As longtime readers, or people in my marketplace might know, I previously drove a Dark Blue Passat Stationwagen (diesel). I had my brokerage (and symbol - "rock" and then "hot air balloon"), my website and my office phone number in white vinyl lettering on the side and rear windows of this car.
It has been the most effective (and cost-effective) single piece of marketing I have attempted. The signage on my Passat, as simple as it is, has resulted in three listings and numerous inquiries, and only comes with a small price... any and everyone knows who is driving my car.
I can remember driving home from a vacation in the U.S. on Q.E.W. heading to Toronto when Alec asked for a drink. Helen passed him a carton of milk and asked for it back when he was finished drinking. Unknown to us, he had not emptied the carton and cold milk spilled on my arm and leg. The surprise caused me to swerve on this six lane highway (we were between Burlington and Oakville), I corrected my driving and continued on our way home. About five minutes later I received a page from another driver informing my office about my driving (leaving no name of number). I resisted the urge to question how they called my office, but this impressed on Helen just how "accountable" I am at all times when in this car.
In early May, Helen and I decided to trade cars. Helen drives much further than I do, and the Passat gets much better mileage than her Kia Soul does. Helen has told me that she has had people ask her about Real Estate while filling up fuel, while in a parking lot at Walmart... She informs them that she is not a Realtor, and gives them my card, letting them know that I am a neighbourhood professional.
Now, I would have not chosen the car that Helen did, but I was not about to trade it in... I started to think about some kind of signage for the Soul, but never seemed to find the time to act. I waited much too long for the company that did the work on my Passat. After almost a month without a reply to my original request and a follow-up phone message, I decided to look elsewhere.
I searched Brampton, Newmarket and Barrie and came up with a short list of about six websites that interested me. I took one morning and started in Brampton, went to Newmarket and ended up in Barrie (I had to drop off material in Brampton and had a meeting in Barrie late in the day so there was not much wasted travel time or mileage).
I had a two people give me rough quotes and tell me that they could have artwork to me in a few days and have the job done inside of two weeks.
Then I drove to mariodesign.ca, located on Bryne Dr. in the south end of Barrie.
I waited for Mario in a lobby (with wi-fi) and watched streaming pictures of various examples of their work. I found Mario to be very pleasant and professional. He sat be at his desk, pulled up a 3D rendering of my car, coloured it to match, and proceeded to flesh out my ideas. He then proceeded to suggest some different ideas and showed me what they would look like. We changed colouring and within the hour had the project mapped out. I found his pricing to be very easily understood, he prepared an invoice in a Bill of Material format, with a charge for design, material and labour. It was so reasonable that I asked what the premium would be for reflective material and chose that.
What really impressed me was when he told me he could schedule the install in two days (he had an opening in the morning). I agreed and though missing a component (a QR Code to an introductory video message which will be added at a later date) had my signage installed.
I have leveraged the marketing of my brokerage, choosing not to try and "brand" myself like some marketing gurus suggest. The "SOLD" sign and the phrase "The sign you want, The Agent you need!" is part of a RE/MAX advertising campaign. I will add a large QR code to the right rear and both rear side panels that will link to a casual introductory video.
Honestly, it is a little "brighter" and a little "louder" than I had intended, but with Helen's "Lava" Soul, I think it works. What do you think? Do you or would you consider this type of marketing?
Chris Smith CSSBB
Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage