Now that high-end housing has tilted in favor of buyers, an article in the New York Times tells us that many real estate firms are experimenting with experiential events to attract potential consumers to their listings.

It’s now quite common to see real estate tech and brokerage firms aligning with fashion, arts, and non-profit groups that speak to specific demographic groups.   Celebrities are also big players at such “events” held at various properties and developments.

According to Nikki Field, the senior global real estate advisor with Sotheby’s International, “We’re in Manhattan’s most challenging market in the last decade. People are looking at everything and anything. They are no longer focused on certain neighborhoods…because the city has grown in luxury options in all directions. They have a lot of choices…and it’s our job to put those choices front and center for them.”

Cross-interest events are no long just a free glass of wine and proximity to the latest who’s who. Resident, a supper club start-up, provides platforms for young, “overworked and under paid” chefs in Manhattan to prepare great food for events as a way to highlight their culinary and catering skills to an appreciative, hungry audience looking to buy properties and perhaps engage their talents for their events.

Last year, Vickey Barron, an associate broker with Compass, brought in world-renowned ballroom dancers to wow a wealthy audience and potential buyers. “Why not do over-the-top, unexpected events as a way to sell properties? There’s too much inventory and everyone is fighting for that one buyer.”

Art show open houses, organic cooking demonstrations, chamber orchestra performances, Fendi fashion and trunk shows, etc. are all part of the same head-set and effort to get buyers in the door.

Field of Sotheby’s said, “Two years ago, you’d put a property on your website and it would sell. Today, you have to be more creative about cooperating with other industries to make things happen. In a challenging market, you need to send the right message to the right people through the right events.”

And in this market, there is always another event just as there is always another house to sell.

Thanks to Lisa Prevost’s article in the New York Times.

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