Antonio & Alexia's Blog

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The Quick's & Slows of Dancing with Home Buyers

By giving free dance lessons at their house in the middle of the week, these Realtors are looking for business to the tune of the cha-cha-cha and even tangoing with their potential home buyers.

A few minutes before 7 PM the door bell rings, a voice comes through the video monitor and shouts "I'll be right there..." as the 2 visitors wait for the door to open they are joined by another couple that just arrived, then another, and another, some with children in tow, they all have made a commitment to be there every week exactly a 7:00 PM.  As the group greets each other the door opens and the sound of music can be heard, hugs and kisses greet the visitors, someone brings a case of water but most bring a pair of extra shoes. The music playing in the background and the colorful Christmas strings of lights give the ambiance a party atmosphere, even though it is a late Wednesday evening at the beginning of February 2009.

As  the guests arrive, the hosts instruct everybody to start warming up and stretching, class is about to begin, about 16 couples fill the 900+ square feet ballroom inside the house. The Pergo floors, mirrored walls and surround sound system with a computerized DJ transform this house into a dance studio, this is the private ballroom at the residence of Realtors Antonio & Alexia Cardenas in the Estudillo Estates neighborhood in San Leandro, California.

After everybody has signed the register, the group gets serious about the task at hand; they are learning how to dance. In the middle of the week, after work, they know that they only have 5 free dance classes and they want to learn as much as they can.  The hosts give a demonstration of what the class will be about and then begin to explain every step. "Ladies behind Alexia, gentleman behind me", calls Antonio, one-two-three... four-five-six. Soon the group gets into the class paying attention to every detail.

These instructors are very well known around town for being "The Realtors In Motion" and ballroom dance competitors, they have incorporated their love for dance with their work as Realtors. Their over 200 free ballroom dance demonstrations performed around town have given them status of Stars.  In the past when asked if they gave classes, they always said no. Their business after all is and has been for the last 24 years exclusively selling real estate, dancing was simply a hobby, a serious hobby nevertheless because they are active amateur dance competitors. Dancing gets them up every day of the week at 6:30 AM to practice, half an hour of stretching and then dancing from 7 to 8:30 AM Monday through Friday. They work mostly out of their home office.

Dancing is now more important than ever before. It all started when they realized that the real estate activity during their Sunday Open Houses had come to a complete stop. Sometimes in a period of 4 hours they'll be lucky to get 2 or 3 people. The newspaper advertising, the bus benches with their names and phone number on them plus several open listings around the neighborhood with for sale signs have not made the phone ring as often as it used to.  Something needed to change.  Dancing had to become a vehicle to sell real estate.

This is an up-close and personal approach unlike any other, the idea of holding the home buyer in their arms for a few minutes right after they meet him/her for the first time sounded very interesting to say the least.  One of the ideas they had during a brain storming session was: If people do not come to the Open Houses on Sundays, let's bring them to our home during the week and teach them the Salsa, The Cha-cha-cha, even the Tango, the Night Club 2 Step and the Waltz. The local hair salon that Antonio visits regularly was the perfect place to start. He asked his hairdresser to put together a group of friends that will make a commitment to come learn how to dance for 5 Wednesdays in a row in the privacy of his private ballroom  at home. He asked her to invite some of her clients too.

In order to be as transparent as possible, the first night they met their students they explain why they were giving these free classes, they not only asked for their help in finding people who wanted to buy or sell real estate but also asked everyone what they did, and by doing that encouraged everybody in the room to do some networking during these meetings, after all "We all need each other, we are always someone else's consumer or client no matter where we go or what we do, we all need help at this time, no matter what type of business we are in" Alexia explained. Conveniently they invited a local loan officer and her husband to join in and she was prominently introduced to the group.

The dancing classes are over now, and a "Ggraduation Party" has been scheduled for the following Sunday afternoon.  The group is bringing their friends and relatives (with especial invitations on those who want to buy or sell a house) along with food and drinks, they are expected to show their newly acquired dancing skills to them. Before they leave, they will be given appointment calendars (with pictures of dancers of course), teddy bears with a bow that has Antonio & Alexia's phone # on it plus a few of their business cards. This group will be invited a couple of months down the road to take yet another set of 5 different classes. But for now they must practice at home... because there is a new group of beginners that is set to start the very next Wednesday night for another 5 weeks of dancing, and they too will have their own graduation party. These Realtors plan on dancing for as long as they can to increase their network of potential clients.

There is a proviso however: You will get access to these classes every single week and with every group if you help find a home buyer for them. What's the Grand Prize? Front Row Seats for 4 people to watch Antonio & Alexia in full flight at their next ballroom Dance Competition in San Francisco. The Cardenas seem to have found a new way to dance the Real Estate tunes in these trying times. 

Antonio & Alexia Cardenas, "The Realtors In Motion" can be reached at (510) 326-4263 www.ListedbyAntonio.com Serving the County of Alameda in the heart of the San Francisco bay area, especially the cities of Castro Valley, San Leandro, San Lorenzo, Hayward, Oakland, Pleasanton & Dublin

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:

www.listedbyantonio.com or call (510) 326-4263

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

Comment balloon 19 commentsAntonio & Alexia Cardenas • February 07 2009 04:44PM

Comments

That is a great idea.  But I can't dance.  Maybe I will have my wife give cooking lessons.

Posted by Russ Ravary ~ Metro Detroit Realtor call (248) 310-6239, Michigan homes for sale ~ yesmyrealtor@gmail.com (Real Estate One) over 10 years ago

This is such an original and creative way network, get in some exercise, and do some personal marketing. Great story.

