At Inman’s Real Estate Connect this past January, John Passerini, the VP Interactive Marketing for Sotheby’s International Realty, made a bold statement for 2015: video would be an absolute necessity for real estate agents. “Consumers are ready to consume video,” he said. “People want stories complemented with video content.”
This is great news for real estate agents, because video is another tool in your integrated digital marketing arsenal. But it does require a little bit of know-how to create, edit and publish real estate videos that will help you sell, depending on what you are willing to do on your own and what you are willing to pay for.
DIY video: the movie studio in your pocket
As you well know, a smartphone isn’t just a phone. It’s also a multimedia creation tool. You don’t have to look much farther than your Android or iOS device for a very suitable camera. You can even watch high caliber movies made on iPhone 6.
Be heard! Invest in a good microphone.
Sound can take your video from passable to great with the addition of a good microphone. There are a wide assortment to choose from under, all under $100. Of course, when buying a microphone, be sure it fits your specific device. You can get an adapter cable that will allow you to use any mic with mobile devices for about $40.
Lavaliere microphones clip to your shirt and run on batteries, so you don’t have a messy wires. Not to mention, they let you walk around and not worry about sound quality.
AudioTechnica 3350. This battery powered microphone is $30. The downside is that it runs on a battery and there is no power indicator/warning light.
Rode smartLav+ Lavalier Microphone for iPhone and Smartphones. This runs on phantom power, so it is powered from the camera’s own power supply. No need for a battery.
Hold still: tripod stands for video on your iPhone
It doesn’t matter how still your friend is holding: you will have hand shake in a handheld video. And selfie-sticks will only give your viewers motion sickness. Tripods not only get rid of that shake, they mean your friend can keep an eye on the screen to let you know how it looks or just go get you coffee.
Joby Gorillapod. This flexible tripod can attach just about anywhere, from table tops to chandeliers. It will run anywhere from $20 – $40, depending on the model you choose.
Glif Adjustable Tripod Mount & Stand for Smartphones. If you already have a tripod for your camera, this adapter will let you get the same height and stability for your phone. It also costs $30.
Cut and paste: edit your real estate video like a pro
You can edit your real estate video right on your device, or you can import it onto a desktop or laptop and use more robust editing editing software.
On your iOS device, you have the native app iMovie for editing. Other apps include Animoto and ProCamera. On your laptop or desktop computer, iMovie is still an option for Mac and Windows Movie Maker for PC. Then you can look at ScreenFlow, SnagIt and Final Cut. Do yourself a favor and watch some video tutorials on using your software or apps!
Post it, share it, embed it: where to host your real estate video
The biggest platform for posting videos is YouTube. You can create your own branded “channel” where you post all your videos. Then you can use YouTube to share videos on your social properties and embed on web sites and blog posts. Accounts are always free, and you can get into advanced tools with links to your site right in your video.
Vimeo is a close second to YouTube. It has a very elegant user interface and it often lauded by filmmakers for it’s higher quality video service. Vimeo has a pro subscription available that lets you brand your channel even more, control advertising and get measurable statistics on video plays, including where people stop watching your video.
Real estate can be fast-paced, and video email is one way to be super-responsive and proactive as listings come online. Bombbomb and Eyejot are two platforms that let you record, edit and email videos on the go.
Live from New York: it’s your Periscope video!
Periscope is a new livestreaming video app that seems ready made for real estate agents. Periscope let’s you choose whether or not to make your video public or viewable to certain users, such as specific clients. Periscope allows viewers to send “hearts” to the broadcaster by tapping on the mobile screen as a form of appreciation.
Obviously, Periscope is less about quality and more about real time. If your client can’t make an Open House, you could provide a live feed. Your clients can comment in the feed, too. Periscope also auto-saves your feed for viewing later.
Bring in the pro: hire a videographer
You are a busy real estate agent. It might be better worth your time to have a professional help you create your videos. So how do you know who to hire?
One of the most aspects of hiring a videographer is their body of work. Do you like their videos? Do they seem professional? There are a lot of people out there who will make you a video for $200. But you get what you pay for. The other important item to understand is timing: can your videographer meet your deadlines. As a realtor, the clock is always ticking. The quicker you get a listing video up, the quicker you can sell the house. Make sure your videographer can commit to turning around the video when you need it.