Property video – is it technology for technology’s sake or a smart marketing initiative? The verdict of most agents who have adopted the technology is that it is money well spent. Sold Magazine caught up with David Walker of Ray White Turramurra and Georgi Coward of Cunninghams Property, two high-achievers who say that property videos are giving them the leading edge in a tough market.
Georgi Coward began her real estate career in property management before moving into a sales role. Her success has been noted by the industry and she has been invited to speak at several real estate conferences. Her team has recently scooped a handful of industry awards and independently she has just recorded over $9 million in sales for the month of January.
David Walker has been working in Real Estate for just under six years. In 2004 he was named runner-up for the Young Achiever of the Year for the First National group after just 12 months in the industry. David believes his youth, enthusiasm and willingness to embrace technology has put him well ahead of the pack.
What made you decide to try using property videos in your sales/marketing programs?
Georgi: The area that I specialise in is Manly and Fairlight. Many investors buy here, expats and people moving from the UK and abroad. The videos incorporate the lifestyle as well as the property, therefore people who are offshore or not in close proximity to the area can getting a greater feel for the house through a video plus get an idea of the local attractions. I could see this was a huge benefit for the vendor in capturing a broader amount of buyers but was equally appealing to the buyers to get a greater feel for the property. It also makes buyers feel more comfortable when dealing with me in negotiations as they feel like they have already met me.
David: It was a new technology that I could see would be very popular with the buying public. With the rise and rise of the internet, the general population has access to every bit of information possible and expects the same when it comes to looking for property. People are time poor and prefer to simply press a play button narrowing down the choices before they get in the car and view properties.
A video gives us the opportunity to showcase not only the property’s best attributes and features, but also the surrounds and location shots. For example shops, schools and transport. People don’t just buy a home; they buy the area as well. I am also beginning to make use of testimonial videos and profile videos. Many people looking for properties on the internet are not only looking to buy, they are also looking to sell. Video testimonials are extremely powerful, far more powerful than a written testimonial. The internet and video helps me to capture both potential purchasers and sellers. My videos have a ‘wrapping’ around them which includes both testimonials and profile video links……in essence, videos within videos. It’s a one stop shop of information on both my properties and me.
Creating a property video is one thing but making sure the right people see it is another. How do you address the latter?
Georgi: Ensure the video is highlighted and available for viewing on brochures, signboards, and all the property internet sites.
David: 80%-85% of our buyers are coming directly from the internet. Each website where the property is listed has the video link attached to it. This is clearly marked and easily found. In saying this, if the buyers are genuine and are seriously in the market looking to purchase, then we believe they will take the time to watch a video. Our ‘click-through’ rate is around 1 to 3 each, meaning for every third buyer that clicks onto the page to view the property, one goes through to watch the video. I believe this is a fantastic conversion rate! LightsCameraSold create all my videos and have created a ‘listing winning system’ which ensures that if a purchaser clicks onto one of my listings through realestate.com.au or domain.com.au all of my properties have the ability to be viewed through ‘landing page technology.’ It’s awesome and it separates my needles from the internet haystack.
How much creative input do you have in each video?
Georgi: The guys from LightsCameraSold know what they are doing, it’s what they specialise in, however, sometimes we see things through the buyer’s eyes and may ask them to pay extra attention to details eg patterned ceilings, fret work or if a property is an obvious family home then making sure the cubby house is shot or the local school and parks nearby that will be appealing to buyers.
David: With each property I write the script for what will be said and do have a say on camera angles and the property’s best features. The great thing about LightsCameraSold is they know exactly what to show and how to show it. It’s their area of specialty and I’m more than comfortable for them to direct the movie. Both of the directors of the company have over 20 years experience in real estate. They have a fantastic understanding of the message that needs to come across from a viewer’s perspective and from my personal profile perspective.
How do you ensure the video reflects your personal “style”?
Georgi: I always have a big smile and welcome viewers to the home and make sure I introduce myself.
David: I like all my videos to be upbeat and show the property in its best light. The whole aim of the video is to engage the buyer and capture their attention. In the end, the video is all for the property and not really about the agent, however, I do like to think that buyers will get to know me a little and see me as quite approachable after watching a couple of videos. In fact, many people I meet at open houses comment that they saw me on the video or liked the video. It’s as if they feel much more comfortable with me because they have met me before.
Would you say that property videos are suited to certain types of property and/or types of buyers?
Georgi: They are suited to every property, if it is a tiny unit but in a fabulous location eg close to the beach, or transport, shops etc then video more of the lifestyle.
David: I believe each property deserves a video. From a small unit to a multi-million dollar mansion, the video will set your property apart from its competition. The internet was a level playing field, until the advent of video. The ‘landing page’ technology ensures my vendors’ properties have a far greater opportunity to be viewed which in turn creates more sales.
What is your advice to those who have been in the industry for many years and may be feeling slightly despondent in the current market?
Georgi: Is it the right industry for you? Or perhaps you may be working in the wrong team. Again, do your research and find the right fit. The right office can make or break you, no matter how good you may be. I’ve seen juniors come in with no experience that have flowered into excellent sales people under the right management. I have also worked with outstanding successful women in real estate that have crumbled under poor management.
David: Look to try new things. If certain strategies or ideas aren’t working, then change them. Be prepared to give yourself a thorough personal audit and look at how and why you are losing business and also why the property you are taking on isn’t selling. Don’t just rely on print media, it still has its place, but I need to ensure I have cast a net far and wide… in fact, worldwide. Video does this and ensures that everyone out there knows about the property, the area and to an extent, me.
Don’t let terminology baffle you! John Simon of LightsCameraSold explains some video words…
Streaming Video: With streaming video or streaming media, a Web user does not have to wait to download a large file before seeing the video or hearing the sound. Instead, the media is sent in a continuous stream and is played as it arrives.
Landing Page: The first page you will see after clicking the video button within sites like realestate.com.au and domain.com.au is called the “landing page.” Every property that an agent has with a video will appear on this page. The Landing page also has tabs located at the top of the screen, these tabs can be market specific, but usually contain testimonials, office profile video, auction examples, or whatever you desire. This technology is unique to LightsCameraSold.
Click through: When a site visitor actually clicks onto the ‘property video tour’
Bandwidth detection: The viewer’s bandwidth is detected and an appropriately sized video will be displayed ensuring minimal waiting time.
Testimonial video: This is a video of a vendor or purchaser expressing admiration or appreciation for an agent. Far more powerful than written words. Usually runs for 45-60 seconds.
Profile video: This is an opportunity to show the world who you are and what you enjoy. A personal profile is far more powerful if testimonial footage is included.
To view a related video on SoldTV click here.