Real Estate Broker Warms Up Cold Listings With Hot Models

You can thank Vogue for sexing up real estate marketing. When real estate broker Dimitrios Aletras of high-end agency Nest Seekers was flipping through fashion mags, he wondered why he couldn't do for vacant apartments what fashion stylists do with belts and shoes: Get hot models to make them look fabulous.

"I would look at those magazine ads and think, 'Why can't it be this way for real estate, too?'" says Aletras, the agency's director of business development. The result, at left, is an ad campaign that "throws the market on its head. The images really show you the lifestyle you want for yourself," he says. "They are insanely sexy!"

And insanely expensive. To sell the two-bedroom, two-bath Greenwich Village apartment pictured above (asking price: $2.5 million), he pulled a wardrobe that includes pieces from Gucci, Christian
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Louboutin and Yves Saint Laurent. Models from top agencies One Model Management and Elite play the homeowners, and fashion photographer David LaChapelle is said to be advising a bit from afar, while up-and-coming photographers Leah Kelley and Cecil Gilliard are shooting.

The first installment has a Mad Menfeel -- an homage to the fact that the location is where Don Draper moves after breaking up with his wife. Next up is a $4 million, high-tech lair at 120 Riverside Boulevard. For that one, Aletras cast a "sexy family" inspired by the famous W magazine photo shoot starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie back when they were just pretending to be a couple. (Cool feature: The "hers" side of the master closet has a fingerprint recognition system.)

The cost of such an endeavor puts it out of the range of the typical homeowner (Aletras won't say how much) but if you're tempted to create an ad campaign for your property for sale, Aletras offers this advice for doing it on a budget.

"To keep costs down, find an up-and-coming photographer -- someone in school who wants to build their portfolio. The same with models and a makeup person," he says. Above all, remember the cardinal rule of photography, which applies to properties as well as people: "Just make sure you work with good lighting." --Shira Levine

Want more tips on how to photograph a property for sale? See these AOL Real Estate guides: More on AOL Real Estate:
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