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Voldemort’s in the house: Real estate agents stage epic Harry Potter duel to sell South Auckland home

Merewai Durutalo

Wands drawn and spells at the ready.

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

It’s not Hogwarts, but a lifestyle property on Aka Aka Road became a magical battleground last month as two agents drew their wands and lobbed lightning bolts at each other.

Pukekohe Barfoot & Thompson agents Luke Jupp and Jason Tabrum channelled their inner wizards in a short video advertising the home in Puni, Franklin.

The pair, who started dabbling in novelty videos about three years ago, racked up the hits with their Harry Potter tribute (it attracted 31,000 views on YouTube) and conjured up an impressive sale within three weeks of the property hitting the market.

The three-bedroom home, which sits on a 7.37-hectare block, was picked up at auction by a young family for $2.375 million – $605,000 above its 2021 CV.

They told the agents they had enjoyed the video.

“They’re a young family, so I would assume they would know of Harry Potter. They had a laugh about it, they thought it was great,” Tabrum said.

The video starts out with Tabrum in Harry Potter guise walking through the property as the soundtrack whispers: “Jason Potter ... the boy that sells."

The video cuts to the driveway outside the home, where Jupp appears from a column of black smoke as “Juppamort” (essentially Voldemort if he bought his clothes at RM Williams and wore a friendship bracelet).

The agent declares: “Jason Potter, we meet at last. Time to show you how real estate really works.”

One dazzling battle later and the boys are ready to show the inside of the country house, which is less than 10 minutes drive out of Pukekohe.

The agents, who tend to finish each other’s sentences, told OneRoof that soon after they teamed up to sell lifestyle properties around the Franklin district they hit upon on a winning formula.

“We started dabbling with videos from about three years ago, doing something a little bit different,” said Jupp.

“We really started to get out of the gate when we noticed that the engagement we started to get on social media started to increase. The more in-depth the skit was the better [the results].”

Some of the skits play on a feature of the property – the Harry Potter video was inspired by the house’s Hogwarts-style stone cladding – but sometimes they are a bit looser.

A recent video for a three-bedroom villa at 237A Tramway Road, which goes to auction this week, is dubbed “Survival tips with Luke and Jase”. In it, the pair sneak through the bush, sort out shelter and forage for food (the owner’s cat escapes these intrepid hunters, they settle for buns and chips instead).

The video also shows off the property’s bush setting, patio with pizza oven, gardens and fruit trees – so there is a serious side to their japes.

Jupp and Tabrum said their goal was getting eyeballs to their vendors’ properties.

“This is the biggest buyers’ market we’ve seen since 2010 or 2011, so for us we really need to create a point of difference for our vendors, make sure their property stands out against the other properties in the market,” Tabrum said, adding that vendors know the pair will come up with something striking that brings in, on average, some 20,000 views via Facebook.

The pair have no training in improv theatre or stand up.

“Luke is the office clown, we’re just normal blokes,” Tabrum said, adding that seeing the difference in viewing numbers is what spurs them.

While the process may involve some brainstorming and story-boarding, the guys admit sometimes they just turn up at the property and play around.

“For the video, we always have turns with ideas but [Harry Potter] was actually from our videographer,” he said.

The pair are not the only ones who are abandoning the usual video camera-pan-and-soundtrack real estate videos.

In Southland, Bayleys agents Kylie Young and Hannah Mason donned Victorian bonnets and crinolines to highlight the historic heritage of the eight-bedroom mansion at 102 Albert Street, in the middle of Invercargill’s historic Gladstone district, which they are selling.

Footage of the pair is interspersed with historic photos of the early days of the estate, known as Lennel, which sits on 1.29ha of grounds.

The 450sqm mansion, in need of a refurbishment but with many of its heritage features still intact, has a CV of $1.88m.

- Click here to find more properties for sale

* Additional reporting by Catherine Smith

Hero Image: Barfoot & Thompson agent Jason Tabrum hurls lightning bolts and fancy spells at his colleague Luke Jupp in front of a Franklin lifestyle property they were selling. Photo / Supplied

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