You’ve probably heard the Bill Gates quote “content is king” from his essay about the internet circa the mid-1990’s. Well in 2020, video content is really king. With the overwhelming popularity of platforms like YouTube, Instagram Live, TikTok, and many others, video has been a tried and true marketing tactic for many years, and this isn’t likely to go away anytime soon. In fact, 85% of businesses use video marketing, with 87% saying that they’ve seen an increase in site traffic from these channels.
Getting started in real estate video marketing can be overwhelming, so to help you out, we’ve compiled this guide to everything you need to know to launch your video campaign.
6 Effective Real Estate Video Marketing Formats
First off, you should understand the different types of videos you can create and what each is best used for. For most businesses, a combination of some or all of these formats is a solid strategy to appeal to different audiences for different reasons.
Testimonial videos are used to demonstrate the value of your product or service from the point of view of a satisfied customer. For these types of videos, you will typically ask a customer or client to say a few lines about why they liked working with you, how you helped them, and what makes you better than your competitors in their eyes. Testimonials can come in different forms. It could be one customer speaking for thirty seconds, splicing together several customers saying one or two lines, or even a simple slideshow showing positive reviews on your site or social channels.
“Reel” Estate Example: After you’ve found your client the perfect tenants to fill their vacancies, you can send them 4–5 short questions to record themselves answering. Things like “How did my agent go above and beyond to meet my needs?” and “Will I trust this agent to handle my next vacancy?”
2. Product Demonstration
This is one of the most straightforward video formats, but what you’re demonstrating depends on your business and what you want to show off. For example, many product-based companies will have “unboxings” where they unwrap and show how to use the product, while video game publishers will demonstrate live gameplay. The point is to show potential buyers how it will feel to use your service.
“Reel” Estate Example: The most obvious product demonstration video for real estate agents is to show off available properties you’re representing. These usually come in the form of walk-through videos so viewers can get an accurate picture of what it would be like to live there. Below is an example of this type of video from agent Jennifer Okhovat at Jenny O. Homes.
3. Personal Advice
Today’s consumers want to connect with brands on a personal level. For people in customer-centric careers like real estate, this is even more essential. Because you can’t personally reach out to every single potential client, creating candid, authentic videos of yourself speaking on a topic you are knowledgeable about is a great way to connect with your audience.
These types of videos allow you to come off as a human rather than a brand and evokes trust in your customers. Instead of speaking about a particular product or service, instead choose a question or pain point that your audience may be experiencing and demonstrate your expertise by addressing it.
“Reel” Estate Example: Real estate agents could talk about topics like the benefits of a certain area over another, how families can choose the right sized homes, how to make sure you’re making a good investment, or any other topics that you feel you have the right amount of experience with.
4. Expert Interviews
In addition to offering advice on a personal level, you can also demonstrate your knowledge of the industry by participating in expert interviews with others in your field. These types of videos are ideal for discussing wider industry trends, new research, or best practices, and shows your audience that you care about staying tuned in to current events and connecting with other professionals for continued development.
“Reel” Estate Example: These types of videos are mutually beneficial, so think about who in your network would also benefit from increased exposure. This could be a fellow agent, a broker you work closely with, an experienced homebuyer, or anyone else who could offer unique insight into the industry and who you could have an educated conversation with.
5. Live Streams
Video live streams are hosted on social media sites like Instagram or Facebook Live. Because they are completely candid, they give you the opportunity to present more of a “face-to-face,” natural experience vs a scripted and polished promotional video. Live streams are typically used for events as they allow your audience to participate without actually being present.
“Reel” Estate Example: For agents, the obvious live stream choice is for open houses. Because of COVID-19, indoor gatherings are limited in many states, but real estate agents can substitute live streams of the home so interested parties can still get a “first-person” view of what it would be like to live there.
Not to be mistaken with product demonstration videos, educational videos walk viewers through a certain issue they’re having. Topics for educational videos can come from questions you frequently receive from your customers. For example, a software company may create an educational video that walks users through a complex part of their tool, while a marketing agency might create an explainer video on the latest Google algorithm update.
“Reel” Estate Example: A good place to start with educational videos for real estate agents is to think about what a first-time renter or homebuyer needs to know. They may not understand how homebuying works or even what your role in this process is. Though it may sound simplistic, younger customers will appreciate your thoughtfulness in creating these types of videos and simplifying the complex process for them.
How to Create Your Marketing Videos
Now that you know the formats you can use for your real estate video marketing efforts, it’s time to talk about how you can actually create them. The good news is that in these days of smart tech, almost anyone can shoot a simple, professional-looking video.
Amateur vs Professional Video
The first thing you’ll need to decide is whether you want to hire a professional team to shoot and edit your videos for you, or whether you want to try to handle it internally. There are pros and cons to each of these scenarios, and ultimately it will be up to you to decide what is best for you and your marketing budget.
The main upside to hiring a professional videographer is that you’ll have access to high-quality videos that you wouldn’t be able to make yourself. Not only do videographers provide the equipment, but they also handle all the editing and lighting which makes your job a lot easier. The cons are, of course, price, and the difficulty of scheduling times for shooting when you may want to be more spontaneous.
The pros and cons of making videos on your own are just the opposite. You can shoot good-looking videos on your iPhone without having to pay for a professional crew, and you’ll have the freedom and flexibility to shoot and publish whenever you want. However, you’ll have to handle the lighting, setup, and editing all on your own which can take up a lot of time and energy.
