Today's Realtor – getting by on gift cards and deli trays

How bad is it out there for the average Realtor? An e-blast from Chicago Agent advertising tomorrow’s brokers open house at Lexington Square reminded me of an amusing — and surely not uncommon — incident at an open house I attended last week.

Along with the obligatory sandwiches, chips, pastries and pop offered at every brokers open, the sales staff at this development had advertised a gift card giveaway prior to its event. Visitors could sign in, drop off a business card, and possibly walk away with an extra 50 bucks.

Doors weren’t set to open until noon, but one of the sales associates on hand happened to glance out a window at 11:30 and noticed a veritable mob of agents huddled outside the front door. This was last Tuesday, mind you, a day when we were showered by a downpour of heavy, wet snow.

By the time I arrived at the open house (around 12:30 p.m.), the sales staff had already drawn a name from the fishbowl. Naturally, most of the visitors — and most of the eats — were long gone. There’s a reason these Realtors showed up, and it wasn’t to see a full floor of finished units.

My guess? Tomorrow’s Lexington Square open will be a zoo — the first 10 agents who show up are supposed to get $50 gift cards, and two names drawn at random will receive $250 gift cards. That’s enough to put some food on the table, or at least to refill the gas tank in order to get to the next brokers open.

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