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Is There More Interest in Video Marketing in 2018?

February 14th, 2018

Last week, a number of things occurred that suggest to me that there is a huge increase in online video activity so I think Mia and Alberto Artez’s promo video they sent me is right on target–you should have video in your 2018 business plan:

  • Farhad Manjoo has an important article in the New York Times titled, Welcome to the Post-Text Future. Farhad says, “The defining narrative of our online moment concerns the decline of text and the exploding reach and power of audio and video.”
  • An unusually high number of people ask questions about real estate video. Which camera should I use? Where can I learn how to shoot video? And much more. Clearly, clients are asking for more property video!
  • There are a number of PFRE readers who are looking for a face to face workshop on the subject of shooting property video.
  • On Wednesday, when SpaceX tested their Falcon Heavy from the Kennedy Space Center, everyone got an entertaining surprise when SpaceX’s spaceman (an empty space suit) did a 4+ hour streaming YouTube video from his red Tesla Roadster on his way to Mars. This was an amazing demonstration of the attention that a silly YouTube video can attract. The Spaceman YouTube video went viral across the world!

I’ve been feeling like there is an increase in the importance of video marketing for a long while but it seems to be increasing this year.

What part does real estate video marketing play in your 2018 plan?

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27 Responses to “Is There More Interest in Video Marketing in 2018?”

  • The only marketing plan I have for video this year is to just START. I’ve been saying it for 2 years and have done nothing about it. Currently, there’s no one even offering it in my area and doesn’t seem to be popular (only 2 requests in 2 years) but I don’t want to be behind the curve when people start requesting it. I’m completely set up to start with multiple gimbals (Zhiyun crane + Glidecam) w/ my A7ii. The only thing holding me back is hitting the record button.

    This year is the year.

  • As you think about the “exploding reach and power of audio and video,” check the view counts on the Artez videos at YouTube.

    https://www.youtube.com/user/ArtezVideo/videos?disable_polymer=1

  • I’ve been doing real estate, and developer/builder videos for over 5 years – most clients only use it on occasion – a few clients use it every shoot. More so my downtown Vancouver clients vs clients in the burbs. I use a video slider but am looking into gimbals etc so I can also do walkabout videos. I don’t know anyone in this area that charges less than $150. for the most basic short video of a property (this is as an add on to stills – at least double the price for a short/basic video only of a property).

    Most of my clients that use video for every shoot use it to as part of the marketing package they offer their potential clients – homeowners really like that. It’s a good marketing tool to suggest to your realtor clients that want to move up the ladder and set themselves above the crowd.

  • *note re above – for builders and developers or any commercial clients vs realtors the pricing structure is totally different as is the usage – builders/developers/commercial clients expect to pay much more than realtors as their usage is totally different (so don’t offer to work for commercial clients at realtor rates).

  • To be blunt…..are there ANY real proof that video makes a difference or is this another hype or fad. 360 tours was a fad, Matterport….we still waiting for the verdict (I have my opinions but that does not matter, the crowd is what matters). Drones are here to stay since it is just an elevated photo in all reality and the video walk through!?!??! If someone can show me actual numbers. NOT just look at this…. and see what they did! Are they getting more jobs that results in more sales?!?!? Or….should I not care about that?!?!? That would be the worse part….if we are pushing something that does not help at all.

  • Let me weigh in on this because I have been a later adaptor of video. I started August of last year. In just that 4 month period my margins went up 3%. I only produced $4k more in revenue but I’m just getting started. I’m earning $100 an hour for time spent with those videos. Ok they are those stupid Zillow videos that I resisted for so long but the clients understand them and they like them. last year turned out to be a record year for me and this year is starting slow but is jumping now.

    I’m getting more serious about videos and they will make a difference in client retention as well as expanding my business. All those other gimics like 360 tours, materport, VR etc. don’t hold a candle to video. Video ties in very well with drone use.

