Where Real Estate Gets Its Dirt

Girls in lingerie on stilts.

Wanna buy a curling iron?
Many of you may have read that Dan and I released our first non-real estate web app this past weekend. If you haven’t, you can read it here. Basically the app is designed for businesses who’s income is derived on high frequency recurring customers. This can be anyone from a golf pro to a hair stylist. The app is a simple way for these types of businesses to remind their clients to come back. We call it Heads Up!

Since one of the largest hair dressers show was here locally (International Salon and Spa Expo [ISSE] 2011, pronounced “Ice”) we decided to launch at this event. Besides hair stylists share a lot in common with Realtors. First off they have to receive a license from the state to practice, many of them are independent contractors, they work at a salon (similar to a Broker office), and they rent a chair (think desk fee). A few key differences, they do more transactions (of course) and on average hair stylists make more money than a Realtor.

Plus the event (ISSE) was supposed to have more attendance than NAR‘s annual conference.

Our booth location wasn’t the best, the show was in the main Long Beach Convention Hall we were set up in the arena, with the “Wellness” crowd. Not so bad. Our neighbors were a company called Minx, who did shrink wrap nail coverings, across from us was what I can only refer to as “boob tape”. The video being looped was interesting to us for the first 10 minutes but then got kind of creepy. Believe me, beauty isn’t pretty.

Open for business!

We set up our booth and were ready to rock. The show opened on a Saturday and the attendance we pretty tepid. This made sense we one of the other exhibitors pointed out that a lot of salon and spas are open on Saturday. Makes sense. We only signed up a couple subscriptions and called it a day.

Line 'em up!
When I arrived at the convention center on Saturday I knew this show attendance was going to be much better than Saturday, there was already a line forming to get in. While we did get better traffic, it very hard to draw people in. A lot of the exhibitors were being very aggressive with booth promotions. I decided to take a look in the main convention center.

Pandemonium!! It was like a giant CVS designed by someone does casinos in Vegas. The music was loud, you had different hair performers who would speak in to a microphone as they cut hair. Freaking crazy. My favorite was a girl in lingerie on stilts. Guess what she was selling? Curling irons, of course!!

Hair stage performer in action

I sat in on a couple break out sessions, learned a lot. We closed up the booth around six, with a few more orders. The feedback we got from attendees was great. But there were no other vendors selling technology directly to stylists, the other software companies were targeting enterprises sales to salons and spa owners. I look at this more of an opportunity than a problem.

Monday was “student day”, lots of students (dressed mostly in black and for whatever reason girls love to wear knee high boots, with short shorts, which was fine by me.). We had a few “be-backs” come back and order.

While I was hoping for a lot more orders due to the size of the show I came back encouraged. We plan on hitting a few spas and salons locally and see how that pans out. I need a hair cut anyway.

  1. I think MINX nail designs is brilliant, it is shiny and doesn’t need drying time, just apply to your nails and shape it to fit your nails in enough, it can make your nails beautiful for a long time. Very good. like it so much!

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