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Estate Media launches with top real estate influencers

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Sep 20, 2023
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Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios

Estate Media has raised $1.65 million to grow a personality-driven media company dedicated to real estate, CEO Griff O'Brien tells Axios.

Why it matters: Real estate agents have grown their own brands through social media platforms. This startup looks to build a media empire serving them, their fans and the industry.

How it works: Estate Media plans to serve workers in the real estate industry, along with fans who may currently be buying, selling or renting. It includes a network of more than 20 real estate professionals and content creators who have more than 25 million followers combined, according to the company.

  • The Los Angeles-based company has about 10 staffers, including the three co-founders: O'Brien, Josh Flagg and Andrew Shanfeld. O'Brien worked in content for Roku, Amazon and pocket.watch. Flagg is a luxury real estate agent known for "Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles." Shanfeld co-founded real estate-focused private equity firm Carolwood.
  • Estate Media will create video and audio series, along with newsletters, starring its creators. It plans to make money through ads and branded content and through one-time purchases or memberships to educational resources. O'Brien says a future revenue stream could be products servicing real estate professionals.
  • It has launched digital series, such as "Josh Flagg Masterclass" and Margot Ettedgui's "Forreal Estate." It also has video podcasts, including Aaron Grushow's "The Standouts" and Glennda Baker's "Glennda's Guru." Flagg and social media creator ZillowGoneWild are teaming up on a series called "House Hunters." Interior stylist Paige Wassel runs a newsletter.

Details: Estate Media's seed round was led by Upstate Shredding CEO Adam Weitsman, who was named a partner.

  • Other investors are Complex founder Rich Antoniello, Morning Brew CEO Austin Rief, Morning Brew Chief Content Officer Devin Emery, Scriber founder Brian Goldsmith, Ojo Labs president Chris Heller and Powerhouse Capital.
  • Its advisers include CollegeHumor and Vimeo co-founder Ricky Van Veen, former Complex president Justin Killion, Crypt TV co-founder Jack Davis and Magic president Spence Markel.

What's next: The funding will be for hiring, namely in production and sales, and for content production, O'Brien says.

  • "Content costs money, and while we're doing it extremely efficiently, we want to have the flexibility to make something even if we don't think we're going to get a brand in pre-sale or we have this concept ... that doesn't really align with a brand," O'Brien says.

Editor's note: Goldsmith's title was updated due to an error by the company.

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