Thursday, April 22, 2010

Are Open Houses a Waste of Time?

In a word: NO!
But, I get ahead of myself.  When I started in the Real Estate game, things were gloomy (to put it mildly).  Foreclosures were everywhere and entire "ghost towns" were created when people walked away from homes they saw no way of getting out from under.
Those were bleak times.  Many Realtors left the business and didn't look back.  A couple of years ago, telling people you were a Realtor would garner a few snickers or sympathetic head shakes.
So we saw signs go up in front of houses without brochure boxes, or worse, empty boxes.  In my neighborhood, there hadn't been an open house in several years.  I'm not kidding.
But sometimes Old School is just what a neighborhood needs.  I held an open house last weekend in Belle Creek.  I put signs and balloons at every entrance to the neighborhood.  I walked to every home in the neighborhood (all 300+) and invited every neighbor.  I posted on Twitter and Facebook.  And I waited.
And I reinforced what I've always felt about Belle Creek.  It is a pretty special place to live, and people seem to want to be a part of this community.  Right at 11am when the open house was to start, a young couple came through the door.  Shortly after they left, another couple came along.  During the time of the open house, I had about 25 people come through.  When it was over, 6 more people rang the bell (after I left!) to see if they might have a look too.
So, are Open Houses worth it?  Only if you want to sell your house.  If your Realtor is not holding open houses, maybe you should ask them why.

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