Manhattan is one of the fastest moving cities in the world and it seems that the only way to slow down its pace is the start of the summer season. The city's real estate market is no exception to the seasonally relaxed New Yorker attitude, which is stirring up concerns for agents eager to bring in business during that time.
When the season began back in June, listing inventory started to diminish as sellers anticipated a lack of activity in the market in the coming months. However, typically during a seller's market, buyers are very competitive with each other, touring all homes available to them and therefore open houses are packed--but not during the summer months. With a lack of attention on real estate, agents need to bring the creativity and provide even more incentive to generate open house traffic.
In June, Jason Haber of Warburg Realty hosted a Frozen themed open house to draw in families, which is especially helpful during the season meant for family bonding. In the same vein, a kid's carnival themed open house was hosted for a $23.5 million penthouse on Madison Square Park in May. Not only would the theme draw in families and brokers with their children, but also give the high-end listing a competitive marketing edge.
A recent article in The Wall Street Journal explained how the brokers of luxury listings tend to market their listings to smaller groups of clientele or throw events in lieu of open houses. Nationwide only 3.7% of homes priced $5 million or higher hosted open houses from March 1 to end of May of this year. Rather than a traditional open house, agents host events aimed around an activity, such as a wine tasting or kid's carnival, to draw in more prospective buyers.
Given the slow pace of the summer market and the veering away from old-fashioned techniques of attracting customers, these "extreme open houses" may start to pop up more frequently. What type of "open house" would you like to see? Leave your comments below, I'd love to hear them.