HeliRealtor Dylan Tent Discusses The Michigan Luxury Real Estate Market

Dylan Tent

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Helirealtor has become a social media sensation after revolutionizing the industry’s marketing strategy to include more eye-catching, over-the-top videos and photos in the style of a social media influencer Instagram account. Dylan Tent is the mastermind and visionary behind Helirealtor and has become a leading agent in Michigan’s luxury real estate scene with trademark helicopter tours, record-breaking sales and a marketing strategy unparalleled to any other in the industry. Haute Residence sat down with the social media and real estate tycoon to discuss how millennials are influencing the real estate market, the importance of social media and more.

Can you tell us a bit about the Michigan luxury market post-2012 crash to now?

DT: Its been probably increasing at least 7% year over year. Typically during the recession, there were about 80,000 houses on our MLS at any given time and that number has just been decreasing as inventory is tightening up. Even at the begging of this year or last year, we had about 17,00 houses on the market and it has gone down to 11 or 12,000. We are seeing a lot of rising prices and it’s both good and bad because it’s tough to get people to move if there is nothing to buy. And the cost of building has been so expensive that some people are staying put but for first-time home buyers in the lower 400-500,000 price range, that area of the market is on fire.  My luxury listings — some of it has moved, some are stagnant but that just comes in any market. Trying to purchase the right home for a million dollars or more is always going to be really personal.

What is the luxury homebuyer looking for when finding their dream home?

DT: I’ve been fortunate that I have had a lot of really unique properties for sale including very specific custom homes and architecturally special properties. We have our main core market area like Oakland County and on the outskirts, you’ll still find these pockets of very luxury homes in areas and homes that have a lot of property. I’ve been working in these equestrian communities and we have been able to capture a lot of business working in these fringe areas and in these equestrian communities and some of these further out estates.  So its just as far as what people are looking for I think new is pretty attractive always. Cool smart homes eco-friendly things like that.


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Do you see a push in your market for vertical living or is that still not something your market is interested in?

DT: In downtown Detroit, there are a lot more new developments that you couldn’t even comprehend if you haven’t been here. The entire downtown Detroit has exploded, Midtown Detroit is on fire right now. The price per square foot has quadrupled or even more in some areas. The same areas that houses were getting burned down in 2011 and 2012. Now, it’s actually quite cool how much the market has come back. We are building the tallest building in Detroit in the site of the old Hudson building and there’s going to be leasing, condos for sale, lots of really great stuff happening there.

Do you foresee a dip in the market in the coming months?

DT: In our market, there’s more of a shortage of product as far as in the middle price range.  Stuff that is $200-500,000, there’s not a lot of. And quality product its even less because people have been moving as much because there’s not as much for them to move into. But there’s definitely demand with the buyers, a whole new buyers group that can purchase now. I think that the biggest thing that is going to be affected is the larger priced homes in the suburbs and when I say larger I don’t mean over a million — I mean $700,000 to a million. A lot of the new buyers haven’t reached an income level to purchase some of these larger homes that have been built and a lot of these almost semi-mature neighbors haven’t gone through a cycle of remodeling yet.  You have these homes that are still very nice but they feel dated to the next pool of buyers and they are expensive.  And that’s what I see in certain markets, the suburbs of Detroit for sure.

Millennials have affected so many different industries. With the new pool of buyers, do you think [millenials] have affected the real estate industry?

DT: I think that people are staying closer to their cool towns and communities. Walk to town is definitely something that people really like.  So that’s why we are seeing people move to somewhere that has a little bit of a downtown feel, that you can either hop into an Uber or walk to. In those communities, the suburbs there are typically not that expensive and those homes have tripled in value over the past 5 years. Whereas the big suburbs homes have remained rather similar in price. They have been back since the recession but they haven’t doubled or tripled by any means they have just come back to where they were before the crash.

What inspired you to be so creative with your videos of your listings and how has it helped your sellers?

DT: I started this at 23 and I wanted to sell luxury homes so I had to try to market differently. Most people aren’t going to want to work with someone with no experience to sell million dollar assets. Before drones and videos started to get big with other agents, we started to try to get more creative than anybody else and stayed ahead of it. Our videos get 70,000 views on them — that’s more traffic than Zillow, Realtor.com and MLS combined in a week. If we can produce that many eyeballs on your property, it’s a big help. And I work with the number one luxury real-estate company in the world so we already have an industry-leading advertising package what I do online is very hard for anybody to compete with me that I would be going up against to get a listing. People appreciate that it’s different and they appreciate that I show up prepared and caring about my job and loving what I do, I give them the best service.

How important is social media now in the real estate industry? 

DT: In my market, so few people are doing a good job at it that it’s wide open. Some of the top producers that were more heavily in print are starting to catch on but they don’t understand it, they don’t understand how to get the eyeballs on the properties using the platform.  You can sit there and post great content all day but if nobody sees it what’s the point? And we have found a way to make it entertaining enough that people want to watch it.



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