San Antonio's Rockstar Turned Realtor®: Honk if you love ActiveRain.

Honk if you love ActiveRain.

Canadian goose by a lake.

photo courtesy of Yogi

I was still half asleep, but there he was.

I've been following the tale of Richard Bowman lately as he blogs about his daily work on the streets of San Antonio.  Richard is a local agent, just like me, but he's opted to do something a little different in order to generate interest, leads, and clients.  At first I thought it sounded a bit crazy and odd, but the more I read his blog, the more I started to think of the simple genius that his idea really is.  For those of you too lazy or too busy to run over and read through his blog to understand just what I'm talking about, Richard has been standing on a local (very busy) street corner with a sign proclaiming his status as an agent and stating his intention of looking for more work.  When I first thought about it, I thought it sounded a bit like he was out there begging and it might look bad.  The more I read Richard, the more I saw the potential in what he's doing as he's got the right attitude and approach.  He's not out there crying about the economy and saying how bad things are...he's out there interacting with people and getting names of possible future clients.  He's handing out cards, smiles, and waves.  He's disseminating brief bits of his real estate knowledge when someone has a question and works to get the follow up call or email so that he continue opening up that conversation.  Like I said...simple and genius.

So this morning, after I stopped in Valero to get my cup of coffee, I started on my way to the office.  I take the same route everyday and had spotted Richard from a far more than once.  Today, I didn't see him.  Not at first.  Seems Richard is still out there, he just had a bit of a change in plans on position.  So when I saw him, I gave him a honk and a wave.  He waved back and I could see he recognized my name on my car signs.  He strolled over as I sat at the red light and we had a brief conversation shouted through my open window.  It was exciting to me to speak with a guy who's blog I had been reading.  Someone who's up to something a little different.  Someone who got me thinking of ways to stand out from the crowd and do things just a bit left of center.  It was a mini-ActiveRain meetup, right there on Bitters Road and 281.  He even mentions it in his latest post, which I think is one of great things about ActiveRain...Richard may be the competition, but there's no need for us to not share our thoughts and ideas.

Thanks Agent Bowman.  I'll see you tomorrow.

Comment balloon 54 commentsMatt Stigliano • January 20 2009 01:36PM


Hi Matt,

Very good! Ha ha. You really are a rock star. So I notice I"m starting this fad with myself on being the first to comment.....a sure sign on an addictive personality!

Posted by Tamara Dorris (Master Your Market Real Estate Coaching) over 11 years ago

Pretty creative idea of marketing, and low cost too.  I've seen cell phone companies, tax preparers, tire stores but no realtors in my area yet.

Posted by Erika Rogers, St George Utah Real Estate & Relocation Specialist (Red Rock Real Estate ~ Southern Utah's Largest Independent Brokerage) over 11 years ago

Matt - I have said many times that pretty much ANY marketing will work if you are consistent with it.  The example I use is not far from what Richard is doing now.  I typically mention hanging out at a crowded sporting event (like an NBA or NFL game) and handing your card to everyone in site.  It sounds odd/crazy, but if you did it every week or every game, it would bring you business.  Kudos to Richard for his attitude.

Posted by Jason Crouch, Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653) (Austin Texas Homes, LLC) over 11 years ago

Too cool... I have a lot of bantar with the agents in my small town on here and I would have done the same thing.  Creative for sure.

Posted by Kim Sellers, Lake Arrowhead Realtor - BRE#01412099 - Lake Arrow (Lake Arrowhead, CA Coldwell Banker) over 11 years ago

BEEP BEEP....You said honk if you love active rain, since I am not in TX this will have to do, creative marketing to say the least!!!

Posted by Sharon Fleming, Realtor, Port St Lucie-Florida (Real Living Realty Unlimited) over 11 years ago

Hi Matt:

Congrats on the feature!  Honk-Honk!!! -

Posted by Toula Rosebrock, Broker/Sales Associate, Realtor, Lacey Township, (Diane Turton, Realtors, Forked River, NJ) over 11 years ago

Tamara - Commenting can be almost as addictive as blogging.

Erika - And he's having fun with it too!

Jason - You've got a great point there.  Its consistency that is key and Richard is definitely doing that.  I like the sporting event example, I can imagine many of those cards wind up on the ground, but if one doesn't, you've done what you came to do.

