Why do a regular walkthrough video to sell houses when you can rewrite Mandopop songs, record them and film a music video instead? That’s what property agent Rechard Tan has been doing, and he's not only sold houses, but also found fame on YouTube in the process. Talk about a win-win situation.
The 36-year-old became an unsuspecting viral star when netizens discovered his parody video of ‘Marry Me Today’ by David Tao & Jolin Tsai. In his video (below), he rewrote the lyrics to sell a four-room Hougang flat, highlighting the design of the house and even the nearby amenities.
This isn’t his first rodeo, mind you. In fact, Rechard has produced six music videos since two years ago. Some songs even have two versions filmed, in English and Mandarin. However, he went DIY for the first couple of vids. In particular, a video of him swimming to market a unit at Ferraria Park condo was filmed on his iPhone and “my videographer was my wife”, he tells 8Days.sg. “We didn’t spend any money on those videos as we had budget constraints.”
These days, the OrangeTee AAG division agent’s videos are filmed and edited by an in-house media production arm, AAG Media, that falls under the division. Each video costs about $1,000 to produce and the money comes out from his own pocket. “Home owners are more on the cost conservative side, which is perfectly understandable, because the house hasn't even been sold and they wouldn't want to come up with [extra] money for this and that. Most of them are not very receptive to that. So if we want to put in our best effort to sell the house, most of the time we need to put in our own money to make it work,” Rechard says.
Forking out more money has helped up the quality of the videos too, as seen in his latest video for a five-room flat in Balestier. It’s not just one song he parodies, but a combination of two hits — it starts with the classic Chinese tune ‘Without You’ by Bai Guang then segues into ‘Wolf Disco’ by Baoshi Gem. He not only rewrote lyrics to highlight the $120k renovations done by the owner, but also raps about the appliances and amenities, while decked out in a disco-themed outfit. Yes, it’s as hilarious and impressive as it sounds.
“Balestier has a very rich heritage and history, plus the home owner has a vinyl record player at home,” he reveals. “It led me to think, ‘Why not start the song with an oldies feel, which is why I chose the Bai Guang song. But Balestier is also a hip and funky place, so I added a hip element and my partner Roland Ong suggested the song ‘Wolf Disco’. That's why I chose to combine two songs.”
The vid for the Balestier listing took one-and-a-half months from concepualisation to completion. This is what his creative process is like: He first chooses the song (“It's based on my own feelings towards the unit”), then rewrites lyrics (“When I’m rewriting lyrics, I try to rhyme the lyrics”) before going into the studio to record the song and finally, filming and editing the video.
“The most challenging part is getting inspiration for the song. What kind of vibe or feel does the unit have? What song would match it?” he quips.
Rechard admits he’s had no formal music training, and the only singing he’s done is “mostly at KTV”. However, he’s always had an interest in rewriting lyrics to suit occasions and events, and the only public performance he’s done pre-YouTube fame is rewriting and performing a song for his good friend’s wedding, for which he was also an emcee at.
How does he decide which listings should have a dedicated music video? “As much as possible, I hope to give all my home owners an MV, but it also depends on the commitment from their side. For units that [we sell] on an exclusive basis, the level of commitment and effort will be much higher, so we spend a bit more on production n coming up with the best angle to sell the unit,” explains Rechard.
So far, he’s gotten a 60 to 70 per cent increase in number of queries for the listings in his videos. “I can get over 30 to over 100 enquiries, which is good for me to shortlist potential buyers. Sometimes, after they enquire and find out the price, they may not come for viewings, but the exposure was really what I’d hoped to achieve in the first place.”
Watch Rechard’s latest YouTube video at https://youtu.be/YLpu2VYcvs4.
Photos: Courtesy of Rechard Tan/ YouTube screenshots