This Week In Real Estate Video #78 – Camino Valles / Cliffs At Walnut Cove

October 4th, 2013

CaminoVallesThis week I ran across a couple of real estate videos of note:

Chuck Spaulding’s Camino Valles video: in the PFRE Video For Real Estate flickr forum. I especially like the opening sequence for the first minute or so. Very pleasant! The first time I watched this I was a little surprised how well Chuck had done with the lighting for the interiors where there were windows involved. Then I realized that Chuck had slipped in stills for those shots with windows. But I think it’s done very well and doesn’t bother me. The first minute or so is so nicely done that you don’t notice the switch to stills much. Chuck has done a nice job editing the stills into the sequence.

Heath Cowart’s Cliffs at Walnut Cove: I really like how Heath and his team have distilled the essence of this huge elegant property down to 2:46. This video holds my interest for the whole time.

The other thing that is striking to me about this video is how much value and information the aerial shots provide. There are just three short aerial sequences, but they provide a huge amount of information about a property and how it is sited in a very short time.

Southern Elegance In Princeton: Scott at sent me this video (his second property video) and would like to get feedback from PFRE readers.

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16 Responses to “This Week In Real Estate Video #78 – Camino Valles / Cliffs At Walnut Cove”

  • Chuck’s beginning is really nice. Great camera angles and perspective. Very pleasing.

    Heath – Wow. That is an amazing home. And a daunting challenge I’m sure. One could spend hours shooting and editing. But the narration and video showed just enough to get on very interested. The aerials were great in the beginning.

    Scott’s video shows just how far real estate video have come. Some very elegant shots. Love some of the effects. Like Heaths video where the home is huge and the video could be 10 minutes, the challenge is to make a shorter video but have the viewers feel they they “get it.” I felt Scott’s video was too long. Yes, we shoot lots of shots, but that doesn’t mean we need to use all of them in the video. Just use the best of the best. Also, the speed of the camera was too fast at time. Give the view time to take it all in. But very nice and great 2nd video.

  • Larry, thanks for posting my video.
    Not all homes benefit this much from aerial video so this is a good example. We spent 4 hours at the shoot and the hexacopter was in the air for around 5 minutes. When you compare the value of the 4 hours of regular shooting to the value provided by 5 minutes of aerial video it gives a good idea of the value that these craft provide.
    Charlie, I agree and it is a constant challenge for me to refrain from overshooting a home like this one and after producing hundreds of these videos we still find it challenging to edit them down to a optimal length for the message.

  • Heath, I absolutely think you nailed it, I am a fan of voice over and live bodies in a video, to me it ads another dimension and keeps me engaged. Also in less than three minutes you gave me a great feel of the house.

    Scott, really beautiful camera work, but it needs to be way shorter. it is hard to engage for 7 minutes, that is way longer than a buying customer can keep focused before they tune out.

    Larry, Just a thought…As a Realtor doing video’s along with my videographer Travis, this forum has been a great place to get a feel for what works and what moves you emotionally. From my perspective Real Estate Video needs to be a balance of “art” and “marketing” it needs to be emotional in less than 3 minutes…but it also needs to sell the property or else it has missed the mark. I know many of the readers here are from the creative side of the world, but remember when a Realtor hires you, they want a tool that is going to sell the house not win an academy award. Just my two cents.

  • This real estate video is a fascinating concept. I think it’s difficult to judge what “engages” a buyer since no photographer (nor anyone else on this forum) is actually even remotely interested in purchasing the home. I think you would find a different definition of what “engages” if you speak to someone seriously thinking of putting down money to buy this specific home. My guess is he would be “engaged” from beginning to end. He is looking at it very differently than a bunch of photographers who second guess what an actual buyer is seeking. Putting a time limit on this type of thing is silly and I think very limiting. Being repetitive, slow and boring is an entirely different concept. But if the video is moving along, and it shows what a BUYER wants to see, who’s to determine the optimal length?

  • @walton – I have to say that it is absolutely true with regards to people losing interest when videos are too long. In fact it’s statistically proven. This dates back to the first movie trailers ever made, why do you think they are a maximum of 2 or 2.5 minutes long? It’s all about captivating your viewer with powerful shots and inspiring music to give them enough information in a timely fashion to peak their interest in seeing more “live” at the house, much the way a movie trailer lures you in to watch the whole movie. You are right in that a person already serious about the home will watch the whole thing, but if asked about the length of the video they will most times say it was too long and too many repetitive clips. Less is always more.

