San Francisco real estate agents have been upping the video ante recently. (Who could forget the glam home tour of 52 Mirabel Ave. led by drag queens Mercedez Munro and Katya Smirnoff-Skyy?) But today's entry in the creative video wars takes the trophy for cutest home tour ever. Agents Katharine Holland and Travis Bernard commissioned four adorable Corgis (Chompers, Maki Boo, Bailey, and Ranger) to lead prospective buyers through their listing at 44 Sanchez St. The ridiculously photogenic dogs know how to sell it.
Here's how the video was born: Holland hired Brian Ray, a graphic artist with a film background to produce the video. Ray and his fiancé happen to be Corgi fanatics. "We can't have one because of our lease terms," he says. "But we go to the Bay Area and Northern California Corgi Group meet ups, get our Corgi fix, and then go home and dream about owning one."
Through the group, Ray was able to track down some quasi-celebrity Corgis. Don't laugh, these dogs have a bigger Instagram following than you—Chompers, for example, has more than 54,000 people following him on Instagram and 10,000 Facebook friends. He hired Chompers (the star who has a black spot on his back and sports a bow tie), Maki Boo (the darker Corgi who wears a tutu), Bailey (the orangish dog with no black spots), and Ranger (the puppy). Holland says, "I was kind of dubious about the idea of using dogs. But when the door opened and Chompers ran in and looked at me with his sparkling eyes, I knew he was a star."
And here's what star power gets you: The video has been out for four days and, as of this writing, has received 9,518 likes on YouTube. "We've done a few other videos in the past, and they've received something like 1,000 likes," says Holland. The video is shot by Christopher Chandler.
Ray says that the shoot was incredibly easy, and (unlike some high profile stars) the dogs were easy to work with. One problem: short legs. "We knew that at some points we would need paws to open doors and things like that," says Ray. "We couldn't ask the owners to hold their dog's paws out because Corgis have stumpy legs. I made fake paws using a $3 stuffed animal from Ross, some PVC pipe, and a Sharpie pen." Chompers loved the props so much that Ray had to coat them with sour green apple spray to keep the dog from chewing them up during the production, but Chompers took them home as a reward at the end of the day. (The dogs were also financially compensated, with Chompers taking home a check in "the low hundreds" and the others earning a little less than $100 each.)
Will this result in a fast and profitable sale? Time will tell. "I was in marketing before I became a real estate agent, and my partner and I just wanted to do the films for fun," says Holland. "If we get some attention for it, that's great, but it's mostly to try something different."