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
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!