Four brave women attended my first "Cookin With A Rural Attitude" class last Thursday... They were invited because I knew that they would be honest and give me great feedback on how best to do the class so that those attending would have fun and I could expand my client base. For those who may be reading this blog for the first time...I am new to the San Antonio/Boerne area...but not new to real estate. In fact, I have 18 years of experience under my belt. Experience is great...but if you don't know anyone...it's hard to get the word out that you could do a great job helping them buy or sell a home. I knew to be successful in this area I would need to think outside the box.
My passion is living and selling the rural lifestyle...so if I want to reach a target audience, I need to find the folks that also want to live that kind of lifestyle. I have been learning all kinds of things by living out in the country...everything from canning to chicken raising. So...I thought, "Why not pass on what I am learning to those in my community and in the meantime, expand my client base?" Voila! The "Cookin With A Rural Attitude" class was born.
When the guests arrived for the Mustang Grape Jelly Makin class, I had a variety of vintage aprons hanging on a antique rack I found at a store in downtown, Boerne, TX for them to choose from to wear. They donned their aprons and enjoyed the appetizers and wine I had prepared. I explained to them that the class would be informal and a time for them to stop and interject any and all ideas as I proceeded. Once one idea was presented...dozens more followed. Here's a few of the ideas they came up with:
- Co-op with the local grocery store's wine master and feature wines along with whatever was being cooked. Having the local store involved would push more people towards the class and more exposure. It was suggested that I could coop with the kitchen boutique as well.
- In order for all to be involved in the process, take each step of the cooking process and number them. Place the numbers in the bowl and equally divide among those attending. At the appropriate time, each attendee would have a part in the cooking of whatever was being made.
- Create incentives for returning to the class by teaching one recipe and offering another to taste for the next class. Incentives could also include buttons or badges made that they can pin to their apron. Which brings me to the next suggestion:
- Offer vintage aprons to be purchased that they can wear each time they cook.
- I had made up pictorial recipe sheets and put them in plastic sleeves. They thought that was a great incentive to start their own Rural Lifestyle Handbook for future classes.
- Invited guest cooks and/or teachers for the rural lifestyle classes...including, "How To Use A Chainsaw", "How To Bathe A Horse", "How To Create A Raised Bed Garden"...etc.
All in all, it was a great time and I learned a lot from the women that attended. They loved the class and the excuse to get out of the house. They even said that they would be willing to pay for the next class. That was good news for me in that buying ingredients, and serving up wine and appetizers each time would start to add up...at least on the front end.
So...what's in this for you, my fellow Active Rainers... Obviously...not all of you can or want to do a cooking class, but hopefully, it will help you get your creative juices going and help you think outside the box to expand your client base. Ask yourself... What is my passion? Who is my target audience? What can I give (either time, talent, treasure) where I can earn the right to ask for their business? My challenge to you today is to do something different in your business that could bring a bigger reward.