Great listing marketing idea to get buyers agents to take notice

Real Estate Broker/Owner CA#01772851 HI#RB21268

Today, I participated in an old fashioned "caravan" where a group of agents travel from one listing to another and "preview" the properties at a fast clip. For example, within 2 hours this morning, I saw 10 listings. Most of them are new on the market, so it is a very efficient way to show them to a large number of agents for their potential buyers.

For example, there were 3 listings that I would probably not have recommended to my clients but after seeing them this morning, I can. In fact, I can tell my buyers what I liked about it and why they should go view it.

Previewing is not so much in favor in this market where listings sell pretty quickly. Agents tend to go over the photos and information that is on the MLS and base their decision whether to see them or not on what they see. That's too bad, because many homes don't "translate" well by just these means.

These caravans have fallen by the wayside in larger communities with hundreds of agents where now "brokers open" is the norm. This works, for example, in Honolulu where there are many different areas with high rises. These condos have stringent rules as to when and how condominiums can be shown; most of them need to have the listing agent buzz the potential buyer and his agent in and actually guide them to the condo for sale. Plus, lock boxes are not the norm with luxury condos, so the listing agent will actually take the buyer and his agent inside and give the tour of the premises.

These broker's opens are very well orchestrated with different days of the week going to the different buildings. Then, to attract other brokers or agents to attend, some pretty good food needs to be part of the offering. Because of the expense, many listing agents co-sponsor this event with their favorite escrow officer or lender. Meeting the escrow officer is actually a very good idea because in Honolulu it is common that the seller dictates which title company and escrow officer needs to be used.


First let me mention that during the "preview" a form is normally given out to agents asking for their "feedback". This includes what they think the listing price should be! This price can be all over the lot based on some whim of the agent.

This particular seller came up with a great idea to make them really THINK about it:

On your agent's business card, put down what you think the property will sell for!

The agent who comes closest to that closing price will get a $100 gift certificate to a vendor of their choice. I think they even mentioned giving one to their broker, which would make this a legal payment.

Let me tell you, all of a sudden every agent in the room looked a lot more closely at the listing!!

What do you think?

Also, did you see my QUESTION whether you do or do not participate in caravans?

Posted by

Hella Rothwell at Carmel Beach during Concours WeekCarmel-by-the-Sea Beach and Pebble Beach Golf Course California

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Member: National Association of REALTORS, California Association of REALTORS, Hawaii Association of REALTORS, Del Norte Association of REALTORS, Honolulu Board of REALTORS. Also MLS Listings in California.


Hella Mitschke Rothwell (R)

Real Estate Broker/Owner/Realtor®
Licensed in California #01772851 & Hawaii #RB-21268

Tel. 831-626-4000 

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  1. Peter Mohylsky 05/15/2016 06:03 PM
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Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Hella in my experience when a listing broker asks you to put a Sales Price with a bonus to earn a gift of sorts is a Red Flag.... it tells me that the Listing Agent knows he overpriced the listing and is trying to tell the Seller look everyone else agrees with me..... just my take, Endre

Mar 17, 2016 09:20 AM #3
Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
Arizona's Top Banana!

Hella - sorry I don't know what happend to my comment. I left one but now it's gone. So what did I say?  I like the idea as it might help touring agents to give GOOD feedback on every aspect of the home rather than a few drive by meaningless feedback comments. I think I'd be the one giving out the prize thou rather than the seller.

Mar 17, 2016 10:53 AM #4
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

I like to broker open houses... and sometimes the caravan.  However, if I don't have particular buyers at the time for these home, it can be difficult to find time to get to these properties.  As far as price... I never comment because if I have a buyer who is interested.... I don't want to have taken a position on the price which may be to the detriment of my buyer client.

