TikTokers Filmed Inside A $7 Million Listing. It Sold In Two Weeks.
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TikTokers Filmed Inside A $7 Million Listing. It Sold In Two Weeks.

Real-estate agent Rochelle Atlas Maize planned to market the home using the short-video app.

By Candace Taylor
Mon, Jul 5, 2021 10:33amGrey Clock 4 min

The first time real-estate agent Rochelle Atlas Maize saw Julie Stevens’ home in Santa Monica, Calif., she knew it would be perfect for TikTok. The house had a two-storey waterslide into the swimming pool. In the basement, there was a video production area with a projector screen, lighting and microphones, and a hidden room containing an art studio.

“It just clicked when I went down there,” Ms. Maize said. She remembers thinking, ‘I got to market this to TikTokers.’”

A few months later, Ms. Maize made the house available as a free location for influencers to create social-media content. Within two weeks of hitting the market, the property was in escrow after receiving multiple offers. It closed in May for approx. $6.9 million, just under its latest asking price of approx. $7.09 million.

“It was brilliant,” Ms. Stevens, 54, said of the strategy.

An artist and founder of the BeTini line of low-calorie cocktails, Ms. Stevens had lived in the six-bedroom, contemporary-style house for about 14 years with her two children. She had added a number of features to the home.


Her son is a musician, so she built a recording studio for him in the basement. She also set up a projector screen that would show imagery as a backdrop for his music videos, and custom racks to hold lighting and microphones. For her daughter and herself, she created an art studio with a kiln concealed behind a bookcase. And the slide? That was fun for the whole family.

“I think I’m just a giant child at heart,” she said. The slide, which goes from a roof deck atop the garage through a playhouse and into the pool, is “a blast,” she said, adding, “When my kids were young, we were the place to go for playdates.”

Now that her children are older—her daughter recently graduated from college—Ms. Stevens decided to sell the house. She put it on the market in the summer of 2020 with a different agent asking $5.8 million, but there were no takers. After a few months, she called Ms. Maize.

“I had just read a story about how young influencers had been making money and purchasing homes,” Ms. Maize said. When she saw the home’s projector screen, slide and the other features, she hatched a scheme to allow influencers to create content at the house in exchange for using specific hashtags to help advertise the property. “They’ll get it out there to a different audience,” she remembers thinking.

Ms. Stevens liked the idea. “The house already lent itself to those sorts of things,” she said. “To actually put it out there and celebrate it was great, in my mind.” Ironically, she said, her own children had never been that interested in social media.

To prepare the house, Ms. Maize advised Ms. Stevens to make some cosmetic renovations, such as repainting, giving the house “a more neutral vibe.” Then the Stevens’ furniture was removed, and the interior-design firm Vesta redesigned the house with décor intended to appeal to a younger buyer, such as a Chanel surfboard, Ms. Maize said. Ms. Stevens and her family had already moved out at that point, so they didn’t mind, although “it was a little sad.”

“Julie, the owner, was so open to letting me do what I wanted,” Ms. Maize said.

Once the house was camera-ready, social-media influencers could apply to shoot there through the property’s listing website. Ms. Maize had heard of Hype House, where content creators lived together, but she didn’t want to go that far. “I didn’t want a liability factor of destroying the house,” she said. Instead, influencers could apply for a free, two-hour slot at the house, with security on site at all times.

“We had an overwhelming response,” she said, with roughly 60 people applying for a time slot. Of those, Ms. Maize selected 30 based on criteria such how many followers they had. Before shooting at the house, they had to sign a release.

SM6 Band, the family pop-rock band with 2.2 million followers on TikTok, posted footage of themselves dancing and clowning around on the home’s large spiral staircase. TikTok star Hillary Zinks twerked by the pool. On Instagram, influencer Amanda Russo—co-owner of influencer marketing company Babes Who Create—posed in a green-and-white bikini from Copacabana Beachwear.

Ms. Stevens liked the fact that Vesta staged the home’s bar with bottles of BeTini in a rainbow of colours. “It was so fun to see those show up in the social media,” she said.

The plan worked. Once the house went on the market in April for approx A$7.09 million, it received multiple offers and sold quickly. The buyers, a young couple, aren’t influencers but had seen the house on social media and will likely use it to create some social-media content, Ms. Maize said.

Though Ms. Maize’s strategy required a little extra time and effort, “she created a lot of buzz,” Ms. Stevens said. “It was completely worth it.”

Reprinted by permission of The Wall Street Journal, Copyright 2021 Dow Jones & Company. Inc. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Original date of publication: July 1, 2021


Chris Dixon, a partner who led the charge, says he has a ‘very long-term horizon’

Americans now think they need at least $1.25 million for retirement, a 20% increase from a year ago, according to a survey by Northwestern Mutual

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Philip Lowe’s comments come amid property industry concerns about pressures on mortgage holders and rising rents

Wed, Jun 7, 2023 2 min

Leaders in Australia’s property industry are calling on the RBA to hit the pause button on further interest rate rises following yesterday’s announcement to raise the cash rate to 4.1 percent.

CEO of the REINSW, Tim McKibbin, said it was time to let the 12 interest rate rises since May last year take effect.

“The REINSW would like to see the RBA hit pause and allow the 12 rate rises to date work their way through the economy. Property prices have rebounded because of supply and demand. I think that will continue with the rate rise,” said Mr McKibbin.  

The Real Estate Institute of Australia  today released its Housing Affordability Report for the March 2023 quarter which showed that in NSW, the proportion of family income required to meet the average loan repayments has risen to 55 percent, up from 44.5 percent a year ago.

Chief economist at Ray White, Nerida Conisbee, said while this latest increase would probably not push Australia into a recession, it had major implications for the housing market and the needs of ordinary Australians.

“As more countries head into recession, at this point, it does look like the RBA’s “narrow path” will get us through while taming inflation,” she said. 

“In the meantime however, it is creating a headache for renters, buyers and new housing supply that is going to take many years to resolve. 

“And every interest rate rise is extending that pain.”

In a speech to guests at Morgan Stanley’s Australia Summit released today, Governor Philip Lowe addressed the RBA board’s ‘narrow path’ approach, navigating continued economic growth while pushing inflation from its current level of 6.8 percent down to a more acceptable level of 2 to 3 percent.

“It is still possible to navigate this path and our ambition is to do so,” Mr Lowe said. “But it is a narrow path and likely to be a bumpy one, with risks on both sides.”

However, he said the alternative is persistent high inflation, which would do the national economy more damage in the longer term.

“If inflation stays high for too long, it will become ingrained in people’s expectations and high inflation will then be self-perpetuating,” he said. “As the historical experiences shows, the inevitable result of this would be even higher interest rates and, at some point, a larger increase in unemployment to get rid of the ingrained inflation. 

“The Board’s priority is to do what it can to avoid this.”

While acknowledging that another rate rise would adversely affect many households, Mr Lowe said it was unavoidable if inflation was to be tamed.

“It is certainly true that if the Board had not lifted interest rates as it has done, some households would have avoided, for a short period, the financial pressures that come with higher mortgage rates,” he said. 

“But this short-term gain would have been at a much higher medium-term cost. If we had not tightened monetary policy, the cost of living would be higher for longer. This would hurt all Australians and the functioning of our economy and would ultimately require even higher interest rates to bring inflation back down. 

“So, as difficult as it is, the rise in interest rates is necessary to bring inflation back to target in a reasonable timeframe.”


Chris Dixon, a partner who led the charge, says he has a ‘very long-term horizon’

Americans now think they need at least $1.25 million for retirement, a 20% increase from a year ago, according to a survey by Northwestern Mutual

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