Kim - I love the agents in San Antonio that I've met via ActiveRain.  We are a good group that like to share back and forth and comment on each other's blogs.  I expected the real estate industry to be so much more cut throat than it has been in my view.  I'm glad I was wrong.

Sharon - Beep beep is accepted as well.  I think that's the universal standard for writing the sound of honking.

ActiveRain - Featured?  Are you just trying to make up for my last post?  Haha.

Posted by Matt Stigliano (Kimberly Howell Properties (210) 646-HOME) over 11 years ago

Matt-BEEP BEEP--Sharon beat me to it by an hour.  I have been reading Rich's blog too.   When I first read what he has been doing I found it incredibly gutsy and wasn't sure what I thought.   Like you, I too thought it alittle odd but the more I looked at people's comments and thought about it myself the more I admired his bravery and idea.  I think he will wind up getting alot of business from this.  Alot of copy catters too. 

Posted by Debbie Walsh, Hudson Valley NY Real Estate 845.283-3036 (Shahar Management) over 11 years ago

Meep Meep!

Posted by Alan May, Helping you find your way home. (Jameson Sotheby's International Realty) over 11 years ago

ichard sounds very daring and has stepped out of his comforat zone to get more clients. Congrats for him and great post Matt.

Posted by Michael Wayne Jackson, Realtor - Seniors Real Estate Specialist Novato (Coldwell Banker) over 11 years ago

Wish I had the guts to do something like that.  I have come to realize that I am somewhat of a whimp when it comes to putting myself out there.  He will have a great year for sure!

Posted by Bridget Cella, e-Pro, Realtor (Re/Max Connection) over 11 years ago

Matt Stigliano (Exit Realty North-San Antonio)-Business is everywhere. You never know who is in the market to buy a house. I gave my card to a guy where I brought my truck from and he told me that he just brought his house last week. Congratulations on the featured post Matt. Great post.

Posted by Lanre-"THE REAL ESTATE FARMER" Folayan, I don't make promises.I deliver results.SOLD HOMES (Keller Williams Select Realtors-Buy a home in Washington DC. Sell a home in Washington DC) over 11 years ago

I'll go read his blog.  Sounds like what Paul Hockaday is doing in my office.  He has given himself 100 days to greatness to get more business or he plans to get out.  Check out his ActiveRain blogs. Well, sometimes you just have to take the plunge and read DIP by Seth Godin and know when to quit and when to stick.  Along today's Inauguation Day's theme of Abraham Lincoln, just remember that good ole ABE never quit after so many failures.  I liked what OBAMA said about  picking ourselves up and dusting ourselves off to start anew. 

Posted by Donna Grady, Bringing Home Results (Keller Williams Realty) over 11 years ago

Yaweee!  That sounds awesome!  Thanks for sharing that story.  I have another agent who I would like to do this with.  AWESOME!

Bridget---I've got the guts and I want to start it here in Florida!!!

Posted by Sara Homan, Realtor, Homes, Farms & 55+ (Coldwell Banker Ellison Realty 352-209-4044) over 11 years ago

Debra - Great word you used to describe how I felt Richard's actions - gutsy.

Alan - Does this mean you're going to change your avatar again?

Mike - Its definitely out of my comfort zone, which is why I'm so impressed by it.

Bridget - I think he's already having some success.  I think it will continue as he follows up with people.

Lanre - That's one of the things I learned early on, don't try and second guess "does this person look like they're thinking about buying or selling."  Once you start analyzing everyone in that way, you'll stop talking to them.

Donna - 100 Days and then he's out if nothing's happening?  I'll have to go read his blog and see what his benchmarks are.

Sara - I'm sure if you talked to him he'd be more than willing to share his thoughts and what works/doesn't work for him.  Might not be the same in your market, but at least it will get the thoughts flowing.

Posted by Matt Stigliano (Kimberly Howell Properties (210) 646-HOME) over 11 years ago

Brother Matt...

OK, this is new to me ... I'll check it all out! Congrats on the Gold Star!

Posted by Richard Weisser, Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional (Richard Weisser Realty) over 11 years ago

Matt... why whatever do you mean?

