Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Carson Valley Loses A Real Estate Friend

The Carson Valley real estate industry recently lost a friend, and we thought it appropriate to share her story. Ernestine Pollitt, more commonly known as Ernie … of Bert and Ernie fame, recently succumbed to Lymphoma. Ernie has been featured in our friend’s advertising for almost 13 years in the Carson Valley. You’ve seen them, the one with the picture of an attentive cute miniature Schnauzer and … Bert.

Ernie was acquired as a family pet after a breeder search that encompassed Northern Nevada and Northern California. She immediately became Bert’s fishing buddy and “sign dog”. Many of us give our dogs adventures when we put up or maintain our signs. The Valley is long and wide, many of the properties are rural, and it is fun to have a companion. Early on Bert was taking pictures of a new listing after putting up the sign and didn’t notice Ernie sitting up pretty in front of the sign.

Back at the office another agent was looking at the pictures to see if she wanted to show the home when she commented how cute Ernie was in front of the picture. Recognizing how cute she really was spontaneously posing pretty, an ad campaign was born. A lot of people use dogs in their real estate ads now, but Ernie was the first Carson Valley real estate dog. Over the years several agents actually called Bert, even from Carson City, to see if he’d mind if they used a dog in their ad … such was the impact of the sweet being, Ernie.

Ernie enjoyed a great life as she fished the lakes of the region with Bert. Ernie fished Walker, Pyramid, Tahoe, Topaz and especially Caples Lake. Caples has an island Bert calls Ernie Island because of their tradition of putting ashore there during the day so Ernie could romp and do her “thing”. Ernie loved to stand up front of their bow-rider while Bert raced 40mph across the lake to the fishing hole, her ears flapping in the breeze.

Planned as his companion, Ernie was named for the obvious, the Sesame Street character that Bert’s children watched so many years ago. She had two litters and the single son from the second litter was kept as a companion for Ernie, Earl, after Bert’s “special” uncle. Earl is still in mourning, but they will be acquiring a companion for him in the near future. There will not be an Ernie II as she was one of a kind. She valiantly fought back after being mauled by a big dog during one of her last walks … 3 months after being diagnosed with Lymphoma. She spent 6 days in the hospital and came home for another month of life. She was tough as well as cute. Ernie’s ashes are buried at the family cabin at Tahoe.

Our Advice: Bert’s initial reaction on her demise was to discard the Bert and Ernie ad material, the signs, business cards, print media, etc. His wife and assistant have encouraged him not to, however, out of respect for Ernie and, allegedly, because she is so much cuter than Bert. We encourage Bert to keep her pretty mug in his advertising as part of keeping the Carson Valley beautiful. He won’t be able to go home to get her when customers ask to see her, as often happened, but he can share a beautiful story when asked.

Many agents use animals in their advertising to get separation in the market, to be noticed, but not all have the natural appeal of Bert and Ernie. Ernie will be missed, but not forgotten.

Experience is Priceless! Lisa Wetzel & Jim Valentine, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, , 775-781-5472.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice article, it made me feel good! Nice to see the human side of business people from time to time!