Here’s Your Trash Can


I’ve always found that our agent members enjoy some of my “marketing from the trenches” stories that I’ve accumulated over the years. One of those lessons came from an expired homeowner that I REALLY wanted to list years ago. It was a luxury priced home and a very affluent homeowner that most people in town would recognize by name. The bad part about this story is that after 3 attempted phone calls and 4 different mailings, he never responded to me.

I then decided the big issue here was that I hadn’t gotten his attention. I can’t get him to call me if I can’t secure his undivided attention and that’s sometimes very difficult to do when dealing with busy business owners.

While sitting there contemplating my next move (of course I treat this like a game of chess) I figured he threw my last 4 mailings in the trash can. So off to the hardware store I went to buy a huge gray 32 gallon Rubbermaid trash can. It had an attached lid and this thing was a monster. I then wrote a letter that started with “James, you’ve thrown my last 4 letters in the trash so I’ve helped you out by throwing this one away in advance”. The 3 page letter was crumpled up in a ball, dropped in that big can and shipping label placed on top of the lid. I paid a courier to drop it off on his front porch. And I waited. 7:15pm, the phone rang.

“High Mr. Luther, this is James and I got your trash can here. I must say, that’s a pretty creative way of getting my attention so I figured I at least owed you a phone call.” I listed the home the next evening. He paid me 6.25%. I couldn’t help but ask as we finished up the paperwork… “So James, will you guys be able to use that big trash can?”….. He said no and wanted to know if I’d go ahead and take it with me because it’s in his way inside the garage. “Sure… I’ll use it again on another house tomorrow.”

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