One of the largest film and television commercial production companies in the Unites States has jumped into Real Estate by producing short, elaborate films meant to help agents market million dollar listings. Agents eager to prove themselves savvy in new tech and marketing techniques have jumped at the chance to impress wealthy sellers.
The company, Nashville’s Film House, has 38 years of filmmaking and production experience, primarily with television commercials, made the movie into the industry in 2013.
“We are filmmakers; we are not videographers filming a house tour,” said Doug Revere, president of the company’s Real Estate division. “We are telling stories.”
The films, which cost the seller roughly one-half of one percent of the listing price — $10,000 to $15,000 for a home selling for $2 million — star professional actors and use original music to show off a property’s best qualities.
The films help in two ways, Film House CEO Curt Hahn said. They allow agents to sell homes faster by reaching a wider pool of buyers, and to secure more listings, because the films have impressed property owners.
“It’s something really different for high-end properties and no one else in our market was doing that, said Mollie Owen, an agent at Hodge and Kittrell Sotheby’s International Realty (@HodgeKittrell) in Raleigh, N.C.
Owen first heard the concept presented at the National Association of Realtors conference in San Francisco in November 2013. As one of Film House’s newest clients, her first film, for a $2.2 million-listing, was completed this month. Since then the video has gotten many clicks, and several agents representing buyers have been in touch to schedule tours. Owen said she and her seller are splitting the cost.
“Our Realtor clients are doing this first and foremost to help brand themselves as cutting-edge marketers and separate themselves from the competition,” Hahn said.
One Nashville Realtor went from the eighth-best in his firm in 2012, to the second best in 2013. And he was able to pick up more-expensive listings — from between $500,000 and a $1million, up to $2.7 million.
“He started beating our older, more-established Realtors to whom he used to lose to,” Hahn said.
While the length is typically between three and six minutes, the script and content is dictated by the home and its amenities. If the nicer amenities are outside, the film concentrates on the pool, sauna and an outdoor kitchen. A recent script centered on a 60-year-old celebrating his birthday with a giant pool party, for example. A film about a $10 million-ski chalet in Telluride, Colo., tells the story of a corporate executive reconnecting with his large family at his new home.
“While we are following this family and enjoying the emotions they have by owning this house, we are also getting a tour of the house,” said Revere, who by the age of 20 was a Realtor specializing in million dollar listings in Beverly Hills. “In the luxury space, it’s emotions that sell the home. No one needs a $10 million-ski chalet in Telluride. They want it because of what it can do for them.”
After determining the script, a casting call goes out, the same if Film House was filming a commercial. Professionals handle the lead parts, but many times, the seller clients and their families play roles as extras because the process is fun for them. Some films have talking parts, while others have only music.
“There’s (other) video marketing, but usually it’s just going through the house and talking about the features,” Owen said. “These movies feature more of the emotional feel of buying a house, which is a big part of it. This is where a family is going to live their lives and make memories.”
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