Episode 01: Hyperlocal Video with Lincoln Crum

By Rudy Bachraty
June 18, 2012

Happy Monday all. To all the real estate dads reading this, we hope you enjoyed your Father’s Day. We surely treasured ours.

Today we start a new blog series where we focus on real estate video trends we’re seeing through-out our industry. We’ll be interviewing real estate agents, brokers, brands and filmmakers and getting their story as to pertains to trends we are seeing. They will share the details on what is working for them and how consumers are reacting to their videos.

The first growing trend that we’d like to highlight is hyperlocal real estate video that showcases the community lifestyle, local businesses and local personalities of an area. More and more real estate professionals are creating property listing videos which is fantastic. Some are getting creative as to how they position the home and it’s surrounds. But what excites us is seeing a growing subset of folks who are really starting to see that their is a huge opportunity to create engaging and interesting real estate video beyond the home listing itself.

With that, I’d love to introduce and very forward thinking Keller Williams Realtor, Lincoln Crum from Jeffersonville, Indiana, who is part of the dynamic duo known as The Local Guys.

1. Your background – Why and when did you become a realtor?

I was born and raised in the auction/real estate business. My senior year of high school I went to night classes and received my real estate license before I graduated. Two weeks after graduation my dad (owner of our company) was diagnosed with throat cancer and two weeks after that they did a complete neck surgery and removed his voice box, vocal chords and he became a full on Laryngectomee. So, needless to say, I stayed home as opposed to going away to college and kept the family business going. We were doing about 75 auctions a year so I was his only chance of keeping it alive. He’s 24 years cancer free and still in the business.

2. Why and when did you get fascinated with video?
Pretty much around 2009, when YouTube was really coming on strong and I realized that it was a way for me to get in front of thousands of people at a time, those two things happened at the same time so I decided to just jump in and start making videos.

3. Hyperlocal – most people use this work loosely but you and Squire actually take the time to talk the local folks and businesses in your neck of the woods. Tell us about your approach to Hyperlocal and lifestyle videos.
Our approach is very simple, we make videos highlighting locally owned and operated businesses and ALWAYS keep them positive. There’s enough negativity out there so our platform of “local & positive” has been a great springboard.

4. Filming yourself vs. Hiring a professional filmmaker. Talk to us about the Pro’s and cons and why you chose a hire filmmaker.
I chose a filmmaker after making 200 raw/Flip style videos with little to no editing. I knew I had to get better on camera, allow myself to be myself when we were rolling and to be able to talk the language of video basics. Once I accomplished those tasks I hired a professional to make me, my brand and the subject matter look really good.

The biggest “con” for Realtors to deal with when it comes to hiring a professional is the fact that they are not conditioned to invest money in this style of marketing. My advice is to find a filmmaker or local videographer who is still learning, hungry but creative, have them give you a really good price on shooting/editing/producing about 20 videos. Of those 20, take 10 of them and talk about your local market, of the remaining take 5 and do branding videos of yourself only, and the remaining 5 reserve for listing videos. This will give you the jump start that you need, it may cost you a $2-3,000 but the investment, look and feel of what they’ll produce for your business will make you very happy in the long run.

5. Has doing non-real estate related videos helped you get any customers or clients? Tell us about how that life-cycle usually progresses….
Yes, most definitely. People find the local positive videos that we create contagious, they love to share them and really can’t find anything wrong with the product due to its nature of being so positive. We started this mission of “selling our hometown” in the fall of 2009, since then we spent about 15 months on our local NBC affiliate as weekly contributors, I’m known around town as a “local guy” who has an inside track on a lot of things. That exposure is great for business.

6. How does it feel being a hyperlocal celebrity?
I was very fortunate to be born with a personality that is conducive to popularity. I was a popular kid in school, the one that was friends with everyone. I love being connected to as many people as possible so being a Modern Day Hyperlocal Celebrity in my own hometown feels just about the same as it did on a daily basis my senior year of high school. Now, my wife may beg to differ, going to the grocery or out to eat sometimes is a little taxing because I’m a talker and I like to say hi to everyone. She’s used to it now, she’ll just keep going and keep us on task.

7. Any specific advice to anyone interested in doing video the way you do it?
Go get a $99 digital camera, a $30 tripod, a new outfit and start practicing by filming all of the top local attractions in your hometown. Make 50 of them, call them something catchy (Realtors are the king of cheesy slogans) and start putting them out there. After you make 50, if it feels right, then step up your game and find a video intern from the local high school or college, work out a deal for them to help you 1 day a week, pay them $50 a video to shoot, edit and upload. If that works and after 100 you still want to make more videos then put a deal together with the most hungry creative video entrepreneur in town. All the while, sell more houses, take more listings, call more friends and family asking them for the business. You do this for 6 months and you’ll be amazed at what will happen to your business.

8. How does your real estate company feel about you doing real estate videos?
They love it and have embraced the concept for me and my business. I’ll teach a video class from time to time. Do they do video as well? About 20% of our agents are doing video. The brokerage has dipped their toes in the water a little bit but I think will continue to do more as our industry continues to move into the video world.

9. What kinds of real estate videos do you like and dislike?
I like all videos that have the agent in them. I don’t classify virtual tours as video for real estate. I dislike Realtor videos where you can’t tell who the Realtor is that’s trying to sell the property. My favorite types of video are ones that are creative, thought provoking, quirky and funny.

10. What’s on the horizon for The Local Guys?
Prime time Television!

Thanks for a great video interview Lincoln! Keep on pushing the hyperlocal boundaries in real estate.

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