    This year we will be offering 3 types of videos at three different price ranges. 1) simple Zillow walk through 2) Branded Zillow walk through shot with DSLR 3) Experiential video shot with DSLR.

    These are all being well received. I have tracked the performance of Zillow videos and they do make a difference, for the time being that is. What happens when every home has one on Zillow is another matter. I do know if that happens and you don’t provide them you will suffer. As further proof when Zillow lost all their videos in Jan my clients had melt downs.

  • Frank, where is your market and what do you charge? As far as views, I can generate about 100 to 200 instant views. I send it to my email list of agents. I will do a small fee eblast and agents love the fast feedback from their fellow agents. I also Facebook friend them and post it to their timeline. I don’t push video because I can’t seem to get to money. I do believe 360 videos will pick up speed this year, much easier to shoot and edit.

  • Mike asked..”…..are there ANY real proof that video makes a difference ”
    There are sites out there that have statistics on more eyeballs on listings with video, SEO algorithms rank content with video at the top, buyers search online. if you connect the dots the conclusion is compelling. We have been doing video now for 7-8 yrs and have heard time and again how our walk thru tours have helped sell homes. Faster? for more $? IDK , but even more than that, our best repeat clients know that it helps them get the listing. And THAT alone sells them on the video tours.

  • I have been doing a few videos with a variety of consumer products for years but only have applied this to my existing still RE market. First I wanted to see if there was any real market. Early last year I decided to get serious and took Grant’s video course online (see his ad top right of margin on this blog “How to Shoot Real Estate Video Courses” and it really set me up from first the equipment, then how to use it, how to shoot RE video and even what settings to use. And he will answer questions if something is not clear.

    But my market is rather soft on wanting to pay very much for video. But when a client wants drone shots, they tend to also go with video as well so the extension from that to ground level is a small jump. I offer a lower price when they go with the stills and video package which means unless I also have to do it all for twilight shots (simply can’t cover stills, drone and video all in one 15-20 minute time frame) I can shoot both during the same property visit.

    But there is a caveat. While I have a great slider, video heads of various types, an additional tripod to hold that 36″ slide from a slight tip when the carriage with the camera gets to the end, I seldom can get clients to go for my higher end quality package. It takes longer to shoot and can’t be done as I shoot stills. My higher end uses the same Canon 80D that I shoot stills with. Instead, they are mostly opting for one of my economy package using my GoPro5 (which visually ties in nicely with the Phantom video clips). My higher GoPro package involves just using the GoPro on my slider instead of my Canon 80D, uses lights and so on. It is just faster and easier to shoot with the GoPro since most of the settings are automatic and if you learn how to use the camera, the results are really quite amazing for a postage stamp camera. Plus for water works from fountains to waterfalls, spas to pools, you can just take it off the slider or stabilizer and run it into the water. For my basic video plan, I use an EVO gimbal on a mono pod and achieve many of the same “reveal” and slider effects that the slider offers. Not as clean and beautiful as a slider but gives a similar effect that can be shot in half the time.

    From the photographer stand point, I am not sure that we have to quote chapter and verse on whether videos sell more houses faster or at higher prices. This is the job of the agent and realtor to determine. Rather by offering the videos, with or without drone footage, it is more of a marketing ploy for a realtor to create their “top of the line” self branding for owners wanting the best and most current agents to list with. My clients all say that 80% of the photographer is for their own marketing rather than selling the properties. So when they can show great stills, great video, drone stills and video as well as property sites hosting all of the above, it puts them way ahead of the long line of run of the mill agents who are still back in the dark ages of “shoot it yourself with your cell phone” herd. So much is just staying ahead of the Jones’s (sorry all you Jones’s out there; no insult intended).

    But video is a whole new way of seeing, shooting and equipment purchase and management. So for those thinking of testing the waters, try getting a GoPro (the 6 now shoots 4K at 60 fpm), a good stabilizer like the EVO and shoot some short videos as you shoot stills. May take you a little longer but it will give you something to practice on that’s a real job and if it works, you can show your client something they can relate to since it is their own listing.

