How to create quality video marketing pieces
If you’re willing to give it the thought, planning time and appropriate portion of your marketing budget, video can and should be a part of your real estate marketing mix. When getting started in the video world it’s important to focus on two words: quality and authenticity.
For quality, you could do worse than to go back and read our post from last month about photography in real estate. Though that piece focused on listing photos, the basics apply to video of all kinds. Be sure you choose the right format and equipment to ensure a high-quality product. Don’t be afraid to spend some money to have a professional photographer’s eye (though video will cost you more than still photography).
The most attractive thing with video is the number of ways you can go with the medium. We’ll focus on two here today: walk-throughs and commercials.
Chances are you’ve been pitched or perhaps even purchased a third-party package that offers a 360-degree experience of your listings. These can be excellent tools to share with potential buyers who want a first-person perspective of the the home you are selling.
A few things to remember, specifically, for 360 experiences:
- Try it out for yourself before buying. The overall quality of 360 experiences has come a long way in the last decade, but there are still interfaces out there that are clunky to use, and the quality of equipment is very important. When testing a vendor’s previous work, try it on several different operating systems, browsers (yes, even Internet Explorer) and especially on mobile. If you hit snags, keep shopping.
- Be judicious in choosing which homes and rooms to 360. It can be an effective, but rarely cheap, process. Earmark priority clients or listings, or perhaps those that have been on the market for a while, where the online presence could use a shot in the arm. If a home is virtually guaranteed to move quickly, or wide-angle shots do a certain house or individual room as much justice as a 360, think about sticking with standard photography and saving yourself and your clients some time and money.
Less expensive – but just as tricky – are walk-through videos.
There are a lot of choices here: You can have a silent, moving camera set to music. You can talk about rooms and sell viewers on the features as you go. You can even use a drone with an on-board camera to get a sweeping view of the house property, if the listing has some acreage.
Here’s where authenticity comes in: Video can work – and work well – but it has to be true to your brand. If your typical strategy is a softer touch, where you let the listings do the talking, consider a silent stroll through the home set to upbeat music that fits the sophistication level of the home and the sensibilities of its likely buyers, with information displayed graphically as the video progresses.
However, if you’re an agent who likes to be out in front of the sales process, it’s fine to add some personality to your tours. Just remember: at this point the buyer is judging you as much as they are the property. Dress professionally, speak clearly and use correct grammar. Rehearse and know your lines; write out cue cards if necessary. Make sure the property has camera-ready lighting and bring in more if it doesn’t.
Remember these rules of thumb for video: Standard definition adds ten pounds, and HD adds ten years. Know the format you’re using and, if it’s HD (and really, at this point there’s no excuse for not using HD) have someone who knows what they’re doing apply your makeup.
Our final tip: Have the camera operator use a tripod or a dolly whenever possible, and avoid the “walk-and-talk” format. You’re not on The West Wing, and no one wants to watch a shaky video.
Commercials and marketing
When it comes to television commercials or online video marketing, the world of video opens the marketing world up wide. Quick “viral” videos can be easy to shoot, fun to make and bring significant traffic to your website or social media channels. (For a rundown of some of our favorite fun real estate videos, see this post from August.)
But the watchwords shared above – quality and authenticity – still apply. Use the best equipment and people who know how to shoot, edit, and convert the work to the appropriate medium. Don’t make a video or advertisement that goes against your brand, image or reputation as an agent, and certainly don’t make one that gets you in hot water with your brokerage or any partners you may have. No “laughing so hard I’m crying” emojis on your Facebook posts are worth that.