Innovations in technology along with our ever increasing on-the-go lifestyle, has shifted real estate marketing away from traditional practices toward an online approach with more visual stimulation including video. Among all of the online tactics used by marketers, videos are proving to be the most valuable way to reach home seekers. In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) , 86 percent of home shoppers’ research videos to find out more about a specific community and 65 percent of YouTube videos posted by real estate professionals are able to pull leads . While video production may seem intimidating, Homes.com breaks it down to basics so that you’ll be video superstar in no time.
1. DO research and download some apps. Yes, there is an app for that! First of all, you need equipment to record this masterpiece. You don’t need to break the bank and purchase a commercial videographer or a high-tech camera. Most Smartphones and tablets come equipped with cameras that are more than suitable to record a simple video. There are many free or inexpensive apps that allow users to record and edit videos:
iMovie® ($4.99) allows you to apply filters, add text, and edit short clips right from your phone.
With Videolicious® (free), users can combine videos, photos, music and voiceovers into a compelling property or community video.
Also, for short teasers, use Instagram’s new video option to capture testimonials and then share it through various social channels to promote a new listing, unique amenities and open houses.
2. DON’T wing it. Videos should not be created on the fly. Before production begins, do a little planning and create a brief outline to keep you on track and support your goals of increasing your exposure, driving traffic to your site and generating interest from buyers. Determine your “set” – the property, your “cast” – rooms and community areas that will star in the video, your script – details that you should cover in the voice-over, props – like furniture for staging certain areas, time of day and other considerations.
3. DO capture the essence of the location. Again, plan carefully. Choose a time that provides the best lighting and avoid bad weather. If the property is in a quiet neighborhood, capture that appropriately by filming mid-week during the middle of day when the area is more likely to be at its most serene. Conversely, when promoting an urban property, showing off a bustling district will likely enhance the sense of that locale. Standard practice for the length of a video tends to vary. Some sources suggest keeping the video less than two minutes long but no longer than five minutes. The bottom line here is to make it engaging enough so that viewers are captivated enough to stick it out to the end.
4. DON’T forget to stage! The home’s amenities and neighborhood features should speak for themselves and entice the viewer to contact you. Just as you do when marketing a listing online, doing a tour with a potential buyer, or hosting an open house, make sure the areas are staged, clean and organized so that buyers can envision themselves in that home. Showcase the bells and whistles that buyers are looking for like updated kitchens, baths, open floor plans, outdoor areas and unique finishes. Add community details like parks, shopping centers, other well known local attractions and even a map to illustrate the home’s proximity to these destinations.
5. DO record horizontally. This method of filming presents a wider view than filming in a vertical position, which does not present as well. Although filming vertically would look okay if viewed from a Smartphone, most real estate videos are uploaded to YouTube and other websites where they are viewed horizontally on larger screens. To keep your audience engaged, shoot from different angles and zoom in on unique finishes. Check out these simple steps that will assist you in making the best real estate video.
6. DON’T add the audio until later. Recording your talking points while filming is a bad idea. While granite counters and high ceilings are great selling points, they can be counter-productive (pun intended) in terms of sound quality. As mentioned, the home and neighborhood features should sell themselves so when you script the audio, point out how the area was remodeled including details about the finishes. Also, if the space is dated, highlight the potential it has for remodeling. Adding details about a room and how it accommodated a certain number of guests for a holiday dinner or backyard barbecue are great examples of points that personalize the experience for the viewer.
7. DO see what others are doing. For inspiration, take a peek at videos by Raj Qsar with The Boutique Real Estate Group. Their “GoodByeHello” video was named Top 20 Real Estate Videos for 2012 Raj, who was recently named “Top 100 Most Influential Real Estate Leaders” for 2013 by Inman News, is also speaking about video marketing techniques in our next Secrets of Top Selling Agents webinar on July 30th Register here for free!
Whether you are a first-timer or an expert, use these basics as a guideline for the first steps to incorporating these valuable assets into your marketing strategy. Stay tuned to the Homes.com blog for real estate professionals for related content.