Grand Open House a Rewarding Experience
I'd like to share my recent experience with organizing and hosting what I called a "Grand Open House". This was for a brand new home that had been listed for several months without attracting a buyer. I wanted to do something to generate fresh interest as well as to communicate to the seller that I was thinking outside the box to attract buyers to his property.
First of all, this is not an advertisement because the event is already complete. And neither was it the normal run-of-the-mill open house where one puts up a few directional signs with perhaps a small ad and then wait for visitors. Rather it was an event orgainzed with hopes of attracting up to 50 people that was a month in planning and included the following:
- Full page ad in a popular paper that all Kauai residents receive in the mail each week
- Small classified ad in the local newspaper
- Direct mail to local residents of trifold brochures loaded with color photos and information
- Email announcement sent to all agents on the island
- Email announcement to my personal distribution list
- Large 3 foot X 6 foot banner hung in front of property a week in advance
- An even dozen directional signs as far as 3 1/2 miles away
- Staging with furniture and accessories
- Food and refreshments (non-alcholic)
- Prizes (Kauaiopoloy game & food processor)
- Buyer incentive (high definition television)
- Landscaping of entrance by seller (this was an incentive for him to get it done!)
- "Trinket" gifts (coffee cups & promotional items)
- Bubbles & hot dogs for the kiddies
- Music (CD music as a substitute for the guitarist who was unavailable)
- Special guest register
- Drawing tickets requiring name, address, and phone
- Teaming with another agent from the office plus a mortgage consultant who also was a licensed agent (a mortgage consultant who is also a licensed agent is a great resource)
- Radio announcements were considered but not implemented to control expenses (the advertising director provided invaluable local real estate marketing ideas)
This was in a rural environment 3 1/2 miles from town and some of the techniques might not be acceptable in an urban area which might have restrictions on things like banners. I haven't tallied up the total cost yet but it was acceptable, especially with 2 others to share in the preparation and expense. Results were less than hoped but excellent compared to the normal open house which might attract 1 or 2 prospects. This one attracted a dozen groups who registered plus others who did not. We continue to work with one serious prospect that were so enamored with the place that they sat and relaxed on the lanai for an hour. They have provided valuable referrals to family and friends that hopefully will lead to a sale.
Yes, it was hard work and time consuming, more than originally envisioned. But the results were rewarding and it's another tool in my toolkit that I will use again. This serves as a planing reminder to me and hopefully will be of value to others.
Oh yes, did I mention that I have a nice addition to my list of buyers with their contact information?
Aloha & Mahalo
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