Episode 07: Rental Property Videos are Hot w/ Jack Gately

By Rudy Bachraty
July 30, 2012

If you have rental properties and have been thinking about how to better market them to more prospective tenants, near and far, video is a fantastic way to do just that.

In our latest Real Estate Video Trends interview, we spoke with Jack Gately, Social Media Director and an agent for the Proper Realty Group in Boston. He shared his company’s prolific video strategy and how it has helped their rental business grow.

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In Jack’s own words:

Our agency is located in the heart of college/young professional rental market in Boston. The firm is lead by brokers Jason Schuster and Alex Steinberg, both 27, who formed the company in their Boston University dorm room. In June the Boston Herald (one of two major daily newspapers here in Boston) did a profile on the company.

Our YouTube channel opened three years ago we currently have 1257 videos and over 55 thousand views. Why so many videos? The goal was to video (the overwhelming majority are made by agents with very little editing) as many apartments as possible to achieve several goals.

1) Take out the mystery. Searching for an apartment on Craigslist can often be an exercise in disappointment when the text or pictures of the listing don’t add up to reality. Video tells no lies (well, fewer).

2) Let your fingers do the walking. Video streamlines the search process and saves TIME. Agent time, client time. Often a client will view videos right on one of our two flat screens in the office to pre-select the apartment.

3) Set the agency apart. As a agency with young leadership the videos proved to property owners that we were a serious agency worthy of carrying their listings. No listings, no agency, so this point can’t be under estimated.

What is next in video for us aside from the obvious: agent profiles, customer testimonial and neighborhood features. 
Property films. Films tell a story. We’ve been very impressed with the work of propertyfilms.ca and keen eye marketing. These companies TELL STORIES. Stories create emotion, emotion sells properties.

We are much less excited by vendors using video as a glorified virtual tour with the same boring elevator music, which was fine when our channel started in 2009, but barriers to entry have declined rapidly.

There is a huge opportunity for brokers/agents to grab market share if they shift from virtual tours to video/film. A similar opportunity exists for film makers/videographers too.

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Personally, I love how they use video to to differentiate themselves from other local brokers in their area. It’s simple and gets the phone to ring which helps gets more contracts signed. Not a bad thing in a highly competitive college town.

Speaking of which, at this moment, parents from around the world are helping their children find apartment rentals for the upcoming college fall semester. Many of them, do not have the time or budget to actually fly out and help them “look at property”. Video is helping them filter out properties without even needing to physically visit the property.

And with hundreds of college towns around the country, the chances that an agent or broker is replicating what Jack’s team is doing with videos for rental apartments and homes is slim to none. This is a huge opportunity. Get after it folks!

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