• Technology is turning open houses into more powerful sales opportunities.

Have suggestions for products that you’d like to see reviewed by our real estate technology expert? Email Craig Rowe.

I’m not sure why open houses are controversial.

Better stated: Why is their effectiveness up for debate?

How is getting in front of your product’s audience a bad thing?

Yes, of course you use an open house to target unrepresented buyers. As you should. I’m not sure why this is used as a pejorative argument. The entire car sales industry is based on the concept of getting people in the door.

That doesn’t mean it’s not an effective form of property marketing. Doesn’t Matterport essentially offer an open house product?

I’d wager that a person physically in the house makes for a better prospect than someone pinching and scrolling their way through it from 1,000 miles away.

This is why I believe there is real value to open house software products like Spacio, which recently announced a reporting update.

Spacioreporting_tabletview

The newest version of the visually intuitive and multi-lingual Spacio (note the “pro” has been dropped) allows agents to accumulate visitor data from each event and produce reports for ongoing prospecting and client updates.

The reports help agents better understand the quality of the leads touring their listings.

Metrics include the number of represented and unrepresented buyers, buyers who are pre-qualified and buyers who provided contact information.

The reports help agents better understand the quality of the leads touring their listings.

Of course, none of that data would be available if it wasn’t for the product’s unique sign-in feature, which takes a less-is-more approach to gathering visitor data, limiting required fields and allowing visitors to sign in with a Craigslist-type email alias.

Spacioreporting_Overview

Users can also gauge which days of the week were most effective and what home types attract the most visitors.

Individual unrepresented sign-ins, for example, can be parsed and quickly accessed for follow-up, as can those who have yet to look into a mortgage.

Agents can now make better decisions about how to spend their time back in the office.

Spacio also makes it possible for agents to look at a number of events over a few months and determine what made one better than another. There’s also an option to view each event separately.

Reporting can help overlap an average list price with open house attendance. Agents should want to know if $500,000 listings earn significantly more sign-ins than $200,000 listings. Which event pulled in more represented buyers and why?

Agents can now make better decisions about how to spend their time back in the office.

One could also derive which neighborhoods are getting the attention of more pre-approved buyers.

Reports can be viewed online by the agents or output to a PDF in a single click and reflect the high-end visual themes of the software.

Spacioreporting_homedropdn

Agents can also use them in listing presentations in addition to keeping sellers up to date.

Open house reporting makes the practice a great deal more proactive. It’s no longer a passive, hope-for-the-best event put at the end of your presentation or mentioned only when the client asks.

After a few, agents can act on their reports as they would open rates on an email campaign or Web traffic statistics. Find out who has interest and get in front of them.

Like direct mail and mobile landing pages, open houses are one tactic in the greater property marketing strategy. I don’t recall ever reading that an open house need be an agent’s only form of marketing.

Yes, holding an open house is more like fishing with a net than a speargun. But if that net made you a better fisherman each time you used it, would you stop casting?

Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe.

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