Why Use Video For Real Estate?

September 7th, 2011

This is one of the best pitches for using real estate video that I’ve seen. Thanks to Brett Clements for putting it together and passing it on to us.

Well over 80 percent of all real estate leads and sales come from the Internet. And video is playing an ever increasing part in driving those sales. Chris Gilmour, from All Properties Group, is one of a new breed of property professionals – tapping into a market of more than two billion viewers a day, and using video to market and sell property. In this piece, one of the State’s best agent coaches, Glenn Twiddle, gives us an insight into the secret formula of video and social media.

Share this

19 Responses to “Why Use Video For Real Estate?”

  • Great video. Thanks for posting this. Although video doesn’t help with SEO rankings, it is a great way to interact with potential clients and generate leads…

  • Larry I agree 100%. Great video, it’s all true and it’s all important for brokers who want to be in business in 5 years.

  • While I do think the world is revolving faster than it used to, the mediums to aid property sales must be reasonably priced or the majority of agents will run away screaming, unless we are only talking about high-end properties.
    It’s true that newspapers are dying and print ad sales are falling but for the time being, am I keeping my head firmly buried in the sand to think that simple still photos are losing their footing with regards to making an actual career out of carefully executed photographs?
    I do have a client that is only interested in photographers who can provide virtual tours so that must be a clue. After all, a virtual tour is just a video by another name: Lots of still photos stitched together and presented in moving form.

  • Awesome job. I have been trying to think of a way to do something similar to this, putting it out there that agents who want to be tops are not doing these things they will be extinct. This makes the point very well. Nice job.

  • Great job! Would be curious to see if agents picked up and started using video because of what they see here. My experience has been that it’s very much black and white. Either they ‘get it’ or they don’t. You can talk to those who “don’t” for 2 hours beating the drum and selling the merits of video… and they still don’t get it. They just don’t.

    It’s all so obvious to me and to those who use video – it’s such a no brainer, yet so many just can’t quite get it….

  • This is not always true. It really depends on the RE market you work on. For example it’s worthless to invest on video when you work on a RE market where 10% of the people cannot read and only a small fraction has access and use a computer and even less use internet.
    The tools must be used accordingly to the market.
    And this kind of video can be only used on high end properties otherwise the investment doesn’t have it’s return. But luxury RE is just a very small fraction of the whole market. The most sold thing in RE are small apartments. Imagine contracting platinumHD to shoot a video of an average house with just a bedroom and a living room. It doesn’t even make sense.
    Sure video is really great but it’s a niche in the majority of the markets.
    If you do more then average or different, like video, then you will be noticed.

  • So. You all go home at night and watch photographic slide shows on your monitors? Gimme a break guys. Pedro. If half your market can’t read, I’d suggest they won’t be reading copy in print mags. I bet they all have mobile phones (and smart ones at that) And they’re all watching TV. They have to be connected somewhere, otherwise you couldn’t measure ’em.
    And by 2015, the main entry point to the Internet will be those big wide screen TVs – stamped Made in China.
    Video ain’t a niche. Its been the dominant media of the 20th and 21st Centuries.
    Combine it with the atomic bomb of communication that is the Internet, and you have one killer app.
    That light at the end of the tunnel isn’t hope. Its a train.
    Analogue is dead. It just hasn’t been buried yet.

  • Be careful when you are looking at video view numbers from a business perspective. Video viewing has seen a huge jump with mobile devices (tablets and smartphones) accessing video sites. Many of these video users are watching TV shows (cable companies have seen a noticable drop in subscriptions over the last year) and movies on the small screen. That doesn’t automatically translate into more views of infomercial type videos which is what we’re talking about here. Check out this Pew study although couple of years old you can still see the trending (note that real estate videos fall into the commercial category): Also, I agree with other comments made that based on cost of a professionally done video and property type using video as part of the marketing mix only fits a small segment of the market. And the type of video Brett is doing is an infomercial where he is pitching the property and not a traditional property video using pictures and music. Not everyone can be a successful pitchman, so my suggestion is spend advertising dollars based on resources, cost and target audience and not because someone says videos are the hot new thing.