Posted by Alan May, Helping you find your way home. (Jameson Sotheby's International Realty) over 11 years ago

A+ to him.... Not so sure that will go over well with the upper end homes for credibility....but everyone will know him.  I love creativity....

Posted by TIM MONCRIEF, Over 2,000 homes sold….. (Tim Monciref) over 11 years ago

Brother Richard - Its definitely worth the read.  My thought is that any attention can't be all that bad.  We all clamour to make ourselves known, but he'll be remembered.

Alan - Right after I wrote that I saw your avatar in the blogroll.

Tim - Who knows what will work?  I just love the creativity of it.  Jason said it best above that ANY marketing will work if you're consistent.

Posted by Matt Stigliano (Kimberly Howell Properties (210) 646-HOME) over 11 years ago

I can't honk enough for Active Rain.

Posted by Sabrina Kelley, Woodland Park Colorado Mountain Homes and Land (ERA Herman Group Real Estate) over 11 years ago

Thanks for letting us know about Richard.  I once had an agent who would (very kindly) go up to people in the grocery store and ask them for business!  Kudos to him!!  We don't get what we don't ask for! 

Posted by Becky Brand (Shorewest Realtors) over 11 years ago

I'm honking, I'm honking all the way from West Virginia.  What a great marketing idea, and makes me think of what I can do here.

Posted by Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®, Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate (Vision Quest Realty) over 11 years ago

Sabrina - It seems to me (and I mentioned this to Bob Stewart recently) that everyone feels that way.  I told him I found it interesting that they had managed to build a community that seemed to lack some of the divisive and argumentative elements found in so many communities on the web.  Its like some crazy 70s love fest around here.

Becky - I wanted to spread his story, since I've felt inspired by him.

Posted by Matt Stigliano (Kimberly Howell Properties (210) 646-HOME) over 11 years ago

wow all I can say is wow....Just to let you know I received a phone call from a buyer who took my card and we will start our search for two homes tomorrow. As for upper end homes A guy with a house on LBJ has a 1.5 million dollar home he wants me to sell because he feels his Realtor is doing nothing..I think business people respect a hustle......did you get a I didn't realize reading about m blog on your blog was so cool...keep up the good work...YOU ARE SO OLD MUTUAL

Posted by Richard Bowman over 11 years ago

This is probably the most original and unique concept in real estate I have ever heard.  I am thrilled for you that you have obtained business for this.  Perhaps you should call the local TV station and they can put you on the 6:00pm news so you can greatly EXPAND your reach? 

Posted by Chris Olsen, Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate (Olsen Ziegler Realty) over 11 years ago

Great and an extremely brave thing to do!

Have a great day!


Posted by Cindy Hartpence (Edisto Real Estate Company) over 11 years ago

Does he do all those cool tricks like spin and throw. Good post thank you for sharing.

Posted by SacramentoCommercialLoans Bank Turn downs welcomed, Quick closings 916-847-7212 (Sacramento commercial loans) over 11 years ago

I saw this guy myself.  But I am with you.  I got Realtor lic.. plates....does that count?  Check our my site and see what is happin in Lubbock!

Posted by Anonymous over 11 years ago

honk honk.....

Whatever works in this market, Matt

Purple Cow, out of the box....

Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) over 11 years ago

Hi Matt;

Honk! Honk! Honk! Good post thank you for sharing.

Posted by Anthony Stokes-Pereira, Realtor (Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty) over 11 years ago

We had an agent do that and her sign said she sold real estate and worked for food. She was raising cans of food for the local food bank. She got a nice write up in our paper I don't know about business.

Posted by Charles Stallions, 800-309-3414 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl. (Charles Stallions Real Estate Services ) over 11 years ago

Richard - That's great news.  About the 1.5 million dollar home.  I think that a guy who sees action is going to be impressed, even if the action may seem a bit out of the ordinary.  In today's market, people want solutions even though they know things are slow.  They can accept slow if they see that there are action plans and attempted solutions.

Chris - Check out Richard's post about the local news.

Cindy - I have yet to feel brave enough, but Richard is inspiring me.  Perhaps I'll arrive at his corner 10 minutes before he does.  Haha.

Unusualcommercialloans - I haven't seen him do any, but perhaps he does.  Richard?

