This Week In Real Estate Video #93 – Video, Video, Video in 2014

January 17th, 2014

VideoVideoVideoCharlie Dresen, in Steamboat, CO sent me a video one of his recent new listings yesterday. Charlie is one of only a handful of listing agents that can shoot their own listings like this. Great listing and great video presentation of the listing! Along with the video Charlie told me the story of what is going on in his office in Steamboat that illustrates the growing market for property video:

Our Prudential office in Steamboat elected to become a Sotheby’s office. This transition occurred the first of the year. And during this transition, the VP of Marketing at Sotheby’s International Realty came and gave us a presentation. It’s was a great presentation on market share, exposure, brand, etc. Sotheby’s goes the extra step to gain exposure. And they are all about great images and stunning online exposure. They have a lot of exclusive rights to advertise with Wall St. Journal, NY Times, and countless international sites and publications. It’s impressive to say the least. But the final slide in her presentation, the one take-away that she was saving to make sure we, as agents, knew what was important for 2014 was this: VIDEO, VIDEO, VIDEO.

I know the majority of the agents in the room were not thrilled with that closing statement. It’s like telling these agents to learn to speak Spanish. I know they understand why, but video is not that easy. Those in the industry know that it’s much easier these days than it was 10, or even 5 years ago. But for agents, who are a little technological challenged, it’s almost impossible. Thus, all you shooters out there who have yet to jump into video, now is the time.

I could not have been more thrilled with her statement. But I was an anomaly in the room. I’ve been doing video for years. In my small town, we don’t really have anyone that makes decent real estate videos so I’m sure all the agents are left wondering what to do. Many approached me after that meeting wanting to get together and talk… In my opinion, the more the public is educated on the importance of the use of video to sell real estate, the more they will demand it. And those agents that use video regularly will only prosper. So a huge thanks to Sotheby’s International Realty for spreading the word on video.

What a great story! Thanks Charlie!

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31 Responses to “This Week In Real Estate Video #93 – Video, Video, Video in 2014”

  • this is a fantastic piece. now, how does one get started producing a quality video for a property? most ‘virtual tours’ in our market place are stitched still shots. kinda yucky at this stage of the real estate game. and i’m not sold on the ‘i have an iphone so i can take / upload great video and still photos for my listing’ which is also very widespread in my market place.

  • Great video Charlie! Being that you’re the realtor this style of video is something you can afford 🙂 but most realtors are not going to buck up for something like this which I’m sure is making you very popular in the office and in town. I shoot a lot of video and know how much time goes into them and this one has an exceptional amount of time involved in it and it shows. Love the people interaction part the best with narration! May the listings continue to flow in for you and thanks for the part about the VP presentation as that only solidifies even more how powerful video is in this field!

  • Charlie, the video is well done.

    The quality of the video makes it harder to play the devil’s advocate, but I’m going to anyway. The first thing the VP needs to follow up with after chanting “VIDEO, VIDEO, VIDEO” is “MARKET DATA, MARKET DATA, MARKET DATA. Video has been promoted for years now as the ultimate tool in selling a home so there should be some properly conducted studies to show how well it works in various market segments. Just an executive’s “gut feeling” that it’s do or die or that THIS is THE year isn’t data. We’ve seen stories here where a good video has played a large role in selling a home, but there is a definitely a price point below where the return on investment is too low and agents/brokers aren’t going to risk their own money. I’ll wager that given the quality of design that this home has and it’s location it is offered at a selling price well above $1 million dollars. In most regions across the US, agents and brokers are often not willing to use professional still photography, if they consider video at all, they will be using their camera phones to shoot that as well. It would be very handy to have a reputable third party conduct a well planned study of how well video works in selling a home. I have seen anecdotal postings that good videos can sometimes sell an agent to a seller, but very little on how a video made the sale.

