Plane Crazy

June 1, 1996

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif.---So you thought your display at your company convention was a standout. Well, try to top this.

Pat Yendes, a salesperson with RE/MAX---Professional, REALTORS®, parked her Beechcraft Debonair single-engine airplane at RE/MAX's convention in February. For about $5,000, Yendes, a licensed pilot for 30 years, flew the plane to San Diego, had it towed to the convention center, and had her mechanic remove the propeller and part of the tail to get it inside. "It was probably a little crazy, but I've begun a marketing campaign with an aviation theme," she says. "So it was a great way to start."

And that wasn't the last convention she'll soar into. To cultivate referrals in the aviator niche, the sky queen plans to set up a real estate booth at air shows. "There are about 720,000--750,000 licensed pilots in this country. Pilots can often live anywhere, and the airlines don't have a lot of corporate relocation services.

"So this is affinity marketing," she says. "I can talk to pilots and feel comfortable, and pilots will feel comfortable working with me."

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