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Real Estate Agent Portraits and Profile Videos

July 1st, 2009

I was talking to my real estate photographer friend Kevin in Bellevue, WA yesterday. Kevin is the proud owner of a new 5D MkII and was telling me that he has been connecting with real estate agents by doing portraits for agents. He said he uses a  Canon 85mm L f/1.2 lens and two Profoto Strobes and is getting great results and good response from agents.

I know many real estate photographers that do the same thing that Kevin is doing. By setting up a shoot at a real estate office meeting you can meet agents, establish yourself as a professional photographer, make some money and hand out some marketing materials all at the same time.

Kevin also mentioned that he believes, as do I, that the opportunity to sell agent video profiles is rapidly evolving as an excellent opportunity for real estate photographers. Here’s an example of a agent profile video that I’m talking about. For those real estate photographers with a 5DMkII, D90, D5000 or T1i this is clearly an opportunity as long as you are up to the challenge of video editing, script writing and directing aspects. I’m not saying doing agent profiles are easy, they are way more difficult to do than portraits. You have to help the agent put together a script, do the video editing and adding text frames, have continuous lighting and direct  the video (guide the agent through the shooting process until you get a good take). I’m just saying that if you are willing to put in the work to learn these new video related skills there is an opportunity here. The new cameras are removing the hardware barrier to entry.

I think more and more savy agents like Karen Moorhead above are going to be wanting to do profile videos because they make a knock-out marketing piece. A couple of minutes of video like this is a great piece for an agent website. A potential client learns much more about an agent with a couple of minutes of video than any other media. These short videos would be an easy sale. Is any one doing these kind of agent profiles yet? What do you charge to create one?

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6 Responses to “Real Estate Agent Portraits and Profile Videos”

  • I totally agree with you about agent profile videos, Larry. we have done quite a few in our area and they make a great impression when a client visits a realtor’s page, as well as finding the video through cross marketing. we have even attached these profiles to the ends of our home video tours so that the buyers can find out as much info about the realtor as possible- it never hurts!

    However, you don’t need to script these out and memorize everything. Here is a sample one we did with just asking the realtor questions and inserting some of her listing footage. It took about 10 minutes to conduct the interview and an easy editing job.

    http://www.lastcuthomes.com/news/2009/02/27/agent-profile-videos/

  • I would… but I try and discourage it. Why? For the same reason I discourage agents from putting their mug on the home page of their website. The absolute LAST thing that real estate customers are searching for online is a house salesman! Yet, many agents still put their face and usually irrelevant “bio” on the home page going on and on about how they’re going to be my “realtor for life” and talking about their kids, church, boating, etc.

    This is the LAST thing that buyers want, and as time goes on, more and more realtors are FINALLY beginning to understand this – although it’s taken quite a bit of brow beating. “It’s all about the customer, it’s NOT about you!”

    Most traditional ‘agent profiles” I’ve seen make me gag – literally. They show a realtor having a fake conversation on a phone, signing fake papers, shaking hands of fake customers, hammering in a fake “sold” sign on a fake house… and telling me all about THEM and how wonderful they are and how much ‘they care about their customers”.

    Please.

    I honestly don’t think someone will choose an agent based on the fact they know how to hold a phone to their ear – and yet that’s what many of these seem to convey. Don’t tell me about YOU… tell me about what you can do for ME.

    I try and convince agents to do something that buyers and sellers actually CARE about and WANT to know…. then putting themselves in the video as a subtle way of introducing them at the same time.

    That way you give customers what THEY want, and at the same time, give them what they DON’T want (the house salesman).

    For example: A community tour

    (example: http://www.motionbox.com/videos/ee9fd9b71f1ee664)

    This shows the community, what it’s like, what it looks like, what the housing is like, etc… all things buyers LOVE… but at the end you actually feel like you KNOW (and like) this agent and you know that SHE KNOWS about her community – something that is important to buyers.

    Same goes with a house tour – just a brief introduction and closing – simple enough – goes a long way in introducing the agent, while at the same time offering something the customer WANTS – which is to see the home.

    These “puff” agent profiles I just stay away from – I don’t think they’re effective at all. (It’s a moving version of putting your face on a newspaper ad or business card – also something I think that is less relevant today than ever before. People want INFORMATION, they don’t want a house salesman and they don’t want to be SOLD)

  • Wow great idea. I love the video Ted. I should really run with this idea.

  • Fred Light: Good post – I laughed out loud.

    Just a note though. I’m using my spare 4 year old powerbook ( 2 gig of ram on mains power) over breakfast to read this and your video is the only one of three on this post that is choppy, even though the resolution doesn’t look particularly high. I had to turn it off half way through.

  • I’ll second Pauls post, very amusing and well argued points raised by Fred.
    But I haven’t found one of your motionbox hosted vids that plays at an acceptable speed. The only one I could bear to wait for was the ‘why P&S aren’t good enough’ one on your site, and even then it took about 8mins to play a 4min vid.

  • Thanks for the great idea. Agent profile videos will help real estate professionals to gain competitive edge. Don’t foget the promote the profile video in social media sites and network of blogs.

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