Video is quickly becoming an essential element in real estate marketing. Pricing and technology have made video more accessible than ever, and savvy brokers, property managers, and home sellers are starting to take advantage of it. According to the National Association of Realtors, nearly 90% of surveyed homeowners said they would prefer to hire a realtor who uses video to market their home. However, only about 5% of runners are currently using video. And even between them, the quality of those videos can vary greatly. Studies have also shown that listings with videos get around 4 times more clicks. This is of particular importance for vacation rental listings, because they have to sell over and over again and are therefore even more dependent on a high volume of web traffic.
While it’s obvious that adding video to real estate marketing will soon be as expected as professional photos and a website, simply having a video isn’t enough. It has to be a GOOD video. Here are some tips on how to create a professional quality video that will make any real estate listing look better.
1. HIRE A PROFESSIONAL
The first and most important thing is to find someone who knows what they are doing. None of the other items on this list will matter if you don’t have a competent videographer behind the camera. The good news is that this doesn’t cost what it used to. For around $500-1000 (depending on your market area) you can get someone who knows what they’re doing, has good equipment, and delivers professional photography and video. Maybe even including drone shots! Videos are not easy to make. You have to understand the equipment, the lighting, the content, the sound, the editing, and a million other things. Without a professional, you’ll almost certainly end up with a subpar result, probably wasting a lot of time and brain cells in the process. Time is money. Spend the money and save the time.
2. USE A GOOD TEAM
While it’s technically possible to shoot decent video on your phone, these days, it’s not easy to do, and you wouldn’t be reading this if you knew how to do it. You don’t need Hollywood-level gear, but you do need a certain minimum quality, or your results will likely end up looking shaky, too dark or too bright, grainy, and generally not very good (see #1 above). . You will almost certainly come with your own equipment, which should be fine for your purposes. Some basic requirements are a good camera (a mid-level DSLR can take stills and video), a slider, a couple of different lenses, some basic lighting, a decent shotgun or lav mic, and professional editing software (Adobe’s Premiere Pro or Apple’s Final Cut Pro are standard) to put it all together. These days, it’s fair to expect a drone to get involved as well. The antennae add an exciting creative element, as well as a significant amount of geographic context.
3. INCLUDE ENGAGING CONTENT
You want your final product to tell a story. That means you have to organize yourself and convey a certain amount of relevant information. Start with a script. Even if you don’t plan to use a voiceover or onscreen presenter, it’s a good idea to establish a logical flow ahead of time. A script will also help you ensure that the essential details of the list are conveyed. Whether there’s a narrator, on-screen text, or both, it’s important to give viewers the details they’ll need to assess the home and what it has to offer. It’s best to keep it simple, including things like address*, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, interior square footage, and lot size. Add some pictures of the neighborhood and a map to establish the location. And of course, don’t forget your contact information.**
Think of it this way: Assume that the viewer has no other information available, besides the video. Your goal should be to give them everything they need so they can decide if they want to schedule a visit. It never ceases to amaze me how often I watch videos without these basic details. If viewers have no way of knowing if the house has 2 bedrooms or 7, or if it sits on a large corner lot in the suburbs, compared to downtown Detroit, how are they going to decide whether to call it? Assuming they can even figure out who you are in the first place.
Basically, treat your video like you would a paper flyer. Anything that belongs on a flyer belongs on the video.
*Obviously, this depends on whether it is a house for sale or for rent. Vacation rental listings often do not include the address.
**Most MLS organizations won’t allow you to post your contact details on video, so make sure your videographer gives you an unbranded version as well.
4. SHARE IT EVERYWHERE
No video, no matter the quality, is going to do you any good if no one sees it. You could have Martin Scorsese direct it and Al Pacino tour it, but without proper syndication, no one will ever know.
First, post it on YouTube. If you have your own channel, great. If not, your videographer can post it to yours and then send you the link or embed code.
From there, publish it on your website. If you don’t have a website, you need to get one. You needed to get one five years ago. All of your marketing should be predicted around driving traffic to your website, so they can be impressed by how good it is, and then decide to call you and pay you money. Marketing 101. There are many ways to achieve this, but that’s for another day. If you’re listing a vacation rental, you’re probably already using HomeAway, AirBnB, or the like. They make it easy.
ADDITIONAL TIPS FOR BROKERS: Once you’re on your website, share that link on all of your social media pages. Then include it in your next email newsletter to your database, so they know what a creative and tech-savvy real estate professional you are. They will be impressed. You can also post the link to Zillow and other industry sites.
Add a rider to your bill of sale that mentions the video. A large red billboard, visible from across the street, reading “Hey look! I made a video!” Or something like that. That way, all the other potential sellers in the neighborhood, and all the people who just walk by, will know that YOU are one of the 5% of agents who are smart, savvy, and forward-thinking enough to use video to market. your listings. You will get many more listings.