Real estate agents work harder than folks in almost any other industry. And they totally understand the need for marketing and advertising. We talk to dozens of agents each month about how to market homes, how to reach audiences and how to best use technology for all of that.
Last time, we discussed the hardware real agents might want to use in order to create videos. And now, we’d like to share some of the missteps we’ve seen. So let us share them with you here, and you can avoid them when you use video to market a property.
Mistake #1: The dreaded agent introduction video
You know the video we mean: “Hi! I’m Jed and I’m a real estate agent here in your town!”
Here’s the truth: either you’re good on camera or you’re not. We meet many super-charismatic agents in real life who come across as flat and dull when the video starts. And talking about yourself in person is hard enough. But on camera, it can be downright impossible for many folks.
The most effective agent introduction videos seem to be when you can show your unique personality and share some personal details. Don’t think of it as a video version of your resume. It’s a way to pre-introduce yourself and help your potential clients get a feel for the type of person you are. Are you a runner? Do you have a green thumb? Can you speak three languages? Go with what makes you different and real and your video is sure to stand out.
So how do you get better at your introduction video? The same way you get to Carnegie Hall: practice. Set up your iPhone and shoot some practice videos. It will feel very strange at first. But the more you practice, the more comfortable you’ll be. And the more comfortable you are, the better — and more effective — your agent introduction video will be.
Mistake #2: not using photos in your videos
If you’ve ever seen any documentaries by Ken Burns, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Ken rarely uses video in his films. He uses images and then slowly moves those images around, sliding closer and farther away, to create a sense of movement. He’s so well known for this, the technique is know called the Ken Burns Effect.
It’s a strange truth that photos of your listing properties (with the Ken Burns effect) work far better in videos than actual video footage. Still photos (ideally shot professionally with a DSLR camera) are crisper and of a much higher resolution. You don’t have to worry about camera wobble and you can better control your lighting.
Most real estate agents use professional photographers for listings. Ask your photographer if she can put high resolution versions of your photos into a slideshow with music. Many photographers are familiar with video editing software, even if minimally. And since she’s already creating photos for you, you might have an opportunity to save money by bundling the two services.
Besides often being a higher-resolution look at a home, the value of a video is that you are guiding a potential buyer through the home. Make sure the music is something enjoyable to wide audiences, and that it sits nicely in the background. When presenting the photos/video, do it in an order that makes sense. Start with exteriors of the front of the house, then move to the foyer, and on in the same manner you might show the home.
Mistake #3: being afraid to be up close
Real estate agents love big, wide angle shots that make bedrooms and backyards look spacious. And buyers love them, too. But it’s also important to throw in some detail shots of the house. Maybe there’s a beautiful tile backsplash in the kitchen or an antique knocker on the front door. Get some close-up shots of attractive and interesting features of the house. Mixing these with wider angles of entire rooms goes a long way.
Now that everyone has a smart phone, you have a video production studio practically in your pocket. Video is a critical tool for real estate agents, and I hope these tips help you to make the most of it.