  • +1 Michelle

    There is plenty of room in the market for both still and video, and how someone can say ‘Analogue is dead’ so matter of factly is beyond me

  • Interesting to see the different points of view. I’m of the belief lifestyle videos for real estate will be important along with still photography. Right now I see most realtors “walls, floors, and doors”. Looking at the marketing they do shows a lot of those basic “house” features. Walls, floors, and doors are important, however, a loft in downtown LA compared to a loft on the ocean in Santa Monica may look almost identical but the lifestyle is totally different. Still photography doesn’t show the lifestyle as well as video. For highly competitive markets I believe video it is going to be a real difference maker.

    Walk through videos for me aren’t successful. Still photos allow the potential buyer to see the type fixtures, the type of flooring, etc.. I just haven’t seen a walk through video where I get the same level of detail a still photo provides so I certainly don’t see video taking over I see it being added to the marketing some agents do.

  • People who don’t have access to the internet are not likely buying homes either and even people who are on food stamps have iphones and ipads and lap tops etc, as messed up as it sounds even the lower part of the economy has access to all the latest gadgets. Lots of them are broke because they have things like this they can not afford.

    “Detail” Are you kidding? Unless you are shoot these real estate photos for a designer and they want detail shots no way can you even say you can see more detail in a still of a room then in some videos. I am in so tight on fixtures,tiles etc with my 50mm in some shots you can see dust in the air and no way you can say you see that detail in a image unless as I stated before its a detail shot and you don’t use those for mls that I am aware of.

  • Clearly video is a growing market, and is more easily embraced by the top realtors than the middle of the road ones. I beleive there to be several resons for that. Top realtors have more resources, and are used to spending more in marketing. They usually offer higher priced listings, and – they like promoting themselves as in being on TV. It’s an ego thing. A guy jumping around on a trampoline is not going to compel somebody to buy a house. However, it can be a great marketing to for the realtor himself and his/her branding efforts.

    In increasing issue in the market place is home sellers getting tired of the agent highliting themsleves more that the property they are retained to sell. We all know why, but the home owners get frustrated because they see an ad that says nothing about the actual house, only an agent that is looking for the next listing before having sold their house. Here, a well made video can make a significant difference, if the focus is on the home, not on the agent.

    Embracing video is great, however thinking that any video is better than non, would be a mistake as I see it. Partly because once you are on “TV” (or the net), your content is being compared to the production values of commercial TV. A poorly produced , or cheesy-looking video is NOT beneficial for the client, the property, or you.

    I beleive that if you are going to offer video, you really need to produce a super-high quality and engaging (imaging, sound and editing) product that rivals commercial quality, or it will detract from the property. It’s all based on viewer expectations.

    One other point. I think there are some misconception about the importance of the number of “views” a video gets. Views do not equate to sales, especailly on social media sites. Online video viewing is more about entertainment, than about buying. While it is true, that there are a fever people looking through real estate print ads, they are there looking for real estate! I was in the market for a house, would I go to you to to start looking at every video on there? No. However, an ad that catches my attention with a link to a video, certainly I would.

    When Brett says that “analogue is dead”, I don’t think he refers to film, as much as non-video. That, I would disagree with, as there is room for both still imaging as well as video. They are different mediums, that’s all.

    I do beleive however, that if you are going to offer it, you had better do a really great job. Yo can get away with a “decent” picture at times, but with video people have much higher production value expectations.

    my 2 cents

  • I agree with George. I suspect there will be a long-term place for videos with high production values for high end real estate, or to market the most aggressive agents. However, I have to wonder about the long term potential for run-of-the mill video for real estate. Will it just turn out to be a fad like mediocre 360 panoramas were for a while?

  • There are a lot of misconceptions out there, and I can tell you absolutely, positively… THEY ARE NOT TRUE!

    1) Video is only for high end properties.

