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Web Appeal Appears to be Replacing Curb Appeal?

Published: 01/10/2007
By: larry

We had an open house at our new listing yesterday. The Realtor holding it open for us said " on the Internet really good (all four family's through said it was the Internet pictures that got them there)..." I wasn't there so no one can accuse me of asking visitors leading questions about the photos.

There's a couple of significant things about having open house visitors talk about internet pictures bringing them to the open house.

  1. Ever since I started working in real estate in 1999 the conventional wisdom about open house traffic (and we documented this over and over in years past) has been that the primary source of traffic for open houses was "drive-bys". That is, people that are driving around the neighborhood, see your open house signs and come in to see the house.
  2. The secondary source of traffic was been newspaper open house ads. The newspaper has been completely eliminated from the process since there is no way you can put a home on the market on 9/26 and have an ad in ANY newspaper about it by 9/30. You can't request an ad until you have a MLS number and you can't get a MLS number until you put it on the market. You can't even get a MLS number assigned early for a future listing more than 24 hours ahead.

I understand that this is only one data point but think about it; gas is expensive so buyers don't just idly drive around the neighborhood any more and newspapers have data that is two weeks old (that's the flow time that it takes to get an ad in the newspaper through our office process) so if you were looking for a home how would you approach it? Use the Internet right?

6 comments on “Web Appeal Appears to be Replacing Curb Appeal?”

  1. I think you are right Larry. Buyers usually sign up for some sort of automatic email for homes coming on the market. So they will get to see new homes via email 1-2 weeks before they hit the Sunday papers. By which time the home may already be sold to a savvy and speedy buyer.

    Why driveby anything anymore?

  2. [...] Despite all the turmoil and upheaval, real estate is seriously changing. Larry Lohrman has it right in Web Appeal Appears to be Replacing Curb Appeal? [...]

  3. Oh, I think that more than a handful of agents understand. And, they would much rather spend their money on web advertising than print advertising that has little to no shelf life. A newspaper ad is usually only good for 2 or 3 days until it ends up in the recycling bin, unless the newspaper also includes the listing and photos in the real estate section of their website. Most people I know would rather pay for the newspaper's online advertising than actual print because people are even reading the local newspaper online. And drive-by's, while they work to some degree, when I was still hosting open house events, I got a lot of traffic from web advertising too. Many people remarked that the houses looked so good online that they were definitely worth checking out.

  4. There are agents concentrating a lot more on the web but most of the agents in my office are afraid of the new technologies for real estate. I asked a bunch of them to comment on my blog and they had no idea what a blog was.

    I'm a firm believer that this web 2.0 is the wave of the future and photos/videos will play a prominent role in this environment. I recently spent $1,250 on a Unique Homes ad and really it was a waste of money.

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