Getting a listings video to go viral

Developers and brokers take promotional videos to a new level

Last month, a North Carolina broker posted an elaborately choreographed version of “Call Me Maybe” on YouTube. Not to be outdone, New York real estate pros are also investing time and money in increasingly elaborate promotional videos.

Developer Matthew Blesso, for example, last month released a video advertising his penthouse at 684 Broadway, which is on the market for $8.95 million. Set to cello music, the video shows yogis in various poses throughout the home, and features interviews with architect Joel Sanders and Brooklyn Botanic Garden curator Cayleb Long. According to the blog Curbed, the video cost some $50,000 to make.

Listing broker Bernice Leventhal said that figure isn’t correct, but declined to say how much it cost. She did say, however, that the intent of the video was to do something that “no one else has done.”

She said Blesso, a yoga enthusiast, didn’t want the video to feel “too formal,” as many property tour films tend to be.

Tiana Von Johnson, founder of the Manhattan brokerage Goldstar Properties, recently created a nearly four-minute promotional film showing footage of her posing for a glamorous photo shoot in a client’s apartment.

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Von Johnson, who worked as a producer and played several small roles in films before entering real estate, said she hoped the video would “take the edge off” her sharp, go-getter image.

She promoted the film, which cost $10,000 to make, on Facebook and Twitter.

Since then, she said, “I’ve received e-mails from all across the world from people telling me how inspiring I am, and requesting internships, and even from a few buyers, one of which actually led to a contract!”

But brokers don’t have to spend thousands to make their videos stand out.

Manhattan Spaces Managing Director Matthew Hars recently released a video for his listing at 201 Clinton Avenue in Fort Greene, which is on the market for $418,000. Reminiscent of a movie trailer, the short film opens with an explosion in the streets of New York City. But the clip cost only $50 or $60 to make, said Hars, who produced it in Final Cut Pro with the help of a colleague. And Hars said he has seen a significant uptick in visits to his firm’s site since the release of the video, while several brokers and potential clients have inquired about the listing.

“The key is making it funny and creative and something that people will remember,” he said.