At Shillman's Open Houses, residents graciously -- and literally - open their house
This past Sunday we hosted an open house at Shillman House for prospective residents —this was the first one since we opened. Our occupancy rate is very strong and until we are at 100%, we are eager to give more people the chance to walk through and let the community sell itself.
Holding an open house in a building that is currently home to 144 people is a little awkward. We had nearly 100 guests touring the building throughout the day. We tromped through the multi-purpose room trying not to disturb the group playing a card game (how likely is it that 15 visitors standing around the card table will not be disruptive?). We showed off the library where people were trying to read the Sunday paper (quietly), the art studio while a painter or two were patiently completing some masterpieces that now adorn the walls, and right on through the dining room while people were trying to eat brunch in peace.
The response from the visitors was expectedly positive: Shillman offers wonderful opportunities. And the response from the residents was also favorable despite these intrusions. In fact, several volunteered to be “ambassadors for the day” to help us illustrate the beauty of living in community where privacy is respected but occasions to engage with others are as easy as coming down the hallway. And yet I found myself wincing each time I barged into an occupied space. Just a few months ago, during an open house, we were touring a ‘theoretical’ home. Now, it’s a real one for a community of people and we are intent on being respectful.
We’ll be at it again next Sunday – there is an open house on September 18 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. I’ll spend much of my time this week thinking about ways to give prospective residents a glimpse at life at Shillman in an up-close-and-personal way without infringing on the enjoyment of this beautiful community by our Shillman pioneers!