Extreme marketing: Realtor defends using scantily-clad models in various poses to promote home

A creative Houston-area realtor began using half-dressed fitness models to draw attention to a hard-to-sell property and that is not sitting well with some folks.

On the other hand, sexuality is a common marketing ploy and is used to sell just about everything else, so why not real estate?

After listing a house in a flood-prone Houston suburb for 40 days and getting no offers, realtor Kristin Gyldenege came up with a novel idea of posting photos of scantily clad male and female models in the home doing normal household tasks like cooking or changing a light bulb, the Houston Chronicle reported.

The photos were uploaded to HAR.com, a Texas real estate website, and Gyldenege said she booked six showings the day after they went live.

“I didn’t want anything slutty,” she told Chron.com. “I wanted to represent a young couple who was on top of their game all the way around and who had just moved into this great house.”

The photos posted minus the models “on top of their game” drew fewer than 1,000 views over the 40 day period, but the new photos had 20,000 views within the first 24 hours, she said.

And while the tactic drew the desired eyeballs, it also drew complaints about the risque content.

It probably doesn’t help that Gyldenege told the newspaper she’s known as the “potty mouth” real estate agent with an edge.

In the end, she said it’s all about the homeowner who hired her to sell the home, who did approve of the idea.

“In the end, that’s what matters —  doing what’s best for my client,” Gyldenege said.

Attracting attention is one thing, selling the house another — she has yet to receive any serious offers — so it remains to be seen if the tactic proves to be a success.

Here’s a sampling of responses to the story from Twitter:

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Tom Tillison

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