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The Evolving Role of Video in Real Estate

I have heard it said that by 2013, 90% of new content posted to the web will be in the form of video…90%!!! What that says to me is that video is what our clients, customers, and prospects want.

They want it to educate themselves without reading. They want it to be stimulated more by sights and sounds than the written word. Quite frankly, as real estate and mortgage professionals, we need to aggressively get ahead of this paradigm shift.

Static print advertising is a waste of money for the vast portion of the population. If people want to buy something, they don’t look at the classifieds anymore, they scour the web. They go to eBay-like sites for consumer goods, and they go to Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com-type sites for homes. When they get there, they are quickly bored by still photos. They want video!

People want video about the home, for sure. But also, video about the neighborhood; and even, video about the agent who they might meet when they preview the home.

Now, I have seen some elaborate video productions that cost a lot of money, and in my experience, they are usually not worth it. The consumer is turned off by the “infomercial” because they feel they are being sold. There’s something that turns people off when something is too slick. People want to do business with real people in real situations, so a simple video that is imperfect works just fine.

Some video tips for agents and sellers to consider:

  1. Keep your videos under two minutes and thirty seconds…even shorter if you can. The US population has a short attention span. They want the information delivered succinctly….in small easily digestible portions.
  2. When videoing a home, don’t show everything! Show the best one or two features of the home. Everything else you show give people a reason not to see the house. Tease them to draw them in and ask for a showing or to come to the open house.
  3. Consider shooting a video of the seller talking about the memories they have of their home. Remember that a home purchase is, at least, as much an emotional one as it is financial. The seller can touch heartstrings that agents and spreadsheets never will.
  4. Lighting is very important. Choose the brightest rooms or even outdoors on a sunny day. The energy that good lighting brings to a video is huge.

Bottom Line

The public wants video. Agents can produce video without tremendous expense. Sellers can get involved in creating the content. Video is easy to market via Facebook, YouTube, attached to single property websites, burned onto DVDs, and so on. Embrace the video wave. Today, it is a differentiator. Be different!

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13 replies
  1. Jon Lindsay
    Jon Lindsay says:

    Hi – thanks for the article and there’s some interesting points on online video, but with all due respect I don’t agree that the videos should not be professional. A high-quality video that shows the REAL space and detail in a bright way can really help sell real estate. Have a look at at http://www.showmyhome.tv – we are selling properties within weeks of them coming on the market. I believe video is not different to photography in the sense that poor photographs result in poor viewings. We are selling massive big ticket items that deserve the best marketing they can get.


  2. Phil Osborne
    Phil Osborne says:

    Thanks Dean! Video is definitely a must in today’s market, people are looking for it and expect it. We were recently featured by viddler a national video platform similar to vimeo and youtube. We use them for our video platform. We are offering site visits for anyone interested in learning how to PROPERLY use video. We do neighborhood tours, property tours, a properties of the week segment and much more. Check out our site at http://lehighvalleyhomes.tv and watch some of the videos. The viddler feature can be found here http://lehighvalleyhomes.tv/viddler-spotlight-lehigh-valley-homes-tv/

  3. Justin
    Justin says:

    Good Article. I wanted to respectfully offer some additional considerations for your readers.

    For the agent, broker and home owner, a video has to create more revenue than its cost of production (& or sell the home in less time) to make good business sense. It does not have to be expensive but it absolutely has to look and sound professional. If you are or aspire to be a top real estate firm you are only as good as your reputation, and a poorly executed video will not only be a poor reflection on the home, but on you as well.

    You can give a person a sharp knife and a well lit room, it won’t make them a surgeon. Neither can you give an agent an HD camera and a listing and expect that their video is going to increase the value of the home or sell it faster. A well conceived, well produced video is going to take TIME, and it’s going to take talent with the camera and in post production.

    When video becomes standard practice for marketing real estate, the DIY videos will blend in with everyone else’s and clients will increase their demand better quality.

    Also consider some stats regarding still photographs. According to the Wall Street Journal, homes that use a professional image vs. consumer grade photo bring an average increase of $1,000 to the closing table. Not bad for an investment of $150.00 http://blogs.wsj.com/developments/2010/10/04/in-real-estate-a-picture-is-worth-1000-or-more/

    There is obviously going to be some point of diminishing returns, but the same principle is true with video. The better quality it is, the more income it will produce.

    We are a production company and do lots of real estate video and photography. We help our clients by giving them useful DIY tips even if it means we are losing that piece of business for a little while because they have come to trust our expertise and value the time savings and superior quality more than the financial saving’s they would get by doing it on their own.

    As an agent you may be doing your self, your client and your firm a huge favor by outsourcing this to a reputable production firm who knows the ins and outs of producing high quality real estate video on a budget.

    Warm Regards,

    Justin Sterling

  4. Nicole
    Nicole says:

    Great article, very timely (our group decided YESTERDAY to stop the expensive print ads in one publication and work more on the video/technology). I’m excited to get started using video marketing techniques!

  5. Matthew Coates
    Matthew Coates says:

    Well written article, but I don’t agree with 90% in 2013. Video is too slow for alot of people (including myself) that would rather scan an article and look for what’s pertinent to them.

    While there are tons of video marketing companies and I believe it has its place, it’s not going to be anywhere near that popular.


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