New Hampshire Realtor at home on TV
For Cami Baker, of Allenstown, being on national television is just another day in the fast-paced world of real estate.
“It’s an experience that can’t be replaced,” she said about her experiences on not just one, but two national television programs.
As a real estate agent working in New Hampshire, Baker has been featured on HGTV’s “My House is Worth What?” and “House Hunters.” And after being featured on “House Hunters” three years ago, the show’s producers have contacted her to film another episode.
“I really thought it was a prank call,” she said, laughing.
Originally from Panama City, Fla., Baker earned her real estate state license back in 2004 when she was a stock broker’s assistant in Manchester. She eventually decided to take on a full-time position as a Realtor and in her first month, she was rated among the top 5 percent of successful in-state Realtors .
“I was always one to be looking for business, not waiting for it,” she said.
Around this time, HGTV was scouting for a real estate agent to be featured in an episode of “My House is Worth What?” set in New Hampshire. Out of the 6,000 real estate agents licensed in the state, Baker was selected out of a large pool of applicants who auditioned as potential realtors for the show in 2006.
“The premise of the show was that the sellers, who were having a mother-in-law move in with them, had to decide whether to sell their home and buy another, or stay at the house where they were living in at the time,” Baker said.
According to Baker, it was after doing a market analysis on their home and having a local contractor give a bid on the projected work that the homeowners eventually decided to keep their house.
In April of 2008, HGTV called on Baker once again to host a show, this time with the hit television series “House Hunters.” And after matching her with prospective buyers, Lisa and Shane Doucette, the HGTV sound and camera crew, headed by a director, arrived in Concord to shoot the episode.
Baker said it was an entirely different production process shooting for “House Hunters” than what she had experienced with “My House is Worth What?” Whereas one episode of “My House is Worth What?” involved “one day of filming, one house, one couple, all day,” Baker said that “House Hunters” took more than 36 hours of filming in four days. She described the production process for “House Hunters” as “quite extensive” compared to that of “My House is Worth What?”
The production crew would take minutes, even hours to set up the right angle and lighting for a single shot. The director would have Baker repeatedly enter a scene with the buyers just to get the right shot of footage. This may take two, three, four takes for ten seconds of footage.
“We would shoot a scene, then sit down for half an hour while they set up another scene,” Baker said. “It was an ongoing ‘hurry up and wait’ thing.”
After filming, the show took a year of editing, shortening hours of footage into a 30-minute segment, and was released in 2008.
Baker said that “House Hunters” appears on the HGTV channel six, eight or even 10 times a day and her episode runs about once every six weeks. “I’ll get a text message all the time saying, ‘Hey, I saw you on TV!’” she said. “And for the kids that I helped on House Hunters, their house isn’t just their home or a picture on the wall, it’s on a television show that’s played over and over again in a month.”
She was contacted again at the end of April this year by HGTV looking to do a second episode of “House Hunters” and Baker is now looking for the right buyer to be paired with for a forthcoming episode.
Baker’s criteria for a buyer is someone who is not already working with a real estate agent and looking to purchase a residential property in New Hampshire within the next 60-90 days, certainly no later than September. The buyer must also want to be on television and send an audition tape to HGTV. “I know that it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Baker said.
Those who are interested in applying to be a buyer featured on the show “House Hunters” with Baker, can view further details at camibaker.com or call 785-2598.
Alexandra Churchill can be reached at 594-6411 or firstname.lastname@example.org.