Realogy’s OpenHouse.com soon will be a resource for any and all agents and brokers who want to add exposure for their open house information, company executives told Inman News.
Later this month, the franchise giant will begin accepting applications from all brokers and agents who want to send bulk open house data feeds to the OpenHouse.com Web site, which launched in June as a site where buyers could find easy-to-access open house information.
The site previously was open only to Realogy-brand brokers, which includes those operating under the Century 21, ERA, Coldwell Banker and Sotheby’s International Realty brands. Executives say they quickly learned the site would have more value if brokers from any brands could use it.
Alex Perriello, president and CEO of the Realogy Franchise Group, said the company received numerous inquiries from brokers soon after launch who were interested in posting information.
While the site aims to offer easy access to open house data and added exposure for sellers, Perriello said the company also hoped it would help its brokers cut down on print classified advertising costs.
Perriello pointed to a recent survey from the National Association of Realtors that found 78 percent of buyers rated the Internet as a useful source of real estate information, while print newspaper advertisements showed only 17 percent of buyers deeming them a useful source.
By contrast, he said, only 1 percent of home buyers using the Internet said it was not useful in their home search, while 48 percent of buyers using newspaper ads said they were not useful in their home searches.
“When you consider how much money is being spent on classified ads … it’s ridiculous when almost half the people see no value in that,” Perriello said.
On average, about 15,000 to 20,000 open house listings appear on the site each week, according to Perriello, and the site gets an average of 60,000 visitors each week.
“By opening it up to the industry now we’d expect those numbers to really accelerate,” Perriello said.
Brokers interested in setting up a bulk data feed of open house information to OpenHouse.com can send inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brokers not affiliated with Realogy brands will have to pay a one-time fee to cover costs associated with getting the initial feeds set up, and the ongoing service is free after that. Perriello said the fee is expected to be around $400 or $500.
Realogy also created a distribution agreement for those brokers not affiliated with its brands who may have concerns about what happens to their data once it’s sent to the Web site, Perriello said.
Realogy Corp. is owned by an affiliate of Apollo Management LP, a private equity and capital markets investor.
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