Sporting a button-down, tie and scraggly beard, Realtor John Grafft, 28, recently pulverized lockboxes with bolt cutters, chisels and hammers on camera, bashing open the security devices in a matter of minutes.
The demonstration — meant to highlight why he doesn’t use lockboxes and instead shows all his listings with an agent present — marked the first installment of Real Estate Science, a video series he’s launched to burnish his brand.
The series puts a fresh twist on agent marketing videos — which often can be about as entertaining as watching grass grow — by revealing the various decisions real estate agents must make when serving clients.
“I want to show people how there are all these different options and you need to make sure your agent is using the best option,” he said.
Typically, agent videos feature agents blathering on about their experience and trustworthiness, according Grafft, who heads up an agent team at Chicago-based Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Koenig Rubloff Realty Group. (“Longest name in real estate,” says Grafft.)
At best, agents are shown working with satisfied customers while singing their own praises. At worst, they’re tooting their horn directly into the camera.
Grafft’s thought was to offer viewers more than an elevator pitch. He wants to pull back the curtain on the many decisions agents make behind the scenes.
“A lot of consumers put Realtors all in one box,” he said.
Real Estate Science is using entertaining footage to show that agents take different approaches to serving clients, while somewhat subtly casting his own team’s approach as the best.
Future topics in Real Estate Science’s crosshairs include for-sale signs (Grafft creates custom signs because he says most signs blend together), the pros and cons of big and small brokerages and the three main types of building materials used in his market.
“I talk about us very briefly and only in relation to the topic,” he says of mentioning his team in the videos, which he doesn’t want to run any longer than 90 seconds. (The first installment ran three minutes due to the labor involved in splitting open lockboxes.)