Arbor Pointe Subdivision of Orland Park
I recently attended a Broker's Open at the Arbor Pointe subdivision. I don't attend a lot of Broker's Opens and I'll explain more later. But a long-time friend of mine that also sells real estate sent me an invitation for a multiple Broker's Open in Arbor Pointe.
I figured it was worth going to help with this website and to get to the know the subdivision a little better. Also, it was much better being able to tour 3 different homes during one visit to the area.
Arbor Pointe subdivision is located in the western area of Orland Park. It is an upscale community featuring large, custom homes on nice sized lots. Current prices range from $574,919 to $799,900 (as of today).
About Broker's Opens
Broker's Opens are open houses specifically for real estate agents from the same brokerage and all other brokerages to come and view specific listings. These are usually held on a weekday during lunch. The listing agent usually provides food for attending agents.
Agents hold listings open to other agents/brokers to try to gain exposure for their listing and hopefully get an agent that is already working with a buyer that might like the property. They can be very popular in some areas but not so much in others.
I normally don't attend Broker's Opens because I'm already very busy with my own buyers and sellers. I figure if I have a buyer for a certain price range or area my buyers will find the listings from the Automated Search I sign them up for that keeps them updated to all listings in their price range, areas of interest and with their desired features.
There is a joke in some areas that the only reason agents attend these opens are to get free food and possibly be part of a prize giveaway. Areas where Broker's Opens are popular seem to see the same agents over and over. I'd like to see the productivity for some of these agents that have the time to attend these opens consistently.
Broker's Opens Aren't Very Successful in the Southwest Suburbs of Chicago
There are many areas throughout the nation where Broker's Opens are very popular. Agents are simply expected to hold these on their listings and are assured that they will have some kind of a turnout.
In our area an agent and home owner can go through a lot of preparation, time & expense only to have no one show up! Different areas have different customs, and Broker's Opens aren't very popular here.
My agent friend for the Arbor Pointe open had the best idea of collaborating with other agents to attract more attention and have 3 homes to view in one specific subdivision. They also split the food available - the first house on the list offered appetizers, the 2nd house offered lunch (sandwiches, etc.) & the final home offered dessert. You had to visit each property to be eligible for a drawing of a local restaurant gift card.
There were about 4 different agents besides my husband Jimmy Herter & myself that we saw while we were there. That is considered a successful Broker's Open in our area! Of course, more agents could have shown up before and after us, but just to have 6 agents in total would be good.
Another agent that worked in my office at the time invited me to a Broker's Open at her listing in Mt. Greenwood. I was going to go just to support her, even though I wasn't currently working with any Mt. Greenwood buyers, but I was busy showing homes to other buyers during the time of the open. Her seller insisted on her holding this open and they both spent a lot of money on a smorgasbord of food items, including peeled shrimp. Not one person attended.
All Types of Open Houses Are a Shot in the Dark
I haven't held any kind of open house in many years. Since being licensed since 1983, I've had my share of open houses. I've tried everything imaginable to get people to attend, including heavy (and expensive) advertising, posting it on the MLS and Internet on multiple, popular sites like Realtor.com, Zillow, Craigslist, etc., many signs throughout the neighborhood (some that got stolen), collaborating with other agents in the area where we worked together to hopefully get all buyers to each of our listings, you name it! I've offered food & beverages and created nice buyer folders and had giveaways. In all those years, with all of that time and expense, I never sold a house that was held open. This is how it works in most areas!
The closest I've come was a buyer that had already seen the home with his agent and wanted to walk through again before making his offer. Most buyers that come through open houses are either neighbors or buyers who are already working with other agents. There are also what we call looky loos - people who go to open houses just to see how different people decorate.
And then there are bad people who are up to no good. There are stories of a "family" coming through an open house. One person distracts the agent while the other one goes and quickly unlocks a window to return later to rob the house. Agents have been injured and murdered while holding a house open. I've felt uncomfortable more than once and that's another reason it isn't worth it to hold open houses.
The truth - most open houses are held to appease sellers. A lot of new agents hold opens for other agents to try to get unrepresented buyers. Broker' Opens are also held to appease sellers. Even though getting an agent through the open is in the hopes of that agent finding a buyer, the truth is that the agent is most likely there to support a fellow agent or to get a free lunch and hope to win a prize. There are better ways to sell a home and with our experience we know what works and what doesn't.