Winter in Chicago is amazing…IF you’re into single digit temperatures, 20 mile an hour winds that threaten to freeze your bones, icy roads, overcast skies and snow EVERYWHERE.
I know this well after spending 38 years living there. (I guess I’m a slow learner)
To make matters worse, I owned a real estate company, and you can guess how many people are excited about buying or selling a home during this time-frame in conditions where it feels like the air wants to kill you.
To put it mildly…business was sloooooooooooooooooooooooow………..
Let’s head south for a minute to Kansas City and the dental offices of Dr. Dustin Burleson
and “The Burleson Difference“. On top of a number of other items not found at ANY orthodontics office he offers the “Have Braces Without Missing School Or Work Guarantee.”
One night Dr. Burleson was driving home after work and went to the store, which was packed, and he thought to himself, “People are out shopping right now…why they heck is MY office closed?!?”
This was further reinforced when he talked with his admins and realized they were missing dozens
of calls a day that came in early in the morning, early in the evening, and on weekend. And these missed calls meant missed patients and losing tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of dollars!
So he started opening his office early that any of his competition, closed later, and even opened on Saturday.
And the patients poured in!
So what does this have to do with Eskimo Mike in Chicago???
I discovered, out of necessity really, that working in the Arctic tundra had it’s perks.
While it was true that not many people pick December through March to make a move in Chicago, many people HAVE to move during this time period and they are SUPER motivated.
That means instead of buyers spending months looking for their ideal home, the time-frame was shortened to weeks.
And sellers who spent the summer and fall CONVINCED that their house was a steal at $50,000 more than any of their neighbors, got realistic real fast. They had turned from unrealistic and unmotivated to some of my best clients.
AND…since many buyers and sellers hibernated for the winter, so did my competition. Instead of an office buzzing with 50 agents all competing for the same business, there were many day (and every evening) that I had the office to myself…which meant I got every call and client that walked in.
Suddenly I was inundated with motivated clients!!! This was better than Christmas!
And I discovered that by ramping up, instead of turning off, my marketing during this period I was could get a lot more for my marketing dollars because almost all the other agents stopped so prices were cheaper AND I had less competition. This was the freaking lottery.
The “dead” winter market was a self-fulfilling prophecy, NOT reality.
So while most agents thought I was working winters because I was desperate, (which had some truth the very first year because I was brand new and NEEDED business) after that first year I was working winters because you’d be crazy not to because I made money hand over fist and stole “life-long clients” from my competition because they were “busy’ hibernating and I actually answered the phone.
This makes sense when you think about it. Every retailer in the world is on OVERDRIVE between Thanksgiving and Christmas opening earlier, and staying open later, because people are out. And those people are your clients too.
To this day, in Chicago, you’ll find that real estate offices have shortened “holiday hours” while all the retailers have EXPANDED holiday hours. DUMB.
It’d be easier, more fun, and probably less costly to just light money on fire!
And I’m sure if you called ten dental offices (or attorneys, accountants, financial planners etc…) on a Saturday you’ll get an answering machine ten times. Tens of thousands of dollars lost!
People right now are in a buying mood right now and you can capitalize on that. And THE quickest way to capitalize on that is by running a “Three-Day Payday” and generating more sales and appointments in 72 hours than most people are all month.