  • @Matt- Well said! Excellent comparison between movie trailers and property video.

  • @Matt

    We are not creating Hollywood movies, we are creating videos that help sell houses….big difference.

    Buying a house is the biggest purchase in most peoples lives. When they find a house that meets their search criteria you can be damn sure they will watch a video that is done correct from start to finish, and in most cases watch it multiple times. If that video is showing little more than the photos already have, or contains actual photos they already viewed being pawned off as video…..of course they will turn it off.

    There is absolutely no limit to length when doing videos for real estate as long as your videos are providing MORE information throughout the ENTIRE video. If you are doing pan or slide moves across the same rooms without any thought to providing MORE info than the photos already have you are absolutely right that people will just get bored and shut it off…and probably in under 1 minute.

    Too many agents and videographers focus on video length when they should be focusing on what they can do to provide more information (than the photos already have) throughout the video to keep the viewer engaged.

    Video is a tool that when done correctly can provide the viewer with information that no other multimedia can.

  • Of course there are no hard rules on video length, but as a general rule, shorter tends to be better. Producing a minute of quality video is difficult — 5+ minutes exponentially so. Long can be really good — Charlie’s “Werner Home” video from a few weeks back is a great example. Scott’s example above isn’t successful IMO – too many shots that aren’t needed, many of the pans are too quick, dark interior shots, etc. Having fewer, better quality shots would make it much more successful.

    Heath’s video is so impressive. Getting this under 3 minutes was quite an accomplishment. There’s so much packed into this video – aerials, interior features, details, wide shots, exterior views, etc.; yet it still has a very comfortable, relaxed pace (and an effective use of stills for the guest house). When you try to keep a video to around 2 minutes, it forces you to focus on the very best of the home that makes the viewer want more — and hopefully schedule a personal showing.

  • @ Christian & Bruce – I agree 100%. You can provide a lot more information with video and more importantly, with video you can tell a story that might move people. The story might be just how the home lives and feels and how rooms are connected. Or there might be much more to the story like my “Werner video” that can add value to the video. There’s no hard line rule saying a video cannot be longer than 3 minutes. It really depends on the property and the story you’re telling.

  • @ Christian – I never said we were creating hollywood movies I was only giving you an example of statistical data which shows the length of time in general which a viewer can be lured in to watching any video. We are however doing the same thing. A movie trailer is designed to show you why you want to spend more of your time and money to see the full movie and our videos are designed to show the viewer why they should book an appointment to see more of the house. Different subjects, same concept. Real estate videos should be a tastefully done sample and when done with the right music and proper shots, can strike emotion in the viewer to want to see it again and again and finally book an appointment to view it because they are now emotionally attached to the house (or so they think they are).

    @Bruce – Well said!

  • @Matt,

    A movie trailer is trying to get you to come spend $13 to see the full movie. Our videos are trying to get someone to make the biggest purchase of their life. You can create all the emotion you want in 3 minutes but ultimately the buyer WANTS MORE INFORMATION. Would it be better to provide that information up front using video?

    I guess it just depends of the agent, there is the “old school” agent who who is all about quantity over quality. His primary focus is getting as many calls and showing as possible, regardless if most of that interest was of little quality…people showing up at the house and realizing after 2-3 minutes it wasn’t what they were looking for (the wanted the master bedroom away from the other 2 bedrooms etc). Ultimately these agents waste alot of not only their time, but the home owners time as well as the buyers time.

    We work with alot of the “new school” agents who see video as a chance to provide as much information as it can (above the photography). When they get someone interested they know that the interest level must be high because they have seen our photos and also see our complete walkthrough of the house. They know where the rooms are, how they connect to each other and the overall flow of the house.

    When that call comes in to the real estate agent he knows the interest level is probably at 20-30% higher after watching our Truetour video with the potential buyers just wanting to actually see the house now in person. Our videos have already answered alot of there questions that photos simple cant…for example:

    – where is Bedroom A compared to Bedroom B?

    – where is the main bathroom upstairs compared to the bedrooms?

    – where is that powder room on the main level?

    Again, if a video is not providing more information than the photos already did than you are absolutely correct, it should be kept to a minimum length. There is no doubt you will lose the interest of the viewer once he realizes he is not seeing much more than what he already saw in the photos, along with maybe some emotional cheesy music and some taps running.

    I love hearing guys bring up “stats” regarding video length and what it should be….there is no right or wrong. Again, stop focusing on length and focus instead on making your videos more informative to actually keep the buyer watching.

