Beyond Being There. . .

Industry Observer CalDRE #01165532



Beyond Being There

It’s Not the Only Thing. . .


“Being There” is not nearly enough for any marketing effort but it is a start.  That’s a beginning that introduces and plays a role in any competition. Real estate and all kinds of marketing can certainly be considered competitive. 



I have discussed beginnings, stages of starting as well as many phases of taking first steps over the years.  In fact, I previously wrote about the book “Being There” by Jerzy Kosinski.  Although it is a novel, its relevance seems truer today in some ways beyond its fictional and sometimes (okay, very) outrageous storyline.


As this month’s ActiveRain challenge was announced, thoughts of the book came to mind.  While that literary work has nothing to do with marketing per se, comparisons to that world can come from many places.


Aspects of being “Here” - “There” - “Everywhere” can be appropriate to marketing as attempts to reach out are made. Even before real estate, the importance of touches made sense to me beyond the sensory sort.


Such quasi-tactile experiences can be an effective marketing tool. Perhaps it's positioning your sphere of influence at the forefront or planning then executing an extensive advertising/direct mail effort. Maybe it involves walking about your neighborhood networking or a door-knocking campaign. Over the years, I tried and then dismissed more than a few from the marketing toolbox. For me, it's the human contact that made the best connection.


Working open house events helped me create relationships in real estate. Like any gathering of people, not every event was successful. Over time, a certain pattern and rhythm becomes apparent where things happen real estate-wise. And when food for thought is added, something special can occur, right?



While I have compared them to a cocktail party without adult beverages - Open House events don't work for everyone or in every situation. To the O.H. naysayers, does it make a difference to you what works for another? Frankly, I could add a Rhett Butler Gone with the Wind familiar movie line retort. However, such a reference might be as welcome as an invitation to a broker caravan event for some - dammit, I think I said what works for me.


And as aside, Being There was made into a movie. In my opinion, it was not as good as the book. But like so much in life, it's just what I think after all.


This is an entry for the January 2023 ActiveRain Challenge co-hosted by Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker and Aura Alex.  


The images in this post are from 

Posted by

Michael Jacobs


CalBRE # 01165532

P. O. Box 587

Pasadena, CA 91102

Call/Text:  818.516.4393



Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Great post and Feature worthy Michael Jacobs  It is what works for you! Connecting with people; and getting them to know who you are always does  work doesn't it? 

Jan 08, 2023 04:16 PM
Michael Jacobs

Hannah Williams - I believe finding what works for anyone is a discovery waiting to happen.  Keeping that in mind, it's an adventure worth exploring.  And anyone who is lucky enough to uncover such a thing is quite fortunate in my opinion.  

Jan 08, 2023 04:26 PM
Marcus Anderson - Santa Monica, CA
Mortgage Broker & Agent | Westside Los Angeles, CA

Congratulations on being featured! Michael Jacobs 

Jan 08, 2023 06:25 PM
Michael Jacobs

Marcus Anderson - thank you. You should join the challenges AR holds.  As a new AR member, you can gain exposure and build your point score to gain free membership.  

Jan 08, 2023 06:45 PM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten

Welcome to AR Marcus Anderson !

Jan 08, 2023 08:02 PM
Aura Alex

Hi, Marcus Anderson - these AR folks are fantastic. I started here a year ago, and I never regret it. 

Welcome to AR! 

Jan 08, 2023 08:34 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS

Welcome to the Rain, Marcus! As Aura Alex mentioned, these folks are AMAZING! Welcome to this amazing group of masterminds!

Jan 08, 2023 09:36 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

Oh, I love this entry, Michael! What I love about this forum is comparing what 'works' for one market to mine - and I love discovering if it works or not. Open houses are a BIG winner for my market but, others, not so much. Online marketing works in most markets and video seems to be agent-dependent. It varies but, what is so cool is that we have a forum which allows us to try a multitude of marketing, based on what our peers here share. Sometimes it's a winner, other times, it gives us ideas to explore, going in a different direction. 

Again, thank you for your entry. 

Jan 08, 2023 09:35 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS

Funny but, I totally forgot to make a note about your comment - about 'did I say worked?' I have to laugh when people are vehemently against something but, when they see support given to one member who does said 'task,' they forget and say, "Oh yes, I do that too!" In fact, I just saw that today in a post - cracks me up!!

And, yes, LIFE is a test - sometimes we pass with flying colors, other times, not so much...and that's okay. I am a firm believer in learning from our mistakes and from all that life deals us. 

