Ben Bacal, an agent with Rodeo Realty and founder of Roofshoot, has made a name for himself in the high-end luxury market by melding together the mindset of a never-quit entrepreneur, the follow-through of seasoned salesman and the vision of a Hollywood director.
Starting in real estate at the age of 24, Bacal’s professional accomplishments include becoming the first person to sell a property for $20 million in Trousdale, an exclusive neighborhood in Los Angeles.
The transaction single-handedly doubled the price-per-square foot in the neighborhood from $1,500 to $3,000.
His secret? Show sellers that you have hungry buyers.
“To get into the luxury market, you need to get luxury property sellers to allow you to bring buyers to their property to show and eventually sell,” Bacal said.
But he doesn’t just rely on his rolodex of high-net-worth contacts; he also banks on bringing in other buyer’s agents who are qualified.
“When Mr. Luxury Seller says, ‘OK, bring a buyer,’ quickly follow through with a showing,” Bacal advised. “If you don’t sell it, explain the value of marketing and turn the conversation into a listing conversation and the benefits of opening Mr. Luxury Seller’s home worldwide.”
Marketing is one of Bacal’s specialties. His plans always include a healthy mix of advertising and video, and he says that anyone who wants to make their luxury properties stand out needs to be sure to include both.
“Three-quarters of all internet traffic will be from video in 2017,” he said — but despite that figure he still sees video as one of the most underutilized technologies in the real estate space today. So much so that he founded his own video app, Roofshoot, which agents can use to easily shoot videos and capture content.
For the multi-million dollar homes that Bacal sells, he’s been known to spend upwards of $20,000 on video in the hopes that they will go viral and create a lasting impression — not only on potential buyers, but future sellers, too.
We’re not just talking about traditional listing videos with aerial drone shots set to an ambient soundtrack either. His videos often contain full plot lines, like when a Corgi dog named Sherlock Bones inherited a Sunset Strip mansion, or when a Hollywood couple staged a mock divorce for a video showcasing the sale of their home.
He’s found that those big-budget shoots are now becoming less necessary because of his video company.
“Show you have that power and drive to succeed, and buyers and sellers will want to work with you,” Bacal said.
“Sure, you can show your expertise and talent with a one-on-one conversation, but if you do it on video, you can reach hundreds if not thousands of clients all at once.”
But it’s not all marketing that gets you ahead in real estate.
Bacal said extreme focus and discipline are needed to be on top in the industry, which can often be both tedious and time consuming.
You also have to be willing to put money into your business for it to grow.
“Market your business every day because it’s not coming to you — unless you’re a viral success, which I would not rely on,” Bacal noted. “You have to spend money to make money, like any other business.”
Bacal will be speaking at Luxury Connect in Beverly Hills, October 19 through 20, where he will be divulging more secrets to succeeding in luxury real estate and marketing tactics that drive the highest return on investment.