Side By Side Demonstration at Keller Williams Classic Realty

On August 20th, the Minnesota Chapter of NFSA achieved an historic first of sorts: we presented a side-by-side demonstration specifically to a group of real estate brokers and agents at Keller Williams Classic Realty in Coon Rapids. NFSA State Coordinator Joel Hewitt, a part-time real estate agent for Keller Williams, arranged a classroom presentation followed by a side-by-side demonstration as part of the company’s staff training program. The event was the first time that a side-by-side burn demonstration has taken place specifically to educate Minnesota realtors on the benefits of residential fire sprinklers.

Following a short presentation by Joel Hewitt, the realtors joined NFSA members and Coon Rapids Fire Chief John Piper in the parking lot for the side-by-side demonstration. The burn was a complete success, and there were many comments and questions after the demonstration from the 30 to 40 Realtors present. Many of the Keller Williams people took pictures and videos of the demonstration and posted on their Facebook and social media accounts. Following the burn and questions from the audience, NFSA State Coordinator Tom Brace presented a certificate of appreciation to Fire Chief John Piper and the fire crew from Coon Rapids Fire Department.

The event showed the power of these side-by-side demonstrations. First, we engaged an audience group that we had not specifically reached out to before – one that has a direct impact on other people’s decision of building or purchasing sprinkler-protected housing. The event gave us the opportunity to convert some of the agents directly by dispelling myths and talking about the effectiveness, efficiencies, and cost-effectiveness of residential sprinklers. The second major impact of these events is seeing the power that social media has to amplify a demonstration. Our group at Keller Williams numbered about 40, but the social media contacts that they shared and the messages that they sent reached a far greater audience than we ever could hope to gather in a parking lot.