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What Do You See as Key Trends in Videography?

Published: 07/02/2020
By: Brandon

Craig, from Virginia Beach, VA writes:

“Brandon, I recently saw this video on F-Stoppers about opinions on where commercial photography is trending. With the advent of companies that dangle the carrot of ‘you shoot it - we'll fix it’ over the general agent population... and with newer agents who seem to care more about being flashy than accurately representing a property, I'm wondering if that trend in video might be an omen to our profession. Any thoughts?”

Great question, Craig! While I do a video for my agent clients every now and then, I know that there are many great videographers in our community who do a very high volume of videos, as part of their real estate photography business. So, I’m hoping many of them will write in with their thoughts on this.

Before we go there, I'll share that my first reaction after reading your question was, “not again!” We keep hearing forecasts of doom-and-gloom regarding the demise of our field. Not only do we regularly hear of how DSLRs will die a slow death, now that mirrorless is here, how many times have we heard about the death of real estate photography when Apple finally introduces an iPhone that agents can use that will ultimately turn us all into relics? While it may be impossible to avoid hearing these concerns, I also think it’s important to examine them as these concerns often force us to think outside the box. That said, I do think there is some value in our professionalism and experience--whether it be in coming up with the best possible composition (vs. what an agent with an iPhone can do) or battling an enormous dynamic range.

I think the same might be true in videography. Very few agents that I’ve worked with see themselves as “creatives” first. Instead, they see themselves as salespeople/entrepreneurs. Yes, there will always be those agents who will use their cellphone to do a walk-through video or do the Ken Burns thing with stills but as creatives, we have an advantage as to how we see the world and how we might see (interpret?) the value of a space, with an ability to visualize how it will show in the video that we’ll deliver. Given that video is such a dynamic thing, I'd guess that many videographers feel that they have the power to evoke more of a feeling in their videos than they do in their photos.

As for trends that I’m seeing, I don’t think I do enough video work in my business to speak authoritatively on that question. So, I’ll let others share their thoughts, opinions, concerns, and hopes for the field.

3 comments on “What Do You See as Key Trends in Videography?”

  1. I tell my clients that video is basically moving pictures that tell a story. We do photography and video for our clients and right now our video sales are through the roof! We bundle it with our photography and will include a voice over of the agent or video of them talking about the listing. It does not take that much more time to produce a quality video. Our customers love them and have had people contact them from within YouTube or even Instagram to get a tour of the listing. Video is storytelling and a we like to think the video brings a home to life, give it more personality through movement and music. Bottom line, our video sales are phenomenal and it has been a huge factor of our business model allowing me to bring on other employees to yet grow out business even more. Just my 2 cents.

    Here is one we did not too long ago showcasing an newly built home and the agents talking briefly about the home.

  2. One of the biggest advantages to offering video is it gets you better clients overall.... those agents willing and able to spend many hundreds of dollars on marketing - even on what one would consider a ‘bread and butter’ average home. THE single biggest advantage to video is in getting more listings for the agent, and those who consider themselves ‘listing agents’ really understand the value of video in their marketing. 98% of all of my clients do still photos AND video... many do floor plans as well (I have someone else working with me for agents who only want stills... and I see daily proof that the quality of his clients vs. mine is very dramatic!).

    I still maintain that one of the major draws to video for buyers (and sellers, who are almost always buyers as well) is getting a true walkthrough of the property, showing how the home flows, the layout, how the rooms connect, etc. That’s the real VALUE. That’s what buyers really appreciate. That’s what sellers really understand as they themselves are looking for a new home. I don’t really look at walkthrough videos as a ‘trend’ as I’ve been doing it the exact same way for 15+ years. But I do see more and more companies offer these types of videos in the last couple of years. It’s because it’s effective, and works across all price points from a small condo to a $20M estate. And if you have the proper workflow, it can be done quickly and offered at a fair price point for the agent, and a very fair profit for the photographer.

    Video of slow slides into a room or slow pans around disjointed rooms I don’t think conveys much more to a buyer than still photos do, therefore the VALUE to the agent of spending double the $$ or more for a video is more difficult to justify and a more difficult sale to agents. Houses don’t move. So if all you’re doing is moving slowly around individual, disconnected rooms.... I think that’s a harder sell because the value to the agent over still photos isn’t really that dramatic. That’s why I really believe a true walkthrough is the most effective when it comes to video. I do I almost no marketing at all and still shoot several videos every single day - I don’t have to sell the concept at all. Top agents just ‘get it’ and understand the value. I am always busy.

    The other benefit to video is the use in social platforms. Video gets FAR more eyeballs and engagement than still photos or text. Facebook really pushes video and my clients get huge bounces from Facebook videos as well as Instagram. Additionally, YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine (and not technically even a search engine!) and those videos end up ranking very high on basic Google searches within hours of posting. Most of my videos receive hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of views the first day, which is also great ammo for agents looking to impress sellers with their marketing.

    Still photos will always be king in real estate marketing, but video is a great add on that also markets and brands the agent in a very positive light, enabling them to get more listings and higher quality listings and creates better clientele for the photographer - a true win/ win.

  3. Visit Fred Light's YouTube channel (linked from his name above) for a quick master class on how to do real estate video that works for an audience.

    Fred's videos have the property's full address in the title - so they can be found in search. They include info that buyers want in the description: bedroom and bath count, what's distinctive about the property, etc. They showcase the home's flow and livability. They link to the selling agent's website early in the description so that interested buyers (and sellers) can follow up. Etc.

    Fred's videos reach viewers, and they deliver value to the audience. It's hard to sell videos that don't. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out.

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