    Technology has blazed forward to the point where a small camcorder can record video at the level that professional gear was at 20 years ago. I won’t concede any closer date as quality lenses are not found on camcorders and were on past professional cameras. The investment required to buy the hardware to shoot, edit and distribute video is just a fraction of what it once was. The knife cuts both ways on the lower cost. The barrier to entry is much lower and it is much cheaper and easier to produce lousy video as well as high quality work. The one thing that hasn’t changed at all is the artistic aspect. Some people have the ability develop a concept, break it down into the steps needed to deliver a quality product and execute, but this is a talent that only a few people have. I work in still photography as well as video production (audio) and have great respect for good directors and producers. I have worked with several directors that thought “they were all that” and weren’t. The quality of the gear didn’t make any difference. In the “old” days, they wouldn’t have been in the business due to the cost of the gear and the fact that they aren’t good enough to generate enough profit to pay for it.

    Rather than suggest that all still photographers adopt video or book their cemetery plot now, I would say that those that have the inclination try it out and get some honest feedback on their work and those that aren’t interested to form relationships with local videographers to partner with on jobs. Still photography at the professional level takes a large investment in equipment and training. Adding the extra cost of gear and education to also do video could break the bank and turn a profitable year into scary balances left on the credit cards before the holiday season. While most current DSLR cameras will shoot HD video, some informative postings on the Flickr forum reminded me of the added computer costs. Working from just one nicely outfitted computer is no longer an option. Processing, editing and transcoding video takes a heavy amount of computing power and we all know that trying to do anything on a computer that is already bogged down doing something else is frustrating. So, just being able to use the same camera body and lenses only covers half of the process. The new Power Macs start at $3k and a comparably equipped windows PC isn’t going to be much cheaper. It will take more than one and some fast storage. Lots of storage if you want hold on to the raw footage for any length of time. Forget “cloud” storage and backup. With the prices one will be able to get agents and brokers to pay, it isn’t cost effective.

    The most basic business questions needs to be answered before video services are added to your business. Are there customers will to buy the service and are they willing to pay enough for the service to make it worth the investment of time and money?

  • very good video – I just came from a meeting with Sotheby’s here in Sarasota FL and it was the same Video, Video and more Video chant

  • I would suggest that at least 50% of the videos are stopped mid stream or at some point. I would also suggest that at least 90% plus of virtual photo tours are watched in there entirety. To do a 3 second pan of a running faucet or a bath tub or FR fireplace is a complete waste of the potential buyers time.

    Don’t look at it through your creative eyes but through the eyes of a true buyer. They want to see what will reinforce their desire to see the property. Sometimes life style vids work, but on the high end properties, do you think a high net worth person is going to be enticed by a life style video, I rather doubt it.

  • @Ken – I don’t think anyone claims that the video alone sells a home. This is a topic that has been debated on many of Larry’s posts. It gives them an added value to acquire listings as you also noted. It gives them video content on their website which is extremely powerful for SEO (Search engine optimization) and it shows their clients they are 100% committed to selling their home by spending money to get the job done. It brands them and gives them an extremely large presence on the web. It gives them more content on social media as everyone loves to watch video….not slideshows. Here are some statistics. One of my best clients uses google analytics to track all traffic on his website. In his first year of using video he was amazed to learn that 60% of all pages visited on his site in the year was watching his videos. That number is huge and the more he does, the higher that stat will climb. Whether it’s video, or photos, or brochures, or home magazines, they are all marketing tools and the more of them you use, the more likely you are to getting the home exposed. If you cover all your bases, you increase your chances of making a sale, so it doesn’t matter which of those avenues results in the sale as they all contribute. We as photographers and new videographers increase our chances of getting more work by adopting this new trade as it’s directly related to what we are doing. If you don’t offer it, or have a partner in crime that does, you will only start to turn more and more potential work away and when the competition offers both, well it’s simple math.
    You’re right, it’s a significant investment to get going in video but like any business, things change and in the technology field that change is at an accelerated rate. It’s the same as the writer back in the day that was resistant to the first computer or the advertiser that used newspaper and then TV came out. They all were resistant to change, but eventually they have to get with the times or get left behind.

