Tis’ the season for ghosts, ghouls, goblins, and it seems there’s no one who loves the Halloween season more than Lansing-based agent James Pyle, whose listing photos went viral on Zillow and other social media sites over the weekend.
At first glance, the photos for the 108-year-old, two-story home look typical — golden hour lighting with plenty of curb appeal, thanks the manicured bushes and shrubs that line the walkway. But a closer inspection reveals a familiar character, Ghostface from the “Scream” horror series, lurking on the porch.
Ghostface makes an appearance in a number of other photos, with him cutting a pumpkin in the kitchen, taking a break in the bathroom, or playing a game of hide-and-seek in the basement.
“It’s definitely gotten me more coverage than I ever expected,” Pyle told Inman. “I was hoping to get 1,000 views.”
The Century 21 agent has exceeded his expectations with 559,084 views and 2,856 saves on Zillow, and a number of likes, comments, and shares by buyers, sellers, agents, and “Scream” enthusiasts who enjoyed his creativity.
“I’m having a blast with it, and I think other people are too,” he said. “The smiling faces and messages [I’ve gotten] have been really great.”
Pyle says Halloween-inspired listing photos has been on his to-do list for years, but he simply never got around to it. However, Pyle thought the recently-listed 108-year-old Craftsman-style home was the perfect opportunity to test it out.
“It was something I actually was talking about with my photographer, who is a friend of mine, and we were talking about something fun we could do, and we went back and forth and came up with [Ghostface],” he explained.
Pyle pitched the idea to the sellers and after getting their permission he donned the Ghostface costume and began “hiding” throughout the home, even popping out of bedroom closets to get the perfect shot.
“Life is so serious,” he said of his silly poses in an interview with the Lansing State Journal. “Sometimes it’s worthwhile to give people something to laugh about.”
Beyond earning social media fame, Pyle’s creativity has paid off in tangible way for his business. The photos have drawn attention from plenty of interested buyers, something he’s grateful for as the Michigan real estate market slows down due to bone-chilling temperatures.
“No offers yet, I listed it on Friday, and its only Monday,” he said. “But I have a slew of showings scheduled this week.”
Pyle says he’s going to keep the Halloween spirit going throughout the month of October, and he’s currently brainstorming costume ideas for upcoming listings or open houses. There’s no guarantee future photos will have as much success, but Pyle says it’s all about having fun, taking chances and learning to be a better agent.
“Just do it,” he said of the advice he’d give to other agents. “Of course, make sure your clients approve, but just get out there and have fun. It’s how you learn.”