The Ultimate Guide to Real Estate Video Marketing
By Matthew Bushery
About Inbound Marketing
Why should a real estate agent care about video?
Real estate listings with videos receive 403% more inquiries than those without video. For a local business trying to penetrate a crowded market, video production and optimization can be a key growth lever.
According to the National Association of Realtors, online video sites have quickly grown in popularity, with 36% of people using video as an informative source during the home search.
Incorporating video into your online marketing can boost your lead generation efforts. However, for video to work as an effective real estate marketing technique, you need to (1) produce the right types of video, and (2) promote them effectively.
In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at best types of video for real estate marketing, provide examples, discuss how to effectively market videos online, and finish by looking at the different production options available. Since this is a very comprehensive guide, we have included a table of content below:
Let’s jump in.
24 Types of Real Estate Videos Agents Should Create ASAP
Listing videos remain the most popular types of video for real estate agents. Having said that, there are so many more genres of video you can create to make your audience more aware of your business and generate new leads — including the 23 listed below.
So, allocate some of your real estate video production time and effort toward creating some of these unique video types to add another layer to your online marketing presence.
1) Listing Videos
As noted, listing videos are the reigning champ of real estate videos. Showing off the properties you represent in stylish fashion via video is an effective means of impressing top-of-the-funnel leads who are learning about the properties in your market, as well as moving middle- and bottom-of-the-funnel leads into telephone, email, and in-person meetings.
The great thing about listing videos is you don’t have to just put photos in a slideshow to showcase them anymore. The sheer number of new apps, cameras, filters, and devices that can help you film award-worthy clips is seemingly endless:
- Apps like Camera Plus, Magisto, and Viddy make shooting video from your smartphone or tablet as easy as it’s ever been.
- Turning your home into a professional-esque production studio is possible with the latest video gear and editing software.
- Live-streaming apps, including Periscope and Meerkat (which we’ll discuss in further detail below), offer real-time looks at your clients’ residences.
Moreover, while the legality remains murky for drones (or “unmanned aerial devices,” if you prefer) to capture listing video, agents nationwide continue to use these gadgets to get amazing aerial real estate video and images of the homes they represent. Whether you work in a beach town where you can capture beautiful shots of waterfront properties, a rural community with vast, open fields, or a suburban area with modern and attractive new-builds, drones offer a unique opportunity to obtain stellar footage.
2) Interview Videos
Buyers and sellers you’ve worked with in the past, respected business people with popular ventures in your area, professionals working in other facets of real estate (e.g. mortgage lenders, architects, construction company executives) — these are just some of the many people you can interview. The one thing everyone you speak with for your real estate video marketing needs to have is relevancy: that is, whatever they plan to talk with you about has to be relevant to your audience.
In the above real estate video, Keller Williams Realtor Beverly Meaux interviewed some of her past clients to see what drove their decisions when finding the property that best fit their needs and the agent who could help them find that property. Notice how Meaux’s clients do the bulk of the talking and list the pros of working with her to complete their home purchase. Sometimes, the best promotion for your business is word of mouth — just be sure to catch those words on camera for your audience to see.
3) Live-Stream Q&A Videos
As mentioned, live-streaming has caught on with agents and brokers around the country. With Periscope and Meerkat, arguably the two most popular live-streaming apps, all you need to do to allow your Twitter following to see you via your mobile device in real-time is click the broadcast button and voila: anyone with a link to your stream can join in and hear what you have to say and see what you want them to see.
A common use case for Periscope and Meerkat for the real estate community is to give live listing tours, though plenty of agents and brokers have leveraged the apps at industry conferences, local community events, and company outings. Think of what aspects of your business can and should be shared with your audience as they happen and you could have another means to create unique real estate agent videos.
Additionally, should you host the occasional webinars through software like GoToMeeting or apps like Google Hangouts that can be easily recorded and shared, you can transform what were initially live chats and advice-giving sessions into long-term videos you can use on your real estate YouTube channel. The more traction you get from past webinar recordings you share online, the more registrations you can get for future live editions.
