The Real Deal New York

Sealing deals with Instagram

By Zachary Kussin | February 01, 2014 07:00AM

Instagram postings were given new life as staging art at a West Chelsea listing. From left: LuxuryLoft team members Herve Senequier, Alexander Bank, Leonard Steinberg and Amy Mendizabal

Framed photos of a storm rolling over the city, a view of the Plaza Hotel and a covered walkway perched over Staple Street in Tribeca drew the gazes of a small group of brokers and clients gathered at a $3.5 million West Chelsea listing one late January evening.

Other prints showing New York real estate, like the façade of the 40 Bond Street development and a view from a project at 27 Wooster Street, also hung in an evenly spaced 7-by-7 formation in the dining area of the spacious two-bedroom, two-bathroom digs.

It wasn’t just the photographer’s eye that made this exhibit unique. The 49 photos — nearly twice the size of the photos in their mobile appearance — were originally posted on Instagram.

It was the first time that Leonard Steinberg’s LuxuryLoft team used pictures from the photo-sharing service as staging art. It won’t be the last.

“It’s been very well received,” said Steinberg of the photo collection, which comes from his own account. “It’s Instagram come to real life.”

“They’re subliminal messages of what my eye sees that I want to share with the world,” Steinberg said. “And it helps me sell real estate.”

Indeed, a contract went out that very evening for the unit that hosted the spread, located inside the Cary Tamarkin-designed 456 West 19th Street near the High Line. Steinberg declined to comment on the pricing specifics, but said it’s close to the ask.

Aimee Scher of Scher Staging & Design, who staged the unit, said the display looked expensive, yet each shot cost under $10 to frame. “Taking it out of the Internet space and putting it on a wall just makes it interesting,” she said.

Steinberg shared the listing with colleague Herve Senequier, who had no photos displayed. He uses a BlackBerry and does not post on Instagram.