In the ever-evolving Manhattan real estate market, traditional open houses are becoming archaic. Some realtors have found innovative ways to subliminally advertise their listings to New Yorkers who are unaware of what the city’s busiest borough has to offer. The most popular of these marketing events are book readings by famous authors. These events provide realtors with a fresh perspective on how to market their listings.
According to The New York Times, a group called Divalysscious Moms has organized several events that work in conjunction with the agenda of real estate agencies across Manhattan. This past weekend, author Dana Adam Shapiro read from his new book “You Can Be Right (or You Can Be Married): Looking for Love in the Age of Divorce,” at a triplex co-op for sale on Liberty Street in Fidi. In addition to his reading, the women who attended the event were treated to psychics, and lingerie shopping as well.
Lyss Stern, founder of Divalysscious Moms, is in charge of scheduling events in apartments all across Manhattan. Some authors that have booked appearances through her organization include Kathie Lee Gifford, Soleil Moon Frye, Laurie David, and creator of the bestselling “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy, E.L James. These events serve a dual purpose: promoting an author’s work and selling luxury real estate. For some, this might seem like an odd way to wrangle potential buyers, but Stern sees this as a prime opportunity for both industries to prosper. “Authors are selling books and the books give such value to the events.” Divalysscious Moms also hosted events at the Upper East Side condominium, the Azure.
Other artists and realtors are taking Stern’s idea and running with it. The senior vice president of the Mattone Group and sponsor of the Azure, Douglas MacLaury, explained exactly how to attract the ideal clientele for a particular building. “We try to chose an author who appeals to the people that we are trying to attract to the building. If you are trying to appeal to the higher-end clientele who can afford these apartments, something to do with fashion, high-end food, those seem to be the topics that bring people to the table.” Deborah Lupard, an agent at Warburg Realty who deals primarily with Liberty Street apartment listings, visualizes a real estate future that includes more such events. “Anything, an art show or poetry reading, anything that entices as many people to view the property is a good thing.”
As of now, it is unclear how these hybrid events will impact the Manhattan market, but their mere existence suggests a change in the way real estate is marketed.