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This Week In Real Estate Video #50 - Simple Yet Effective

Published: 23/03/2013
By: larry

I've talked about Julie Kinnear's work before, but it has been well over a year. I just saw one of her new listings that reminded me what a great job she does. Julie is a top Toronto agent that does her own video walk through tours.  After looking at Julie's work quite a lot I've come to really like it even though it is not polished from a video production point of view. I've tried to figure out why I'm willing to put up with watching video that is hand-held, un-edited and done with a low-end point and shoot camera. I think the reason is Julie's friendly, laser like information packed narration style.

Doing what Julie does is harder than it looks! There are just a few agents in 10,000 that could do this as good a Julie is doing it. Here's a summary of what she is doing:

  1. She is using very minimal equipment. A Pink Canon ELF handheld. You may see it occasionally in mirrors.
  2. Before a walk through she points the camera at her face and says, "Hi there, I'm Julie Kinnear ..." exactly the same for every video. This part of her branding. I think this is very effective.
  3. She shoots the whole walk through as one clip. No editing. Just shoot it and upload to YouTube.
  4. Sure the camera work is casual and bounces around an will drive Pro videographers crazy. But her rapid fire narrative of the home holds your attention and takes your attention off the camera movement. I'm willing to put up with the camera movement because Julie is conveying so much information and holding my attention.
  5. Her narrative conveys a huge amount of information about the property. And because you are seeing what she is talking about it you remember it better.
  6. Julie's typical listing page on her site has 16+ stills, multiple videos, a floor plan, a google map and street view.
  7. Julie makes extensive use of video for testimonials. Her testimonial page has over 30 video testimonials on it.
  8. Julie also has a video of her team members on her team page.

I think Julie's online marketing is a great example of how to use video market a property. It's easy to see why she is a top agent in Toronto. Great job Julie!

11 comments on “This Week In Real Estate Video #50 - Simple Yet Effective”

  1. Two things that really stand out in Julie's videos: 1. You will see how the home really lives. You see every nook, every step up to the laundry, the views and the even the cramped kitchen - if it is. There's no wide angle shots or color correcting to enhance the property. It's just a raw, unedited walk-through. 2. You get to know Julie. Again, unedited and raw. It's just Julie talking about real estate - the good points and the bad points. Homes are not perfect and she'll point out that yes, you will get exercise doing laundry. In summery, Julie's the type of agent I'd love to work with.

  2. Something looked weird to me while watching the video, i then noticed some movement artifacts that reveal the use of software image stabilizing. While I normally avoid using that form of image stabilizing, it actually looks great in this video! Smoothing out the camera jerks and giving the video more of a glide cam look. Impressive.

  3. I think that is exactly what the buyer that ends up buying that house wants to see. They want to see the property. If your goal is to inform the buyer...this is the approach to take. Personally I am an agent, and I want MORE sellers. I want sellers to say dang that video is sexy, and I want one for my house! I also want them to get to know me just a little. Also i'm looking for a little higher price point than what I imagine I would attract with a walkthrough unpolished video. Julie is a real pro. I think we need to examine WHY we are doing video because there isn't a right or wrong way...WE are all pioneers!

  4. I tend to really dislike most of the video work, and I mean video, not some idea of video, that is done for real estate. This is a delightful surprise. Basic, simple, to the point, in sequence, and the narration is just what it should be. Kudos to Julie. Agents, wake up, pay attention, and either get professional help to produce working tours, or give up. Buyers want information that makes sense. If you can't provide it, there are many that can. It pays!

  5. Wow Mike - Your first comments were somewhat surprising to me. The use of video in real estate is taking off and providing such a better means to relay a message and a property that I can't see marketing a home with out. So to dislike video is kind of like saying you dislike color film when it started to replace black and white. Video is finally becoming affordable and so easy to produce that I see it taking over as a primary source of marketing real estate.

  6. While I initially interpreted like Charlie, on re-reading wondering if it is a function of the more cryptic abreviations used in posting. "Most of the video work" is somewhat all encompassing of but "most" can also mean th junky cheap crap that is pushed on Realtors both through 3rd party suppliers and blog posts stressing a video presence. As a result we get the same still photos repackaged in mp4 with a mechanical voice reading the narrative script originally written as the independent verbage to describe the property, but now suddenly an audio track out of sync with the photos. You hear the emotionalless, flat affect, with no descriptive inflections talking about the master bedroom as you are looking at pictures of the kitchen. Unfortunately, that is what is being adopted.

