In cities like Los Angeles and New York, renting to film crews is an opportunity that property owners are actively seeking out. Whether the rental is a stop-gap measure between long-term tenants or an ongoing project, the financial benefits can be significant. However, just as there are risks associated with renting out one’s property to event organizers and pop-up stores, renting to film crews can result in unforeseen damages, costs, and complaints. But first, the good news.
The benefits of renting to film crews
Depending on where your property is located and its nature, film crew rentals can be phenomenally lucrative. In New York City, many film crews are willing to pay $1,500 just to gain access to a doorstep for an hour or two. Access to apartments often yields over $20,000 per day and commercial buildings and other large and unique locations can demand even higher daily fees.
Attracting film crews
In the past, location scouts typically sought out potential locations and then approached owners directly or posted signs around the neighborhood. Increasingly, property owners are seeking out location scouts.
First, there are a growing number of film location brokers such as Sallie Slate. Slate, who notably got into the business by renting out the American Museum of Natural History to film companies, including the producers of Night at the Museum, now has a roster of locations (mostly in the New York City area) that she regularly rents to film crews via her company, Sallie Slate Productions. Her clients include individual homeowners, co-ops, and even churches and synagogues. But your property doesn’t need to be listed on Slate’s highly curated site to be in the movies.
Increasingly, property owners are reaching out directly to location scouts to share their properties. If you don’t personally know any location scouts, however, you can still get in on the action by listing your properties on Wrapal, Reel Locations, LocationHub, or Giggster, which also list properties available for fashion and photography shoots. However, depending on the platform, listing your property may come at a cost. Annual listings on LocationHub, for example, run from $49.45 for a basic membership that enables you to list one location to $685.45 for a gold membership that enables you to list up to 500 locations.
Reasons to think twice before renting to a film crew
While there are clearly many potential financial benefits to renting out a property to a film crew, before you start contacting location scouts or listing your property on one of the previously mentioned platforms, it is important to consider a few associated risks.
Lead image via Wiki Commons