What Michael Jordan’s house has in common with your listings

Keys to a successful video tour and listing strategy are essentially the same for any home

Does a 56,000-square-foot home with 19 bathrooms, a full-size indoor basketball court and a massive 23 on the front gate sound like your typical suburban listing?

Actually, you might be surprised to hear the answer is yes!

Scott Haws helped market Michael Jordan's house.
Scott Haws helped market Michael Jordan's house.

After spending a few days producing the video tour of Michael Jordan’s Chicago-area home, we found the keys to a successful video tour and listing strategy are essentially the same for any home.

Find the story

Having spent 20 years in the television news industry as an anchor/reporter, there were plenty of occasions where I was sent to cover a specific story only to uncover an entirely different story once I was there. It usually required a few more questions, talking to a neighbor, pushing myself to tell it in a different way, and sometimes I just got lucky and stumbled into it.  Either way, that story was always there if you looked hard enough.

The moment we arrived at Jordan’s front gate with the massive, silver 23 on it, our heads started to spin. Where do we start? What should we highlight? What’s the story? And to be honest, there was the occasional, “Holy crap! This is Michael Jordan’s house!”

But as we walked from the grand entrance to the Baghdad table in the dining room and eventually to the wine cellar, cigar room and basketball court, we were reminded of one thing … this is still a home. There were bedrooms, kitchens, bathrooms (and then some), walls and doors. Like every other home, life happens here and if we peeled back the layers we would find “the story.”

In this case, there were several.

There was the architecture, the remodel, the “breakfast club” with teammates, the pool that once was and the island pool that now is. All of these provided us with an opportunity to tell a story about the home. And through the power of video, we were determined to help people walk where Michael Jordan walked and see what he had built.

Every one of your listings has a story. Perhaps it’s the location, the history, the architect, the builder, the mason, the reclaimed brick on the outside, the tub carved from a mountain in Bali, the unique floor plan, the barn built in the early 1800s. Or maybe it’s the views, the ability to go “off the grid,” the doors from around the world or the 250-foot waterfall just off the balcony. Any of these could be stories to help showcase your homes. In fact, these are just a few of the stories we’ve uncovered at various properties over the last few months.

Find the people

There are several ingredients that make a good story great. Find the people who are part of the story and let them help tell it. Let’s face it, buying a home is an emotional decision and finding people can help you tap in to that fountain of feelings. When you look at a home, you tend to imagine yourself living there.

Get the owner, the neighbor, the builder or anyone else who knows what it’s like to be there to share their insight. When you go to Amazon, it’s common to look at reviews to help determine which product to buy. Likewise, when you feature your home, provide enough credible reviews of your house to a perspective buyer.

As we talked about Jordan’s house during our preproduction call with his brand manager, we remembered hearing about a group called “The Breakfast Club.” No, not the iconic ’80s brat-pack flick — this was something different.

My creative director, Matthew Rollins, immediately gave me that look. We knew there was more to the Breakfast Club and we had to find a way to connect it to the house and bring it to life.

A few mouse clicks and cold calls later, we had an interview with one of Jordan’s former teammates, Randy Brown, now an executive with the Chicago Bulls organization.

During our interview at the United Center before a Bulls’ game, we uncovered what the Breakfast Club was all about, what it did for the Bulls championship runs and — more importantly for our purposes — how Jordan’s house was at the heart of it all.

While a perspective buyer won’t likely be having a breakfast club at Jordan’s house with Scottie Pippen and Randy Brown, telling that story let us feature some of the areas of the home where these players would meet. It gave context to the rooms and allowed us to connect on an emotional level. Find the people, you’ll find the story.

Find the memorable moment

Without ever stepping foot in Jordan’s house we knew what the most memorable part of the home would be. What we didn’t know is how to showcase it. The basketball court is the one area everyone wants to see.

And why not? It’s where the greatest player to ever play the game honed his craft and sharpened his shot. We wanted people to feel it, smell it, reach out and touch it.

Take a look at the video and see how we weaved it together to create the most memorable moment possible. I still get the chills every time I watch it!

Every one of your homes has a moment. The question remains, how can you make it memorable? You can probably think of at least one area, feature or characteristic of every single listing you have with the potential to be special. Get creative. Bring it to life. Find the feeling and connect with your buyers. Help them care about it … make them remember it!

Whether it’s 56,000 or 2,600 square feet, find the story, find the people and find the memorable moment … and you’ll be feeling “Bullish” about finding the right buyer.

Scott Haws is the CEO and co-founder of Narr8 Media.


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