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Paul Slaybau…, Real Estate Pro in Scottsdale, AZ

Do mass open houses appeal to you?

Asked by Paul Slaybaugh, Scottsdale, AZ Sat Aug 18, 2007

I am participating in a mass community open house in Scottsdale with roughly 40-50 other agents next weekend. This is my first foray into such an event. Depending on the results, I have been thinking about organizing similar events for my other listings. Standard open houses tend to be hit or miss, so I will be interested to see how this is received. Buyers: are you more likely to attend an open house if it is part of a group effort? Agents: Have you had noticeably higher levels of traffic through such an endeavor?

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I sat a community open house for another Realtor, at the last minute.
A small newer, now long gone mortgage company sponsored it. Food drinks prizes they spent $100. a house.
There were 17 Homes
all the Realtors were given stamps, and a rule book. Oh ya.
The buyers were given A nice brochure 17 listing on all the homes on tour.
If they collected 17 stamps from each house, they would be in a raffle for $100. best buy. $50. best buy and$25. best buy.
The Buyer were instructed to begin at one house, and work through in order. These were big houses. 3000Sq ft. Lot of stairs. Nice 110 degree AZ Day.
I was house number 14. I saw 5 people all day. They would come in the front door so P.O.
I could not stamp their sheets fast enough. There was no. I may name is.....
They would walk in the door demand I stamp their sheet turn around and walk out. Not even a good bye.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 29, 2007
Mr.P, Other/Just Looking in Arizona
MVP'08
I'm reviving this thread because several of you asked me to report on the success of the event. We held the community open house this past weekend, and averaged respectable traffic. It was not quite up to the level that I was hoping for, but I spread 16 showings over both days. That's pretty good for this market, but I was really hoping for double digits per day given the effort and expense. Half were neighbors, while half were buyers who came off the advertising. We had large block ads running in the two major papers, as well as sign riders which directed buyers to a website created specifically for the event. We were even able to slip a press release into the AZ Republic to tease the event on the preceeding Friday. I have not seen the final statistics, but I know we had a pretty solid spike in hits on the site just prior to the weekend. The web reference below links to the site we created for the event. It is possible that my listing did not attract as many visitors as some of the others due to the price point, so I will be following up to determine what traffic levels the other agents had. I'm also eager to find out if any contracts were written. So for the time being, the hard results could be classified as a big "okay."

One positive that deserves mention, though, is the added motivation that it provided the seller to get the home displayed and priced just right. We were priced competitively, but not necessarily tremendously. As a remodel, the property showed nicely, but being vacant, not perfectly. To take full advantage of the expected increase in traffic, the seller readily agreed to a $10,000 price reduction and having the home professionally staged. No coaxing necessary. So on that front, the weekend was a smashing success. We are now priced closer to where I believe we will ultimately sell, and the product is perfect.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 29, 2007
Thanks, Paul, for lettins us know what you did and the results! I am glad there are some immediate benefits from this for you and I would be surprised if you did not pick up good leads from this!

I think another added benefit is that your seller probably feel that you guys are trying to find creative ways to do things and that you are doing things over and beyond what the norm is, which is also great in this slower market.

Sylvia
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 29, 2007
Sylvia Barry,…, Real Estate Pro in Marin, CA
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Ruth,
Arranging such an event in the winter would make for more ideal turnout, but we need to sell the listings we have right now. When the weather is nice, it is never difficult to draw a crowd in Scottsdale. When it's 110, though, we owe it to our clients to do everything we possibly can to draw people out.

Steve,
We didn't use any incentives or give aways because of the issues mentioned by Patrick. I would rather have fewer people through who are serious buyers than a bunch of people putting their names in the hat for an Ipod.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 30, 2007
Hey Paul!
A smashing CONGRATULATIONS to you! For the first time out of the gate for an event like this - you at least got respectable traffic.

I personally like when neighbors view the home - they can be a great added referral source for your listing.

Thanks for giving us an update and I really hope you can convert the foot traffic into a final sale!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 29, 2007
Sylvia,
The event is for the upcoming weekend, not this past. So no report on results yet, but I'll be sure let you know how it goes. Thanks for all of the sugestions, everyone. We are really going to hit it hard. I'm in charge of the periodical advertising along with an agent from another brokerage. Another agent drafted a press release and submitted it to the media (hoping for a free community interest blurb). We've got a website specifically tailored to the event, and all of the participating houses have sign riders for the site. I'll put it in the web reference section. We're pulling out the stops, so we'll see what type of activity it generates.

