Why show days are still important
In this electronic age of online listings, video tours and digital marketing, many home sellers don't see the point of show days anymore.
"Some owners believe that those who are really interested will make an appointment with the agent to come and view their property," says Harcourts Africa CEO Richard Gray, "while others are worried about security when their homes are open to the public."
However, he says, the fact is that show days still account for a very large percentage of sales – "and in the current market when homes are still taking a long time to sell, it is not wise for sellers to reject one of the most effective ways of exposing their properties to potential buyers.
"Not everyone has access to the Internet, or trusts that the photos in online listings are accurate, and not everyone wants to view a property in a one-on-one situation with an agent. Most buyers prefer to look at quite a few properties before they make up their minds and feel more comfortable, for a first look, in the semi-anonymous and low-pressure atmosphere of a show day.
"This gives them the opportunity to really look around, to envisage how they might live in a particular home, and to compare its attractions with others in the same price range."
Of course, says Gray, not everyone who visits a show house will be in the market to buy, but a professional agent will know how to manage the security situation, and there have many occasions when someone who viewed a property has recommended it to a friend or relative, resulting in a sale.
"And another good reason to hold a show day is that it can help validate your asking price or, through feedback from the visitors, help you reset that price in line with what the 'market', in the form of potential buyers, is prepared to pay. It can also help affirm an agent's advice - the way the home looks or what it needs – and marketing strategy."
However, he cautions, to get the maximum benefit from a show day, you need to work with a professional, experienced agent, who is very knowledgeable about the area, current pricing and what's important to potential buyers, and very diligent about giving you feedback and following up on show day leads.