4) Blog Post Recap Videos
Turning one old piece of content into several new pieces of content is not only smart because it saves you from having to constantly create new work, but also because it can help you discover new audiences. When it comes to your blog posts, an ideal solution to double their impact is to transform them into short video rehashings of your written content.
If you crafted a post around the latest home design trends, for instance, creating a video that shows off the design news and updates you mention, along with images to explain in further detail what you’re talking about (popular paint colors for the year ahead, trendy decor for the living room, etc.), you can reach people who better absorb visual content than copy-oriented posts.
5) Home Buyer/Seller Advice Videos
Direct, 2-minute recap videos that briefly explain the optimal means to save for a home purchase, ideal ways to research mortgage lenders, how to determine if it’s a seller’s market, and other similar topics for your YouTube channel can turn you into a reliable resource for buyers and sellers in your market. Look no further for a prime example than Tennessee real estate agent John Jones’ YouTube presence, including the above clip in which he offers insights for sellers on how to make the right home offer.
Sure, many of the buyer and seller tips-and-tricks video concepts you come up with may serve you best in written format on your real estate blog, but truncating these articles into digestible clips can also prove valuable for your niche audience. Think of it this way: Not all leads will have time to consume your blog posts, so offering the same advice by a different format can ensure you cover your digital bases, so to speak.
6) Special Offer Videos
No, we don’t mean special offers in the sense of you have a gift card or cash prize you want to give your audience, but rather a unique piece of content they can download on your website or a limited-time free buyer or seller consultation offer — something your audience truly needs and that can make you stand out in your market.
Ideally, when you produce these kinds of videos, you’ll include a call to action (CTA) link within the video or in the email in which you promote the offer that leads your prospects right to your real estate website — specifically, to a dedicated landing page for the offer in question with a form they can fill out for the chance to “win.” The reason behind this is simple: to enhance your site’s lead generation capabilities.
7) Local Business Review Videos
Think of the best stores and restaurants you patronize: Maybe there’s a bakery you enjoy buying croissants from, or perhaps you and your friends go golfing at a great par-3 course nearby. Whichever establishments you and those living in your market enjoy offer an ideal focus for your real estate marketing videos.
Yes, you don’t directly promote yourself with this video type — in fact, quite the opposite: You put another local business in the limelight. However, by highlighting local brands that provide valuable services and bring joy to residents in your market, you prove to those looking to purchase there that you are deeply embedded in your community and understand the places and people that make it worth moving to. As a bonus, you can get promotional love in return from the businesses you review, meaning you get some free word-of-mouth marketing, which agencies of any size can always use.
8) “About Me”/Explainer Videos
The awesome thing about many of these videos is you can take the exact same copy you use from different aspects of your real estate agent website and use that as your script for your recordings. This one is an excellent example: Take what you wrote for your site’s about page and use the same copy, or modify it somewhat, to explain who you are, where you’re from, what certifications/designations you have, what your sales history is like, and any other professional and personal tidbits you want to share with your audience.
The Boutique Real Estate Group provides plenty of interesting and useful information on its team members, background, and mission in the video above, leaving no major details about the brand unspoken. This is the kind of social proof that shows there are real humans behind the agency — ones with great attention to detail and dedication to the job — and that can go a long way in resonating with buyers and sellers.
9) Neighborhood/Community Video
Real estate property videos are essential to show off every facet and corner of your clients’ homes. But one important factor practically every home buyer takes into strong consideration in their final purchasing decision is the neighborhood and community in which a listing resides.
Your listing could be the only one with an in-ground swimming pool, spacious patio, and large built-in playground in town, for example, but if prospective buyers — in this case, the target audience being growing families — can’t see what the neighboring homes look like or don’t know what local schools are like, then you may not entice them to see the residence in person.
The answer is simple: Dedicate a portion of your shooting schedule to exploring your market. Either hire a professional videographer (the optimal avenue to take) who can spend a few days capturing footage of notable businesses, parks, developments, and other facets of your market or get help from a friend, family member, or colleague to help you film these shots. Once you have them in hand, you can use them in every listing video you create and develop standalone videos to highlight the market as a whole.
