A Video Marketing Guide for Real Estate Agents
Jacqueline Kyo Thomas
As a real estate agent, you’re only as successful as your ability to pull in leads. One of the best ways to do that is through video marketing. For example, did you know that including a video with your listing can boost the amount of inquiries you receive by over 400%? Let that sink in for a moment.
The power of video in real estate marketing cannot be denied. Video offers an opportunity to attract positive interest. Video can also increase a client's confidence in your ability to sell.
However, if you're one of those old school agents who rely on still photography alone (or a part of the 96% of agents who don't add their listings to YouTube), you could be missing out on the video marketing advantage.
According to this study conducted by Inman, 85% of buyers and sellers prefer working with agents who use video. Why? The answer is clear: video sells. It is the 21st century after all. While photography is still important, you should also incorporate video to attract even more attention.
Before we go into the massive benefits of video for real estate marketing, let’s address some of the most common objections.
What’s holding you back from investing in real estate video marketing?
This is the biggest perceived drawback to real estate video marketing: cost. Because you're essentially self-employed as a real estate agent, every penny that you spend has to be justifiable. So, why would you go for video marketing when it’s cheaper to post photos of your listing instead? It's a good question!
When you calculate the costs, you’ll find that video marketing is pretty affordable. In fact, video marketing can actually be free if you’re handy with a smartphone and are planning to market through organic means like YouTube.
Another common objection to video marketing is that it requires too much time to record and edit the video.
While it does require time to do those tasks, keep in mind that you’re at the home anyway. Why not record what you see? Your real estate video doesn’t need to be nominated for a Golden Globe to sell a home - it simply needs to show it off in a desirable way. This is one of the few times in life where you can actually earn an "A" for effort.
Intuitive and user-friendly apps like iMovie make short work of editing.
If you’re able to sell a $300,000 home with a five minute video shot from your smartphone, it’s well worth the time investment.
Perhaps you’re not comfortable being in front of the camera. You feel awkward, you trip over your words, or you sound a bit monotone.
Not to worry. In real estate video, the listing is usually the star. Take a video tour and add pleasant music. It’s really that simple.
Now that we’ve dismantled the reasons against it, let’s talk about the many benefits you’ll gain from incorporating video into your overall marketing strategy.
Images are captivating but moving images are hypnotic. Video creates an immersive atmosphere for the viewer. Add music to establish a tone, and entice the viewer to mentally move in.
As I mentioned above, you don’t need to break the piggy bank to start video marketing. If you don't have the budget to hire a fancy videographer, whip out your smartphone and make it work.
Prospective clients buy your personality before they buy anything else. However, it’s hard to convey your personality through a headshot alone. If you’re not camera shy, you can quickly and effectively share your personality through video and connect with more prospective clients that way.
Which types of videos should you create for your real estate business? Let’s explore five different categories of videos you can use to market to prospective buyers or sellers.
A virtual house tour (also known as a listing video) is the most popular type of real estate marketing video. Grab both sellers and buyers alike by producing listing videos. Sellers like to work with agents who take the extra step to create a listing video. Buyers enjoy the ability to virtually walk through the home or neighborhood.
In addition to showcasing the home, your virtual house tour can also extend to the community at large. What makes the area unique? What’s the heart and soul of the neighborhood? What are the long-standing businesses in the area? What are the upcoming developments that make this neighborhood an exciting place to live? Can you review schools in the area and highlight the best? (School reviews are important because 91% of home buyers believe that school boundaries play a deciding role in whether or not to buy a home.)
Use drones to create b-roll for your community-focused videos. Those aerial shots can be visually interesting, and give buyers a unique perspective on the area. Don't know how to fly a drone? Check out Drone Hub Media, a video company founded by one of our alumni!
Introduce yourself to your prospective clients. As mentioned before, share your personality through video so that clients can feel like they know you even before they meet you. Here’s your opportunity to win them over with your charming personality, and to inspire confidence.
Inspire confidence in your abilities by recording video testimonials from your clients. Testimonials can give the viewer insight into your strengths as an agent, such as the ability to negotiate.
Add the always effective “ask me anything” video to your library. You can tackle frequently asked questions, offer advice on where and when to shop for houses, give insider tips on up and coming neighborhoods, and provide a guide to dealing with sticky situations.
In addition to unplanned “ask me anything” videos, you can also create educational videos for your prospective clients, such as what to expect during the buying or selling process, how to impress a seller, and how to negotiate better as a buyer. You can also zero in on your specialty, such as giving background on a particular neighborhood, explaining how to stage a home on a limited budget, or offering advice for clients who wish to buy after a bankruptcy.
YouTube is a great place to host your videos, but why? What do you need to know and do to succeed on YouTube?
It’s easy to think of YouTube as a video library, but it’s more than that: it’s actually a search engine, too. YouTube is the second largest search engine on the Internet (Google is the largest). House hunters use YouTube to find homes and real estate agents in their area, which is the number one reason why you should list your marketing videos on YouTube.
YouTube is owned by Google, which means that YouTube videos often pop up in Google search. You can make it to the top of the search engine results page with your YouTube video.
Before you begin uploading your videos to YouTube, take the time to fully set up a channel. Fill out your “About” section, link to your website and social media, and include a cover image for your YouTube channel using Canva or a similar graphic design tool.
Think like your clients and select keywords for your video titles that reflect how they search. For example, your target audience may use terms like “luxury New England homes for rent” or “Boston-area condo for sale.” Be sure to include these terms in your video’s title and description.
Encourage viewers to make the next step. Whether you ask them to subscribe to your YouTube channel or learn more about a particular listing, make it a priority to include a specific call to action at the end of each video.
Keep viewers on the hook for longer. Create a playlist so that viewers who start watching one video end up watching several. The more they watch, the more inspired they’ll be to complete your call to action. Example playlists include videos that are: focused on a particular neighborhood, highlight your recently sold homes, or offer related advice to a specific client type.
A great way to introduce you and your channel is to create a trailer. In your trailer, discuss what you specialize in and what types of videos you’ll upload to your channel.
Don’t just post a batch of videos and then forget about YouTube for the next eight months. Consistency rules the day. It’s best to post YouTube videos on a regular basis to build up and maintain a viewership.
Including an intro in every video is a waste of time. Nix the 30 second theme song in favor of getting straight into the topic at hand. You’ll retain more viewers that way. Intros are especially tiresome for viewers who are watching a playlist of your videos.
Don’t just leave your video on YouTube. Also share your videos on other channels, too. Include your videos on your real estate pages, and social media accounts (such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook).
Don't forget about Facebook. While YouTube is the undisputed champ of video marketing, Facebook is definitely threatening the crown. How do you succeed on Facebook?
Facebook viewers have short attention spans. You have approximately three seconds to wow them and stop them from scrolling past. Because Facebook videos play automatically, start off the video with the most engaging part to attract their attention.
Facebook videos play silently unless the viewer enables sound. Be sure to include closed captioning for viewers who prefer to watch silently.
Real estate video is an essential part of your marketing strategy. Use these tips to dominate the game and attract more client interest, sell more houses, and ultimately make more money!