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Real estate-related gun show display. Need opinions.

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Brad Johnson, Sep 12, 2007.

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  1. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Member

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    We have a gun show here this weekend and I am going to set up a table. I won't be trading guns or anything, but selling my services. Yes, I am will be one of those "non-gun" tables we all gripe about so much. But wait, there's more...

    My table will be pretty simple - me, some cards, and two standing placards that read:

    "Buy or sell a home through me and I will donate 5% of my paycheck to the Gun Rights group of your choice."

    Obviously I am using it to drum up business, but want to couple it with my desire to support the gun-rights community in any way I can. I need opinions from the other side of the table. Too cheesy? Too blatantly "non-gun" to be effective at a gun show? Too 'anything' that I'm missing?

    Thanks in advance!
    Brad
     
  2. ilbob

    ilbob Member

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    Hopefully, no one is stupid enough to select any kind of professional solely on the basis of his/her support for the 2A.

    I would lose the idea of giving away a part of your commission. it sounds like some kind of scam.

    Get yourself some professionally produced and printed 4 color flyers to hand out detailing why they should pick you over the other million RE agents in town. And none of it has anything to do with guns at all.

    Just being there gives you enough of an edge with gun owners that if they feel your services are worthy, they may well select you from the other credible candidates because you were at the show.

    Put up pictures of homes you recently sold, along with the happy clients' testimonials (preferable handwritten).

    If you specialize in rural areas, that might be an in with gun owners since they may wish to buy a place they can shoot or hunt on. OTOH, that may create a very small perceived niche for you.

    Put up one of your for sale and open house signs at your table. Get nice ones, not the cheap looking ones that look like junk I see scattered around town.
     
  3. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Member

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    As much as I wish that were true, the number of people who are single-issue voters tends to counter that. I'm actually counting on people being issue-oriented. That's why I'm setting up at the show as opposed to, say, in front of Wal-Mart. I want the gunnies to know that, even though I'm in it for a paycheck, I'm also like-minded and ready to sacrifice some of my own money for the casue.

    What do you suggest I do to tie in to gun rights? I want the table to be at least gun-related, not just another beanybaby/sunglasses/beefjerky spinoff table that clutters up the show. Keep suggesting - I'm making a list of all possibilities.

    What if I offered to make the donation in their name? That way I'm putting my money where my mouth is and giving them all the credit.

    Thought about that. Unfortunately, all the other million RE agents in town do that, too. I want to stand out, not blend in. Plus, my research indicates that flyers aren't very effective. They tend to get thrown away on the way out. Cards, on the other hand, tend to be held in the hand or stuck in pockets and at least make it all the way home.

    That's what I'm hoping. Plus, it's a good marketing expense. $45 for the table and you get an estimated two to three thousand like-minded (meaning guns) people walking by. That's between 1.5 and 2.25 cents per contact vs post cards at 26 cents per pop (bulk mail rate plus prep and processing) or custom four-color flyers at 12-15 cents per pop (minimum 5000).

    Already done. I have a big free-standing sign that copies our yard signs. We don't use the push-in cheapo signs because they look, well... cheap.

    Brad
     
  4. Polishrifleman

    Polishrifleman Member

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    I know several realtors that use a donation of a portion of their commission as a marketing method. One friend concentrates mainly on his Alma Mater so will donate to the college thus getting a large support base of like minded individuals.
     
  5. eliphalet

    eliphalet Member

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    Brad,

    Let us all know how it went once the show is over and then again in a month or so.
     
  6. Robert Hairless

    Robert Hairless Member

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    Brad, couldn't you get some mileage from a sign offering a one year membership in the NRA for each listing referral? What I mean is that anyone who refers you to someone who lists property with you gets the membership. If more than one listing results from the same person, extend his membership by another year.
     
  7. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Member

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    I thought about a group-specific membership or donation. For about a second. I put a clamp on it when I remembered what kind of vitriole it creates here on the board every time someone mentions joining a specific group. I figure that leaving it as "Gun Rights Group" leaves all the options open without the aformentioned polarizing effect.