    @Dave – It’s not about when the video is stopped, it’s about having the video there period. Your second “suggestion” is that “at least 90% of virtual photo tours are watched in there entirety”. I’m guessing you don’t do video, but do put together a slideshow and call it a video? Here’s my suggestion, 90% of agents can make their own slideshows using a number of free applications. Please explain, what is a “true buyer”? Real estate videos are used as a way of taking the “high net worth buyer” to the home without them actually having to leave their office. The lifestyle shows them more than the home. If you were buying a home in Vancouver BC as your employment has transferred you there and you have never been there before, wouldn’t you want to know and see more about what is in the immediate area surrounding a home you’re considering buying? Or would you rather read lines of text about it and then google each and every note and spend hours looking at the attractions? I would suggest not.

  • Great video Charlie!

    @Dave
    Its more than just the actual video for the “lifestyle” videos, its the audio and narration that when combined with the actual video footage provides a potential buyer more information that photos simply cant.

    While your 50% suggestion might be valid on the simple pan/slide left, pan/slide right videos that in all honesty are no better than a kens burns effect on photos (and offer no additional information). I find the videos that Larry posts from guys like Charlie, or Matt from a few weeks ago (and Ladies…like Malia) bring all the above elements together….and that is no easy task. You are comparing apples to oranges IMO.

    Unfortunately I find that alot of people who have no clue how to even begin shooting video come up with crazy stats and suggestions to make themselves feel better about the technology that is passing them by.

    I processed 15 videos this past week and am working on 4 more from today. Im guessing that the agents I work for wouldn’t be ordering video on every listing (even 800 square foot condos) if they didnt feel that video, in addition to photos, was helping them sell. Dont forget that the cost for video comes out of the agents commission and agents dont like to throw money away unless it benefits them.

  • Great video. Good use of story telling, imagery and music. However, I noticed the view count on YouTube at 61. (And I am guessing that a few of those views area from this blog) This made me wonder if the production and effort of this video may exceed the audience value?

    From reading this blog over the last 6 months,I think Malia may have hit a sweet spot with her speed and style of video walkthroughs?

  • I got into video back in 1983 using a VHS camera and portable VHS recorder. I have some videos of family and friends and it’s a joy to watch them. Video is so much nicer and easier to do today than it was 30 years ago and as nice as it is it’s the still image that holds the visual power. My Sony SLT a65 can make out standing video but I hardly use it. Three years ago I gave up watching TV and went back to the old fashion radio because the pictures are better!

  • I just completed a database of 300 agents in the mountain west of Denver, including Steamboat. Only seven used video to sell a house and three quarters shot their own stills, many of which were poor quality. If video becomes more common in real estate I hope agents will consider outsourcing to a professional rather than using their phone. No video is better than bad video which is worse than a bad broker photo.

  • Great presentation Charlie and plenty of ‘feature equals benefit’ in the voice over.

    In reference to a few of the comments above, in our experience, selling a property using video as part of an overall marketing strategy has nothing to do with how many views you get, whether it goes ‘viral’ or ‘audience retention percentages’.

    Yes, YouTube partners aim to get the highest number of views possible – that’s how they get paid. More views = more money.

    We only need ONE buyer for a home.

    Since we started using video we have recognized a marked increase in the QUALITY of inquiries from potential buyers. Video allows buyers to screen themselves from properties that don’t suit them.

    Our marketing strategy is to deliver as much information as possible to potential buyers and video is the most powerful medium to achieve that aim. It’s television advertising versus print.