    The one caveat is that you have to learn editing as well. But I started with iMovie and it can produce quite acceptable finished products and is free, at least for Apple users. Probably for Windows as well but not being a PC user I don’t know. And expect it to take as long as processing your stills. So I keep my prices up since video involves the purchase of additional equipment, software, learning curve and doubles the time for processing a job. Even my most econ package bundled with stills the minimum is $150. If drone video is involved, I add $250 for any drone use. Just getting your 107 remote pilot’s license is an ordeal unless you have a photographic memory, which I don’t. And drone carries additional equipment and insurance expenses. Once you add in video, drone and then twilight shooting, the price of a property coverage really climbs and has to or it is not an income source any more. There are not that many agents and properties that justify $1200 to $1500 and up per property. But for a multi million dollar property, some in my area sell for double digit millions, then there is enough room in the commissions to pay for it. But a realtor will probably only score a high cost property if they can prove they have the ability to offer modern and current marketing products.

    So better to keep your skill tool box up to date and slightly ahead of the curve, but all depending on your market and business plan.

  • A lot of the interest in video stemmed from Zillow announcing their smartphone video app and telling agents homes with their video would be ranked higher in the search returns. Kind of self serving for Zillow because they are looking for exclusive content to differentiate themselves from other real estate portals. Agents are obviously interested in the Zillow videos for the reasons mentioned above and quality aside, they are FREE!! Will some spring for a higher quality and edited video walk though? Sure, but because of the work involved in both shooting and editing, it’s cost prohibitive for most.

    We all know that when dealing with agents, the trick is not providing them the services they want, it about supplying then with services they are willing to pay for 🙂

    Having said all this, I think the sweet spot here to scratch the agent itch for better quality video at an affordable price point is actually blending video clips and stills. Take some short video clips, add some movement to the stills, some captions, some effects and music and there you have it!! Much better quality for the agent, less work onsite at the home because you are shooting short clips, easier editing, which is probably the most the most important, difficult and time consuming part of the process …

    As mentioned above, if you’re doing a drone shoot it’s perfect opportunity since you now have the outdoor video clips and can combine them with your interior stills and don’t have the lighting challenges with shooting indoor videos.

    Check out this example… When the tour opens, click on “Custom Video Example”
    seetheproperty.com/184056

  • Dan G: you sound like me. I have talked about it for two years. Purchased a nice camera slide and started taking some vids with my Canon 70d. But have not actively marketed videos. I have noticed lately a trend away from smooth slider videos to handheld gimbal walkthru style videos. Just the other day, at a networking meeting, I was introducing myself to a new realtor and we were discussing the future of RE video. She had also noticed a trend towards the walkthru style and asked me if I do RE videos. I had to tell her that I have been thinking about it but do not. Guess we need to stop talking about it and get our act together and produce a video. I hate being behind the curve, and it is always changing.

  • Great thread, thanks.

    There’s no doubt that video is super important in all forms of marketing. An agent offering video and pro photography must surely have an advantage when getting listings.

    As mentioned above, editing is the biggest time suck. Roughly 2-3 hours of editing for every hour of shooting.

    Based on the RE videos I’ve produced for others, a combo of stills and video works well. Stills of the exterior and yard, then a slow walkthrough. One that I edited had a somewhat unsteady walk through. Using warp stabilizer in Premiere Pro made it acceptably smooth. The audio of the river was not acceptable so I used the audio of water falling from a jacuzzi.

    I’ve edited several RE videos for photographers with good results and would like to do more.

  • I’ve been doing vidoes for more than 10 years now but it is still a very small part of my business (I probobly average 1 video per month or less). Most agents want video, they just don’t want to pay for it. They just shoot them with their phones.

