To draw attention to the five-bedroom ranch house, Coldwell Banker agent Daniel Oster put on a Bigfoot costume and posed in different areas of the home. Those who click on the Zillow listing will find Bigfoot sitting on the porch, reading “A Humans Of New York” book in bed, baking cookies in the kitchen and doing yoga inside the house.
“I’ve never done anything remotely silly to market a property before,” Oster told Inman. “It’s always been high-end photos, drones, videos, 3D videos and targeted social media. But then I looked at shots of the home in the twilight and thought ‘this might be kind of fun.'”
Oster reached out to the seller and proposed having Bigfoot appear in some of the listing photos. With five bedrooms and three bathrooms, the property is isolated and surrounded by the famous redwood trees of Northern California. Bigfoot, a mythical creature known for lurking in forests, seemed like a natural fit.
After the seller gave a thumbs-up, Oster staged a photo shoot using a costume and props including books, bowls, oven mitts and yoga mats. But the idea was to be subtle and see who would notice. The listing has more than 90 photos — the Bigfoot ones are interspersed with many more regular shots of the house.
“It’s a weird and stressful time and homebuying is always challenging,” Oster said. “We wanted to make people smile and have that moment of ‘Wait, what?'”
The shock factor clearly worked. The listing was up for four days before Oster added the Bigfoot photos and went from having several hundred views a day to over 640,000 views on Zillow alone. Oster received numerous offers and is about to go into contract with one of the buyers for an offer above the original asking price of $999,000.
Over the last few years, agents have often dressed up in all kinds of odd and interesting costumes to draw attention to a listing — Oster actually drew inspiration from an agent who posed for listing photos in a T-Rex suit a few years ago. But despite his success, Oster does not see himself doing this kind of marketing too often as he thinks it works best when used sparsely and when the listing fits the idea.
“I am a serious marketer and a serious negotiator,” Oster said. “It worked incredibly well but I don’t want to be pigeonholed as ‘The Bigfoot Guy.'”