As tech firms and disrupters battle for market share in a crowded industry, true innovation continues to come from those on the front lines.
“It’s been an idea I’ve been toying with for quite some time,” said Dan Vail inventor of Open Housies, a diaper he created strictly for Realtors.
“I’m wearing one right now,” he pointed to his belt line and bulging slacks as he welcomed another visitor into a bustling open house on Ann Arbor’s west side.
Vail explained that buyers expectations have changed over the past few years and there simply isn’t enough time to stop and take care of some of life’s most routine experiences.
“Never having to stop and use the bathroom has added seven minutes to my day,” he exclaimed while setting up a showing on his phone and answering a question about the age of the roof. “It allows me to interact with clients before they click on the next online agent that will show them a home immediately.”
Open Housies have been a hit with Realtors since they hit the market last Fall.
“I couldn’t live without these things!” exclaimed Sally, a local Realtor that was too busy to give her last name as she raced to turn on the lights in her open house.
She said it allows more experienced like herself with over 20 years to keep up in an increasingly crowded field. “People don’t care anymore whose writing legally binding contracts and helping them with the largest financial decision of their life,” she sighed. “That Uber driver doesn’t understand encroachments,” she said as an Uber driver and licensed Realtor escorted a buyer into the property.
“These are a lifesaver. No one knows I’m even...” she paused. “See, I’m going right now.”
The inspiration for the diapers came to Vail after a particularly intense day in the field. “I was on my second open house after showing 17 homes to three different buyers,” he panted as he ran to get more MLS flyers from his car. “I had drunk about 6 cups of coffee and the only thing I had to eat was an apple and four chocolate chip cookies. My insides were raging. The worst part was the open house was packed and there was only one bathroom.”
When pressed for what he did next, Vail sighed and looked despairingly at the floor. “Thank God I had an extra pair of slacks in the trunk.”
Super absorbent and waterproof Open Housies come in two distinct styles. Traditional, which have between six to eight hours of recommended wear time. And Open Housies, a BIG producer which can last up to 16 hours.