Marketing

Former Netflix COO offers $20,000 to first nonprofit that finds a luxury buyer

Local Realtor Kelli Griggs helped the sellers launch a digital marketing campaign that incentivizes charities to share the listing information on social media
  • Tom Dillon, who was previously the COO of Netflix, and his wife Judith are selling their luxury mountainside home in El Dorado County with the help of local Realtor Kelli Griggs.
  • The property is complete with all the dream home amenities, most notably sweeping views of wine country and remarkable structural engineering.
  • Rather than pouring thousands into traditional print media marketing, Griggs is helping the Dillons with an unconventional marketing campaign that encourages nonprofits to share the listing information in exchange for the chance earn $20,000.

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Grab the popcorn and take your seat — this innovative marketing plan for Tom Dillon’s luxury El Dorado County, California, mountainside estate might be worth its own original series, fitting for the former Netflix COO and his wife.

Tucked away in the small city of Placerville, California, the 2-million-dollar property boasts all the amenities of a dream home with a solar-heated infinity pool and spa, massive game room and chef’s kitchen, topped off with classic finishes.

But the most profound detail is perhaps the structure’s placement on the side of Thompson Hill, a remarkable engineering feat that allows for sweeping views of Gold Hill’s wine country region and Lake Tahoe’s Sierra Peaks, as seen from any one of the home’s balconies.

“You would normally just build a house on stilts in this type of setting,” said Tom Dillion in a press release. “We really wanted a large usable yard with the house and the view. In order to accomplish this, a massive 450-foot long retaining wall was engineered and constructed. This allowed us a large building pad, yard and spectacular vanishing edge pool.”

But selling a home that comes with an unattainable price tag for the vast majority of residents can be a long and challenging process, especially in a town with a population of 10,389.

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As Inman reported in April, no matter how stunning the property, when a luxury home sits on the market for too long, often agents and brokers are left with few options. They can reduce the price, reshoot the photos, create a new video or repost the listing to the MLS with hopes that it will magically rise to the top of everyone’s inbox. This reality has bolstered the luxury auction model trend, which can create excitement around a property and drive a sense of urgency.

The Dillons and their local Realtor Kelli Griggs, however, came up with another idea to spread the word about this unique listing.

A viral campaign for a worthy cause

The difficulty in finding the right buyer for an expensive home is somewhat balanced by the bigger marketing budget allotted, proportionate to the price. Rather than pouring thousands of dollars into traditional advertising efforts, though, Griggs and the Dillons launched a viral philanthropic marketing campaign that encourages nonprofits to share the listing information with their internal and social networks. In addition, any person can share the post and nominate a nonprofit of their choice.

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Griggs created a simple way for local charities to share the listing video online by visiting her agent website, entering their name, charity information and following the prompts to share the post. Currently, the Dillons are offering $20,000 to the first individual or organization that helps sell the house with a traceable post on social media.

When a buyer has been identified, the sellers will contact the individual who shared the post using the website registration data. Their 501(c)(3) eligible charity will receive the donation from the Dillons at close of escrow.

“While there is a measure of good faith involved from the buyer telling us how they saw the post, we have built in a backup plan,” Griggs said. “If a buyer found the house through conventional resources, or through an agent, the Dillions are still committed to writing a check for $20,000 to one of the charities that registered.

“If this is the case, at closing, the team will then document by video all the charity names going into a hat, and a ‘lottery-style’ drawing will choose a charity’s name from the hat. The unedited film with be posted on the website, so all the participants can enjoy watching what winner is selected. The reason behind this is that the Dillions would like all charities to have an equal chance at winning.”

Email Caroline Feeney.

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