Maximum exposure for a listing: It’s the goal of any real estate agent. Perhaps everyone just needs to make a rap video.
Then again, it’s not just any rap video that has catapulted “Teach Me How to Duffy” (and the incredible triple-lot manse at 1813 Bay Avenue in Newport Beach it features) to the top of everyone’s must-see list. A one-of-a-kind marketing video made by coastal luxury Orange County specialists Smith Group of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage to showcase their one-of-a-kind, $45 million new listing on the Balboa Peninsula, #teachmehowtoduffy is a riff on the viral 2010 song, “Teach Me How to Dougie.” And lest you think Cali Swag District’s Mr. Swag and Smoove da General are peeved about the pseudo-sequel, take a look at them in “Duffy” alongside social media influencers Myles Erlick, Trevor Flanagan-Tordjman, and Zachary Burker, as well as Smith Group principal agent Tim Smith, who raps about many of the property’s most dazzling features.
The video immediately racked up more than 250,000 views in its first week, and has far surpassed that number—and the team’s expectations—since. The reaction has been “crazy,” says Smith, principal agent for the Smith Group, Coldwell Banker’s No. 1 Team in California with over $2 billion in sales and ranked among the top 20 real estate teams in the nation by THE THOUSAND by REAL Trends. “We were nervous; it could have been a dud. But, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Within three days, we had gone through 12 different interviews with local and national media, and it just kind of took off. We have had other videos that have reached millions of views, but nothing has ever grown this quickly.”
Of course, it’s one thing to go viral. It’s another to go viral for all the right reasons. The “Duffy” video, which has now spurred a #duffychallenge on the @smith007 Instagram, has managed to accomplish what so few marketing campaigns do: reach a captive audience of connected agents and targeted buyers all around the world.
“We had five legitimate prospects before the home even hit the MLS,” says Smith.
Smith has also had agents from all over the world contacting him to compliment the video and inquire on behalf of their wealthy clients.
“Sellers always say they want me to get it their home in front of every billionaire. How do you do that? When (a potential buyer’s) niece is doing the Duffy dance, you’re creating opportunities for someone to see this house that they wouldn’t otherwise have had. My goal is to get information out to the widest group of agents. There is a higher concentration of billionaires here than any other place in the country and fifty percent of buyers here are not from the area. None of the prospects that came for the first showings were from Newport Beach; It’s an amazing climate for second-home buyers.”
Having seen Smith Group’s work—the team has made more than 200 videos for real estate properties— Craig Hogan, vice president of luxury for Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC, is “not surprised” at either the quality of, or the response to, the video. “Tim has been producing a very high level of video marketing for some time now and when I watched this one for the first time, I thought, ‘Well, of course, it’s a Tim Smith production,’” he says. “Video is certainly where we are now with marketing luxury property and this sets a new tone for creativity, in my opinion. I would suggest that it’s a time of change that we are in. I would not want to be the agent with a video made on the fly pointing out hardwood floors and kitchen appliances. It’s time to upgrade skillset.”
Made on a budget of $50,000, the rap video showcases the idyllic lifestyle potential—What says “Newport Harbor” more than riding around in a Duffy? (The home’s private dock can fit eight of them, by the way.) That made the song inspiration easy. “It was always about this particular song,” says Smith. “We were waiting to find the best listing on the Harbor to use it and it just so happened we got the perfect house designed and built by a world-class team on three lots in an A+ location—with the perfect owner who had the right budget.”
The rest of the newly constructed, 12,800-square-foot space is every bit as impressive as its massive dock, with five bedrooms; eight bathrooms; two gourmet kitchens; incredible entertainment space featuring a game room, gym, and wet bars; extensive indoor-outdoor living; a glass elevator; an infinity pool and and private beach; and unique design details including a floating staircase and a 1,100-gallon aquarium—which makes an appearance during Smith’s cameo in the video.
“When you create effective marketing, selling becomes superfluous,” says Smith. “And if you do it right, it makes people want to share.”