(insert name here) - I've got car signs, but I wonder how many people have enough time as I whiz by them to read them and write down the phone number.

Missy - Probably too cold to stand out side for you.  We've been having awesome weather.

Anthony - I give Richard the credit...he did the work, I just wrote a post about it.

Charles - When I first saw the sign, I thought that's maybe what it said, but I think his sign is simple and effective.

Posted by Matt Stigliano (Kimberly Howell Properties (210) 646-HOME) over 11 years ago

Thanks agent Matt !!!  Great post : )  Is an awesome story and a nice description of agent Richard thinking and acting "outside the box".  And yes, we love AR so HONK !  Awesome... attitude is key.

Posted by The Somers Team, Delivering Real Estate Happiness (The Somers Team at KW Philadelphia) over 11 years ago

HONK HONK HONK! I love Activerain!

Posted by James Engel, KW Beverly Hills (Keller Williams Realty Beverly Hills) over 11 years ago

How cool!  'Gotta love ActiveRain meet-ups.  I hadn't heard about Richard's promotion, so now I'll go over and check it out.

Posted by Margaret Woda, Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) over 11 years ago

Hi Matt~ I have seen Richard's blog and find it very unique, I just don't think I could ever do it for business, but Hey! to each his own.  Whatever works for him!  There is no right or wrong.  Being different is the main thing

P.S. I am honking~ I Love Activerain!  

Posted by Vickie McCartney, Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY (Maverick Realty) over 11 years ago

Too much like begging for me.  I like the low level approach

Posted by Russ Ravary ~ Metro Detroit Realtor call (248) 310-6239, Michigan homes for sale ~ (Real Estate One) over 11 years ago

Honk, Honk, Honk! Active Rain has the most interesting people and it just shows how realtors can survive anything!

Posted by Caren Wallace, Portland Caren Real Estate (Premier Property Group LLC) over 11 years ago

Matt a pretty interesting way to meet a fellow Rainer. I enjoyed his story myself.

Posted by Bill Gassett, Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate (RE/MAX Executive Realty) over 11 years ago

Christopher and Stephanie - You're from Philly so I know you can honk!

James - I was just checking out your blog.  I know the building in Woodland Hills in your postlet.  I used to live on Owensmouth when I first moved to Los Angeles. 

Margaret - It was pretty fun, especially since I had commented to him on one of his posts to keep an eye out for my car.  You could tell both of us were thinking - "Hey, that's the guy from ActiveRain!"

Vickie - I don't think his method is for everyone, but what I like about it is that it gets people thinking.

Russ - I know what you mean, but I think it boils down to how he handles the people he speaks with.

Caren - You never know who you'll meet.  So far, I've met a lot of people and some have become friends, some I found interesting facts about, and I even met my long lost brother Richard.

Bill - I'm sure I'll bump into him again.  When he start talking about the crazy guy who throws hot dogs to him in the morning, you'll know its me.  Haha.

Posted by Matt Stigliano (Kimberly Howell Properties (210) 646-HOME) over 11 years ago

Ok, Matt... for you is available.  Or maybe when Mazda changes their ad campaign you could pick up zoomzoom. 

And it is a bit nippy here to stand on the street right now.

Posted by Lane Bailey, Realtor & Car Guy (Century 21 Results Realty) over 11 years ago

Hats off to Richard! I have stepped out of my comfort zone long time ago but not that far yet. Very brave!!!

Posted by Olena Osipov over 11 years ago

Sometimes the geniuses of the world were laughed at for their creative ideas...just read up on Einstein's flops !!!!

This guy has a thumbs up from me, and I wish him all the best !

Thanks for sharing Matt...oh and HONK HONK !!!!

Posted by Sheldon Neal, That British Agent Bergen County NJ (Bergen County, NJ - RE/MAX Real Estate Limited) over 11 years ago

HONK, HONK! Very interesting and out of the box idea. A couple of things come to mind. We handed out reusable shopping bags in front of a grocery store (locally) with our info, cards etc. inside. People loved them and stopped to talk about real estate. Did get a seller and a couple of buyer prospects from it. This was for approx.  1/2 hr as we ran out of bags! We had many too. At the same time we handed out our pens to the local businesses around that grocery store (yes, gave them some too) and we have logos on our car - so when Brian goes out, each day he takes a different route through the neighborhoods. It is working. People are commenting that they saw us here, and there, and everywhere.... ~Rita

Posted by Brian Burke, Broker & Advising Expert-Denver Luxury Real Estate (Kenna Real Estate) over 11 years ago

Hi Matt,

Thanks for sharing a REALLY creative marketing idea!

