Many agents and brokers view real estate videography as the next step in the evolution of marketing listings — and it’s easy to see why. A joint report by the National Association of Realtors and Google shows nearly five in six home buyers use real estate videos to learn more about a community, while 70 percent of them use video to tour the insides of listings. The primary medium to view these videos? YouTube, which is where more than half of buyers turn to get more information for their home search.
All of these stats mean nothing, though, if you don’t know how to create captivating real estate videos — or hire the right person to produce footage for you. Keep reading to learn how to hire the right amateur or professional to take your real estate videography to the next level.
Determine the type of video you want to produce.
Video marketing for real estate includes more than just community and listing tour videos. Capturing footage of former clients discussing how much they enjoyed working with you, providing instructional videos discussing buying and selling tips, and offering video to detail your business history and value proposition are just a few great ideas that can build your brand and audience. But not all real estate videographers film these kinds of videos; many only specialize in one or two niches of real estate video marketing.
Think about what kinds of video you want to create before searching for videographers. This helps narrow your real estate video intentions and, in turn, will make it easier to search online for the right person (or production company) to hire.
Decide how much you’re willing to pay.
Your budget also plays a big role in your real estate videographer choice. Determine how much you’re willing to pay a videographer. This includes not only their shooting fees, but also post-production. You likely don’t want to edit your videos yourself, so adding in this expense to your budget is a must. Other costs that should be factored in include travel expenses, lodging fees (if the videographer lives far away), video backup services (so your footage is safe and secure), and production add-ons that may be needed to get the best lighting and sound for your video.
High fees from an amateur or professional videographer may mean that turning to video recording apps to capture footage yourself may be your best option, for the short term at least. But hiring a videographer is your best opportunity to make a big impression with your real estate video marketing, so budget carefully and you’ll eventually be able to afford at least an amateur freelancer with a history of working for real estate pros and producing high-quality work.
Seek recommendations from colleagues and peers.
Don’t feel like you have to conduct your real estate videographer search from scratch. Seek out other agents at your agency or brokerage or industry peers for recommendations. As noted, video marketing is becoming more popular among real estate professionals by the day, so there are likely numerous agents and brokers you can turn to for suggestions. Ask specific questions about the videographers they worked with, including:
- How much they were charged altogether for an individual video and for a series of videos
- How easy it was to work with their videographer
- What the process of working with a video professional is like
- How long it took their videographer from start to finish (filming, editing, providing the final product)
- If they work with voice-over artists who can narrate videos
- What kinds of video technology they work with (cameras, sound and lighting gear, editing software, etc.)
Scour the internet to research the top affordable options.
Search the internet to look for any other videographers not recommended by colleagues and peers as well, as this will give you more options to work with.
Search for professionals or amateurs living in or near your community if possible: This will make it easy for you to meet face-to-face with your videographer should you have requests or needs and to keep tabs on the development of your real estate videos. Hire an out-of-market videographer only if the price and details are right. Aside from price, comfortability with your selection is the next-most important factor to take into consideration.
Reach out to a handful of qualified candidates.
Next, develop a list of as many qualified candidates as possible and reach out to a handful of the ones you deem most qualified and able to meet your real estate video production needs. In your email to candidates, explain exactly what you’re looking for in a videographer, including what you’re willing to pay, the types of video you want, and the required turnaround for each video. Not all videographers will likely get back to you or fit your specific needs, but at the very least you should be able to shorten your list of possible hires to a few.
Ask for samples of their work with real estate agents.
For those who get back to you, ask for samples of their past work, if you’re unable to find any on their websites or elsewhere online. Specifically ask for real estate videos so you can see what types of footage they’ve shot for fellow agents. Look for the typical qualities great real estate video marketing should have, including:
- Excellent lighting: Shots of properties with optimal lighting appeal more to home buyers than those with minimal lighting, since they provide a better glimpse of the listings. Also, for interview-style videos featuring clients and other people, ensure videographers’ lighting cues are ideal for the setting in question.
- Unique angles and shots: Just as you look for distinct styles when hiring a real estate photographer, ensure videographers you research have their own individual styles. This means comparing and contrasting multiple videographers against one another to see whose aesthetic and techniques you prefer most.
- Clear, crisp sound and music: Soundless real estate videos appeal to few home buyers. Make sure videographer candidates you consider make ample and astute use of musical cues and deliver sound quality to maximize their videos’ effectiveness.
Regarding the various types of video you can use in your real estate video marketing, there are other specific items to look for in candidates’ bodies of work:
- Listing videos: Look to see if the videographer shot clear footage of every facet of a home’s interior and exterior. Ensure text overlay and/or voice-over is used to describe different parts and details of a home to highlight specific features.
- Community/neighborhood videos: Ideal local market videos show off the best landscapes, businesses, schools, and amenities an area has to offer, so look for shots of all of the major hot spots in a market.
- Interview videos: Determine what style the videographer uses when shooting interviews. Some specialize in setting the scene for their videos, meaning they only take place in one location. Others like to roam about and get clips from numerous areas. Where they shoot can give you a sense of their recording capabilities.
Interview multiple videographers and narrow your choice to one.
Request an in-person interview (or one through Skype or Google Hangout, if you’re okay with that) to learn more about your candidates’ work history and experience. Learn how long they’ve worked as a videographer, what references they have, and what they most enjoy shooting. Also, tell them about a video you’d like to have in your real estate marketing arsenal and ask how they’d film and edit the video to make it as appealing as possible to your audience.
Get a clear idea of how professional they are, what their personality is, and — at the end of the day — whether they’d create video that can help you generate leads. Once you’ve identified a real estate videographer you’d like to work with, draw up a contract. Include details regarding:
- The cost per video, including post-production: No detail is too small when talking real estate video pricing. Ask your videographer everything they typically charge for and offer your own suggested additions, subtractions, and changes from their normal contract language.
- The time expected to complete individual videos: Be on the same page with your videographer from the start to ensure no issues arise. A single, standard turnaround time for all videos should be designated to avoid late submissions.
- The preferred (rough) length of each video: Tell your videographer the optimal length you want for each type of video. For example, if you want real estate listing videos to be no longer than two minutes and community tour pages to be at least four minutes, make it known in the contract.
- Specific features each video will incorporate: For instance, make sure every room of a home is shot for each real estate listing video and that the videographer asks all interviewees (clients, community members, real estate experts, etc.) the questions that you want them to answer.
Try out a videographer and see if their work is up to snuff.
At the end of the day, select the best match. The great thing about hiring a real estate videographer is you can try them out once: If it works, then you have a new partnership that can aid your real estate videos for marketing, and if not, you can hire someone else for the next job or even put off hiring a professional for the time being and conduct your own real estate video marketing.
Just remember that handing over your video duties to the pros will save you lots of time (and headaches) in the long run. Moreover, if your videos created by professionals are shot up to your standards, they’ll broaden awareness of your firm — and earn you new leads.
Get plenty of marketing ideas for real estate by viewing eight of the top listing videos from 2014.
What kinds of video for real estate do you create (or hope to make)? Share your preferences with us below!