Rayni and Branden Williams spent $40,000 on their short film, but their creation could net them about $1 million.
The film features a husband leaving for a business trip in his Corvette. His wife, meanwhile, stays home and invites some friends over, where they hang out in the wine room, gym, massage space, movie theater, and infinity-edge pool looking over Los Angeles.
Is it a future Hollywood blockbuster? Nope — the Williamses are real estate agents, and they’re using the film to market a $33 million property they have listed in L.A.
The 12,530-square-foot mansion was the true star of the film, despite being situated near the homes of actors like Keanu Reeves and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Yet this is just one of the tactics that Realtors will use to show off luxury houses for sale, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Other agents have taken to giving prospective buyers helicopter rides, so they can check out the aerial views of the estates.
At Sotheby’s International Realty, luxury home buyers can view homes on a 3-D virtual reality tour and feel like they’re actually in the mansion they want to buy.
Many buyers are even on Forbes‘s list of billionaires. There are more of the ultra-rich than ever before — up 290 to a record total of 1,826.
Targeting clients who make millions or billions each year takes a lot of effort, according to real estate agents in the region.
Joyce Rey remembers starting out in real estate 40 years ago and selling homes for stars like Sonny and Cher. But she says the most luxurious mansions in the area wouldn’t go for more than $1 million.
Today, she and her partner at Coldwell Banker Previews International, Stacy Gottula, are marketing the most expensive listing in the United States: the Palazzo di Amore in Beverly Hills, a 25-acre estate selling for $195 million.
The mansion boasts a dozen bedrooms, 23 bathrooms, a 27-car garage, and an ocean view, along with features like a vineyard, home theater, and bowling alley. The property also features a wine cellar that includes 13,500 bottles of fine wine.
“While the film produced for the $33M home may seem lavish to most people, as a direct marketing cost, it only represents about one-tenth of 1 percent of the selling price,” says Chris England, Broker-in-Charge, Hampton Lake Realty. “While we don’t produce feature films, we are beginning to bring in high resolution drone videography and have even investigated offering true virtual reality home viewing using new Oculus Rift devices. As the prices of these services come down, it’s becoming easier to offer advanced marketing technologies to sellers with more down-to-earth home values.”
L.A. isn’t the only high-end home market in the United States.
Sales of luxury homes are ramping up in Seattle, for instance, where executives at local tech corporations are putting in bids for modern mansions. The Wall Street Journal notes that more buyers are competing over homes with an asking price of $1.5 million or more.
Not only has the price per square foot gone up, but so has the city’s population. Seattle went from 608,662 residents at the time of the 2010 census to more than 650,000 as of 2013.
Even other areas of California have seen a jump in high-priced home sales. Lyon Real Estate reports that there were 166 luxury home sales in the greater Sacramento area in the second quarter of 2015 — 37% higher than figures from last year.
Los Angeles, of course, is home to some of the most expensive property in the world. One such property was sold by David Kramer of Hilton and Hyland: the $150 million “Candyland” property that once belonged to Aaron Spelling and went to British socialite Petra Ecclestone Stunt four years ago.
Kramer says he likes to let the homes speak for themselves and will throw parties to showcase what they can offer to buyers socially.
“When you’re selling a house like this, what they’re looking for is lifestyle, not specifics,” Kramer told the LA Times. “We’re in the want business, not the need business.”