Last January we were up in Laughlin, Nevada to just goof off for a few days and pay our ‘tribute’ to the casino gods.
One early evening we decided to walk from the Riverside over to the Pioneer, first along the Boardwalk and then weaving our way thru casinos and parking lots.
When we finally got to the Pioneer we walked out from around the back of one of their buildings and in front of us was a uniformed guard with a small kitten running around him in the parking lot.
Now it’s not unusual to see stray cats in Laughlin, there are dozens of them along the Boardwalk – And before you feel too sorry for them, they are well fed by the hundreds of tourists who take pity on them and put out bags of food.
Now, clearly this kitten in the parking lot was not one of those feral, river cats. Super energetic, and unlike the river cats, this one loved people.
The kitten immediately came running over to us. We asked the guard whose cat it was and he said ‘its yours if you want it’.
What? He went on to tell us that he heard the kitten crying in one of the empty hotel rooms and let it out. He figured it had been there for days.
We didn’t know what to do. We already had 3 cats, but this lovable little fuzz-ball was so adorable.
The kitten immediately was rubbing around my ankles and when I sat down on a retaining wall it came up and sat on my lap and was even walking on my shoulders.
We couldn’t leave this cutie behind, but what were we to do. So I figured this, if ‘Lucky’, as I named ‘him’ – if Lucky would follow us back to the car we’d get him some food and water and he could stay in the car until we left the next morning.
So off we went, back thru the parking lots with Lucky playing follow-the-leader (most of the way).
Of course by now we’re already totally attached to this precious little beast, so when he decided to follow another man into the back entrance of a hotel, we panicked.
The door slammed shut behind him and we thought him lost forever. We could just imagine this poor kitten trapped inside this hotel, living off cockroaches and left over room-service.
So we rushed to the locked door and frantically pounded on the glass. Inside we could see Lucky getting in the elevator with a stranger.
We pounded and pointed and the man tossed Lucky free from the elevator doors. Moments later a guest came out from the hotel, allowing me to get inside and rescue my newest baby.
I learned my lesson and I was no longer careless with my little Lucky. He stayed securely in my arms until we reached the car.
We got him some food and water from the Quickie Mart, which was doing bang-up sales on cat food, and settled Lucky in for the night.
The next morning we packed up and started to head back down-the-hill to Phoenix. Before leaving Bullhead City, we stopped to get a litter box.
While Jeanne was in Petsmart, I decided to check if Lucky was a boy or a girl. Ooops, my boy Lucky had no Frank-and-Beans!
It was a rainy drive back home, and along the way we decided that ‘Lucky’ was a name better fitting a male dog, so my newest little baby was renamed ‘Riley’ after the term ‘The Life of Riley’, an old WWI term for someone living an easy, carefree life.
Riley was perfect in the car, sleeping in Jeanne’s lap the whole 4 hour trip. Getting some quality bonding time.
Why do I tell this story? How is this lost kitten like your customers?
A man by the name of Summers White once said that ‘all of us are walking around with our umbilical cord in our hand looking for a place to plug it in’.
People want somewhere to belong. They want to be around people they can relate to. They want someone who understands them. They want someone to follow.
They will gravitate toward someone with mutual shared experience – someone they admire – someone they know, like and trust – someone they see doing good in their community.
That’s why working in your community, getting out into your community, and becoming a leader in your community is so important to your real estate business.
When someone is looking for a home – when they are getting ready to sell – they want to work with someone they feel is like them, that understands them, that has walked a mile in their moccasins.
That’s why a community-based, relationship-based real estate business is so important. It gives people the opportunity to get to know you, and see that you are one of them.
It’s a soft sell. It’s about nurturing – not chasing. It’s about educating and leading – not cold-calling and door-knocking. It’s about looking at your real estate business a different way – an alternative to the ‘normal’ way of doing business.
That’s what finding an abandoned kitten is all about. It’s the feeling you get when a newborn baby squeezes your finger for the first time. It’s about truly caring.
P.S. When we got Riley home, although she was by far the smallest cat in the house, it took her about 5 minutes to let everyone know she was ‘large and in-charge’. I love my Riley!
Let me know below what you’re doing to reach out to, and help the members of your community…