Real Estate Has Gone To The Dogs
Why man’s best friend can be an agent’s best ally.
Why man’s best friend can be an agent’s best ally.
Broker associate, Laura Levy Group, Coldwell Banker in Boulder, Colo.
It was a new listing. The first time I went to visit the house, I walked into the family room and there is this white dog laying on this great red couch, holding court and looking very regal. I just cracked up. His name was Yeti. He was some sort of doodle—I don’t know which kind, maybe a goldendoodle. Here in Colorado—this is dog country—dogs are members of the family.
When I was talking to my videographer, Ryan, about filming the house, I said, “Yeti needs to be in this; this has to be from Yeti’s perspective. Just follow the dog around.” It was hilarious. Yeti knew exactly what to do. Ryan said, “I followed the dog and I got great stuff.”
At the end of the video, Yeti is kind of over showing the house and he wants a walk. This house happened to be across the street from a fabulous dog park. You see his mom—the homeowner—walking him to the dog park, and then you see him running around in the sunshine, all happy. We used a drone.
People loved it. The video got about 16,000 or 17,000 views on my Facebook page alone. The house sold for full price and it sold fairly quickly. When the people who bought the house moved in, the neighbors asked if they were the ones who had purchased Yeti’s house.
Yeti didn’t come with the house. He has been a bit high maintenance since then.
Executive director of sales, Douglas Elliman Real Estate in Miami Beach, Fla.
People love their dogs, their fur babies. I had a client who brought his dog on every showing. They’d see how the dog reacted to the energy of the space when he was placed on the floor. It was a little dog, a chihuahua.
I showed them 25 or 30 homes. The dog eliminated a lot of properties. He didn’t like beachfront. He didn’t react well to sand.
When they put him down on the ground, he’d come undone—a full-on meltdown. That basically shifted their search. Miami is lucky to have two waterfronts, the ocean and the bay, so we shifted the search to the bay. We found a modern waterfront house. There were no objections. I think the dog really unwound. He was relaxed, looking over at the water. They bought the house for $6 million. The dog loves the sunsets there.
Real-estate agent, Compass in Miami Beach, Fla.
The house was in Sunset Island. It’s a very nice neighborhood—the most sought-after in Miami Beach. We went to the listing presentation and there were four or five brokers there competing for the listing. One of my team members was with me, and she took a liking to the owner’s dog—an Australian labradoodle. The dog was part of this listing presentation. We were sitting around the dining-room table and the dog was running around, a huge, huge dog, very fluffy.
The owner starts narrowing it down, and we came back for a second meeting. We didn’t talk about the house, we talked about the dog. My team member was super-into this dog. It was, “I love the coat of this dog; I love the size and friendliness,” and, “Can I get the breeder’s name?” The color of the dog’s mane was the same color as her hair.
My team member gets the breeder’s name, we get the listing. Then she flies to Illinois to buy the brother of this dog—a different litter but the same mother.
The first few months of owning the dog, she was saying, “What did I do? I was trying to get the listing and make conversation!” But she was so taken with this dog. They’re pleasant, very loving and caring.
We didn’t sell the house. The owners changed their minds and decided not to sell. At least my teammate got a dog out of it.
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There’s no shortage of design inspiration online but nothing beats the joy of spending an afternoon immersing yourself in a good interior design book. Edited, carefully curated and, above all, designed, these titles take you behind the scenes of some of the world’s most beautiful interiors in a considered way. Think of it like the difference between listening to a few tunes on Spotify versus releasing a thoughtfully crafted studio album. We’ve assembled our top six of interior design books on the market right now for your viewing and reading pleasure.
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If there was ever a book title for our times, then this is it. With a subtitle of Playful Homes and Cheerful Living, this book champions fun in interior design, with bold and bright homes from around the world to delight and inspire. While there’s a good dose of the unexpected, like a disco ball in the garden, there’s no mayhem in these spaces. Instead, they’re beautifully executed to tempt even the most colour shy. Gestalten, $105
Some design books are beautiful to look at, and that’s it. This is not one of those books. A master of colour and pattern, UK designer Ahern offers a practical foundational guide to beautiful interiors, mixing form with function in her latest book, Masterclass. Find the inspiration you need to create a gorgeous home. HarperCollins, $65
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Released last year, this is the third volume from award-winning interior designer Greg Natale. Different in format from his earlier books, the eight projects featured are Australian but with a slight Euro-centric focus. The writing is conversational, almost intimate, inviting the reader into the most luxurious spaces beautifully captured by photographer Anson Smart. This coffee table tome is perfect for dreamers and doers alike. Rizzoli, $110
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