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A Little More Respect for the Open House, Please!

Real Estate Agent with Lifeguard Real Estate, Inc.

Contributing Story to the Destin Log Real Estate Section
by Linda Coiro, Real Estate Consultant
October 8, 2005

"A Little More Respect for the Open House, Please!

"Motivated Homeowner!"  "Must Sell!"  These are the words of desperation running rampant in our area's real estate housing market.  Too many homes and not enough buyers.  Wow, how the tides have turned since April.   Now's the time for Realtors to polish up on the marketing skills necessary to sell homes.  From the end of 2004 through the summer of 2005, all it took was an MLS listing, and a line of potential buyers were patiently waiting as the Realtor went to hammer up the "For Sale" sign.   Truthfully, I was quite upset about this since my college and work experience have always been in marketing and customer service and the market didn't allow me the opportunity to do what I loved to do best!  I listed and sold a bunch of homes.  Yeah, it was easy, but I wanted to use my expertise to its full advantage and didn't even have a chance.   Today's market is a completely different story.  A sign and an MLS listing is minimal at best.  We  must all dig deep for that creative niche in which to market and sell a property.  And not every property is the same -- you marketing plan for one home will not always work for another.   Now let's just talk about the Open House.  A mainstay of the industry for years -- you either love it or hate it, but either way, sellers are happy to see you proactively trying to sell their property.  These days though, it's almost a losing proposition.  I've held about 8 open houses in 1 month for several properties and the response leaves much to be desired.  Whether you advertise or not, give away free stuff or not or give away free food or not.  Yes, even free food!  For example, I decided to do a dual open house for Realtors one recent Friday.  Innovative to say the least, prepared with diligence and imagination from start to finish.  The idea stemmed from my Italian heritage. OK, be different, create a niche.   Everyone loves Italian food.  So lasagna and vino were on the menu at House #1.  From the tablecloth and breadsticks, authenticity the key.  For dessert, a simple map directed the way to House #2 for "dolce" `and espresso served in those teeny weeny Italian espresso cups, topped with a shot of amaretto, the perfect way to finish up an Italian meal.  A drawing too!  Visit both homes and enter to win $25 gift certificates to local restaurants, and I'm not talkin' McDonalds!  Poppys, Gugliamos, Beachwalk Cafe, Marlin Grill to name a few.  Could it get any juicier?  Possibly, but apparently not enough to generate the activity we hoped for.    What's it going to take to get us Realtors out and looking at Open Houses?  In the current market, we need to support each other and take advantage of viewing the properties out there.  It is only fair to our customers, even as few buyers as we're seeing lately, to act as their consultants and real estate experts to be aware of everything out there, especially now since there's so much to choose from.  It is sad that we have gotten complacent after this past year's boom.    So next time, come join us!   We refuse to spend another weekend in a home for sale eating a tray of lasagna by ourselves!   Mangia!"

Comments (1)

Robert Monk
100% Realty, Inc. - Santa Rosa Beach, FL
Florida Real Estate

Open House is productive, provided you have a good house, good curb appeal, a good location, and realistic pricing once the buyer comes to visit.

Aug 26, 2008 06:04 AM