Mar 17, 2016 12:03 PM #5
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

We give out gift cards in Sacramento for simply attending the broker's tour. I don't do it myself, LOL, because in this market I don't have to. If agents don't want to tour my listing, so what, because some other buyer will promptly buy it. I'm not in for the social aspect. When our market turns and it's a buyer's market, you can bet I'll be there with gift cards. As for broker tours in a HOT MARKET, it's great when you're new or the property is special or you're just the kind of agent who wants to know everything about every property that you will never sell, LOL. In buyer's markets, tho, whole 'other story.

Mar 17, 2016 12:22 PM #6
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude


Sounds like a successful broker caravan.

I have done the feedback form and drawing for broker opens a number of times and always got great feedback, pro and con, which was good to pass along to the sellers! I asked several questions (anonymous) but also asked about pricing.


Mar 17, 2016 02:20 PM #7
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor® indeed that's a great idea.

At least seller will get the message from agent community about the pricing.....

Mar 17, 2016 04:37 PM #8
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

It basically has to get an immediate emotional response of some kind or big unique or funny, something just having immediacy to make the person want to share it.

Mar 17, 2016 04:38 PM #9
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I am really happy that you all are so inspired to be better bloggers and sellers just from this blog like I am!

Mar 17, 2016 04:40 PM #10
Sham Reddy CRS
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

Unfortunately many brokers don't do Caravans!!!

During the "preview" a form is normally given out to agents asking for their "feedback". This includes what they think the listing price should be! This price can be all over the lot based on some whim of the agent.

Mar 17, 2016 09:08 PM #11
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty 914-419-0270 (NY),, (MT) 406-270-3667, more information to be provided shortly - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

We still do caravans once a week, or less often if inventory is slow. The business card is an interesting idea.

Mar 17, 2016 09:29 PM #12
Jim Joeriman
Coldwell Banker Riviera Realty, Inc - Lacey Township, NJ
Helping Agents Reach New Heights

Hella..  A new idea.  I love it.  Probably good Issa for broker open too.  I am going to share your idea

Mar 17, 2016 09:37 PM #13
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Ever preview three real video with natural sound property listings? Late at night, when you are waiting in a doctor's office for a kid's brace bracket repair or when you can... they work and mini van caravan gas saved too.

Mar 17, 2016 10:36 PM #14
Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Home and Condo Specialists

Seems that these are a thing of the past. We found it was more of agents asking "where are we going to eat" rather than actually getting to know the inventory...

Mar 18, 2016 12:14 AM #15
1~Laura Filip
1~Laura Filip Broker , Opening doors for All Seasons of Life - Whitesboro, TX
What can we do for you today?

Great idea thank you for sharing this plan of action. Sounds like a way to get agents to the open house. Have a blessed day 

Mar 18, 2016 08:02 AM #16
Women of Westchester Working Together
Women of Westchester Working Together - West Harrison, NY
Women helping Women get ahead

Hella - Oh that really is a great idea.  People are more engaged + prices more realistic.  What a smart idea.

Mar 18, 2016 11:35 AM #17
Noah Seidenberg
Coldwell Banker - Evanston, IL
Chicagoland and Suburbs (800) 858-7917

We have it on Tuesday morning Hella. I look at interesting properties or something I may be able to sell.

Mar 18, 2016 12:11 PM #18
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

I have only been on one listing tour when I was new and that was almost 10 years ago.

Mar 18, 2016 12:47 PM #19
Joy Bender
Compass - La Jolla, CA
San Diego Partner - The Private Client Network

Hi Hella you are right it's often times not until you are inside a home that you truly have a feeling for it.

Mar 19, 2016 01:34 AM #20
Lisa Von Domek
Lisa Von Domek Team - Dallas, TX
....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless!

Caravans have morphed to Broker Open events here (especially when the summer heat hits).  Our biggest problem in holding them is that the home is sold before the event!

May 18, 2016 10:47 AM #21
Peter Mohylsky
PrimeSouth Properties - Santa Rosa Beach, FL
Let me help you find your path to the beach.

Open houses serve a variety of purposes. They are a large part of marketing and selling a home.  I do them on occasion but it needs to be the right home in the right neighborhood.  

Jun 10, 2016 06:42 PM #22
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Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®

Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea
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