This Week In Real Estate Video #35 – Marketing The Best View on The Planet?

November 30th, 2012

World-Class Waterfront/View in Belvedere, CA: by Matt McCourtney. As you can see from the view shots this property is on San Francisco Bay just North of downtown San Francisco. I ran across this listing on the New York Times real estate site this morning. I think this is an interesting case study in property video because if there’s any property that deserves world class marketing and a breath taking video and stills, this is it! Here are some of my observations:

  1. The View: It’s not hard to figure out that this property is all about how you promote a $35M+ view! This property is one of the best view properties on the planet! The video clips that actually show the view are not bad. But for my taste too much reliance is put on stills of the view. The classic way to dramatize a view is a time-lapse that moves from daylight to sunset to night time. This view begs for some time-lapse sequences.
  2. The audio: I like the choice of music. But the audio of the listing agent and the home owner are poor quality and hard to understand in several places. My guess is that Matt used the mic built into his DSLR instead of lavalier microphones and independently recorded audio track.
  3. The Stills: I think the stills are generally well done but for my taste, the stills used as the primary exterior shot and the main view shots in the video are a bit over saturated. I understand that you want to grab attention but I think Matt goes to far.
  4. The Listing Agents website: Both Chrome and Safari on my on my machines alert that the listing agent’s website is infected with Malware… not an ideal situation. Fortunately the property site is independent of the brokers site.

I think this listing is an example of how to marketing a property like this is very technical and to do it well you need a team of experts. Much like the property in Orinda, CA that I did a post on over a year ago. It’s unusual that you can find one person that does great stills, great video and great time-lapse so you need a team of specialists. For me, the marketing on this property is OK but not breath taking as a $35M+ property with  one of the best views anywhere deserves!

What does everyone think? Am I too picky? What suggestions do you have?

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10 Responses to “This Week In Real Estate Video #35 – Marketing The Best View on The Planet?”

  • The stills really aren’t that bad, certainly better than 95% of whats on my local MLS (which isnt saying much, I suppose…) It almost looks like two different photographers shot the property and then they used the shots from both people. Beautiful property regardless, I love to take a crack at a place like that.

  • I think the music is way too loud and distracting, and that drowns out the audio of the owners at times (the poor audio quality doesn’t help either)

    $35+ million property and they have 30-40% of the video as stills that we would have already viewed before the video itself? Reusing still photos as the opening money shoots of the actual house (the most important 20 secs of the entire video) is a complete waste of video time and a chance to really grab the viewer with actual video footage like time lapses etc…..stuff that grabs their emotion.

    You don’t see Brett Clements (re)using still photos in his multi million dollar property videos (or any videos I would bet) for a reason, its not true video and it kinda cheapens the whole process (viewers can tell the difference). If you are shooting video, shoot video…especially on a listing like this!

    I would have loved to see what some of the members of VFRE who shoot video regularly like Allan, Malia and Heath would have done with this place (and of course Brett and his team). This property is a goldmine to showcase their specific styles of video and really turn out something special.

  • Agree, the audio needs work both at the music level and the spoken word. While the background music was loud – it was the same level throughout. At a minimum lower it for speech, then subtle assending for effect, no radical change. It does suggest using oncamera mic with no gain control (in post) filtering that boxiness, but the audio added in post was weak, particurally against the music. Lavs would have helped for oncamera interviews, or at a munimun, a shotgun on boom. The off camera audio sounds like was done in a large area as nothing concentrated the sound.

    On a seconary note, as I have some decent lavs but generally feed direct to camera because syncing is so difficult manually now that my trial of pluraleyes has expired. Then yesterday on another blog I learned of a special Rode is offering during Nov/Dec which may be of interest to some here. I had planned to purchase a shotgun with the Videomic Pro one of 2 Rode mics I was considering – the other being their higher end NGT-2. During the month of December, with the shotgun Videomic Pro (or condensor Stereo Videomic Pro) they are giving away a free copy of PluralEyes 3, but sadly, not with the NGT-2. Thought I would pass that along in case others had not heard.

  • I had trouble paying attention to the video. It would have been more attention getting if it had more dramatic shots perhaps in vignettes instead of jumping around. I did not get a sense of how the rooms flow. The music (too loud) and audio (too stilted and most times inappropriate-better to have a voice over) are distracting and do not flow. The video portion needs to stay video and a scrapbook segment could be all stills. It’s a beautiful home but it did not portray the price value.

  • Too long, too much repetition, needed to flow better. I agree with Larry that the stills were over saturated. I wouldn’t have the owners around at a showing – why have them in the video?

  • It looks to me like the owners are both Realtors with Sotheby’s. I hope they don’t do this poorly with all their listings.

  • The video is so fuzzy and looks like poor quality. Better to have not used a video. Any video camera would have better resolution. I am suprised this is even shown on the website. My customers are much pickier and this wouldn’t fly. I turned it off before it was finished. Looks like a nice place to live but what’s the point of the video? Sometimes less is a whole lot more.


  • I applaude those involved that made this video. I too might have done some things differently. Yet we all learn from each video and often times we’re not sure just how the video will turn out until it’s done. Some great comments above and a learning opportunity for many more. A loved the music and story that was told and from this I take away a few things I might try in the future.

  • I agree the audio sucks. And I really don’t like the music. really? a $35M+ and then having audio of this quality? O_o that’s a big turn off for many clients. I mean, for that price the agent and the photographer could do a lot better. In-camera audio is always crap. There’s cheap and good quality solutions. A portable zoom h1 only costs like $100 and does a much better job…. imo the audio is so bad that having the video edited with no audio would be better.
    The video is just average. Nothing special really. The property sells for itself. It’s hard to take bad photos of that house.
    I’ve seen many better things here from platinumHD for example.
    imo you are not too picky Larry. For a $35M+ being picky is never too much.

  • Chris said:
    “You don’t see Brett Clements (re)using still photos in his multi million dollar property videos (or any videos I would bet) …”

    Actually, I have seen Brett’s team at PlatinumHD use still shots in their 30 sec videos. If they shoot a room where they want to see out the window, they will incorporate a still shot instead of video footage.

    As for this video, I agree with the comments made by Larry and others. It’s good, but it could have been better. However, I wonder what the real estate agent thinks. Would they be as picky as us? Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

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