    However, we still highly value the quality of our photography and believe that pro real estate photogs should not feel threatened by video. Video is often the last piece of marketing potential buyers see – if they are not impressed by the photos, they won’t bother with the video. We are very fortunate to have found an excellent photographer who charges more but always delivers the goods, is reliable and treats our sellers and their properties with respect – I think in the old days they called this service:)

    Far be it for me to encourage my competition to embrace video but if agents are genuinely interested in helping their sellers (whether it’s a 150k apartment or a multi million dollar home) get the best price possible in the shortest possible time, then video is the way to go.

  • Great job Charlie, as always. You always knock it out of the park!

    If you look at threads like this over many years, the same song is played over and over again. And it’s true for both Realtors and photographers.

    Either you “get” it or you don’t. It’s not about “views”, “stats”, or “retention”. Those are terms that agents and photographers who DON’T shoot video like to throw around to feel better about not utilizing this medium.

    I’ve said this a million times before, but it’s worth repeating as THESE are stats that actually matter:

    I’ve shot thousands of homes over the past 8+ years. Over 600 videos just last year. Nearly 100% of my clients are repeat customers. 100%. Seriously. Many, many of them do most (if not all) of their listings with me ….AND with video. From garden style, unfurnished condos for $99K to $20M estates. Pricing ranges from $250-$400++ JUST for the video on top of the photography.

    We all know how most agents are tight with their marketing money, so my guess is that if video was NOT beneficial to them in some respect, they might try it once and then not again. But they don’t. The only people who have done video once were 1) FORCED into it by a seller who demanded it or 2) they were desperately pulling at straws trying to figure out a way to get a nearly expired listing to re-list with THEM.

    The many benefits to video is what makes it work: Great SEO, sellers LOVE it, buyers LOVE it, it’s the magic listing tool (especially important today with low inventory – everyone is beating each other up for listings), it’s great branding which sets you apart from all of your competitors, it works even after the home is sold since it’s still online, it can sell the community and neighborhood as well as the home, it offers FAR more information than still photos ever could…. and I could go on and on….. And keep in mind, nobody (especially me) will ever say that video will replace or is better option than still photos. It’s not – it’s an ADDITIONAL marketing opportunity that is unique and offers FAR more value to an agent than most anything else they can do, since so few people are doing video in most markets.

    But the one constant I’ve noticed since I started doing this: Either people “get it” or they do not. I can spend 2 hours telling someone WHY they should use video for their marketing, and it is almost always a complete waste of my time. And for this reason, I have done absolutely NO marketing for my business over the past 6 years. Nothing. And my phone rings off the hook daily – for video.

    The stats that actually matter are when agents get immediate, positive (and usually gushing) feedback from their sellers, their seller’s friends and other agents. The stat that matters is when the neighbor calls to list their house with THEM because of the video they did down the street that wowed them…. when a buyer shows up for a first showing TO WRITE AN OFFER after they do a quick run around the house to make sure it looks like it did in the video, when an agent can close a deal with a couple when the husband is out of town and the wife can show him the video and get approval without ever seeing the home in person, when someone from overseas buys a house sight unseen specifically from the video, when a buyer calls an agent and purchases a $1.5M house from HIM after being on another agent’s website because he had information on his video on the community and neighborhood and nobody else did, and I could literally go on and on…..

    The best part about video? I have very little competition in my market doing video, as do my clients. Their business has skyrocketed as a result of using video, and they KNOW it. So, I think collectively we’re all a bit thrilled that most people don’t get it…. 🙂 More business for us!

  • I am also a active real estate broker. Our small company did over 22% of the transactions in our area. We are embracing what ever technology is available to us video included. At the end of the day videos, web sites, photos, ads, etc. are just tools to make contact with the potential buyer. Personally I think one drop dead killer photo of a property does more than anything to stimulate a buyer response.

    That has been our experience, that said we are now integrating drone shots and video flyovers.

    Love the flowing dialog. Keep it up.

  • So many great points here.

