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Example of $50,000 Real Estate Video Marketing in Newport Beach

Published: 19/10/2018
By: larry

Tim Krueger down in Southern California pointed out this video promoting a new $45 million Balboa Peninsula mansion and an article in the LA Times about Tim Smith, the listing agent. Update: Also, at, Tim Smith the listing agent explains the background for this film and why they made it.

The LA Times article says:

The house, expensive even by Newport standards, hit the market Monday with a $45-million list price and a marketing video that goes beyond the usual walk-through and aerial footage. Tim Smith of the Smith Group, a specialist in coastal Orange County luxury properties, connected with professional filmmakers, a cast of social media personalities, and the artists behind the viral 2010 party anthem “Teach Me How to Dougie” to create a takeoff called “Teach Me How to Duffy,” which aims to show potential buyers the lifestyle that awaits in the newly built, never-lived-in Balboa Peninsula mansion.

Smith, who regularly commissions creative, narrative-driven videos to highlight his listings, said he wanted to create “energy around the listing” with “Teach Me How to Duffy,” which was produced in less than two weeks on a $50,000 budget.

The unusual thing about this video is that it doesn't even reveal that it is marketing a property until about 2:30 minutes into the 4-minute video.

29 comments on “Example of $50,000 Real Estate Video Marketing in Newport Beach”

  1. What a waste of money...if indeed they did spend that on promoting ....What? Newport, where I grew up, is nothing like the clip infers and if your from there you would know it is a very laid back community that caters to real money, not hip hop

  2. I wasted a lot of my youth on the peninsula surfin', hangin' out, working at Mutt's makin' pizza when it was next to the ferry (yes, I'm that old). It's a young and busy area during the summer months but was never "urban" when I was there. The residents tend to be a lot more conservative especially in the $10million/house and up range. Dennis Rodman was not appreciated when he lived in Newport due to lots of out of control parties and constant issues with the police.

    I just don't see a rap video being a very good advertising hook for the property. A "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" themed campaign would be more appropriate with a Bentley/Mercedes in the driveway and a fancy motor yacht tied up on the harbor side. No keggers with lots of "hipsters", but martinis being sipped by the elegantly dressed.

    I zipped through a lot of the video. I don't care for rap and get too much of it forced on my by neighbors that have car stereos worth more than the car itself and just love to share the pain.

    For $50k, it would have been better to produce 2 or 3 videos that would target the type of people that can afford such a house. The younger up and coming executive looking for investments to put their trust fund in. The middle aged executive that made a mint when the company they were at went public or got bought out by a meganational and the older folks that have done very well in their professional life and are looking for something really special. Lots of the clips would be able to be used between all three with different vignettes featuring different actors. Perhaps some different styling as well. I get selling the lifestyle, but it has to be appropriate for the property and some attention has to be spent on the property as well.

  3. I agree with everyone so far, what a waste of money... who would even get through to the 2&½ minute mark to see it's even remotely about a property??? Crazy!!!

  4. @Lee Miller, that video is fantastic and I can absolutely see how that cost $50k! As to its effectiveness for marketing the property, that's questionable, but the production of the actual video is outstanding.

    That said, I agree with Ken. If I was heading that campaign I would have used that budget to produce 2-3 shorter, more targeted videos for the property, lifestyle, and community.

  5. I rented a Duffy in Annapolis and I can see this as a fun ad more for Duffy Electric Boats, bet there is an uptick in sales. Give it 10 for different...and can see where the $50k went in production of this video. Will it be a direct contributing factor to the sale of the house? Think that's a wild card.

  6. People can say it wasn't worth it and that it was dumb... which it kind of was considering it only showed a rear exterior view of the home. BUT, the fact that it just got posted here and now everyone is looking at it is the reason it was created. If it were your standard "lifestyle of the rich and famous" video it would just fall in like with the rest of them. This agent's no fool.

  7. The production was very high end. I don't suspect the video to be marketing to the correct clientele, but on a gamble, this video could go viral. If it does the agent could name his price. If that happens he wins twice, he will be loaded up with ultra luxury listings for life. Not your typical listing video for certain, might not even fit the location but it's an A+++ for thinking outside the box.

