’re being interviewed.  If you don’t like the way they do business, you can cross them off your list of potentials.  If you get an email from them,  simply unsubscribe.  It’s that easy. 

On the other hand, if they send you a handwritten card, thanking you for taking the time to stop by their open house – maybe you’ve found a winner!  Just sayin’….

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.

Join the Community

Get the latest listing updates, and news via our twitter and facebook pages, click below.

Be the First

I want you to be the first to know when a home comes up for sale before it hits MLS. Sign up below.