Movies have a capability to transport us through magical worlds with the help of interesting storylines, real or imagined places, and protagonists we can relate to. But the purpose of motion pictures is not always limited solely to entertainment. Films can also be educational, historical and even provide inspiration in many and various forms.
Speaking of which, thematic movies can be a great way to gain different perspectives on aspects your own life—for instance, your job. In the past few decades numerous movies have been made about the real estate industry, discussing subjects such as the financial crisis and the behind-the-scenes workings of a real estate office—not to mention the more ‘flamboyant’ side of the business!
If you’re curious to know how others view your profession, take a look at these 10 must-see movies that every real estate professional should watch at least once in their lifetime:
After being forced to leave their rental apartment, a young couple gets tricked into purchasing a run-down million-dollar mansion for a fraction of its original price. Thanks to the plotting of their scheming real estate agent, the couple actually believe they’ve hit the jackpot and will spend some romantic time together whilst renovating the home. Once they move in, however, all hell breaks loose and the comedic acts follow one after another in this Tom Hanks-led motion picture.
For those who enjoy psychological thrillers, this 1990 classic is an absolute must-see. The plot concentrates on a couple who renovate a house and rent out two apartments to help cover costs. One of the tenants, masterfully played by Michael Keaton, is in the running to become the worst occupant ever through his unorthodox behavior, which slowly drives his landlords insane.
Adapted from the Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name, Glengarry Glenn Ross is probably one of the best real estate-themed movies out there. With an ensemble cast made up of some of the most talented actors of the time, this motion picture presents the darker side of the industry and doesn’t shy away from showcasing shady tactics and dubious actions, all in the name of closing the deal. The award-winning movie is definitely a must-see for aspiring and practicing real estate agents alike.
Although not exactly concentrating on real estate, Boiler Room perfectly illustrates the cutthroat nature of the sales industry. It focuses on a brokerage firm where young employees reach millionaire status in a very short amount of time and, after they have reached the top, manage to falter just as quickly.
Based on the real life story of Chris Gardner, this critically-acclaimed motion picture showcases the struggles of a single father as he tries to make ends meet as an intern at a brokerage firm. Meant for everyone and anyone regardless of profession, The Pursuit of Happyness perfectly illustrates how one can overcome professional hardships through passion, diligence and perseverance.
If you’d like to lighten the mood, you might want to check out this 2007 comedy, which presents a bidding war between three different families who all aim to buy the same property. The competition and the stress of the situation bring out the worst in each individual, which the film portrays in a humorous way. While Closing Escrow might not have won any awards, it’s still a fun comedy movie to watch together with your colleagues.
Inside Job is a documentary exposing the behind-the-scenes causes of the massive 2008 financial crisis, which profoundly shook not only the real estate industry but had a powerful impact on many other aspects of day-to-day life in America as well.
An iconic movie from master director Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street is another film discussing the heights one can reach at a brokerage firm in America. Based on the real-life story of Jordan Belfort (played by Leonardo DiCaprio), you might be able to get a few key sales lessons from the unusual methods of the main character!
Get an insightful look into the foreclosure investment business after the financial crisis of ’08 in this 2015 Ramin Bahrani-directed movie entitled 99 Homes. A compelling drama with twists and turns, the plot mainly focuses on a single father who accepts a questionable employment opportunity from the businessman who evicted him and his family from his own home.
Concluding our list is the Oscar-nominated movie The Big Short, which was based on a tell-all book with the same title written by financier Michael Lewis. The all-star ensemble cast of the film take us through the prologue of the housing market crash and the 2008 financial crisis. As they decide to bet against the U.S. economy, they slowly unravel the innate secrets of a deeply flawed and corrupt mortgage market.