Spec mansion marketing shifts from champagne fridge to organic pantry

Sex isn’t selling, so over-the-top bachelor pads like the one Nile Niami dubbed “Opus,” are undergoing family-friendly transformations

TRD LOS ANGELES /
May.May 06, 2020 01:15 PM
The living room at the Opus (Credit: JIM BARTSCH via Forbes)
The living room at the Opus (Credit: JIM BARTSCH via Forbes)

What happens when sex doesn’t sell? If you’re an agent trying to move one of the dozens of sleek spec mansions that dot Los Angeles, you rebrand, even if it costs millions of dollars.

For years it’s been hip to position the ultramodern mansions as ultimate over-the-top dens on iniquity, targeting largely male buyers with walk-in champagne refrigerators, shark tanks and nightclub-style décor. But many haven’t been selling, so agents are now appealing to wealthy families, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Nile Niami’s monster creation in Beverly Hills, dubbed Opus, was the poster child for risqué marketing. Its infamous 2017 teaser video featured barely-dressed young women having a leisurely day of posing provocatively around the 20,500-square-foot mansion.

But earlier this year, Niami unloaded the property to one of his lenders, Joseph Englanoff, after several price cuts. Englanoff and the listing agents, Branden and Rayni Williams, quickly renamed it 1175 Billionaires’ Row and overhauled it as a family-friendly abode for a future buyer.

They removed the gold design accents, replaced the dark stone floors with wide plank oak and turned the Cristal champagne fridge into an organic pantry. The gold Lamborghini in the driveway was even replaced with a Porsche Macan SUV.

The rebrand cost $2 million and the property is set to hit the market asking $58 million, just below the lowest price tag Niami put on the home.

Douglas Elliman’s Fredrik Eklund similarly rebranded a Beverly Hills mansion this year. He reshot listing photos during the day and filmed a video trailer featuring himself, fellow listing agent Ben Bacal — who operates under his own Revel Real Estate brand — brand and a swarm of kids playing around the backyard.

“We wanted to get the eyeballs of parents — wealthy parents,” Eklund told the Journal. “And we wanted brokers who’d looked at the property before to see it in a new way.” [WSJ] — Dennis Lynch


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
The Beverly Hills office (Credit: Google Maps)

Sam Hakim-led family firm pays $36M for Beverly Hills office

Sam Hakim-led family firm pays $36M for Beverly Hills office
Gene Simmons of Kiss (Credit: Per Ole Hagen/Redferns via Getty Images)

Escape from LA: Kiss’ Gene Simmons lists Beverly Hills mansion

Escape from LA: Kiss’ Gene Simmons lists Beverly Hills mansion
Nile Niami and his Bel Air spec home (Credit: Araya Diaz/Getty Images, Juwan Li and Marc Angeles)

Compass lending service sues Nile Niami over Bel Air mansion

Compass lending service sues Nile Niami over Bel Air mansion
Patrick Nesbitt and the home (Credit: Hilton & Hyland via LA Times, and Scott Dudelson/Getty Images)

Hotelier now plans no-reserve auction for 20-acre Montecito estate

Hotelier now plans no-reserve auction for 20-acre Montecito estate
Rob Lowe and wife Sheryl Berkoff, with the home (Credit: Gregg DeGuire/WireImage via Getty Images, and Compass/The Agency)

Rob Lowe sells Montecito mansion for $46M

Rob Lowe sells Montecito mansion for $46M
LeBron James and the home at 9955 Beverly Grove Dr. (Credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images, and Google Maps)

Closing in on title, LeBron James closes on Beverly Hills mansion

Closing in on title, LeBron James closes on Beverly Hills mansion
Pierce Brosnan (Credit: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

$99M is not enough: Pierce Brosnan lists Malibu manse at massive price

$99M is not enough: Pierce Brosnan lists Malibu manse at massive price
John Legend and Chrissy Teigen (Credit: Charley Gallay/Getty Images)

John Legend and Chrissy Teigen find roomier digs in Benedict Canyon

John Legend and Chrissy Teigen find roomier digs in Benedict Canyon
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...