Two VERY Different Approaches To Video Marketing

Are you familiar with the term “lifestyle video?”

I’ve written several blogs about these real estate marketing vehicles over the past few years, and today I want to go back to the idea.

Let me show you two very different approaches to using video, and characters, to showcase the features of a home – and hopefully sell it!



As I said, I’ve written a lot about real estate “lifestyle” videos in the past.

My favourite is still the West Hollywood listing from back in 2015 that showed an early-50’s male leaving the house in a sports car, leaving his wife at home to have pillow-fights with her friends.  I just felt it perfectly captured the cliché of the man who would want to buy the home, and the fantasies he has – realistic or not.

Here’s the blog: “Real Estate Lifestyle Videos” – July 20th, 2015

Today’s videos are very different.

I don’t want to spoil the “reveal” in either, so let me just get right into them.


Well?  Did you like it?

I did.  A lot!

Maybe it’s because I’m a huge A-Ha fan.  I don’t think Norwegian synth-pop really gets the respect it deserves.

But also because it “got me.”  I had no idea what was about to happen as that garage door rolled up, but I knew it was going to be good!

The video goes on way too long, and the gimmick loses its effectiveness.

But as for whether or not this would really work in selling the home, I’m not sure.

It’s funny, fun to watch, and makes you laugh.  Is that really what you want when selling your home – somebody laughing at a person inside it?

I think there’s a difference between “creativity” and “effectiveness,” and that’s really the key with real estate lifestyle videos, and/or those that are less on the “lifestyle” side, and more on the humourous or innovative side.

Recall the now-infamous video from 2017 that showed a clumsy and somewhat sexualized housewife cooking and making drinks for her husband and his d-bag friends, who drank wine and smoked cigars on the terrace.  The video has long-since been taken down, so you’ll just have to dive deep into your memory bank.

There was so much uproar over that video, and at the time, I went on record defending the agent.

I still do, and still would.


Because it worked!

I’m not going to invade anybody’s privacy here, but let’s just say that the buyer was somebody who was attracted via the video, and who might be labelled as fitting into the target demographic.

The video worked.  It got the property sold.

But does a Realtor showing the same dance move in each room of a house with 80’s synth-pop playing in the background really sell the house?

You decide whether humour and innovation is the “best” way to showcase a home.

Now here is a completely different approach to selling a home.

I’m not going to spoil this one for you, so watch it.

When I say “completely different,” honestly, you have no idea what this woman is about to say.  And watch to the end, trust me.




What do you think?

How would you describe this video in one word?

Weird.  Yes, that’s fair.  It’s a bid odd.

But I think the word I came up with was “dark.”

Maybe “morbid,” but as the character told us, “We really don’t need to go into it.”

The video started well: “My name’s Elise.”

Great, nice to meet you, Elise!

It’s nice to make a personal connection to the home.  So few people do that these days.

Meeting the homeowner in a video has some value, and who better to show off the home’s features?

But then the video gets weird.

“I can still remember how hot it was on March 24th, 2009…..”


When she said, “….how hot it was on March 24th, 2009,” I got this flashback from Linda Connor in Terminator 2:

(NSFW – contains one bad word…)

Perhaps I was overly-obsessed with that movie in the mid-1990’s, and the scene is just stuck in my brain.

But either way, I was immediately reminded of this scene.  The date, plus the reference to the temperature, and voila!


And then came this:

“….except I won’t be growing old.”

And suddenly you kind of felt where this was going.

You thought it can’t be going in that direction, and you hope this is a satire, but it’s not.

Then came the bombshell:

“….unless, of course, they find some miracle cure in the next ten years for what I’ve been diagnosed with.”


And this makes me want to buy this house…………why?

Sad, I know.

But was this the right avenue?

I just don’t understand the logic behind it.

“Pretty soon, I won’t be able to ride anymore.  Today’s actually the first time I’ve ridden in months.”

Who is the target buyer for this property, via this video?

