May 1st, 2016
…the main question on everyone lips is “How long should a real estate video be?” followed by “my brother in law (or fill in the relationship) says no online video should be longer than ___ (fill in the blank)” but the usual opinion is around 2 minutes. I am assuming they have read the generic and assessments that no one will watch a video that is longer than 2 minutes without any further examination of what and why. I think that for a cold contact stumbling on a video on YouTube that is probably correct …
I offer my own opinion. That is if someone is searching for a topic they are especially interested in, they will watch as long as you keep them interested and it does not matter how long the video is (within reason) as long as their interest is maintained. Pad it out and you will loose them. Leave out too much or go too quickly and they will be frustrated because they want to see more and have time to be able to absorb it. And I would think that if someone is thinking about shelling out millions, they will want to see more rather than less and then be able to show it to a spouse, family and friends to get their reactions. That is if they are a potential buyer. Now the seller wants to see all their favorite rooms, kitchen, guest houses, barns, groves, trees, gardens with those imported Italian fountains and so on. They want to feel proud and have their baby look like what they spent for it.
But what statistics are there that back any of this up? I found one site that bases such an argument on their site logs statistics, the only one that does not seem to be an opinion based on opinion. Do you have any more? Say other well-established video production people who have a track record based on statistics? It is easy to make a long rambling video but really tough to make a short one that is not a railroad track of 1-second jolting cuts. Fine for the young that have attention span issues but for adults not so good. This is the one I found. Too bad the videos on which it seems to be based are mostly shot with iPhones and ham voiced realtors doing their own narration. Still even that seems to work.
Over the years, we have talked about the property video length and generally come to similar conclusions that you have. Many people will argue that there is a specific maximum length around 2 or 3 minutes. But the top videographers always point out that the purpose of a property video is to engage the viewer emotionally. That’s what video is good at. So if you engage the viewer emotionally and keep them interested the length is not an issue.
The example I always come back to is one of my very favorite property videos of all time. This video by Brett Clements and crew at Platinumhd.tv and it won the 2008 Australian Property Video of the year award. Several things stand out to me that make this video so strong. It is extremely engaging. And the personality playing in it (Kristine Lehmann, the listing agent) is outstanding. The shooting and editing is extremely creative. The length of this video is 4:44. Does anyone think this video is too long?
So, Peter, I’m with you! For the vast majority of property videos, 2 or 3 minutes is all I can take but, when the video is emotionally engaging, whatever the reason, the length of the video is not an issue!