Last July, I arranged a small walking tour — a “progressive Open House” — for 3 of my historic house listings in Willington, CT. All 3 of these antique homes were Cape Cods surrounding the Historic Willington Green. The “Historic House Tour” was a success, with about 16 people showing up — a nice showing for an open house in our area. Attendees ranged from first-time homebuyers to old-house-buyers to just curious neighbors. The homeowners at 2 of the houses were present during the tour and helped explain the history of the homes, and even served wine, lemonade, and cookies. Several of the buyers who toured the houses said they hoped I would hold more “Historic House Tours” of my “For Sale” listings. After my experiment, I did some research, and have since found a few other Realtors who have incorporated a similar strategy, sometimes on a larger scale.
South of Boston, a restorer of fine Victorian homes — Bruce Rosenbaum of ModVic, and his Realtor — Linda Dillon of Century 21 Access, collaborated with other Realtors to arrange an “Historic Houses For Sale – Open House Tour” last fall on November 15th & 16th. This tour, which included lunch at a restaurant at the midpoint, attracted 12 families & attracted some media attention, by bloggers and even a local TV station. And it appears another similar tour is being planned. For the next tour, the Rosenbaums plan on combining their marketing with the efforts of a charity, and may donate a percentage of the proceeds of the sale to that charity. A win-win situation!
Finally, in Annapolis, Maryland, historic homes specialist Ellis Richman of Long & Foster Real Estate has taken the historic house tour to another level — offering Trolley Tours of Annapolis’s beautiful historic real estate. Richman’s tours are conducted on neat antique-style trolley cars, and participants purchase tickets for his tours in advance on Zerve. By arranging tours of historic houses, all of these Realtors have attracted a specialized buyer base to their listings. And these tours can be replicated by any Realtor or historic homeowner, since they can collaborate with other Realtors with historic house listings in the area. Why not give it a try?!