I have a story to tell you. I was chatting with Andrew Shotland today and shared this with him, and realized it belongs here on SBS, too.
First, the background
About a month ago, Andrew wrote a post about Freecycle, a network of local mailing lists where people essentially give away their unwanted junk to others on the list who need/want it. You know, one man’s junk is another man’s treasure — that kind of thing. It’s cool. And it’s a way to get exposure in front of a local audience.
In the comments of Andrew’s post, I mentioned that I had been bugging my real estate agent wife (Cari) to use Freecycle to get rid of some of our stuff and put her name “out there.”
Now, the story
We had a couple dozen old VHS tapes that our kids have outgrown — Blue’s Clues, Teletubbies, and so forth. So we put them in a box and I suggested that Cari send out the email letting the local Freecycle group know that these were available.
I said, “Make sure you use your real estate email address, and make sure your email signature with a link to your web site is included.” I also suggested she tell the list that they could pick up the tapes here at the house, since I work from home now.
She had a better idea: “Why don’t I tell them they have to pick up the tapes at my office?”
Brilliant! (Smart and beautiful!)
So she sends out the email … kids tapes available, free to whomever wants them, blah-blah, pick them up at the Windermere Real Estate office in Richland … and, of course, another mom with little kids claims them right away.
The mom arrives at the real estate office the next day to get the tapes. She’s so happy to get the tapes, her kids will love them, blah-blah-blah … and this:
Mom: “Are you a realtor?”
Cari: “I am, yes.”
Mom: “So you help people buy and sell houses?”
Cari: “Yes, I do.”
Mom: “Well, we’re going to need a realtor soon. Can I have your business card?”
Suh-weet!!!!! Online marketing in stealth mode: It’s a beautiful thing.