That was the title of the email I sent out to realtors a few years back. Why am I telling you this? Because it really happened, and it got me a whole bucket full of closed loans. Want to know how a violent bird attack on my person resulted in closed loans? Here’s how it happened:
I was headed to the office around noon, and it was a beautiful day out. So I decided, what the heck, I’ll put the convertible top down. I smiled as my favorite song started playing through the speakers, the top was down, I leaned my arm on the door sill and thought about how perfect of a day this was.
That’s when I saw it… This small bird was sitting on top of the traffic light seeming to monitor all the cars approaching this 4 way street crossing. I pulled up to stop for the red light. As this fluffy little bird with skinny legs turns to look in my direction, he leaps up and starts flying in an erratic pattern toward my car. No biggie right? WRONG! Boy was I about to pay for this assumption!
I was puzzled that he was now only about 30 – 40 feet from my car and was swooping lower and lower as he approached me head on – Almost like a crazy game of “chicken” – never mind the fact that he was moving, and I wasn’t.
Twenty feet, 15, 10, 5 and “swoosh” he zips by the top of my car at full speed near enough for me to have reached out and brushed him with my fingertips had I wanted to. I figured that he was either suffering from some bizarre bird-hangover or he was just making his point that he wasn’t intimidated by me and my 2,900 pound hunk of metal. Bold bird huh?
But he wasn’t finished… No not by a long shot! I turned my head forward again to watch for the light to turn. 3 seconds later I’m being assaulted from behind by this crazy Sparrow from hell! (Actually I’m pretty certain it was a mockingbird) He is hovering in the air about 5 feet from my head screeching like some sort of banshee and zipping down in mock dives!
Perhaps he thought I was encroaching on his territory, or maybe he just didn’t appreciate the music I had chosen to listen to on such a beautiful day instead of listening to him sing… I will never know. But just as quickly as he appeared, screeched, and dive bombed, he zipped away again. I craned my neck to see where he went, and just as I thought I caught a glimpse of this feathery devil, I felt a rain drop on my forehead.
No big deal, it’s just rai…. Wait a minute. What the heck? Why is this “rain drop” milky white and dripping down my…. OH NO HE DIDN’T! Apparently this was the parting shot from this bold little bird. If he couldn’t chase me away, he was going to show his disdain for me and my bright yellow car the best way he knew how! Sick…And I never carry napkins in my car either…
So what do you think? Interesting story right? It really happened, and yes, I ended up using my tie as a make-shift napkin that day. Better than driving around with bird droppings on your forehead! So how did this email get me 3 loans in about 2 hours?
At the time of this happening, I was quite active on My Space and with a real estate specific blog. I rushed back to the office after what we from this point forward shall refer to as “the incident” partly to blog about this, and partly because I had a sudden urge to dump my tingling head into a 100 gallon bucket of water and soap!
So I get back to the office, and I posted the blog exactly as you see the story recounted above. I posted onto MySpace, posted onto a few other select social networks, and then I wrote a short recap and emailed it to my realtor prospects within my auto responder. (This is a list of about 200 – 210 top producing realtors that had double opted in to my email newsletter)
I sent the email out, linked back to the blog post for the “expanded” story, and placed a quick “oh by the way” note at the end of the email. The results? Normally my emails get opened at a rate of about 40 – 45%. This email showed more than 70% had opened within 1 hour of sending the email.
My blog, MySpace page, and others had more than double the number of comments normally received, and my “oh by the way link” had showed more than 27 clicks in that same hour. What was my “oh by the way?” This was a link to a short 4 page email marketing guide I had customized for the real estate industry. Nothing more than a collection of marketing suggestions, ideas, creativity boosters, etc.
By the next morning, I had plenty of emails from agents laughing at the story, inviting me to lunch, and thanking me for the guide.
3 of the agents ended up in a conversation with me on the phone, and I landed a total of 3 loans referred within a 24 hour period… So the lesson of this story? If you want to get 3 loans in 24 hours, you need to get bird poop on your head… Ooops, wrong moral… Sorry about that.
The true moral is that standing out from the crowd, even in a seemingly unrelated fashion can get you noticed. I wasn’t suddenly a better loan officer for having been attacked by hell-bird. Not at all. But I had a funny enough experience to make the right agents laugh, notice my link, and in turn notice me. I’d been there emailing those agents for months up to that point.
It took a bird crapping on my head story to get their attention, but once I did, I closed plenty of loans because of it. 1 of the agents that referred me a loan that day became a regular, and we went on to do plenty of business together.
This is the power of networking, whether it be in person, or online. The MySpace page, my blog, my email list. All of these tools served as my distribution channel and helped to spread the word of my ordeal, and the email marketing article. Whether you have a funny story to tell, or a useful article to share, you need to expand your reach. Be friendly, be helpful, be consistent. Now have a great weekend and watch out for those angry birds!
CW – Loan Officer Marketing Lab