With such a competitive housing market realtors are always looking for a new way to make an impression on their clients. The internet has allowed for easy and simple browsing of homes on the market allowing audiences for open houses to be smaller each year. According to the National Association of Realtors more than 77% of homebuyers shopped online to find their future homes. With online shopping being so prominent, agents must find new ways to get clients to an open house to experience the house in a way off the screen.
Real estate agents have been trying new things to spruce up and make open houses more appealing to attract new clients. In New York,Corinne Pulitzer, the executive vice president of Douglas Elliman Real Estate, hosted an open house of a $22.8 million Upper East Side townhouse. To entice potential clients Ms. Pulitzer held a book signing of a book called “New York: Then and Now,” a story about historical places in New York and how they look in modern society. This historical themed booked paired nicely with the house that was on the national register of historic places. People came and met the author and toured around the house looking at all the historical features it had to offer.
Luxury real estate agents have been testing different ideas in luxurious homes to lure clients, not just brokers. Last summer James Schneider, a broker from Annapolis, invited prominent clients and agents to an extravagant sunset soiree to a $13 million estate on the Severn River. He made the open house over the top to please his clientele “people who own $3 million yachts” he says, with valet parking, catered food, and featured roses floating in the in-ground swimming pool. The real objective was found inside the gift bags placed in guest’s vehicles at departure with information about the estate and a note to share it with anyone who might have in interest in owning the property.
Last year in Hunt Valley an open house was transformed into an art gallery with paintings and pictures hung throughout the house. This art show/open house was elegant with wine and cheese served upon the arrival of over 500 people over the course of the night. Making this open house an art show allowed for different clients to arrive and look at the house. The intentions were clear that not everyone that came would be in the market for a new home, but these people may know someone who was in the market. “The idea was that art would bring in the million-dollar buyers, It’s a big, big, empty house with good wall space” said the listing agent, Ashley Richardson.
Along with extravagant parties, art shows, and book signings there are a couple of other things real estate agents can do to attract potential buyers. Turn the classic wine and cheese platters into a walking wine tasting around the property. Different stations with different wine samples can be set up around the property to entice people to walk around and mingle with people of the same social stature. You can also have the party catered at the property with a theme that matches the architecture or style of the house to inspire potential buyers to consider living a certain lifestyle. Spruce up your open house and try something different to peek the interest of your clientele.
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