Is It Time To Open Up?

I remember just a few years ago when I attended a realtor conference in the U.S. being immensely impressed by the way they organised an ‘Open House’. They enthused about the concept, as Americans tend to do about nearly everything, but above all they were (and still are) keen to demonstrate just how [B]effective[/B] an Open House is as a means of actually [B]selling [/B]houses.

Of course, we in Britain are a cynical bunch-especially us estate agents. However, I’ve noticed a distinct increase in the number of Open Houses up and down the country and certainly here at Thomas Morris we’re now big fans of the whole idea.

I appreciate that many agents are still to be convinced, reminding themselves perhaps of a single previous experience where they ‘had a go’ but without any noticeable success. For us however, the whole experience has been nothing but positive. We have seen significant advantages for both buyers, sellers and of course ourselves.

For the buyer, there is an opportunity to view a home at a flexible time, with no pressure from an owner breathing down your neck and to view a home that has (normally) been suitably prepared for viewing. There is normally a knowledgeable estate agent (or two) in attendance and a chance to ask as many questions as are needed in a more relaxed atmosphere.

Sellers benefit too. No need to hide the kids’ toys and do the cleaning numerous times in preparation for a series of viewings over a 3 or 4 week period. Hopefully, one good clean and the seller can get back to living a more normal cluttered life until the day of the move.

But what about the agent? Well for us there are so many advantages: concentrated marketing over a short period of time with a very specific purpose. Easy diary management for the pre-planned event – which is very efficient and often saves money on petrol as well as the near certainty of a sale if the property is correctly priced. Oh yes and all that lovely publicity for you and your clients’ home prior to, during and even after the event.

Of course, a successful Open House requires thought, planning and the effective execution of a well funded marketing campaign, but hey you can do that can’t you – you’re an estate agent!

Simon Bradbury
Thomas Morris