It’s a rainy Wednesday afternoon and I’m sitting in the kitchen of our latest listing having just finished our broker’s open house when it dons on me this absolutely integral part of our market launch is rarely mentioned or advertised to the YOU, the consumer.
Whether you’re a home buyer or home seller, I think I’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t want a leg up on the competition. For you, home buyers, this could mean early access to a property that has not yet hit the market, a first look at a property that doesn’t have interior photos online, or a feet-on-the-street preview of a home to alert you that the owner has 8 cats (NOT pictured but certainly smelled). Home sellers, this leg up might mean a tactical, targeted connection to local agents working with buyers looking for a home just like yours or, quite simply, more exposure.
Enter “broker preview” – a morning weekday open house open to the agent and broker community, which allows us to (you guessed it) preview your home for our buyer clients. Or, if you’re selling, scope out the competition.
The broker’s open house is preceded by a LIVE meeting in which agents, brokers and affiliates (lenders, escrow, title and other industry vendors) gather for an early morning meeting whose primary purpose is to inform and educate its attendees about the local inventory being featured that day. During the meeting, each agent who is on the broker’s open house tour has an opportunity to dust off their old Toastmasters skills and PITCH, yes actually SELL, your home to the audience. WARNING: shameless plug forthcoming. On a good day, MAYBE one in three agents will show up to pitch the home for which they will be holding a broker’s open house…which, frankly, never ceases to amaze me. Here we have a captive audience eager enough for free coffee and market insights to show up at 8AM. Yet, very few agents take advantage of the face time and the opportunity to highlight special features about your home. I love living life as the exception, not the rule. So, when you list your home with me, rest assured that I will be there bright eyed and bushy tailed, flyers in hand and ready to advise the audience as to why your home is a must see.
The meeting is concluded with a “wants and needs” open mic segment (which, admittedly, can be a bit dangerous when you throw a bunch of caffeinated REALTORS in a room together). The long and short of it is, this is my opportunity, as your agent, to ask if anyone in the room has a property coming soon that could fit your specifications. While I know there are some home buyers out there might fall out of their chairs when they read this, so brace yourself: the world doesn’t stop and start with Zillow (or Redfin. or Realtor.com or Trulia. Or or or). Days, weeks, even months of preparation take place before you get that new listing alert in your hot little hands. So, if you and I are on the hunt for the perfect property and we’re striking out with the boring old MLS, we turn to the local agent community to bring you something off market BEFORE the other Zillow-heads get a look at it. Mic drop.
Last but not least, real estate is a relationship business. And, in the sunny seaside town of San Clemente, your reputation is only as good as your relationships. Spending actual face time with your peers and colleagues is an integral part of any business and its value cannot be understated when you’re navigating potentially complex waters or working through a particularly challenging transaction. If your agent is well connected, well respected and well versed….well, it only helps YOU.