At Fast Company, our goal is to create a simple way for real estate agents to incorporate online videos into their marketing strategy. For this reason, we are offering a special digital marketing program at the end of this article.
(Click this link for more information)
Numerous studies have shown that online videos are a powerful marketing tool in today's digital age. So why is there such a reluctance by real estate agents to take full advantage of this marketing avenue? After talking to a number of real estate agents and various sales coaches, I have come to find that there are a few reasons for this. Of those reasons, 2 primary issues stand out.
1) Cost - Real estate agents are cheap and for good reason. With such a competitive industry, very few agents can afford to spend $1000-2500 for a professionally made video. And to be honest, very few houses are worth that type of marketing investment. For this reason, many agents forego hiring a professional videographer. However, it should be said that if you are selling a house or property that is over a million dollars, it becomes imperative that your video be professional quality. I recently watched a video for a $1.8 million-dollar home. The video looked like it was shot on a smartphone by someone who just wanted to get a video online quickly. It was a good example of someone being cheap at the wrong time.
But video marketing does not have to be expensive for your average home. And a smartphone camera can do the job if you know the right techniques and understand its limitations. While I mention that video marketing does not have to break the bank, it is important to note that no quality tool or service is going to be free. However, the right tools and services will more than make up for the cost.
2) Misunderstanding the purpose of online videos - This point, is to me, the biggest reason why real estate agents either don't use video or get it wrong when they do. The primary purpose of real estate videos is NOT to sell houses. In some markets, such as the area where I live, you don't need a video to sell a well-priced house because demand is high. My home back in Helena, MT, just sold in 4-days. Many agents no doubt look at that fact and probably think, "Why should I waste time and money on a video if I can sell a house without it?" If the sole purpose of real estate videos was to sell houses that would indeed be a valid question.
However, the primary purpose of real estate videos is not to sell homes, it's to sell the agent (you). If your goal is to get your name and face out there as the leading real estate authority in your area, online videos provide a huge opportunity. Many people, in this digital age, begin their house hunting or selling online. This very often starts with a digital search for relevant information. Effectively used, real estate videos can help you become the relevant search result.
How can you make online real estate videos work for you?
1) If you do plan on using your smartphone camera, take advantage of apps that will enable you to create better videos. For example:
ProCamera (Apple), FiLMiC Pro (Apple/Android), and Open Camera (Android) are good apps for recording videos. They provide a number of manual controls that will allow you to get better shots than with your phone's native camera app.
iMovie and GoPro Splice are two free video editing apps for iPhones that, while somewhat limited, are easy to use and provide plenty of options for real estate videos. For those with Android devices, you might try the free version PowerDirector.
Real Estate Vids is an app that we offer, which has been designed specifically for real estate agents. It does require a monthly subscription (though there is a free trial period in which you can create 7 videos and use the full functionality of the app). This app is specifically tailored to the needs of real estate agents, providing release forms and a really cool picture-in-picture feature.
2) Get some training. Between YouTube and real estate blogs, there is a lot of information out there on how to shoot real estate videos as well as how to use videos to cultivate an online following.
(Here is a link to a real estate video tutorial that I enjoyed)
If you are interested in having us create a brief video training series pertaining to real estate, let us know. We would be willing to create such a series if there is enough interest.
(Click this link and fill out the Training Series Interest Form)
Finally, I mentioned the Real Estate Vids app. We are making a very limited time offer to provide a personal - FREE - training course to a digitally-minded agent who would be willing to help us with feedback and testimonials for our app. For more information, please click on the application link below.
(Click this link and fill out the Training Program Application)