10) Case Study/Review Videos
Happy clients are invaluable because they can provide input regarding their satisfaction with your work on camera and persuade leads to sign on with you as well. Of course, you can’t force buyers and sellers you’ve worked with to do this, so have a plan of action in place at the end of every deal you close to request feedback from clients that you can use in your real estate marketing strategy — and specifically, for your video marketing efforts.
The key to getting buy-in from clients is to make the process of securing their commentary on your business as quick and simple as possible. Set up your lighting and camera wherever it best suits them to shoot (your office, their new home, etc.) and have questions ready to go so you don’t take up much of their time. Once you have what you need, you can put together videos featuring just those buyers or sellers and a clip featuring all of the feedback from clients who participated in your mini Q&A sessions.
11) Brand Promotional Videos
High production values are a must with any real estate agent video you produce, but none more so than brand promotional videos. The reason is simple: This is the most versatile video you can use in your marketing plan. It can be the main clip that autoplays on your YouTube page, used during listing presentations, played at conferences to explain your business, and in numerous other capacities to spread awareness of your brand.
Another way this type of video separates itself from others listed here is that it should end up being one of your longer recordings, as you will want to relay every positive attribute about your company in the clip, including what makes your business special, how your firm is one of the best-performing ones in the area, and how you’re a fixture in your community — all of which can’t effectively be relayed in less than 4-5 minutes. RE/MAX Integra New England developed just such a video that elucidates everything anyone could want to know about the brand in a very engaging fashion.
12) Client Process/Update Videos
Meant only for your clients to see, these videos swiftly explain the status of their home sale — including how many people you’ve gotten to attend open houses for it, the total number of private showings given, and what marketing activities you’ve put into place to promote it — and what specific listings you’ve found for buyer clients that feature all pertinent data points regarding the homes for sale, like sale price and how long each residence has been on the market.
You can certainly go with standard slideshow presentations and print materials to relay this information as well, but sometimes, the “wow” factor is needed to show how resolved you are to help your clients sell their homes quickly and for the right price.
13) Whiteboard Videos
The premier example of this video type comes from expert marketer and Moz Founder Rand Fishkin, whose Whiteboard Friday series has become the ultimate explanatory resource for marketing pros everywhere, as it touches upon numerous intriguing and trending topics in the industry. You can emulate this format with ease, given all you need is a camera, whiteboard, marker, and topic of interest to your audience.
From the best times of year to list your home, to what goes into mortgage lenders’ interest rate offers, you can cover any and every housing-related subject that buyers and sellers in your market are dying to know about. Just use your real estate content marketing editorial calendar to find what topics you’ve written about for your blog in the past that have performed well, and boom — you have your source material for these videos ready to go.
14) “How-to” Videos
Don’t have a whiteboard at your disposal? Not a problem: You can still share your wisdom with leads in other ways, one of the more popular of which is to record your “how-to” tips and tricks and then put together informative slides after the fact that relay the high-level talking points you made.
Searches for “how-to” content on YouTube have skyrocketed in popularity over the past few years, so by simply titling your real estate videos with this moniker, you enhance your chances of being one of the top-clicked videos for your niche topics — just make sure the ones you cover don’t have lots of competition in your market.
15) Housing Market Update Videos
Chances are your real estate leads and clients don’t keep up with the latest news regarding the local housing market, like new-home construction and recent sales data. So, do the dirty work for them by regularly compiling housing data from the area (this could be for your town, the entire county it resides in, or even on a statewide level) and repurpose it into educational videos.
If you’ve ever created a PowerPoint presentation or SlideShare then you know the easiest way to gather and showcase data from your area in a concise, easy-to-digest format. All you need to do is add those slides to video editing software, add in a CTA for your niche audience, and upload it to your website and YouTube channel and you’ve added another piece of marketing collateral with practically no extra effort required.
16) List-Based Videos
Listicle posts remain one of the most popular content types professionals and brands in just about any industry can produce. People just love to read about things in list form, particularly when people, places, or things are ranked in some fashion (see: every BuzzFeed post ever published). While this makes it obvious you should write list-based posts for your blog, don’t forget the power this bite-sized content can have on your YouTube channel.
