This post explores a marketing tactic tweeted by the winner of Inman News’ latest #madREskillz contest. Tweet an innovative marketing tactic on Thursday and tag it with #madREskillz for a chance to become our next winner. 

Rob Feldman thought he could drum up leads by canvassing his community. But there was a problem: The bylaws of his homeowner association forbid solicitation.

So Feldman, an agent who lives in a Henderson, Nevada,  senior community, Sun City Anthem, decided to let his dog do the job for him.

Feldman has enlisted his Airedale terrier, Chloe, as a marketing vehicle, strutting her around in a vest full of business cards to reel in dog-loving leads.

“Everybody loves to come to a dog and say, ‘What a cute dog.’ And then when they see the vest they say, ‘How interesting,’ and then I give them my card and my flier,” Feldman said.

Feldman, who is building a “senior adult communities and lifestyles” team for Realty One Group, has the community’s local sewing club to thank for Chloe’s eye-catching accessory.

Its members happily acquiesced when he asked if they’d be willing to construct the vest, which features neck and torso straps, embroidering of Realty One Group’s logo and Chloe’s name, and a pocket for marketing materials.

Feldman uses the strategy to promote open houses, but also during strolls he takes as a Neighborhood Watch representative. “Since I have to walk my dog and have to get my exercise what better way than to walk my dog and promote my business?” he asked.

Local events, like the community’s “woof club” festival, are the best time to put Chloe and her adorable apparel on display, he said.

Feldman has only been an agent since January, and the contacts he’s made through walking Chloe haven’t resulted in any sales yet. But they’ve generated a lot of leads, he said.

dog vest

Chloe’s vest and Feldman’s marketing materials. Photo courtesy of Rob Feldman.

He believes the strategy could work well for other agents who specialize in senior communities, where bylaws often prohibit solicitation.

“My business niche in Las Vegas is the senior adult community, so I’m building a team that’s going to work these communities that probably have the same solicitation rules,” he said. “You never know, we may get more dogs and more vests.”

But might some residents find the whole thing a bit tacky?

“You gotta be creative in terms of how to connect with people,” he said. “If they don’t love dogs, I don’t push the dog in their face, and I don’t even hand them a flier.”

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