Real Estate in the Movies (February 4, 2017)

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    by Russ Meyer, Nebraska Home Sales Realtor

    I am a real estate agent. And, I love my job. I think about and talk about my work…a lot. So, when I first realized that The Goonies is a real estate movie, I thought I might have gone too far. Real estate, though, is a common theme of many classic movies.

    The Goonies (1985) is about a group of friends desperate not to move as an evil land developer tries to foreclose on their parents’ homes. The kids save the day after stumbling upon a treasure map that leads to an old ship filled with treasure.

    The story lines of these movies run the gamut from goofy to slapstick. In The Money Pit (1986) a young couple buys a “distress sale” million-dollar mansion for $200,000 through an unscrupulous realtor and con artist sellers. The house immediately begins to fall apart—collapsing stairs, electrical fires, a raccoon living in the dumbwaiter.

    Other films are sad reminders of the not too distant past. The Big Short (2015) is an insider’s look at the investors who bet against the growth of the real estate market and ended up profiting from when the bubble burst in 2008.

    The real estate movie that has garnered the most attention is Glengarry Glen Ross (1992), based on the real-life experience of the author working in a real estate office in the 1970s. Realtors have memorized the fast-paced dialogue and fantastic one-liners. Alec Baldwin’s motivational speech to junior salesmen has been parodied on Saturday Night Live. “Put that coffee down, coffee is for closers only.” His announcement of a monthly sales contest includes the famous line: “First prize is a Cadillac Eldorado. Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is you’re fired.”

    While one of my favorite lines is the ABC’s of real estate, “Always Be Closing,” I also want to leave you with this note. Much like lawyers, real estate agents are often portrayed in a negative light. Don’t worry, we have a sense of humor about ourselves and our work, too. See you at the movies!

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