This Week In Real Estate Video #49 – How Much Narration?

March 15th, 2013

Malia3322 E Terrace St by Malia Campbell Photography: Malia sent me this first shoot that she did completely with her new Canon C100. This little video is now on my short list of all time favorites! I think this is a wonderful example of how smooth camera moves, lovely focus pulls and elegant music can make a rather ordinary property feel very special. Besure to view this full screen. Great job Malia!

17 Peppergrass Rd, Cape Elizabeth, ME by Michael and Laura Sosnowski: Michael and Laura are both Realtors and regular PFRE readers. Michael describes himself as an amateur photographer/videographer but their combined work on this series of videos looks very professional. This is their first effort doing a narrated video, and they would like feedback from everyone.

2880 The Shores at Summerland, Summerland, BC by Matt Van Emmerik: Matt shoots, edits and narrates and a strong property video. Very well done Matt! My suggestion to Matt was to use some time-lapse sequences of Lake Okanagan to add some visual strength and drama to the lake views.

How much narration is required and when can narration be too much? Of course, there’s no right answer to this question, but some viewers are always going to want more or less narration than others. Some people are verbally oriented and expect to be talked through the property, while others are more visually oriented. To me property video is strongest when  it is very strong visual, and the narration is not so intense that it distracts from the visual component.  If the narration is is just about things I can see for myself in the video then it distracts. After all property video doesn’t need to stand alone, it usually is accompanied by liberal amounts of text description. Video is it’s best when it creates an emotional impact that can’t be done with just words or stills.

What are your thoughts about narration?

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6 Responses to “This Week In Real Estate Video #49 – How Much Narration?”

  • Michael and Laura need to invest in a wireless mic, that cord hanging out of the dress is very distracting. Sound is always a hard part to get right and it is great to see you didn’t try to use an on camera mic. Also the voice was only from the one channel and that could easily be fixed. Future goal would to ween off of auto exposure, as you can see the exposure change while you pan. Overall you did a very good job of the video and Laura has a pleasing voice for the narration. Keep up the good work.

  • I would agree with Greg that Laura has a very pleasing voice for narration. The cameo by the dog was too brief! The narration was also very well written and delivered. Not knowing the area, however, I found myself wanting a little more information about the neighborhood and the community. Most real estate copy does seem to focus on a tree and not the forest, which leaves an out of town buyer without much context. Overall, I’d say this was very well done.

  • In my opinion narration can easily be overdone and really has to do with the specific property and cinematic style of the video. Many properties can sell themselves with little to no narration at all, while some need a bit more. In general, as a viewer I prefer letting the visuals do the job. Good photography and editing should be able to immerse the viewer in ways that narration just cant or will actually do the opposite.

    just my 2c

  • It depends on your target market, In Ireland the vast majority of clicks occur during office hours. with this in mind we have to create videos that can be watched without sound as most people will have there office computer sound right down

    That said have you ever watched Motor head with the volume down… Lemmy looks like a prat, turn the volume up and he is a rock god 🙂

  • Thanks for the comments. We just purchased a Sennheiser 100p G3 set, so we will be using them for our next video. So far we have been shooting in Aperture Only, but going to full manual on video is a better way.
    When it comes to an overview of the community, we had planned to include some in the primary video itself, but it became so long we decided to add it to the playlist instead. Additionally, our website includes similar videos as well.
    Thanks again….

  • The G3 is a great investment for those doing interviews. No more need to synch in post. It’s one of my best purchases.

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