February 16, 2015

How to Survive a Slow Open House

Sundays are for church and open houses, and the latter can be a hit or miss.

I hosted an open house at 1410 N. Mohawk yesterday afternoon. It’s an address I’ve become quite familiar with — over the past few months, I’ve held many open houses there. The 2-bed/2-bath condo is spacious and bright, and the outdoor space cannot be beat. At $350,000, it even includes a parking spot. Suffice to say, I am certain it will sell very soon.

Maybe it was the snow, or maybe Chicagoans were just taking a day off from condo shopping. Sunday’s open house was s-l-o-w. I had a total of 4 couples walk through, the majority arriving during the last 30 minutes. This gave me ample time to play. So, without further ado, here are some ideas for passing the time:

1. Dance
A Melanie Stone Chicago open house is a grand affair. I turn on the fireplace and play jazz music. Usually, it’s Michael Bubl√© or Diana Krall. The unit on Mohawk is vacant — plenty of space for me to sashay from the kitchen to the front door and back again.

2. Selfies
People love this trend, and realtors are no exception. Soft smiles and stainless steel FTW.

3. Organize
One of my favorite pastimes is arranging my business cards. I tend to prefer a semi-circle or this linear formation. (Also, for the record, that first buyer is fake. I always write my best friend’s name on my sign-in sheet, and real buyers follow suit.)

4. Stare
For a time, I sat on the window sill and watched helplessly as the snow covered my open house sign. I then entertained myself by admiring the white flakes as they fell from the sky. I hardly ever sit and look out the window, so this activity was surprisingly relaxing.

6. Scroll
You knew this one was coming. An empty condo is the perfect place to check Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and any other social network on your iPhone.

7. Pray
When all else fails, pray for buyers. And remember that if you can make just one solid connection, then the open house is a smashing success.