Looking to break into the field of real estate video marketing, to give your properties an exciting new medium to attract potential buyers?
Did you know that online video content is viewed more often than television?
Before you grab the camera and start filming, let’s start with the most important part of making a video: preproduction.
Plan Out Your Real Estate Video Marketing in Advance
Real estate video marketing isn’t cheap or easy, but it is extremely effective. However, the budget can balloon faster than you can imagine. Equipment (or videographers), editing software (or hiring an editor), music, lighting, audio recording and mastering, and all of the tiny moving parts of video recording cost money and time.
There’s an old saying in carpentry, engineering, and movie-making: fast, cheap, or good — pick two. Make this your mantra before you even think about shooting the video. Now, time is usually a factor in real estate video marketing — after all, houses don’t stay on the market forever. So “fast” is the default choice. Then the question becomes, do you want it done cheaply or done well?
A real estate video is going to be an investment if you want it done well. But it doesn’t have to be a catastrophic cost. This is where careful planning and forethought become your friend. Before you shoot a second of footage, figure out the following components:
- How long is the video going to be?
- Where are we shooting it? How many locations do we need?
- Who is shooting the video?
- Do we need to rent or buy any video, lighting, or audio equipment?
- Are we using actors? How many? Who is scheduling them?
- What time of day are we shooting?
- When do we have access to the property?
- Do we want to film in the town or an area around the property as well?
- Who is editing the video?
- Who is mastering the audio?
- What is the hard due date for this video?
- Where are we posting the video once it’s done?
As you can see, there’s a lot to unpack here. So let’s get into some of these very important questions and help you create a stunning real estate video that will catch the eye of your clients without putting you in debt.
Hire Someone Who Knows What They’re Doing
Shooting a video is complicated: it requires a good eye, and it always takes longer than you think — which is why it’s so important to make sure you have a videographer or a director who knows what they’re doing.
If you’ve got a creative photographer or videographer on staff, fantastic. Save money by buying reasonably priced prosumer video equipment.
If you don’t, reach out to one of the many videographers in your area who specialize in real estate. The price may be steep, but the end product will be worth the expenditure.
Tell a Story
A video walk-through of a house isn’t a bad thing, but a video that tells a story is going to linger. It’s also going to spread further.
Take a few moments to decide what story you want to tell with your real estate video marketing. What is the story of the property you’re trying to sell? Is it down-home and cozy? Is it intricate and palatial? Is it a businesslike midcentury modern? How are these homes supposed to make you — and your buyers — feel? Match the music, the lighting, and even the camera work to the aesthetic. Light a cozy home with warm tones, include comfy-looking furniture, and play calming but simple music. A video of a more elegant house could benefit from white lighting, subdued classical music, perhaps a more flowing movement of the camera. A midcentury modern could benefit from retro music and stylish camera work — like low angles or straight-line camera movements.
Consider, too, the size and the most likely buyer. If the property is a midsized house with a big backyard, near a park and a school, telling a story of a comfortable family home could pay dividends. Include shots of the backyard, perhaps with children playing in it. Have children crawling over an adult on the couch while they both laugh.
For a small one-bedroom in a metropolitan area, shoot a gathering of young business professionals — perhaps a young couple making dinner, or a group of stylish friends on a patio.
After all, you’re not just selling four walls and a roof. You’re selling someone a lifestyle.
Good Artists Borrow, Great Artists Steal
When it comes to real estate video marketing, don’t feel like you have to reinvent the wheel. You’re not required to bang your head against your desk as you try to come up with the most original, mindblowing concept, the one that’s never been done before.
Does a colleague or a competitor have a property video that makes you green with envy? Are there elements you admire? Steal them. Obviously, you don’t want to repeat a video shot-for-shot or steal any music, but you’re absolutely free to take style and concepts and fit them to your own properties and videos.
So surf through some real estate property videos that you love, make a list, and decide which elements can be added to your video to juice it up a little.
Think Outside the House
Obviously, a comprehensive tour of the house is a necessity, but thinking outside of the house could provide new and unique content for your real estate marketing video.
You’re selling a home, but you’re also selling an area, a neighborhood, a city. Are there cool local shops, popular restaurants, or swanky boardwalks? Include shots of them in your video, perhaps with text or a voice-over lauding the benefits of the local area. Of course, you’ll want to ask these shops and restaurants permission to film, but you’ll find most owners amenable to such a deal as long as you work with their time frame. After all, a video drawing attention to their businesses is free advertising.
Nearby beaches, mountains, or waterways? Stock footage is always a quick option if you’re not interested in obtaining video permits and shooting on location. There are free stock-footage options like Pexels, or more comprehensive paid stock-footage choices with websites like Shutterstock.
Embrace New Video Marketing Technology
Real estate photos will never go out of style, and a video can tell a story and evoke emotion, but remember to try some of the new, cutting-edge options if you have the time, the money, and the inclination.
30-degree videos are probably the easiest to make — a high-end smartphone and a tripod can do the job pretty well these days. As long as you follow the directions, keep the phone steady, and cover a well-lit area, you can produce a 360 video of the most important rooms in an afternoon.
If you’re feeling more experimental, or you think your potential buyers might be relatively tech-savvy, consider making a virtual reality walk-through of your most in-demand properties.
Lastly, videos taken using drones add a high level of production value to any video. The drone market is exploding into practically every industry, and real estate can benefit from the decreased cost and greater availability. They’re also good for capturing wide vistas or shots of the entire house, or just for creating impossible camera movements you would not otherwise be able to achieve. Some of the best real estate videos in the business make liberal use of magnificent drone-captured videos.
Share Your Videos in the Right Place
Before you even make your real estate video, have a plan for what you’re going to do with it.
Of course it will go on your website, your YouTube channel, and your Facebook group (your Facebook ads) and into your email newsletter — all of which you should have. After that, make sure to get it on all of the real estate websites that will accept videos in your listings.
But it isn’t just about putting the video on any given website. Success in real estate video marketing means knowing how to deliver your video to those who need to see it. When posting on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, make sure to include hashtags in the video description. These hashtags will group your video with other similar content and will extend your reach beyond your followers. Here are some popular hashtags:
You can even try cutting small clips and snippets of the best-looking parts of your videos and putting them into your Facebook or Instagram stories as appetizers. Consider, too, that you can include videos on even static documents like real estate flyers and brochures — link to your video with a QR-code generator.
Leave Them Something to Click
Of course, include a call to action at the end of every video and in the description. Make every website, email, and phone number clickable. The process to see the home should be as smooth as possible.
Real estate video marketing is an exciting field of advertising and is perhaps the only way to really capture the feeling and mood of a property, short of an in-person walk-through. And those walk-throughs take time, scheduling, and effort. You can drastically increase your pool of would-be buyers by letting them know, in advance, just what the property looks like, what’s appealing nearby, and just how they’re going to feel when they finally come home.