Does Novelty and Entertainment Help Market Real Estate?

June 16th, 2016

PandaHousePaul in the UK says:

I’m a fan of your blog, despite not shooting real estate myself, as I enjoy reading many of your discussions and like picking up relevant tips and ideas for my product and editorial shoots.

However seeing this going around on local media. I felt I had to share with you as I feel there’s some intresting questions.

What is your view on ‘novelty’ elements like this? Obviously it’s got this seller a lot of press, but if someone were to ask for shots like that would you accommodate them, reject the idea outright, or shoot both for ‘coverage’? What about other ‘distracting’ elements like art/posters etc that could be picked up by social media – which may help sell the house, but may also distract from it’s pure photographic representation?

First of all, it’s interesting to note that since Paul sent me this UK listing link (a week ago) the listing agent has decided to put up new listing photos without the panda in every room. The guy in the panda suit that you see just above used to be somewhere in every listing photo. Now he’s gone… hmm maybe someone objected.

This is very much the still photo equivalent of some of the discussions that we’ve had on the blog about some of the entertaining property videos that are designed to get the viewers attention so they pass on a link to the video to their friends on social media. My take on this is the following:

  1. This concept of coming up with something novel, entertaining or outrageous to get people’s to share something with their friends is a natural result of the popularity and power of social media.
  2. We saw this start 5 years ago in Brisbane, AU when Ian Adams, an agent on the Austrailian Gold Coast, discovered that he could get instant coverage worldwide by having shoot some risque video of his listings.
  3. Based on examples I’ve seen you can’t claim that this marketing approach doesn’t get attention because it clearly does. But what is novel or entertaining today is boring tomorrow. Novelty goes away viewers see it over and over.
  4. So even though this approach works, I don’t think you can make it the basis of a solid long term marketing approach. In the long run, you can’t beat the solid quality of high-quality well-presented work.

Would I do this if someone asked? Sure, if the client provided the Panda. But I seriously doubt if there are any real estate photographers that will make this kind of thing part of their brand!

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3 Responses to “Does Novelty and Entertainment Help Market Real Estate?”

  • Some things that one person may see as novel another will see as creepy.

    The most novel marketing technique in my area is professional quality photos.

  • I totally agree Ken! We have a regional insurance company that runs an ad where he replies “yes” to each prospective insurance question. At the end, there are two little girls that ask (in unison) “Can you insure our lemonade stand?”, to which he replies (while holding a cup of lemonade) “Mmmm, yes!”. It just creeps me out the way he says to the little girls. I’m sure there are plenty of people that find it amusing, but not me!

  • Cal Worthington used “His dog Spot” in his auto dealership ads for years. The animal was always something other than a dog e.g. chimpanzee or lion etc.
    It went on for over 30 years and became iconic. However he spent literally millions to do that.

    Novelty marketing is usually annoying. It can generate a smile or two but rarely converts into sales.
    It is also the province of TV and promoting volume sales of high profit items.

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