Real estate can feel a little unreal at times, which is fine for Samir Mezrahi, who runs the popular social media account Zillow Gone Wild, posting “seeing is believing” homes, much to the shock and delight of his more than two million. of followers. . From towering castles to underground bunkers and seemingly everything in between, what used to be behind closed doors is now just a click away, thanks to Zillow, the most popular online real estate marketplace.
“You never know what’s going on in a house,” Mezrahi said. “The outside is normal, and the inside is just mirrors, or they have a basement with, you know, a stripper pole and lights”
Zillow Gone Wild, and similar accounts (such as Zillowtastrophes and The best of Zillow [sic]), have exploded in popularity during the pandemic. With so many prisoners at home, fantasizing about another home was irresistible. It’s been dubbed “Zillow surfing” – i.e. scrolling through the platform’s 135 million listings, often with no intention of actually buying, a “Saturday Night Live” hobby parodied last year:
One property, in New Berlin, Wisconsin, had been on and off the market for about five years, but received offers just days after Zillow Gone Wild unveiled its outdoor appeal.
Correspondent Nancy Chen asked Mezrahi, “How would you describe this decor?”
“Flinstones,” he replied. “It’s very Flintstones style. Modern Flintstones, the rooms.”
Dustin and Tessa Maher bought without being seen. “Sunday Morning” joined them when they first tried it out. “This is the wow, the first wow,” said Dustin, stepping inside.
Chen asked, “How did you find out about this listing?”
“This listing from Zillow,” Tessa said. “One of my mutual friends must have shared it, and it immediately caught my eye.”
Knowing that it caught the attention of millions of others was a selling point for the Mahers, who plan to turn the house into a vacation rental property. But it also meant they had to act fast. Dustin said, “Just more eyes on it and more social proof that it’s an interesting house. And I think the timing and everything was right for this thing to sell fast. And if we didn’t buy it, someone else would.”
Amanda Pendelton, Home Trends Specialist at Zillow, said: “Online curb appeal is certainly the new curb appeal. And what we’ve seen is that agents really go to great lengths to make their ads stand out online. and possibly make your ad go viral.”
Even if it means adding something extra to your roster, like cameos from a T-Rex or a medieval knight.
“So agents want their homes to go viral?” asked Chen.
“It’s free marketing to these sellers, right?” replied Pendelton. “You know, there’s a right buyer for every one of these homes, but that right buyer might not necessarily be in that particular neighborhood, city, or state. But when those listings go viral, suddenly they’re being seen by potential buyers all over the world.” the country.”
So if you’re in the market for a tree house or whatever…
…with enough rolls, a man’s home can truly be his castle.
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Story produced by David Rothman. Editor: Erin McLaughlin.