I have a thing for hardwood floors. I think they make a house sexy. So do fireplaces and a number of other optional selling points. When it comes to shopping for a property to invest or dwell in, we all have that "ooo-ahh intangible features button" ingrained in our souls where if the right bit of construction eye candy comes along it will trigger that response of momentary awe when we really, really like something. I like the smell of new construction and I like the sheen of hardwood floors. :-)
My girlfriend has these two listings that I am helping her out with. They are both gorgeous homes and new construction still in progress. I joined the project late September of 2008 and hosted an Open House there on the 27th of that month. I have been popping in and out ever since introducing her listings to my buyers while prospecting in the neighborhood. Our combined advertising efforts have generated a significant amount of interest and we are optimistic that the properties will eventually move. My current Realtor ratio is 70% Buyer's Brokerage, 20% Listing Agent, 10% Rental Agent. When I agree to hold an RSVP Open House for another Broker's listing, I invite all of my buyers to converge on that one location for a specific viewing. That home becomes my "shiny penny." (LOL) We have our regularly scheduled program of real estate transactions, which is not the same as when I go into SP-Mode.
I have shiny penny syndrome where if I like a home, whether it is my listing or not, I will work out a deal with the Listing Agent and show the listing to every single person in my database of buyers. I wont stop until every single one of my buyers has viewed that home because I have discovered that when you show the shiny penny first, people quickly come to realize what they do and don't like in a home and will revisit their ideas of what they do and don't like. As a Buyer's Broker it saves me a lot of time later on with my customers and clients because my buyers will always be comparing other properties to the ones that they know me to believe are the best choices for the neighborhood at a particular price. A shinny penny is always a RSVP event.
The cool thing about holding a RSVP Open House is that you are not just relying on walk-ins, you are holding an Open House with a guest list already intact. You know there will be some traffic unless something unforeseen comes up. Sellers like to see traffic and interest in their property. They also like feedback, so the more people one can get in, the better. It increases the opportunity to match the buyer with the home of their dreams. People rarely buy what they don't want. My job is to ascertain what they want and need. Another benefit of holding it RSVP is that when people confirm with me they are coming at a particular time I also know to wait beyond the scheduled times advertised to give these people extra time to attend their scheduled appointment. I will wait for them to show up because I will be assuming they are running late, a bit lost, or stuck in traffic. I will have their contact information to check on them to make sure that they are okay and still en-route.
I was in shiny penny mode today. I spent my week advertising my Open House: (1) sent out the post cards, (2) delivered hand written notes, (3) sent e-mails, (4) did my Craigslist routine, (5) made and distributed fliers and (6) posted in Active Rain.
I was feeling good this morning and I did a little serial commenting across a few blog posts mentioning I would not be around for a little while because I had the Open House to do... Forty minutes before I had to leave my cell phone starts ringing. My contractual buyers decided it was too cold to come out and play, seven left text messages and voice mails to reschedule. They bum-rushed my phone within minutes of each other. I started wondering if football had started or if the cold was affecting their decision not to leave (LOL). Turns out my Broker Associates could not make it either, said they wouldn't be there, gave no explanation as to why. Bummer.
Oh well... I've got a job to do, so I go out with my Open House signs and realize it is really, really freezing. I hesitate while on my way to the garage wondering if I am dressed warm enough. The highway has very few vehicles on it and there are no people walking the streets. The bus stop is empty and the wind has pulled some of the fliers down. Bummer.
The heat is not on and I'm thinking no one is going to come here so they can freeze their A$$ off at my Open House. It's gray, it's windy, it's cold out and the interest rate debate is going to have some buyers speculating and sitting on the sidelines waiting to see if the rumor is true (that rates are going to lower in a week or two). My fingers start tapping. I miss my keyboard. I miss the chaos of my kids... My eyes start crossing because I can't find Melodious and insult to injury, I forgot my laptop so I can't even play with my friends on-line while waiting for a customer to walk in off the street. Ooops, sorry, no one is walking. It's too cold! That totally whomps!
Lonely, bored, freezing, I decide to chat with my brick-and-mortar pals and check my office messages. I call my direct line first. OMG - some lady has seen my Active Rain Mixpo invitation to tomorrow's Open House and hung around on my blog long enough to discover today's Open House. Yay! She leaves me a brief message and says she's interested in the new construction. Yay! I call her. She is surprised that I am still having it because, "it is freezing outside" but is thrilled to discover I am actually on location while we are talking about the property. She says in a very excited voice that she'll be there in 10 minutes. Turns out she lives in the neighborhood and I am a very happy camper. My day is not in vain. A live body is on its way and has reserved an appointment to see one of my firms listings.
Outstanding! It gets even better: Chicka doesn't come by herself, she brings relatives! She and her sister are looking to buy! I now have two new buyers getting their mortgage through another Active Rain member who I called at home on his cell phone to start their pre-approval process while still standing around in 36 degree weather at my Open House. How cool is that? Spanking-A! Thank you, Active Rain. :-)
BTW, I will be here tomorrow if anyone is looking for a really nice 2 bedroom Co-op in Queens for $189K: 43 Seconds (Open House Video Invitation)
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