How do you get 100 high-net-worth individuals into your luxury listing in a two-hour period during the quietest time of the real estate market? 

Host a charity event!

I’ve been a supporter of our local arts foundation for years. It’s a cause that matters to me and an organization that is incredibly effective at fulfilling its mission. Every year, I buy the food and wine for their annual holiday open house and small works art sale, which is usually held at their headquarters. 

It’s well-appointed, as an arts organization should be, but still–it’s an office.

This year, I happen to be the listing agent for a gorgeous 1920s waterfront mansion, and I thought, “How cool would it be to host the arts event there this year?” 

So, I ran the idea by the sellers. As art collectors themselves, they loved the idea and gave me the green light. Thus, the best marketing tool I’ve ever used was born. (Click here for the second!)

An Event to Remember

My team and I put together a list of our best referral sources, favorite clients, luxury co-brokes, and high-end partners. The charity sent out invitations to the event, and my team got to spend the next six weeks reminding the most bodacious members of our sphere that we wanted to treat them to a party. 

Meanwhile, our branding went out on all the charity’s promotional materials, and they did ALL of the logistics–arranging the caterer, the valet, the musicians, the artists, decorations–everything. I did add a few of my own touches, but the hassle level was extremely low.

On the night of the event, the people poured in. They ate, they drank, they enjoyed live holiday music, and they bought lots of art. We gave private tours of the home to at least 50 people, and in the middle of the event, I had the opportunity to address the crowd personally. I, of course, sang the praises of the foundation, but I was also able to talk about the property, and, in doing so, show every person in there exactly how I sell a house.

Cameras were flashing all night, capturing the endless photo ops one finds in a 100-year-old mansion decorated for the holidays. For days afterward, the social media buzz was strong, and so I also now have a treasure trove of b-roll for future use in listing presentations, marketing, and social media.

Everyone won: 

  • Guests got to see inside this magnificent home
  • The charity got almost double the typical attendance compared to previous events
  • My sellers received a highly curated group of 100 people to experience the house in the middle of winter
  • I got to showcase my skills. 

The question now is: What about next year? 

Well, if I list another magnificent home next fall, this will be one of the first marketing projects we’ll start working on. If I don’t have a current listing that fits the bill, I will reach out to past clients and find one who would love to open their home for an event like this. 

And who knows, maybe one of them actually will decide to list their home?