We could all use a little laughter (or at least a smile) these days. So here are our top picks of quirky things we've recently spotted in the residential real estate industry.

Marketing Techniques — From Celebrity Stunts to Community Engagement

Social media is a great place to see the new, the strange, and sometimes the unwatchable. Every real estate professional has weird and wild tales of marketing tactics and home features.

  1. Real estate pros are using social media in dynamic and entertaining ways. Ryan Serhant, the broker, author, producer and real estate mogul from Million Dollar Listing dashes and dances through the rooms of luxury homes on TikTok and Instagram, where he has a collective fan base of 2 million people. Does it sell homes? He has certainly created a powerful personal brand and awareness and claims to sell one house a week as a result of his digital presence. The Broke Agent similarly makes real estate more fun by posting cartoons and memes on its social media channels.
  2. Sometimes a mistake leads to a creative idea. John Castle, an Ottawa, Canada realtor, shared a funny story about a Brunswick broker. A vandal drew bushy brows, sunglasses, a mustache and goatee on a Brunswick broker's sign. The "victim" decided to go with the flow and use that image as his new profile picture. The story was picked up by media, creating a massive wave of public "buzz."
  3. Giving clients something unique and memorable (and a test drive) can be powerful. Matthew Martinez, a Luxury & Investment Real Estate Broker at the Diamond Real Estate Group, takes the phrase "sleep on it" quite literally. He allowed three prospective buyers to stay overnight in a permitted vacation rental (on different nights). The home ultimately sold for $150,000 over the listing price using this tactic.

Selling Feature or Creepy Turn-Off? Unique Home Features Abound

One homeowner's passion can be a buyer's revulsion. We reached out to our real estate professional panel to ask them for some real-life examples of home features. We already know that COVID-19 has created a need for home offices, outdoor living spaces and other post-pandemic features. What are some of the features that prompt a few people to fall in love with a listing — or walk out the door immediately?

  1. Pet smells are a turn-off for home shoppers, and so was this cat-centric perk. Ashley Baskin, a licensed real estate agent, on the advisory board for Home Life Digest, reports seeing a home with a full-size climbing wall just for felines.
  2. Underground passageways and secret spaces can be cool. Martinez held his showings in some of the many hidden rooms in his listing, generating multiple offers before the house went on the market. Some buyers may want a hideout from family and endless Zoom calls these days.
  3. When you have to go, you can't always hit "pause." Castle had a listing that included a functioning toilet in the middle of a man-cave. Yes, it sat in front of the TV.

Never discount some of the out-of-the-box real estate ideas you see — and hold brainstorming sessions with your team to test new ones. And, if you have a listing with a unique feature, leverage it as best you can. Sometimes no amount of staging will fix or hide a weird feature, but you can use targeted marketing to find that ONE buyer who finds that add-on intriguing.

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