“Real estate video production has become a staple in the high-end property market, and agents who best showcase properties both win and sell listings.” (Inman)
Virtual reality is everywhere – including the real estate industry. Given the current technological advances available, buyers crave more from a listing beyond still images. Luckily for agents and brokers, delivering critical tech-forward listing details in the form of virtual tours may bring more prospective buyers through the door.
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Nonetheless, adopting a new piece of technology to better market your listings requires some forethought. Consider some general guidelines on implementing video walkthroughs, both efficiently and effectively, to further boost buyer interest.
Hire a professional – or act like one
You might be hesitant in hiring a professional videographer until you see the bottom-line results of your efforts.
Much like listing images, though, poor quality doesn’t sell.
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Consider purchasing a digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera that shoots 1080p high-definition (HD) videos. Use a tripod to steady the camera and sidestep wobbly shots. To take your videos a step further, buy a 10- to 20-mm wide-angle lens for a more authentic experience that won’t distort room sizes. In addition, an external microphone reduces unwanted noise and gives prospective buyers a superior experience.
This is not to say smartphone cameras haven’t made immense strides in quality over the past few years.
The Premier Agent App allows real estate professionals to resourcefully record and publish video walkthroughs with their phone in minutes. As long as you take the proper precautions – testing lighting, opening all doors and following your storyboard – you can create a successful listing trailer. From there, a corresponding professional listing video or the later in-person tour helps seal the deal.
Plan out your tour and room angles
You don’t aimlessly lead prospective buyers from room to room without somewhat of a plan during a showing – so why let your online walkthrough lack a strategy?
First, create a video storyboard that acts as the blueprint for your virtual tour. Plotting shots beforehand with a timeline, essential landscapes, positioning tactics and highlights produces a seamless and shareable final product.
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Consider the important qualities of the home. After composing a compelling and keyword-focused listing description, you’ll have a solid grasp on which desirable elements to capture. But, you still want to paint a larger picture to let buyers “feel” the space in its entirety. For example, record the backyard starting from the doorway, transition steadily across the beautiful landscaping and conclude by showcasing the coveted pool area.
Whether inside or outside, creating a sense of flow and depth is key. Use horizontal lines, such as walls, edges or countertops, to guide eyes across a space. To get creative, shoot playrooms from a low angle to mimic the child’s perspective, or pan over eye-catching details like coffered ceilings and crown molding.
Get ready, set, shoot!
Bad lighting can hurt your listing presence in both photos and videos.
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Open windows and blinds to use natural daylight instead of using artificial floor lamps. If necessary, opt for overhead lighting that provides a more balanced look and eliminates dark, shadowy corners. Whatever your preference, stick with one type of lighting throughout the tour for a cohesive look.
Your opening scene should contain an establishing shot, which in this case is likely the façade of the home. Medium shots zoom forward a bit more, giving the viewer a closer look at the architecture and landscaping details. Close-up shots point to particular details you want to showcase.
Play around with each shot until you find the angle that’s most interesting to you – which will likely be most interesting to viewers in general. Remember, a video is rarely shot in a single, successive order. Feel free to eliminate unnecessary clips during the post-production editing process. Make sure to allow time for revisions to ensure the movement and chronology is just right.
Consider using 3D Technology
We recently posted about using the Matterport Technology to create a submersive 3D Virtual tour for your listing.
To create your own tours using this method can be a bit cumbersome as the camera is quite pricey and the technology requires a monthly account. We suggest you find a photographer that also has a Matterport camera and hire them to do both. In Seattle we recommend 3D Listing tours.
Get more eyes on your video
You took time to direct and produce a quality listing video, and now the final step is sharing your hard work.
Beyond incorporating your video into the listing itself, social media platforms are highly effective for sharing videos and ensuring a wide market reach.
Facebook generates 8 billion video views per day, constructing an organic reach 135 percent larger than images. Some social channels, like Facebook, provide performance measuring tools that help determine which efforts executed best within your target market, helping you pinpoint the best approaches moving forward.
Don’t forget to drive traffic back to your website with an engaging caption and easy-to-follow link.
Keep in mind, a thoughtful video marketing strategy goes beyond individual listings to benefit your agent or brokerage brand as a whole.
Sellers, too, take note of forward-thinking agents when they are gearing up to list. Going the extra mile with high-tech strategies, like video tours designed to broaden and lift interest, resonates well with those on both sides of the transaction.
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By Jennifer Riner