Once upon a time in a land far, far away, real estate brokers visited the homes that other real estate agents had just listed. The event was called a “broker open.” The concept was to hold a special party just for real estates agents to tour a new home that just came on the market. At these wild parties, they served hors d’oeuvres, fruits, veggies, desserts and yes – even wine (shhhh!!!). They even tried giving away expensive gifts like iPads, airline tickets, dinner gift certificates, and raffles for trips – all to attract a realtor to their home. Agents thought it would be a good opportunity for other realtors to see their home and check if it was a match for their particular buyers. Fast forward to today (modern day real estate) and I am sorry to announce that the “broker open” event is extinct. It started dying off around mid-2004. Most experts believe that it was not a single cataclysmic event like a meteor hitting earth or a pandemic; they believe that the demise of the broker open was a result of some strange new phenomenon called “the Internet”.
All kidding aside, when you think about what you can do to view a home online, you can understand why real estate agent don’t spend time driving around, attending broker opens. With Google Maps, not only can you stand in front of the house from your computer, but you can walk around it too. You can see an aerial view to find out if it backs to open space or to Wal-Mart. You can even turn yourself around and see the house across the street. As for the inside, photographers are shooting 35 photos of every room, in every angle, in HD and HDR. You can see the details right down to the stained carpet in the kid’s room. Full motion Hi Def 1080p videos not only walk you through the house, but also come with narrations. Add in MLS data that can tell you details about the schools, taxes, lot size, roof, HVAC, size of bedrooms, and it goes on and on and on. There is more information than anyone could ever possibly need and use.
Yes, technology has been the death of the “broker open.” The fact that no one has the time in today’s “do as much as you can in a day” society has not helped either. Finally, before you start sending me emails about how your community of brokers still does broker opens and how well-attended they are or how successful they have been, let me say this: You too will soon fall prey to the changing times. Your roving caravans and broker opens will soon be coming to an end. Before you know it, holograms will appear in front of your eyes so you can walk through the latest home that just hit the market… and then poof! Your broker opens will be extinct too.