  • It’s a balancing act of offering more than the competition and not getting buried in work or equipment. I have offered video for 2 years now, it’s about 10 percent of the business and is frequently a give away to get new clients. I have been using 3 gopro silver 4’s and two 3 axis gimbals which I am now selling off because I have gone the sony a6300/6000 with crane stabilizers. (my wife can actually handle the bigger rigs easier). First foray into video was 3 years ago with sliders, Canon 5d mkII’s, shadow box and even a 10 foot jib. Should sell that off as well.

    The gopro’s are great for the investment and can be used for the zillow 2 minute walk through as well. The biggest reason for going the middle ground is audio, we also film saleman interviews and short tours of 300K up motorhomes.

  • I absolutely think this is THE year video will take off in a big way (of course I was on several Inman Connect panels 10 years ago focused on the fact that 2006, 2007, 2008.. was the year of video…..!)

    I think video has really taken off due to DRONES. I see many, many drone videos (which I think are silly as buyers actually DO want to see inside the house on the ground, not 2 minutes of rooftops and views they will never see unless they BECOME a bird….). But many people who started doing drone videos (only) realized that Realtors really aren’t interested in a ‘drone guy’… they want someone to do it ALL. So the drone guys are taking up interior video, interior photos, etc. to satisfy that demand (and I believe they are right. Real estate ‘drone only’ guys will be gone in a year or two.)

    The second thing, as mentioned above, is Zillow. Like them or hate them, they ARE the #1 site on the internet. Buyers and sellers LOVE Zillow and Zillow is embracing video in a big way. Why? Because THEY know that’s what buyers AND sellers want. The main photo has a big fat VIDEO logo that can’t be missed, and having that video pushes their listing to the top of the searches. (bit.ly/2EueXDo)

    And lastly, Facebook has embraced and encouraged video, as has Instagram. People love to watch video on social media.

    I started as a video guy 13 years ago and went into stills a bit later, so I’m old as dirt. For many, many years I had virtually NO competition in my marketplace in video. None. But in the past couple of years, they are EVERYWHERE. I can’t even keep track of them anymore. But more importantly, I’m busier than ever. Even now, during our very slowest period of the year, I still shoot at least 3+ videos a DAY.

    I’m also getting people who are paying for short, 60 second Instagram cuts of their videos for social media as well. All adds to the bottom line. And contrary to popular belief, many agents have NO problem spending $500++ to have photos and videos for their listings.

    I have met strangers who tell me they watch my YouTube channel DAILY over dinner (personally I think that’s nuts…!) My YouTube channel has 9,000 subscribers who get my content emailed to them every time I upload a video. The channel has 5.5 million views!

    SOMEBODY is watching this stuff… Go figure. Yes, video is here in a big way.

  • I plan to increase video offerings this year, but I can say that YouTube works. In 2013, as part of a real estate sales training class I developed a YouTube video (technically a slide show with Ken Burns effect in mp4 format) and I still get calls on it. The problem is, selling homes in that market at that pricepoint is not part of my current Real Estate and Photography combined business plan and I can’t take it down as the training company used it as a ‘how to’ example and they don’t even exist today. I had to put a note in there point out the obvious that they were viewing a 2013 posting and the home sold a long time ago. It is amazing…I still get calls.

    Do I think there is a current day market for video? Absolutely, but so many Realtors don’t, nor have they experienced the long term YouTube experience. While I wouldn’t use YouTube as the primary display – absolutely have it there. One other thing that is overlooked is this whole flash/HTML5 issue that impacts tours, and how the tour behaves if it will even play. Video, mp4 files bypass that issue totally.

