And I agree with all the comments about not wanting people trapsing food all over the house. On that note however, since I feel comfortable asking them to take their shoes off when it's required, I am comfortable saying 'after you have toured the home, come back into the kitchen and get some hot chocolate and then we can talk about the house.' Or variations thereof LOL
Cold water with personalized labels, and yes, Costco comes to rescue, bags of gold fish and mixed nuts with your business card attached work well too. It's a long afternoon in and out of houses and cars, the little snack is appreciated, especially people with young kids.
I wouldn't try it in the current market. Not enough takers and few visitors. You might find yourself $200.00 poorer, COSTCO $200,00 richer, 10 pounds heavier and half lit.
There was a couple that put fresh baked cookies out - but there were very few takers.
I like to have small goody bags (filled with my marketing paraphenelia) as a hand out - it's cute with a ribbon in my agency colors - and full of notepads, potpourri, etc... It looks cute & they are taking my info with them! No candy - but sweet nonetheless!
Ed-too funny and so true. "Hey honey I have all of these cookies nobody ate." Me: "Get them OUT of here!"
Erica Ramus -- broker in Pottsville, PA... home of Yuengling!!!!
PS--I rarely do open houses and don't serve food at public opens. Broker opens, yes I do bribe the other agents by feeding them.
I was reflecting,and thought back to something I did a number of years ago.
My seller didn't want me to serve any food for the broker open, so I decided to come up with another idea - Lottery tickets!
On a good day, we used to get 50-70 agents for an open house...so I went out and bought 50 !. $1.00 tickets..... and decided to give them out to the first 50 agents who stopped by.
Once I got home, I started thinking (dangerous for me to do!), and I thought.............geesh - what if one of those tickets is a winner? I will shoot myself to think I just gave away a winning lottery ticket................so............I marched back to the convenience store, a bought 50 additonal tickets with the same numbers on them for myself - that way, any winning ticket person would have ME as their partner!
No winner, of course, and it cost me a total of $100!
Lunch would have been cheaper!
I'm liking this idea so much I'm going to use it for my next Public Open House!
Thanks for starting this thread - some good ideas here.
Search and connect at http://www.feenick.com
I like your idea! When in Rome, do as the romans. I like to go with the seasons. Summertime, I bring out thr lemonade and fresh strawberries. Halloween, brings apple cider and cookies. But , no matter what I do, most people are really interested in the house, and not the refreshments. So, don't sweat the small stuff!
I am not trying to be in frontline to say about my CD , but recently a realtor whom just bought my CD played the Album throughtout her open house. She noticed people were not in a hurry to leave. Instead they stayed in the house until the songs were over.
The realtor said it gave her a chance to chat further with the visitors and got to know them better as her qualified clients.
In case you are curious the CD Album is called : Supernal Sky at the link below .
Hi my name is Firooz , and I am the composer of this CD .
I would be careful w/refreshments. Do u really want people spilling food all over your house? If you have multiple guests at one time, it sometimes becomes difficult to keep them contained. I have had to chase people around the house explaining that they cannot be unescorted. It can get sticky.
If you are looking for a way to attract people, I find lottery tickets work like a charm! Put your address on the back of the ticket and ask them to contact you if they win!
Frances "Francesca" Patrizio, Weichert Realtor
NJAR Circle of Excellence 2006 . . .
Weichert Million Dollar Sales & Market Club 2006, 2007
Weichert Million Dollar Marketed Club 2006, 2007
Weichert Brielle OVERALL Top Producer 2006 . . .
I haven't done this yet but it worked well for another women at our office, she bought boxes of popcorn and slapped a label on each individually wrapped pack ...... with her contact info and a quick not that simply said " thanks for popping in" :)
Actually, I think offering food at open houses would lead to more issues than good outcomes. I always wondered if free food at any business really made or cost profits. I would imagine the only safe way is to give the free food outside the house. It has to stay clean. Once someone spills soda on the floor it will be sticky the rest of the day.
I know some people who went to sam's club almost every day at lunch time to get the free samples and cut down on their food bill.
Maybe I'll offer cookies or a box of candy.......but no lunch for a public OH..............you have to be an agent to get lunch from me!!
That looks like I am not the only one who thought of going to an open house (or whatever) just to get free food.
I am not sure that really means it helps get buyers, or just more hungry people. I would find it interesting to see the stats on open houses with food that had sales verses open houses without food that had sales.
Interesting to see how broker open houses are treated, or what the attendance is, in other parts of the country.
Attendance can vary in my area from town to town, but generally there is a fairly good attendace.. Very often, the broker open is the "kick off" for showings, as many agents first begin showings then.
Agents in my area, for the most part, wouldn't think of listing a home, and not scheduling a broker open.......serving food isn't done by all agents, but not unusual, either.
And, yes,I have had agents reach for their cell phones to call an client while still in the house.........sometimes the client winds up being the buyer.
And, public opens are certainly the absolute best way for agents to meet buyers.
But I have never ever ever sold a house through an agent who came to a Broker's open and ran off and told a buyer. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but here in the NWMLS, it seems that agents who have buyers aren't waiting for Mack to serve donuts and coffee; they're running out and using their trusty Supra keypad!
As for Mack, no open houses don't seem to sell houses. But the agent sitting in them might find a buyer.
I also run my open houses later than most of the others...giving agents a chance to see mine after the other opens close down........and a chance to grab a bite.
As the saying goes.....it might not help,. but it can't hurt.
You can support these images with the types of food you are serving. Water is okay, but typical plastic bottled water is boring. If you choose to stick with water, invest in some "gourmet" brands of water in some very cool bottles. Visit Cost Plus and look over their varieties of imported waters - it's really fun. People will remember you when you do your follow up calls.
Gatorade is always a hit to give out as people are LEAVING (It gives a "higher perceived value" than water). An assortment of high quality FRESH bagels with different types of cream cheeses are not messy. Serve these along with some attractively arranged green and red grapes. For a morning open house, you can provide small containers of yogurt.
If I do serve cookies, I've found that hands down, Trader Joe's Oatmeal Dipping Cookies drizzled with White Chocolate are everyone's favorites. They disappear quickly and people keep coming back for more.
I once gave an open house that featured a Greek menu of gourmet spreads with pita breads. We had one spread that included caviar. We also did an Italian menu of spreads (including a creamy artichoke spread) with rustic Italian breads and sides of bite sized cheeses. We served Italian sodas with this. A little goes a long way to help make your open house memorable.
This isn't to say that you should not advertise giveaways such as gift cards. Those certainly work to bring people in. My husband just attended an Open House and won a bag of organic groceries from Whole Foods packaged in a reusable shopping bag (valued at $100). Whole Foods did cooperative advertising with the event planner.
If you are short on ideas, hire a marketing professional or event planner. It's worth the investment considering the return you will get when the house is sold.
It is good to always have a nice center piece on the table. Fresh Flowers are ideal. Fresh baked cookies are also an excellent idea. We always bake them during the open house, to add a friendly and welcoming smell in the home. If I feel lucky, and feel that I will sell the house that day, I bake an apple pie.
We get much more creative for Broker's Open Houses , which are usually held on Tuesday afternoons at lunch for local realtors. Don Bradbury 215-536-6777 x 329 http://www.bradburyteam.com
In college, I had a drunk friend try to sober up by drinking milk. He was sitting in a low chair and set the glass on the carpet as he passed out. The glass tipped over and spilled behind the chair. When he woke up, he didn't realize he had not drank the milk. He took the glass and left. It was a hot day. When I came back from classes that day, the milk had soured. The story only gets worst but you get the idea.