Back in 2007, when our real estate market started going... nowhere. My wife and I went to a movie called Pirates of The Caribbean. As the movie ended, she turns to me and says, wouldn't it be nice if we make our house look like a Pirate Ship for Halloween? I looked at her in disbelief and started to say "...are you craz..." I changed my thought mid sentence and ended with: You know, that is a great idea, In our ballroom at home, we started building a 40' Pirate Ship.
The very first Saturday of October, we took the pieces outside and started putting it together in our front lawn, in the beautiful Estudillo Estates neighborhood in San Leandro, CA. What we discovered was that people started to come by to look at the unusual display. Working on the Pirate Ship outside our house, we started talking to more people than we were at an Open House on Sunday afternoons. We were not shy about telling them that we were Realtors, a virtual tour of the making of the the Pirate Ship was posted in our web site, we started seeing the numbers to our site go up. The increase traffic generated 2 listings and 4 buyers leads.
From then on, we have made the Holidays our best advertising campaign ever, one that pays it forward, our earth friendly, recyclables, reusable, larger-than-life sculptures in front of our house for Halloween and Christmas lead our neighborhood into the holiday celebrations, it offers the local children a place to go and by selling these pieces of art and donating the proceeds to local charities, we make the famous win-win mantra from real estate a true reality benefiting a lot of people, including our present client sellers.
Here is our 2010 Skeleton Biker, made of paper mache, chicken wire, burlap, conduit pipe and saw dust. We attracted the attention of the local media, a reporter from a major local newspaper come to interview us, we also granted interviews to a TV station, our web site registered over 32,000 hits on the month of October only. That is over a 1,000 hits per day! About a hit per minute! How much could I pay for that?
The plan was to ride this wave from October until January, so we transformed our Skeleton Biker into a Santa Rider, with just a few key strokes, we are now celebrating Christmas. Santa is really coming to town! And the best part is that we receive emails from the neighbors telling us how we altered their routines, as one woman put it: "... it used to be: our house to school, school to our house, now it has changed into: Our house, to YOUR house to School, and then from School, to YOUR house, to our house."
From the advertising point of view, it has been a success story, Nothing beats having children bring their parents to OUR house. We give away colorful teddy bears to them and 2011 calendars to the adults, we hung a flier box in our fence and have an over sized postcard with a color picture of the display and greetings from us as Realtors. In the past we have built a Hearse with a Riper, and a Haunted Castle. We are already thinking about what to built next year. (All ideas are welcome)
The keys to making this advertising campaing work, comes down to: A) To have a genuine desire to help the neighborhood look festive, and B) To use all recycable materials, and to show how to built the sculpture via an educational virtual tour. The rest and best will come later. Give first... give second, and if you have done it right all those good vibes should come back to you. Happy Holidays!
Antonio & Alexia Cardenas
"The Realtors In Motion"
CRS, GRI, E-Pro Certified. SFR (Short Sales, Forclosure Resource) Serving the east shores of the San Francisco Bay, Alameda county: specially the following cities: Castro Valley, San Leandro, San Lorenzo, Hayward, Oakland, Pleasanton & Dublin.
Visit us on line at:
www.listedbyantonio.com or call (510) 326-4263
Call us, We'll come and TANGO with you!