  8. The outcome will determine if it was a smart move... if the property sells for the price they are asking, or more, then it was well worth the money spent. It's not my "cup of tea" but it is well produced for a music video.

  9. Well produced property videos dont sell homes, they sell agents. This is a showpiece video alongside an already impressive marketing stack that will help this agent land million more in listing revenue. It's valuable to keep this in mind as we create products our agents. They already have the listing we are shooting, how can our efforts help them get the next one.

  10. @Jeff Griggs - Well said. That guy in the blue coat @ 2:48 in the video is Tim Smith (the listing agent and owner of The Smith Group). The Smith Group is Coldwell Banker's #1 team in California and #2 in the US with over $2 Billion in sales volume a year.

  11. 1) This is incredible, really good, smart, well done, _________(fill in some more superlatives).
    2) The "this-is-dumb-because-old-people-in-MyTown,Ohio-won't-like-it" comments are clueless, clueless, clueless. Trust me, the property videos from your town put young affluent people in California to sleep. Which is fine, because you're not trying to sell to Childish Gambino, are you? (see #5, below)
    3) It's another example of what PFRE marketing is really, actually, about - branding the agent.
    4) 75,000 views/2 weeks...and counting. Raise your hand if you can beat that.
    5) It's Orange County, people. This is a (kind of, sorta) inside joke about the beige blandness that is the OC's core personality (not even kidding: the "Duffy" is a real thing.) It wasn't made to appeal to your Uncle Lars in South Dakota (see #2, above).
    6) $50K sounds about right for the production value. A little perspective: assuming the house sells for asking (pretty reasonable given the incredible housing market in CA) then they'll have spent about 1/10th of 1% of the sale price on a branding video. If you scale down to a $100,000 house in a rural area, that's like spending a hundred bucks for a video.
    7) IT'S NOT ABOUT SELLING THE DAMN HOUSE. If you're shaking your head and saying, "I don't get it", it's because you don't "get" marketing. Taking a photo of your used surfboard and posting it on Craigslist is *not* marketing. Making a funny video with John Florence pretending to buy it because of some made-up esoteric quality it has *is* marketing. It'll sell the surfboard AND make you a name in the surfing community.

  12. Listen to Scott, dummies, you readers just aren't smart or cool enough to know effective indirect marketing when you see it. A guy who is the Prince of Lighting can certainly be relied upon to en-lighten your minds. Just as he can make a 5 million dollar home look like a 7 million dollar home, he knows a thing or two about how a good marketing video can make a super-wealthy buyer's jaded mind vibrate with excitement and get him to suddenly remember the password to his off-the-books Cayman Island account. Keep in mind, sometimes the only way to reach a man who can already buy and sell Suriname is by taking the viagra road straight to his id. And nothing does it better than a video showing fit young things gyrating on a slow boat through Vacuum City. And who is better qualified for disquisition on anything related to the rich, famous and oh-so OC, than the man who vanquishes shadows and obliterates uneven light in said individuals' mansions.
    So listen up people! The man with the flash - is the man with panache!

  13. "3) It’s another example of what PFRE marketing is really, actually, about – branding the agent."

    There was just a bright pop of light in my room as if a lightbulb went off over my head... Thanks Scott!

  14. @Travis -- full disclosure: I don't surf. But I'd love to learn how! Anyway, many years ago when I was a stringer for a little newspaper I covered Mavericks and I've been in awe of big-wave surfers ever since.

    @Andrew H -- if you knew me, you'd know that I'm neither smart nor cool (and I've got documentation for both of those things). I don't really understand a lot of what you posted but it seems like you had that all teed up and ready to go...15 people posted pretty strong opinions about that video but you held off until I expressed my opinion? At any rate, I think you should read my post again. I'm saying pretty much the exact opposite of what you think I'm saying:

    "...a good marketing video can make a super-wealthy buyer’s jaded mind vibrate with excitement and get him to suddenly remember the password to his off-the-books Cayman Island account...."
    As I said, that video is not intended to make a rich guy pull out his checkbook and buy a house. I don't know how I can be more clear about that. I put it in ALL CAPS, ffs.

