Archive for July, 2011



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I took some time to visit my cousin Mary, she’s was celebrating her 95th birthday, and last year she finally retired from running the bar in Cerrillos, New Mexico. Mary’s Bar was built by her father, Tony, and Mary is a wealth of information about the films, like “Young Guns” and others that were made there in Cerrillos.

Mary is a sweetie, but manages to handle any rough characters that might come into her bar. I remember once a group of bikers had been drinking beer on the front porch, one walked in, a huge guy, and belted  loudly, “I’ll have a whiskey.” Mary replied, without hesitation, “Absolutely not! You’ve been drinking beer all afternoon, if you mix it with whiskey, you’ll be drunker than a skunk, and wreck that bike of yours….you’re not even thinking of your mother are you? I’ll give you one more beer, and that’s it, pendejo (stupid in Spanish)!” As she spoke, he seemed to get shorter and shorter. “Okay, Mary, I’ll take that beer now – I appreciate it.”

You’ve gotta love her!  Here’s a few photos of Mary and the bar in Cerrillos.

Tourists enjoying a drink.

Mary's Bar in Cerrillos, New Mexico

Diane with Mary on hre 95th Birthday

Diane with Mary on her 95th Birthday

Remember to continually add photos to the house raffle website. It helps to keep it fresh, and entices ticket buyers to return and check it out. If you have a special visitor to the prize  home, take their photo and post it. Or you can create a page showing photos of ticket buyers and what they have to say about the prize  home, and the cause that will benefit from this house raffle fundraiser.

To your success!
Diane Giraudo McDermott

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Open House

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One of the best ways for the nonprofit to promote the house raffle is through Open Houses. People love to see the prize home, walk in every room, and get all their questions answered in person. Plus, this is a great place to sell the raffle tickets. I encourage you to do as many open houses as possible. And the Open House sign is your best tool. Place over 40 of those signs throughout the surrounding area of the prize home.

My signs read “3 Bd. House only $100” and the address. Then I attach a red open house sign at the top, and a red inflated balloon above that. This sign will be tall with great visibility. It’s true that people will not know if you’re selling the house for $100, or renting it for $100, or if $100 is the down-payment to buy, or they might think that the house is for sale for $100,000.00–even though $100,000.00 is not on your sign.  But the main thing is that after seeing sign after sign, they will come to the prize home to find out what you are doing. There you can explain the whole thing–you cannot put all of the information on a sign that people are trying to read from a moving vehicle.

The prize home will need to be set-up for this event, and the nonprofit will need volunteers to man the ticket sale table, but it’s well worth it. For detailed information on how to set-up an open house review Step 12 in I Sold My House in a Raffle .

To your success!
Diane Giraudo-McDermott


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House Raffle Formula

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Today a ticket buyer of a house raffle in California sent me an email of disappointment that he had not won anything in this house raffle where he had purchased 3 tickets. Well, as we all know, buying multiple tickets will certainly increase the ticket buyer’s odds of winning, but it does not guarantee a win.  Maybe he should look for a raffle with a formula with better odds of winning.

The raffle formula for every house raffle is different. The formula includes the total number of tickets that will be sold, the minimum ticket sale requirement in order to have a drawing, the cost of the ticket, and how many total prizes will be offered.   

The organization running the raffle, should carefully weigh every element of the formula in order to create the best winning formula for the successful outcome of the raffle. Not only should the organization want to bring in enough money to cover costs, and make a profit, it is vitally important to entice ticket buyers to buy–make it an opportunity they don’t want to miss.

To your success!

Diane Giraudo-McDermott

P.S. Did you know that just like fingerprints, every person’s tongue print is different

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Publicity is King

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Hello all,

Everyone can run an ad, even the Boston Strangler could run an ad, but publicity cannot be bought. That’s why it is so powerful. Publicity will outshine an ad in response every time. If a TV or Radio personality will interview the nonprofit director, or even the homeowner about your house raffle, this will bump up your ticket sales, add credibility to your raffle, and get you noticed. Try and hit all of the local networks, and radio stations, but if you have a compelling story, go for  national recognition as well. Remember that house raffle in Maryland that was followed by a national reporter, the nonprofit sold something like 7,000 tickets in only 72 days.

This week I was interviewed by Erica Viking on KIOT Coyote Radio 102.5. This is how that happened. The opening event of the Desert Academy house raffle at was covered by remote radio with Erika Viking. I met Erica during the event and later she contacted me for an interview about how I got involved with house raffles and what prompted me to write the book about it. 

So every time the nonprofit does something that is newsworthy, it should push for publicity–a story in the newspaper, a TV or radio interview–and send out press releases often. Even if the newsworthy happening is other than the house raffle, stick a blurp about the house raffle in there at the end. Why? Because whatever the need of the nonprofit may be, the net proceeds from the house raffle will help to meet that need.

To your success!
Diane Giraudo McDermott

P.S. If you yelled for 8 years, 7 months and 6 days, you will have produced enough sound energy to heat one cup of coffee.

Categories : Just the Tips
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What Others Are Saying:

“The book really does take you through the entire process. I feel like Diane holds your hand from beginning to end from qualifying the grand prize home to what happens after the drawing. I’m a homeowner and I’ve had difficulty selling my beautiful home. Now I know what it takes to sell my home in a raffle. I know exactly what type of nonprofit I need to partner with on my house raffle and what to expect. I’m excited to get started.”

-Karen L. Furguson, Homeowner in Tucson, Arizona

"Consulting with Diane by phone has been invaluable. Her knowledge on the subject of house raffles is enormous, and she has really given us a better understanding of the process as we move forward with our house raffle. She has been more than willing to take the time needed in answering all of our questions. After consulting with Diane, we feel we have a much better chance of putting together a successful house raffle and are excited about making it happen."

Chip Thompson, homeowner in Rehoboth, Delaware

"'I Sold My House in a Raffle' is an excellent example of creative marketing. The best marketers think "out of the box" and Diane shows that you can really sell your house in a raffle!"

-Ali Pervex, International Best Selling Author, 'Get Your Black Belt in Marketing',

“What a great marketing tool! This is a hot new method to get a property sold. My clients love this idea—I already have my first raffle house lined up. I’ll use Diane’s process to get and sell more listings.”

Jack C. Rosemary – California Real Estate Broker, 26 years experience

“I attended Diane’s workshop on February 27th, and she’s got it all together. Not only does she know how to pull off a house raffle but you can tell that she was a teacher because she knows how to convey the information. She broke the process into bite-size pieces and gave us exercises to complete so we were involved. Before anyone attempts a house raffle, they should attend Diane’s workshop–there’s more to it than one could imagine.”

-Ron Thomas, Real Estate Investor for 20 years, Albuquerque, New Mexico