• Not all homebuyers are tech savvy and interested in finding their home virtually, and open houses give buyers a physical feel to a space and its surroundings.
  • Agents should encourage buyers to ask them questions as well as themselves while walking through an open house.
  • Open houses give agents the opportunity to connect with an individual in-person and collect helpful information to keep in touch in the future.
Matt Valentine / Shutterstock.com

Matt Valentine / Shutterstock.com

In the age of video tours and 3D tours, arguments grow more heated over whether open houses are still a good use of time or not. According to one Re/Max broker, they are a very good use of time for homebuyers, especially those just getting their feet wet in the market.

Because not everyone is into the new shiny tech trend or gadget (even millennials), old school practices like open houses are still great marketing and networking tactics.

Open houses help identify wants and needs

“When folks start house hunting, what they want often isn’t clear to them, and open houses can help clarify their thinking,” said Paul Booth of Re/Max 10 in Palos Park. “That’s especially true with couples, because while both may agree it’s time to move, they may not have a shared vision of their new home. Buyers need to vocalize what they want to each other and to their Realtor, and visiting open houses helps that happen.”

Physically being inside of a home gives better perspective on square footage and enables homebuyers to feel and see what is most important on their list of must-haves and must-not-haves.

Simply, open houses give buyers a feel for a space. They are able to see the details, to feel the physical space and to pay attention to the other senses that aren’t represented in virtual marketing.

Agents should encourage buyers to ask questions

While every individual agent is naturally going to be open to questions, the ones who are best at open houses will be able to stir the conversation by prepping each attendee with specifics to consider.

A sheet or checklist of notes to consider like “is this space big enough,” “can I picture all of my items fitting well and cohesive in this space,” “does this home fit my lifestyle” and “will I need to make future updates or changes” are a few starting points.

After potential buyers have walked through the home and discussed all these things with their significant other, friend or family member, it can help spark curiosity and potentially more questions for themselves or the agent.

Agents will meet people in an open house

Open houses serve several purposes, and one of those is for agents to expose themselves to as many people as possible. Even if the individuals that come to an open house are just window shopping at the moment, meeting in person gives the agent a chance to make a real connection.

Agents should take every opportunity to chat with attendees and ask about what they are looking for in a home. And while it’s important to pass out your card, it’s equally important to gather others’ contact information. Instead of just asking people to sign in on a tablet or laptop, ask individuals directly and take notes on what they are looking for to reference later.

This information will be important so agents can send listings directly or check in to make sure you have all the right specs they are looking for, which is an excuse to touch each person after the event and go beyond just saying “thanks.”

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