    @ Ken – I hear ya. And I wish I saw that data. But I personally know video works. I have had lower-end properties sell for more based on the video. IMO – Sotheby’s know it’s only a matter of time before each seller will start to demand video. Why wouldn’t they if they read somewhere saying their home will sell if a video is used. That’s not always a reality. But if the perception is there, they will list their home with an agent that uses video. And like Fred says, that’s another listing for that agent. So if Sotheby’s agents start to use video, Sotheby’s agents will get more listings.
    Matt really summed it up well so I won’t repeat those facts. And like Fred always states, his business is booming and he’s never looked back.

    @ Greg – I use another video player that’s non-branded to host and play my videos on other sites. So you’re just seeing one Youtube channel, not the entire plays for that video. And like Sharon said, “just takes one buyer.”

    So many great points here but what resonates with me is this – video is just another tool to increase exposure. Both to the property and to the listing agent. As video becomes more prevalent, which it is every year, just ask yourself this question: If you were selling a home and you could choose between 2 great agents, one that uses video and one that doesn’t, which would you choose?

  • Just wondering what equipment most people are using for video. I am just starting to get into video and shooting with a Canon 5D Mark II. Torn between a Canon 5D Mark III or a
    CANON XA20 HD Professional Camcorder.
    Any suggestions?

  • Faantastic job Charlie! I love the hand held shots. I haven’t experimented that much with it but you pull it off very well.

    I am a Realtor and I shoot my own video. I see comments that say buyer’s dont care about running faucets or dont watch the whole video. That is clearly not the attitude of a salesperson and I know this is primarily photographers who are NOT sales people, so let me break it down for you.

    1. There is one thing that sells a house and that is the price. The sexiest marketing on the planet will not sell an overpriced house and the house with the worst marketing ever will sell with a correct pricing strategy.

    2. If a buyer is seeking info or the feel for the house all they need is a shaky walk through with an iphone. The fancy video might peek their interest but who cares * see #1

    3. Personally as a listing agent I don’t care if a buyer ever sees my video or what the buyer thinks about it or how long they watch it (again see #1) I want a sexy video for one reason and one reason only. That reason is very simple: A seller (doesn’t always understand #1) will see a video and want that sort of marketing for his property. That leads to more listings. The End

    Many non sales people or agents disagree with this. They also think that the agent narrated video is all about the agents ego and unnecessary. To that answer: The video is really a commercial about the agent disguised as a property video. The seller “gets to know” the agent just a little and they know who to call when they want a video. In my opinion a property video without an agent is almost a total waste of time. The agent may get credit and pick up listings because the video is attached to his marketing but trust me: he will get more if he is in the video. AND its not about ego even though many here will disagree. Like I said, agent commercial disguised as a property video gets more listings and that is name of the game. Its not about floor plans, buyers or data. It is about getting more listings and that my friends is called “selling”. If you want data and floor pans just walk through or save yourself some time and learn how to price a listing.

  • I loved all the comments on this post, but I think Jason’s is the winner. Our job isn’t to sell a home. It’s to sell the agent. And that’s okay, because we can still nurture our artistic side with great presentation, but realize that what’s important is bringing more listings to our client. I personally think that’s the difference between Realtors who “get it” and those who don’t. The ones who get it understand that marketing is about long term success and really has little to do with the home being sold at that moment.

  • Good listing agents know that the marketing you do for THIS listing is really about the NEXT listing.

  • Not only do I market the videos to the agents but to the home owners. When they start seeing the videos it’s a no brainer that they are going to want to use that agent. People want the fanciest and latest thing to help their home sell and Charlie said it best, if you can choose between two agents, one that does video and one that doesn’t it could be the deciding factor for them. As I’ve said before, my agents tell me time and time again, when in a listing appointment they get to the point when they pull out the iPad and show a video to the client and that’s when they say they’ve seen enough and sign the contract. That’s not a load of bull, it’s absolutely the truth.