Tools and Pricing
When it comes down to it, real estate video marketing is expensive, so you’ll need to determine how much of your budget you’re willing to devote to these campaigns. On average, one video will cost around $1000 if you work with a professional. This amount is subject to a number of variables including location, length, type of video, number of crew members, production level, and more, but $1K is a good ballpark estimate to keep in mind.
On the other hand, starting a video marketing campaign on your own will cost around $500 if you’re just purchasing non-premium essentials. However, typically the pricier the production equipment the better quality the video will be, so these startup costs can quickly grow. Coupled with the work of having to learn how to use editing software, DIY real estate video marketing can be nearly as expensive as working with a professional. Cost estimates for equipment are broken down below:
- Ring Light - $80
- Editing Software - $150
- Microphone - $50
- Backdrop - $50
- Video Camera - $200
If you want to play it safe with your video marketing, you could always start by shooting a few videos on your own and seeing how your audience responds. If you get good feedback, that could be a sign that budgeting for higher-quality video will be worth it in the long run. Just keep in mind that your video quality should be consistent. If you publish several polished tutorial videos in a row followed by a grainy smartphone clip, it makes your brand look unsteady.
Where to Post Your Marketing Videos
So, where do you actually share your marketing videos online? In short, everywhere! That’s the great thing about video; it’s easily repurposed and reposted so that you’re getting the most out of your content. For example, one 10-minute interview can be posted in full on your “About” page, in one-minute chunks on social media, and transcribed to create a blog post. Here are a few places you should make sure to share your videos:
- Create an educational video explaining your services on your “About” page
- Post client testimonials in your case studies and reviews section
- Share property walkthroughs on the available properties section of your site
- Post interviews and thought leadership videos on your blog
- Post full-length videos to your YouTube channel
- Break up longer videos into 30-second or one-minute chunks to use as social media posts and stories
- Utilize live streaming features to highlight open houses or community events
- Check out our guide to real estate hashtags to learn more about promoting your content on social
- Include welcome videos to new clients or thank you videos to open house attendees
- Send interviews or personal advice videos to your contact list to show off your expertise
Video Marketing for Real Estate Agents: 8 Extra Tips
So there you have it, we’ve covered the different types of real estate video marketing out there, the options available for creating your videos, and where you should be sharing them online. Though starting a video campaign can be intimidating, it’s easier once you get going and know what to expect. Below are eight additional points to keep in mind that should help things run smoothly.
- Include CTA’s for Lead Capture - Make the most of your video content by including lead capture forms where they make sense. While you don’t want to do this on every short video, including an email gate for your longer-form content can help you gather contact information for valuable real estate prospects. In addition to gated content, you can also include buttons on your YouTube videos that direct viewers to your site or social pages.
- Optimize Videos for YouTube Search - Speaking of YouTube, did you know that you actually need to optimize your video descriptions much like you do your site content? Make sure you’re taking the time to do keyword research and filling out all descriptions properly to give your content the best chance to rank. Check out this guide to YouTube optimizations for more expert info on this process.
- Sell the Lifestyle in Addition to the Product - This is a standard practice in any advertising campaign, as you need to appeal to viewers on an emotional level as well as on a logical level. When creating property walkthrough videos, the music, lighting, and decor all work to create a certain atmosphere, and you want this atmosphere to convey an emotion that corresponds to what the target viewer wants. For example, an expensive condo should convey a sense of luxury while a new townhouse might appeal to younger renters looking for the big city, party lifestyle.
- Lighting is Everything - Nothing will make a video look low-quality like poor lighting. If you’ve decided to handle your real estate video marketing without the help of professionals, make sure you are constantly testing and tweaking your lighting set up. Dark, grainy footage isn’t going to appeal to anyone and even worse, it can reflect negatively onto you in terms of your professionalism and quality of work.
- Have a Script But Stay Flexible - Unless you are extremely comfortable in front of the camera, it’s best to have a script prepared for your videos, especially if you’re producing long-form content like advice or interviews. However, over-rehearsed lines can sound awkward, so make sure you allow yourself some wiggle room to be creative and genuine. As you get more accustomed to making videos, you’ll likely have to rely on your script less and less over time.
- Test Your Audio Beforehand - We can’t overstate this point enough! Shooting an entire video only to realize your microphone wasn’t working is a frustrating experience like none other. No matter if you’re using a professional video camera or just your iPhone, take a few test takes before you start to make sure everything sounds good before launching into the full segment.
- Try Out Creative Apps - If you’re planning to share short videos on your social media channels (which you definitely should be!) then go ahead and test out a few fun video apps to give your content a little extra flair. These work well with event-focused videos rather than interviews or explainers. Some of the most popular apps include Boomerang and Slowmographer.
- Keep it Short and Sweet - With video, less is usually more. Unless you’re focusing on long-form content like expert interviews or detailed product walkthroughs, try to keep your videos around one minute long. After all, the average human attention span is now estimated to be around just eight seconds!
You can download the full infographic with all of these video marketing tips below:
We hope this guide helps you get started on your real estate video marketing campaign, and as always you can check out our blog for other tips and tricks of the agent trade. Be sure to take a look at our online rental application and tenant screening services as well to learn how our tools can help simplify your day-to-day.