Luxury marketing firm Ruhm Inc. has won Inman’s first #toplistingvids contest by a hair with its cheeky video ode to a Las Vegas mansion listed for $12.5 million.

Luxury marketing firm Ruhm Inc. has won Inman’s first #toplistingvids contest by a hair with its cheeky video ode to a Las Vegas mansion listed for $12.5 million.

By collecting just 17 more votes from the 1,811 readers who weighed in for this week’s contest, the video squeaked by its only rival, a film produced by Coldwell Banker Real Estate to help sell the luxurious $195 million Palazzo di Amore estate in Beverly Hills, California.

Get your submissions in for next week’s #toplistingvids contest now. See details below.

Ruhm’s listing video for the home it has dubbed “Cavu Las Vegas.”

Unlike many listing videos, Ruhm’s Cavu Las Vegas video was not made at the behest, or dime, of the listing agent, Jill Lorenz.

Instead, like many of Ruhm’s other in-depth luxury home marketing projects, the seller paid the bill.

In fact, Ruhm sniffed out the sellers as a possible client.

The home first went on the market two years ago for close to $19 million, but had languished because of a tough market in Las Vegas and some of the home’s playful features that make it more suited to a bachelor lifestyle and less appealing to some families, Lorenz told Inman.

Jill Lorenz

Jill Lorenz

Ruhm’s treatment, which includes a stand-alone website featuring photos, a virtual tour, floor plans and three other videos, will give the unique home the national and international audience it needs to get the top dollar it deserves, Lorenz said.

Lorenz said she had negotiated with the sellers that a portion of her commission would be used for marketing. The sellers paid the equivalent of that sum to Ruhm for the marketing package, but the rest of Lorenz’ commission will be left untouched, she said.

Ruhm released the Cavu Las Vegas site and video last Friday. So far, Lorenz said she has not received any hot leads, but the content’s fresh and the buying season is in full swing.

Q&A with Opie Opfer, Ruhm’s creative director and the director of the Cavu listing video’s shoot

Where’d the idea for the main video come from?

After two hours in our initial brainstorming session, bouncing from crazy, daring ideas to boring documentary safety nets, we landed on creating a hybrid of comedic narrative and hosted tour.

Opie Opfer

Opie Opfer

So we decided to reprise Joanne, a character we created for a home in Huntington Beach, California (the home ended up selling weeks after it hit the market). It worked so well the first time, we had Joanne fly in from London again for this project.

The idea was to poke fun at the pretentious real estate hosts we’ve all seen on TV and online while showing off one of Las Vegas’ sexiest homes.

We hired two models to showcase the home’s jet-setting, entertainment-focused lifestyle, liven up the architectural shots, and serve as the props, foil and extras to our cheeky host. Whatever resulted needed to communicate important details, give voice to the home’s brand and be fun to watch. We’re happy with the results.

How many views has the main video received so far?

We just launched, but in the last seven days, it’s received 2,080 views. has 5,770 visits from 47 countries and 991 cities so far and we’ve received 85,502 impressions on social media. In the first 72 hours, the listing agent received two inquiries from serious buyers.

How much did the whole Cavu package cost? Just the video?

It’s difficult to answer, as our creatives are all salaried specialists. However, our budget was tight enough that we worked four back-to-back, 16-plus-hour days on set, simplified the video concept, and drove ourselves and our equipment in the company van. We typically spend around 750 to 1,200 hours of labor on a project, depending on the property’s price and marketing package.

There are very few ways to get around the largest costs of planning and post-production unless you lower your quality and cut out risky, new ideas. But it’s all worth it in the end: We’ve historically been able to sell our clients homes 25 percent faster and for 8 percent more than comparable properties.

Describe the shoot. 

It took four shooting days and two traveling and logistic days. We hired one professional actress, two professional models, and invited a few friends over to be extras. Our crew was smaller than most of our shoots: just a director, producer, cinematographer and photographer (with one additional cinematographer helping for the first two days).

We shoot on RED Epic/Dragon cameras for each of our projects to capture the dynamic range needed for interiors.

Any funny stories from the shoot?

Our director, Opie, decimated his middle finger in a pocket slider door and shattered a rare bottle of wine he was using for staging purposes. (He later replaced it — the wine, not the finger.)

Our photographer was suffering from the most debilitating cold he’s ever had, yet pressed on. Our producer, who had never driven our large work van, ran into the airport overhang when picking up Joanne, creating a massive dent in the front end.

And the towel toss scene took 26 takes to get right (which was awkward considering, well … you know).

Get your submissions in for next week’s #toplistingvids contest by including the hashtag and a link to a video with a post on Twitter or by emailing with that info and “#toplistingvids” in the subject line.

We’ll select a handful of the submissions we receive by 10 a.m. Eastern time each Monday for that week’s contest. This week, we focused on uberluxury listing videos, but next week and others, we’ll choose videos in different categories.

Each Friday, we’ll announce that week’s #toplistingvids winner along with a more in-depth feature about the listing, how the video was produced and the listing agent who’s looking to get the home sold.

And because Coldwell Banker’s video lost by just 0.5 percentage points, we thought it earned an embed.

Coldwell Banker’s Palazzo di Amore lost by 0.5 percentage points to Ruhm’s Cavu Las Vegas video.

Email Paul Hagey.

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