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Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles star Josh Flagg and a group of media and real estate professionals are teaming up to create a media company for the real estate industry and its fans, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Flagg, as well as content producer Griff O’Brien and co-founder of private equity firm Carolwood Andrew Shanfeld, will be at the helm of Estate Media, with O’Brien serving as the company’s CEO.
The startup has received $1.65 million in backing from investors thus far, which include Upstate Shredding CEO Adam Weitsman, Powerhouse Capital, Morning Brew CEO Austin Rief and Scriber founder Brian Goldsmith.
The company’s content will include newsletters, podcasts, video on social platforms and its own website. Future unscripted shows could also appear on a variety of digital platforms or be sold to TV networks or streaming services.
Flagg told Inman in an email that the endeavor has been about a year-and-a-half in the making.
“Andrew, Griff and I have been building Estate Media for 18 months,” Flagg wrote. “We saw an opportunity in the market to create a dynamic talent ecosystem where top real estate agents and creators could collaborate under the Estate Media umbrella, accelerating their content goals and social growth via cross-collaboration and promotion.”
Content distributed by Estate Media will be free for users and backed by ads, The WSJ reported. That content will feature some of the industry’s “biggest personalities,” Estate Media’s website boasts, as well as other established brands, like the popular blog Zillow Gone Wild.
Educational content for real estate professionals will also be available at varying price points and cost structures, Flagg told Inman. Offerings will include courses, virtual events, and moderated group and in-person events.
There’s not exactly a shortage of media outlets that cover real estate topics, but the heads of Estate Media told The WSJ that they see an opportunity for coverage that bridges the gap between more hard, industry-focused outlets and the swath of popular reality TV programs that have hit the industry in recent years.
“There wasn’t really a place for both the industry people of all levels, mortgage professionals, real estate investors, and also the fans of this industry, to consumer content that was video, audio and newsletter [that] was both entertaining and also educational and informative,” O’Brien told The WSJ. “This has been built in other niches, but it hadn’t been built in real estate.”
Flagg elaborated to Inman that “We believe existing media outlets in the space, such as Inman and The Real Deal do a fantastic job of keeping the industry up to date with timely news on market trends, transactions and more. Our approach is talent first, partnering with the most popular and trusted real estate personalities to create a destination that is both trusted and loved for the industry and its fans, across video, audio, newsletters, education and communities. We believe top agents and creators, creating content together, and supporting one another, is additive to each individual’s core real estate business.”
The media company also intends to pitch advertisers on branded or sponsored content, social media integrations and more to reach both the individuals within the industry as well as homebuyers and sellers.
Digital platform Luxury Presence told The WSJ that it plans to make branded and other partnered content with Estate Media.
“One of the gaps I’ve seen and something that we haven’t done, even though I think it’s a massive opportunity, is partnering with influencers in the space,” Luxury Presence CEO Malte Kramer said. “In the past, that has been challenging, because it would require going to build those relationships as one-offs.”
Additional content by Estate Media will include a “master class” by Flagg on winning listings and closing deals, as well as a segment from mortgage broker Margot Ettedgui about celebrity gossip and trends.
After gaining experience balancing his real estate business with shooting for Million Dollar Listing L.A. for 17 years, Flagg told Inman he’s gained ample experience juggling multiple gigs and using each to leverage the other, which he feels confident will be the case as he adds Estate Media to his plate too.
“I fundamentally believe in the power of social and digital media and the value it offers to my clients,” Flagg said. “Estate Media will allow me and our talent to create programming that is both commercially interesting and valuable to sellers.”