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Posted by on Aug 24, 2013 in Bubbleinfo TV, Listing Agent Practices | 8 comments | Print Print

Selling Homes with Movies

movie

From Nick at the wsj.com - an excerpt:

Minimovies and Hollywood-style trailers complete with scripts, musical scores and even action sequences are cropping up as a new way to pitch pricey homes and condominium buildings. According to the National Association of Realtors, 14% of sellers used video to help sell their homes in 2012, up from 9% five years ago. Mr. Hahn, the director and CEO of Film House, said he shot his first real-estate minimovie in September of last year. He has since shot nearly 10, doing about one a week since June.

Real-estate agents and developers who commission the films say that perfectly lighted rooms and aspirational story lines help grab buyers, and are the next extension of a home-buying experience that has increasingly gone online. Budgets for such films are often a percentage of the home’s listing price, and can range from a couple thousand dollars to $1 million or more for large-scale productions marketing condo buildings. The cost is paid either by the listing agents or sellers, and sometimes split between them.

“Particularly when buying high-end houses, people really don’t want to spend time looking,” said Tom Patterson, the 4,000-square-foot condo’s listing agent. “The video shows it in a much stronger light [than photos] and with a little story for it, it adds a little emotion.”

Movie making is particularly popular in slower-selling markets. Though sales are picking up, homes in Nashville priced over $1 million still typically take a year or more to sell, said Anne Nilsson, a Nashville-based agent. She and partner Keith Merrill commissioned Mr. Hahn to create his first real-estate minimovie last year, a three-minute film depicting an actor following a series of clues on Post-it Notes through a 6,000-square-foot Southern Colonial-style home, leading to an actress playing his daughter, grinning as she shows him a Harvard acceptance letter.

“I called my husband into my office in London and said, ‘take a look at this’,” said Judy Neal, a retired directors’ representative, who said she liked how the video emphasized the home’s estate-like feel and walkable, in-town location. She and her husband flew over to see the home and wound up paying $1.435 million for it.

8 Comments

  1. And to think we thought we splurged when we printed color flyers to sell our home.

  2. I’d say there’s three types of videos here:

    * What Jim posts for buyers (candid, unvarnished, the good and bad: a replacement for a savvy person visiting a house)

    * What Jim posts when he sells a house (a little less candid, a little more selling, and still a replacement for visiting a house)

    * Some sort of hollywood production as described in that article, where it’s selling but not describing. Harvard acceptable letter and a crew of extras at a dinner party? FFS.

    #1 and #2 are extremely useful – I’m totally skeptical #3 is worth it versus just staging your house right and hiring the right agent. At 1% of the sale price on a typical 1m house, why not just make it look perfect? I bet Jim would love to tack on 1% for his videos!!

  3. I thought the Brenda Butler video was good.

  4. Thanks bode!

    The Hollywood movie with actors is another gimmick that plays on the seller’s ego. “We’ll make a real movie about your house!”

    I can spend $1,000,000 advertising your house for sale, but if the price ain’t right, it still won’t sell.

  5. So you are saying it’s like putting lipstick on a pig?

  6. No, that’s different.

    I’m saying that we (realtors) lie to sellers to get the listing. We make them think that its our special movies, big-name-brand, billion-dollars-in-sales, etc is what sells your house, and why you should list with us.

    But NONE of that matters like price.

    The only difference a listing agent makes is pushing a sale into the upper region of what it is worth (there is always a 5% swing on any house).

    The good agents pay for themselves. The mediocre agents charge 5% but get you the lower end of the value – in other words, sellers just waste the money on the commission.

  7. I say this at my own peril. But I’d rather tell the truth.

    Sellers will read me and think, “oh he just wants to give them away”.

    Agents even start believing their own hype, and think their own litle special twist or perhaps their marketing degree from 1982 makes a difference.

    The only difference is getting a good enough listing agent that they can sell your house at the top of the natural value, and close it.

  8. “The only difference is getting a good enough listing agent that they can sell your house at the top of the natural value, and close it.” -JtR

    I agree, Jim. And most buyers and sellers don’t understand the importance of an agent knowing how to negotiate the price when either an offer comes in or an offer is made…

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