Think of it this way: Just as your audience enjoys consuming posts about the “27 Ways to Get More Offers for Your Listing” and “35 Tactics That Can Improve Your Credit Score Before Buying,” transform this written content into videos that relay the same message but in a more visual manner — one that’s proven to resonate more with consumers than any other content type.
17) Team/Office Culture Videos
You might not think local home buyers and sellers would be interested in seeing the day-to-day life at your firm’s office, but you’d be surprised what can help demonstrate the competence, character, and charisma of those working at your company. No, we don’t mean for you to show water-cooler talk in the kitchen or strategy sessions for new leads. Instead, plan scenes in which you and your colleagues/employees are shown talking with clients, pitching prospects, and conducting online marketing activities — in other words, the things buyers and sellers want to see from firms who could represent them.
Moreover, agents looking to make a move to a new real estate brand can look at these videos as a peek at what it’s like to work at your business and get a glimpse of how agents perform at the agency, meaning you have yet another recruitment tool in your arsenal. Take a look at the Boston Connect Real Estate video above as a superb example of a video that appeals to both prospective hires and clients.
18) Humorous/Themed Videos
A good sense of humor can not only help you in your recruiting efforts for new hires and with potential clients, but also in telling the story of your brand. Whether you decide to capitalize on the latest memes to take over the internet or have an original idea you want to move forward with, script, film, edit, and share it with your audience — just be sure it doesn’t offend or embarrass anyone, and positions your agency in a positive light.
Even holiday- or event-themed real estate videos can humanize and personalize your brand. Halloween affords you and your team the chance to dress up and make (relative) fools of yourselves, while the Super Bowl gives you the opportunity to showcase your fandom for your area’s pro team. Take a look at event calendars online, like this one, to see which happenings and holidays you can take advantage of with your video efforts and plan your footage accordingly.
19) Year-in-Review Videos
Show how well your year went. Share stats like how many deals you closed during the year and the total earnings for your agency, then show images and clips of your clients in their new homes or in front of their “sold” signs.
In the clip above, the Outer Banks Resort Realty team in North Carolina celebrated its 12 months of success in 2013 by offering highlights from the year, including noteworthy properties they sold and leased, its new real estate website, new members who joined the firm, and its merger with another company. No dialogue is necessary for these quick-hit recordings: Just make them visually appealing and informative and you have new collateral to share with your email lists and YouTube subscribers at the end of every calendar year.
20) Event Videos
Heading to one of the many great real estate conferences that take place each year around the country? Maybe you have a local market meetup coming up that you plan to speak at? Whatever events you plan on attending, just know these gatherings are perfect opportunities to record and incorporate into your video-for-real-estate strategy.
If you will hit the stage and offer your unique insights and advice to an audience, set up your smartphone or tablet on a tripod and record your session or, if you have the fiscal wherewithal, buy or rent a professional camera to capture your engagement. Even if you don’t plan on speaking at an event, you can still film others and curate their thoughts and opinions into videos of your own.
21) Thought Leadership Videos
When planning marketing strategies using video, real estate agents tend to solely focus on branding their business. This is the right move as it pertains to most of the footage they shoot and share online. But some agents want to become well-known as great business minds nationally and not just great agents locally. If you fall into the former category, this is the video type for you.
Think about what you want to be known for in terms of thought leadership — for example, some real estate entrepreneurs, like Barbara Corcoran, became thought leaders for their business acumen and risk-taking — and then develop specific content ideas that can position you as one of the most knowledgeable people about the topic.
A word to the wise, though: Becoming a thought leader never happens overnight, so view creating these videos as one branch on the giant tree of marketing activities you need to perform.
22) Listing Presentation Videos
It’s important to understand these videos should act as supporting collateral for your actual listing presentation, not as a replacement for it (after all, it would be kind of weird to show a prospective client a video and then not say a single word after, right?). In just 150 seconds, California-based Realtors Mike and Robyn Zingg were able to succinctly (and humorously) explain their value proposition, including what clients can expect them to do in terms of real estate marketing ideas they have for promoting their homes for sale.
It’s completely understandable if you don’t want a superhero-themed listing presentation video, but you have to admit, this clip is clever and is certainly an attention-grabber — something that can separate you from the crowded pack of agents pitching the same leads.