  • I believe any new product takes cultivating… you plant the seed and watch it grow. And it’s better it grows slowly so you can establish a workflow and learn how to create a great product. I bough one GH5 last year and just played with it… did one video for a Realtor for free… so I could learn and I wasn’t committed to delivering the video a week later… gave me time to learn. I watched all sorts of tutorials… bought more equipment… and then started letting Realtors know that I shoot high end walkthrough videos and full length videos (aerial, sliders, details, etc)…. and in January I shot four walkthrough and three full length video… then I had to put on the brakes because my workflow wasn’t working. Once I work that out I will start up again… but there is definitely a market for videos… and I’d rather learn now while the demand is a little lower. No different than with aerial/drone… started slow and now its a big part of my business. And I’d rather learn the new technologies and be known for offering them… versus my competitors have the edge. My main business is the ground level photography… however the fact that I have aerial has gotten me some great ground level shoots. If I didn’t have aerial, I would not have gotten those jobs. And I think the same with videos… it will provide income for the videos and it will also drive other ground level business to me. The editing portion is the most difficult… I use Premiere CC only every once in a while so it’s easy to forget the commands… it’s like learning from start each time… frustrating but I will get it down.

  • Dear Larry,

    Thank you so much for featuring our 2018 promo video. Great input everyone!

    We have launched this particular video to start our year, because we are convinced that our clients need to be aware of the great importance of video in today’s world of advertisement. Since our clients trust us with their marketing, we believe that it is our responsibility to keep them informed, in order to compete at the highest level of marketing strategies and innovations, with the most current trends. Video is without a doubt, a marketing trend that our clients need to consider very seriously. The facts that we mention in our video about video use are quite impressive and the results that we have seen in those clients already using video, have been outstanding!

    Our video work has transformed gradually in the past 6 years, taking us to a very different way of creating video and offering video products. We started about 6 years ago, offering a ground video product along with our photography product. Shortly after that, we added aerial videography and photography. About four years, we started offering lifestyle videos. This product is labour intensive and requires hiring actors, buying props, staging homes, writing scripts, etc, but it has been a very successful move for us and for our clients as well. More and more, the need to have a corporate video is greater. People don’t read, the watch videos. I am sure all of us have learnt something by watching a video at some point, and most likely, will continue to do so in the future. This is how the world is most willing to communicate and get informed. We believe that this trend is here to stay.

    Video has become so important in our business, that we are in the process of creating a new website – ArtezVideo -, dedicated solely to our video products.

    Joe Zekas mentioned above:

    “As you think about the “exploding reach and power of audio and video,” check the view counts on the Artez videos at YouTube.
    https://www.youtube.com/user/ArtezVideo/videos?disable_polymer=1

    Our YouTube channel is in a way our video storage. Our view count may not be huge but what’s important to monitor is our client’s view count with our video content. check this out:
    https://www.facebook.com/simsrealestate.ca/

    As you can see, the two newest videos created for Jason on February 14th have already reached 3.5K and 3.6K views on his Facebook page. Now, that’s an outstanding view count!

    Your client’s view count is the important thing to monitor, as it will give you the real indicator of how your videos are impacting your client’s business.

    As long as you are impacting your client’s business in a positive way, your business will also be impacted by their success. Guaranteed!

    We encourage you all to expand into video this year if you haven’t done so yet. Your business will grow and you will position your clients where they need to be in order to compete and succeed.

    Our best wishes to all of you!

    Mia & Alberto Dominguez
    Artez Photography Corp.

  • Some talk on this same subject in this forum from 2014 https://photographyforrealestate.net/2014/12/26/how-are-you-pricing-real-estate-video/

    Interesting that in many respects, not much has changed. It’s still about the workflow and the additional time and skill it takes to shoot and edit video compared to what an agent is willing to spend. It only stands to reason that an agent’s willingness to pay for additional services has everything to do with the price of the home. In affluent areas there are not only more commission dollars available to offset the additional expense, seller expectations are also elevated and drives the need for agents to offer differentiated content to secure the listing.

    Bottom line is if you want to offer video, your service offerings and price needs to line up with the markets and agents you serve. In affluent areas providing a full motion professionally edited video @ $500 to $1000 could work…In areas where home prices are lower, a simple $ 100 slide show with some video clips in it is about all agents will be willing to pay for.

