March 4, 2020

In this post, we will carry on with some ideas brought forth in this recent blog post about video in the vacation rental market (if you are involved in that market, please read the post and let me know what you think).   This time, we will turn our attention to the second-home market. While many of these second (or third or fourth…) homes are located in traditional vacation markets, many are not.  So, we need to take an approach that blends traditional real estate professional roles with those of vacation specialists.


Vacation/Second Homes for Sale

If you are listing properties for sale in a vacation town, be it ski or beach or otherwise, you must think differently than agents/brokers in other towns. Your audience is non-traditional, as they will be part-time residents, and are purchasing a second (or third or beyond) home that will be used intermittently throughout the year.  Typically, this is a discernable, focused, and wealthy client who is looking for that perfect spot for relaxing and vacationing, and likely is not looking to rent out their home during the times they are not there (and here we will assume that they are not). Your job is to appeal to these clients and to create a video marketing platform that gives them a complete picture not only of current listings, but also of the community in general.    


The Vacation Home Market By the Numbers

-According to this report from Hostfully, in 2018 there were 9 million second homes in the United States.  

-Statista reports that, among Americans owning second homes in 2018, the age breakdown was as follows:

          -4.68% of 18-29 year olds owned a second home.

          -6.02% of 30-49 year olds owned a second home.

          -4.13% of 50-64 year olds owned a second home.

(Image Source)

What Buyers and Sellers Want

According to Inman, “85 percent of buyers and sellers want to work with an agent who uses video.”  This is your first clue that both sides of these transactions place a high value on video as a marketing tool.  Not only does it make the buying and selling processes easier, but it also shows that you are going the extra mile to establish trust and win business.  Now, what sorts of videos should you produce? Here is a graphic from that same Inman article:

(Image Source)

So, not only are videos of your listings important, but producing videos of your community, neighborhoods, and surrounding recreation opportunities is highly effective.  In so doing, you are not only pulling in potential clients, but you are also amassing evergreen content that can not only be used on its own, but also incorporated into any and all listing videos that you produce.


Types of Videos

As I mentioned above, producing videos of the community, specific neighborhoods, and recreation opportunities can be highly effective.  But, there are many more to consider, as well. Before we look into these types of videos, consider these numbers from BoostApps:

“50% of buyers find their new home online.

Almost 51% of shoppers use YouTube as their number one destination for research.

84% of new homebuyers say the information they found online was crucial for their research.”

There is a lot to consider there.  First, if half of buyers are finding their homes online, your online presence needs to be on point.  Next, if half of shoppers are using YouTube for research, you need to have a channel and be feeding your videos there.  However, what about the other half? This proves that, while YouTube is undeniably a great tool, it is not the only one you need.  Having a solid distribution plan for your videos is essential (learn more here).  Finally, a huge majority of homebuyers find online information to be crucial to the research.  Knowing that this is true, you want to give your potential clients the best, most hassle-free, and most thorough experience possible.  

To accomplish this, you want to do two specific things:  establish trust and tell stories. For each of these goals, there are video types to help.  For a rather comprehensive guide of 24 possible video types, have a look at this article from Placester.  While you consider those categories of videos, I’ll suggest a more focused list:

-Agent Bio Video:  For an agent bio video tailored to second-home buyers, you want to introduce yourself and talk about what you value in business and in life in general (the latter being arguably more important).  From there, you want to establish yourself as an expert in your area. What do you bring to the table that other agents don’t? What is your involvement in the community that makes you different? Don’t be afraid to share personal info here.  For instance, are you a member of local organizations? Are you involved in youth athletics? The possibilities are endless. This is your chance to show your passion for where you live. Use it to make yourself stand out.  

-Listing Videos:  Yes, this one is obvious, but you have to have these videos.  Think, however, of ways to make your listings stand out. Can you have live actors, animals, musicians, children, etc. in your videos?  Is there a story that you can tell that would bring the home alive? How does the house fit in to its natural surroundings? Is there anything historical about the property that would be of note?  Try to think of anything you can do to make these videos different from the standard video tour. You want these to be memorable.

-Neighborhood Videos:  Drone footage of the town/city/neighborhood you are in is extremely effective for giving potential clients a frame of reference for their possible new home.  Beyond that, pretty much everything mentioned for listing videos applies here also. Is the area bikeable? If so, have a drone follow a family biking. Is there hiking?  If so, highlight that. You get the picture. Also, this is a great opportunity to interview friends in the community. Do you know anyone involved in restaurants or other local businesses?  If so, ask them for a quick interview. The more involved you get in this category, the more trust you are establishing, all while proving to clients that you are going the extra mile to introduce them to this place you love.  

-Client Testimonials:  Often overlooked, these videos can go a long way with the second-home crowd, particularly since they often live far away and are setting things up in advance when planning a visit.  When you sell a house, don’t be shy: ask the buyers and/or sellers if you can make a short video in which they highlight the ease of the process due to your commitment and professionalism.  Most people will jump at the chance to share their positive experiences.

Conclusion

For the niche market of second home buyers, the name of the game is convenience.  Try to put yourself in the shoes of someone looking for a home while living on the other side of the country.  What can you do to place everything they need at their fingertips? With a solid marketing plan that includes a variety of videos and smart distribution, you can appeal to these buyers.    





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