23) Instagram Videos
Okay, these don’t really align with the other types of real estate videos mentioned, as these are medium-based videos, but these are important to take advantage of nonetheless. The limitations in terms of the maximum amount of time you can record footage via these popular apps is why many professionals steer clear of them altogether. That’s mostly because they assume every marketing activity has to have a significant, tangible ROI, and when it comes to 6- and 15-second videos, that’s clearly not going to earn you new leads in and of themselves. But that’s not how you should view these resources.
Rather, they should be used as a supporting brand awareness channel — another outlet to exhibit your listings, provide super-quick tips, and just show off your personality. The next time you’re checking in on a home for sale you represent, for example, shoot short clips of the different areas of the home and edit them into one cohesive video. It’s this kind of attention to detail and thoroughness with elevate your real estate video marketing metrics and earn your brand bonus attention, in a manner of speaking.
24) Re-purpose written testimonials into Client Testimonial Videos
The same customer testimonials that you post on your website can also be translated into a video format. Instead of having past clients write up reviews of your services, ask them to share their praise in a short testimonial video!
By showcasing real clients – and the beautiful properties you helped them purchase – you’ll provide valuable social proof indicating to prospects that you are as talented as you claim.
We’ve just covered 24 real estate video types. If you’re looking for more inspiration, check out this list of the best real estate videos from across the web or check out our webinar: Create Compelling Content for Real Estate
So those were the types of realtor videos, now let’s get them in front of your audience
15 Real Estate Video Marketing Tips for Agents and Brokers
We have compiled a list of 10 actionable real estate video marketing tips below.
Attracting New Prospects with Real Estate Videos
Before you invest in video, you need to have a video strategy in place. This involves thinking about what kinds of videos you’ll create, how long it will take, and who will benefit. Make sure you know the answers to these questions before you begin:
- Who/what will be featured in your videos?
- Who will benefit from your videos?
- How will this video help generate leads?
- How long will each of your videos last?
- Will you require the help of a videographer, or will you produce videos on your own?
Once these questions are answered, you can start the scripting, filming and editing process. Here are some best practices to keep in mind along the way:
1) Utilize the Most Powerful Video Marketing Medium: YouTube
There are many reasons YouTube is the best place to host your video content online: Youtube is owned by Google, it’s the #2 search engine in the world, and is reliable for streaming.Also, Google recognizes that videos are harder to create than just written content, so they weigh video differently when determining web page rankings.
Using this service ensures videos are seamlessly integrated and supported in their search results. If your business already exists in the Google places domain (check out your Google+ Pages, you should see your business there), you can easily interlink between these two Google technologies. Your YouTube home page allows you to customize and promote your business activity.
2) Share who you are with in-depth brand explainer videos.
A good place to start with your initial real estate videos is by filming an introduction. Describe why you’re truly passionate about real estate, or how you got your start in the business. These videos should also include some of the properties you represent to give your prospects an idea of the market you primarily work in. If you choose to film outside of your office, include shots of your community as well.
3) Shorter videos tend to attract more views.
By and large, video marketing for real estate should be entertaining and not a huge time commitment. Research shows video that’s two minutes long is perfect for viewer engagement, so aim for that window when shooting.
If you’re uncomfortable speaking in front of the camera and tend to ramble or lose your words, jot down notes beforehand so you have a plan in place for what you’ll say, and practice the script to be as conversational as possible when filming.
4) Introduce viewers to your community.
Home buyers don’t just want to know about a specific property; they’re also curious to learn about the surrounding neighborhood.Video tours of your community offer locals and relocating prospects the chance to get a full view of the region they’ll be living in, rather than just the home.
5) Optimize all of your real estate videos for search engines.
As with all of your other forms of content, you’ll want to optimize your real estate videos for SEO. It’s important to targeting the vital aspects within the videos you create so they rank in local search results. Keywords and relevant phrases that you mention in your videos should be included in the title, meta description, and tags.
6) Include lead capture forms or CTA links directly in your videos.
Did you know you can add lead capture forms to your videos? That way, if you’ve done an appropriate job of explaining the value of your services, you can acquire leads on the spot.
