By Lynn Minnick
Late this past spring, fellow Connecticut YPNer Carl Lantz had the opportunity to be on HGTV’s popular series House Hunters. To celebrate the episode, Carl hosted a huge viewing party, and I’m sure he’s added something along the lines of, “as seen on House Hunters” to his marketing! I sent him House Hunters Bingo cards as a fun party favor. It was a really memorable experience for him that brought a lot of attention to his business and brought additional exposure to listings from other agents. He was kind enough to share his experience with me in a quick Q&A session:
Q: How did you get involved? Many agents tell me they’re always applying but don’t hear back.
Lantz: I got involved vicariously through my clients who were on the show with me. In general, House Hunters picks the buyer clients. Then the agent working with them gets to be part of the production. My clients had applied months earlier, and were picked finally around early November. The production company asked me to make a demo video and share it with them. Then about a week later, they gave us an episode number and told us we would be filming in late January.
Q: What was the process and how long did it take start to finish?
Lantz: Once I heard from the producers, we started talking about the two houses beside the one my people already had a contract on. They do their best to pick other homes the clients had seen, and liked, to make it more like the actual process. We filmed for a week in Connecticut and then they filmed a couple days in San Antonio with my clients at their home there.
Q: How were the homes picked? Did the buyers choose them or was it you or the producers?
Lantz: The buyers obviously picked the one that they bought…but one of the other two was one they had seen and really liked in their search, and the other was just one that we thought would work well with the show. I tried four other homes that they liked, but the sellers/listing agents would not get involved. They had fears that the house would be shown in a bad light on national TV. My take on that is there are good things and bad things about any house, and what doesn’t work for my clients might be a positive for another client. So I set up the last one, on my own, and the owners and agent were excited to have their home on the show!
Q: Did you enjoy it and would you do it again?
Lantz: It was a lot of fun to film. The crew was great, and felt like old friends by the end of the filming. I would absolutely do it again if asked. However, it was a week where I really couldn’t do any other work, so if it were later in the spring, it would have been tough to juggle the filming with the day-to-day work of our jobs.
Q: Now for the big question: Did you get any additional business from doing the show?
Lantz: I just signed a contract on a phone call from clients I have now in Orlando, Fla., who called me just because they saw me on the show and thought I was their kind of REALTOR®. I have had multiple referrals due to the exposure, and I got a ton of traffic on my Facebook page, and countless, random, “Hey, you’re that guy who was on House Hunters!” comments out in public. I’m sure it will lead to more business.