    Again, the rest of your post is a little opaque, to me. Sorry it upsets you that I know a little bit about OC, I shoot there a fair amount but I wouldn't claim to know it like a resident does. But I don't think anyone would argue about the county's reputation as a mostly-white, conservative, "country-club" enclave, which is clearly what the video was poking fun at.

  15. Scott, I agree with your take that the agent already has the listing and most professional marketing does more to advertise the agent than the property, but there is a line somewhere in there where the balance is massively skewed. Is the owner going to see this video and feel that Mr Smith is doing a good job marketing this home? He needs to be able to hang on to the listing contract possibly longer than a more middle class home to be able to reach the very limited number of buyers for this price bracket. Are those potential buyers going to be turned off by the video? It shows so little of the house. Somebody not familiar with the area might infer that the neighborhood is young, urban hip-hop with lots of parties and lots of noise until all hours. It's a lot more conservative than that though there are some homes that are louder than others. Dick Dale used to live at the end of the peninsula and I was invited over several times to jam (I play drums) and hang out. Fortunately, it was a really big house and contained the sound fairly well. I think the cops only showed up once when I was there.

    All and all, the video is showing something of a false picture of the lifestyle where the home is located and could backfire. $50K is still plenty of money to drop even if it is small compared to the likely commission on the sale. It will be interesting to see if the property moves quickly and if the buyer's name is published.

  16. Scott seems to have nailed it.

    Amazing that people don't think this guy (Smith) knows what he's doing. Also, it just so happens that this wasn't the only marketing video produced for this property.

  17. Although I didn’t “enjoy” the video, I have to agree with Scott’s points. I can’t fully grasp the marketing of a house/property at this level. It’s amazingly large in scale and scope, and as a result, requires a special type of marketing...different from the marketing used to promote the modest properties in my neck of the woods. Who am I to judge what will attract buyers in contemporary Newport Beach?
    This agent clearly knows his market; and how to attract attention to the property and lifestyle, whether real or just perceived.

  18. I used to play a lot of pool. There is this very esoteric game reserved mostly for serious players called "one pocket".

    There was a genius guy from the Philippines names Efren Reyes. He came iver here and picked up one pocket, and was shooting shots all the guys who had been playing one pocket for 50 years thought were absolutely, 100% wrong!

    But he was winning everything. That did not matter though, all his shot selections were still "wrong".

    After he won almost everything for about ten straight years, and put on a couple of performances the likes of which had never even been witnessed, even the most ardent people claiming all his shots were wrong, were pretty much forced into changing their opinion. Not only that, most other successful one pocket players started playing more like him.

  19. I disagree that the video is just for marketing the real estate agent though that is certainly an important goal. I think the video may potentially drive more interest in the home. For the purposes of this home, it doesn't matter that the video doesn't present a comprehensive view of the home. Its purpose is to emphasize the two most important features of the home: that it is on the water and that it is a very large home that is well suited for entertaining and having large parties. That the likely buyers are probably not going to party in the same style as the people in the video is not important, and trying to depict the lifestyle of the likely buyers would be boring.

  20. I personally have always really liked what Tim Smith does, but in my opinion it is already in the past. One day soon, we are hopefully going to stop hearing people ask "what are they selling, why aren't they showing the house?". It is like when you take a picture of a detail in a home and a realtor asks "what are you selling?".

    Here is the future in my opinion. Notice it is a resort, and you never see the resort. This guy makes ipad commercials, so it is hard to argue with it. The thing is, kids love this stuff, and they should because it is very good. Why would you want to restrict your resort promo vids to video of the actual, and relatively boring, resort!?

  21. So just to add a little bit more insight to the video and the why?

    The $50K budget has to cover the social media influencers who star in the video. There are so many property videos these days with cars and models (at least in LA where we work), but this is the first to leverage their networks of fans.

    It’s not cheap to get people with hundreds of thousands (or millions) of followers to participate. So you figure $5K each for the three influencers.

    Then you have the Cali Swag District. Their song + 47 million views. That ate up a good portion of the budget.

    Now for the actual filming which is shot with mostly available light should run $2K - $2.5K a day plus equipment rentals.

    Last you have any of the other talent $200-$300 per day each.

    In the end keeping the entire project at $50K is more challenging than it seems. It’s nice to see an agent with a vision and the budget try something new.

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