    Brad
     
  8. davinci

    davinci Member

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    don't combine the job of a realtor with the second amendment. We all know that realtors don't actually earn any money, unless you count that they convince sellers that "they won't get any better offers" so they can get a quick commission.

    Remember, a realtor scores 3%, or 3,000 bucks off of a *inexpensive* $100,000 home. Sure, some of that goes to your expenses of fuel, the company you work for...but still, if you talk to the guy selling his house for 1 hour (which is actually a lengthy estimate) and do about 4 hours of actual legwork to set up a MLS listing and negotiate when to clear the guy out of his home for an hour each night while folks browse through his house pretty much unsupervised (someone stole my pain pills out of my medicine cabinets when they were looking at my house while I WASN"T THERE)...nothing like getting out of surgery and two days later have to evacuate your home, then come back an hour later and your hydrocodone is gone....then you've got to convince your doctor about what happened, being that it's a narcotic I can see why they stole it, and why the hospital refused to issue more.

    Realtors were an extreme pain in my neck....well, actually in my torso after I had my appendix removed and had no pain pills due to an in-attentive realtor, who now that I think about it, the realtor themselves could have taken my pills.


    There is NO ADVANTAGE to a realtor, you've got the right to sell your own property and negotiate the deal yourself without two middlemen getting in the way of an honest handshake. The Second Amendment is a RIGHT as well, if a realtor gives up part of his commission to support it I want absolutely nothing to do with it, because you're giving up your rights as SOON AS YOU sign with a realtor.

    Sorry Mr. Johnson, I'm sure you're not as bad as the realtor who's client stole my pain pills...and that you'd never talk one of the properties you list into selling for less than they ask because you "don't think they'll go any higher." or because you're just trying to get a quick sale. Remember, folks's land is all they got in a lot of cases, when you convince them that 80% of their asking price is the best they can hope for, then you're convincing them to give up 20% of the only thing that they knew would last as long as they would.

    Realtors leave me with a bad taste in my mouth, and it makes me sick to my stomach that a realtor would try to drum up business through something as great as the Freedom's that make this country great.
     
  9. 2RCO

    2RCO Member

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    Brad,

    Forget the Gun Shows--you are branding yourself in the wrong place and as you stated there is alot of hatred for non gun tables-- I don't think they are gonna do alot for you. Check into BNI. The realtors in my group always got numerous referrals.
     
  10. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Member

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    Davinci,

    Sorry you had such a bad experience. You obviously had a bad situation and have a general beef with real estate agents. Wish there was something I could do to make it better.

    But since you offered...

    Actually, that's incorrect. The data is absolutely conclusive in this respect. In a balanced market the data shows you will actually net more (on average) if you use a real estate brokerage than going FSBO. Going with a brokerage and using the power of their marketing increases your potential buyer pool by several orders of magnitude. More potential buyers mean a higher average price by enough to offset the brokerage fee. It is a simple supply/demand issue.

    The only time the data shows this does not apply is in an extreme Buyer's market where saleable homes of any type are being sold at a severe premium no matter how they were being marketed.

    By the way, that "three percent less a little to the broker and some gas" is laughably short of reality. I'm at about a 15 percent effective income tax rate and self employement taxes are 15 percent, so for every dollar I make a full third of it is already gone. The big shots who make it into the 29 percent income tax bracket get hit with a 45 percent hickey when you throw self employment taxes it the mix. Then there is a couple thousand a year in training, E&O insurance, and misc dues and fees. Plus gas and time. Did I mention I also have to buy my own health insurance and carry an extra liability rider on my vehicle as well? All of that is after the split with my broker, not before.

    Did I also mention people staring at you like a child molester when you tell them what you do? Or how about a client calling you at noon on Christmas Day(??!) to pick them up and look at houses because they are bored and they want to shut Aunt Martha up for a couple of hours. Or maybe the hoards of people who have never done, nor will ever do, business with a "useless realtor", but are all over you when tax assessment time comes around and they want a freebie market analysis for their assessment dispute (then get pissy as all get-out if you have the audacity to actually want a little compensation for it).

