A multimillion-dollar Beverly Hills, Calif., home had been on the market since February. Another brokerage had held the listing for about seven months without any luck. So when the seller interviewed Malibu Prudential Realty agent Michael Gardner and asked him what he would do differently, he decided to go big or go home.

"(I thought), ‘What can I do that’s over the top — that will make the agents show up?’ We’re busy promoting the house on the Internet to the world, but we’re also promoting it to the local agents. I … wanted agents to talk about it to to each other: ‘Can you believe they’re doing this?’ or ‘Let’s go win it,’ " Gardner said.

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