November 20, 2019

When WellcomeMat started back in 2006, we had a dream that there would be a video attached to every property on the market.  Here we are, moving into 2020, and we still feel that way. However, we have seen a great evolution in video marketing within real estate, and today I’d like to share some of what we have seen and hope to see moving forward.


Looking beyond that initial goal of ours, there are many effective uses of video for your overall marketing strategy, and we will now look at a few, in no particular order:


-Listing Videos

The proverbial cornerstone of video marketing for real estate, the listing video has gone from innovative to pretty much necessary.  Inman reports that 85% of both buyers and sellers want to work with an agent who uses video.  Also, in that same report, they report that one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words:


Video gives you, the agent, the opportunity to tell a story about the property, so seize that opportunity.  Embrace your creativity as you approach a listing video; after all, as this is the most common category of videos in real estate, you need to stand out.  Consider employing one or more of the following: real people simulating a day in the life at the property; live musicians providing a soundtrack; a staged get-together, with actors and potentially musicians; including pets; actually using the rooms, such as showing someone in the act of cooking a meal; showing kids and/or adults enjoying the exterior of the house by playing sports or games; and the list goes on.


-Client Testimonials

Other than telling stories (we can’t emphasize this enough:  people love stories), perhaps the most important role of video is to establish trust with would-be clients.  What better way to do so than to bring in past clients to tout your skills, knowledge, personability, etc.? Featuring these videos prominently on your landing page can have great results for winning new clients.


-Agent/Team Bios

Staying on the theme of creating trust, let’s talk agent and team bios.  This is your chance to show your expertise in real estate and otherwise. People are drawn to others with whom they share interests.  Be out in your community eating at your favorite restaurant, talking to a friend, playing a sport, or enjoying time in a local park. Tell your would-be clients where you come from and what you stand for.  Give them something to hold on to, something memorable that will set you apart from other agents or teams in your area. The beauty of these videos is that you can produce and distribute them even if you are a brand new agent with no listings.  Be yourself, tell your story, create trust, and the business will come.  


-Neighborhood Videos

Continuing with one idea from the last category, the beauty about neighborhood videos is that you can create them even if you don’t have any listings (this is a great opportunity for you, new agents).  Broader videos of the communities you serve are valuable, and provide you with evergreen content that you can then insert into listing videos when the time is right. Highlight the unique features of your town or the distinct neighborhoods that make it up.  Involve everyone. What activities are there for kids? Where do people gather after school, after work, or on the weekend? What are the preferred activities of the local residents. Here, you are giving potential clients a reason to fit in and feel at home in your community.


-Community Involvement Videos

Continuing with ideas from the last category, this is a chance to showcase what you love about where you live.  Consider this quote:  


“The problem with real estate is that it’s local. You have to understand the local market.” –Robert Kiyosaki

  

Now, let’s flip that.  That real estate is local isn’t a problem at all.  Yes, you have to understand your local market, but you also get to go out in your community and show your involvement.  Do you volunteer or support local non-profits? Do you have friends who own local businesses? Do you have a favorite tree in a park where you like to sit and watch the world go by?  Similar to neighborhood videos, community involvement videos focus on what you, your family, your team, or your company do to make your community a better place.  The possibilities are endless: sponsoring a stretch of local highway; supporting a local soup kitchen or food bank; organizing a beach cleanup; and so many more ideas.  The list goes on, and anything can be relevant.  Show your potential clients why you are the agent for them.  Entice them with your knowledge of and love for your community.  Highlight the uniqueness of your community, and also why your involvement in the community sets you apart from others.


-Informational Videos

Buying and selling a home can be both complicated and emotional.  One way to ease stress is to create a series of videos that walks clients through the stages of buying and/or selling. On the buying side, consider taking clients through the steps of finding an agent, making an offer, applying for a mortgage, and what to expect at closing.  On the selling side, save yourself stress by creating videos that educate sellers on how to prepare for showings, a video production, or an open house.


-Special Events

You know your community, and should have a pretty firm grasp on your audience.  Make sure to showcase any events that set your town or area apart from other places.  Think festivals, parades, chili cookoffs, or anything else that is fun. Also, don’t be afraid to create short videos wishing people well on common holidays.  This is a great way to establish a rapport with your potential clients. Knowing that you would take the time to make a video specific to a holiday will show people how dedicated you are to your job.  Also, these can be used in years to come. Think of it as a win-win.


Also, if there are events specific to your company, consider making videos to share with your client base.  Giving clients (existing or potential) a window into the inner workings of your company is great for establishing trust.


-Live Clips

After many years focused on real estate video, this is a category that we still don’t see very often.  These take a lot of planning, but can come off as truly showing the real you, as they don’t seem scripted.  Also, though you are filming live, you can save them and use them in the future. Think about taking some live clips at an open house, or perhaps film a few short clips over the weekend as you are out on the town talking with friends or other members of the community.


-Video Open House

This is also a category that is relatively untapped.  The open house is still a useful marketing tool for selling a house and making contacts.  However, for any given time and day, many people will not be able to fit such an event into their schedule.  Think of taking some live video from your open house event. Show the listing, certainly, but also convey the vibe of the event, show the crowd, etc.  This could be live streamed, enabling you to answer questions on the spot, or shown just after the open house itself. The name of the game is reaching as many people as possible, and this could very well be one of the best ways to do so.  


-Conclusion

The above ideas are meant to serve as an incomplete guide to ways to set yourself apart from the other agents in your area.  Let’s revisit that statistic from Inman at the beginning of the article, that “85% of both buyers and sellers want to work with an agent who uses video”.  Now, let’s look at the other side of that quote, from the same source, that only “15% of agents have a video presence”.  That is an amazing disconnect. This is your opportunity to truly separate yourself from the crowd. Yes, video can be expensive and can seem daunting at first, but once you get going, you will see the benefits.  


I’ll finish this article with a few tips as you dive in to video:


-First, make the initial investment to use professional filmmakers.  We know that amateur video can actually do more harm than good. According to Brightcove, 62% of consumers are actually more likely to have a negative perception of you and your brand if you publish a poor quality video, and 60% admit that they likely will not engage with your brand.  However, don’t let that scare you: just go with a professional and all will be well.


-Be certain that your videos and the site displaying them are compatible with mobile devices.  This is essential. According to Impact, 52% of mobile users noted that they are less likely to do business with a company if they have a poor experience on their website.  So, optimizing for mobile is the name of the game.


-Have fun.  Video marketing is a great way for you to show your personality and passions.  Be creative, and don’t be afraid to take chances and make your mark.


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