Meanwhile, I'm still eager to hear from some of you buyers out there. Are you more likely to look at houses when part of a mass open house? The thinking is that buyers will be able to see virtually all of the current inventory over a weekend, rather than picking up open houses here and there. Are we on the mark in that line of thought?
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 20, 2007
An agent in my office organized a town-wide open house day with any agent who had an active listing and wanted to participate (from any company). The only stipulation was that the advertising was shared equally. She then prepared a packet for each open house that included a full customer copy for each listing along with a map showing people exactly where the houses were. They did have a better than average turn out. The weather was fabulous and the opens were held for 3 hours on a Sunday afternoon.
Web Reference: http://www.dianeglander.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 20, 2007
Paul,
My company franchise also holds an "Open House Weekend" every spring (with the extra ads, balloons, etc.). These are better attended than most open houses, but still not as well as I would hope. I've never attended or participated in a community/mass open house event--I certainly hope you let us know how this works out for you... Good luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 18, 2007
My company does that a couple of times a year, with advertising blizz for that. Some agent does it on a specific week day afternoon for a special area. Sounds like they ave good turnout doing that. But you (or your group) might want to do some press for that.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 18, 2007
Sylvia Barry,…, Real Estate Pro in Marin, CA
MVP'08
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Any opportunity you have to meet people--take it. Nothing beats personal interaction.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 30, 2007
So Paul, did you have any incentive events for the participants? Would you do it again?
Fantastic about the staging and pricing. Nothing like a little stage fright and fear of missing a good opportunity to put it in fifth gear.

So true Sylvia. Anything you can do to add value to your services on such a higher platform and a slightly different approach to marketing a property. To be associated with an event, means to a seller you are an agent dedicated to trying to sell one's property. When there is mass public exposure to the internet on the event, it is in paper, throw in a little PR plug mixed with high-volume environmental signage to get to the properties and you have some pretty strong representation (but of course it helps if properties are priced in a reasonable bracket and the consumer finds the event truly enlightening and useful as a tool). Regardless of instant financial success, there is something to be said with higher level name and property exposure that may consistently pay off down the road. "Hey aren't you the guy that ... "

RE: Website liked the "added value" to the area section. Everything is quick and to the point on the site. Very consumer-friendly. Glad to see there was good property participation.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 30, 2007
Steve Ostrom, Real Estate Pro in Roseville, CA
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At first I had no idea what you were referring to. As I read through all of the posts, I remembered participating in one as a Realtor in Beaufort, NC in 1995. It was a huge annual event with hundreds of tourists attending. (This was in addition to the Old Homes Tour a different month.) I think this is something that would be more appropriate for Scottsdale in the winter. By making it an annual event, each year will improve.
Ruth
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 29, 2007
Ruthless, Other/Just Looking in 60558
MVP'08
Jeanette, funny you mention a progressive open house. I do it all the time, in fact I am planning an open house next week and arranged today for at least 2 other open houses at the same time. It will be a progressive open house. We've also done opens like Paul just did, but we did it with a brokers open. Agents had to see a certain number of open houses in an hour and collect tickets, and turn them in at our office for a bottle of wine.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 29, 2007
Paul, thanks for the update. It's interesting that the seller has agreed to reduce the price and stage a home. That in the long run will be a huge help to him.

Sounds like you didn't get as many people as you hoped, but still an acceptable turn out. Overall, pretty good. Hopefully, you sell this home fast.

Congrats!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 29, 2007
Hey Paul:
Not much activity on this one from the consumer.... However, you have tweaked an interest in me. We have "progressive" caravans - why not a "progressive" open house.... Please let us know how your event goes - it's something I would love to sponsor and organize myself!

Thanks for the great advice!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 20, 2007
This is a highly successful event for someone. I would say that it only works when properly marketed - meaning lots of signs, flyers and if possible ads.

It will pay dividends. You could even offer to hold other peoples homes open for them as an added bonus if you have a team.

Great thinking!
Web Reference: http://www.jrjarvis.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 20, 2007
Joshua Jarvis, Real Estate Pro in Duluth, GA
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Paul, I think your efforts will pay big dividends especially if you collectively did some leg work in setting it up (ie gave the neighbors a 1 to 2 week heads up about the event, did some local posting in resturants, salons, coffee shops, dry cleaners, etc). Lots of directional signs always helps too. Also, make sure everyone has a list of the other opens going on in your group... good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 20, 2007
Hi Sylvia, we did a similar OH event in our office, and I ended up selling my listing! We also put signs out in advance in front of each house that announced there would be an open house that Sunday. Not all towns allow that but ours does.

Good luck next weekend, Paul!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 20, 2007
Hello Paul:

How did it go and any special ads/techniques you guys used? Not that i suspect you'd forget about letting us know. :-)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 19, 2007
Sylvia Barry,…, Real Estate Pro in Marin, CA
MVP'08
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No experience and no comment here. Please do let us know how it goes. I am curious.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 18, 2007
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Brick, NJ
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Paul, just parking here to see if any actual buyers will answer your question. Curious...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 18, 2007
The Prudential's adn the company I am currently with do that several times a year. The Spring Extravganza was especially popular.
Web Reference: http://pamwinterbauer.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 18, 2007
Pam Winterba…, Real Estate Pro in Danville, VA
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