Are email announcements helpful or annoying?
Sorry Jonathan, I am asking more than answering. So, TU for a good Q!
I have mixed feelings on food, prize drawings, and pre-broker open marketing support.
As an attendee, I visit, in this order
1) Properties that meet the criteria of active buyers
2) Properties within my immediate core/farm area that are of interest to me (comp purposes, awesome properties, brokers or people I know)
3) Other properties in my farm area - to keep up to date.
4) Properties I think will gain a lot of market attention.
5) Fringe areas outside my farm if any time remains.
I don't know that food, marketing, or prizes impact my decisions much. Perhaps because the "WOW" factor has not been substantial enough. The food is usually deli style, and the prize is $25 gift certificate. I am busy and neither of those types of things will get me to create a schedule around them. The above pertains to typical BOH on a weekday morning.
In order to promote a special property, an event can be quite successful. A "By-Invitation-Only" BOH or even Public Open, with refreshment, or entertainment or noteworthy guest (like a harpist ...or a historian present during the event to discuss the property history and area history.) Special events are only special when you do them occasionally.
We once were in the planning stages of a special open house event for a waterfront property, and we sold it/ A yacht broker was going to bring a vessel and park it at the dock, allowing tours. Refreshments were going to be served outside. It never happened, and I have no complaints. It sold!
With the ease of computer graphic programs, coming up w/ special invitations and mailers is quite doable.
I am going to hold an agent open house. I will be giving something of use to the agents. While agents here all seem to have great websites, I don't see a strong presence in the area of agents venturing to new web opportunities ie blogging listing on various free sites etc. I will be having four homes on my tour. At each homesite you will get a tidbit of information with a presentation at the last house. This will be with lunch of course, and not deli style! Hot lunch with great homemade deserts! I will let you know how it turn out. I am calling it a "LOOK AND LEARN AGENT OPEN HOUSE"
Here in Altanta, I think they tend to help the higher end homes better than any other price range because that is typically a slower market but 2007 proved to be a stronger market for high end. With that being said, if your middle range market is harder hit then a properly targeted BOH may be beneficial but not necessary as I do feel a home will be shown according to buyers needs and price points.
I think the key here is for a listing agent to target agents with buyers and with competing listings or agents with listings where their seller could very well be your listings buyer.
It takes a pro every bit of 7 minutes to get a feel for a homes attributes and special features. However, you really want those heavy hitters to stick around another 13 minutes. This 13 minutes is the opportunity you have to predispose them to doing busienss with you. TO GET YOUR EMAIL READ. An opportuntity to introduce them to an added value element of your business from with they can benefit. While they are enjoying NON-CRUNCHY nurishment, their ears are wide open.
Sharing and helping the "A" and "B" list produces always pays off.
Best of success,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group
Palm Harbor, FL
Move to the Front of the Line
Name of the game, get them to see ur property.
I personally do not think open houses are successful here. But that said I have picked up buyers from them in the past, then others nobody turns up. If you are looking to pick up buyers then I would say do them - it is pot luck - you could do 10 open houses and get only one buyer, but one is better than none. Open houses are not about selling the house they are about the realtor picking up potential clients. So it depends what you are trying to achieve from them. I would not have food, but I would bake cookies - for that freshly baked home cooking smell. I would have a sign in sheet for potential customers. I would put up open house signs on Friday evening with day and time on them (these have to be removed by Sunday evening in most areas). A couple of weekends ago I had a couple from Washington state telling me they were trying to find open houses to go to and couldn't find any. In other parts of the country open houses are huge, every Sunday there is a ton of open houses to choose from. Then these people come here and find there are none or only a few to choose from. I depends also how your listings shows - if it is staged well then it is worth holding open. If it is tucked away from any main roads then it is probably not worth holding open because you are not going to get the traffic. I would hold one and then if no one comes you can then decide not to hold another one, at least for a while. Sometimes the seller doesn't want to get out of their home every weekend for 2-3 hours. The other thing is I only do open houses for an hour and a half because that way people are going to come to yours first because otherwise it will be finished. Good luck
Elvis and Deborah... I agree 150%.
I have seen Broker Open Houses/ Caravans make a big comeback in the Atlanta area because agents feel the market is slow and they want to show their seller that they are working hard for them. My clients know that I work hard for them and I do not do broker caravans or broker open houses. In my opinion, if you have 50 agents come through the door that do not have a buyer it only frustrates the seller in 30 days when not one of the 50 bring a buyer through the door. Truth be told, an agent is going to show a listing because it meets their buyers criteria not because they came to a caravan. And I personally try to inconvenience my clients as much as possible by making them leave for an afternoon so hungry agents can come through.
In my opinion, the caravans serving lunch and/ or having drawings for gift cards are attracting agents that have no clients and need a free lunch or free gift card. I know that sounds horrible and snobbish... it is what happens most of the time. I am not trying to offend anyone as that is not my intent but my old company had caravan Tuesday and the only agents that went were the agents that had nothing going on.
With all that being said, I do not believe that there is anything wrong with networking your listing to other agents that have competing listings or perhaps to agents that have sellers that could be your buyer once their property sells. Meaning, if you are going to have a caravan and spend money then spend it on those that you know are likely to bring you a buyer. An agent with a competing listing may get a phone call that you do not get and their listing is not a match but your listing is... then it was great that they saw your home and got the opportunity to meet you.
To me, making it more successful would mean getting the agents through the door that actually have business that could result in a buyer for your listing. Offer a broker bonus the agent that visited the open house that then brought you a buyer.
I just think Jonathon that maybe you could be the agent in your area to think outside of the box doing something other than the caravan/ BOH and get your listings sold without wasting your time and money.
I challenge anyone to do a census of the agents entering through the door... and you will see that Deborah and Elvis are correct also.
That being said, I've found that I & Deborah & Sylvia are atypical, as many of the agents I work with do the same as Sylvia's friend. They go through the list of properties, highlighting those that serve food, and those that are giving away gas cards, starbucks cards, or raffles, and they visit those en masse. And we make fun of them.
I'm unconvinced that it's helpful, because realistically all it does is bring agents through the house, that don't necessarily have clients for the home. Yes, it's still good, because it exposes it to more eyes, but the top producers, that top 10% of the Realtors who do 90% of the work... they're going to see it regardless of incentives, lunch, refreshments, snacks, book signings, yacht tours or whatever. And they're going to see it, because they WANT to see it, not glancing at it while they make their way toward the buffet.
Ed Nailor - Home loans in Charlotte
But I do know that as an agent, I used to go out with this one old time agent. She marked the ones that serve food, and made sure she does not miss those. We used to tease her about that.
I also know others who has success with giving out IPOD. I tried to give out other things like Trader Joe gift certificate to be different. I also always server some finger food if possible, but I am not sure of the effect - I think if the house I am holding open is a more popular one at the right location, they show up.
I have another coworker who arranged a special 'Green Tour' of her house after she discovered that it's a somewhat energy efficient house - insulation, double pane windows, etc. Since GREEN is the in-thing, she made a little presentation for it and drew a few more extra agent there than normal.