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Cult of Celebrity Real Estate

There’s no let up in the fascination of celebrity, there’s no bubble it seems that’s going to pop like in other speculative industries - say real estate for example.

If Leonardo Dicaprio is set to buy a condo in a building you can be sure the rest of those condos will sell pretty quickly after that.

With celebrity, the fascination just keeps growing and escalating. Now cell phones taking pictures of stars is passť, it’s moved on to shooting videos of stars on your cell phone, and throwing it up on Youtube. There’s nearly no escape for celebrities. There’s Gwaker and Perez Hilton, there’s no escape even in the comfort of their own homes—we then want to know how much they paid and what their bathrooms look like and what's in their refrigerator.

Oh, the poor celebrities have to suffer with all this attention, and with all the money they’re making – but there is a crush of attention on them that’s excessive and scary at times I’m sure.

However, celebrity is the kind of thing where if you look at it you’ll burn your eyes and go blind but you can’t stop looking. It’s the kind of thing were you start to watch some reality TV show and then start to actually care about the people on the show. However, these are just soap operas were the TV producers don’t have to pay the actors since the stars aren’t actors and they do crazy things that bring the show even more attention. It's a win win for the producers. Former stars, now broke and desperate, star in new reality shows like The Surreal Life.

The percentage of sites on the Internet dedicated to gossip and celebrity is probably nearly 20%-30%--and now this article has added to the celebrity quotient.

But there’s a curiosity and desire to see inside stars homes, and to a certain extent, this desire was quenched with shows like MTV's Cribs and Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. But, like the simple cell phone picture almost old and passť, the celebrity focus has grown exponentially.

The growth has progressed in tandem with reality TV shows. In the lead up to the inevitable pop of the real estate bubble, there was a huge influx of real estate reality shows. Making celebrities out of fixer uppers, flippers, real estate investors, and real estate agents. The new premise of a reality TV show is the life of a star. Rather than have the paparazzi chase them around all day, let’s give them a show.

Besides the desire to want to see what celebrity’s do, what they wear and where they live, we want to know what they think. This is were the celebrity experts come into play, like The Donald. These celebrities are sort of gurus in the real estate market -why not get some advice from those with more experience you might say. The question is though, are these celebrities or truly experienced investors. Are they gurus just trying to sell books and tickets to their conferences?

In Vegas, where it’s all about image and attracting the rich and famous, a celebrity name can lead to a better business model for investors. It's free advertising as the media picks up the story – rather than buying a bunch of ads in the real estate magazines or online, a celebrity name will draw attention from the press. Expedited sales leading to faster financing – selling condos is much easier if Leonardo Dicaprio is a potential neighbor for other buyers.

Sometimes it's not just a domestic draw but a celebrity can bring in world wide attention. Something that's an even bigger focus today, as more international buyers are coming into the picture since the dollar is weak and properties are cheap.

But there’s also some desire for brands and not just celebrity names – although sometimes names are brands, like Martha Stewart and her partnership with KB Homes. But rock stars and party type brands are the ones that go over well in Vegas. It’s match your celebrity with your target audience, who are you trying to sell to:

While some projects seek to align with individuals, there is also a trend in affiliating residential projects with established corporate brands, Emerick said.

"The hip brands of the Hard Rock, The Palms, and Planet Hollywood have planned high-rise condo projects leveraging their corporate brand names. There has been discussion of towers leveraging the corporate brands of MTV and Maxim Magazine."

Read more at Inman...

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