Broker Opens- Are They Worth the Effort?

By
Real Estate Agent with Monument, Black Forest, Falcon, Fountain homes

When showings are few as they are here currently in Colorado Springs, many agents will try to entice colleagues to view a property by providing some sort of cuisine that would peak the interest of the masses.  The intent is to market the home to active agents within the community that might have a potential buyer, to gain feedback from colleagues on condition and price to present to the seller, and to show sellers they are going above and beyond the average agent because quite frankly the opinion of many is that it provides nothing more than free lunches to the masses.

 

For the newer agents out there, you might ask, "what is a broker open and how are they done?"  My suggestion is to visit a few and get ideas on the creativity of fellow agents.  Usually in Colorado Springs we have them at lunch and serve either some sort of catered dish (can be costly), a home cooked dish such as today's green chili chicken tortilla casserole with tortilla chips, or a BBQ outdoors. You can have progressive ones with other agents serving parts of a meal and dessert at a couple of homes but I suggest no more than 3. The happy hour opens will usually have wine and cheese platters or beer and chips but I prefer to not have the liability of alcoholic beverages and agents mixed!  If the property is not within a mile or two of an office then be prepared to offer drawings for gift cards.

                green chili chicken tortilla casserole

Bring your own supply of plastic silverware, napkins, plates, serving spoons, bottled water, and garbage bags.  Have feedback forms ready along with flyers on the home. Everything you bring in- you remove including garbage and leave the home spotless for clients. Start sending out emails and putting up flyers in offices 4 days prior so agents know to leave that time frame open.  Be very careful offering items that stain carpets.  I visited one that served chocolate chip cookies in a million dollar listing with white carpet- disaster. 

 

Creativity will keep the cost minimal, the interest high, and the goal of getting solid feedback optimum.  Be prepared for honest feedback- agents can be brutally honest but then sellers sometimes need to hear it from someone other than their agent.   It does have the potential to connect a buyer with a property but more likely the end result will be good honest price change suggestions or staging suggestions

 

So are they worth the time, effort, and cost?  If showings are few and sellers are cooperative and motivated then I would say yes they are worth the effort.  If sellers are testing the market, expressing the deal breaker fixed dollar mentality, selling a vacant home without utilities, or not cooperating with prep suggestions, then I would say it would be time, money, and energy wasted on a no win situation for return on investment for the agent. 

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Topic:
Real Estate Sales and Marketing
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Anonymous #5
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I was never a fan of broker open houses because if you didn’t have food, no one came, and if you did have food, it was very expensive. They might have been okay 30 years ago, but in today’s world of virtual tours, QR codes, a computerized MLS, etc., just not a good use of time and resources.

June 15, 2011 11:46 PM
Rainmaker
92,909
Lorraine Sayer
Realtor ABR,CDPE,GRI - Colorado Springs,CO RE/MAX
Monument, Black Forest, Falcon, Fountain homes

Hi Russel: I have to agree the expense keeps me from doing these too often plus the prep hours involved.  The sellers have to be motivated and cooperative for me to front the cost. 

June 15, 2011 11:57 PM
Rainmaker
171,037
Karin Lundeen
Realtor Centennial Homes For Sale
Keller Williams Realty LLC- Denver Southlands

Hi Loraine~  I did one recently and only had a handful of agents show up.  I was a bit disappointed because it is a great listing and I wanted other agents to see that!  However, my sellers were thrilled at my efforts and they think I am working hard for them:)

June 22, 2011 07:34 PM
Anonymous #8
Anonymous
Anonymous

I don't really know what a broker's open is, but it sounds like it can be pretty expensive with food prices going up and gas prices what they are.

June 22, 2011 11:50 PM
Rainmaker
92,909
Lorraine Sayer
Realtor ABR,CDPE,GRI - Colorado Springs,CO RE/MAX
Monument, Black Forest, Falcon, Fountain homes

Karin the perception is the key.  It  would be great to have a ton of agents show up but if it pleases the seller then it was a job well done and it makes you stand out from the rest.

Eric: It's an open house for brokers that might have buyers for the property and it's a way to get exposure for a property.  It's also a way to show the sellers that you are going above and beyond to get their property sold.  You are right, they can be expensive especially since you don't know how many to expect and if you have it catered.  Many agents are cooking inexpensive meals as I do or just having wine or beer at them. 

June 23, 2011 09:12 AM
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Rainmaker
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Lorraine Sayer

Realtor ABR,CDPE,GRI - Colorado Springs,CO RE/MAX
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