    And then there are the folks who make it a point to come on discussion boards and pitch a fit about "how useless realtors are" instead of helping out a fellow gunny who's trying to combine his profession and his passion.

    Using that rage-inspired logic as a springboard, any 2A-related item would be free for the asking and no one could tie their busines to it or make any profit from it.

    Again, sorry you had such a bad time selling your home. At least you still live in America where, next time, you can go FSBO and save yourself (and the agent) some grief.

    Brad

    p.s. - By the way, why on earth did you have prescription narcotics in an unsecured location as obvious as your medicine cabinet when you knew that strangers were going to be in your home? Please tell me you at least had your guns in a secure place.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2007
  11. MikePGS

    MikePGS Member

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    Since this thread might not continue for very long, i better get in my opinion quick. While i think the idea is very noble, i'm not sure as to how effective it may be. I'm sure if the services offered were identical, the fact that you would be donated a portion of your proceeds to a pro-gun group would definitely tip the balance in your favor. However, i think that the general population knows so little about the variances in quality of realtors or particular advantages of one over another, that this makes the incentive smaller than it would appear. Like many people, i will simply use whatever service i deem to be of the best value. If your not comparable with another realtor then the incentive to donate money probably isn't as much as it would be if persons in general were to be as informed on these matters. Not only this, but with such a significant purchase or sale, the customer is primarily concerned about how much money they will be receiving and in spite of their political leanings they will most likely go for the better financial deal for them.

    However, maybe it would be useful if you were to ask a few dealers if you could put some of your cards at their booths, maybe even offering them the incentive for a closed deal?
     
  12. lamazza

    lamazza Member

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    I would much rather do business with a like minded realtor.
    Maybe have something besides a card to hand out though..bullet pens or something so when people see them they say "Hey where did you get that from?"
     
  13. Tom Bri

    Tom Bri Member

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    Hi Brad. How quickly these threads descend into insult. I am a realtor too, and I have to say I am very impressed by this idea. Enough to consider doing it at some nearby shows. Seems I can never take time off to actually go to the gun shows, this would give me a good business-related reason.

    I see no problems with your idea. From a cost standpoint I agree about postcards etc. I get a couple dozen (no exageration) junk mail or spam e-mails every day with some 'clever' real estate marketing pitch. Most are just junk.

    Here is a way to stand out from the crowd, among people who in the main are your natural allies. Get a good name among them and word will spread.

    I would suggest doing what someone above touched on. Get on the MLS or Realtor.com and pull up everything that looks like a possible hunting/fishing property and have a booklet made up showing what is for sale in your territory and close by. Maybe offer to do a guided tour the next weekend for everyone who wants to go.

    As for the guy above who doesn't like realtors. I will admit to knowing some pretty sleazy characters in the business. Ever met a sleazy gun shop guy? I have, but I don't therefore think every owner of a gunshop is rotten. I have had some pretty worthless doctors too, but I still pay the doctor I have now when my kids get sick, and I don't gripe about paying either.

    Selling or buying real estate is a tricky business, dangerous even, when you can have your life savings tied up. Do it on your own and take your chances. You can buy tetracycline from the vet and self-medicate too. Why not? It is not as if there is any specialized knowledge needed to treat illness, is there?

    Is this really the forum to smear people for their career choices? High road, folks, or they will shut down a thread that is interesting to me.
     
  14. Spot77

    Spot77 Member

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    I like the idea Brad.

    When I was looking to buy two years ago, I dealt with two realtors that were:

    A: One was blatantly anti-gun

    B: Really, really stupid about guns ("Is that a gun locker? Gonna' kill somebody or what?")

    Did I give any of MY money to either of these fools? No.

    I found a lady through a family friend that was sensitive to my needs such as "hiding" my gun safes so that potential buyers of my home wouldn't notice them, and offering to find secure storage for my guns while moving the safes.

    THAT is the kind of person we should be dealing with, and it sounds like you're that kind of person. There's nothing wrong with marketing yourself to a segment of the popultion that could use your knowledge of guns to make their move, sale or purchase easier.
     
