If you take 100 real estate agents and look at their marketing plans, 99 seem to be cut from the same cloth. It’s that unique one who stands out from the rest. I took a look around the country, and these three agents caught my eye with their out-of-the-box marketing ideas.

The Cape House Martini

Katie Ahern Clancy

I started on the East Coast with Katie Ahern Clancy, who dubs herself the “Chief House Hawker,” and manages The Cape House at William Raveis RE in Massachusetts.

She has a variety of marketing differentiation ideas she uses such as a monthly dog walk or Townie Starter Pack for owners who are new to the area — but having a drink named after her team in her local bar is a favorite marketing strategy of mine.

The story of The Cape House Martini is a fun one.

“We started going into the bar next to our office after work every time we had a closing to celebrate,” Ahern Clancy said. “And we started going quite a bit, a few times a week.”

On one such trip, it was decided they should try making up their own drink.

“It turned out to be really good, so good actually, that the place decided to put it on the menu,” Ahern Clancy said. “So, we thought up a great opportunity. We named it after us and offered to donate $5 to a local land trust every time someone ordered and posted a picture of it on social media, tagging us.”

The namesake martini has become the second-most-ordered drink from the bar and continues to do social good, all while reminding the community of Ahern Clancy and her Cape House brand.

‘The Suit’

Danny Dietl

Moving west across the country to the Twin Cities of Minnesota, I ran into Danny Dietl of BRIX Real Estate. BRIX is doing so many things that would be dubbed innovative and outside-the-box, it was hard to choose just one, but their short video series is clearly at the top of the list.

“Our intention with this project was to highlight some neighborhoods,” Dietl said. “We wanted to show some of the local businesses in a unique and fun way without being ‘in your face’ marketing.”

Dietl and BRIX produced three short videos doing just that. My favorite is titled “The Suit” below.

“We went to videographers and told them to make something fun,” said Dietl. “We wanted to give them creative freedom. There was only one rule. To shoot everything locally. Local actors. Local neighborhoods. Local businesses. Everything local.”

When asked about the response, Dietl had this to say. “It’s been great. We’ve had so many people reach out letting us know how much fun it was to see their neighborhoods and the stores they shop in.”

I asked Dietl if he would be making any more videos anytime soon.

“Well, this year the budget went to make the three videos,” he said. “Next year, we are going to use that budget to host a film festival that will allow local artists a platform to show their work. And the rule will be the same. Everything local.”

For Dietl and BRIX, helping the community and giving extra exposure to local businesses has been a midwest success story.

Industry interviews

As I continued west, my final stop was in Northern California, the headquarters of Andrew Flachner and RealScout.

Andrew Flachner

Flachner has used the power of video interviews to help promote the company.

“We’ve always viewed RealScout as a vehicle to empower brokers and agents, so when we were given the opportunity to conduct the first live interview with the newly appointed NAR Chief Bob Goldberg, it was a natural way for us to channel questions and concerns directly from the industry to those who are influencing policy,” Flachner said.

“Following the first interview,” he said, “we received countless questions about other ‘play-makers’ in the space, who were gracious enough to sit down with me and answer tough questions that are core to our customers’ businesses.”

When I asked him about the ROI, he replied, “Since we set out on this project from a position of representing the industry, we didn’t measure return on investment from a new business prospective. That said, I think it does naturally help build our brand and trust, which is a win-win for the company and hopefully the industry too.”

Do you see a common thread between these three? By offering service and assistance to their communities, they are becoming incredibly valuable. Maybe that’s not so outside of the box after all.

Dan Smith is an authorspeaker, strategist and team leader in Mission Viejo, California. Follow him on Facebook.

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