A delicious real estate story

Kevin Levy is not a techie.

Socially, he’s Casper.

His real estate celebrity time card has no holes in it.

Some might believe that his real estate career has an expiration date. They are about to…

Eat their words

Kevin is a 40-something Realtor with M Realtyin Portland, Oregon. His collective experiences are like curry – pinches of many different career spices mixed together.

He’s an organic farmer. Writer. Musician. Cake decorator. Ex NASA instructor. The many assorted and aromatic ingredients that make up the quintessential agent.

Like many of his peers, Kevin is passionate about being a Realtor. As the brother of a broker and the son of real estate investors, real estate is a sort of homecoming, connecting him to his roots and the experiences he had while accompanying his parents on their many home inspections.

Like many of his peers, Kevin is passionate about selling homes. Specifically those within his neighborhood – the Hawthorne district in Portland.

And that’s where this story and Kevin take a unique turn.

While most agents farm a community to generate leads, Kevin, the organic farmer that he is, planted a different kind of seed in hopes of producing something far more sustainable – a better housing market in his community.

The Hawthorne Open

This would be a one day celebration of his funky, cool, eclectic neighborhood filled with amazing shops, spirited residents, and their amazing homes.

Kevin reached out to dozens of his competitors – local agents – suggesting they contribute to this event by simply hosting an open house of their listings on a prearranged day – June 26th. He would need their permission to include information about their listings on a promotional Website he was planning to build for the event.

Many of his peers agreed, though some wondered what was really in it for Kevin. The event would take considerable time to organize. Thousands to promote. And the benefits would be dispersed among the 30 or so agents he had no referral relationship with and buyers and sellers who were not his clients.

But Kevin tilled this soil for the benefit of everyone, hoping to cultivate interest in the community he loves and re-invigorate the local real estate market by turning buyers onto great deals. Yet is seemed just a tad…


Kevin had a friend design this marketing collateral for use on postcards and door hangers promoting the event.

He built this Hawthorne Real Estate website too. He then crossed his fingers. Hoped for a turnout.

As the date approached, something even crazier happened. Kevin received calls from agents from outside the area who had listings in Hawthorne. Their sellers wanted them to get involved in the event. More work for Kevin. Good work. A welcomed rain shower across the farmland. 21 homes in total. Hundreds of people came. More surprises followed.

After the event, Kevin’s phone rang with praise from local merchants. Homeowners. People who loved the event. The promotional artwork. The site. Even the Oregonian found the event newsworthy.

Offers on those open homes came next. Pending sales for his competitors.

Then the big surprise – a bevy of listing appointments from local homeowners inspired to get off the fence, trust the process, and list their home. With Kevin.

One simple act. Many great results. Sprouts.

There’s no app for that.

Amid the clamor for all that is new, Kevin drew from the calmer waters of old school marketing – the traditional stuff that no app can replicate.

This too is what people really want from their agent. A creative mind. A pure heart. A generous spirit. A big picture outlook. And the willingness to work up and invest in a good campaign. And then roll up the sleeves and work it.

People admire people who do that. I know I do.