Jan 31, 2023 05:46 PM
Michael Jacobs

Debe Maxwell, CRS - thank you.  There are so many different factors that combine to make a marketing strategy effective. 

And while I say it a lot, more than often less than always, "it depends".  That's true here as well. 

And that's the case not only in real estate but in everyday life.  It's an exercise where our fitness in all forms is constantly being tested.  

Jan 09, 2023 04:03 AM
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
The Grit and Gratitude Agent

Congratulations on a well deserved feature as well a posting. This comment in your posting said it all:

For me, it's the human contact that made the best connection.

Jan 09, 2023 05:00 AM
Leanne Smith

Unfortunately for some clients, they are already experiencing real estate self-checkout experiences when agents have an attitude "due diligence" is on you, not on me and fail to consistently communicate with clients.

Jan 09, 2023 05:21 AM
Michael Jacobs

Leanne Smith - you're right about that.  There's a mistake happening in that procedure.   And it needs to be corrected.  

Jan 09, 2023 02:18 PM
Michael Jacobs

Leanne Smith - thank you.  The humanness of all sorts of things continues to make a difference.  Can you imagine a real estate self-checkout experience?  I think some can - and that's sorta scary.  Actually, more than sorta.  

Jan 09, 2023 05:14 AM
Patricia Feager, ABR,CRS,GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Michael Jacobs - WOW! Another FEATURE for the Challenge. You certainly are a Top Writer on ActiveRain! Congratulations!

Jan 09, 2023 07:05 AM
Michael Jacobs

Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP - that's very nice of you to say but the reality of any situation often brings reality into the picture.  

Jan 09, 2023 07:40 AM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

I agree with Patricia!   Excellent entry for this month's Challenge!  You're right about a rhythm, except I'm not a fan of open houses.  Sure, it's a great way to find buyers and neighbors who aren't quite ready to buy, but it's a matter of safety personally.   Keeping conversation alive isn't difficult at open houses as I always shift the conversation over to energy efficiency if the home has some features.  I may change my mind with the next 2 listings, depending on the sellers.   

Jan 09, 2023 07:53 AM
Michael Jacobs

Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ  life is about an abundance of choices. Real estate continues to offer much in that assortment with many in the industry bringing their ideas (new and not-so-new) to the table for discussion.  Thank you for the comment.  

Jan 09, 2023 08:12 AM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

Thank you for sharing my life moments on a daily basis and discovering the things we have in common rather than the things we don’t. Happy Monday morning my friend 🙂

Jan 09, 2023 09:47 AM
Michael Jacobs

Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS - when we look at areas where commonality can be found, we can find solutions.  Right?  

Jan 09, 2023 02:20 PM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS

Absolutely Michael Jacobs 

Jan 11, 2023 08:54 PM
Ginger Harper
Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage~ Ginger Harper Real Estate Team - Southport, NC
Your Southport~Oak Island Agent~Brunswick County!

Great post. Thanks for sharing.



Jan 09, 2023 10:44 AM
Michael Jacobs

Ginger Harper - thank you for the comment.  

Jan 09, 2023 02:20 PM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Realty ONE Group Advocates 484-237-2055 - Downingtown, PA
Selling the Main Line & Chester County

Doing what works and feels right for you is so important. Loved your post and your thought process.

Jan 09, 2023 12:18 PM
Michael Jacobs

Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543 - thank you.  Life's many experiences is a teacher that continues to instruct us.  

Jan 09, 2023 02:22 PM
John Pusa
Glendale, CA

Hello Michael Jacobs excellent educational post beyond being there as real estate agent.

Jan 09, 2023 01:03 PM
Michael Jacobs

John Pusa - thank you.  I hope you are staying dry as the rain creates puddle after puddle in SoCal.  

Jan 09, 2023 02:23 PM
John Pusa

You are welcome Michael Jacobs this rain keep me indoors to stay dry. It reminds me the rains of Chicago.

Jan 09, 2023 08:10 PM
Michael Jacobs

John Pusa - what I remember most about January and Chicago is the brutal cold combined with the chill factor.  With your Windy City history, you are well-prepared for less-than-ideal weather.  Stay safe.  

Jan 10, 2023 02:05 AM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

There are so many things that you have to get out there and feel and do and be present for

Jan 09, 2023 07:25 PM
Michael Jacobs

Laura Cerrano - you're right.  Thank you for the comment.  

