This is a guest post by Brett Clements, of PlatinumHD Propvid Australia (note that in AU the refer to the home seller as the "vendor"):
As PlatinumHD Propvid slowly expands internationally, we’re being exposed to different ways of doing things. Different ways Agents do things. Different business models.
Increasingly, we are being asked, why is the quality of real estate marketing in Australia so high and how overseas Agents can achieve these results? The most defining answer, in terms of how it effects the quality and creativity of what we do, as content-makers, is Vendor Paid Advertising (VPA). Quite simply, the home owner invests in the marketing of their property and the Agency sources the best professionals (suppliers) for the production. Everybody has skin in the game and a healthy and highly competitive ‘industry’ of content makers focused on quality and innovation is just one of the many by products. Anybody deriving an income from real estate marketing in Australia has all the agencies and agents who’ve pioneered and championed this business model to thank.
In many markets outside Australia, especially the United States, there’s no such thing as VPA. The Agent has to pay for all the advertising themselves. So, rather than hire anybody to do the job, they do it themselves. The Agent does it all, often using smart phones to take photographs and even video, and using software programs to write scripts. Yes. One of the last stalwarts of human creativity, that of creative writing, is now being done by applications (mark 1 up for Singularity) although one could argue if any type of writing could be done by a drone, its that of real estate classified where the murdering of adjectives is serial (as in killer).
Advances in smart phone and camera technology will no doubt make it cheaper and easier for anybody to take great pictures and make great video. All that will be missing is the ‘will’ to want to do it and the ‘passion’ to want to exceed. No doubt they’ll have an ‘app’ for that one day. For PASSION, click to install.
But at the moment, in production, there’s no first prize in a race to the bottom. At PlatinumHD Propvid, we re-invest heavily in our business, ensuring we’ve got the best cameras, lenses, lighting and technology and insurance. Let’s not forget about insurance. Cutting prices cuts corners and that can be dangerous, especially in film production when you’re using constant lighting and heavy equipment, like jibs and cranes. We regularly set up three big 2,000 watt lights to flood the exteriors of homes. These things run hot. You don’t want to be burning down a Hedges Avenue estate without $21 million in public liability.
A lot of things go into scheduling, producing, shooting, cutting and streaming content, and to stand out in a buyers’ market, you need great quality marketing materials. Cheap content cheapens homes and cheapens professional reputation. As that old saying goes, you get what you pay for.
Note from Larry: My experience as a listing agent for 10 years in the US, getting home sellers to pay for advertising probably wouldn't be that difficult. We've discussed many times on this blog, how to sell real estate photography directly to home sellers and many have been successful at doing that. I think Brett is right, seller paid advertising would be a win-win for everyone in the real estate transaction.