Antonio & Alexia's Blog


How to sell Real Estate right out of your front door... at home! Using a Halloween Prop. It works!

About a year ago we built a Pirate Ship for Halloween in front of our house, we had lots of free time in the summer of 2007 since the real estate market was not going anywhere. We track the traffic in our website regularly, in June '07 we had 5,000 hits, 4,000 in July, August & September between 4,000 and 3,000. dismal numbers to say the least and going down daily. Most of these are simply local market statistics, but very important for us.

We had this idea of building a Pirate Ship in front of the house for Halloween, the project took a life of its own, and almost got out of hand. We built it by pieces inside the ballroom in our house. On October 1st. we took the pieces out to the front yard. As we started building the ship, we had people stopping by and asking about where we found the drawings or plans to built it. As we discussed the ship, we managed to ask about their real estate ideas, plans and the like, specially since we work our neighborhood and all of our listings are within blocks of our house. We had been taking photos of every step of the building of the prop, so we hung up a sign that said: "How did we build this ship? See a virtual tour at: The numbers on the website went through the roof! we had 18,750 hits in October. We started giving out postcards of our website right in front of the house.

On Halloween Night we had over 2,000 visitors to our house! We tracked the numbers by the number of postcard we gave out to the adults while the children had their candy. We did put our house and home office on the neighborhood map and noticed that the children brought their parents almost nightly to our house. We just happened to be there fixing a few things around the ship. An inexpensive self promotion.

The local newspaper received a picture of the Pirate Ship and printed it. We still don't know who sent it ;-) As one good turn deserves another, we had to come with something similar for this year. We are finding out that people are coming around expecting to see something new, others wanted to see if we had the same ship again. This is what we did this year: A Horse Drawn Hearse

A Horse Drawn Hearse

So far we are having the same results this year. People appreciate the work we are doing for the neighborhood and the children love the experience. As our real estate market is still on the slow side, we keep asking people to help us by putting a good word for us if and when they know of anyone thinking about buying or selling a piece of real property. Shameless self Promotions? You bet! Desperate times? you bet! Cost effective advertising? you bet! Our clients whose houses we have for sale benefit by having more people go on line and take a virtual tour of their house.

We also combine our ballroom dancing with our real estate business. At the end of each visual tour we have a picture of us in ballroom competition costumes. Most ladies like seen my wife's ballroom gowns, so they see every tour shown on the web site. Win-Win for everybody. sounds familiar? The virtual tour of the Horse Drawn Hearse simply teaches anyone how to do a Halloween Prop like this one. Want to give it a try? If you do, send us pictures please!


Antonio & Alexia Cardenas, "The Realtors In Motion" San Leandro, Ca. Serving the San Francisco bay area counties of Alameda and Contra Costa. We love Referrals. We are ready to TANGO with you!

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 12 commentsAntonio & Alexia Cardenas • October 23 2008 12:38AM


Interesting strategy and interesting about showing the two of you dancing on all the videos -- smart move.

Posted by Bob & Carolin Benjamin, East Phoenix Arizona Homes (Benjamin Realty LLC) over 11 years ago

It sounds like it is certainly bringing visitors to your site. I hope that it will help both you and your clients.

Posted by Christine Donovan, Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M (Donovan Blatt Realty) over 11 years ago

That is a great herse. You two seem like fun people. That is a large number of people coming to your home. Self promotion at its finest (fun)

Posted by Michelle Roethle, Your NorthWest "Real Estate Solution" (Windermere Peninsula Properties) over 11 years ago

That is amazing.  I give you a lot of credit for promoting yourself in such a creative way.

Posted by Carol Swain, Realtor, Bucks County, Pa (Keller Williams Real Estate) over 11 years ago

When I was selling, every year I would have a local farmer dump a truck load of pumpkins on my front lawn.  I had a free sign and served apple cider and doughnuts.  Amazing how much business I picked up!

Posted by Kathy Fey (Fey & Associates) over 11 years ago

Wow, great idea!!!! On my way to your virtual tour now!

Posted by Terri Favata, Associate Broker, Kent & Sussex County Delaware (Keller Williams Realty ) over 11 years ago

Bob & Carolin, Thank you, apart from being good for business is also a lot of fun.

Christine, thanks for your wishes.

Michelle, The hearse does more for us than Sunday Open Houses, it brings more people, a lot more

Carol, Thank you, I am already thinking about what to do next year, we also have a Santa for Christmas, we already used it last year. That might be the subject of another post.

Kathy, I am glad you did that, I now know someone out there knows how profitable this personal approach is. We are not shy about asking people to help us by telling their friends about us being Realtors, and to remember us of course.

Terri, thank you for visiting the virtual tours, please pass it around.

Posted by Antonio & Alexia Cardenas, "The Realtors In Motion" (Alameda County - San Leandro, CA.) over 11 years ago

This is absolutely a wonderful thing to do. I wish I lived near so I could visit it. My husband used to do Haunted Houses here at our home and at the school. We had a lot of people to show up as well and ask if we were going to do it the next year.  He did it for several years.  It is fun to be able to put smiles on the face of kids.  

Posted by Laura Watts (Positive Properties, LLC) over 11 years ago

you have a ballroom in your house? You sound like some very interesting Realtors. I love the carriage.

Posted by Sharon Harris, Realtor (Keller Williams Keystone Realty) over 11 years ago

Laura, I agree with you it is about the smiles on the kids, and for us also about meeting new people, this is just our second year, and so far the response has been very positive.

Sharon, yes, we have a 900 sqft ballroom inside the house and we dance everyday from 7:00 to 8:30 AM before "going" to work... at the home office in the garden.

Posted by Antonio & Alexia Cardenas, "The Realtors In Motion" (Alameda County - San Leandro, CA.) over 11 years ago

Hay Caramba...I missed the invitation to your Halloween extravaganza.  You should be on Dancing with the Stars.  Que pasa Compadre?  Can you please sell my 18 units in Hayward?  I need a Pro on the job.  Ayuda por favor!


Posted by Rick Rodriguez, Broker, Property Manager (J. Rockcliff Realtors) over 11 years ago
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Posted by izjhgl about 8 years ago