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Narrated Walkthrough Video by Fred Light

March 15th, 2019

I selected this video from Fred Light’s recent videos but didn’t have time to get his comments on it.

Fred is the master of the narrated walk-through real estate video! He has been doing this kind of video since 2006 or before and has been refining his technique all the way. This is a great example of how to sell real estate with video.

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12 Responses to “Narrated Walkthrough Video by Fred Light”

  • Loved the home, who wouldn’t?!? But, and this is ignorance speaking, it seemed too blabby. Too many words stuffed in there. The dialogue needs some breathing room. Pretty place though.

  • A pretty house and some nice video shooting. But most disconcerting is the failure to sync the narrative with the footage. For instance at 2:21 the narration describes the kitchen while showing the living room. There are shots of the kitchen elsewhere, but they are not synced with the voice-over. At 3:10 the narrator talks of a master bedroom, but shows a hallway. Also, on-camera shot of the realtor has a mic problems which sound off-mic, yet he is wearing a lavalier mic. The off-camera sound is probably the result of failure to use the lavalier mic in the edit, but instead using the stereo mic on the camera, which sounds roomy and with lots of stereo room sound. Voice should be in mono, no stereo, and panned to center. It is pretty much a requirement to describe the scene which is being shown on screen. Failure to do that results in a video where the script is clearly not synced with the visuals. The way to fix this is to first lay the audio voice track down and then cut the video to match the audio. Then re-edit the audio narrative sync to better fit the video. This will result in a nicely synced production, when done correctly. The video shown here can easily be re-cut to fix the sync problems.

  • Nicely done. I will disagree with the negative comments on sound quality and synchronization of narrative with visual. Real Estate shooting requires a cost conscious shoot at all times, and the video should be judged in that context, not from a critique of what could be done with a larger budget. I watched it from the viewpoint of how it presents the home, not from a videographers viewpoint. In that context, I find the video to be excellent, and am sure that Mr. Light must stay busy (and prosperous) by providing videos of this quality at a marketable price point.

    I find his drone usage excellent, and his very short B roll to be an excellent presentation of the exterior aesthetics and the community. This is a video that will lead to serious buyers scheduling appointments. Well done!

  • Nicely done!

  • Another videographer’s viewpoint admittedly but I agree with Lee re the lack of sync of narrative with footage. Surely writing the script to hit the shots is obvious? And not that hard? And it would make the film way better in terms of understanding the house?

  • I agree that we have to separate our own responses as photographers and videographers from that of the target market.

    The Pro’s for me is that it does show the house well and does give a feeling of how one room and area leads to another, the exteriors worked best for me since I found shooting with an ultra wide lens and panning around the room made me dizzy. I like the idea of walk throughs, in fact that was the style I was using when I started in 2012 with some RE videos. Its the closest thing to being there. And I like having the realtor in front of the camera since it gives a person to relate to and I also like to hear some voice that can supply some details that you can’t communicate with images alone. I think buyers would like this rather than just trendy music.

    Con’s for me was shooting the front of the house with the power and cable lines obscuring the view, the aforementioned too wide lens for room pans, too long which is a problem with walk throughs if ramp-ups are not used, the auto exposure, much too much yackety yack (I kept wanting to tell Fred to give us a break from time to time), and as mentioned by Lee, the mismatched verbal content with the visual content, and much too long.

    I am all for voice on RE videos, in fact most of my early work had a voice over. I always synched the voice content with the visual content which can be pretty tricky since you have to have enough video clips lengths to cover the voice information. And the script I was supplied by the realtor never was realistic vis a vis what had been shot. I had to edit it a lot and rearrange the sequences. I recorded the voice over with one or two sentences at a time which helped to edit the audio and fit it to the video. It is tricky, takes a lot of time and thus adds a lot to the cost as Mike points out. Probably one reasons my clients decided they did not want to spend that extra money having to double their photo costs with stills and with video out of the same commission.

