I was lucky enough recently to spend some time with video experts in San Francisco. We debated the importance of the real estate video in the overall property transaction. What we agreed after much discussion was that as much as real estate videos assist a buyer in their eventual decision, they are also an important tool that differentiates an agent’s service offerings from his or her competitors, thereby ensuring the agent continues to win new listings in the future. To put it another way, real estate videos help agents to sell themselves and win new sellers.
I certainly do not wish to diminish the role these videos play in the buyer decisioning process. Real estate videos assist buyers (particularly distant once??) to get a great feel for the property without necessarily being present.
For every real estate transaction that occurs there are two sales taking place. First, you have to sell yourself. When successful you may then also sell the actual property. You have to first convince the seller of your competence, your expertise, your local market knowledge and that you possess a fourth magic ingredient, something that makes you stand out from the crowd. When you mix all these together you earn the trust and confidence of the seller to place their property transaction in your hands. You win their business.
It is this sale of your unique selling propositions that creates your personal brand. It is what differentiates good agents from great agents.
In a buoyant real estate market, the simple fact that you offer your sellers a real estate video creates a unique selling proposition for your personal brand and helps you to win future sellers.
To bring this back to a technology discussion, let’s also not forget that video enhances your search engine rankings. It’s no secret that Google favours video content when determining page rank positioning. By embedding your real estate videos into your agent or agency web site it is likely you will see an improved ranking occur quite quickly.
Remember also to cross promote your videos with all of your favourite social media sites, and anywhere else you can think of. Once you get started you’ll find that working with real estate videos is easier than you thought and it will become an effective arrow in your marketing quiver.
At the top end of the market, videos with high production value can be extremely expensive productions. However there are also “Professional Property Tour” options; “Data Driven Property Videos”; as well as “Agent Do-It-Yourself Tours” and then the occasional “Rogue Seller” Video.
The High End Glam Video
If the property is just absolutely amazing and unique and worth millions, then you could convince your sellers to fund shooting an epic video with bikini clad women in a Gold Coast mansion. There are many examples of these. (You’ve probably seen a few on YouTube already). These videos have extremely high production values and cost many thousands of dollars to produce. When your listing is worth millions and it is located in a party city, then a video like this absolutely has its place. However they are not for everyone. Nor are they for every property listing. They have however enhanced the brand of the few agents who have taken this brand marketing approach.
High Glam Video Example: (Warning: Use discretion. Video contains sexist and somewhat stupid content)
The Mid-Market Professional Property Tour Video:
Next, there is the professionally shot video tour of the property with a voice over that speaks to a property’s features and benefits. This is the image which typically comes to mind when you think “real estate video”. These typically cost many hundreds or creep up into the low thousands of dollars to produce and they do their job extremely well.
Property Tour Video Example:
The Data Driven Just In Time Video:
CoreLogic RP Data has been investing in an emerging real estate video segment where videos are created on the fly using property data. They are significantly cheaper to produce, allowing agents to create a real estate video for every listing. These videos display property data either at individual property or aggregated level and combine infographics, stock imagery and video sequences to educate the buyer.
Using property data in your videos is definitely more of a soft sell approach. It affords you an opportunity to personally engage with client prior to meeting them and it establishes your credentials as the trusted local market expert.
We have been connecting our property data to two very interesting companies who are specialising in this new emerging field.
HomePrezzo allows agents to create infographic styled videos that remain updated with the latest live property data. You can choose to create videos that educate buyers about general suburb market conditions or about individual property listings. Their Video CMA is currently in development and will be launching soon connecting with your CoreLogic RPData CMA.
OnVedeo allow agents to manipulate the story board, deletes scenes, add new scenes, all the while auto adjusting the voice over. My inner geek truly appreciates the way their natural language engine automatically adjusts the script. OnVedeo has a very established business servicing real estate agents in the USA and will be launching in Australia (with Australian voice overs) very soon.
The Agent Do It Yourself (DIY) Property Video
There are a plethora of tools and apps available for agents to create their own videos and property walk throughs and post straight to YouTube.
The simplest thing is to just use the native video app on your Android or IOS device. Here’s a great example:
Example DIY Video Tour:
The Rogue Client (The unofficial fifth category)
Then there’s the unofficial fifth category, where the seller takes thinks into their own hands.
Here’s an example I particularly like. It only needs a three word introduction: “Bond, James Bond”
Example Client Created Video:
To summarise, if you are not already using real estate videos to create and promote your brand, then chances are that you are missing out. If you haven’t started exploring the many real estate video options that are available to you then chances are your competitors are or will be shortly.