This was the best of the 40+ house videos on this guy’s YouTube channel – and the only one from San Diego (the others were corny). This condo sold for $2,330,000 in 2014, after selling for $3,000,000 when new in 2007:
Splurging on glossy renderings is so early aughts; now, the hottest sales tool for a luxe NYC crash-pad is a custom-made mini movie. And the Scorsese of selling homes is Curt Hahn, the Tennessee-based owner of Film House. This seasoned film vet turned his movie-producing skills to moving houses four years ago, at the suggestion of a real estate-agent friend.
It’s given Hahn’s four-decade career in movies, commercials and concert films (where he’s worked with Candice Bergen, Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire and Isaac Hayes) a new twist. He now shoots and edits at least one such “home video” somewhere in the country each month; budgets run around $20,000 per shoot, and each is painstakingly scripted and cast.
For a museumlike home more suitable for a family without young kids, Hahn’s mini movie featured a childless gay couple, which helped seal the deal with their real-life counterparts. When tasked with selling an eight-figure ski lodge in Telluride — “the kind that one-tenth of the 1 percent could afford” — Hahn imagined a CEO keen on creating a family hideaway.
So he scripted the story of a father soothing his mirror-image, workaholic daughter with a trip to the grand lodge, during which the entire clan surrendered their cellphones. The lodge quickly sold to a wealthy family, as planned. “It so resonated that we’ve now done several versions of that storyline for other homes,” Hahn notes.
He explains that several factors have driven the domestic-movie boom. Staging, of course, effectively transforms ordinary homes into movie sets. The prevalence of social media has made video an ideal (and shareable) selling tool. And the globalization of high-end buyers has been crucial.
Indeed, one couple spent $1.4 million on an apartment without ever visiting in person. Recalls Hahn: “They told me, ‘We watched that movie at least 25 times, we know where every stick of furniture we own is going to go.’”