    There are however some wild cards in this evolution of real estate marketing that come into play….
    – Agents can only spend so much money on a listing so what are other services that supply differentiated content that compete for the same dollars an agent is willing to spend…Floorplans, Matterport, Drone etc. What is their cost vs perceived value compared to video?
    – What can they do with a video, where is it going to be seen or featured?? Some MLSs and certainly Zillow now have a place for it and if that becomes more pervasive that could drive more demand… A perfect example is when MLSs increases the amount of photos an agent can upload, that increased the expectation of the amount of photos they want from you.
    – What sort of technology or after market services will decrease the work flow costs and drive the price down? Editing software, companies that can take your photos and raw video footage and do the post production work for you. Cameras and services like Matterport where skilled labor is not as important. You set it up the camera, you move it send it off to Matterport and you can get other things agents want like floor plans and now they are even offering higher res stills…

    An interesting time in this business for sure…. Like it or not, the real estate marketing business has and will continue to evolve and like any business, disruptive services and technology that provide more value and take cost out of the equation will lead the charge. Just look at Uber and Amazon etc.

    The good news and at least for the time being, high quality stills are a basic need for every listing. An agent will not do a video, drone, Matterport or a floor plan instead of photos, they will do it in addition to photos. Lastly, technology aside, one thing will not change… Real Estate is a very personal and local business which can’t be compared to a ride to the airport or buying a widget online. There’s a lot of money at stake and an agent is not going to use just anyone to go into someone’s home and risk their sale or reputation. They’re going to use a local professional that they have a trusted relationship with and good old fashion local and personal customer service will continue to rule the day. Focus on that, keep abreast of changes in technology and service offerings that allow you to offer services that agents in the types of markets you serve are willing to pay for and you’ll always be a valued partner.

  • Hey Mike – As a realtor and avid video maker and promoter, the answer is YES. I have many transactions where video has made a huge impact on the deal. Cases where homes have sold without the buyers even stepping foot into the home. They bought only based on the video. So yes, it works.

  • @Peter DAPRIX

    What lens do you use with your 80D for videos?

    Thanks!!!

  • Hey Charlie – Do you provide these video services just for your own listings or do your sell them to other agents?? The reason I ask is because I think you are the anomaly as far as agents are concerned…. Unlike you, most lack the technology and skills needed to pull it off themselves while other agents can’t be bothered and want to shop it out.

    Yes it works for you but if you were to provide your video services to other agents, what would you need to charge to cover your time and does it fit into their budget?

  • @Gerry – I think the key point is that the demand for high-quality video like Charlie Dresen does is the market he’s in. He’s in an expensive upper-end recreational market (Steam Boat Springs Ski area). Other markets where you see the demand for high-quality video is Maui, The Big Island, The Australian Gold Coast and British Columbia. All of these markets are recreational and have a lot of high-end listings.

  • Larry – thanks and makes sense, especially in those areas…

  • Hopefully an expert in creating great real estate videos will have a workshop? SOON?… Southern California preferred… That would be a big help in fine tuning the process.

  • Gerry – You’re right. Agents are cheap. But there’s enough creators out there that can take my message and get a handful of agents to believe how effective video is and they won’t stop posting. It’s beneficial for sellers and agents when the place sells and their friends call that agent to make them a video.

    Then there’s the promo video agent can do that are timeless on youtube. A piece that can market an agent for years. 14,000+ views and counting – https://youtu.be/MBnPbisoqts

    Larry – Any good agent can take over any market with video. High-end or low-end, this does not matter. It’s an opportunity to stand out. Be that Purple Cow. This county is ripe for realtors to use video. Sure it cost money but you have to spend it to make it. But with social media, getting noticed is a lot cheaper these days.

  • 100% correct Charlie and in no way was I trying to dissuade others from adding video to their offerings…. I just wanted to point out that the economics need to work for the photographers and the agents/markets they serve.

    YouTube is a fantastic place to feature videos and for agents to leverage their branding. We know home shoppers don’t usually go to YouTube to search for homes, however since YouTube is owned by Google and Google rules the search space, anything with a YouTube video on it is very likely to get ranked higher in the search returns and get noticed.

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