5 Must-See Movies for Real Estate Agents and Homebuilders

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The Big Short is a tell-all tale of investors during the 2008 mortgage crisis.

Already binged all seven episodes of Tiger King? Not to worry. This week, we suggest something a little closer to home — literally. Here are five films every real estate agent and homebuilder should add to their must-see list.

The Big Short (2015)

This Oscar-winning film showcases the lead-up and subsequent collapse of the 2007-2008 housing market. Its focus: the lives and morality of a group of financial professionals who predicted and profited from the crisis. Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, and Brad Pitt star.

Margot Robbie explains finance terms from a bubble bath.

Added bonus: Selena Gomez, Anthony Bourdain, and Margot Robbie provide random, tongue-in-cheek commentaries.

Alec Baldwin teaches real estate agents the ABCs.

Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)

The story, adapted from David Mamet’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, centers on the seedy side of Chicago real estate. Alec Baldwin (24 years before his first Donald Trump SNL parody) stars as a cryptic consultant hired to motivate a group of agents. (Think: “First prize is a Cadillac Eldorado. Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is you’re fired.”) The kicker: all but the top two will be fired at the end of the week.

Jack Lemmon, Al Pacino, Ed Harris, and Kevin Spacey round out an A-list cast. But, be prepared. The dialogue can be dicey. (The f-word is dropped a whopping 138 times.) In addition, we love the plethora of real estate catch-phrases. Among our favorites: “ABC. A—Always. B—Be. C—Closing.”

Missed defects are among every real estate agent’s worst nightmare.

The Money Pit (1986)

This quintessential home-ownership-gone-awry comedy is the first collaboration between Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg. The premise: Walter and Anna (Hanks and Shelley Long) get bulldozed into buying a distressed mansion at a too-good-to-be-true price.

The couple soon finds out why: doors fall off their hinges, staircases tumble, even the chimney falls into the house. Yet, it doesn’t stop there. Their renovation attempts are equally ill-fated.

Prime real estate: the film’s renovated Lattingtown, New York mansion.

Fast-forward 30-plus years. The actual homeowners proved far luckier. In 2019, the 8,435-square foot upstate New York property sold for $3.5 million.

Peter and Zooey’s cool Midcentury Modern abode.

I Love You, Man (2009)

Actor Paul Rudd plays Peter Klaven in this comedy about a newly-engaged Los Angeles real estate agent with double trouble. One, he has no male friends (hence, no groomsmen). And two, he’s trying to sell the over-the-top mansion belonging to bodybuilder-turned-Incredible Hulk Lou Ferrigno.

The Incredible Hulk’s fictitious mansion property–complete with bronze statue.

At a showing, he meets Sydney Fife (Jason Segel), a self-proclaimed investor. Turns out, Peter’s new friend attends open houses only to scope out recently-divorced women and eat free food.

The actual home featured in the film is in LA’s Los Feliz neighborhood.

The film sports an added bonus for real estate junkies: the couple’s uber-cool Midcentury Modern home. A recent off-market Zillow Zestimate values the 3,310-square-foot property at $2,795.170.

Evictees Lynn and Dennis Nash (Laura Dern and Andrew Garfield) star in 99 Homes.

99 Homes (2015)

The 2010 Florida housing crisis sets the scene for this dark Golden Globe-nominated film. Single father Dennis Nash (Andrew Garfield) strikes a “deal with the devil” in an attempt to save his childhood home after his family is evicted.

The character-centric movie also stars Mike Shannon as a ruthless real estate shark who ultimately hires Nash. Fan favorite actress Laura Dern plays Nash’s distraught mother.

Most memorable line? “Don’t get sentimental about real estate.”

All movies are available on Amazon Prime Video.


Elaine Raffel

Having left the corporate world to launch her own freelance creative business, Elaine Raffel is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the mega-talented Dallas homebuilding community. She credits her work with top fashion and design brands for teaching her one inarguably valuable lesson: that truly great work is always a collaboration.

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