Converting More Leads Into Clients with Nurture-Savvy Clips
The goal of sharing carefully crafted video content on your website and social media platforms is to ultimately turn members of your audience into bona fide clients. Remember to include these details in your videos to help improve the amount and quality of the leads you generate from your videos.
7) Add nurture videos to drip campaigns aimed at top prospects.
Film a compelling community video or a series of interviews with local business owners, and send to your most qualified leads to replace a written message in your drip email campaigns.
Your prospects will get a much better sense of your area expertise, and you’ll likely see increased engagement because of it.
8) Incorporate your agency contact info at the start and end of each video.
Your agency’s logo, contact details, and any other information necessary to get in touch with you need to be visible in the introduction and conclusion of your video. You can also choose to include a link to a separate “contact us” page, streamlining the lead generation process.
9) Use annotations in your YouTube videos.
If you’ll be uploading your videos to YouTube, be sure to use annotations to capture leads. By doing this, you’ll entice viewers to continue consuming your content by linking to other videos posted on the website.
Keep in mind, annotations will only like to another YouTube-hosted video or to sites that you’ve designated as an “Associated Website” (such as your own site).
10) Share videos for certain lead segments on distinctly created pages.
Design unique landing pages for each type of video you produce. They’re an excellent way to clearly communicate your agency’s value prop. Remember to keep these capture videos brief, entertaining, and to the point.
Most importantly, make sure the video drives viewers to take a specific action (such as filling out a contact form) on that landing page as a next step.
11) Create a promotional video that introduces your business.
While audiences crave valuable videos that address their interests, needs and questions, you should still have a video that serves to promote your services. A high-level introductory video can be used on the homepage of your website to provide visitors with a dynamic and visually-appealing way to learn more about you.
Make sure this video is short and inspires viewers to explore more of your website to learn more about your services, the region where you specialize and browse available properties.
Nurture Leads with Educational and Enlightening Content
If you’ve generated a satisfying amount of leads from your real estate video tours and agent and brand introduction snippets, you then need to plot out a strategy to nurture those existing leads with your video content.
12) Provide video tours of hot properties on the market.
Prospects don’t just want to learn about you and your services; they also want to see every unique detail of available properties.
Since listings that include video receive 403% more inquiries than those without, taking the time to shoot footage of properties is well worth the effort.
13) Promote each of your videos across social media.
Use your social media accounts to share and promote your filmed content with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram followers. Video thrives on social media, so these platforms are a great place to get in front of new audiences and generate fresh leads.
14) Create a series of micro-advice videos — ones featuring quick tips.
Inventory the existing written content you have up on your website, as well as the most frequently asked questions you’ve been asked by your prospects, and put the answers to those queries on film.
These videos can be relatively casual, shot in your office or car, or whichever setting you’re most comfortable in. The goal here is to inform and put your prospects’ minds at ease through the level of knowledge you communicate.
15) Establish an advertising budget so you can expand video awareness.
The video content you create can also repurposed into a digital ads. First determine which of your videos are popular with audiences based off of engagement on sites like Facebook and YouTube.
Then, test out paid platforms such as Facebook Ads or Google AdWords to ensure that your ads are seen by audiences who are most likely to become clients.
Real Estate Video Creation
Now that you understand all the different real estate video types at your disposal and picked up some essential tips, it’s time to bring it to life for your agency.
You have two options, (1) hire a professional videographer, or (2) do it yourself.
Let’s take a closer look at both options.
Hire a Professional Real Estate Videographer:
Making your own real estate videos can save you money in the short term but may end up costing you in the long run.
Here are some reasons for hiring a pro:
- You get what you pay for
- Hiring a pro will give you a return on your investment. Learning how to do video from scratch may not be the best use of your time. Consider the learning curve to produce a pro video that stands out against your peers.
- Videos that reflect the quality of your work
- Unless you were a film major in college, it is unlikely that you will be able to produce wow factor on your own. Paying a pro for a quality video will impress buyers and likely sell the home quicker, possibly for a higher price too.
