One of the areas that I service is the small town of Historic Dennisville. This is a lovely community made up of homes from the late 1700's to current. You will see old outhouses, servant's quarters, & antique shops throughout the community. Every year they have a Historic Homes Tour which brings anywhere from 300 to 500 visitors to the area.
A couple of years ago, I had a beautiful new home listed for sale at the time of the tour. The builder was so determined to make the home fit the community that once complete, it was hard to tell from the outside, when the home was built.
I made it a point to include this home on the tour since you could not ask for a better audience. This home did not sell on the tour but I did meet many new people and it helped to build my presence as an area expert in Historic Dennisville.
Here is a list of suggestions for you to take advantage of such a tour:
1. Plan Now! Local communities begin planning these tours very early so see if you can add your listing to the tour.
2. Be Respectful of the Tour Guidelines. Take down the sign during the tour only if required.
3. Get the Homeowners Excited!!! If you are excited about the opportunity, then you can enlist the sellers help in properly preparing the home, decorating the home, and welcoming the crowd.
4. Make the Home a Showpiece. Don't just have the clutter jammed in the closet, make the home sparkle!! Suggest a house-cleaner for the day before the tour to give it an extra clean feel.
5. Prepare Some Photo Highlights. Create custom photos of anything eye-catching. Maybe they have photos of the open swimming pool or beautiful spring gardens. Perhaps there is custom moldings or fixtures that would photograph well. Create a photo area on the kitchen counter with these photos in a variety of photo frames (size & style).
6. Create a Property Open House Flyer. Have a public open house the very next day (don't forget to advertise it). Put an open house flyer on display in an 8x10 photo frame with the various photos and place a pile of flyers on the counter and in a basket just outside the front door. Make sure the flyers include date, time, photos, and your contact information.
7. Be At The Home During the Tour!!! Dress to fit the occasion and DO NOT BE THERE TO SELL!!! Enjoy the evening and if the opportunity arises to get a name or hand out a business card then do so but do not be there as a salesperson! The tour committee will never be invited back for the event again if you overstep your boundaries.
8. Host an Open House the Very Next Day. Maybe you can shoot some photos of the activity during the house tour and have them run as a slideshow on your laptop during your open house. Tell your open house attendees how great the tour was and just how lovely the community is.
Stay optomistic and use every opportunity you can get. This is a changed market & it is more about relationship building than quick transactions.
Please share your tips, ideas, & success stories for such an event.