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


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Expert tips for prospective buyers looking to purchase a home in 2024.

By Josh Bozin
Fri, Apr 12, 2024 3 min

For aspiring homeowners, be it a first-time buyer, downsizer, or investor, picturing your idea of homeownership bliss is the easy part. But before deliberating on furniture choices or scouting for that perfect neighbourhood coffee, understanding your purchasing power stands out as the most important step in ensuring your success in homeownership.

And with the Australian property market gaining momentum in 2024, there’s never been a better time to come to grips with your financial options.

In 2023, amid the changing financial landscape that saw rising interest rates and the cost of living skyrocket, among other factors, the total amount borrowed for property purchases across Australia was estimated at $300.9 billion, a 12.7 percent decrease from the previous year, according to PEXA’s latest Mortgage Insights Report.

Each mainland state also experienced a decline in new lending, according to the report, with Victoria and New South Wales seeing the biggest drops to $84.1 billion and $109.5 billion, respectively.

While this trend reflects the repercussions of such financial hardships on the everyday Australian, John Morello, director and auctioneer at Jellis Craig, said we’re seeing renewed confidence in the property market during the first quarter of 2024, particularly in Melbourne.

“Auction clearance rates have started the year strongly and consumer sentiment is rising. This lift is driven by cooling inflation and an improved outlook on interest rates. At Jellis Craig, as with the rest of the market, we are experiencing an increase in volume of property compared to the same period in March last year (up 28% in 2024),” Mr Morello said.

“Melbourne’s property market, in particular, is showing its ongoing evolution and resilience.”

PEXA’s report revealed that, while borrowing saw a decrease in 2023 in Australia, Australians still invested $613.0 billion in property purchases in 2023. In 2024, purchasing confidence is only going up, as prospective first home buyers, seasoned downsizers, and savvy investors look to capitalise on a flood of new property hitting the market, coupled with the lowering of interest rates across the board.

“With more certainty in the economic outlook, along with an increase in volume of property available, we are seeing these factors translate to early signs of a boost in confidence in both buyers and sellers,” said Mr Morello.

“Further encouraging data shows that whilst there is more property available to purchase, more people are inspecting property, again indicating that demand has increased broadly across our marketplace.”

If you’re in the market for a new property, the biggest question you must ask yourself is how much house can I afford?

A great starting place is to speak with your mortgage broker or financial professional, who can guide you on your lending options. This is critical, as you need to know what your future repayment options might look like, and ultimately, what you will typically be able to afford.

A useful tool for judging whether you can afford a specific property is to factor in the 28/36 rule — a rough guide that suggests you should not spend more than 28 percent of your gross monthly income on housing, and no more than 36 percent on all debts. Another useful tool is the idea of a debt-to-income ratio (DTI); a formula whereby an individual can divide all of their monthly debt payments by gross monthly income to arrive at a number that one can measure as a way of managing monthly mortgage payments.

Mr Morello emphasised the need to understand affordability and what’s feasible for each individual when looking to make a purchase, no matter the budget, on a property in 2024.

“It’s pivotal to work out what you can afford. Get your finances in order. Consider all associated costs with buying, and research what concessions and grants are available,” said Mr Morello.

“It’s easy for individuals to begin the process today. Start actively searching potential properties on a weekly basis, and research areas you are interested in. Check weekly sales results, attend inspections and auctions, to get a feel for the process. Just remember, it’s important to be really comfortable in understanding your living expenses, and what the ongoing expenses will be once you have bought a property.

“For example, mortgage repayments, council rates, water, power, owners corp fees, insurances, maintenance costs; if you are buying as an investment, the Land Tax payable on that property which is an ongoing tax. There’s many factors to consider.”

To see what’s possible for your specific circumstances, visit our Finance Portal for specific tools, guides and tips—as well as our own mortgage calculator—to assist you on your property journey.


35 North Street Windsor

Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.


This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

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