This summer, HGTV cameras were pointed at Beaufort County once again.
Only this time, one local real estate agent was featured multiple times.
Brad Wilson, broker and partner at Charter One Realty on Hilton Head Island, is set to appear in three upcoming episodes of "Island Life," a home-buying show on the DIY network. Wilson has been a real estate agent on Hilton Head for 37 years.
"I got a call from one of my good clients," he said. "She asked, 'How would you like to be on TV?'" Her daughter was looking for a home on Hilton Head and had contacted HGTV to be featured on a show, he said.
Wilson wasn't sure how to respond at first. After a successful Skype interview with network executives, he watched an old "Island Life" episode and contacted the real estate agent featured.
He only had two questions: Would the agent do the show again and did he see an uptick in business after the episode aired?
The answer to both was yes. HGTV offered Wilson the opportunity to appear in three episodes.
"The really motivating factor is that it's a phenomenal marketing piece for our island," Wilson said.
HGTV representative Nikki Suseck echoed that sentiment.
"Viewers like to see a place that (doesn't) seem attainable," she said. "'Island Life' gives them a realistic approach" to living there.
As a result, Suseck said, areas depicted on the show generally receive "heightened visitation" after episodes featuring them are aired. She added HGTV considers a number of factors before deciding to feature a locale and Realtor, including submitted suggestions on the network's website.
"Island Life" is on its second season and features couples looking to purchase a home on an island or in a tropical setting, Suseck said. Previous episodes featured places such as Martha's Vineyard, Mass., and St. Simons, Ga.
Each "Island Life" episode Wilson appears in is set on Hilton Head. All of the couples were actually seeking a home, he said, and all successfully purchased one on the island. Two of the couples were already his clients, Wilson said.
Like most HGTV shows, the homebuyers had already selected a house before filming began. The episodes, which were filmed in July, took about a week each to shoot.
Wilson said despite it being an "exhausting" three weeks, it was an enjoyable and eye-opening experience.
"All the work (the HGTV crew) did behind-the-scenes is the same thing I do in real estate," Wilson said. "You fine-tune the search and put many, many, many hours into it." Wilson said he showed about 50 homes to one of the featured couples before they purchased one.
The first of the three episodes, featuring a couple moving from Chicago to Hilton Head, premieres at 9:30 p.m. Oct. 25. The second one, which is about first-time homebuyers, will air at 8:30 p.m. Nov. 1 and the third episode, featuring golf enthusiasts, will air at 9 p.m. Nov. 22.
- "Wine Enthusiasts Make the Move from the Windy City to Hilton Head Island," 9:30 p.m. Oct. 25; 9:30 p.m. Nov. 29
- "A Long-Distance Couple Decides to Buy Their First Home Together on Hilton Head Island," 8:30 p.m. Nov. 1
- "Golf Enthusiasts Look for a Home on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina," 9 p.m. Nov. 22
Follow reporter Ashley Fahey at twitter.com/IPBG_Ashley.
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