    One very important thing to remember is the term “video” is used quite loosely on here. Not just any video will do to attract more business for us the shooters and the realtors, they have to be professionally done and like Jason said “sexy”. I completely agree that the agent being in the video is AWESOME as it kills two birds with one stone. Markets the house and the agent and I don’t think it’s an ego thing at all. I encourage it, but of course there is more time required therefore more cost involved and that is a hard sell.

    Bottom line for me and most of the professionals on this site is we know video is here to stay and this is only the beginning of where it’s going. We are only limited by our creative talents and/or our closed minds. I can only imagine what real estate marketing is going to be like 10 years from now! The iPhone will probably have a built in cinema 4K camera but regardless, video will still be a huge part of this industry.

  • @Ken – “Video has been promoted for years now as the ultimate tool in selling a home so there should be some properly conducted studies to show how well it works in various market segments.” I greatly appreciate your sober reminder to attempt to justify jumping on what may be a ‘bandwagon.’ I’d take it as a ‘red flag’ if no such studies exist.

    @Matt – “I don’t think anyone claims that the video alone sells a home.” And this includes Ken, as he was rightfully calling for data-based decisions.

    @Charlie Dresen – “But I personally know video works.” No, you don’t–unless you’ve conducted a well-designed study which eliminates confounding factors.

  • Nice job on the video, Charlie, and I am impressed that an agent did it, because of the time involved in production of such a video. However, even with your evident talent, if you are a really ambitious agent, I’ll bet that you would rather pay someone else to do that for you and spend your time drumming up business, if you could find someone in your market to do it for you. Personally, I think that, with video, even fewer agents should consider doing it themselves than with still photography, no matter how good the technology gets. There is no way technology can compensate for lack of skill and talent.

    As for still photographers going into video for real estate, for many that might make sense if usage of video is becoming a lot more prevalent. However, if one is offering a premium quality still photography service for real estate, I would suggest caution about trying to offer video as well for each listing, considering the time and budget constraints of most real estate marketing. I would be concerned about compromising quality. However, that sort of thing tends to be a relatively small segment of the overall market.

  • Jason and Fred have hit the nail on the head. As an agent, I don’t really look at property videos as a way to sell the house. They probably help a bit, but I want the sexiest marketing materials on earth because I want to show them to my next potential listing client. I want to separate myself from other agents and even though buyers will likely care less about a shot of the kitchen sink running a seller who knows little of marketing is going to think “Wow! This guy is going to make my house look GREAT!”

    Anyone who says something like “a buyer is going to turn off the video halfway through” or “videos are not going to convince a buyer to buy” just doesn’t get it.

  • A few things to add after some thought about the above comments: I didn’t mean quality video and photos dont “help” increase perceived value and therefore assist in selling homes because everyone here knows it does. However my above statement about pricing still holds true. I have also sold a home “sight unseen” because of a video however thats going to happen so little that I think any data regarding that would be negligible. AND who is to say they wouldn’t have bought it “sight unseen” anyways.

    As far as the data concerning if video sells houses I still say no however, video works for me. By that I mean, I get more listings. So if someone did a study they should actually look at that. How many successful pieces of business (new listings) has video produced instead of how many houses it sold or for how much more do houses with video sell for.

    These are just some thoughts from an agent that loves video, appreciates high quality photography and specializes in representing sellers and taking and marketing listings. FYI isnt that who most of the professional photographer/videographers that read this blog should be targeting as potential clients? Buyer’s agents dont usually hire you guys.

    Also I have been a student of property video for nearly 3 years and Charlie is one of the best!

  • @Fred – Thanks for you comments. Do you have a feel (or hard data) for the property price above which more agents are more willing to use video? Even though you say that your customers are using video across the range, there must be some price point where the majority of your work is. What would you say are the percentage of listings with professional still photography on your local MLS? It might be a telling statistic to correlate how much video is being used with how many listings featuring higher quality stills. Maybe it will also be found that in a region where high quality stills are the norm, that more agents are turning to video as a way to “one up” their competition. I referenced comments you made on the Flikr forum about having enough computing HP in my original response here. You probably have some of the best business data lurking in your paperwork from the last year with as much experience as you have.