- New Possibilities
- Hiring a pro will open the door to endless possibilities. The pro will have the gear and know-how from years of experience. They will be able to come up with fresh ideas and make you look like a superstar.
- Everyone’s Doing It
- Let’s face it, if your competition is using a professional videographer for their real estate videos and you’re not, there will be a noticeable difference. Videos that are made professionally typically make a stronger first impression, whether you’re using them to sell houses or recruit new clients.
Bonus resource: Learn how to find the right real estate videographer to take your videos to the next level.
Bring Video Production In-House:
Even if you’re not quite ready to hire a professional videographer, you can still take some steps to leverage the channel for lead generation.
There are a few key points to remember when it comes to making a quality video for your agency:
1) Plan ahead, but leave room for spontaneity
When shooting your real estate video, you should approach your project with a solid understanding of what you’ll be filming, and how it will fit into your larger marketing goals.
Before you scout a location or hit the record button, write out a list of locations and shots you want to capture there. For example:
If you’re trying to showcase the artsy side of your neighborhood, it helps to know ahead of time which spots around town feature memorable murals or must-see galleries.
That said, if you happen to see a particularly talented street performer, don’t be afraid to break from your schedule for some spontaneous filming!
As we prepped for our real estate video expedition, we wrote down our ideas for showcasing Boston Public Market’s role in the community as a hub for New England crafts and foods.
Here was our initial list of what we hoped to film, including:
- Exterior shots of the market
- A walk through the aisles
- Close-ups of foods and crafts sold at the market
- Vendor Q&As
- B-roll of people shopping and eating
While our agenda included specific things such as interviews with vendors and plans to sample a range of food and beverages, we didn’t plan for spectacles like a machine making apple cider doughnuts.
Even though it wasn’t on our list, Carolyn jumped at the chance to capture this behind-the-scenes look at the doughnut-making process (and devour one of the finished products!)
2) Know what can make or break a shot
There’s nothing worse than reviewing footage and realizing that certain elements makes it unusable. To avoid this scenario and ensure that everything you film can be used later on, here are several things to keep in mind while shooting:
Be Mindful of Lighting
There’s a reason filmmakers call out “lights, camera, action!” in that order. Lighting is a very important element when it comes to making scenes and settings look appealing.
While it’s not always available (especially when shooting indoors), try to rely on natural light whenever you can. Harsh, artificial sources of light tend to wash out your subjects.
Backlighting is another concern. Avoid shooting directly into a source of light, or in front of windows. The bright light will overshadow what you’re focusing your camera on, and make it appear as a silhouette.
Below, Juliana brings this advice to life:
Check Sound Quality Before You Head Home
Loud noises that drown out interviews or your own voice may not always be apparent to your naked ear once you’re done recording a real estate video on your smartphone or camera. However, listening to the audio on headphones will allow you to pick up on unwelcome background sounds. If you do wind up with bad audio, you’re in great shape to re-record while you’re still on location!
If you’re shooting in a noisy environment like the Boston Public Market, or if your built-in mic isn’t satisfactory, you can purchase an external microphone that clips to your phone. This will allow you to zero in on the voice of the speaker, rather than the sounds around them.
Another option is to not capture any audio at all, or put the audio on mute and add music or captions later.
Frame Your Shot
You probably already know more about setting up a real estate video shoot than you think! Like a photo, you’ll want to have a clear, focused view of the action or point of interest near the center of the screen, or slightly off-center.
Make sure your recording device is in focus and that your lighting is sufficient. The viewfinder of your camera or the screen of your smartphone are the best tools for determining the quality of your shot.
When interviewing people, it’s a good idea to avoid shooting them in profile, as this position will look strange to viewers. Instead, try to have them look directly at you, or slightly to the right or left of the camera, so that their entire face is clearly visible.
3. Try out different capture techniques
There are so many options available to kick your final product up a notch! Don’t be afraid to give these next-level video tools a try.
Going live on Facebook can be a fun and free way to share what you’re seeing and saying with your audience, as it happens. If you have the Facebook app on your smartphone, then you already have the ability to broadcast Facebook Live from your Business Page or your personal Facebook profile.
