Open house extravaganza wows T.O. agents

by Olivia D'Orazio01 May 2015
It’s a marketing strategy once-reserved for Beverley Hills, but bringing in luxury sponsors to throw the ultimate open house is increasingly popular for pricey properties here in Canada.
An open house in Toronto’s tony Rosedale neighbourhood treated visitors to haute cuisine, live entertainment and test drives in one of three Teslas brought in for the occasion. The reception, said attendees, befits the $28-million price tag. Arguably it also appeals to new-money buyers with the cash and the ambition to splurge.
“To pay for these parties,” explains Robert Gordon, an agent with Sotheby’s in Toronto, “you get a sponsor to expose their luxury products alongside the house to set the stage for the lifestyle one might (expect) in this type of luxury environment.”
It’s like staging in overdrive, with these parties allowing buyers to better imagine themselves in the home, Gordon says.
But don’t let all the fun and games fool you – the hoopla is about getting the best deal for the seller faster.
“When you’re looking at extremely high priced properties, you need to attract people in,” Gordon says. “For instance, if it’s just a normal open house there might not be enough of a draw to attract people in. But if there is a reception, that promises some interesting (refreshments) or previews of things – new cars, new scotches, fine wines – then there’s more of a draw for people to come and experience all these things in one place.”
That’s a key takeaway for agents trying to shift properties even at considerably lower price points.
The qualified buyers who would be interested in the property are likely to also be interested in the flash that comes with these types of soirées.
“There is a lot of new money out there wants to have these associations made for them,” Gordon says. “So things like these, creating an environment and a sense of style, especially if it’s created properly, it might just trigger the knee-jerk reaction to say, ‘Yeah, I want this place.’”
Further, Gordon says the effects of the party can help move the property, even weeks down the road.
“Some of these larger properties don’t sell quickly so the association (between the party and the property) needs to carry for a long time,” he says. “It takes a few months to sell something that’s more than $10 million.”

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