It’s hard to say who enjoyed yesterday’s Maples at the Sonatas Spring Tour of Homes more. Was it (a) the visitors who toured the five private homes and four models? Or maybe (b) the sales staff who created another successful event? Or possibly (c) the owners who opened their homes?
Carol and Kathy, our sales staff, were certainly happy. An estimated 120 people walked though the homes, resulting in a number of good prospects and a long list of contacts for the future.
Judging by their favorable comments, our visitors also enjoyed the tour. The majority of them thanked me for opening my home. They seemed to like having access to owners who have lived in the community for a while. And like us, they enjoyed seeing just how different three Canterbury homes can be when decorated by three different owners.
While some visitors treated the tour as good entertainment on a beautiful spring afternoon, others were more intense. They were trying to make comparisons and contrasts, to narrow down the choice of five models to the one that would be best for their personal situations.
We also welcomed a few future owners whose homes are in the construction process. They were looking at furniture layouts and decorating ideas, everything from window coverings to TV hookups to where to put the litter box.
But I believe no one enjoyed the tour more than the homeowners who participated. I loved the afternoon. It was gratifying to hear compliments about my Abbey. I also liked talking with people in all stages of the buying process. It was especially fun to welcome folks that I know personally. During the afternoon, I had visits from four former teaching colleagues, two former students, four parents of former students, and other friends from Woodstock.
Several couples were so enthusiastic about my home that I was sure I had convinced them to buy an Abbey. After the tour ended and we homeowners gathered in our clubhouse, I mentioned a couple who had loved my Abbey. My neighbor Ollie, who owns a Canterbury, looked at me and said, No, I remember them, and they want a Canterbury. We slipped into a friendly round of They liked mine better—no they liked mine better—until Carol settled it for us. They actually want a Promenade with a bonus room.
Of course, the tour was not a competition among our homes. But if it had been, I would have had a secret weapon—my cat Angie. She is a very social cat who wanted to be a one-cat welcome committee. A few visitors with allergies stayed outside on my patio, but most of the others said, Oh, look at the cute cat, and gave her the attention she was seeking. Sometimes she walked from room to room with us, jumping up on furniture so she wouldn’t be overlooked on the floor.
One of my visitors was in a wheelchair. Her face lit up when she saw Angie. When she reached down to pet her, she couldn’t reach low enough. So I held Angie up, and this cat, who usually hates being picked up, was very patient and sweet.
From noon to four, there were just a few short breaks without visitors in our home. Around three, Angie hopped up on top of her cat tree in the sunroom and fell sound asleep. She was exhausted, and I wasn’t too far behind her.
It felt great to get to the clubhouse at five, kick off my shoes, and enjoy the wine and cheese that Kathy and Carol served us as a thank you. In typical Maples fashion, the party lasted into the evening. While I was walking home, the answer to my question of who enjoyed the tour more came to me. As you have probably guessed, the correct answer is (d) all of the above.