Antonio & Alexia's Blog


Paying it Forward, How To Lead The Neighborhood Into The Holidays. A Shameless Self Promotion That Works

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?

Skeleton Biker in San Leandro, CA.

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."

The Santa Biker

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!


The Realtors In Motion       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: or call (510) 326-4263

                     Call us, We'll come and TANGO with you!

Comment balloon 18 commentsAntonio & Alexia Cardenas • November 27 2010 07:07PM


Clearly you should have been artists and not Realtors. You have a lot of talent for that and if that brings you business then thats a unique edge Ive never seen before.

Posted by Jeremy Gryvatz (RealWorks Residential Brokerage) almost 10 years ago

I loved seeing all of your different Halloween decorations. Very cool that you have the Santa-cyle now too!

Posted by Jenny Durling, For Los Angeles real estate help 213-215-4758 (L.A. Property Solutions) almost 10 years ago

That is a GREAT way to get the whole neighborhood out of their homes.  I often wonder why so many folks stay inside and don't come out and socialize. 

Posted by Jean Hanley, Specializing in Folks Who Want To Buy/Sell Homes (Coldwell Banker Kivett Teeters) almost 10 years ago

Most unique way of real estate marketing I've ever seen! Happy Holidays!

Posted by CANDY HOLLEY (Middle Tennessee) (KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY) almost 10 years ago

Great Ideas!  I bet you are the realtors that everyone in the neighborhood remembers when it's time to buy or sell!

Posted by Renee Marrs Caperton, Realtor - Corsicana Texas Real Estate (Marrs & Associates) almost 10 years ago

Jeremy, thanks, we are thinking about perhaps dubbing into a different business...

Jenny, having a display that can stay in front of the house for about 3+ months works great.

Jean, I agree with you, people do not celebrate holidays the way we did back then, if we stop decorating and celebrating, our children we grow up not knowing what a wonderful time of the year this is.

Candy, Yes, we are actually working the visitors to our house, we love the fact that the children make the parents come to us...

Renne, we have indeed put ourselves in the map already, 30,000 hits to the web site is an awesome number,

Thank you all for your visit,


Posted by Antonio & Alexia Cardenas, "The Realtors In Motion" (Alameda County - San Leandro, CA.) almost 10 years ago

Absolutely love his post Antonio!!! It has success written all over it!

Posted by Patty Da Silva, Davie, Southwest Ranches Cooper City, Plantation, Weston, REALTOR, Top Listing Broker (BROKER of Green Realty Properties® - 954-667-7253) almost 10 years ago

Thank you Patty, I appreciate your comment, the fact is... ANYONE can build this, in front of their home or office, it is made out of all recyclable materials, inexpensive, fun and is a magnet for children... and adults too! Thank you for your visit.


Posted by Antonio & Alexia Cardenas, "The Realtors In Motion" (Alameda County - San Leandro, CA.) almost 10 years ago

I suggested this one for a feature. Never wouldve thought of this idea. Nothing like bringing a community together. Great post.

Posted by Lanre-"THE REAL ESTATE FARMER" Folayan, I don't make promises.I deliver results.SOLD HOMES (Keller Williams Select Realtors-Buy a home in Washington DC. Sell a home in Washington DC) almost 10 years ago

Thank you Lanre, I really appreciate the suggestion for a feature. This is a fun project that reaches everybody at the right time. Thank you for your visit.


Posted by Antonio & Alexia Cardenas, "The Realtors In Motion" (Alameda County - San Leandro, CA.) almost 10 years ago

That is very creative and amusing!  When you mentioned "good vibes" at the end of your post, it brought to mind a book I recently read.  Have you read Law of Attraction by Michael J. Losier?  He talks a lot about vibes (positive and negative) and how the focus of our attention determines the results we get in anything in life.

Posted by Paul Franciskato (Asset Brokering Services) almost 10 years ago

Hi Paul, thanks for your visit, I have not read the book you mentioned, but I think is worth reading it. I do believe in the good vibes and bad vibes, you attract what you desire, as simple as that.


Posted by Antonio & Alexia Cardenas, "The Realtors In Motion" (Alameda County - San Leandro, CA.) almost 10 years ago

Antonio & Alexia, You have used your passion in ways that help others and create personal success. You willingness to put yourself out there … let everyone know who you are and what you do … inviting people to your home (so to speak) in such an open way speaks volumes about you. Your creative marketing ideas are as big as your hearts. Wishing you a blessed Christmas and a very successful and Happy New Year!

Posted by Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist, Probate Real Estate (KD Realty - 408.972.1822) almost 10 years ago

Yikes Kathleen, that is a very nice compliment, I might use your comment as a quotation somewhere, I sincerely appreciate your visit, and the way you lifted me today! What a way to begin the week! thanks to you. Have a great week!


Posted by Antonio & Alexia Cardenas, "The Realtors In Motion" (Alameda County - San Leandro, CA.) almost 10 years ago

Oh My ... I thought you were joking when you commented on my blog about "da tings" .... your all that!!!!!!!!!!   :)

Posted by Pippa Mac, The Woodlands TX Real Estate (Chevaux Group Realtor, The Woodlands and Spring) over 9 years ago

No dear Pippa, I was not joking, that is what we do, it is quite a project, but to make a 2 minute interview on TV and have our names plastered in all the local newspapers and also on the Internet is priceless! FREE advertising is one of my most favorite things... all year long.


Posted by Antonio & Alexia Cardenas, "The Realtors In Motion" (Alameda County - San Leandro, CA.) over 9 years ago

Antonio & Alexia- I love it! That is absolutely fantastic. Thanks for commenting on my hay bale post as well. Sounds like we are all thinking outside the box a little bit. Hope this paid off for you guys. And to get it on the television as well!?!

Posted by Margie Kopp Sorrell, Lake Oconee Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Lake Oconee Realty and Lake Country) over 9 years ago
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