Every week, we ask a real estate professional for their Short List, a collection of tips and recommendations on an essential topic in real estate. This week, we talked with Christine Lutz, the director of residential brokerage at Kinzie Real Estate Group, about her tips for hosting a successful broker open house.
For most Realtors, one of the first steps we take in marketing a new listing is to schedule a broker open house. These events are a great way to not only put your property top of mind among colleagues, but also serve as an excellent resource for all brokers to stay informed about the current market, pricing and trends. So how can you make the most of your open house for both you and your colleagues? Here are my tips:
4. Make it Personal – Directly reach out to brokers who specialize in that market or price point. They’ll appreciate the personal invitation and any specific details you can offer about the property. Plus, you can benefit from their insights and experience about that specific market.
3. Shine the Spotlight on What Makes the Home Unique – Create a memorable activity or give-away that emphasizes what is special about the property. For example, a recent listing I had in Lincoln Park had a basketball court, so the broker open included a chance to shoot a few baskets to win a gift card. We had fun showing off our skills – or lack thereof!
2. Give it “Local Flavor” – To help your event stand out, have it catered by a popular local restaurant. That helps brokers not only experience the property, but also a bit of the lifestyle offered by the neighborhood.
1. Timing is Everything – Depending on your market, there are standard days and times to host a broker open house. As a general rule, don’t buck the trend. Scheduling your open house at the same time as others in the area allows Realtors to plan accordingly, and see more homes. For example, several Realtors and I in the Libertyville area took this a step further recently, and joined forces for one large broker open house tour in the Nickels and Dimes subdivision, where we all had listings. This helped our colleagues save time by being able to see 10 homes in one morning, and gave us all great insight into what was happening in that market.
If you’re unsure what is the standard day and time for a broker open house in your area, take a look at when other listings are scheduled and follow suit.
That said, if the property is especially high profile, or you expect a lot of interest, plan an event at a different time, like the evening cocktail party my firm hosted for a historic David Adler mansion in Winnetka last summer.
Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting off in our industry, set aside time each week to visit broker open houses. They truly are one of the best assets we have available for keeping abreast of what is happening in the markets throughout Chicagoland.
Christine Lutz is the director of the residential brokerage for Kinzie Real Estate Group.