From rooftop parties to hiding inside, how agents do the eclipse

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The solar eclipse is set to reach the U.S. around midday on Monday, April 8, and will last more than three minutes.

The celestial event has some real estate agents solidifying their rooftop reservations while others plan for a quiet day of staying at home.

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Kristin Glassburn | @properties

The entire city of Indianapolis seems to be “bracing for impact,” Kristin Glassburn of @properties told Inman.

States located along the eclipse’s path of totality are indeed preparing for massive crowds, particularly after totality is complete, as masses of people who have trekked to see the rare event all attempt to leave around the same time. That means that anyone traveling through Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine may encounter inordinate amounts of traffic.

Some roads will be shut down to make room for portable toilets, rest stops will stay open later than usual and many areas have already preemptively declared states of emergency so that all hands can be on deck.

Glassburn happens to live about a mile outside of downtown Indianapolis, so she won’t have to worry about anything other than foot traffic to the rooftop deck where she’s hosting friends and clients with eclipse-themed snacks and beverages.

“There are quite a few restaurants and breweries that have a lot of specialty food and drinks happening during the entire day of the solar eclipse,” Glassburn said.

She also put together care packages for clients, complete with solar eclipse glasses as well as information about the eclipse itself and what’s happening in Indianapolis on the big day.

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Mark Zukerman | Encore Sotheby’s International Realty

About two months ago, an agent at Encore Sotheby’s International Realty approached CEO Mark Zukerman about the upcoming solar event, wanting to put together some kind of event to commemorate the big day.

“When my agent mentioned it to me, I didn’t understand the significance of it,” Zukerman told Inman. He had no idea that Indianapolis was directly in the path of totality for the upcoming eclipse.

But the firm owns a four-story office building in Carmel, a suburb north of the city. And the building has a “really cool rooftop garden,” so Zukerman went to work booking the space, which can hold around 100-150 people. Catered food and beverages, themed tablecloths and party ware and ISO-approved solar eclipse glasses will help round out the event.

Encore Sothebys office scaled

The rooftop from which Encore Sotheby’s International Realty agents, clients, friends and families will gather to view the solar eclipse on Monday | Courtesy of Encore Sotheby’s International Realty

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Roxann Taylor | Engel & Völkers

As of Wednesday, Zukerman said Indianapolis International Airport was already starting to see heavy inbound traffic when he returned to town himself after a trip. He and the office’s agents are continuing to remind everyone to arrive well before totality hits to avoid any unexpected traffic hiccups.

And, fortunately, the city’s forecast for Monday is currently in their favor: 70s and sunny.

“I’m excited about it,” Zukerman said. “I think it’s going to be fun and interesting to be part of — it’s really a once-in-a-lifetime thing.

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Rita Pettinaro | Keller Williams

“The big thing was, we just wanted to share it with our agents and their spheres and clients,” he added.

Roxann Taylor, who owns five Engel & Völkers shops in Dallas, is hosting viewing parties at four of her shops for staff, agents, clients and their spheres of influence. Bubbly, small bites, and prizes will all be part of the festivities.

Her offices are hosting jelly bean jar counting contests (individuals can submit their guess for number of jelly beans per jar with a $10 donation to the Special Olympics), and those who guess the closest to the correct number will receive some premium prizes, like Dallas Cowboys pre-season tickets — with parking.

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Angela Stewart | Howard Hanna

Over in Rochester, New York, Rita Pettinaro of Keller Williams has invited her sphere to meet in the town of Spencerport for drinks and snacks and is bringing a bunch of approved eclipse glasses for those who stop by.

Not everyone is clamoring to gather with the masses on Monday, however.

Angela Stewart with Howard Hanna, who operates in suburbs outside of Buffalo, said she won’t be going anywhere.

“I scheduled the day as a work-from-home day, just to keep things simple and safe,” Stewart told Inman in a text.

Email Lillian Dickerson

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