A month in, Halstead’s ProperTV sparks buyer interest

TRD New York /
Dec.December 17, 2008 02:45 PM

Thinking about moving to Harlem, or buying an apartment at the Toren in Williamsburg? Explore them both in under 10 minutes, from the comfort of your own home.

Last month, Halstead Property launched ProperTV, a series of videos on the brokerage’s Web site featuring properties, neighborhood tours and agent bios. And some brokers are already saying the videos have been attracting potential buyers, though no sales.

Charles Homet, a vice president at Halstead, created a video for one of his Chelsea listings, a loft at 236 West 26th Street. Before the video went online, Homet said his open houses drew one or two people, and sometimes none, but the Sunday following the launch of the video, six potential buyers showed up.

“As I took the buyers through the property they were referencing the video,” Homet said.

When Edward Herson, a Halstead senior vice president, made a video of a listing at the Plymouth, at 235 East 87th Street, the seller e-mailed the video to his friends, which lead to several viewings of the unit.

And Anna Kahn, another senior vice president, said in her showings of an apartment at 11 West 69th Street, 15 out of 20 potential buyers had mentioned seeing the property’s video.

Kahn, who was hesitant about being on camera at first, said she is now going to make videos for her listings above $1 million, and Herson said he’ll make videos for all his exclusives.

“Every property won’t be serviced by having a video tour,” Homet said. “But what a video can do very effectively is provide more information than a photo and description can. Photographs can be misleading, and it’s one thing to say something in a description, and another to show it in a video.”

While the brokers said the videos have certainly brought more potential buyers to these listings, none of the units have sold yet.

Halstead ProperTV has been in development since the beginning of 2008, when the brokerage’s in-house marketing team came up with the idea as a way to make the company’s Web site more engaging for potential buyers.

“Other than being face-to-face at an open house, this is the best way to engage people with real estate,” said Matthew Leone, the marketing manager of Terra Holdings, Halstead’s parent company.

In addition to help from Halstead marketing employees who have experience in production, Halstead worked with media companies WellcomeMat.com and Flash Frame Productions to put the videos together. There are currently more than 100 videos on Halstead’s Web site, including agent bios and property tours as well as recent television appearances of brokers and market report explanations. The money to produce the individual agent videos comes out of brokers’ marketing budgets. Leone would not say how much each segment cost.

Leone said the videos will be especially appealing to international buyers, as well as people moving to the city for the first time.

“People who are relocating have to understand the city’s neighborhoods, and on the Web site, you can watch tours with our agents of properties and neighborhoods,” Leone said.

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