A schlep, but showhouses do work, say agents
Rodney Hayter

Cleaning up, corralling the kids and pets, and moving out for the day may be a huge schlep, but if sellers are serious about selling then the Sunday showhouse route is the way to go, according to estate agents.

Not that it’s likely to sell the first showday - very few do on market debut – but the chances of offers to purchase filtering through by midweek are usually pretty good, if the price is right and the property is in a marketable condition.

Recent increases in stock levels after the extended drought has trimmed down the decision urgency of buyers while at the same time allowing them far greater occasion or discernment and also fuelling the healthy trend of allowing them to purchase by comparison. And at what better way than at a show house?

Punting Sunday showdays for all they’re worth is Barney Fleisher of Chas Everitt International who brands their role as “the heart of marketing property.” Apart from comparison of properties Fleisher says it also allows couples to view homes simultaneously and leisurely, which is becoming a rarity today with both partners working.

Fleisher’s five KZN operations will be hosted some 20 showhouses this weekend, but he’s anxious, because of their marketing worth, to hit the 30 showhouse mark soon. Fellow showhouse devotee Tony Hickman of Seeff Westville, whose 14 last Sunday among a total sales staff of 11 agents must represent a near record, says the concept is a vital component of his agency’s marketing mix with attendances and their feedback first up at the Monday morning marketing meeting.

Hickman says response to ‘view by appointment’ advertising is currently ‘poor’ while showhouse attendances have soared so far this year. His Westville and Cowies Hill showhouses are pulling in up to 20 visitors each. Seller resistance to show is usually challenged successfully by Hickman’s meticulously kept records of previous showdays proving their worth.

Tony Denyscheyne of Acutts Umhlanga is also a disciple of showhouses. Supporting his faith in such exposure comes from four written offers being received on the same day on a R1,8m recent showhouse in Prestondale, Umhlanga. Such success is rare, but Denyscheyne says the number of sales flowing from open day exposure has increased substantially in the current increased supply of stock. “The only way to really make a property stand out from the rest of the pack is by showing it on an open day.”

Last weekend his agency showcased eight houses.

Grant Gavin of Durban North-based RE/MAX Panache says with response to drops and advertising having fallen recently, show houses have stepped up their importance among his sales staff in attracting buyers. The plethora of pointer boards signalling their presence has also become an important component of his agency’s marketing mix in emphasising its local market presence.

Article from: www.rodneyhayter.com