Rubin: You’re not moving to Canada – but here’s a card

Neal Rubin
The Detroit News

Some people say they’re leaving the country if the wrong candidate becomes president — the wrong candidate, of course, being whichever one the speaker didn’t vote for.

It’s typically an idle threat. Director Robert Altman said he would relocate to France if George W. Bush were elected in 2000, for instance, which more or less started the trend, but he was still happily ensconced in Malibu when he died six years later.

More recently, reacting to the possibility of Donald Trump in the Oval Office, Raven-Symone said she would move to Canada and so did Lena Dunham, Neve Campbell, Detroit native Keegan-Michael Key (who at least knows the way) and Chloe Sevigny.


She probably won’t, since Jupiter is a ball of gas with no actual surface and the average temperature there is approximately -234 degrees. But if any of them decide to actually head north (or south, for Mr. Key), Russ Ravary stands ready to help.

Ravary, 57, is an expert in lakefront real estate, which he has sold for a decade, and packing parachutes, his task for part of his four years in the Army.

As of last week, he also has first-hand knowledge that whatever you do and however you mean it, somebody won’t like it.

All about marketing

Ravary lives in White Lake and works out of the Keller Williams office in Commerce Township.

He sells about 70 homes per year, he says, which is a lot, and he’ll tell you the key is branding.

“Once you get bigger,” he explains, “you need to have your face in front of the people.”

Last week, though, he displayed two other faces: Donald Trump’s and Hillary Clinton’s.

He put them on a 5-by-8 card and made them the centerpiece of his every-other-month mailing, the one that usually shows a photo of a house he just sold or a list of available dwellings near a certain lovely body of water.

“Whatever the outcome,” read the message beneath the pictures, “if you’re planning on moving out of the country, call me and I’ll get your house sold!”

Then came his name and phone number, (248) 310-6239, which some people dialed so they could complain.

They don’t get the joke

There is actual surprise in his voice when Ravary says, “Believe it or not, people are mad at me for that.”

Not all people, or even most people. One fellow called and said if he ever moves, Ravary is his guy. The aunt of someone he knows posted the card on Facebook labeled, “Best ad by a Realtor ever.”

But he’s been told the card was in bad taste, and that he disrespected both candidates. He heard from someone who thought he was telling her to leave the country, though in fairness, it sounded like English was her second language.

Sheesh, he says. He was just trying to make an impression and have a little fun.

“You have to give ‘em something to remember you,” Ravary says, “or something of value.”

Buy a house from him and he’ll give you a kayak or a barbecue grill. Check out his newsletter and it’ll usually have a recipe, or maybe a promo for the cardboard boat race he held this summer to raise money to fight cancer.

The political card was an anomaly, a little jest for the 20,000 addresses in West Bloomfield it costs him $2,800 to reach.

He says the inspiration came when Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said a Trump victory would send her to New Zealand.

She didn’t actually say that; rather, she said that’s how her late husband would have responded. But the net result was something intentionally funny about the presidential campaign, which is a bonus when so much of the race has made Canada sound even more appealing than usual.

In case anyone is conducting a straw poll, the first and last name in Detroit comedy gives Ravary solid marks for creativity.

“It’s clever,” says Mark Ridley of Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle in Royal Oak, though he stops short of a full LOL.

And, in case anyone is wondering, Ravary isn’t going anywhere.

He owns a home on Tull Lake and a cottage on White Lake, and he’s happy with his waterfront addresses – no matter who lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Twitter: @nealrubin_dn