Agents challenge 'traditional' open house viewings

Traditional open house inspections may become a thing of the past, with several agents employing new and innovative tactics to entice more buyers to a property.

Brock Harcourts Semaphore sales consultant Jo-Anne Rowe decided to buck the trend of an open house inspection by hosting what she called a “closed open home” for a Tennyson, South Australia-based property.

“Rather than using the traditional open house inspection where everybody can come and observe the home, I decided to use a unique invitation only approach,” Ms Rowe told Real Estate Business.

“It was absolutely excellent, the vendors were extremely happy with the turn out and all the potential buyers received their very own VIP experience, which just makes everybody feel special.”

The invitation only event followed an online marketing campaign which deliberately had little to no information on the house, a tactic which Ms Rowe considers to be “like a movie trailer.”

“The property was placed online but there was no address, no price and only a select few images,” Ms Rowe said.

“This was deliberate as everybody who was interested in the house was forced to contact me for more information and was invited to the event. I also selected clients from my database to attend and invited the neighbours so the community felt involved.”

But Ms Rowe is not the only agent changing the way she seeks to attract buyers, and follows a recent story from the US where a California-based agent recently offered free botox injections and test drives in an Audi car to encourage more people to one of his listings.

Cairns-based FNQ Hot Property specialises in waterfront property in the city's Bluewater estate, a factor that led principal Nathan Shingle to offer potential home buyers their own personal boat trip around the estate.

“This unique marketing approach has been very successful for the agency. We are now known as market leaders and have the majority of listings and sales around the canal estate,” Mr Shingles told Real Estate Business.

Over the year, FNQ Hot Property has seen sales increase by 30 per cent, which Mr Shingles largely attributes to the group's unique marketing approach.

“All vendors and home buyers absolutely love the experience,” Mr Shingles said. “It is almost like they become locked into us after the experience because we can offer vendors something that none of our competitors can or will do.”

“Most waterfront properties look better on the side facing the water, so this is a great way for us to highlight the home’s most attractive features.”

“Rather than walking up the drive way and going through the front door, we drop potential buyers off on the pontoon.”


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