A real estate agent explains what’s going on in this crazy real estate ad.

You don’t tend to see a lot of people when you click on photos from real estate listings online, and you certainly don’t see a lot of people dressed in full armor. But if you happened to land on the page at 12227 East Tallman Road in Chattaroy, Wash. In the last few days, that’s exactly what greeted you: a knight decked out in 100 pounds of 16-gauge steel. and 13. He appears throughout what is otherwise a standard slideshow of wide-angle shots of the house, which, it should be noted, looks more than a castle: there he slices oranges with a sword; there he plays street hockey. What exactly is going on here and how did this knight end up on Zillow? (By the way, there’s a video too, and it’s even crazier.) To find out, I spoke to Jonas Elber, a real estate agent at RE / MAX from Spokane and the mastermind that put this 4 bed in , 4 bathrooms, 1- list of fortresses on the market. Our conversation has been edited and condensed.

Heather Schwedel: So why is there a knight in these photos?

Jonas Elber: I’ve seen a few other tours like this: there’s one with real estate agents wearing a Sasquatch costume and another with a dinosaur. That sort of idea spawned the idea, but the knight was certainly more appropriate for this castle scene. Similar virtual tours had all been stills, and I wanted to do something a little higher level of production and with video. So I took some time to hunt down a gunsmith with not only costume armor, but legitimate armor.

Why did you think this property required a special approach?

I am not convinced the buyer of this home is local, given the uniqueness of the front elevation. So I felt a greater need to try to get as much exposure as possible and try to tap into those Renaissance and Middle Ages fans. We’re really looking for Renaissance enthusiasts who either want to have a second home which is the Chateau or it might be worth moving into with work from home options and stuff like that.

I mean, the person who buys this house isn’t just going to look for a four bedroom, four bathroom house. I think it will be someone a little lighter and will like to live in a house that not only has a view, but is view.

Do you know the history of this house? How did it end with this castle theme?

My client is the second owner so I really don’t know for sure. But rumor has it that the original owner was a retired mason and it was his dream project he was working on.

You mentioned tracking down a knight to appear in the video. Where do you find a knight these days?

I started by calling our local theater company to see if they knew of anyone who was renting armor. And then I learned a bit more that real armor, however high the quality that armor is, is really tailor-made for the gunsmith.

They didn’t know anyone, but thought they knew someone who thought they knew someone who finally introduced me to them. His costume is specific to a period between around 490 AD and 510 AD, and he had each piece custom made to suit him. I couldn’t tell you retail value, but I mean, it’s thousands of dollars. He’s in Renton, which is across the mountains. It’s the other side of the state. It took a good day’s drive to get here and be a part of it for us.

Chivalrous! It looks like you’d end up with a knight who was a decent actor and even some sort of ham, so it worked out well.

It made. I scripted it all and wrote it down. Because we’ve done other real estate videos before, nothing quite as elaborate, but I know the more you plan for it, the faster it will be done and the more you will save on costs by being better prepared.

We had an hour to rehearse it before my normal movie guys came in, and we pretty much stuck to the script, but some of the stuff – rather than just being in the shower, starting to dance a bit under. the shower – we all helped make it what it is.

He is not in all the scenes either. We tried to find the balance between presenting the house and presenting the house with humor.


What was it like to write dialogues?

Well everyone has a different sense of humor, but I ran it by a few of my closest friends and just said, “Tell me if this is too ridiculous.” And, you know, “Is that going to add or take away from my credibility?” And then, more importantly, I introduced it to my clients before we did and I just said, “Hey, I want to represent you and the house the way you want to be represented.” Can I get your blessing on this script and idea? And they were all on board.

Do they still live in the house? Did they somehow have to get lost for the day while you were playing in medieval times?

They are, that’s what they did. And then we just had a great time filming around their house while they were at work.

You mentioned that the costume is really heavy. How uncomfortable was that for your knight?

I had to help him put on the costume, or not, but in the armor, because there are some parts that he can’t put on fully while he’s half-armored. And then I had to help him get out of it. And he was a very good athlete. He weighs over 100 pounds. And one of my jobs was to take off his helmet, open it so he could breathe. It’s already a hot day, but I could feel the heat radiating from him when we opened that helmet. It’s a fun video, but it took a lot of physical labor to get up and down the stairs and do it for us.

Was it hot that day?

It was over 100 degrees. It was well grilled.

I was a little confused about the book he is holding in the video. Was there any special meaning behind it?

Well, Richest man in Babylon, that’s a little bit back in time, but this book is also on the Recommended Reading List for two of my real estate mentors. One of them wrote the preface to this book. So I knew some of my real estate friends across the United States would enjoy seeing this book.

So it was like a little real estate Easter egg?


Did you have to do anything special on set to make sure you were safe while using the swords?

They are sharp swords. I mean, they were cutting oranges. But the knight has sheets for them and he wields swords most of the time. One of the things was just to protect that equipment. Swords are not designed for slicing oranges, so they need to be maintained and processed afterwards.

Some of the comments we’ve received online from people who know more about armor than me see the shower scene and say, “Oh my God you don’t put water on armor like that, it goes. rust.” So he really went the extra mile by being ready to wet his armor and take care of it immediately after the shower scene.

A knight looks at himself in a bathroom mirror, seems to be spraying something under his armpit.
One of four spacious full bathrooms.

Have you ever heard from potential buyers?

We have been on the market for 24 hours now. It’s starting to get not only views online, but also legitimate actions from qualified buyers.

This house, when it was on the market before, was sitting on the market. I mean it was over 200 days. I mean 236 days before my customers buy it. So it is certainly going a lot faster than the last time it was on the market.

We have several buyers from California, one from Virginia. The phone has rang, but we’re trying to weed out tire shooters and selfie-takers by asking for full approval letters before people schedule screenings. The planning of the visits therefore takes a little more time, because each buyer, before being able to fix his appointment, must produce a letter of approval. A letter of approval is from their lender or financial institutions showing that they financially qualify to buy a home like this.

Did the people who come to see him specifically mention to you that they’re really into the Renaissance or the Knights and stuff like that?

We’ve had a few, but we’ve also had interest from people to consider hosting events or having weddings or Airbnb there, as it could be used for those purposes as well.

It seemed like getting attention online was part of the goal here, and it worked. Do you think this is going to be a novelty in real estate, pre-engineering something to go viral?

Not all properties need to go viral and get viral exposure to be able to sell, but I believe there will be a higher demand from real estate agents to prove their worth through quality marketing. with a slightly higher level of production than five years ago. .

When you have a house that sort of has this very unique appearance, how do you factor that into your listing price?

Offsetting this one – comparing it to other properties we’ve sold – was really tough. And so I asked a few other real estate agents that I trust and a few appraisers that I have worked with for their opinions as well. That way when the buyer comes in and asks how we got the value, we can share with them the extra steps we’re taking to get the combined prospect.

And how do you decide how much money you’re going to put into a video like this for marketing purposes?

Every ad that I have has a marketing budget and you’re just balancing, you know, what’s going to be done versus what you expect. I don’t necessarily have a strict percentage of my commission per ad that’s dedicated to what it will take to get the job done right.

Are most of the properties you sell more traditional homes?

No. I sold a property with 26 stables which was a bit unusual. I just sold a dilapidated old school in Rice, Washington, which is very remote. I really enjoy selling and owning unique properties.

Do you have any other announcements coming up that you may see a similar hit on?

I do. But we are just in the brainstorming phase. I don’t plan on using the knight in future announcements, as I am not announcing any other castles at this time.

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