I am synonymous for using film (not just vanilla-rated video tours and pamphlets) to reach a larger audience for the properties I sell. I’ve been doing it for years to much accolade from my clients who see faster sales and above-expectation sale prices. After last week a large fraction of the country now knows what I do too.
In case you missed it, here’s the synapse of last week:
On March 7th, 2017 I uploaded one of my new lifestyle real estate films online – to accompany my listing of a gorgeous downtown luxury penthouse unit. The film, set to a catchy jazzy track, followed a gentleman and two of his clients walking home from Toronto’s Financial District, where upon arrival, were greeted by his wife. She played a gracious (while clumsy) hostess for the evening. The plot-line for the short film was conceptualized by myself with inspiration from an online short, the condo’s location and my real life, intended to be funny, beautiful, showcase all the rooms in the listing and keep the viewer engaged from start to finish. I used professional talent, hair and makeup, cinematographer, licensed music and editor to put this together with my direction.
The response? Well, the video went viral within about a day. Who covered the story? Here’s a few of the major players:
The commentary is still ongoing. Here is a sampling of some of the response:
“The video is as innovative as anything I have ever seen.”
“This has to be the most shameless real estate ad I have ever seen. Misogramist, elitist and disingenuous. I hope it never sells. If it does it will be sold to vampires without a soul.”
“Everyone can have an opinion but this video from a marketing standpoint is brilliant. Karyn Filiatrault’s stuff is awesome and way ahead of the normal service or marketing 95% of agents offer.”
@HomeSweetKaryn was the horrible person behind this. Shame on you. This is how you choose to portray women? YOU SUCK!
“Hi. I’m an “ex-pat” – a born-and-raised Torontoian now living in Ohio. If your ad was in front of a You Tube video that I was waiting to view, I’d say that you’d have me for the entire 3+ minutes.”
“I love this condo, as most of you would as well.”
“I’m sorry but I loved the video. I though it was funny, it made me laugh out loud, and it was certainly entertaining. But that doesn’t make me an a$$hole. I’m going home early tonight to cook dinner for my wife, because it’s my turn, so don’t assume everybody that doesn’t hate his video is a mysogonist.”
“Not all women change their clothes 20 times in one day, cook for 3 random men or are as clumsy as her…. #sexistmarketing#sexistadvertising”
“Best real estate video I have ever seen”
“Well she certainly has great taste in clothes.”
“Donald Trump approved.”
“This ad is hilarious. The actress is clearly having fun with it and the confused looks on the “guests” faces seeing her in of the different outfits are priceless. Sad that people are so jaded and cynical that they can so easily find offence in unique and creative work.”
“I guess I’m a traitor to the movement because I laughed out loud watching this video. We don’t throw things at the screen when we see classic TV shows and movies….we know sexist stereotypes and behavior are outdated and that sexism is wrong. Let’s get a grip – this video is an attention-grabber with old stereotypes…. and it’s not a sin to get a chuckle out of it.”
“What a different format for a [real estate] ad , but catchy . I felt I was watching a Suits television show probably shot down the street . I guess, whatever floats your boat. Loved it.”
@HomeSweetKaryn what an embarrassment you are to women and Toronto
@HomeSweetKaryn This video is creative, humorous and overall brilliant advertising. Stop taking yourselves so seriously. The woman in the video is confident.
“It’s the worst. And those suits are ill fitting. And if you’re trying to sell a lifestyle commit to the details. Why wasn’t he holding Benz or Porsche keys in the elevator scene?”
“Why you, as a woman, chose to portray the woman in the video baffles me – it’s 2017 for gods sake!! Please please think about the kind of message you’re sending out.”
“Karyn Filiatrault is a strong, independent and very successful Realtor with great marketing and sales acumen. This ad proves it. It’s got everybody talking and has created a lot of buzz and attention to her seller’s property. Kudos to her.”
“The mere fact that you invoked such a response is extremely powerful. I encourage you to not let any of this deter you from creating these type of videos in the future as they bring an unparalleled amount of exposure to you and your listings. Most agents would pay a fortune for this type of reach. I can see how some may have interpreted the 318 video in a way that you didn’t intend, but I am not one of them.”
Admittedly I was over-whelmed by the response. The reaction to something I conceptualized with no ill will intended has been visceral – love on one side, and well… (as you can see) not so much love on the other. To anyone who was offended by the film, my most heartfelt apologies. That was never the intention. To everyone who loved it, thank you for your support. What a phenomenal experience this has been in learning how to be empathetic to public opinion.
Here are my public statements:
CFRB Newstalk 1010 (start time: 30:56) – in response to the argument the video was sexist
Global News – in response to why I make real estate lifestyle films in a hot seller’s market
And, my answers to your FAQ questions:
Has the penthouse sold? Yes. It has sold firm. Happy sellers and happy buyers.
Will you make more real estate lifestyle films for future listings? Yes. You better believe that I will continue marrying to real estate sales my belief that unique, and progressive marketing is the best way to sell real estate in Toronto. I will always strive to work in the best interests of my clients.
Did the other property you listed on the same day which also had a lifestyle film accompanying it sell? Yes. It sold firm as well, for a price that far exceeded my client’s expectations.
The video is unaccessible without a password. Will you be putting it back online? The video is password protected because (1) the penthouse has sold and (2) the virality of the film made us decide to let it simmer outside the public limelight for a little bit. It’ll be back online at a later date.