    I’m not convinced that Great SEO for a particular listing is relevant. Hopefully, the marketing will get the house sold before there is time to amass enough points to climb the rankings. If it improves the agent’s/broker’s standing, that’s another story. I know that buyers and sellers enjoy the videos. The ones that get posted here are a joy to watch. But, it all comes down to whether an agent feels that it is an effective marketing tool and will invest a fair amount of money to get it done. If they can convince the seller to put up the money, that’s the same thing as far as the video company is concerned.

    @Matt – I think you might be overestimating sellers when you say that they will insist on the latest marketing techniques, such as video, and choose one agent over another based on those offerings. In many areas such as mine, agents are using blurred, skewed, fuzzy and orange tinted pictures to market homes and those agents have most of the listings. They will also either use too few or too many photos in the listings and the sellers continue to go with them. Would you list with an agent selling homes that are posted with 3 horrible pictures and a sloppy description? He’s 2 blocks from my house and has a 4 or 5 listings right now and manages a stack of rentals. He also just moved in to newly built offices. Without running a careful count, I find that the majority of listings in my area are handled by the largest franchised offices. Coldwell Banker, Re/Max, Century 21 and Keller Williams make up about 95% of the listed properties with the independents handling the rest. Just from appearances, sellers are swayed more by the brand name of the office than the marketing. Since real estate sales have a very personal aspect to them, it may also be that the better agents join the more prominent offices to increase their reputation.

    I like well done real estate videos, I really do. But, to go forward into the business of creating those videos, I want to know a lot about what my costs will be and what percentage return on my investment is likely to be. My area may be the wrong place to try and set up a real estate video business at this time. I haven’t noticed any agents attempt and post their own videos and some of them are so lazy that they don’t get out of their car to take the one required exterior photo with their point and shoot (with the water drop deposits and smudges on the lens).

    From my understanding, Sotheby’s handles primarily the most expensive homes. With that level of product, their clientele is going to be international and have limited time to personally view properties. In fact, their property search is probably going to be handled by an assistant who will assemble a short list of properties to view and video is going to be required to make the list. The budget for marketing those homes will also be much larger than that of a common middle class home. The budget might even be a stated figure dedicated to marketing and not just monies risked by and payable by the listing agent up front.

    @Michael Cohen – Sounds like you get it. Slick marketing will get you more listings which gets you more sales which gets you more listings which gets you sales awards which gets you more listings. It also makes it easier for you to convince sellers to list with you. All you have to do it show them a nice hardcover photo book of your previous listings (really cheap to make these days, ask your photographer) and a couple of nice videos from your tablet and they’ll grab the pen and sign. Just leave the new Lotus in the garage when you go on sales calls.

  • Ken: In my market (the Boston area), I would say the bulk of my work is in the $400K-800K range. But I do less expensive and more expensive homes all the time. Many agents treat ALL of their clients the same, whether it be a $125K condo or a $10M house. That’s their BRAND. That’s what they DO. It’s not about price – it’s about how they market properties. I would say many homes over $400K have “acceptable” photography. Some is professional, others not so much, but it’s OK. But there are still a large number of million dollar homes with awful photos – just like everywhere else! But I’ve seen a trend towards pro photos and staging more and more as each year goes by, even in the low end of the range. More people are understanding they must do this in order to compete. 6 years ago I would go shoot many homes and they hardly would pick up their dirty laundry off the floor….

    I can honestly say the biggest booster of my video business is the super competitive nature of Realtors. In most markets, the top agents are most often vying for the same listings. When one of those agents starts using video, the other agents start losing a bigger share of those listings. Once they see why…. they’re on board with video. This was the playing field is at least “even”, everything else being equal. But they all need to come to the table offering video or they will LOSE. Once they start using video regularly, they see the benefits – almost more than any other type of marketing they can do. It’s still different enough that people tend to comment a lot on video.

