A Standard Open House Just Doesn’t Cut It Anymore

Say goodbye to wine and cookies. These days, brokers in the greater New York region are going above and beyond to get people to check out their listings. In July, Compass agents Maryanne Farrell and Leonard Steinberg held a brokers’ open house for the newly built $14.995 million townhouse they’re representing at 20 Sullivan Street in SoHo. To garner attention to the listing, they parked a Rolls-Royce convertible and two different Bentley models in front and a Lamborghini in the attached parking space. “When people are looking at a five-story townhouse, they don’t always notice every feature,” Farrell says. “A parking spot is rare in New York, and I think the cars helped highlight that.” 

For Lionsgate—a 10,000-square-foot Great Neck manse with a $7.25 million price tag—listing broker Inbar Mitzman of Daniel Gale Sotheby’s invited both agents and potential buyers to an event in June with a pop-up gallery featuring works by Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, test-drives of two Tesla models, and a catered lunch at the estate. And at Kean Development Company’s Spring Hill in Old Westbury, a 160-acre gated community with building lots available from $1.999 million to $7.988 million, a gathering scheduled for this fall includes fishing lessons, Land Rover test-drives, and trunk shows by outdoor apparel retailers Hunter and Filson. “We may not be able to take people through actual residences yet, but we can get them to the property and showcase a certain lifestyle,” says Daniel Gale Sotheby’s marketing executive Katherine Robinson Cirelli, who planned the event (sales are through the firm’s Lois Kirschenbaum). “A standard open house doesn’t cut it anymore. People want more than just a tour—they want the full experience.”