You might know Rafael Perez as a member of PSAR’s South County District Council in 2014 or as a member of PSAR’s Government Affairs Committee. He also was involved in securing a grant from the National Association of REALTORS® for a diversity initiative that involved both PSAR and the local chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals. Rafael was a founding board member of the NAHREP San Diego chapter and served as chapter president in 2013.
But did you know that Rafael’s rap video about the San Diego real estate market went viral with more than 131,000 views on YouTube?
I’ve learned that it’s okay to be goofy and funny and not take yourself too seriously as long as you stick to your message and show your expertise,” said Rafael.
Today, Rafael, 33, is known worldwide as the “Rapping Realtor.” Go ahead and search on Google for “Rapping Realtor.” At the top of the list is San Diego’s own Rafael Alberto Perez (aka R.A.P.).
Titled "Welcome to the 619," the self-produced YouTube video is a hopeful and amusing bid to get people excited about our area. It's filled with bad lip-syncing, a cool-looking Rafael, zooms of Google images, MLK Jr. quotes and, of course, American flags.
Rafael does not have a dream of competing on stage with Jay-Z. He’s not a professional rapper. He’s just tried to be creative in his approach to generate business and reach customers in a housing market that has too few homes for sale.
Among the lyrics:
The rules of real estate are no longer the same,
Basic fundamentals are the name of the game.
It's not about buy, hold, and flip for rookies,
It's about building a home or positive cash flow.
According to Rafael, the main reasons the video went viral is because there’s a solid message to the video despite the corny appearance. Perez produced the video in a miniature TV studio in his office complete with tripod, green screen and a video editing program on his laptop. “I recorded the whole thing with my phone,” he said.
The New York Daily News said about Rafael’s video, “Jay-Z can rest easy, he won't be taking your crown anytime soon. MSN Money’s said “Rapping Real Estate Agents Bust out Good Advice.” The Daily Mail in London said the rapping realtor has made a “cringeworthy music video to encourage people to invest in property again.” AdWeek magazine called Rafael “San Diego’s worst rapper.” Realtor.com said about Rafael, “While some have questioned his rapping skills and whether or not rapping is a good way to attract clients, his passion for real estate is clear.”
After KGTV-TV/Channel 10 ran a story about Rafael’s “rap about real estate” (the 10News headline said “Rafael busts a rhyme for business”), YouTube views jumped from 30 to 200 in one day. A few days later, it had more than 6,000 views. After the first week, it was up to about 20,000. Then, after video blogger Ray Williams Johnson featured Rafael’s video on his “Equals Three,” an online show about YouTube videos, views climbed to more than 100,000.
Rafael’s rap song was not his first video. He produced more than 50 infomercial videos before but friends and coworkers let him know that they fell on the bland side. “Most of the time people said to me, `Hey, you make really informative videos, it’s great information,’ but then they recommended that I loosen up, try to be funny and have fun with it. So that’s what I did, and it’s amazing what happened.”
He spent his childhood in Santa Barbara. Before he was a teenager, Rafael started working at his grandfather’s grocery store. “I grew up behind a cash register,” he said.
Rafael moved to San Diego in 1999 to attend San Diego State University. On the Monday after graduating from college in 2004, he started working in real estate. His real estate career has included both sales and lending. Today, he’s part of Team Aguilar Real Estate where he’s relaunched his theHomeMap.com brand. He currently lives in the East Village with his wife Sharina and their dog Sake.
Rafael's civic involvement includes serving as a member of the City of San Diego's Citizens’ Equal Opportunity Commission. He was appointed to the Commission after his selection to attend the San Diego Public Leadership Institute, a nine-month, non-partisan program for professionals with business experience who are interested in exploring running for public office or serving on boards and commissions. The program helps attendees discover how their business-related experience and talent can address public-policy challenges. Classes are taught by experts in the fields of candidacy, public issues and leadership strategies. There is no requirement to run for office, only a commitment to explore the possibility of one day serving as a public leader.
Rafael also is an adjunct faculty member at Cuyamaca College where he teaches a real estate principles course.
“PSAR is a great organization because it provides us with resources to be our best professionally as we look ahead to inspire the next generation of real estate professionals,” Rafael said.
Check out Rafael's video here:
-- Don’t forget to read next week’s story. Hint: She used to do standup comedy