  15. CNYCacher

    CNYCacher Member

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    "A Realtor is a Realtor is a Realtor . . . except for THIS guy, he pro gun, he is going to donate some of that commission to the NRA, and he is getting all my Realtor-based business forever!"

    That is what I would be thinking if I saw your sign.
     
  16. RonE

    RonE Member

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    How about buy a house from me and I will take you dove (pig, duck, goose,etc) hunting for a weekend. You don't even have to go, give them a gift certificate for a day hunt. If they list a house with you, same thing when it sells.
     
  17. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Member

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    On the idea of offering a free membership to a 2A organization, put on your sign, "Organization of your choice:
    NRA
    JPFO
    SAF
    GOA"

    You can probably add to that list with hunting organizations such as Rocky Mountain Elk, Ducks Unlimited, etc.

    Pops
     
  18. davinci

    davinci Member

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    Brad...you said
    " I'm at about a 15 percent effective income tax rate and self employement taxes are 15 percent"

    15% is the poverty tax rate. and self employment taxes (that's social security) are 7.5%. I used to be a buyers agent, I was a realtor's apprentice and he took all the listings, and I took a few of his lower price range "concrete bagger" clients. 40% goes to your brokerage.... and you pay only 7.5% on the amount left over for your quarterly self-employment taxes. Now, if you're an S corp it's a little different after you file, but as a self-employed person...

    you're not pulling the wool over my eyes like a realtor does his clients.
     
  19. davinci

    davinci Member

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    I'm not smearing anyone for their career choice...I'm smearing them for trying to combine such a career with something as great as Freedom and the second amendment.

    That said, it's freedom that allows you to post on the internet whatever you'd like, and it's freedom that allows me to tell you that when you combine something that inspires such anger in many as realtors with something that is an inalienable right, such as the right to bear arms...you're asking for trouble and if you think I'm the only guy who's angry, go ahead and open up your booth.

    the hostility of 1) being a non-gun AT ALL related business and opening up at a gun show is going to make folks dislike you immediately 2) the fact that you're involved in a business that many Free men despise is going to make almost anyone avoid you like the plague.

    Tetracycline is an antibiotic and isn't at all habit forming. I didn't know you can get it at the vet. I'm not saying I was right in leaving my meds in an unlocked medicine cabinet, but had I taken everything out of the home every time I had to leave I'd really be in trouble. As a note, If I were selling the home myself I wouldn't have had that trouble, that's my point. There's only a mild amount of rage from that incident, everything else is related to every other experience I've ever had with a realtor.

    Please, don't try to get smear your career all over the second amendment. Freedom has enough trouble as it is being combined with all the violent crime by media and giving Freedom a BAD Reputation. If it weren't for our freedom we wouldn't have anything at all... we'd still be paying taxes on Tea to England!
     
  20. Colt

    Colt Member

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    I'm not in the market to sell my home or buy another, but if I saw a realtor's table at the show, I'd take a few cards to hand out to my friends. I always know of at least one person who is in the market.

    Everything else being equal, I'd rather put money in the pocket of a pro-2A realtor that an anti or "unknown" realtor.

    That said, I don't like pushy salesman types at the show trying to put papers in my hand. You get farther with me just sitting at your table with a smile.
     
  21. realtor

    realtor Member

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    I'm a Realtor in Missouri and also a CCW Instructor/Firearms Trainer. Can't speak for Texas law but in Missouri, any public (or private) promotion such as the one described would be considered an "inducement" and would result in disciplinary action by the licensing entity here in MO. We can't even say "choose me and I'll beat the competition on the commission by X"

    The idea is that a Realtor should be chosen on merit and negotiated commission and not based on an incentive. So, you're idea would not work here.
     
  22. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Member

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    Davinci,

    If you think self-employment taxes are only 7.5% I hope you never did your own returns.

    You should also learn the difference between "effective" and "actual" tax rates. Lack of credibility is easy to acquire and difficult to overcome.

