What Was The Idea?
For 2 years I had a hilarious idea. I wanted to have listing photos of a property that was for sale and zoned to attend one of our local prestigious high schools. In those photos I’d have the school mascot “living” in the house. They’d mow the lawn or do the dishes or take a shower or take a nap. Of course we’d be showcasing a beautiful home. But in the background would just be some funny images from time to time with this mascot.
To pull this off though we needed the perfect combination of the right property and the right client that wouldn’t mind this marketing stunt. It took 2 years but one of my closest friends mom needed to sell a lake house nearby that is also close to Dinosaur Valley State Park.
Thus, the T-Rex Listing was born.
What We Did.
I pitched the idea to my photographer, Landon Day with Daydream Photography, and we brainstormed how to make this perfect. We showcased a beautiful lakefront property that was being sold fully furnished. We took 36 high quality photos as well as a professionally produced 2 minute video, including drone footage.
And then we slipped in just a little humor.
The Real Estate Transaction
The home went on the market on a Friday afternoon and we had an executed contract to purchase for over the asking price by Sunday. There were over 75 showings in the weekend the home was on the market and we received hundreds of phone calls from all over the country with interested buyers.
The contract closed quickly and the micro-burst of interest in the house died down too…. at least that’s what we thought.
When we first put the listing online, it went semi-viral particularly in the DFW market. The listing was viewed several thousand times, social media was active, and we were getting some local media attention.
About 2 weeks after the listing went online, another real estate agent out of New York took all of our MLS photos and posted them direct to her Facebook page. A real estate blog shared that post and then found our video and also shared that. Then things went crazy.
Fox News, The Today Show, CNN, and every other major media outlet called asking if they could run the story and interview Casey. The home was the featured listing on Zillow and on Realtor.com as the number 1 viewed listing in the world! The listing was syndicated out through every NBC and ABC local news affiliate stations in every market in the US.
Casey won RISMedia’s (A major real estate publication) 2019 Newsmaker of the Year Award.
There have since been dozens of “copycat” listings posted online all over the world by other listing agents, but none have measured up to the quality or viral impact of what our listing accomplished.
What We Learned
Like all things viral…. the fame wore off relatively fast. By the end of the Summer nobody was calling or emailing or asking for an interview. We literally added ZERO dollars of revenue to our business because of going viral, although we did build up a nice fan base and solidified our client base.
I’ve written tens of thousands of words on the internet. I’ve created content for over 100 different websites and posted funny things on the internet regularly.
You can’t plan for or force going viral and the spotlight burns bright and fast. What you can do is be yourself, have fun, be creative, and serve the people in your life really well. If you do those things you’ll always win, and occasionally you might go viral.