Jan 10, 2023 02:06 AM
Paddy Deighan MBA JD PhD - Vail, CO
Paddy Deighan J.D. Ph.D

Good points all…. But the performance of Peter Sellers in the movie is notable!

Jan 09, 2023 07:44 PM
Michael Jacobs

Paddy Deighan MBA JD PhD - although, I don't typically see a movie more than once, maybe Being There deserves another look.  I just re-read the book.  It was still entertaining.  And a quick read.  

Jan 10, 2023 02:09 AM
Ritu Desai 703-625-4949
Samson Properties - Chantilly, VA
Northern Virginia,Washington DC & Maryland Realtor

I started my career by hosting open houses every weekend. It was a great way to meet neighbors or prospects. Great piece of advice. 

THanks for sharing about the book! Added to my list. 

Jan 10, 2023 05:38 AM
Michael Jacobs

Ritu Desai 703-625-4949 - I understand how/why hosting open house events may be dismissed by some, maybe many.  I am not the first person to mention the enormity of the world.  Lots of opportunity "out there".

If you read the book, I hope you enjoy it.  It's a relatively quick read.  

Jan 10, 2023 05:52 AM
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

I remember years ago I got six leads off one open house and made sales from all of them!  

Jan 10, 2023 11:54 AM
Michael Jacobs

Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR - wow - that's quite the achievement.  Congratulations.

Jan 10, 2023 02:10 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Michael clearly late to the party, when I sat open houses, I always managed to get new listings from the neighborhood... there was a pocket I started out with it was Baldwin Hills... the sellers and buyers loved my honest approach.... I did not like the slimy local agents who had lack of integrity, so I moved from that pocket... had I stayed oh well, Endre

Jan 10, 2023 11:10 PM
Michael Jacobs

Endre Barath, Jr. - finding the fit that is right for us at the time (while understanding the situation) can make a difference.  

Jan 11, 2023 06:02 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Michael, have always detested open houses, and only once got "close" to selling the house during an open house.  The mom of a buyer came in, he didn't buy that house, but bought another from me.

Jan 11, 2023 01:49 PM
Michael Jacobs

Joan Cox - I understand the opposition of open houses by some agents and some sellers.  

Jan 11, 2023 04:47 PM
Scott Schulte
Scott Schulte LLC - Phoenix, AZ

Open houses are a fantastic way to practice real estate. The more you practice, the more you win! (being there) I'm not one to wear a name badge to a restaurant, but I have no problem picking up the phone and finding people to discuss real estate with! 

Jan 13, 2023 06:02 AM
Michael Jacobs

Scott Schulte - each of us "finds" the activity that works for us.  

Jan 13, 2023 06:43 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Good Friday morning, Michael.

Have a great day and an outstanding weekend.

Jan 13, 2023 07:35 AM
Michael Jacobs

Roy Kelley - it's just after 3PM Friday as I write this reply.  I just took a short walk - overcast but no rain but I "sense" it's on the way.  Happy Weekend to you and Dolores.  

Jan 13, 2023 03:06 PM
Michael Jacobs

Roy Kelley - this week's rain in California seems to be taking a rest today (so far at least) in our area but there is a forecast of precipitation for the weekend.  We shall see.  I hope your weekend is good.  Whether the weather is wonderful or not.  

Jan 13, 2023 08:22 AM
Roy Kelley

We have a sunny day in Maryland after overnight rain. 46 degrees as I write this note.  We expect cold weather tonight and on Saturday.

Jan 13, 2023 09:42 AM
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Hi Michael Jacobs, open houses work if you know how to work them. I've never sold a house at an open house, however, I have found sellers by holding them so it is a great market tool. 

Jan 14, 2023 01:38 PM
Michael Jacobs

Beth Atalay - there are many opportunities in real estate as a participant as well as a practitioner with many paths.  

Jan 14, 2023 06:09 PM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

How to do the marketing hokey pokey best. You know what works from trial and error in your local market. Each of us gravitates to encouragement and sharing of experiences for inspiration in the fine tuning. The OH naysayers are defending why they don't do them and question why you are wasting your time. OH done right is one more way to expand your marketing ROI Michael Jacobs .

Jan 19, 2023 03:49 AM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573

Gotta put your whole self in and passionately shake it all about... that's what it's all about Michael Jacobs. Hey.

Jan 19, 2023 04:23 AM
Michael Jacobs

Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573 - 💯

Jan 19, 2023 04:25 AM
Michael Jacobs

Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573 - as usual, you have masterly maneuvered the hokey-pokey dance routine.  

Jan 19, 2023 04:05 AM