    Your general lack of knowledge about the business and associated tax prep writes a different story. If you really were a buyer's rep it sounds as if you were a paid employee, meaning you still have no idea what you're talking about when it comes to being self employed. You didn't "apprentice" anything, at least not in the arena of actual real estate knowledge.

    As for everyone else...

    Thanks for all the ideas and suggestions. There have been some good ones. I've been making a list as the ideas come forth and will try to use as many of them as is realistic. I'll be setting up tomorrow evening. If you'r in the Lubbock area drop by and say Hi!

    Realtor, since I'm not giving anything directly to the individual this would fall under personal marketing. If I were giving them the money directly it would fall under the category of "bribe". Even our Thank You gifts are limited in that respect. Your post did prompt a call though. I found that I have to make the donation in my name to stay legal (being it's my personal funds I can do whatever I want with it). If I donate the money in someone elses name it would be considered a gift even though they never actually handled the money.

    Brad
     
  23. 10 Ring Tao

    10 Ring Tao Member

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    I do my homework, I shop around. Everything else would have to be equal with other realtors in the area.

    If that were the case, you bet your ass I'd give my business to the gunnie/realtor.

    Before I changed career course, I was planning on offering a 3-5% discount on dental services for current CCW holders or NRA/JPFO/SAF/local 2A members. I can't think of a better client base than the 2A community.
     
  24. Robert Hairless

    Robert Hairless Member

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    Brad, I appreciate your reflections on my suggestion and its context here. You're probably correct.

    It was amusing to see your point illustrated so quickly by the inappropriate attack on your profession. There are a great many chronically unhappy people who own firearms. I'll be interested to see what happens after they've alienated the last of their friends, have no allies at all, and face only their enemies. My guess is that they'll continue to beat each other until there's only the last man standing, and he will bang his head against the nearest wall while shouting "Only I know the true meaning of the Second Amendment! Me! Me! Me!" What fun. The good folks at The Brady Campaign probably think that reading gun forums beats most other forms of entertainment. :)
     
  25. davinci

    davinci Member

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    "If you think self-employment taxes are only 7.5% I hope you never did your own returns. "

    I can see how one would make the mistake of thinking that it's 15%...but the reality is that your employer is paying 7.5% of your income to FICA for you, you pay the rest. So, when you look at your paycheck you see a deduction of $7.50 for social security on your $100 paycheck, the company also paid 7.50. This company match can't be done by a self-employed person, because they are the company.

    bottom line, if you get a 1099 at the end of the year, you owe 7.5% more in Social security.... if you recieve a w4 then someone has paid it for you. Otherwise your liability is the same, except self-employed folks can deduct a lot more (in theory) but the IRS is instituting a crackdown on the 14% of s-corp and self-employed folks for things they've gotten away with in the past. They're even working with visa and amex to gather transaction information just like they do now with banks, and mine all this data for folks who don't have the transactional history to back up their 'deductions'.

    Regardless of my thoughts of realtors, I probably should not have said anything bad about the profession. here's a crazy idea, though, why don't they have agents for buying and selling cars or firearms for that matter? because it seems like folks are pretty good at negotiating their own deals without having two middlemen to get in the way.

    my frustration stems from this...extreme respect for the Freedom of this country and the rights and liberties that the founders of this great Nation agreed upon as "inalienable rights", and an extreme disrespect for folks who charge thousands of dollars to simply put a sign in your yard, put a picture of a home on a list that they have exclusive access to and just sit and answer the phone and tell you to vacate your house so other realtors (or their unsupervised clients) can raid your cabinets for prescription meds or whatever else they want.

    Say what you want, but realty has no place in a gun show.... just like fellas who are selling truck accessories or hot tubs. Does your great marketing genious think that the same fellas who buy guns have any interest in buying a bed liner or a hot tub? No, you're just looking for a place to solicit business, I suppose it's not much different than a prostitute hanging out in a hotel lobby. Maybe realtors do have a place at a gun show, I don't see it, but there may be some sort of connection. I'd like to hear how it works out, if you get a bunch of clients out of the deal.
     
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