Open Houses in Real Estate Still Relevant in the Todays’ Internet Era?

Open Houses in Real Estate Still Relevant in the Todays’ Internet Era?More and more Americans are choosing to shop online. Economists say that e-commerce in the U.S. has grown tremendously over the past few years and will continue to do so in the coming years. In fact, experts estimate that the American consumers would have spent about $327 billion in online purchases by 2016. That’s a huge projection, but it’s quite possible as American consumers spent over $200 billion in online purchases in 2012.

What about e-commerce in real estate?  Do Americans still prefer to buy homes the traditional way or do online alternatives give Americans better reasons to depend on the internet for their dream homes?

Online Home Shopping Trends in the US

According to studies, traditional home shopping in the U.S. – done via print (newspapers, catalogues) or broadcast media (TV) – is expected to decline by 21% by 2016. This is due to the continuously rising popularity of internet retailing.

The internet has definitely changed the game for so many real estate professionals. Gone are the days when home selling meant advertising in local newspapers, giving away flyers and brochures, or putting up streamers and billboards. Today, real estate agents are resorting to websites and the social media as their home selling platform.

Open Houses vs. Internet

Since the internet has made home shopping easier and more convenient, open houses became much less effective in generating or landing sales. Online listings and real estate advertisements have become better marketing strategies for real estate companies and professionals. This is primarily because the internet can reach more people and is almost free. As a result, more people are relying on the web than open houses. Also, online alternatives to open houses like virtual tours, video conferencing made possible via VoIP services, online bidding, and other methods are making property inspections and business transactions faster and easier. In fact, because of the internet, even overseas homebuyers can still view the property and interact with the seller or the real estate agent anytime.

Market Preferences

According to the National Association of Realtors or NAR, back in 1995, 41% of buyers relied on open houses when shopping for houses, while only 2% relied on the internet. This percentage dropped in the year 2000 when a mere 28% of the buyers depended on open houses. NAR also reported that in the recent years, the number of people depending on the internet when buying houses jumped to a whopping 77%.

Because of this shift in market preferences, more and more real estate agents are refusing to conduct open houses. For them, the very idea of conducting open houses means wasted time and energy and money down the drain. Personal interaction with random people also put their and the property’s safety at risk.

The Future of Open Houses

Although many now prefer going online when house hunting, there will be occasions when conducting an open house will prove to be the better alternative. For example, when selling a well-maintained property that’s located in a densely populated area, holding an open house will sure look promising.

Furthermore, if a property has been on the market for months but still has no willing takers; owners will resort to unlikely alternatives such as conducting open houses. The idea of doing something is better than just sitting around. And if an open house would somehow make the phone ring, then it’s more likely that they’d give it a try.

Nancy Perkins

Nancy Perkins

She loves sharing information on technology, health, fashion, women issues and motherhood. Her passion for writing has paved the way to be active in ModernLifeBlogs, Ringcentral VOIP Services, and other top websites in their respective fields.
Nancy Perkins

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