Here are some ideas on how to use it:
- If you’re doing a walkthrough of a new property, broadcast it to give your audience an exclusive first glimpse.
- Live stream exciting events in your town, such as a parade as it goes by.
- Facebook Live allows you to get comments from viewers in real-time, so you can also use it to host a question and answer session.
At the Boston Public Market, we decided to record a Facebook Live session while testing out various local beers at Hopsters Alley.
Speed up your video shots with Hyperlapse! This free phone app is great for capturing activities that may not be as interesting to watch in real time, such as redecorating a room or renovating a house.
We tried out Hyperlapse while walking through the aisles of the Boston Public Market. A normal tour of the BPM takes about two minutes, but the Hyperlapse video gives you a complete view of the market in only a few seconds!
Boomerang is another free phone app that you can use to capture eye-grabbing videos. This tool is especially popular amongst social media marketers, because it turns whatever you film into a short, looping GIF.
To use Boomerang, you just need to point it at a simple scene with plenty of movement and hit record:
Selfie sticks aren’t just for taking pictures of yourself. They also allow you to easily film yourself, or your surroundings, by pressing your phone’s shutter button remotely.
You can typically buy a selfie stick with Bluetooth capabilities or a cord that plugs into your phone for $15 or less. Here’s our quick tutorial on how to use one – it’s super easy!
4. A still camera is a happy camera
While shooting a real estate video on your smartphone gives you freedom of movement, the footage you shoot should be stable or else you risk creating a shaky viewing experience for your audience.
To minimize the earthquake effect, try keeping your elbows in by your side, or propping your arms up on a steady surface – such as a table.
Another option is to use a tripod. There are many cheap ones available on Amazon that are small, lightweight, and easy to set up.
5. Have fun!
If you approach your real estate video like a chore, your attitude will show through in your final product. Want to get your viewers excited about what they’re watching? Get excited about filming it!
Here’s how you can avoid overthinking the process:
(1) When you’re out filming, don’t burden yourself with a long to-do list or a lengthy script.
Leave yourself the space to explore and experiment with different types of shots and subjects. Digital video is still a fairly new medium, so there are very few strict requirements.
(2) Avoid over-scripting your interviews.
While it’s a good idea to prep yourself or your interview subjects with topics that will be discussed or points you want to hit, writing out an entire script word-for-word can lead to a robotic or wooden delivery.
When we interviewed vendors at the Boston Public Market, we briefed them about the questions we’d be asking (like, “What makes the crafts/food that you sell so unique?” and “How would you describe the community at the BPM?”).
But we also gave them the space to be themselves and tell a story their way.
Want to see more from our shoot at the Boston Public Market? Check out our interviews with Patrick from Appleton Farms and Barb from Field & Vase (hint: cheese and flowers both make great closing gifts for new homeowners!)
In the end, a real estate video that has a candid, authentic feel will resonate much more strongly with your viewers. They’re watching your video to learn and be entertained. If you’re having fun, they’ll have fun!
So don’t be afraid to let loose, keeping in mind that even if you make a mistake, it can be fixed in post-production or edited out. When you’re just getting started with video, even mistakes can provide a valuable learning experience.
Instead of feeling intimidated or anxious about your real estate video, just whip out your phone and dive right in. Who knows, you may end up having a blast just like we did.
- You’ll need the essential gear to shoot great-looking and -sounding video.
- According to Wistia’s Video Analytics, viewership decreases significantly after 4 to 5 minutes, so try to keep it short and sweet.
- Use music to give your videos some personality. Remember: its the music that will ultimately set the stage (and mood) for the viewer. Align it properly with the content and message.
- Include a relevant call-to-action in every single video you publish. Your viewers will ask, “what next?” Give them a clear answer.
By now, you have identified the best type of video for your agency and bought it to life by either outsourcing production or bringing it in house.
Ready to supercharge your marketing with the power of video? Check out our free collection of Video & Engagement interviews with real estate marketing experts!
Published on January 23, 2019
Written by Matthew Bushery
I'm the Sr. Content Creator for Placester, where I educate real estate professionals about modern marketing and, in turn, help agents and brokers make the most of their online presence, earn more traffic, and generate more leads and business.