gimmicky photos

Could gimmicky photos and videos help sell homes in the Baltimore area?

Do videos and photos where agents get dressed up in a costume, dance, or do something else that’s gimmicky, actually help to sell homes? These types of videos can definitely engage your audience in a visually compelling way. Some are amazing, some are lame, and some are extremely funny. Here are a few examples so you can see  what I mean:

Casey Lewis, a real estate agent in Texas, dressed up in a T Rex costume for his photos and video, and used that to sell an $89,900 home:

According to this article at Forbes, “Dinosaur listing video turns into marketing success story“, the home went under contract in 2 days.  A great result!

Lewis told Realtor.com, “The listing has been featured on local news, shared hundreds of times on social media, and I’ve received calls from all over the country asking for information about the property.”

But Casey Lewis is not the first agent to try this type of real estate marketing. Another agent in Charlotte did exactly the same thing last year:

Real estate agent Jonathan Andrews spoke to Inman.com about the video:

“Feedback has been unbelievable. A number of people have commented about how great and creative the video is. It’s certainly been much stronger than any other video I’ve made.

But most importantly I’m receiving calls from people wanting to tour the home of this dinosaur video they saw on Facebook. That’s a new one for me!”

A few years ago another real estate agent, Jessica Arnett from Texas, dressed up as a panda in her photos:

Meanwhile, real estate agent Clint Smith in Queensland, Australia, used his smooth dance moves in a marketing video for one of his listings:

Unfortunately, Smith’s video doesn’t really show very much of the home – just a few different scenes in the living room and bedroom.

Another agent, Dylan Mahaney in New Brunswick, Canada, also did a dance video in which he wears a deadpan expression and moves through the house while performing “The Floss” — but he incorporated it as part of the overall home tour:

Mahaney said he has not yet received any offers for the Upper Coverdale, N.B., house — which is on the market for a cool $319,900 — though he hopes the video will get the attention of prospective house hunters.

“Ultimately, my goal is to sell the house,” he said. “As silly as it is, my client will never be able to say that I didn’t try.”

Mahaney has also created other dance videos, and it looks like it’s become his signature style:

And maybe it’s working, because Mahaney has picked up some media attention for his unique videos:

NGU Real Estate, in Australia, also appears to be doing a lot of videos to promote their available listings. If you look at the history of video views on their Facebook Page, their older videos, while very professional, have very few views (around 1,000). However, once they started to include exotic cars and very attractive models, and advertised them on Facebook, the video views skyrocketed. Here’s an example of one of these videos which has had about 238,000 views at the time of this writing:

Leading marketing expert Gary Vaynerchuk says real estate agents needs to be the “digital mayor” of their local market. These agents seem to have taken that advice to heart by finding new and creative ways to market themselves and their local real estate business.

But do crazy real estate photos and videos make more sales?
Do you think the extra attention from these types of videos help the real estate agent get more listings, or do they help the homeowners get a better price or a quicker sale? In the end, these videos are at attempt to achieve both og these goals, and it would be interesting to know the final results in the months after the photos and videos go viral online.
 
On the positive side, any video or photo like this has the potential of working for an agent, so it might be worth trying. As marketers we don’t get anywhere by sitting on the sofa, doing the same thing that everyone else is doing. When we stand out in our market then we might do something that works, so credit to these agents for thinking outside the box and trying something different.
 
If an agent dresses up in some kind of costume, and it gets some media attention, does that help the agent long-term? Maybe it does, if the viewers have a positive response to the video or photos. If people like it chances are that then they’ll like the agent. But if it comes across as being too weird – in a bad way – then it may very well backfire on that agent, which could have the opposite effect and actually be bad for the agent.
Does an agent need to do something gimmicky to stand out in today’s social media world?

I think it depends on what they do and how they do it. For example, the video done by NGU Real Estate in Australia that features a lot of exotic cars is creating professional videos for every home they list, as well as all of their rental properties. That’s a smart plan, as it incorporates consistency, and that approach can help a real estate agency become better known which, in turn, brings more sales. People like to list their home with a company or agent that is highly professional, and that creates exceptional marketing. I think NGU Real Estate, as one example, does that.

What about the agents that dress up as dinosaurs, or pandas, or who dance in a clip?

This marketing style can seem more gimmicky, unless it is part of a broader package that is consistent in its messaging. If an agent creates great work, and consistently incorporates, say, a costume of some sort in much of their brand then maybe that’s an appropriate step. However, these agents would want to be sure that such gimmicks do not detract from the ultimate goal of marketing the property. Some of the videos above didn’t get the balance right, with the video only being about the agent in the costume, but others did get the balance in terms of showcasing the home with a bit of an entertaining twist.

Gimmicks aren’t necessary for real estate videos and photos
If a real estate agent decides that a costume or a dance is not their thing, but they still want to go viral in their market, then they can definitely do that. In my view an agent can become well known in their local market by simply using high-quality photos, professional videos, and targeted Facebook content that is appreciated by buyers and sellers in their area.
 
Give buyers what they want – first class visual marketing material that clearly shows the home and amenities – and that agent will grow their business.  No gimmicks required.

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