    I started working for one agent in a fairly upscale neighborhood. After several months, she told me she received a call from another agent who was pissed, accusing her of “raising the bar so high that every agent would have to compete on that level and it wasn’t fair”. Seriously! (Realtors will sell their first born for a listing!) Fast forward a few years and I work with probably a half dozen of the top agents in that town and shoot homes there several times a week all year long.

    Good SEO is very relevant as videos stay online forever (unless someone asks that it be removed.) Agents get calls on old videos all the time! And basically if you Google an address the video shows up on page 1. Always. Same day it’s posted. And it usually shows up higher and faster than the actual MLS listing does. And of course it’s also branded with the agent contact info, which the MLS listing is not. One of my clients just got a listing the other day from a 6 year old video that someone had seen of a neighbor’s house. My YouTube channel as almost 1.4M views and 1,000 subscribers. People are definitely watching video!

  • @Ken
    I understand your point about figuring out all costs before deciding if its something that is worth doing in your area (or any area). What I can tell you is that you should spend a little more time researching the actual costs and what is actually needed to start in video….the key word here is “start”.

    In your our above post (way above) you claim that “The new Power Macs start at $3k and a comparably equipped windows PC isn’t going to be much cheaper. It will take more than one and some fast storage”.

    1. You dont need a power mac, not even close, to start in RE video. A PC with an i7 chip, 32 gigs of ram and a top range video card is more than enough. Having the proper Hard Drive setup for rendering as outlined by adobe helps a ton in render time.

    2. You absolutely dont need 2 computers. The above computer will easily render and allow you to even edit photos while waiting the 10 mins……

    Of course the computer I mentioned has other options but I can tell you it costs far less than 3k, less than 1/2 that.

    The Power Macs and the multiple computers are being used by those who are past the “starting” stage and already have regular Video buying customers (like Matt and Fred). Because of their workflow they are using a more expensive setup to assist in their daily output to meet deadlines etc.

    With these “lifestyle” videos, the computer that is used to edit/render doesnt make a great video, its the person that is behind the camera and their creativity. I remember Brett Clements using a Canon 5D Mark II years ago and his work was outstanding, he could probably use an iPhone and make magic.

    @Bob
    Stick with the Canon 5D Mark II while in the starting stage, its still a great camera for video. The main difference with the Mark III is in low light, it is substantially better, but you pay alot for this.

  • Quote of the Day by Fred Light, “Good listing agents know that the marketing you do for THIS listing is really about the NEXT listing.”

    Amen.

    Ethan

  • @Charlie,

    Great work as usual. Nice use of your jib/crane and sliders. (I would buy that house in a second.)

    Ethan

  • @ Bob & Ken – I use a Mk III and love it. I also use a 6 year old iMac purchased on Ebay with FCP 7 for around 1k. That’s what I edit on. Not big buck there at all.

    @ Gary – In my opinion, 1 verification is all I need to keep doing video. Read this blog about how well video works for this seller: http://activerain.com/blogsview/3410175/seller-nets-10-000-more-because-of-a-real-estate-video
    I also have another sale this summer attributed to video. I’m sold because those sellers think I walk on water and refer me all day long.

  • Thanks for you reply. You helped make a decision

  • I’m a giant real estate video advocate and very lucky to work in a market that supports it. First off, the production quality of this video is fantastic! The shots are beautiful all the way through. However, in my opinion, it is far too long. Yes, in a room full of real estate imaging junkies, it is going to pass with flying colors. And Im sure the home owner is thrilled with this product. And if this is the first lengthy video that a buyer is watching online they will likely make it to the end. But If it is the 10th, no way. Make this into a two minute video or less and you will leave buyers wanting more. The point is there is no need to make a video this long. I also found the background music distracting. Ending positively, I think real a state cinematographers can really learn a lot from the camera movements in this vid.

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