Going To Idaho!

Yes, folks, it’s that time again!

My yearly foray down to the spud state so that everybody I come across says, “Idaho?  Why the hell are you going to Idaho?”

That question, is why.

I won’t leave you high and dry with nothing to read or watch on TRB, so for those of you that are new readers in the last two years, let’s have a look back at a feature I ran in 2015 called, “What If The Whole World Worked The Same Way As The Toronto Real Estate Market?”

Long title, but you’ll enjoy the videos.  And for those of you that have already seen them, pretend you haven’t re-watched The Wire on HBO On Demand five years after seeing it on DVD box-set…


The idea for my first video in the “What If The Whole World Worked The Same Way As The Toronto Real Estate Industry” came to me years before I actually filmed the video, but it was the kind of idea that made me say, “If I’m going to do this, I need to do it right.”

In 2013 and 2014, I’d have no problem setting up a camera and tripod and doing a quick video of me talking to the camera, or a quick-and-dirty edit in some cases.

But for the video on “Pre-Construction Jeans,” I wanted it to look real.

I won’t launch into my diatribe about how pre-construction condos are sold in Toronto, again.

But you know my feelings, and you know that no matter how many people I cautioned against it, there were still those who went against my advice and went out and bought from Urbancorp.

It seemed like nothing I ever said would get through to those people.

So I decided that perhaps explaining it with facts and arguments, empirical evidence, and a laundry list of risks, I would just dumb it down to the lowest common denominator.

I used to say, “You wouldn’t spend $120 on a pair of jeans like this, so why do people spend $500,000 on a pre-construction condo?”

So I write a script, hired a film crew, raided the prop store – and my closet, which sadly had about a dozen of the same Banana Republic V-neck shirt, and this was the result:


Believe it or not, we spent eight full hours in this studio, and filmed a second video that day, which you can see below.

It was the only time we ever successfully banged out two in one day.  We tried again the next time, but the second video (“Laser Eye Surgery vs. Discount Agent”) was so poorly done that I didn’t want to air it.  We re-shot that video about eight months later with a better set, a great actor I met during the “Real Estate Seminar” video, and a ton of props.

In any event, this is the second video we shot, which I simply call “Toothpaste.”

Again, it’s trying to dumb things down to the lowest common denominator to show how insane some real estate practices are, like the “holding back offers” on listings, and the “bully offers” that result.

So I asked, “What if this is the way, say, toothpaste was sold?”

And this was the result:


The next video we shot was less of a comparison between “real estate and the real world,” and more of a fun video that really, truly shows you what people do at open houses.

And by people, I’m referring to both agents, who are bored out of their minds, and can’t wait to leave, and the people who attend open houses with no real interest in the property.

Here’s the result:

Can you guess who’s house we used for the shoot?

Who on this planet would volunteer his or her home, in a nano-second?

My mother.  That’s who.

And she became a staple of these shoots, always bringing coffee for the cast and crew, followed by lunch a few hours later.

Those who knew it was my mother’s house got a kick out of my line, “Huh, that’s the ugliest family I’ve ever seen,” since those photos are of me and my brother and sister.

Anyways, that’s the first three videos in the series, I hope you enjoyed.

I’ll be back Wednesday with more, but for now I think I’m going to go golfing, hiking, horseback-riding, mountain biking, fly-fishing, whitewater rafting, and then running.

Who says there’s nothing to do in Idaho?

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  1. Alan says:

    You’re in the path of the total eclipse, no?

    Is this why you went down there?