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This Week In Real Estate Video

March 30th, 2012

I enjoy tracking what people are doing with real estate video. There are not as agents using video as you may think. The thing I find interesting is how many different unique styles there are. I’m fascinated by how unique and personal a persons video shooting/editing style is. I getting so I can turn off the audio and recognize who shot the video.

I thought it would be interesting to just post a compilation of some of the real estate videos that were shot in the last week or so. These six videos are just a random sampling of some of the YouTube channels that I subscribe to. Notice that two of these videos are shot by real estate agents (Terry Burger  and Julie Kinnear). This 2 out of 6 is about the same ratio PFRE readers that are agents that do their own photography (~30%).

I think the most interesting  is that Julie Kinnear which may look unpolished along side of the other videos. However, despite fact that it appears that Julie doesn’t do any editing of her videos they are effective and engaging. They are simple, straight forward and she turns them out like crazy. Of all these six video producers only PlatinumHDTV uploads more videos to YouTube than Julie does and PlatinumHDTV has a large team of people doing production. Julie is a video marketing machine! Go Julie!

Dan Achatz

Terry Burger PlatinumHDTV
NashauVideoTours Malia Campbell Julie Kinnear
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22 Responses to “This Week In Real Estate Video”

  • I have recently been asked about shooting videos, but have not ever attempted it. Are there resources that could be recommended for me to learn and experiment with video, including Shooting, editing, posting, etc. Thanks.

  • @Patrick- There are a couple of flickr forums where video is discussed. See:
    http://www.flickr.com/groups/1219682@N21/ and http://www.flickr.com/groups/cfre/

    Also we discuss it here on the blog somewhat. See: http://photographyforrealestate.net/category/video/

  • Thank you for the links Larry. I always enjoy seeing what other agents or companies are doing for video and learning from them!
    We’ve decided to take the approach of doing a full walk through, but without any voice overs. We are using a Canon 7D with Sigma 10-20 lens and a Glidecam HD-2000 for the video walk throughs. For our monthly market update videos, we are using an external mic, and 3 point lighting kit with a 50mm lens.
    If you’re interested in checking out some of our work, or feel that you would want to share it, here is a link to one of our recent walk throughs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PW741P86LpU
    I’m always happy to share!

  • @Colin- Thanks for the example and info.

  • Thanks Larry. The most important thing right now is not that Julie’s is polished and Platinum is highly edited, but rather that both of them do video and publish like crazy. Julie will improve with time and add things that help her sell. I also looked at some You Tube statistics of my own using top ten choices in different categories (other than real estate) and believe it or not, homemade Kookie videos did better in views that highly polished professional looking videos. People like kookiness. Actually there is an art to the home made look that helps get viewers and viralibility which includes subject, but also includes a great narration. My own observance rather than professional, but check it out.
    Suzanne

  • Thanks for the links with these different styles. As RE figures out video, it would be interesting to see a consensus on best practices for producing video home tours:
    – Music – yes/no – I would say yes
    – Voice narration – yes/no – I would say yes
    – Max Length – I would say 2 min max
    – Agent present on video – I would say ‘yes’ for branded video
    – Shooting Style – detailed walkthrough (like Fred Light) vs slider/pans ‘glimpses’ (like Platinum HD)
    – High Production Value (Platinum HD) vs good quality ‘reality style’ (like Julie)

  • Hey there gang, I’ve got a ton of resources that I read. Here’s a few:
    http://www.LearningDSLRVideo.com (Dave Dugdale) – Great resource, however he’s been doing more and more reviews lately. Check out his early stuff if you’re just starting out. Invaluable!

    http://www.DSLRVideoShooter.com (Caleb Pike) – Caleb doesn’t post as much as other video bloggers, but his stuff is really deep and good. He’s got some killer tips on building cheaper rigs, and his vintage Nikor lense video is amazing.

    http://www.Cheesycam.com – When you don’t want to spend a lot of $$, Cheesycam shows you how to achieve pro style results on a budget. I’ve learned fo the Konova slider from here, the Velbon fluid head for $29, and tons more.

    http://www.Oliviatech.com – Good gear reviews for video. Great tutorial on how to get the all white, or all white backgrounds on her site. Taught me a lot.

    http://www.TheC47.com – Jem Scofield’s video blog. He amazes me because he shoots a video just about every weekday in his basement.

    Enjoy!

  • @Bruce- Part of my point here is that there just isn’t one right way to do this. There are some that would go to great lengths to argue that walk-throughs are bad, yet Fred and Julie are the king and queen of the walk through and they are both successful using walk throughs. There are some that would argue that narration is super important but that costs extra in production time (except for Julie) and typically it’s a client decision and Dan and Malia’s examples show that just music can be effective. And the PlatinumHD crew (founded by Brett from with Hollywood background) is probably laughing like crazy that I would show Julie’s videos as real estate video because it’s not even edited. Yet Julie’s videos have this wonderful feel of just having a informal little walk through with your friend Julie. I think these are all great in their own way. Ultimately what happens is that everyone that shoots video brings a personal style, background and skill set and that all determines the results.

  • Larry – I hear what you’re saying, and your intent was clear in your post. Many on the RE net would say “just get out there and do video” without any guidance which I think is a mistake. Good video can make you look like a star, yet bad video can make you look like a clown; so the stakes are higher. What I haven’t seen is a “consensus on best practices” to at least provide a general road map for agents to get started. This would be an interesting survey to get thoughts of those who do this.

    Even if a road map of best practices did exist, someone could be off the grid and still be wildly successful at video, but that would be the exception I think, not the rule.

