Back in 2008, I used to work at a real estate investment fund. We sold real estate in conference rooms. Boring, I know. So were all the open houses and development projects I went to.
Today, all of that has changed.
Alexander Ali of The Society Group invited me out to an open house he was hosting to launch The Camden residencies in Hollywood on Sunset and Vine. I thought to myself that this was going to be another boring night, but at least there would be Moet champagne and a dinner by Foodshop.
Luxury real estate companies from all over the world aren't sure how to capture their audience. They want to sell a lifestyle, but there aren't many options.
In such a boring and bland industry, most real estate agents believe that parking a Ferrari in front of a location will sell that experience. Me, on the other hand... I believe that adds competition to a new home, as I'd probably entertain the option of owning the exotic car instead.
Alexander spent two months pitching leadership the idea of an "immersive open house" at The Camden of how this would pan out, but they were skeptical because something like this has never been done before. Ultimately, they decided to give it a try.
Model overlooking Camden deck in Hollywood. Credit: Cal Bingham
As I entered into the lobby of The Camden, I was greeted with a glass of champagne.
Another boring tour, I thought in my head, but as I was told to put on a pair of sunglasses and not talk until dinner, I realized I was about to enter into an immersive performance that I would never forget. We were now voyeurs and told to follow one of two groups upstairs.
The elevator dropped us off at the third floor. From there, we were taken into the screening room where a couple was watching a movie, then we went upstairs to experience a stunning girlmid-photoshoot above the deck of the pool. She caught the attention of a guy by the pool. We instantly felt their connection.
As the group of 40 entered back inside, we trailed the model upstairs to the fifth floor and followed into her apartment #506. The apartment was filled with all of her belongings. As we were inside, she began writing a note and grabbing a bottle of champagne from her fridge. After interacting with the surroundings, we migrated into unit #503 across the hall, home of the male lead character, who was changing into a suit. There was a knock on his door. Outside was a note with one word: Roof.
The male model dashed to the elevator. We followed upstairs to the rooftop, where she was waiting. They toasted to champagne and danced the night away. Shortly afterwards, we followed them back to their room. The story was over, but the finale was just beginning.
Champagne in Camden lobby. Credit: Claire Bloom/Guest of a Guest
Card with map and instructions. Credit: Claire Bloom/Guest of a Guest
Guests in Camden elevator. Credit: Claire Bloom/Guest of a Guest
We all made our way to the common area known as The Hub, a very SoHo House like common area that has co-working space for residents, fireplaces, and a dining table set up for 40.
The guests gathered around one long communal table together and talked about the narrative they followed as a string quartet from Paris played. Everyone had a different story to tell.
New friends talked over a five course dinner by Foodshop and champagne pairing with each course, then we parted ways.
Dinner by Foodshop. Credit: Claire Bloom/Guest of a Guest
Camden guests conversing. Credit: Claire Bloom/Guest of a Guest
As unusual as it may sound, the next morning as I was thinking of what I had experienced, I was able to start to picture myself living the life of the various actors who played a part in the making of the entire experience. What it's like to live at the residences. Their luxurious lifestyle. I thought to myself, if I was in the market to move to a new home, I would have been ready to buy immediately.
But I wasn't the only one who felt this way. My guest Jen Awad felt the same way, along with the other guests from various lifestyles who came to attend as well. We all longed for the lifestyle.
The follow up.
Within 24 hours, Summer Austin, the Vice President of Marketing at The Camden Residences, sent us an email thanking us for joining them at the event and provided a photo album for us to remember our experiences, then touched a bit on their upcoming developments. One thing in particular that stood out was The Camden Code, which has benefits to many of the sought after sbe restaurants and nightclubs, such as VIP entrance to the hottest nightclubs and 50% off on meals on Sundays.
The Society Group's innovation for tying lifestyle into the sales process of a luxury property like The Camden shows real estate doesn't have to be boring. Have you seen any other changes in the way real estate is being sold? I'd love to hear more! Comment below.