    My reaction is in this case, less would be more. Make the clips shorter and don’t try to hose down the house with endless long takes since we don’t need to see endless hallway voyages. The room pans are too fast but to slow them down would make the video even longer. So disciplined cuts to my mind would be desirable to just retain the important room features and slow them down so we can focus on them. And not try to cram everything into the one video. Less words, less talking and we don’t need to see everything in one video at least not the first one we see.

    I think its a great approach, but I don’t particularly see this as a great video unless the video is designed to come at the end of the property discovery process, but it does not look like it was designed to be. I think he needs a short, say 1 minute version, “teaser” video for people coming to the property over YouTube or other platform for the first time with a link to this version for those who do want to see more.

    That old expression “leave them wanting more” I think applies to RE video as well when it is the first thing buyers see.

  • Thanks for all the critique… I understand what everyone is saying in regards to narration, wires, length, etc. Everyone has their own style and technique… some like it fast and just a ‘taste’ of the house, some like to speed ramp the hell out of it so you feel like you’re bouncing off the walls… some believe all of the ‘stats’ that they see online and keep their videos to that time constraint or less… some like to use actors, fancy cars, etc. And if that works for your clients and that gives you a full time job where you can make a decent living and work constantly, then it’s all good. There is no right or wrong way.

    I do videos that Realtors want, can afford…. and that work for their clients. This is a tightly set city house and wires are commonplace and that’s just the nature of 200 year old houses in old city neighborhoods. You really can’t avoid them even with wide angle lenses. As far as narration, the agent gives me the script that they want and I make it work with the video I shot as best as I can.

    If they want a more elaborate video, that’s always an option, and I’ve done it, but it takes a lot longer and costs a lot more… not something most Realtors want to do, especially if they have a less than stellar listing they still want to market properly.

    For me and my clients, it’s about affordability and time and pleasing the people who pay me. This was shot, edited and delivered THE SAME DAY. It was only $650 for stills and video on this property. The house ($1.9M) went under agreement 2 days later. I shoot many, many listings for this agent and have for over 13 years… and it all works out just the way he likes. He sells homes from it and gets new listings from it and he’s one of the top agents in the area (this listing came to him for exactly that reason as he does not work in that particular town at all… and the other local agents were FIGHTING over that listing. HE got it… because of his videos.)

    Different strokes for different folks… I shoot over 800 videos a year, with no marketing or advertising whatsoever, with virtually 100% repeat clientele… and have since before YouTube even was even invented. My YouTube channel has nearly 18,000 subscribers and 9 million views… so somebody is watching these things!

  • I don’t know, I think it’s a little bit of a cop out to say Realtors don’t want better quality. It wouldn’t have taken much effort or time to rework the narrative to fit the visuals, especially if you’re the one recording it.

    That said, I also shoot, edit and deliver on the same day (unless I’m shooting late into the afternoon/evening). I don’t shoot nearly as much as you but that’s because I don’t want to. I charge a lot more (realtors WILL pay more) and am still pretty busy.

    But you’re right, it’s different strokes for different folks. I like working with clients who value marketing, not just looking for a quick sell.

  • Thanks Fred for sharing these with us. I was just searching the other day for examples of video walkthroughs, which I’ve been hesitant to offer but would like to start doing soon. This is great.

  • Fred, you blew it in introduction clip with the agent. I swear I heard a smoke detector whining for a new battery. Those D@#& things drive me nuts. I do a bunch of Fannie Mae rehabs and foreclosures that have been sitting for ages and have every smoke detector and alarm panel beeping about battery status.

  • This is my video shot with osmo mobile 2 and Iphone 8 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8ejRzpCpko

  • The easy solution to syncing audio and video – talk while you walk. Don’t script the copy; just talk in a human voice.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqHf2eb3j9k

    Shot with the wide angle camera on the new Galaxy S10 phone and an Osmo Mobile. Start with video template for beginning and end. Insert clip and trim it. Output and upload to YouTube. Email link to invariably happy client. Done.

    Not an approach for everyone – but one that’s worth considering?

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