It worked for rock stars, why not real estate salespeople? For years, musicians made videos to help sell their records. Now one Quebec broker is getting in on the act by creating an online music video designed to help sell a home. He’s so pleased with his first effort he plans to make more.
“We launched on Oct. 26 and four days later it already hit 18,000 views – that’s considered a success for someone who’s not known,” says Gatineau-based Michael Lederman, who believes he’s the first in Canada to have tried the novel idea.
“I invited a mortgage broker, a notary and a Realtor from Ottawa to participate and act in the musical. We all had to work together. I posted it on Facebook first, my partners re-shared it, and then all their friends saw it and it grew from that point onwards,” he says. “So that’s an example of how to successfully use social media to benefit the client.”
The four-minute parody, set to the music of an Ed Sheeran tune, begins when a Realtor (played by Lederman) overhears a couple in a restaurant who are looking for their ideal home and offers to help. He brings them to his listed property in Aylmer, in Canada’s National Capital Region, and shows them all the features of the four-bedroom, two-bathroom house with income unit, which is listed at $359,900.
Everyone sings their lines, including a lender who can help make the sale happen. And when the words they lip sync don’t match up, oh well, that’s just part of what some see as the video’s quirky appeal. It’s proof that a video doesn’t have to be slick or well-polished to attract viewers. In fact, Lederman says, an amateur look might help.
Describing the entire experience as “so much fun and positive,” Lederman says he got the idea from an American Realtor friend who was making music videos to sell homes in Nashville. He invited his friend to Canada to help write the script and shoot and edit the video, which took about two weeks.
Though he won’t divulge the cost (or whether the homeowner has been asked to chip in for the production), he says such an undertaking could be done for between $1,000 to $5,000. He says the costs will be shared by some of the participants such as the mortgage broker and notary.
But the big question is, has it worked? Has the home sold? “Not yet,” says Lederman. In the days after the video came out, he said the weather was “terrible” and raining. “That put a damper on visits.” But he remains optimistic. “We got a lot of positive comments online and a few of them said, ‘you should see this house.’”
Lederman says the home has been on the market since September and that the average time to sell a home in Gatineau is 85 to 90 days. “Aylmer has the highest valuation in Gatineau. It’s close to Ottawa, it’s on the river, has bike paths, a marina, a sandy beach and a gorgeous picturesque town with old Victorian buildings. It’s a gem in the Ottawa valley,” he says, playing up the home’s benefits.
Lederman is planning to make more videos including some in French. He says he’ll make the next one shorter (under three minutes) and ask participants to promote the video sooner to catch Facebook’s algorithms.
He’s impressed with the reach of his online video. “What kind of listing on the MLS gets that kind of exposure (18,000 views in four days)?” While he acknowledges that not all those viewers are potential home buyers, he says those who aren’t might know someone who is and pass on the information.
“I really believe in doing everything in creative marketing to reach as many people as possible for my clients….and that’s why I took a leap of faith to do it (make the video),” he said. “In the Facebook paste, I tag each one of the performers and viewers can click on their names and go to their Facebook pages. It’s huge publicity for them that they wouldn’t have otherwise.”
A few days after the video appeared, he said they received 136 comments and 142 shares. “I expected some people might say ‘how unprofessional, you’ve debased the real estate industry,’ but instead, all the comments were wonderful. I didn’t expect that,” says Lederman.
There was one little criticism, but the Gatineau Realtor didn’t take it personally. “Half the comments were ‘I love it, but please don’t sing again!’”