Dan Finder, Michelle, and I were at the sushi bar a month or so ago and we were kicking some ideas around. Like everyone else out there, we’re filled with ideas that we constantly bounce back and forth. Ideas on how to grow the business, how to preserve the free time we have, how to make a difference, what legacy are we going to leave our kids, are open houses worth doing, is radio a good platform for real estate advertising, who do we know in LA, is Canada really a good place for client referrals and if so, how do we get them (ed note – Canadians are the largest international buyers of American real estate), etc…
You get the picture – ideas gestating; pass the soy sauce, please.
Dan and I are OC kids through and through; we work hard and do our best to enjoy the outdoors, from the beaches to the trails… Like any true Californians (we’re both transplants, btw, which are true Californians), we know we’re all part of the same tribe here. Our neighbors, the car wash guys, the surfers, the business execs – we’re all plying the same waters and probably sharing similar dreams – enjoy what you have; leave the planet a better place; improve your lot in life; take care of each other.
During our little sashimi session, we came up with an idea.
Agents For The Ocean.
Real estate agents who would support ocean & shoreline related charities. Give a little back after each transaction. Clients might be happy to know they were working with conscientious partners in their transactions, we’d be stoked to give back, and maybe it would make a drop of difference for our kids years from now.
It sounded right from the start and we looked at each other and smiled and said “yeah!”
After turning the name around and saying it out loud a few times, we decided we really liked it. We’re real estate agents, so the name to us was straightforward, but I thought it had a little ambiguity to it as well; maybe it could mean “agent” in terms of “steward”. Or “agent” as “stealth operator”. We dug it.
We got back to the office, I checked the domain name, saw it was available (yes!!), bought it and put together a website over the next few hours. I pulled out my sketchbook and drew up two quick logo ideas.
“Dan, Michelle – check it out!!”
They hadn’t known what I was taping away at; they rolled over and said “What is that?! Where did that come from?!”
We talked excitedly for the next hour. Dan knew a guy. He could help with the logo. He picked up the phone and called; his guy turned us on to his guy. We talked to that guy. Turns out, that guy couldn’t have been more right for the logo design gig. Dan Georgopoulos (yes, another Dan in this story) picked up the phone. “Yeah, send over your sketches; I’ll see what I can do.” Sent. Talking again now. “OK, I see where you’re going with this… yeah, I can help, sure.” Dan G used to be the Art Director for Surfing Magazine and his aesthetic was right up my alley – hand-drawn type, free flowing art…
These are the roughed ideas I sent him:
A day or two later, Dan G turned around a clean soulful version. Here’s the final logo:
We were so stoked when we got the final art. Dan F said he knew a guy. A sticker guy. (ed note – in SoCal no company is legitimate until they have stickers. I’ve seen Ernst & Young interns slapping up EY stickers up at Wahoos. JK, JK…)
We called some of our other agent friends and told them to get onboard. We got a couple. We’re working on more.
Thanks again to Dan Georgopoulos for hie work on the art. Check out his site @ www.dgvc.net sometime to see some of his other work.