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Visual Storytellers’ New Methods Make Real Estate Marketing Magic

The video’s opening sets viewers up for an irresistible and emotional ride as Michael Jordan glides across a basketball court against a backdrop of cheering fans.

On camera, an award-winning reporter delivers his intro: “The 23 on the front of the gate says it all. This is Michael Jordan’s house…and we are giving you the chance to see it like never before. Time to see behind the 23.”

As the gates open, the experience for viewers brings to mind luxury reminiscent of a Hollywood blockbuster. But the stylized video is no Tinseltown production; it’s a new-school brand of real estate marketing that is the brainchild of Utah-based Narr8 Media and its co-founders, creative director Matthew Rollins and CEO Scott Haws, a former reporter and anchor for NBC. 

And while COVID-19 is closing doors, Narr8 Media’s real estate stories are providing buyers with an opportunity to experience resort living without getting on a plane and helping brokers seal the deal. 

Sara Roberts, vice president of Marketing at Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate, oversees marketing for 250 brokers in 32 offices throughout Colorado’s Vail Valley, Summit County and Roaring Fork Valleys, started working with Narr8 Media in late 2019. Roberts said the team’s creative approach sets them apart.

“The videos are shot in such a professional way and have caught on quickly with our brokers,” Roberts said.

Rollins and Haws, both veterans of television, worked together in Salt Lake City before launching Narr8 Media in 2013 and going all-in to produce marketing designed to connect buyers with high-end homes through a unique video experience.

“Telling a compelling story in a specific time frame was part of the job. TV was great, but the industry changed. I had my real estate license but wasn’t selling full-time,” Rollins said. “I knew the marketing was missing from the industry, so I stopped selling and 100 percent focused on Narr8 Media.”

The company name says a lot, Rollins explained. “In the first 30 to 40 seconds, we tease the main elements and provide a unique nugget about the house,” he said. “We incorporate interviews with the broker, the property owner or the architect or the builder to help identify the value points.”

Rollins and Haws have created videos — which run about 3 ½ minutes to 4 minutes and cost $5,000 to $15,000 — for celebrity and high-end homes.

Slifer Smith & Frampton broker Anna Menz has been selling homes in Vail Valley for 20 years. She said the new tool is a critical part of today’s real estate story and helped her team close 40 transactions and top $75 million in sales this year.

“These videos have been a game-changer for my marketing,” Menz said.

Her clients agree. 

Philadelphia resident Patrick Baldasare, a consulting chairman of the board for ChargeItSpot, hired Menz to list his 5,500-square-foot Beaver Creek home in August. The six-bedroom ski-in, ski-out had a sale pending in less than 60 days and closed on Nov. 10 for $6.3 million.

“The buyer saw the video first, and it was just fabulous,” Baldasare said. 

“As owners, we have pride in our homes, but I think this is the first time I’ve ever seen pride come through visually,” he added. “This is a beautiful way to get to see a home without traveling, so I think this is a great stand-in for that in-person visit, especially in the world of COVID.”

Demand for the service has been so high that Haws and Rollins branded Roof Rush, a 30-second promotional video option that includes property photos and lifestyle footage put together by a team of producers and editors.

Roof Rush promos cost $399 and include a customized advertising campaign and a marketing report for brokers and their clients.

Menz uses both services and said the tools help clients establish an emotional connection and sometimes fall in love with a property before crossing the threshold.

“With COVID, you have to have as much interaction as possible to make the consumer feel fully engaged with the property,” she said.

Menz credits the video services with helping her connect with new people in a time when human interactions have become limited.

“In the old days, you went into an office and had a broker show you the house. Now, buyers are looking at the listing in their pajamas, multiple times before they reach out to see a home,” she said. “[Video] is helping me stay ahead of the curve and is the difference between selling a listing or not.”

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