?> I Was Attacked By A Bird Today!
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I Was Attacked By A Bird Today!

That was the title of the email I sent out to realtors a few years back. Why am I telling you this? Because it really happened, and it got me a lot of closed loans. Here’s what happened:

I was headed to the office around noon, and it was a beautiful day out. So I decided, what the heck, I’ll put the convertible top down. I smiled as my favorite song started playing through the speakers, the top was down, I leaned my arm on the door sill and thought about how perfect of a day this was.

That’s when I saw it… This small bird was sitting on top of the traffic light seeming to monitor all the cars approaching this 4 way street crossing. Suddenly, he leaps up and starts flying in an erratic pattern toward my car. No biggie right? WRONG! I was puzzled that he was now only about 30 – 40 feet from my car and was swooping lower and lower as he approached me head on – Almost like a crazy game of “chicken” – never mind the fact that he was moving, and I wasn’t.

20 feet, 15, 10, 5 and “swoosh” he zips by the top of my car at full speed near enough for me to have reached out and brushed him with my fingertips had I wanted to. I figured that he was either suffering from some bizarre bird-hangover or he was just making his point that he wasn’t intimidated by me and my 2,900 pound hunk of metal. Bold bird huh?

But he wasn’t finished… I turned my head forward again to watch for the light to turn. 3 seconds later I’m being assaulted from behind by this crazy Sparrow from hell! (Actually I’m pretty certain it was a mockingbird) He is hovering in the air about 5 feet from my head screeching like some sort of banshee and zipping down in mock dives!

Maybe he thought I was encroaching on his territory, or maybe he just didn’t appreciate the music I had chosen to listen to on such a beautiful day… I will never know. But just as quickly as he appeared, screeched, and dive bombed, he zipped away again. I craned my neck to see where he went, and just as I thought I caught a glimpse of this feathery devil, I felt a rain drop on my forehead.

No big deal, it’s just rai…. Wait a minute. What the heck? Why is this “rain drop” milky white and dripping down my…. OH NO HE DIDN’T! Apparently this was the parting shot from this bold little bird. If he couldn’t chase me away, he was going to show his disdain for me and my bright yellow car the best way he knew how! Sick…And I never carry napkins in my car either…

So what do you think? Interesting story right? It really happened, and yes, I ended up using my tie as a make-shift napkin that day. Better than driving around with bird droppings on your forehead! So how did this email get me 3 loans in about 2 hours?

At the time of this happening, I was quite active on My Space and with a real estate specific blog. I rushed back to the office after what we from this point forward shall refer to as “the incident” partly to blog about this, and partly because I had a sudden urge to dump my tingling head into a 100 gallon bucket of water and soap!

So I get back to the office, and I posted the blog exactly as you see the story recounted above. I posted onto MySpace, posted onto a few other select social networks, and then I wrote a short recap and emailed it to my realtor prospects within my auto responder. (This is a list of about 200 – 210 top producing realtors that had double opted in to my email newsletter)

I sent the email out, linked back to the blog post for the “expanded” story, and placed a quick “oh by the way” note at the end of the email. The results? Normally my emails get opened at a rate of about 40 – 45%. This email showed more than 70% had opened within 1 hour of sending the email.

My blog, MySpace page, and others had more than double the number of comments normally received, and my “oh by the way link” had showed more than 27 clicks in that same hour. What was my “oh by the way?” This was a link to a short 4 page email marketing guide I had customized for the real estate industry. Nothing more than a collection of marketing suggestions, ideas, creativity boosters, etc.

By the next morning, I had plenty of emails from agents laughing at the story, inviting me to lunch, and thanking me for the guide.

3 of the agents ended up in a conversation with me on the phone, and I landed a total of 3 loans referred within a 24 hour period… So the lesson of this story? If you want to get 3 loans in 24 hours, you need to get bird poop on your head… Ooops, wrong moral… Sorry about that.

The true moral is that standing out from the crowd, even in a seemingly unrelated fashion can get you noticed. I wasn’t suddenly a better loan officer for having been attacked by hell-bird. Not at all. But I had a funny enough experience to make the right agents laugh, notice my link, and in turn notice me. I’d been there emailing those agents for months up to that point.

It took a bird crapping on my head story to get their attention, but once I did, I closed plenty of loans because of it. 1 of the agents that referred me a loan that day became a regular, and we went on to do plenty of business together.

This is the power of networking, whether it be in person, or online. My MySpace page, my blog, my email list. All of these tools served as my distribution channel. Whether you have a funny story to tell, or a useful article to share, you need to expand your reach. Be friendly, be helpful, be consistent. Now have a great weekend and watch out for those angry birds!

May 29, 2009 by · Leave a Comment

About Chad

Chad Weber is the founder of Loan Officer Marketing Lab. Chad provides loan officers with unique marketing strategies such as: online marketing, realtor referrals, and self-generated leads.

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  1. Mark Green says:

    LOL, my wife always tells me that getting pooped on by a bird is good luck. Guess you proved it Chad. Great story!

    In the Web 2.0 world, we have the ability to show our personal side (if we so choose). It’s certainly not for everybody. I get a lot of pushback from LO’s who say they like keeping their business separate from their personal lives.

    People buy from who they like more than any other reason. I feel like bringing people into who I am as a person (not just a vendor) will *hopefully* help my business in the long run too. And it’s a lot more fun.

  2. Chad Weber says:

    Hey Mark, you just nailed it. What a lot of those loan officers don’t realize is that when you’re wanting to do business on a regular basis with affinity referral sources, you need to connect on a deeper level than just: “He’s good at what he does.”

    No matter how “connected” we get in business, nothing will ever change the fact that people tend to buy from people they like. Sure it may not be true in every case, but it’s true in enough cases to tip the odds in your favor if people like you.

    Let’s face it, being a loan officer is not an exciting job that people line up to watch like baseball, football, etc. So if you want people to “watch” you and pay attention, sometimes you have to put a personal piece of yourself out there to attract the eyesballs of people who are wearing filters to protect themselves from blatant advertising.

    That’s where my bir… er… “the incident” came into play. Two of the 3 realtors that gave me a loan in this instance never bothered with me before then, despite my professionalism, despite my helpful articles, despite my drip emails….

    The email with the bird incident was unique and interesting enough to at least get them to read it, see my link, and check it out instead of hitting the “delete” button yet again. This is all my take of course, and some may disagree. Taht’s thre beautiful thing about being a loan officer – There’s more than 1 way to success! 🙂 Thanks Mark. Need some good luck today?

    CW –

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