Posted by Suzanne Gallegos, Realtor - Salt Lake City, Utah Homes (Equity Real Estate - Advantage) over 11 years ago

Matt, not for everyone I am sure but man oh man good for him to find a niche and creating a "buzz" around him!  Fascinating concept and be sure to honk for me in support.  Take care and happy blogging!

Posted by Jason Neumann, Realtor - (Century 21 Assurance Realty Ltd.) over 11 years ago

I've been reading his blogs for months, but for some reason I missed the one that talked about him out on the street corner!  Someone needs to "anonymously" contact the local news station -- they would love it and he would probably get a bit more press.

... is the san santonio market pretty bad?

Posted by Kerry Lucasse, Your Urban Nest Atlanta Real Estate Consultant (eXp Realty - Urban Nest Real Estate Group) over 11 years ago

Matt, what a great experience to have an online friend materialize in real life!  I just hope he wears a hat so he doesn't get sun cancer on his head!

Join my NEW group for professionals who work from their home office at

Regina P. Brown

Posted by Regina P. Brown, M.B.A., Broker, Instructor (MBA Broker Consultants) over 11 years ago

Good Morning, Matt, and congratulations on the gold star.  Glad you got to meet Richard. 

Posted by Shirley Parks, Broker, 210-414-0966, San Antonio TX Real Estate (Sands Realty 210-414-0966) over 11 years ago

Great story, Matt, thanks for sharing.  Small world isn't it?  Seriously though, we shouldn't be "afraid" of local agents since they are a great resource for sharing and learning.


Posted by Kris Kombrink ~ The Kombrink Team (RE/MAX Excels - Chicago's Western Suburbs) over 11 years ago

Hey Matt - Great Story! I love the fact that Richard is willing to put himself out there. What a great and fun strategy. "The Road to Success is the Road Moving Away from the Crowd" - Honk! Honk! Thanks again.

Posted by Gwenn Tanvas, The Mortgage Gal, 920.267.7891~ SMART - INNOVATIVE (NEXA Mortgage LLC an Equal Housing Lender NMLS # 1660690) over 11 years ago

Lane - I might just have to go buy that one.

Olena - Hopefully he'll inspire a few people to push past that comfort zone.

Sheldon - Is that why people keep laughing at me?

Rita - I was going to do the bag idea when I did a particular open house, but never got the bags in time (foolish me).  I always try driving new ways so that people think "man, that guy's everywhere."

Suzanne - Don't thank me, thank Richard for doing it.  I'm just sharing the story.

Jason - I will definitely continue to honk everytime I drive by.

Kerry - No, we're not that bad.  Slow, but things are definitely picking up.  We escaped most of the real trouble.  I think Richard just went for a new idea and ran with it.

Regina - Maybe I'll toss him a tube of sunscreen when I drive by next time.

Shirley - Hopefully next time I see him I'll have some time to pull over and have a coffee with him.

Kris - I am definitely no afraid of the locals.  In fact, Shirley (above) is local.  The person who invited me is also a local (Kristin Moran) and I get more info from those two than most.  We've kind of formed a little San Antonio group, where we all comment back and forth on each other's blog and share ideas.  I think its great.

Gwenn - Being willing to put yourself out there can be the hardest step, but the most successful.

Posted by Matt Stigliano (Kimberly Howell Properties (210) 646-HOME) over 11 years ago

Actually Matt, I did go right over to Richard's site right after I commented here:) I think his idea is alot of fun

Posted by Suzanne Gallegos, Realtor - Salt Lake City, Utah Homes (Equity Real Estate - Advantage) over 11 years ago

Suzanne - Enjoy it.  Its a fun read and might get you thinking of something to do.

Posted by Matt Stigliano (Kimberly Howell Properties (210) 646-HOME) over 11 years ago