Posted by Wayne Johnson, San Antonio REALTOR, San Antonio Homes For Sale (Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper REALTORS®) over 10 years ago

Talk about unique marketing.  Fantastic.  This is a first for me.  We all have niches, but this is the most unique I've ever seen.

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 10 years ago

How FUN! Business is always good when you can be passionate about what you do.

Posted by Susan Hilton, Texas Aggie Real Estate, College Station Bryan Texas Real Estate (CENTURY 21 Beal, Inc.) over 10 years ago
I've always wanted to take up dancing and to be much more skilled than the clumsy embarassed sort that I am today when I get out on the dance floor. Wow, and to have it as one of your maketing tools to boot, how unique and amazing. Good for you; make sure to keep posting some of your pictures..
Posted by Vickie Slade, Service You Can Trust ~ Someone You Can Depend On (Colorado Landmark, Realtors) over 10 years ago

Russ, Everybody can dance, and you know what? the idea of your wife giving cooking lessons is NOT as far fetched as you think... give it a serious thought.

Wayne, Thank you for your kind words, yes, it does have the exercise combined with the marketing and socializing even if nobody buys anything, we still will meet people that otherwise we will not have met.

Lenn, You are write about all of us having niches... Find the one you are comfortable and go for it! You won't believe how many people can use YOUR expertise outside or real estate.

Susan. It is true, we are having a ball! tomorrow is the graduation party. We are eager to see how many people will show up and we are ready to network hard.

Vickie, Thank you, DO THIS ONE FOR MEGoogle "ballroom dancing" in your town, go to their web site and find out when and at what time they give lessons for beginers and SIGN UP! Call me in a few weeks and tell me that you are no longer "clumsy" or embarrased. Besides, who knows... YOU MIGHT FIND A HOME BUYER on the dance floor!

Antonio

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

I love dancing part, ballroom dancing is fablous, have a great weekend.

Posted by Lynn911.com ~ Dallas Real Estate Agent Top Team (Dallas Houses for Rent Dallas Apartment Rentals Lynn911.com ) over 10 years ago

Ahhh - you two are so Creative! Entertaining! Skilled in Your Art & Skilled in your Marketing - - Kudos Kudos! I hope you will be dancing to the bank with deposits! 

By the way - are you still putting your dog to work like in the last post I read from many months ago?

Posted by Diane Kawell (Windermere Real Estate / West Campus) over 10 years ago

Lynn, Thank you for your comment, we are having fun

Diane, thanks for the kudos, we also hope that we will soon be dancing to the bank... and by the way, yes, our dog still has a job at the office.

Antonio

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

Antonio - I am happy to see you are using your dancing analogy to Real Estate. I may be skillful in BallRoom dancing but I use the dancing analogy often in Real Estate. I look forward in seeing you in the comments!

Posted by Eileen Hsu, LICENSED REAL ESTATE SALESPERSON (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Antonio

I loved this idea. Funny, I saw your blog on Trulia, and just had to tell you how clever your marketing is, and how I wish I could join in the fun, except that I'm also a Realtor and you may not want us around.

Imagine my surprise, and EXTREME DELIGHT, that you invited us to come, too.

WOW! Very magnanimous of you. And I am so thrilled I live close enough that I can come. My two-left footed partner and I will be there with bells on.

THANKS!

Posted by Pacita Dimacali, Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA (Alain Pinel) over 10 years ago

Pacita, these trying times are more for working together and helping each other and sharing ideas with our fellow Realtors who are experiencing the same slow market. This idea of dancing helps relief stress and that is a benefit that cannot be denied to anyone. We shall see you in our class on Wednesday.

Antonio

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

 

Great Aproach.. The market has changed and so has the way you are thinking. That is the key to being succesful. Thank you for sharing.

Posted by Jose Santos (Casa Latino A.T.) over 10 years ago

You two have once again proven that you are a man and woman of many talents!  It is always nice to be shown that there are so many enjoyable things one can do.  Life is never boring, in fact, life is good!  Thanks for sharing!!!!

 

Posted by Betty & Terry over 10 years ago

Casa Latino. Yes, indeed things have changed and we must look for ways to maximize what we already have and keeping costs down in order to survive.

Betty & Terry, You are welcome! we think that by sharing our stories other people might look into themselves and find a way to unlock something special they might have that could help in these trying times, and still have a smile to share.

Antonio

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

Antonio and Alexia

I had a lot of fun last night. Thanks again for letting me come to your class. I blogged about you and the experience, on DANCING FOR DOLLARS...a creative way to grow a network of referrals

Thanks!

Posted by Pacita Dimacali, Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA (Alain Pinel) over 10 years ago

Thank you Pacita, You seem to be a Natural for dancing, keep on doing it! Gary was having fun, and the more you guys practice the more you will enjoy it. This gift of teaching how to dance will go a long way, far better than anything we could have given them. Our students will never forget where they learned for the first time how to dance. Remember: One-Two- Cha-cha-cha

Antonio

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

Now that is a totally awesome and unique idea!  If only I could dance, LOL! 

Posted by Vickie McCartney, Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY (Maverick Realty) over 10 years ago

Another idea of doing what you love and the  money will come.  good for you... very clever.

Posted by Sally Dunbar, Fair Oaks Realtor - Fair Oaks Homes for Sale (Lyon Real Estate, Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento Area)) over 10 years ago

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