7: [TOOLBOX] My Favorite Open House Visitor Gift Idea

charles shaw two buck chuckWhat do you think is the best open house gift idea?

When you do open houses, what do you do to welcome visitors and encourage them to stay?  What do you do to sell yourself and to make home buyers feel comfortable in the home?

For example, here are the more popular ideas that I typically encounter:

  • cookies or other treats to give out
  • adjusting the temperature to a very cool setting on super-hot days
  • small sandwiches from the local sub shop
  • canned drinks
  • branded marketing materials like pens, note pads, etc.
  • salads, pastas, or finger foods from the local deli or caterer
  • running contests or drawings to win a prize

These are all fine and good.  But the one that I’ve had the most overall success is…

A Free Bottle Of Wine.  Specifically, Trader Joe’s Charles Shaw variety (commonly referred to as “Two-Buck Chuck”).

Now, am I the only real estate agent in the history of the world to offer a free bottle of wine?  Of course not.  And I’m not saying it’s any better or worse than any of the ideas I’ve mentioned above.

But here’s why I love using this as my go-to open house gift strategy.

It Impresses People

You want to make a great impression as a real estate agent, right?  Sure you do.  So, what makes a better impression: a can of pop or a bottle of wine?  A plate of pasta salad or a bottle of wine?  A one-out-of-15 chance to win a $10 Starbucks gift card or a guaranteed bottle of wine?

Again, I have nothing against these other ideas I’m comparing to.  It’s just that I’ve found that the free bottle of wine make people think “wow, this is pretty nice” more than those other items.

Proof:  it’s common for people to give me a questioning look when I give them their free bottle.  It’s common for people to say something to the effect of “really?  I can take this?”  or “no thanks, I couldn’t possibly take this as I’m not a serious buyer right now” or “thank you very much.”

It’s Cheap…And Good

Am I a total wine snob?  Nope.  I really couldn’t tell you the difference between this wine and a $40 bottle of something else.  Luckily, most of your buyers also couldn’t tell the difference.  So, this one, in my humble opinion, certainly tastes good enough to hand out to people and be confident that they’ll actually like it.

I personally think these bottles taste just fine.  Even pretty dang good, especially considering the price.  Further, this line has garnered a few wine awards, so there are at least a few fancy-pants wine people that like it, too.  And, with 800 million bottles sold, there’s some social proof that it’s good stuff.

And, like I said, this stuff is cheap.  Like, $3 cheap.  Roll out of your local Trader Joe’s with a case for about $40 including tax.  That’s a pretty good value.

It’s Reusable

When your open house is over, what do you do with all those extra cookies left over?  Or the pasta salad?  Or the sandwiches?  They probably go into the garbage if they’ve been sitting out or you can’t find enough mouths to feed them to.

But with an unopened bottle of wine, just pack it back up and store it until the next open house.

If 10 people come, it’s cost you about $30 (10 X $3/bottle) to do that open house.  And, if no one comes, your open house was free.  You didn’t have to spend and waste money on food that no one came and ate.

It’s A Marketing Tool

Attach your business card to the bottle so when people go to open it later on, they’ll see your name…again.

Let People Leave On A High Note

Don’t mention the free bottle until they are about to leave.  If they liked the house, it’s a great extra add-on to their positive experience.  If they didn’t like the house, it’s a great lasting impression for you.

Where You Can Get Two-Buck Chuck

You can get Charles Shaw wine at any Trader Joe’s location.

My personal favorites are the Merlot and Shiraz varieties.

What else do you do for your open house guests?  Leave us a comment below.