    I had a client who was going up againt that "video" as she competed for corporate relo referral business. I looked at what her competition was doing and calling video...but didn't want to come anywhere close to providing a product at the time so I showed her how to take the stills I provided, apply them in iMovie and she came up with a superior presentation. She started nailing those relos that were referred to her and two others.

  7. I'm sorry I totally have to disagree with everyones comments for the most part. Yes I'm biased as I shoot HD videos for realtors but seriously all I see when I watch this video is 4.5 minutes of "cheap realtor video". Yes she's doing more than other realtors but is this helping or hurting her? It's proven that anything over 2.5 min is a far stretch to keep a viewer interested and this style of video only says to me that she is too cheap to do it professionally. She probably got quotes and thought to herself "I can do this myself" because she doesn't know what goes into a professional video. I know a lot of you are groaning at me right now but hey we all have our own opinions and just because I disagree with you all doesn't mean I'm not right in a lot of ways.

    If you're going to do anything in life to be successful, don't do it half assed. This video is an old rusted volkswagen and it should be a Porsche. Let's be real, we're talking about marketing homes for thousands of dollars in commissions. To save a buck by doing amateur videos like this only tells me my realtor is a cheapskate that doesn't think my home is worthy of her marketing dollars. Same goes for realtors that think they can go buy a canon rebel from costco and start shooting real estate photography. Let's be real people, this is low budget work and way too long and it's not RAW just how the home is, the footage actually downgrades the quality and lighting of the home especially because it's being shot on full auto and the aperture is constantly adjusting for the windows making it look dreary and fuzzy.

    I really don't think this type of work should be supported or encouraged because the quality videos are coming and these realtors are going to be left in the dust. Someone said branded and branded she will someone that spends no money and makes horrible over timed videos. Don't get me wrong she's got her heart in the right place but let the feature sheets describe every nook and cranny and the photos tell the story but leave the photography and especially the video to the pros.

  8. @Matt - I don't think anyone is arguing that Julie's video wins a contest for beautifully produced video. I think Julie just sees video differently than most of us here. She sees it and uses it as an informal way to talk to people about her listings. Julie's video shows that not all property video has to be polished and highly produced to be effective. I know what you are saying... her video is not effective. Did you notice that Julie and her team are ranked #20 among all agents in Canada? Sure that's not just because of her video but I doubt that her informal use of video is detracting from her success. I think it's helping it!

  9. @larry
    I'm not saying she's unsuccessful or successful. My point is that I don't believe this video style deserves any credit in the industry as it is clearly not a clever marketing move in my opinion...many other realtors do the EXACT same thing so it's not unique at all and it's for one reason only....they do not want to part with money and think it's "good enough" to get the point across. A few small investments like a tripod and wireless mic would make a huge difference in her videos and give her much more credibility, but hey if people like them and she's doing well, kudos to her. I personally just think it's not worth posting stuff like this when you don't have to. Realtors are realtors because they are good at selling houses and should hire professionals for what they are good at.
    BTW I'm not one of those guys that goes on these forums to rock the boat, I just have an opinion on the flip side of everyone else and am probably just saying what a lot of other people feel also but are afraid to disagree with the masses that's all. Keep up the good work, love your site!!!

  10. As a broker and someone that has been teaching REALTORS the power of video for the past 5 years please allow me to share some personal insight.

    Crappy video is crappy video ... there no way around that .. BUT .. with a bit of training, a good mic and something as simple as a iPad, agents CAN produce/edit and upload good video.

    Will it be Hollywood perfect - absolutely not but nor does it have to be.

    In fact one agent I know did over $200k in commissions last year using an inexpensive webcam and screen capture software.

    Video is more than just home ours - it's client testimonials, agent rants, showcasing local points of interest, buyer/seller tips etc., etc.

    The real power of video lies in the ability for a prospective customer to get to know, like and trust the agent they are viewing in advance ... so when they do make the conscious decision to connect, a bond has already been psychologically made.

    Authenticity, transparency and having a message to share is the key.

    So does video have to be perfect ... no ... but for agents looking to differentiate themselves from their competition and to be relevant with today's home buyers/sellers it's definitely a skill-set they need to learn.

    michael krisa

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