Variety: A Bespoke Virtual Open House That Engages All the Senses

Variety: A Bespoke Virtual Open House That Engages All the Senses

  • 05/21/20

"There’s just something special about experiencing an open house. Strolling through the halls and rooms, it’s fun to imagine all the neat knick-knacks and memories that could one day turn the house into a home. But in the age of shelter-in-place orders and social distancing, open houses have been axed across the country, while in-person showings are pretty much limited to serious buyers only. In their stead, realtors have been forced to come up with creative solutions to showcase properties.
Today, one of the most popular options is a virtual showing. Whether on Instagram Live or a FaceTime call, realtors can reach a wide berth of interested buyers in a convenient, germ-free way. There are a few downsides, of course, the most obvious being that potential buyers can’t visit the house in person. It’s hard to get a feel for a house that one has never physically been to, much less feel motivated enough to shell out the cash for it. And in the luxury real estate business, where buyers are splashing out millions upon millions of dollars for properties, that problem is exponentially bigger. So what’s a high-end agent to do?
The Society Group, a real estate public relations firm that represents Los Angeles-based luxury realtors, has found a way to bring potential buyers inside a $32 million mansion listing, with a creative approach that seeks to engage all five of the senses.
On May 26th at 7 p.m., real estate brokerage Compass will be hosting an innovative experiential tour in collaboration with The Society Group, for 25 select potential buyers interested in a Viewpoint Collection property, which has been christened Forest Knoll. Before the virtual showing, guests will be sent a package full of goodies via a white glove service. The box is to be opened while Compass agents Tomer Fridman, Sally Forster Jones and Tyrone McKillen give a comprehensive tour of the home. Each box contains a Tom Dixon candle that smells like the interiors of Forest Knoll, a mini bottle of Moët & Chandon and cut sample squares of the white oak and travertine flooring installed in the home. There’s also Creative Arts Partners t-shirt, a mini olive tree (to represent the lush mature olive trees on the property) and, because agents typically provide a bit to eat at open houses, artisanal meat, cheese and crackers to snack on during the walk-through.
The 11,000-square-foot, modern farmhouse-style mansion has six bedrooms and nine bathrooms and is located just minutes away from Sunset Plaza. Offering sweeping views of the city and the Pacific Ocean through its many floor-to-ceiling windows, the Hollywood Hills estate is perched on a private knoll at the very end of a treacherously steep drive. Some of its luxurious residential amenities include a home theater, gym, cozy library, a dining room with 30-foot tall ceilings and indoor and outdoor entertaining spaces. Outside, mature olive trees dot the gardens. And though it’s located in one of L.A.’s most desirable neighborhoods, just moments from the bustling city of West Hollywood, the estate is private and securely gated ⁠— a true oasis in the heart of the city of angels."
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