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Producing a Television Show During My Two-Week Vacation

What is that special time of year almost every working human looks forward to? Tax season? NO! VACATION TIME!

Regardless of where you live or work on this small planet, one thing most of us working folk look forward to is the time we can unplug and unwind doing whatever it is we love doing. Some like the beach experience, some like the hiking experience, and some like the skiing experience… I personally like the “create and produce a new TV show in 14 days experience”. 

A TV Show?! Why? You are not a producer!

A couple years back, I had the idea to create a television show that complemented the marketing efforts of my Greek real estate website, My website was not only a tool to help private sellers and professional agents with real estate in Greece to better promote them internationally through my network in 100+ countries, but more of a promotional tool for Greece as a tourist and investment destination. Building off this personal desire to encourage all that is positive with my motherland, I decided to step up the marketing efforts of my baby and create a web show to better support this.

Enter - Hellenic Home Hunting

Hellenic Home Hunting is a show documenting the journey of Greek-diaspora families traveling back to Greece to buy vacation homes – capturing the process and educating the viewer along the way. This show was created to help people better prepare and to be aware of all that is involved with the searching and buying process in Greece.

What was originally slated as a web series quickly turned into a television series. After filming the pilot episode over 2 days using a small, yet professional, film crew, a willing Greek-Canadian family with three children and a supportive duo of real estate agents from the Kalamata region, the filming of the first official episode (and pilot) of Hellenic Home Hunting was completed. Phew!

After returning to New York City with my beautiful girlfriend (and now wife) following that trip, the editing process began. I ended up finding a fantastic and capable editor in Athens that was able to communicate everything I envisioned into the 30 minute pilot episode that I would later use to pitch in marketing my brand, my TV show concept and to open the doors to all the major TV networks in Greece – SKA’I’, MEGA, ANT1 and ERT.

So, how did you get a network to pick up the show?

(I need to create another blog post for this topic!)

With the help of the Canadian Ambassador to Greece opening the doors to the C-level executives for me, I ended up signing a 6-episode deal with Greece’s largest television network (with the largest international reach outside of Greece) – Antenna Satellite (ANT1). Side note, thank the lord I did not sign with the government-owned network, ERT. It turns out that this network crumbled and disappeared due to politics in Greece around the same time I would have been launching the series.

Following this news of signing with Antenna Satellite, the Greek media started writing about my show, about me and interviewing me for every major (and minor) newspaper in Greece - the buzz was absolutely amazing surrounding Hellenic Home Hunting. The only issue was that I still needed to produce 5 more episodes.

Sleep is for… SUCKERS!

Being a super-duper organized freak definitely helped with the chaotic process that would soon follow. I was able to coordinate the following in the next few months (while maintaining a full time career) before production began: select 5 filming locations across Greece, interview and select 5 realtors to be featured on the show, interview and select 5 potential buyers for each episode, set up contracts with the filming crew, organize logistics for each location, identify and negotiate with advertisers for each episode, front the huge financial bill associated with what comes with filming all episodes, be on site for each of the 5 filming locations that was crammed over a 2 week period while on my “vacation” and finally, spend countless hours editing each episode to the 30 minutes required by the network. Awesome!

And the coolest part? Well, second coolest part after having a journalist from the Wall Street Journal follow me and the crew around while on set for one of the episodes in Greece, was being able to see new parts of Greece and experience new people I would have never met otherwise.

The rest is history!

If you follow up on what I have been doing, you will know that Hellenic Home Hunting ( was a HUGE success. The feedback from the dozens of countries that got to experience it was overwhelming. To be able to tune in every Monday night during the prime time slot on Antenna Satellite for a 6-week period and see a 30 minute episode of my baby was something I can’t put into words.  It was rewarding.

During the broadcasting of the show, I was extremely fortunate to have been featured on, not in, the front page of the print and digital edition of the Wall Street Journal (along with a sketch of my fat cheeks that appeared “below the fold”). This opportunity really hit home that what I was doing and what Hellenic Home Hunting represented was something that was of interest on a global scale (click here to read the article).

They loved me… now they want to murder me?

As you can imagine, once we were published in the Wall Street Journal, we received attention from all over the world – including from many of those who originally wrote great things about me. Now, I was a villain, exploiting Greece and its people. Boo to me! Off with my head!

What pissed off the Greek media you ask?  I created t-shirts for the cast and crew that read - Greece is not for sale, but its real estate is! The message on these shirts was to say that despite the political and economical challenges facing Greece right now, we are here to say that you can buy a piece of Greek real estate, but you can’t buy Greece or its people. I wanted people to know that Greece is a tourist-friendly destination and that investment in Greece is a good thing. Well, let’s just say that I was featured on many television shows (click here for an example) and in newspapers I was never published in prior to this – all negative, creating an even bigger buzz and having more people tune in to see what the hype was about (click here for my official response to the Greek media).

In hindsight, I wouldn’t have changed a thing. I would simply try to have thicker skin earlier on to deal with the skata (crap in Greek) that was being written about me and my show. As several friends told me, bad press is good press… yada yada.

With the first season behind me, it is safe to say that the Hellenic Home Hunting experience taught me a lot about myself, the country I love and the people I surround myself with… but most importantly, it taught me that if you have a vision for something and believe in something, only you can make it become a reality.

Not trying to be a motivational speaker here. But heck, I speak from personal experience! 

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BouliBrand is a boutique marketing + entrepreneurship + communications + branding movement focused on creating vibrant, purposeful and revenue-generating media experiences on a partner-by-partner basis. With strategic partnerships in New York, Toronto, Athens, Los Angeles, New Delhi and Shanghai, we work directly with savvy, driven and optimistic clients wanting to produce fresh platforms of communication and target nouveau markets internationally with their startup businesses and services. BouliBrand is propelled by Georgios (George) Stroumboulis (Γιώργος Στρουμπούλης) - an internationally seasoned marketing professional with tangible business experiences across multiple industries and diverse cultures. To learn more about BouliBrand, Georgios and the stimulating team spearheading the BouliBrand movement forward, get in contact at,, (@stroumboulis), (@stroumboulis),, or We all have opinions, thoughts and comments about various topics in our daily lives. Stroumboulis likes to write about his in this Opinion / Blog section. Topics and commentary may include: business, culture, Hellenism, entrepreneurship, start-ups, development, branding, marketing, financing, investment and many others. To suggest new blog ideas, please contact Georgios via his contact page at

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