In today’s world of real estate, there are seemingly endless ways for agents to market their listings. With technology and social media booming like never before, the options for agents to advertise and, therefore, sell homes seem to be growing exponentially by the day, becoming slightly overwhelming for agents who are less-than-savvy with the Internet, mobile technology and social networking. However, tried-and-true methods still exist, fueling sales nationwide even in 2015.
Open houses remain a fruitful option for agents to sell homes, but more importantly, to meet prospective clients face to face who are still seeking representation. According to the 2014 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 44 percent of buyers used open houses as a key part of their home search.
Open houses have consistently proven their worth in the real estate industry, and the key to success is using the right tools for the job.
Open Home Pro® is a free app that aims to simplify and streamline the process for agents. The most downloaded open house app on iOS and Android handles everything from the planning and marketing stages of the open house to the collecting of data and sending of follow-up emails post-event. Open Home Pro® makes it easy to engage with potential buyers and keep the conversation flowing long after the visitors have left and with minimal effort from the agent. Judging by its 4.5-star rating in the Apple App Store and rave reviews all over the Web, it’s safe to say that this appears to be a mission accomplished.
Open Home Pro® CEO Doug Breaker views the app as a way to further help agents build their business in a realm that some aren’t too familiar with.
“We saw an opportunity to help agents with something they normally do and make it much more effective for them, both on selling the home and getting new clients, on the buy or sell side,” says Breaker. “The app takes a process that was manual and painful and it automates it for them. We saw it as a cool solution to a drudging activity that agents are already doing.”
Open Home Pro® allows agents to capture lead data from prospective buyers walking through their open house. Guests enter contact information and answer a series of questions that describe who they are and where they currently are in the home search process. The app asks if buyers are represented by an agent, if they are pre-approved for a loan, and how they learned about the open house. All of this information is crucially important to the agent going forward, according to SVP of Sales for Open Home Pro®, Mark Tepper.
“You’re spending a lot of money or time marketing the open house, so you want to identify what marketing efforts—newspaper, online, Facebook, signage—are actually paying off and what you should discontinue. We’re always trying to give the agent selling the house insight into why people are coming by,” says Tepper.
Not only does the app go a long way toward helping agents appear more professional, it’s also a massive time-saver for real estate professionals who are already crunched for time.
“It comes down to replacing the pen and paper and giving that agent time back,” says Greg Johnson, VP of Product Development for Open Home Pro®. “When we interview agents who use the app, what we hear time and again is, ‘Thanks for giving me my Sunday evenings back.’ A lot of time is spent transposing notes and scribbled sheets over to CRMs. Some of the best feedback we’ve received is how helpful it is.”
After the open house, the app automates a follow-up with buyers, allowing the agent to stay top of mind without much tedious busy work. Buyers receive an email after the open house ends, thanking them for coming or notifying them of listing changes, like a drop in price. All emails contain the agent’s photo and any pre-determined information the agent chooses. This all adds up to a big opportunity to close more sales and potentially find more sellers, since two-thirds of recent buyers only interviewed one agent before finding the one they worked with.
In the premium version of the app, in addition to customizing the open house questions and email content that’s sent out, agents also receive an automated sellers report following the event. Not only does the report sum up how many people walked through the home, it also summarizes more information about attendees, so sellers can have results in their hands as soon as possible.
“Agents can add notes into each buyer’s profile. It could be anything—they really liked the home, but thought it was overpriced, or if the kitchen was redone, they’d pay asking price. Any insights can be added to it and it’s all compiled into a professional report,” says Tepper. “It’s an easy way to have a conversation with the seller with some objective reviews on hand.”
Open Home Pro® is constantly being updated with new functionality, features and other improvements. “We’re continuously working on adding elements, learning from our customers what features they would like to see,” says Johnson. “We’re working toward more personalization to put more control into the agents’ hands, so they can better complement their own branding and identity.”
With Open Home Pro®, real estate agents can take advantage of all their saved time by focusing on what’s most important: selling homes. Building business has never been easier for users, with over 60,000 consumers walking through open houses run by Open Home Pro® in April of this year alone.
Says Breaker, “If we’re going to build software for agents, it has to be simple and easy. That’s always what we strive for.”
For more information, please visit www.openhomepro.com.