Is a buyer going to feel bad for the woman, and want to buy her home?

Or is the reference to “memories” suggesting that a buyer can pick up where this woman left off?

Is the video intending to target a similar active, outdoorsy, 30-something woman with a love of horses, who can essentially “take-over” the hopes and dreams that essentially remain with the home?

I want to put a positive spin on this so badly.  But I just don’t think this really “works.”

Tell me if you think differently.

But since we discussed the concept of “stigma” in Monday’s blog, and we know that certain cultures in Toronto won’t go anywhere near a property where there’s been a death, I wonder how advertising that the current owner of the property is, in present tense dy-ing, would there be a buyer pool for the home?

Perhaps there’s a different market, and a different attitude toward impending death in Australia.

But I’m just so confused as to why somebody thought this was the best way to attract buyers to a property.

The Internet is full of good and bad advertising, in every industry.

If you’ve seen something out there in the real estate game that you think is worth watching, please paste the link below.

As an encore, I’ll provide you with one of my favourite videos from years’ past – San Diego’s rapping Realtor, who can’t match the audio to his lips, and basically stops trying to rhyme halfway through:



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  1. ed says:

    Copycat dancing realtor. Couldn’t even pick an original song. Not nearly as good either.
    He must read your blog David.

  2. Check out Karen Filiatraut’s new lifestyle video for her listing at 127 Queen Street East:

    1. ed says:

      I liked the song in the video.
      But I don’t see the point of the video. The dancing man video was more informative.
      Other than the balcony I know nothing more about the condo that was being promoted for sale.

  3. Appraiser says:

    Attention Ralph Cramdown:

    “As expected, the first couple of weeks of June for the GTA’s real estate market are looking strong compared to last year. Sales down just 2.6% over last year, new listings down 21% and prices are flat year over year.”

    John Pasalis:

    1. Ralph Cramdown says:

      Active listings +600 since I last commented.

  4. Appraiser says:

    Ontario home prices expected to rise moderately, declines unlikely to persist: CMHC

  5. Condodweller says:

    This post could easily have made a Friday musing post. I am always intrigued by advertising and frequently wonder what the producer was thinking of when they make a commercial and what their thought process might have been that their commercial would make me go out and buy the product.

    The first one was funny at first, then it was funny again once I realized the pattern was going to repeat but I found myself looking at the dance all the way through and realized at the end that I have no idea what the house looked like. It was like a magician’s misdirection. I think this video is like some of the previous ones where it sells the agent more than the house. Unless I am looking to hire a male stripper for my club this is a big fail for me.

    I always liked funny commercials but I find that while I remember the punch line and how funny it was, I often have no idea what the product was they were trying to sell.

    The second one I find very good and effective. Whenever I am about to spend a significant amount on something one of the first questions I ask is why is the person selling. I almost bought a property once where the seller stated that his wife was ill and he had no time for the property. It didn’t sit well with me and it didn’t pass my gut test. During my due diligence, I found out that the property was going to incur a huge expense which I would have inherited had I gone through with the purchase. The illness was a red herring.

    This video addresses the question why and it seems genuine therefore it works for me. It conveys the seller’s passion for horses and leads me to believe that everything has been thought out well and it’s a great turnkey operation. I think this one a great video for actually selling the property. It doesn’t hurt that the video production is excellent. I knew after the first few seconds by the mood that it was an illness related “forced sale” situation before she said anything. In fact, when she started about the hot summer day, I thought for sure she was going to say that’s when she was diagnosed as that would be a much stronger memory to remember than moving day.

  6. KatLyn says:

    Maybe I’m from the wrong generation, but I have no interest in sitting through a video when I’m home-hunting. I want to see decent photos, hopefully at least one of each room, that I can flip through at my own pace. Those videos are just too slow; I couldn’t be bothered sitting through them.

  7. Appraiser says:


    1. Ralph Cramdown says:

      Stable like a Segway. Recent inventory build in the GTA has been impressive. Lots of product available, and still time to close before school starts. Looks like potential sellers have gotten off the fence, potential buyers not so much.

