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should you GET SEXUAL with your listing videos? | Episode 61

Sexy, steamy listing videos are TAKING OVER in certain markets. Should you give in to your property’s SEXY SIDE (and, let’s face it, yours or a stunt double playing you)? We’ll get into all the details of the HOTTEST LISTING STRATEGY out there in today’s episode. I’m Carole Ellis. This is Episode 61.

So is the key to mass exposure in your local housing market to GET SEXY in your video listing? Okay folks, full disclosure here, I’m not going to say anything crass in today’s episode, but we are going to talk a little bit about some pretty unorthodox methods of garnering attention for your listing, including describing in a bit of detail one listing that has gone SO VIRAL for so many reasons. And not all those reasons are universally considered to be PG, though as with all REI Today episodes, we’ll keep it clean. So I just want to make you aware before we…well…DIVE IN, shall we say.

Now that you’re completely curious, I’m going to make you wait just a minute for all the steamy details because I want to take a second to REMIND you about our HOA Horror Story competition! Post your WORST HOA NIGHTMARE (it can be with an investment or a personal property) on yesterday’s EXTREMELY controversial episode at www.rei.today/HOAHORROR (one word) and REI Today (that’s me) will send the winner who has the most blood-curdling story (or the one that makes the most steam come out of my ears!) a fabulous REI Today t-shirt. As I mentioned yesterday: they’re awesome, sparkly, and I love them, but we also have a non-sparkly version for the guys and our non-rhinestony ladies, so don’t let your dislike of a little glitter deter you. Oh, and I’ll also interview you for a future episode. There’s that too. So head over to www.rei.today/HOAHORROR to leave your worst homeowners’ association nightmare account as soon as you finish listening to today’s episode.

Now, back to the debate about whether it’s time to get sexual with your real estate listings…Here’s what started it:

I think we all know that the West Coast is chock full of beautiful, unique, ultra-luxurious mega-mansions that need to sell for about a gazillion dollars a piece when their owners decide to move. That’s the median price, by the way, gazillion dollars. Just kidding, but you get my drift. So when you have one of these mega-mansions and you want it to stand out from the rest, the latest thing to do is make a really lovely video that uses a storyline to showcase the property. For example, a woman spending a leisurely day preparing to greet her spouse with a beautiful anniversary dinner. Now, as any of us would do if we lived in a mega-mansion with a gorgeous crystal wine cave, a sparkling infinity pool, a yoga studio, closets for miles, a fully updated kitchen, and a bathroom with a shower to die for, we’d stroll about the grounds making use of the property (in a bikini, of course) and, at some point…and here’s what’s stirring some people up a bit…we’d take that bikini off, showcase our lower back tattoo tastefully of course, and hop our nude little booty (thanks, daily yoga!) into the shower. Then, when we hopped out, we’d greet our female partner (who’s clearly been making use of the yoga studio as well) as she stepped out of her fabulous Lamborghini (on loan for the listing shoot) with a nice, passionate (but still reasonably tasteful) girl-on-girl kiss.

That’s right: there was a neat little surprise at the end. And it’s a great video. And before we go any further, I’m not interested in talking about how you or I feel about same-sex relationships. That is NOT the point here. Love ‘em, hate ‘em, or just let’em be. Not the point. Let’s not go there. Instead, let’s get to the point:

This thing was RACY for real estate. And I personally loved it, but I wasn’t  expecting to see naked tattooed backside even though I knew it was going viral for steamy content. The listing agent for the property in question has clearly been fielding a few attacks on the subject, and he said basically hey, if you happen to live in this gorgeous world of opulence and luxury, then this could be your real, glamorous life. “Why not show it off?” he asked, adding, “We sell the Hollywood lifestyle, and there’s nothing risqué about a real estate film like this in LA.”

So I’m inclined to buy that argument 100 percent. But I think the real question is how can investors use the lessons in this film in a meaningful, profitable, and, ultimately, tasteful way that will actually sell their properties. There are plenty of investors out there, male and female, leveraging their sex appeal on a daily basis. Most female professionals in our industry will tell you that whether they do it deliberately or not, their gender plays a role in their business whether positive or negative, and whether they leverage it or not. Hey, women come with unique traits that have been shown in many scientifically conducted studies to optimize our results when we get involved in investing (more on that later). But is it wise to leverage what I guess I’ll just call our more obvious (and also scientific) assets or does it ultimately detract from our credibility (and this goes for guys trying to leverage female assets as well – we’ve all seen more than one of those “girls-in-bikinis” listing videos that might not necessarily have made us want to buy the property no matter how much we watched it)?

If you want to “get sexual” with your listing videos or photos, here are three basic rules to follow:

  1. Take the temperature of your target market – that LA property ad was beautifully and professionally shot and played to an audience that is highly likely to accept and admire the storyline. Frankly, there are more “conservative” for lack of a better word markets where it might not fly.
  2. Err on the side of taste – Last year a big-shot agent in New York City attempted this and spent a LOT of money on what was basically a lingerie shoot in a client’s apartment. The listing got a lot of views, but it didn’t sell fast or for asking. Was the shoot the only reason? Probably not. But it’s my suspicion that it didn’t help bring in the COUPLES who would have been the target buyers in the area.
  3. Stick with the story – you’ll go a long way toward keeping your audience and building a positive rapport with them if you’ve got a story that you’re telling. Adding in the storyline will eliminate some of your buyers, however, so make sure that it fits your target audience. Just like the guy selling a family home (albeit a glamorous one) with a lingerie shoot, you don’t want to turn off your target audience by presenting them with something they simply can’t identify with. No matter the genders involved in our marriages and relationships, we can all identify with that candlelit dinner, and making the gender a surprise little kicker at the end didn’t really change the atmosphere of the video one way or the other, though I bet it helped with PR.

Now, if you’re still wondering about (or hey, smarting) from that little statement about women getting better documented results than men in their investing, I encourage you to check out my article about just that topic that was published in the Huffington Post. It’s my belief that men and women are indisputably different in some very key ways, so you might as well leverage those differences and enjoy the outcomes. It’s probably not what you might be expecting. I’ve got the reprint locked up tight in the REI Today Vault, so check it out either on HuffPo or head over to www.rei.today/vault right now. Not yet a member? No worries! text REITODAY no spaces, no periods to 33444 and I’ll immediately send you the information you need to get that access and ALSO provide you with fast, immediate access to all sorts of great trainings, news coverage, interviews, and lot more timely information that will help make your investing safer, faster, and more profitable.

And remember, when you do that, you’ll also be able to GROW YOUR NETWORK by interacting with me and your fellow listeners to REI Today… so stop by to ask questions, make comments and network with other investors across the country. Text REITODAY no spaces no periods to 33444 or head over to www.rei.today/vault right now.

REI Nation, thanks for listening in and always remember this:

Your best investment is your own education.

About the Author

Carole Ellis is the host of Real Estate Investing Today, a popular 9-minute daily podcast focused on educating real estate investors about the important topics that will make their investing SAFER, FASTER, and MORE PROFITABLE. She's also the editor of the Bryan Ellis Investing Letter. She has more than a decade's worth of experience in and reporting on the real estate industry and, additionally, has written dozens of courses on the topic. Carole lives in Kennesaw with her husband, Bryan, and four children. She believes wholeheartedly that your best investment is always your OWN education.

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