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The local newspaper in which we advertise, the North Staffordshire Sentinel, ran additional advertising this week for estate agents who wanted to take part in their Open House event.
For those unsure about it, an open house event is where people can theoretically walk in off the street and view a vendor’s property. No appointment is needed as people literally just turn up! In the advertisement, a set date and time is given.
The way the newspaper sells it to agents, is that they can ask the vendor of the property for either the full amount of the advert cost or this can be split between the vendor and the agent.
I believe open house events have some merit if you are show-casing an investment property or repossession and there is a lot of initial interest. Most agents in these situations would do an open house of sorts anyway. Agents would do a block viewing, to create a sense of urgency and to save their time. A busy estate agent, does not want to be coming and going from a property, if they can help it. An open house is also something worth doing in a buoyant market.
In the current market that we are in (a tough one) I don’t think open houses are the way to go. If someone is interested in a property, they are going to ring the estate agent and book an appointment. In a depressed market, if people do attend, they are most likely to be “carpet treaders” going for a “nosey”! The “carpet treaders” of this world welcome such opportunities, as it means that they are not pre-qualified by estate agents. I would imagine it will be pretty demoralising for vendors and estate agents this weekend if they get a poor response, especially as they may have both contributed to the advertising cost.
I hope the agents and vendors involved get a good response. It would be nice to see a success story in the newspaper. If the open house weekend was successful and I was involved with the paper, I would certainly be publicising it.
Findahome Online have not got any properties in the Open House weekend, because we already offer extensive marketing on the web in addition to press advertising. I also would not feel comfortable spending our vendors’ money on advertising that I didn’t think worked. It’s not to say that I would not organise an open house on one of my vendors’ property if they requested it – I would. What I would make sure I did first though, was to ensure that they understood the pitfalls of opening up their house.
A serious home hunter will view, whether it’s an open house or not!
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Findahome are a National Online Estate Agents, allowing you to buy property via the internet. Findahome Online Internet Estate Agents also have rental property available.
Estate agents – Let your property – Letting agents and Online Letting Agents – Staffordshire Estate Agents, Estate Agent Stoke–on–Trent