      And I must say, this hasn’t aged well:
      What keeps the RBC economist up at night?

      1. Housing Bear says:

        Last chance to buy before the rich scoop everything up

      2. Appraiser says:

        Looks like someone is pulling “data” out their arse again. At the end of May there were 20,919 listings. As of today there are 21,133 listings. That’s a 1 % increase in inventory – or essentially a rounding error. Nice try Ralphy.

        1. Housing Bear says:

          Well for a while it was “Don’t compare this years prices to last years, compare to 2016 and 2015, Q1 and April of 2017 was a freak year”.

          So considering listings spiked big time in May of last (after fair housing). Lets compare active listings for May from the last few years.

          May 2015 – 18,585
          May 2016 – 12, 931
          May 2017 – 20,919
          May 2018 – 21,133

          To prove listing exploded last May
          March 2017 – 7,865
          April 2017 – 12,926
          May 2017 – 20,919

          As the wise David would say. “Dig deeper into the numbers”

        2. Chris says:

          GTA May Active Listings highest since 2013:

          GTA May Sales Activity lowest since pre-2009:

          GTA May Months of Inventory highest since 2010:

          And, from the Teranet article:

          “The rise of the Toronto index matched its historical average for May…The metropolitan area furthest from its previous peak was Toronto, down 5.9% from its reading of last July.”

          Nice try, ‘praisy.

          1. Appraiser says:

            @ Chris & @ Housing Bear: “Recent inventory build in the GTA has been impressive” is what @Ralph Cramdown wrote.

            What part of the word “recent” don’t you clowns get?

          2. Chris says:

            In the comparatively slow moving market of real estate, most would view “recent” as greater than just “the end of May” until today, or thirteen days.

          3. Ralph Cramdown says:

            I get about 19,700 listings at May 31, and about 21,300 today. Not to get into the weeds on methodology, but it appears Appraiser is comparing the number he gets logging into TREB’s MLS today with the EOM number TREB published for its official May stats.

            For April 30, I saw about 17,700 vs. TREB’s reported 18,200. For March, 16,100 versus TREB’s 16,000, so the error isn’t always of the same sign. I have no idea what TREB’s methodology for EOM numbers is. Do they sample the system at a particular time? Ask agents to please update by time ‘x’ (a task that makes herding cats look like child’s play, I’d guess?).

            Anyhew, I see a bit of a trend. It’s probably too early for the election or Trump’s trade eruptions to have affected things much. If Appraiser doesn’t see it, I’m totally OK if he checks back in a week or two, by which time it’ll be more obvious or I’ll have been proven to be a FUD spreading BS artist. Carry on.

          4. Housing Bear says:

            Woops, I thought his numbers were in reference to may 2017 vs 2018.

            Active listings for May 2017 were actually – 18,477

            So not as big of jump for May 2017 vs april 2017 – but still very large

            This year increased even further despite a year of fair housing and the “STABILIZATION OF HOME PRICES CONFIRMED IN MAY”

    2. Housing Bear says:

      Toronto up MOM, down YOY for the first time since 2009 according to Teranet

  8. Pete says:

    I actually thought the second video worked. I think it was addressing the question “if this is such a great place, why is she selling?”. Obviously it’s targeted at the horsey crowd, as I don’t remember much being shown of the house (bedrooms? bathrooms?). But I think for a horse person, they’d be into what they were shown.

    The first video seemed designed to show off the realtor’s (admittedly nice) butt.

  9. ed says:

    My takeaway from the second video with the Auzzie woman is that she is trying to explain why someone would ever think of selling that property. I can imagine that she would have spent years having the home built. Every detail was thought through, she has her horse farm which was probably her love and her passion and how and why would someone walk away from that. The property is not just her home it’s her life and now she has to walk away from it. So if she can no longer live her dream then she wants someone else to.