  • Such a variety! I would love to see a poll of those doing video. How many (typical) videos do you shoot in a week? How much does a typical video cost? How long does it take to edit a video? How much time is spent actually shooting a typical video. If You Tube is an indication, Julie has hundreds, Nasha VIdeo and Platinum have thousands of videos uploaded. There must be some demand for video in conjunction with still photos, but I just can’t grasp the workflow vs. the pricing aspect. Looks a LOT more work.

  • Great to see the variety of styles as it is a continual learning experience.Last week just upgraded my D90 to a D7000 expressly for the improved video capability – a D800 or D4 just were not in the cards. Within the limitations of the D90 have been getting ‘practice’ with short video scenes (doors or gate opening) within photo based tours – and can really see the softness of the D90 when put up against a still. Last week had a shoot where owner had a putting green in the rear so I twisted his arm and forced him to grab his putter (HA) and got a good long put just missing the hole. Had intended to use another scene from a shorter put that went in but had his feet in the frame. NOTE TO SELF – next time closeup pan of ball! Learning, Learning, Learning! Kudos Julie, but take a step back and ask how can take t the next level for continual improvment.

  • I started out doing broker hosted videos because I was convinced that it would be the most effective format for real estate marketing but the side effect was that this seems to be what everyone in my area now wants. We have probably done around 100 broker hosted videos in the last 2 years and 2 walk though videos, 1 narrated video. We could easily do 150+ broker hosted videos in 2012.
    When a broker goes on camera and host a video the delivery of the message becomes more complex becasue the word choice, tone, inflection, and physical expressions of the broker begin to have a powerful influence on how the viewer interprets the video. We have seen youtube retention statistics spike when a scene is done well and drop like a rock when the delivery is poor. This has very little to do with slick production value and more to do with the authenticity of the broker when they are in front of the camera. This has us studying verbal and especially non verbal communication and putting a lot of time into coaching brokers on their performance.
    The good news is brokers are improving quickly and when they are on their game the results are powerful.

  • Just a heads up – Be careful before including any broker on camera in your videos. Besides the obvious issues mentioned above by Heath, another big issue is the MLS. If you want to put your video on the MLS, you need to check very carefully about their rules (which, by the way, they seem to make up as they go along…).

    In New Hampshire, an agent can NOT appear on camera, even if they don’t mention their name or their company. Supposedly, their “image” cannot be on any tour. I’ve been in many fights over the “interpretation” of their supposed rules, but I lost. The tour will be pulled down if an agent appears on camera. In Massachusetts, I do them all the time and never had an issue.

    So it’s best to check, read the rules, reread the rules, then read between the lines. Then be prepared for possible problems!

  • @Heath & Fred- Thanks for your excellent insights!

  • I feel Heath brings up a great point. And like Fred said, many MLS’s don’t allow agents in the video. So back to Heath. There’s a fine line with an agent “pushing” the property and an agent “adding value” to the video. I find it often distracting to be lead around the home by the agent all gussied up telling me there’s stainless steel appliances when I can see them. On the flip side, Julie does a wonderful job and it never feels as if she’s selling herself. She’s informative and knowledgeable and adds tons of value to her videos. If the videos about the home, don’t let the agent take it over.

  • We feel that the ultimate real estate videos are about the buyers and how the home fits into their lives. Start talking about appliances and viewers drop off quickly. If you look at my videos you can tell the ones where I wrote the script. Most are under 100 words and it is only really important stuff.

  • If I see another running tap, I’m going to scream!
    We all know we are watching video, as opposed to stills.
    Do we consider the viewer is that stupid, and this rather obvious point need reinforcing but to the ridiculous level?
    Or you’ve seen it in the guy’s video, and thought it was the done thing to do?

    Consider using some other motion in that scene, and do the rest of us a BIG favor.

  • Harold, I think for those who do what is erroneously called “cinematic real estate video” (for what reason I do not know) this is one of the few things that can actually make it look like a video as opposed to a Ken Burns style effect of moving over a still photo. That’s really all they are doing is moving 2 feet to the left and 2 feet to the right with these sliders. Making water run is just reinforcing that it’s really a video I guess. Running water, doors opening, and fans. And don’t forget that rack focus on the flower vase. Go figure.

  • Personally, I find the glossy, over produced, cheesy-music videos yawn inducing. They don’t feel real. They feel like a sell-job. Of course that’s the purpose, but most people these days don’t want to be sold. They want authentic connection. That’s why I like Julie’s videos. Because they aren’t slick, and neither is she. They are authentic, they show the house as it would be if the viewer were walking through it. They are real. That’s what makes them work for real people. Just my $0.02 (and I’m not an agent)

  • […] originally posted by Larry Lohrman on his Photography for Real Estate blog on March 30th, […]

  • +1 Beth.

    Most home buyers would relate more to the the Julie videos (which in turn becomes more credible) than these glossy over-produced PlatinumHD style products.
    Every market segment has their own look, but gotta call a spade a spade.

    Viewers can also do without the commentary that never shuts up.
    One cliche after another.
    At least you can turn the volume down and watch the pictures without the verbal diarrhea hard sell.
    I only wish they would have a full mix on the left track, and music only on the right track.
    Then you could listen to their music selection at least.

  • Hey there everyone .. I am a solo videographer and video editor in Australia (Brisbane) and have recently been producing real estate videos down under. Super exciting times as there seems to be a whole lot of run-of-the-mill stuff out there which means plenty of room to pioneer and create some really special and unique productions i.e. stand out from the rest.

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