Viral Listing With Half-Nude Models Draws Backlash
November 26, 2018
To draw more attention to a languishing listing, a Houston real estate professional hired two fitness models to pose half-nude in the property photos, depicting everyday household tasks such as cooking or changing a light bulb. But even though the marketing ploy exponentially increased buyer interest, public complaints about the risqué listing prompted a local real estate portal to remove it.
“After 40 days on the market and several open houses, we still weren’t getting traffic. So, I had an idea,” Kristin Gyldenege of Home Pros Real Estate Group told Fox News. “I wanted to show a young couple enjoying the home they just bought. I knew I wanted to appeal to 20- and 30-somethings, first-time home buyers. I also knew using just regular people would not get the attention it deserved, so I recruited two fitness models and posed them throughout the home.” Gyldenege’s client approved the marketing plan, she adds.
The home had been on the market for 40 days with no offers before the steamy photos were put online, Gyldenege says. Within 24 hours, the listing had been viewed 20,000 times, though it still has not received an offer. However, HAR.com, a residential property search website in Texas, says it removed the listing after receiving 100 complaints about the photo content. Other online portals continue to surface the listing.
Other listings featuring photos with odd characters—such as inflatable dinosaurs, unicorns, and pandas—have garnered recent media attention as well. “I figured if you can put a dinosaur costume on, and that’s going to go viral, why can’t I just put attractive people?” says Gyldenege, referencing one of the other listings.
Gyldenege says no publicity is bad publicity, and she’s satisfied with the traffic the photos are generating. Potential buyers “may not look like [the models],” she says, “but if they think they could look like that in this house, they would be more attracted to at least see it.”
“REALTOR® Takes Heat for Using Partially Clothed Models to Attract Home Buyers,” FOX News (Nov. 24, 2018) and “REALTOR® Stages Sexy People in Home Listing,” Myhighplains.com (Nov. 21, 2018)
Updated: June 04, 2020