Hola to all our friends and clients!

Well, as things go, changes have come and for the first time in at least 14 (and maybe 17) years we will not be at the La Mesa Oktoberfest.  Yep - if you wander past our location that has been a fixture at the corner of Pine and Allison (thank god the City didn't change the name of this street that honors a founding father of the City), you will not find us there handing out balloons to all kids and real estate flyers to those interested in properties.

It seems decades ago that we started the tradition of being on the boulevard with our flyers and brochures.  My wife Suzy and I tired to think about when we got started there - we've been together 13 years (10 married) and I had put in 3-4 years B.S. (before Suzy).

We've always been innovators in the field of real estate marketing and sales, and I was indeed the first real estate broker to have a presence at the Oktoberfest.  It was a new and exciting concept to have real estate information available at the venue.  In those early days EVERYONE from La Mesa went to the event.  We saw past and present clients, and made lots of new friends. 

And, we sold homes there.

We must remember that the Internet did not exist as a marketing medium until the last 8 years or so.  There was no way for buyers to see homes without calling a Realtor, and the concept of having full color flyers there at the event for 100,000+ people to see was unique.  Each year we sold at least one home to someone who stopped by the booth.  One year we had a buyer stop by on Friday, take a flyer, and they bought the home on Saturday.  That buyer's home was listed on Saturday - we made a quick color flyer for it, and that home sold on Sunday at the booth.  It was amazing!

It is said that everything changes, and so has the Oktoberfest for us.  Now buyers can visit homes on the Internet and take full interior and exterior tours.  Over the past few years the public interest in seeing real estate flyers has diminished.  This is understandable, as anyone interested in buying or selling need simply go on-line and view homes to their heart's content.

Another factor that has contributed to our opting out of this fine La Mesa event is apathy of the people in La Mesa and the surrounding communities.  Let's face it - we've been there, and so has everyone else.  What used to be a fun little gathering in the quaint Downtown area has now become a mega-event that attracts 200,000+.  The local people don't come out any more!  Over the past 3-4 years we haven't seen the same friendly faces.  I've met folks from Santa Barbara, Temecula, and Ensenada there, but see fewer and fewer from our area.

So for the first time in many, many years, the Best Homes Team will not be a fixture at the La Mesa Oktoberfest.  Will we be missed?  At least 10 of our past clients have asked us is we would be attending.  A few may wonder where we went, but the Oktoberfest will go on without us.

Everything changes, and this Sunday as I'm taking my kids water-skiing & fishing at our home on the Colorado River (don't worry - I have my laptop & cell phone for offers & communication), I may just get a bit of mist in my eye as I recall Sundays for 14+ years listening to the "Chicken" song and handing out balloons in downtown La Mesa.

Thanks to you all for your continued support.  New and innovative marketing ideas are coming!  It seems the Oktoberfest has passed for us, but you never know - we could be back next year!

Rob & Suzy Northrup and the Best Homes Team