Through his photographer/videographer, Heath Cowart, I recently met Paul Wilander who is a top producing broker in Brevard, NC. Paul opened his own real estate brokerage (Looking Glass Realty llc) in November 2010 with the aim at providing his clients with the most effective, cutting edge marketing available. Paul's experience is that professional photography and video are the two top marketing tools available to real estate agents and that if used the way he describes below they will triple the number of showings a listing gets.
Here's how Paul describes it in his own words:
The top two effective marketing tools available are professional photos and professional video. If photos are worth a thousand words then video must be worth a million. Point being professional videos stand in a class all to there own. Videos have gotten me more showings from buyer's agents, more buyer's contacting me, and more listings.
Perfect example, I just received a call from a buyer while writing this blog post who saw the video on my listing and is now scheduled to see the house at 5PM today. There are, however, two essential rules that must be followed to ensure your property video will be effective:
- Rule 1: the video has to be made available as a virtual tour/video on the MLS and IDX feed, fed directly too all the local websites as well as the titan buyer eating websites like Realtor.com, Trulia, Oodle etc... You also have to push in the listing remarks for the buyer to "visit the virtual tour Youtube video link." When buyers see a video is available they will almost automatically watch the link just because it's so much more familiar and informative than combing through hundreds of photos and fluffed up mind numbing remarks like "location, location, location," "won't last long," "Diamond in the ruff," or "Handy Man Special." Moreover when they see youtube video (third largest website in the world) they instinctively know this isn't another picture slide show. You now have effectively captured the attention of the buyer and positively disrupted his/her focus from the doll-drum of sifting through listing info to the experience of motion picture.
- Rule #2: the video has to be good. I ensure my videos are good by hiring a professional videographer (Residential Photography and Video ). Good videos do not require professional actors or even good narrators an example would be the link to the video that just got me a showing. Effective real estate videos require great property footage and a clear message. Keep in mind the only audience that matters is buyers and sellers.
I have worked within the parameters of these two rules with the guidance of Residential Photography and video and have seen showings increase on listings up to 3 times. As for getting listings the ability to provide video (not virtual tours) to clients has given me a serious advantage over most my competition.
I was struck by the fact that when you look at Paul's site, he uses professional photography and video for ALL his listings not just the upper-end ones, even one for $260K. Also when you do as nice a job at doing your own narration as Paul does (here is his YouTube Channel) you don't need professional narration. Paul has a nice easy going, laid back style of talking about his listings. I think this is a big factor to his success with video.
Just in case someone at this point is thinking, "tripling showings doesn't mean anything", let me assert that it does! I assure you that 3 times as many showings as competing listings translates into faster sales and higher net sales prices, just has the two, more elaborate studies, that I reported on last year here and here showed. These two more formal studies measured the effect of professional photography without videos.