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Gear Up for Open House Weekend

April 19, 2011

Launched in 2010 by executives at local and state REALTOR® associations, the Nationwide Open House campaign has become a major consumer marketing blitz to promote local real estate and, of course, the benefits of working with a REALTOR®. This year, the event is receiving promotional help from the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, and promises to be even larger.

Participation in Nationwide Open House is not mandatory for associations or members; however, AEs say it’s a great way to connect REALTORS® with their clients as a member benefit. “In central Ohio, we typically average about 170 open houses per week,” says Marque Bressler, communications director of the Columbus Board of -REALTORS®, “but during the Nationwide Open House last year we had 1,616 open houses in one weekend.”

When the Washington Association of REALTORS® surveyed their members after last year’s event, 13 percent said they sold one or more homes as a direct result of the event, while 47 percent said the event, and media coverage leading up to it, helped increase consumer confidence.

In Florida, 92 percent of local boards participated in promoting the 2010 event, generating between 15,000 and 18,000 open houses statewide. The Florida Association of REALTORS® created newspaper ads, radio spots, and custom graphics to promote the occasion in addition to building a database for local MLSs to display their open houses for consumers.

“The media coverage was phenomenal,” says Lisa Walker, director of communications and public affairs for the Florida REALTORS®. “The value of the TV coverage alone was $200,000, according to an external audit.”

NAR is supporting Nationwide Open House this year with national media coverage and a tool kit on REALTOR.org with logos, ideas, and resources for local associations. Stay tuned to REALTOR.org for more or visit the event’s Facebook page.