October 19, 2018

1. Work with a Professional in the Beginning

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to think that you can save money by hiring an amateur or trying to shoot a video on your phone. Your content represents you and producing a poor video can hurt your reputation and your business. Plus it may still cost you time and money when you decide you need to reshoot. So do it right the first time and hire a professional in the beginning to make sure you are representing your business and your clients appropriately.

WellcomeMat’s filmmaker network is 5,000 filmmakers strong and we have developed a keen sense of how to find the best filmmakers in any area.

A filmmaker with experience will know how to take your vision and create a beautiful video, whether it is a property tour, agent bio video, or a neighborhood film. Filmmaking is a difficult and highly technical set of skills that takes significant training and on-set experience to gain aptitude. You probably don’t need to hire James Cameron to shoot your next video but finding a filmmaker that has spent a few years honing their skills will reflect in your finished product.

2. Hire a Filmmaker for a Series of Videos (Or Hire an In-House Filmmaker)

In today’s freelance economy, filmmakers rarely know how many projects they will be hired to produce in a given month. And this means that they need to buffer the cost of their videos to help mitigate that uncertainty. By hiring a filmmaker for a series of videos you can generally ask them for a reduced rate. So, for example, if you were working with a filmmaker for a single property video they may charge you $500 or more. But if you signed a contract for them to produce your next three videos it would be entirely reasonable to require a discount.

Getting volume pricing for videos is a great example of where brokers can use their position to gain leverage for their agents. You can save additional costs in the long run as you establish better relationships with filmmakers, working more efficiently and producing content that meets and exceeds expectations.

If you are a part of a brokerage that produces a large number of videos each month, or has agents that collectively do, working with a filmmaker and building in a series rate is imperative. Eventually, it also may be cost effective to hire an in-house filmmaker rather than pay the per video rate.

3. Reuse Content

The beauty of filmmaking is that once you have captured a shot it can be used in a variety of ways. You can include beautiful shots over and over again in your videos. An example of this would be if you have produced a neighborhood tour you can use portions of that video in your property tours. Same goes for any testimonials that you have that you feel would particularly help sell yourself. And drone footage is exceptionally useful to reuse.

Make sure that when you hire a filmmaker that they give you all the footage that they shot, not just the finished video. With this content, you can produce multiple videos for the cost of just hiring an editor to rework the content. Or you can tell a filmmaker that you have a library of footage at their disposal - this is frequently called B-roll. This is a great way to make your videos more dynamic and mitigate cost as asking a filmmaker to go on set is definitely the most expensive portion of filmmaking.

Pro-Tip: I also suggest asking or negotiating for the video project file as well so you can edit the project in the future if you need to.

4. Prioritize Evergreen Content

Property videos are necessary and very effective. But they can be costly. Especially because their value primarily exists only in the time that a listing is active. They effectively market a property and then many brokers take the video down or mark it as sold. Additionally, new homeowners may not like for you to keep a video up after they have purchased the home for a number of reasons. This may limit the lifespan of a property video as well. However, shooting content that is evergreen can be used over and over again in many ways. So while it may be more expensive upfront, due to time and multiple camera setups, you generally gain more value from evergreen content than property videos.

But what is considered evergreen content? Testimonial videos, bio videos, branding content, and neighborhood or community videos are all evergreen. You can send them to clients, share them on your social media, and post them on your site. Ultimately, they are a hugely effective way to market yourself and your business.

5. Shoot Property Tours with a Stabilizer in the ‘Walkthrough’ Style

Most real estate videos are shot in one of two styles we like to call ‘Walkthrough’ and ‘Artistic.’

‘Artistic’ style shoots use multiple set-ups, a variety of different techniques and a wide range of equipment. This style can beautifully and artistically highlight a home. But it can be very costly in both time and money. The ‘Walkthrough’ style mimics exactly what it is like for a potential buyer to quickly walk through a property.  Most importantly it gives a viewer the correct spatial representation of a home - something photographs alone cannot achieve.

In order to realize this style, filmmakers generally utilize a wide angle or fisheye lens to capture as much of the space as possible in focus.  Any filmmaker attempting the ‘Walkthrough’ style should use a steadicam or glidecam - never allow a filmmaker to shoot your property completely handheld as it will always look shaky, no matter how steady the filmmaker claims to be.   

This style can be filmed quickly with minimum equipment.  Additionally, it may require minimal editing and post production.  Therefore it is efficient and comparatively inexpensive, however, it tends to lack artistry and is not particularly creative or eye catching.  

6. Save Money in Post

Post production is anything after the filmmaker has left the set. And this can be a surprisingly expensive portion of filmmaking. Frequently, filmmakers charge for voice over studio time, music licensing rights, and color correction. Know that you can help mitigate costs at this stage by intelligently negotiating in the beginning or even doing things like requesting that all music has an appropriate Creative Commons License. This means that you won’t be charged for the music you select. Keep in mind, though, that this might limit your options.

7. Market your Content Effectively

The cost of producing video can be expensive, but you can’t stop once you have the finished video in hand. You need to make sure that your content is seen by the right people so that you see a return on your investment. This is where WellcomeMat comes in. We can help you beautifully display your content in a customized, searchable channel on your site. We provide MLS compliance tools so you always know that your video platform is hyper-focused on what you need working in the real estate industry. We can make sure that you can distribute content to your social network and a premium distribution network easily and efficiently from a centralized marketing hub. Our traffic forwarding guarantees that your site sees the traffic from your videos not a video aggregator like YouTube of Vimeo. And, most importantly, we give you the tools to measure your success with insight based analytics so you will always know that your video marketing program is successful.

If you think that WellcomeMat may be helpful to your video program and would like to learn more please reach out to sales@wellcomemat.com or fill out the form below to have someone on our team contact you. Or, you can try the Professional level of WellcomeMat for free for 30 days by clicking here.

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