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How to Shoot Real Estate Videos - TOP 10 TIPS

Published: 01/12/2018
By: larry

6 comments on “How to Shoot Real Estate Videos - TOP 10 TIPS”

  1. Nice but a bit dated on the equipment. None the less there are many good tips here that can translate into more realistic videos normal agents want. Those are "Walk Through Videos" And sorry folks no agents will pay $1500-2000 for a walk through video. That being said you can learn how to shoot doing them and still make money without setting high expectations of the results.

    Right now I can typically shoot a WT video, while I'm on site already, in 15 minutes. Processing that video takes maybe 15-30 minutes. All of this take practice. Once you get the pattern down it's just repetition. What you charge is always a factor of the time spent and the market. Setting a custom profile in the camera is very critical and not related to your settings when shooting stills. There is very little leeway in adjusting in post processing so getting the shot right and understanding how lighting conditions change while moving is critical. I'm saying all of this because when I first started I had no idea of the capabilities and settings while using my DSLR for videos.

    Here is what I'd like to see. I'd like to see hints and tips focused on specific equipment settings per camera and techniques focused on Walk Through Videos. These are no brainer add-on agents will buy 50% of the time. They will enable you to increase your revenue 25-50% per shoot without adding any travel time or expense except for a decent gimbal.

    It has enabled me to tie together other offerings we have and set my business apart from others in the area. While I was reluctant to get into video at first it has proven to be a real asset in growing and retaining my client base. This guy is very good but his business model in not one that blends very well with shooting stills and videos at the same time through most of North America. It does work in markets saturated with luxury listings on the coast and in the mountains (Ski Country). This will never work on a 250k home or 450k home for that matter while WT videos will. The tips he gives are applicable to those WT videos though so don't get discouraged. Jump in throw away that phone for WT videos and get a good gimbal, learn about camera profiles, become a Zillow videographer and practice, practice, practice. You will enjoy and make money.

    Talk about enjoyment... as an aside I actually enjoy editing video, processing stills has become a chore. Video has more or less invigorated my attitude toward my business and helped me expand my business model improving revenue while not adding significant time to the engagements. Translation.... more dollars per hour of engagement. Just do it.

  2. I have watched this guy before and feel like he is very out of touch with the world. In the entire state of Michigan you may see 10 homes that sell over $10M in a year. If that. Another 10 to 15 that sell between $5M and $10M. And you are not going to have near 100% share of these 25 properties.

    There are more that sell between $1M and $5M and even more from $500k and $1M.

    Here is the problem. The agents selling in the $1M to $5M range also sell in the $500k to $1M range. And their typical path is what I call “lowest common denominator” approach.

    That is, they pay me $400 to $500 for photos and video all day. But they are happy to get that same product on a $7M house. They are not significantly upping their game on paying for significantly higher production value.

    Taken all together you get this...

    If you are charging $1,500 for a video tona realtor for a are likely to get less than 5 projects per year. You are not killing it at that price point with that volume. I can make $1,500 a day at the $400 mark and do it 5 days in a row in the busy season. So my “run-n-gun” video business model is more profitable than what he is proposing. By far.

    And now we are back where we started. MOST of us are not in ultra luxury markets...but it is clear that ultra-luxury gets red carpet attention and respect in our industry.

    I am going to say it again and again. We need to start talking about an Index. The Profitability Index. You calculate it by taking the average price you charge less what you pay any subordinate photog (if you are a team business model) times the total yearly volume and then divide by 100 to make the number smaller and shareable.

    Volume matters. Money paid out to team members matters. But people like to talk quality and price but get to fly under the radar forgetting to mention volume. Or if they talk volume they fail to disclose how much of their profit is going right out the back door to pay subordinates. The result is that all discussions in our industry are apples and oranges and cherries comparisons. What we need is a simple NUMBER that we can use to honestly establish which business models/workflows are more profitable and which are less profitable.

    We should all just have an annoying standard practice that whenever anyone talks about the price they charge in blog comments and or on Facebook groups...everyone just piles on with various forms of the “What’s you P.I. Though?” question.

    If we all had to talk Profitability Index, we would start talking about the same thing.

  3. I like Walbeck's video, but agree, it's definitely dated. Wish I had the time to make my own "how to shoot real estate video" tutorial. After 12 years of shooting RE, I feel like I have a lot to share.

    @Frank "And sorry folks no agents will pay $1500-2000" - maybe not in your market, but they definitely do in mine

    @Brian "likely to get less than 5 projects per year" - again, maybe in your market 🙂

  4. @Brian Kurtz. The best formula may be what the market will bear that fills your schedule. I work as a one man business and, doing just stills, I will schedule 2-3 jobs per day depending on the time of year, distance and travel. I have a minimum rate I can charge to make it worth more photographing home, but if I get to the point where I am booked solid, I'll start upping the price until I'm a bit shy of filling up each week. Ideally, that's where the market is at for the area. If I could raise my rates to earn the same money with fewer, but higher end jobs/clients I would be getting out to that edge where life is very risky since losing just one or two of those clients or a slow down in that market can mean a big drop in income. It also has to be remembered that as photographers/videographers, we are far more likely to spot deficiencies than an agent might not so the marketing for a $1million home is just fine when marketing a $7million home which is why agent's may not be willing to spend any more. I've even heard that when the prices are at the extreme top of the market nation-wide, the pool of buyers is so small that going over the top on the imagery isn't something they will do. The potential buyers may have also already been to the house already too since they run in the small circle of ultra wealthy.

    I know in my market that even $500 is beyond what agents will spend. I see $1mil+ homes photographed with a mobile phone and when I call those agents, they don't see the value in hiring a professional even at $200 for a basic set of stills. Greedy lot. It makes me wonder if they ever get another property in that price range, and if they do, how? I know that if I were going to be paying $60,000 in commissions, I'd want more marketing quality than what might be used on a $80,000 double wide.

  5. He is obviously a videographer who does occasional real estate videos. I think the video and tips are very good, and I do not believe you need to update your equipment every three months or move to sony to produce good videos.

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