Warm Weather Open House!


5 minute read

April 20, 2009

Sure, they say it’s supposed to snow on Tuesday, but that takes nothing away from the 20-degrees and sunshine that I was blessed with for my Saturday open house.

It was the first open house I’ve done since February, and the timing was absolutely perfect…


From about 1PM to 5PM on every Saturday and Sunday of every weekend, our city’s streets are littered with “OPEN HOUSE” signs of various shapes and sizes.

You might consider these signs to be unattractive and unnecessary clutter, and I would agree….if I weren’t just doing my job!

On Saturday, I was opening a fantastic new unit at 205 Frederick Street, or Rezen as it’s called, and the weather was the best we’ve had thus far in 2009!

The general public is accustomed to seeing the “OPEN HOUSE” signs and the army of Realtors running around the streets, but I thought perhaps you might like to see the process, start-to-finish, through my eyes.

My open house at Rezen was scheduled from 2-4PM on Saturday, but I had showings at 9:30AM at Yonge/Eglinton.  I’m really taking my “I’ll work anytime, anywhere” philosophy a bit too far with the 9AM time-slot, but I digress…

At 11AM, I had my first baseball practice with my new crop of snotty teenagers at Talbot Park.  I had no choice but to change out of my Hugo Boss sport-shirt, Gala slacks, and Bostonian dress shoes and into my baseball pants, San Diego Chargers tank-top, and Nike cleats in the underground parking lot at McDonalds.  Superman, eat your heart out…

Running laps with the kids after drinking an extra-large coffee was almost a costly mistake, and after 90 minutes of lamenting my new group of talent-deprived teens, I loaded up my baseball gear and set course for downtown at about 12:45PM.

I arrived home, showered, changed, and then got back in my car to set up my open house signs.

Yes, I actually drove around to set up my open house signs!

I may live at 230 King Street, and Frederick Street may only be a block away, but YOU try carring six heavy open house signs around five city blocks and you’d be driving too!

A traffic cop’s worst nightmare, or a ticket-cop’s biggest fantasy, I continuously pulled my car over to the side of the road, put on my hazard lights, and removed an “OPEN HOUSE” sign from my trunk to set up on a corner.

A girl approached me and asked, “Excuse me?  Are you doing an open house at Rezen today?”

I thought better of saying, “No, I’m setting up these signs for fun and then I’m going bowling,” and ended up chatting with her about the property and handing her a feature sheet.

While setting up my third sign, I ran into Tammy from 255 Richmond Street, and stopped to make small talk.  Tammy was a client of mine and had sold her condo through me about a year ago and was now renting on Front Street.  She said she was quite happy with her “timing” of the market, and thanked me again for my help.

I parked my car on King Street, and saw Ashley coming out of EQ3 with her mother.  We had been on two quasi-dates a year ago (you know those dates you aren’t really sure if they are dates?  Like two single people who happened to be without brunch partners for the day?) and I hadn’t seen her in a while.  She looked incredible, and I began to wonder: How did I let that one get away?!

I continued down King Street and ran into a random-dude who lives on the same floor in my building.  I don’t know his name, and I’m sure he doesn’t know mine, but we have an understanding that we’ll just continue to nod “hey” at eachother and never freely admit that we don’t know eachother’s names, and we have no real reason to say “hello.”

Part of the reason why I love living where I do is because of the vibrant area that produces the run-ins that I just described.  In the space of five minutes while walking down King Street, I ran into a client, a neighbor, and an old friend.

After setting up my final sign, I dropped my car off, and walked to my open house with twenty minutes to spare.

I didn’t have time to walk up to Tim Hortons at Richmond/Sherbourne, or down to Front/Church, so I settled for Starbucks at King/George.  What awful, vile coffee they produce!  And we pay them MORE so that we can put in our own cream and sugar?

At ten minutes to two, I began to argue with the concierge at Rezen about whether I was actually allowed to conduct an open house, and with my sellers’ well-being in mind, I told the concierge “Just try and stop me.”

At 2PM, I was open for business.

And with the weather the way it was, I had over 40 people through the condo in the space of two hours.

Every passer-through is different, and they all all come with their own opinions.

When two wanna-be “Design Guys” came through the front door, they didn’t even look up at me before they started commenting, “Gaaawsh, what awful door handles on the cupboards.”

Yeah, door handles.  That’s what makes a condo, isn’t it?

These guys proceeded through the unit and verbally berated every single feature of this gorgeous condo, with no regards for my feelings, or the fact that there were other buyers around them.

I got visits from 3-4 people who rent in the building and were looking to “finally buy” as they described.

I had owners from 330 Adelaide, 109 Front Street, and 90 Sherbourne all who said that they didn’t like living in an “old” building and were enamoured with the brand new Rezen.

Two different sets of investors came through and grilled me about capitalization rates for ten minutes apiece.  I told them that they could get up to $2600/month from two rich kids going to George Brown College so long as mommy & daddy pay the rent, like so much of our city’s “poor students”…

I even got a visit from the little sales-weenie who works for the developer of Rezen!  Picture the most drab, mundane little man you’ve ever seen who has absolutely zero opinions or thoughts of his own, and has perfected the phrase “yes sir” which he uses every time he speaks to the developer about anything.

I sat out on the gorgeous 260 square foot terrace with a young couple, Mike & Virginia, who were living in a small 1-bedroom condo at The Met and wanted to move to an area with “some substance.”  I almost felt like we were friends sitting on a patio on Front Street.  All we were missing were three bottles of Stella Artois

I walked through the sliding glass door and back into the condo to find a man banging his fist against the wall, over-and-over-and-over.  I asked him, very nicely, what the heck he was doing, and while curiously staring at the ceiling, he said, “I……think……that this is a load-bearing…..wall.”

It never fails to amaze me how incredulous people can be when inside the confines of an “OPEN HOUSE.”  I’d love to show up at this guy’s condo and slam his cupboard doors shut, over-and-over-and-over…

The two hours flew right by, which was amazing considering how tired I was from nearly two hours of hitting homeruns while my kids asked, “Coach, maybe we can have a turn, since we are the ones who are actually ON the team.”

In two hours, I had forty people through, and probably 2-3 solid leads to follow up on for my sellers.  The tire-kickers were kept to an all-time low, and that one young couple really expressed interest in the condo.

For myself, I met two guys who are interested in selling their condo at 180 Frederick, and a guy that needs help finding a commercial space to rent.

It was a very productive day, and I’m positive that I have the good weather to thank.

Now, I’d better dig my snow brush out of my hall closet.

Don’t believe me?  Check www.weather.ca!

Written By David Fleming

David Fleming is the author of Toronto Realty Blog, founded in 2007. He combined his passion for writing and real estate to create a space for honest information and two-way communication in a complex and dynamic market. David is a licensed Broker and the Broker of Record for Bosley – Toronto Realty Group

Find Out More About David Read More Posts

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