How do you unload a $3.175 million five-bedroom, seven-bathroom French-style estate in New Jersey in the throes of a housing crisis? Appeal to French aristocrats, of course.
In one of the most bizarre craigslist ads we've ever seen, B.T. Edgar real estate agent Naoji Moriuchi points to newly sworn-in Socialist French President Francois Hollande as a reason for the 1 percent of France to flee to the U.S. And where better to flee than Moorestown, N.J.?
In the ad, which Moriuchi hoped would stir up some viral Internet buzz, he attempts to stoke fear in the upper class, claiming that Hollande will impose a 75 percent income-tax rate on the richest French citizens and return the pension age to 60. In order to avoid this millionaire oppression, argues the ad, they should flee to New Jersey.
The house itself is actually quite stunning. It's set on more than 3 acres of a quiet cul-de-sac (French!). It's surrounded by professional landscaping and is close to the center of historic Moorestown. Moriuchi even highlights the 2,000-bottle wine cellar to appeal to French customers.
Until now, the property hasn't had much interest. "I said, 'Have I said anything different than [the other agents] said?' he told Moorestown Patch. "No."
He reached out to Hypno Design for a never-before-done marketing strategy.
"It's kind of a classic Realtor's problem," Hypno creative director Richard Cardona told MoorestownPatch. "How do you distinguish yourself from the other ads out there? ... Everybody has the same bag of tricks, right? It's just kind of outlandish. It kind of makes you do a double-take."
"If you're going to do it, you've got to go big, or don't do it at all," said Moriuchi. "Some people might not like the idea. Some people might [take it the wrong way], and if they do, I'll live with those ramifications. Quite frankly, if they do, it would probably be passed along even more."
So goes the old adage: There's no such thing as bad publicity.
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