Hollywood-style trailers, exclusive dinner parties, and 'Instagram museums': The CEO of a real estate PR firm dishes on how he sells multimillion-dollar mansions to the super-rich

The Society GroupThe Society Group turned a $US15 million home into an Instagram museum.

If you’re looking to sell your multimillion-dollar Los Angeles home in a wildly unconventional way, you’ll likely turn to one person: Alexander Ali, founder and CEO of PR firm The Society Group. His company is best known for the dramatic, Hollywood-style real estate trailers they have created to help sell multimillion-dollar homes.

Since 2015, the company has helped sell more than $US500 million of real estate – including the Playboy Mansion -and their current portfolio is worth over $US1.7 billion, according to the website.

“Just how a celebrity has a publicist, we make houses famous,” Ali told Business Insider. “They can be a million dollars, they can be a billion dollars. That’s our job. We become part of the conversation.”

To do this, the Society Group has done everything from holding an immersive theatrical performance at a property and producing theatrical promotional videos, to throwing events such as Instagram museums and super-luxurious sit-down dinners for an exclusive group of 40 high net worth individuals.

Opus trailer society groupThe Society GroupA still from Society Group’s trailer for the LA mansion ‘Opus.’

For Ali, one of The Society Group’s most memorable events was held at a $US15 million penthouse in Santa Monica. The home was turned into an “Insta Penthouse,” which he describes as a “1960s themed beach party meets Instagram museum.” It included a trampoline photo booth on the roof, an art installation consisting of 1,000 yellow pinwheels, and a neon room.

Giant beach balls were put in every room, and the bathtubs were transformed into ball pits.

Insta penthouseThe Society GroupOne event saw a penthouse bathtub transformed into a colourful ball pit.

“The whole point of this was to remind people of their childhood memories of the beach, while at the same time, pouring them a martini and selling the property,” Ali said.

The penthouse sold in six days to a buyer whose agent found the home through Instagram photos posted from the event, Ali said.

Then there was the “Estate of Zen,” where 40-something high net worth individuals were invited “into an Eastern world of subtle luxury” that included a dinner and live performances.

“We always focus on a shared experience,” Ali said. “I think that’s really powerful word of mouth. If you can have people come together and share an experience, that’s better than taking an ad out in the paper.”

Alexander aliThe Society GroupAlexander Ali, president and CEO of The Society Group.

Ali’s business is three-pronged. There’s Property Society, which markets high-end homes like Hollywood movies; Soirée Society, which throws immersive events for high-end brands including Louis Vuitton and Moët & Chandon; and Social Society, which connects influencers and luxury brands to real estate.

Society Group is also overseeing marketing for “The One,” an LA megamansion set to hit the market for $US500 million in 2019.

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