    Wrong, wrong, wrong. Totally wrong. My bread and butter business are very average homes in the $300K+ range, and often times lower. In fact, two days ago I did a video on a gross and stinky boarding house and a store front church for a commercial broker. I have done two mobile homes under $80K. Hardly high end. Yesterday I did a home that nearly made me gag it was so filthy. Two hours later, I did an $8M home. A week prior, I did a $16M home. Smart agents know it’s not about PRICE. It’s not about how much they’ll “clear” after they receive their commission for a specific house. It’s not about whether the house will or won’t sell. It’s about their BRAND. They know video gets buyers in the door and they know video gets them more listings. Always. THEY KNOW IT. I’m shooting a minimum of 3-4 videos every single day, and oftentimes upwards of 8 or 9. Trust me, most are hardly high end! I’m just shooting them for smart, successful agents who know how to market and run their business. Simple as that. And they use video over and over and over and over. I do know for a fact it’s not because they like to spend their money unwisely!

    2) Video can’t show detail

    Wrong. At 30 frames per second, video can show TONS of detail and so much more than static photos can show. You just need to point your camera in the right direction! And if you narrate the video, you can have TONS more information than is available through the MLS description… about the home, the town, the neighborhood… The difference in information obtained from still photos vs. video is staggering.

    3) Photos are dead

    Wrong. Photos will NEVER be dead. The last thing a buyer looks at is the video. The FIRST thing they look at are the photos. If they like the photos, they watch the video, which is effectively their “first showing”. If they like the video, they go in person. Effectively their “second showing”, which is why it works. Qualified, serious buyers – not looky-loos and nosey neighbors. They watched the video!

    4) Viewing numbers matter

    Wrong. This is a sales business, it’s not entertainment. What matters are the QUALITY of those views, not the number of views. I had a long discussion on the phone two days ago with Wes Moore of He mentioned that nobody ever asks him about ‘stats’… how long people watch a video, how many people watch a video, etc. And yet, so many people who DON’T use video obsess over stats and numbers and use those stats as a basis for determining whether or not to use video.

    I was speaking about real estate video at the Inman Real Estate conference several years ago in San Francisco, and a bunch of people in the audience were questioning me on stats, etc. I said that I had no idea about stats, because at that time, not one person had ever asked! Fast forward to today, I can tell you out of literally THOUSANDS of videos I’ve produced for Realtors, I have not been asked about stats even ONCE. NEVER. Not by one customer.

    That experience, plus Wes’ experience tells me one thing very clearly: The people who use video KNOW it works. They get tangible, REAL results, be it selling the home, getting a new listing, getting a new customer, etc. They don’t need “stats” to tell them that it’s working. They don’t need “stats” to tell them they made a brilliant marketing decision. THEY KNOW.

    I’m leaving on vacation tomorrow, and I cannot tell you how many of my customers are postponing putting listings on the market until I return. They WILL NOT put a listing on without using me – ANY listing. If they didn’t have a strong belief that video works, they’d put it on and maybe throw a video on when I get back. Or maybe not. They believe THAT strongly in video marketing they wouldn’t think of putting their brand out there without my photos and video.

    That says a lot. And I’ll be wicked busy when I get back!

  • […] recent post in Photography For Real Estate addresses this […]

  • We made the switch from photos to video and recently shot our first paid job. Photography went belly-up 5 months ago – realtors can shoot/edit/upload their own photos but video is a whole new ballgame. Most realtors/brokers don’t know a Lavalier from a lens cap and couldn’t care less – they prefer to leave that to us. I truly believe the trick to producing good RE videos is creating a unique style of your own that sets you apart from the others. The rest will take care of itself.

  • Here’s a previous post about an agent using professional videos for his listings which average around $200,000? Not exactly high price homes.

  • Good, solid discussion points Fred. Analogue is dead. The greatest innovation in print in the last two centuries has been…colour. Wow! That’s awesome guys.

  • The days of the passive realtor are gone. What Brett is doing and how they are helping develop the “new realtor” is truly inspiring.

Trackback URI Comments RSS

Leave a Reply