    What I can tell you from experience is we average 10-15 videos a week and have never had an issue with length, some are under 3 mins, many are over. We shoot the complete house and dont cut based on time. We get countless feedback from agents who say the eventual buyers often comment on how informative our videos were and how it was an integral piece in helping with the sale. We also get countless new agents calling because their seller wants our video used to help sell their house after seeing it on another listing(s)

  • @Christina,

    Seems you’re very sensitive to comments regarding length of video. Kinda tells me this isn’t the first time you’ve heard this. Listen, in no way has anyone insulted you or your style of video, in fact nobody here is even talking about your videos. A movie trailer is a lure to watch a movie and a real estate video is a lure to VIEW the house in person, not commit to buying the house! You’re trying to tell us that your realtors clients are buying based on your videos alone?? Sight unseen?? I highly doubt it.

    FACT: There is a market for walkthrough POV videos and slideshows because they are easy to do and therefore the price is kept low. It doesn’t mean you have to attack someone else’s style because they don’t agree with you. Also if you’re going to attack other videos calling it “emotional cheesy music” you might want to try changing up your lounge club loop that repeats (with skips) on every single walk through video and slideshow that you do. Music is KEY to any video! And you might want to make sure you edit yourself out of the mirror when walking in front of one, as that’s a true sign of someone rushing their work, especially when it’s on a video that is used as a sample of your work. Or just become a vampire and you won’t have that problem anymore?? ‘,..,’

    I love it whenever someone that shoots simple video walk throughs starts to look into what’s involved with creating informative and artistic videos. They soon realize that shooting with time lapse, scripts and voiceovers, on camera shoots with realtors and actors plus sliders, crane, audio and lighting equipment, lifestyle shots from the area is much more work and time involved. So they quickly brush it off calling them cheesy and convince themselves that what they do is the best and everyone else shooting “professional” videos are just fools that know nothing.

    True professionals are passionate about what they do and when you get professional quality combined with artistry you get a company and style that will last and evolve over time.

  • @Matt,

    Whos the one getting sensitive? Im not attacking your work at all my friend, no need to get your panties in a bunch….lol I had never even seen your work!

    I was pretty clear when I said ANY type of video should provide more information than the photos do, it doesnt matter what style you choose. If you are providing new information from start to finish in your videos you dont need to worry about length as your video itself will keep a potential buyer watching.

    What I can tell you is people like Charlie and Malia (off the top of my head) do exactly what I am talking about, they spend the time and provide a video that provides more information, they dont just slap together some cheesy left and right slides and add music.

    Oh, and you said “You’re trying to tell us that your realtors clients are buying based on your videos alone?? Sight unseen?? I highly doubt it.” No, Ill help you out and cut and paste so you can read again “We get countless feedback from agents who say the eventual buyers often comment on how informative our videos were and how it was an integral piece in HELPING with the sale”

    I only now just checked your vimeo site and you too seem to do a great job. I love the narration and especially the split screens! with that amount of information you are providing in your videos you should never be worried about length.

    Anyway, thanks for the constructive criticism, but remember one thing, I am shooting more videos in a week than you do in a month….so I guess Im doing something right 🙂

    ….Or maybe in the Greater Toronto area these dumb dumb agents just loooove Simple Walk Through Videos, with cheesy lounge music (that skips) and edited by someone who rushes his work 🙂

  • Greetings from Shanghai 🙂 I think Matt has hit the nail on the head, “True professionals are passionate” for me it’s an obsession combined with the love of visual arts. I’ve been in the video production game for almost 10 years and while I’m far from perfect and there are heaps more folks out there doing better work, the feedback I get from clients as why they hire my services is because my passion, dedication is infectious and gives them confidence they will get what they want. The day I lose my obsession for filmmaking is the day I look for a new career.

  • @Allan – I really love your work. In your case, longer video is definitely better. 🙂

  • @Allan

    Thank you Allan! The saying it takes one to know one comes to mind! I too am very passionate about my work. So much so that I go above and beyond on most shoots for free just because I know the extra effort will keep the business coming time and time again.

    I checked out your website and love your work too. I see you live in Brisbane! I spent a year in Australia in 2010 and much of my time was in Brissy. I was renting a place in New Farm but spent most of my time in a van traveling around the country. I put on 15,000kms and ended my last couple months in Currumbin on the beach. What a great country and for photography too!

    Keep up the good work!

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