Open Houses in BCS

by cheryl miller, cips, abr, aia, broker, baja realty and investment

In the United States and Canada, Open Houses are as valuable a tool in your realtor’s arsenal of 
promotional tools as is the Multi-Listing Service, yard signs and print advertising; sometimes actually
​resulting in multiple offers on the same day as the Open House. 

But in Baja California Sur, as with many other Mexican resort communities, there is a big difference.

It is not only a cultural difference, but a regional difference.

The Buyers here in our market are often without the means of transportation or the knowledge of the area to travel to these locations.  Hence, having a member of the general buying public visit an Open House is rare.

For an average Open House in Los Cabos, a realtor feels lucky to get ½ to 1% of the attendees from the general public to attend, and that is not counting the realtors friends and buddies who often tag along for the free snacks and booze, or to simply “hang out” in a multi-million dollar pad for the afternoon.

In reality, most Open Houses in Los Cabos is for the benefit of the other realtors in the marketplace to see, and mentally “file” away your property for those present and future clients who may be looking in your area and in your price range.  And truthfully, with 3500 properties on the market, that is a big advantage having the other 500 odd agents “knowing” your property!

If your property is within walking distance (2-3 blocks) from the main tourist area, you may have a higher rate of the general public attending, if your relator is on the street, promoting it during the time of the Open House, walking them over to the property. 

But, this is a HUGE difference from your hometown market and sales technique.

Another great technique our MLS BCS members may do for Open Houses and to get the maximum amount of fellow realtors to attend, is to hold “Group Open Houses”.  In a Group Open House, several listing agents get together and sponsor a specific day and time where several options of properties within the same community, complex or building may be viewed.  With Group Open Houses, the visiting public or agents can view all of the available options in a single afternoon… The largest attending crowds tend to result from this technique.

Another big difference between Open Houses in the U.S. and Canada and our “tourist-based” market is to offer snack and beverages, raffle gifts or other incentives to get the realtors to attend. This does not occur in your hometown marketplace, but here, many times there are several Open Houses at the same time and day, spread out geographically.  To get the highest turnout, and to get that “filed mentally away” in the minds of fellow realtor factor, a little incentive often makes the difference between a highly attended Open House and one that has a couple stragglers.

So, is an Open House worth the effort?  In most cases, one or two is worth getting the potential of other agents bringing a buyer after an Open House in Los Cabos.  Refer to your listing agents knowledge and experience regarding his or hers feeling about the frequency and duration of an Open House.  Personally, I find that doing an Open House multiple times in the same month for the same property does not result in good attendance.

And now that you are aware of the marketing differences here in Los Cabos, do not expect that that thorough cleaning you did and that that afternoon you need to vacate the property will result in an immediate offer.  You can expect though to have many more agents familiar with your property and mentally considering it for their present and future clients!

By Cheryl T. Miller, Broker, Baja Realty and Investment, info@forsaleinbaja.com, 624-122-2690. Cheryl is the broker of Baja Realty and Investment, a 14 year veteran of Mexican Real Estate  and an architect. Call her for any of your real estate needs.