Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Evening Open Houses?

I have an idea on which I'm interested in input from the public. We have traditionally done almost all open houses on Sunday afternoons. That isn't true everywhere in the country, since I have noticed that, in Arizona, Saturday seems to be just as common as Sunday. There is an historical logic to the current pattern, since people were usually less busy on Sunday afternoons. The idea of going to open houses seemed to fit in with the practice of taking Sunday drives.

Today's world is different. Children's sports, in particular, take no holidays. Sunday afternoons may be as jam-packed as any other day. In addition, weather is a huge factor. All real estate agents know that there is a bell curve for attendance--if the weather is too bad, no one comes, and, if the weather is too good, no one comes. For busy people, a great day may just be too precious to pass up.

So why not vary the routine? If you are like I am, you may prefer to squeeze in all you can into the work week, leaving bigger blocks of weekend time for other things, especially outdoor activities. In this season of extra light, we could hold open houses late in the day, and interested parties could stop on their way home from work or picking up kids. Even for commercial properties, this idea has appeal. Many owners and managers are too busy to take time out to look at space during the work day. We could serve wine and cheese, and let people take their time after the end of the work day to explore real estate options. Even agents would benefit, as it would leave weekend time to work with buyers.

We have tried this a few times, at least in residential, but it hasn't caught on. I'm curious as to why it has not. What do you think?