Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Magic of Real Estate Marketing Videos - and How to Make Them

Real Estate Videos

Many years ago, while living in Illinois, I started a small business called "Chicagoland Video Marketing."  I targeted real estate agents and brokers looking for video walk-throughs of their listings.  Commercial brokers took particular interest in my business (compared to residential).  They saw the value in paying $200 for a video showcasing their new listing.  Here is why...

Commercial real estate is "HUGE"
Pictures don't show the depth, height, breadth and immense scale of many commercial properties.  Only a moving wide-angle lens can capture the real scope of a space and impress the buyer/renter.

Commercial real estate attracts buyers from all over the country and world
A buyer in Houston may be interested in a retail space in Asheville.  A virtual walk-through of the property and neighborhood can answer a lot of questions for the long distance buyer/renter.

Cold hard facts

  • 85% of buyers and sellers want to work with an agent who uses video.  
  • Property listed with video gets 403% more inquiries than  property without video.  
  • Including video in an email generates 300% more click-through rates and reduces opt-outs by 75%.
  • Linking videos to your website is great for your SEO (search engine optimization).  Google prefers videos and will promote them within a search.
  • 59% of executives would rather watch videos than read.
  • 90% of people interacting with videos say that it was helpful in making a decision.

You can hire a videographer to produce your videos.  Their value is that they have experience.  But, if you're technologically savvy and a DIY'er, the following are my tips for getting started.

How to make your own real estate videos


Here's the can use your iPhone to make a video.  It will probably come out shaky and not that interesting to watch once you upload it, but any video is better than no video.  However, if you think you're committed to filming all of your properties going forward, I suggest investing in some decent equipment.

A DSLR camera is the best!
DSLR stands for digital single lense reflex.  These are cameras that can be bought at big box stores or online.  It's not uncommon that TV shows and movies are filmed on DSLR cameras these days.  They are light, compact and easy to work with.  Spend $500-$1000 and you're in business.  I'm a fan of the Canon Rebel.

Wide-angle lens for large spaces (optional, but highly recommended)
Grab a 10-24mm wide-angle lens.  A wide-angle lens will capture vast, large spaces all in one shot. You're looking to pay around $500.

Editing software
You're probably going to need editing software.  You can find software online, cheap.  First, check your computer; it might have video editing software installed on it already.  If not, there are many, many editing systems to choose from.  I like an editor called Filmora.  For $39.99 a year, you'll get a great user friendly editing system.  Filmora Editor

A fluid tripod
This is a must-have.  You'll need a tripod with a pretty fluid head; this means that it doesn't cause your camera to jerk when you're moving the head of the tripod.  Buy one new or used, but make sure the tripod's head doesn't stick.

Take lighting to every property, you'll need it.  Something like this LED light is inexpensive and easy to carry around:  LED lighting

Camera slider (optional)
If you want to be really, really cool, get yourself a slider.  It will make you look like you know what you're doing.  It allows you to move the camera sliding side to side and up and down to keep your shots active, which is very important.  This is a cheap and pretty solid slider: IMORDEN Camera Slider

Video tips
  • Film at a time of day when there is even light hitting the property.  Many times, a slightly overcast day is the best because of its even tone.  You can also play with lighting within many film editors, but try to get it right while on location.
  • If you're filming retail space, make sure to capture passing automotive and foot traffic.  It's attractive to buyers/renters.
  • Film the video just as you would naturally walking through the property.
  • If you're not talking in the video, pick good background music.  Google "Royalty-Free Music" and you'll find websites where you can download and use their music for your videos.  Smooth Jazz is very popular background music for real estate videos.
  • Keep your shots active.  No still shots!  Keep the camera moving somehow, someway.
  • Clean the property the best you can before filming.  Trash and unnecessary objects (trash cans, cars, papers, wires, etc.) are distracting in the video.
  • Upload the video to YouTube, Vimeo or directly to your website.
  • Be patient!  You're on a learning curve your first couple of videos, but you'll become a master with practice.

Here is an example.  This is a video I did for a broker:


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    What to Consider When Buying A Home Requiring Renovation
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