Friday, May 1, 2009
When life hands you bees, make honey.
Ahh, Spring is here, flowers are blooming and Nick Spetrino has a crush on his 2nd grade teacher.
I was at Autumn Hall the other night for their Parade of Homes Party with several other Builders and the rest of the general real estate community. I was talking with one of our agents, Kasey Valente of Intracoastal Realty, and bemoaning the fact that our [Award Winning] New York Hatters building Downtown was celebrating it's first birthday and we still owned two units there. This was a new experience for us as we have become accustomed to much more brisk sales.
Buyers KNOW it's a good time to buy right now, but with a lot of choices out there, that doesn't necessarily mean they know WHAT to buy.
Our conversation turned to the topic of the various incentives we have been trying out at that project but nothing has been enough to convert our prospects into buyers even though we both agree that with all of the recent activity we can feel 'something' coming.
So that night I got home in time to check in with the boys before they went to bed and talked to Nick for a little while about his day. He was a little distressed (which isn't entirely unusual) but something had him really concerned and he was hoping that he might be able to strike a deal with his teacher, Miss Shields over his "bees."
Miss Shields is a great teacher and she really knows how to create a good incentive program. If you are in her class and you are well behaved ALL DAY you get a tiny little bee. Save 5 bees and you get to be the leader, 10 bees and you get something from the treasure box. 25 bees and you get to sit at her desk for the whole day (way cool for a 7 year old).
Most kids cash in their bees at 10. Some make it to 25 but you know, at 2nd grade it's tough to be good for 7 hours straight.
Well Nick has had his ups and downs with the whole bee thing but in the last couple of weeks he has been consistently getting a bee every day (we are so very proud) and he's got like over 35 bees saved up - even after cashing in 50 for two sittings at the teachers desk earlier this year.
So I don't really understand his dilemma.
"Dad, you don't get it, there are like 40 days left in school and I only have 35 bees."
"Well you better start cashing in those things so you don't have to share Miss Shields desk with Maddy or Joseph during the last week of school."
"No, I need a hundred bees and even if I am good everyday I won't have time to get enough!"
"Remind me again what you get if you get a hundred bees?"
[Heavy sigh] "If you get 100 bees you get to go on a date with Miss Shields..."
OK, now close your eyes for a second and imagine you grew up in the 70's or earlier and you had a 95 year-old teacher that you spent the majority of your day with who dressed in a habit, carried an 18" wooden ruler and had a hairy chin... Now think of the absolute opposite of that and that would be Miss Shields. [You can open your eyes back up now.]
"So you are freaking out because the most bees you can get up to is 75 and that still leaves you short about 25 bees - what are you saying, you want school to last until the end of July?"
"Can they do that?"
"That might be a hard sell to your classmates, what are your other options?"
"Well I talked to Miss Shields and told her what I was doing and she is considering doubling the bee rewards because she says 2nd graders get a little crazy this time of year."
I'm impressed. Good looks and the perfect incentive to solve two problems. She wants well behaved kids in class as the school year winds down and Nick Spetrino wants to take Miss Shields to Jungle Rapids.
Well I want some happy clients AND I want to sell some homes. So, if you hear from Kasey Valente later this week about the exciting new incentives we are rolling out at New York Hatters please pay close attention. Not only will they get DOUBLE the rebate; they will get to go on a date with ME!