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When we were on our to a craft show recently I had an idea. Or maybe it was on the way home, not that it matters. As some of you know sometimes realtors will give a gift to someone that closes a deal with them. This happened to us....the realtor gave us a Scentsy warmer and a small pack of wax deals as a thank you/housewarming gift after we closed. She came by the house and gave it to us. It had a pineapple design on it. This was 3 years ago. (Pineapple is the symbol for "welcome".)

Anyway, I got to thinking about coming up with a design for coasters that I could offer real estate agents a monogram design I have that is popular. It would be the buyer's monogram of course. I have a sample attached showing the font. I also thought that a pineapple design might be appropriate.  BTW, this would be travertine coasters.

The monograms would be ordered as needed for each client. The pineapple design could be ordered in bulk. I thought that if an agent ordered the pineapple design in bulk (minimum would be say either 10 or 12) then they would get a price break. Normally I sell them for $24 retail. However if they ordered the pineapple in bulk I would sell them for say, about $16 or $18 each. (Sorry I don't have a pineapple design yet.)

The way I am thinking this is a way to offer a thank you or housewarming gift that has a personal touch, inexpensive in the whole scheme of things considering the cost of real estate, etc.

What do you think of marketing to this market? How would you approach the agents? Go to them individually? Go to the broker of the office first? Other method? Would you offer a price break on single set orders for the monogram, say $20 instead of the usual $24?

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I would suggest going to the ceo of the local board of Realtors

I am wondering the advantage of this when I already know realtors who are brokers and own their own business?  I know NO ONE at the local board of realtors.

One time when we bought a house the realtor gave us note cards with our house on the front.  I got more use out of those than the cut glass vase another realtor gave us after another house.  

I would go to the individual real estate firms' offices.  Find out if they have a weekly meeting  and explain what you want to do.  They may let you meet with all the realtors at the same time which would save you time.

Geri,

That is what I was thinking ... find out if they have a weekly (or whatever) sales meeting and pitch my product then.  That would mean getting with the lead broker, which I don't mind.  I thought I'd start with a couple of brokers I know personally and move on from there.

About my product, it is a functional craft and works with most decor.  I believe most agents will like one or the other.  However, I understand there will be some who already have something they love to do and won't respond favorably.

I wanted to update on this.  I talked to 2 brokers about my idea, both were receptive.  I have been to one broker's office to leave samples and brochures, listing prices and such.  Time will tell if I get any business on this.

The other broker .... she has not seen my work yet, due to the holidays. Now I need to get my samples to her and close the deal on her & her associates using my coasters as thank you gifts.

I will be contacting other brokers over the next few weeks to see if they want to use my coasters as well.

Good luck!

I like the idea, though I can't add anything to your plan of leveraging your personal contacts first, then getting the most bang for the buck presenting to as many as possible.  On my list of potential outlets is REALTOR STAGING.  Some spend thousands to stage an upscale house with furniture and decorations to avoid looking like a large empty box.  Seems like a viable Realtor related angle also.  Depending on the suitability of the artwork, you could always donate a custom piece tailored to the real estate office (maybe a functional mirror) that all the agents would see and remember you by.  Of course, you'd have to customize it to the degree that it wouldn't follow one of them home one day...

Oh, I meant to mention checking with your chamber of commerce (they often have monthly coffees for new businesses) or RLI (a local business-to-business referral network that meets regularly and swaps business leads/referrals between members, much as AFI members help each other out).  A good friend is active with her local RLI chapter and it strikes me as a great concept for any small, growing business looking for ways to expand.

Right now I am not working outside my chosen area, primarily tumbled travertine so a customized mirror is not gonna happen.  Besides IDK where they'd hang it.


I did go see my other broker/realtor friend.  Two people from her office were there and excited about what I showed them.  I left samples and plan to go back next week and as needed to meet with other agents.  They are in a temporary office right now so I definitely know the mirror thing will not work for them.  I got the idea they all are working out of a single office right now. It is a start up with Keller Williams.

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