Tulsa Native Starts Social Media Account Highlighting Unique Homes

Wednesday, July 27th 2022, 10:27 pm


A new online craze is changing the way some people look at houses.

More people are turning to apps and social media to find real estate trends and deals.

It is called “Zillow surfing” and a social media account is capitalizing on the trend. Its creator is from Tulsa.

Zillow is an online platform full of real estate listings. New and used homes of all price ranges can be toured in the palm of your hand. Many users have no interest in buying a home.

Tulsa native Samir Mezrahi is building a brand around an online pastime.

"Instagram is the place like where it blew up the most,” Mezrahi said.

Mezrahi graduated from Tulsa’s Memorial High School in 2000, but now lives in New York.

He is the creator and brain child of Zillow Gone Wild, a social media account on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok that exploits people's love of looking at houses, especially unique ones.

"The range of wild really depends on the home," Mezrahi said. "It's December 2020, I browse Zillow for fun. It's like my boredom, my phone time. I kind of thought other people were doing it too so I started the account, and it just really took off."

In a matter of weeks, the account blew up, gaining hundreds of thousands of followers. The account highlights strange houses, making them go viral.

"Since I've seen so many of these homes now, I kind of have a gauge of what people would be really into," Mezrahi said.

A year and a half later, Zillow Gone Wild has millions of followers across the platforms.

One of the most unique houses on Zillow Gone Wild is in Tulsa. Mezrahi featured the house on his account in June 2022.

Angela Barnett is the home’s listing agent and her phone has been ringing off the hook.

"A lot of the people didn't even know it was here," Barnett said. "I can't keep up with the amount of calls and the questions and the interviews."

The house has attracted potential buyers from all over and it has given Barnett a chance to share the story behind the home.

"It's kind of a love story," Barnett explained.

Located near Sand Springs, the home was completed in 2005 by a man who saw a similar house on a postcard in the 1960s.

When his wife was diagnosed with cancer, he made it his mission to build it. That man has since passed away, but the house still stands.

The only quick way to move between floors is a tight, wooden elevator. The thin base means the middle floors are small. The big attraction is the saucer up top.

With two bedrooms, a bathroom and a spacious kitchen, the biggest appeal is the 360 degree view and balcony.

In a competitive industry, going viral can be a good thing. Just ask Tulsa REMAX Agent James Wood.

He, like Mezrahi, is well aware of the impact Zillow and social media accounts are having on the real estate industry. That is why he started his own YouTube channel.

"I believe marketing is crucial,” Wood said.

Wood works with a team to showcase houses specifically for the digital age.

"Practically every home buyer starts their search online,” Wood explained. “So they're looking at the photos, then they're looking at if the agent has included a virtual tour or a video, they're looking at those multimedia marketing options."

Wood believes Zillow surfing and accounts like Mezrahi's are encouraging agents to do even more online.

"There are people just browsing online and the next thing you know they're writing a contract the next day,” Wood said.

Wood believes it's a trend that's only going to get bigger as more people look to find something unique.

Zillow Gone Wild plans to get bigger too, because that next great find could be just a click away.

"It's cool to be in this space as someone that people think about for homes," Mezrahi said.


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