Tuesday, August 23, 2011

What’s important is that the “story is told”!

I won’t quote all the studies that have been done but I will tell you, there are plenty.  They all say the same thing – the consumer shopping for real estate wants:
  1. photos – several
  2. detail – a lot of detail
  3. video tours –not photos turned into a slide show – actual video

So if video is Number # 3 on the consumers wish list – why are only on third of REALTORS® using them?

  • 1 out of 5 consumers between the ages of 50-64 are watching – today!
  • 1 out of 4 consumers between the ages of 30-49 are watching – today!

I recently sat in on a free on-line video seminar with the Matthew Ferrara Learning Network Video Tips & Tricks.

I took away some truly amazing stats on the Power of Video from Matthew’s presentation.

  • Over 2 billion videos are viewed every day. 
  • 144 million people watch video every month.
  • Canadians watch more online video than Television

They aren’t captured by photos set to music – they want the ‘story’ of the ‘home’.
Creating a video that works takes planning – you have to think differently.
What’s the message or property opportunity you are really trying to convey?

  • Create a story board – map out what you really want to get across to the consumer:
  • Never walk through with a list –“this is the bathroom... this in the living room....”
  • The truth be told – if the bathroom is not over the top spectacular – it should not be included in photos or video
  • Be sure it’s not garbage day with the garbage cans lined up and down the street 
  • Is the lawn cut or the driveway cleanly shovelled?
  • Have a conversation with the home owners- why do they love it
  • Have a conversation with the consumer watching 

Consider all parts of the video that present what is being conveyed about the subject:

  • Voice, 
  • Surroundings, 
  • Neighbourhood
  • Lighting  
  • Reflections

Modern ‘musts’ from those who study these things are :

  • The agent must appear in the video
  • Not just music playing but a narration – even off screen
  • HD quality
  • You Tube distribution

A good quality microphone is a great investment.  Some of today’s cameras that double as a camera and video camera fall short on their audio capability.  There are small wireless mics with a receiver available between $200 and $500.

Finding music to embed that does not have a copyright can be difficult and not always necessary.  The consumer wants to get the feel of the home and you are often the best medium to convey that.  If you are nervous, go slow.  Greet them on camera, Close on camera – these are called bumpers. You can then add a voice over to the video footage and talk about the lifestyle the buyer can enjoy as they live in this wonderful new home.

Natural light is the best to work with.  Not everyone can afford –or needs to hire a professional crew.  Pay attention the time of day, the weather, the sun.  Maybe the soft light of early evening shows one particular home off better than another.  Be careful not to catch yourself in the reflection of a mirror or polished surface.  If your in-house lighting is harsh it can create reflection of surfaces that record poorly digitally.

Preparing the home to put its best foot forward is something you want to do with/as the home owner for every listing, regardless of shooting a video.  Ensure you aren’t showing that rust stained drip spot on the sink or those broken switch plate covers.  Ensure the seller pays attention to the small details – they are usually quite easy to fix.  A clean and uncluttered home shows so much better in video – and in person.  “Mrs. Seller, Maybe some of those unique furniture pieces that mean so much to you need to be removed prior to listing – and videotaping.”  It’s an old saying but it is still very true ..........

“you only have one chance to make a good first impression”.

A tripod is important.  You never appear as steady as you think you are.
YouTube.com distribution is available to anyone these days.  It’s free, huge, enjoys a lot of traffic, is GPS enabled and socially distributed. The title and tags used are very important for the video to be found.  Double check once it’s loaded, that it mapped correctly.  Decide if you will allow your videos to be embedded in other websites.  You can make that choice as you load your video.  It’s also a great idea to use built in traffic review – how many views? – from what medium?. You can learn a lot about the consumer you are attracting.

Coldwell Banker® Agents have a huge advantage over everyone else with their own channel, ON LOCATION®.

  • 2.6 million views since its inception
  • Coldwell Banker On Location owns 96% of the Real Estate Market Video content on YouTube.com.
  • 51% of all online content viewed is video

The volume pushed through the channel helps with search engine optimization – meaning your videos are found before others and show higher in the search results.  ON LOCATION® is marketed by the Brand as well as every Coldwell Banker® office.  They help expose your videos.

While you consider your story board ask yourself, “How long should my video be?”  They should be as long as it takes you to tell the story of this particular home. Many will tell you, however, that much more than 2 ½ minutes and you’ll lose your audience. For expansive properties and very large homes you may need an extra minute or so to capture the feeling you truly want to convey.  You might want to consider doing three or four short 30 second bits on areas of the home.

Don’t be afraid to try different formats – what’s important is that the “story is told”.

When the going gets "Tough"... just call me.  Susan Tough

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