By Mike Tizzano
Fairway Independent Mortgage

Even if you aren’t in the real estate industry, you probably have friends or family that are. You may have heard them speaking of home tours from time to time and wondered what they are talking about. Typically a home tour is when a lending or title company, or some other entity, recruits real estate agents to include properties they have listed in a specific area on a tour. The tour is usually open to participating agents and affiliates from the sponsoring companies. They usually will meet at a predetermined location (typically the first home on the tour) and “caravan” from home to home. Tours are particularly good for agents looking for specific feedback on their listings. It may be that the seller wants it priced above market and collecting feedback from other agents saying the price needs to be dropped can assist the listing agent in convincing the seller to do so. For the affiliate sponsors, it’s an opportunity to have a handful of real estate agents as a captive audience for a few hours at which time they will try to start or build a referral partnership with them.

Here in our neighborhood there are several home tours, but only one that can be called THE North 32nd Home Tour, which occurs the second Thursday of every month. About four years ago, neighborhood activist Allison Barnett of My Home Group saw this area as one that was in need of a good home tour. But Allison wasn’t going to just make it like any other tour, so with the help of some pretty cool sponsors, they founded the North 32nd Home Tour. With help from Nancy Pierson of Equity Title, Allie Flath of Chicago Title and Jaclyn Payne of CNN Mortgage they set out to create a unique and fun tour that actually helped get homes sold. The tour boundaries would be from the mountains at Dreamy Draw all the way north to Union Hills, west to Cave Creek Road and east to Tatum. Knowing that homes in this area offer so much diversity in terms of price, style, age, views, and amenities, it was sure to draw a lot of interest.

So what makes the North 32nd Home Tour different from other tours? First, it starts with a hosted breakfast at 32Shea, everyone’s favorite neighborhood morning spot. Once the agents with listings on tour say a few words about the home they are presenting, they head out to the home and hold it open for the entirety of the tour. Why does this matter? Because the second reason this tour is unique is that it’s open to everyone. Members of the public, affiliates from non-sponsoring companies, anyone can attend the tour and see all of the homes or just a specific home that they are interested in. This allows the agents hosting listings to not only receive feedback from other real estate agents, but also members of the general public that are potential buyers. The final reason this home tour is different is because there is a no host lunch at a different neighborhood restaurant each month. That’s when the home with the best feedback is awarded the “Best on Tour” and the real estate agents are entered for a raffle prize from one of the affiliate sponsors.

I was fortunate to be able to ride the coattails of the aforementioned ladies and be added as the fourth sponsor at the beginning of this year. Having grown up in the area and lived here most of my life, it is fun to see the changes happening in this neighborhood. It’s also always fun to walk into a home that’s on the tour that belonged to someone you knew as a kid. So whether you are an area real estate agent trying to get a temperature on the neighborhood market or a neighbor that wants to see what’s happening in your area, you are welcome to join us every month starting around 9 a.m. on the second Thursday. You can also always follow the tour on Facebook by searching North 32nd Home Tour under events. See you at 32Shea!