Do you ever have crazy (business) ideas?? Or, catch yourself daydreaming during work or at home and think about how you would implement ideas you’ve heard or read about? I do. ALL. THE. TIME. Now, realize, I work a 9-5 job, I’m not a consultant with almost no way to implement or test my ideas. And, sometimes the wacky (or I like to think incredibly creative) ideas are just a little too out-of-the box. Nonetheless, these ideas are present and I spend valuable time thinking about them.
So…my latest idea is to just generate occasional blog posts with these ideas to give me a creative outlet and potentially inspire someone else (how many times can I fit the word “idea” into a blog post?!). Hopefully I won’t look back on these ideas and feel the same way I do about my bangs, acid wash jeans and fluorescent socks from the 80s!
Here goes my first of hopefully many posts entitled “Biz-n-Tonic” – and, yes, that name is also one of my ideas. Sigh. The meaning? Many meanings! Biz-n-Tonic could mean a little business mixed with the secret sauce (tonic) that could be brilliant! Or, it could mean a more balanced combination of something business-y mixed with something else like hard work, complimentary idea, what have you. Or, it could simply mean that this is an idea that was generated after a couple of cocktails, at which time it sounded AMAZING, but not so amazing the next day. 😐
Idea # 1: Real Estate Open House Bus Tour
This idea was born out of looking for a house to buy…researching neighborhoods online and then driving through them, figuring out which houses had open houses on what day, driving around randomly by plugging the addresses into our phone or GPS to get us from point A to point B, C, etc. or spending hours plotting the best route to see the most amount of houses in a single trip. It’s EXHAUSTING! Not to mention, my husband and I would not be in the best of moods by the time we were viewing the houses, which adds to the wonderful experience.
The idea is for someone or entity (realtor, agency, local business, entrepreneur, you) to coordinate multiple (a dozen or more) open houses on the same day and then arrange for a bus tour to take a group of clients to see them. The tour would be a few hours long, perhaps stop at a local restaurant for lunch and easily allow clients to see more open houses in a single day than they would likely be able to coordinate themselves. The bus tour could work in a small town or one or more neighborhoods in a bigger city. Realtors would potentially get more foot traffic for their open houses, meet potential clients and make good use of their time. The clients could view multiple open houses in an area they like and not have to worry about the logistics. The local businesses could see a nice spike in revenue that day (if a restaurant providing lunch, but I’m sure there are other ways local businesses could get involved) and potentially gain new long-term customers.
Logistics and cost
Obviously, logistics and nuances need to be worked out; you’ll need to show houses people want to see (size, location, style, etc.). Perhaps provide multiple tours, one for 1-2 bedroom properties, 3-4 bedroom properties, etc.), or arrange tours based on neighborhood. Additionally, you might want to provide week day vs. weeknight and/or weekend day vs. evening tours. There are many ways to make this work.
From a financial standpoint, I think the biggest expense would be bus or van rental, but maybe the agencies would be willing to split that cost. Aside from that, there might be brochures or flyers, but most of the marketing could be down virtually.
Test the idea
You could launch the event using Eventbrite.com (or any online invitation service) to see if there is demand. All parties involved (agents or agents who will be showing house, local businesses, etc.) could publicize the event via their social media channels. Reserve seats before you start coordinating the event. If there is no interest you will have wasted no time coordinating the event.
Idea # 2: Real Estate Open House Walking Tour
Same idea as above, but instead of a bus tour it would be a walking. To make this effective you’d need a multiple properties for sale in close proximity (could be a neighborhood, large condo building, along a strand of beach, downtown area – maybe also an idea for commercial properties). Select a starting place (maybe a local restaurant mid-morning or early afternoon), have a snack or cup of coffee, and begin your tour (house-to-house; maybe allocate 15-30 minutes at each property or have multiple guides to allow for separation of the group into smaller groups). End the tour at the place you started – maybe arrange for a meal or allow those who want to stay to join you for dinner. This gives clients the time to digest what they’ve seen, ask questions and maybe even make an appointment for a second showing.
or Progressive Lunch or Dinner
If a walking tour sounds boring, a progressive lunch or dinner might be more exciting. For those who aren’t familiar with a progressive, it’s when you travel as a group and have your meal in stages (cocktail, appetizer, lunch or dinner, dessert, maybe more cocktails or evening espresso) at different restaurants/eateries. Instead of stopping at restaurants for your meals, you could coordinate the meals at the different open houses (i.e. house 1 = cocktails + tour, house 2 = appetizer + tour, house 3 = meal or maybe more apps + tour, etc.).
Either would likely be a memorable experience for them and a great way to generate some buzz (and hopefully house sales). And, you could do this for people looking for rentals (houses or apartments) if that’s more your business.
Final count for the number of times I used the word “ideas:” 27 (including headers). Cheers!
What crazy business ideas have you had? Do you find a way to channel, share or test them?
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