Interviews

Company using your home as a billboard?

Brainiacs from Mars CEO his unique approach to helping homeowners

 

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," February 15, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF "YOUR WORLD": All right, so you can’t the bills on your house? Why not turn your house into a billboard? No joke. That is exactly what my next guest is doing. That’s one of his creations.

Romeo Mendoza is the CEO of Brainiacs from Mars.

How does this work, Romeo? You do what?

ROMEO MENDOZA, CEO, BRAINIACS FROM MARS: We build epic marketing campaigns.

So if you are a business looking for more customers, that’s what we help you with. And this is pretty much that. It’s pretty simple at its core. You let us paint your house. You let us turn it into a billboard and we’ll pay your mortgage.

CAVUTO: All right, but you make it look -- I’m sure your company is great, but you make it look like a god-awful eyesore. So neighbors probably...

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: No offense, but they don’t love it. They don’t love it.

But I guess it does solve partially a little bit of the housing crisis, right?

(CROSSTALK)

MENDOZA: Right. Well, people don’t understand it.

When we first went in there, we could not tell anyone because we have a lot of people following this. But when we explain it, that there’s an opportunity to help this homeowner, get them out of foreclosure, they all on board.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: So you’ll pay their mortgage for a year, right?

MENDOZA: Right.

(CROSSTALK)

MENDOZA: Regardless of the mortgage, right, so, for as long as it’s up. So, if it is up a month, we pay it a month. It’s up for a year; we pay it for a year.

CAVUTO: The year is the longest you will go?

MENDOZA: Right. Well, yes, we can extend it further, but a year is pretty much what we have it at right now.

CAVUTO: Because, by that time, you will have like a pitchfork, Frankenstein, the masses going nuts, right?

MENDOZA: Yes.

CAVUTO: What kind of reaction do you get from the neighborhood?

MENDOZA: You know what? Initially, it was tough. People don’t understand it.

But once they start seeing the ads going up, and once we explain it them, they get it, because the option is a foreclosure sign, a short sale, and that dramatically affects the neighborhood. This is temporary.

CAVUTO: Sure.

MENDOZA: This doesn’t affect prices. Short sales, foreclosures can impact the value of a home and their neighbors’ -- I think $220,000 -- so, once we explain that, they are pretty much on board.

CAVUTO: Yes. But I guess they have to weigh the eyesore next door, right?

MENDOZA: Right.

CAVUTO: But they’re OK with that?

MENDOZA: Yes, because they realize if it is not that, it’s their neighbor on the street, and so that is kind of the argument. Which one would you prefer?

CAVUTO: Well, I think it’s a brilliant market. I really do. I really do.

MENDOZA: Thank you.

CAVUTO: Now, does it bring you customers, though?

MENDOZA: Yes, it does.

CAVUTO: Does it actually -- hey, this is a marketing firm that I want to associate myself with?

MENDOZA: Yes. We’re actually launching a new campaign, a traveling campaign in a couple months.

But, yes, we have a lot of brands we work with. And we’re very alternative, and we’re very out of the box, and this just kind of speaks as to what we do.

CAVUTO: From the homeowners who sign up for this, do they know that despite the fact you are paying their mortgage for upwards of a year, it could that they have to deal with some angry neighbors in the interim? Are they OK with that?

MENDOZA: You know what? There’s not really any angry neighbors.

CAVUTO: Really?

MENDOZA: Like -- yes, once you explain the process, because really the alternative is they won’t be there.

Their neighbors don’t want that. This is a very tight-knit community. If their house is not painted, there’s an opportunity they might be gone. There’s an opportunity a foreclosure sign might be on there, and they understand that.

And so, it’s really a business or businesses and homeowners working together. And if we could do that, we can make this -- we could kind of jump out of this big housing mess we’re in.

CAVUTO: Actually, you know, Romeo, I am looking at the prior color of this house. I think yours is better. I think the -- is actually better.

(CROSSTALK)

MENDOZA: I will tell them that.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: Because I have a thing against green or whatever the heck that is.

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