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Five tips for hiring a real estate videographer

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Focusing attention on real estate video

We’ve focused quite a bit of attention on real estate photography over the years and have also focused on real estate video, but given the rise in online video viewing (averaging 15.9 hours per user in the month of May alone), it is time for you to get involved because as we recently reported, “The true advantage only goes to the agents who are implementing quality video.”

How does one come to offer consumers quality video since the day of shaky cell phone video rarely suffices anymore? There are two ways to go about it- invest time in studying, investing in the proper tools and keeping up to date with modern trends in an effort not to fall behind, or hire a videographer. We believe professionals often (not always) create a high quality product that would cost you an exorbitant amount of time and money to produce on your own.

How do you find a quality real estate videographer?

Most agents we encounter either pick a videographer based on price or on referral, but most don’t know how to determine if someone is even a videographer in the first place or what questions to ask or how to see quality in a video portfolio.

We asked Christian Sterner, co-founder of WellcomeMat, (“an all in one video platform focused on the needs of real estate agents, brokerages and the video production teams that serve them”) for his top tips on hiring a quality real estate videographer; his answers are outlined below.

Tip one: the first thing to ask

Great video cannot be faked! The first thing you should always ask any production company–even if they come via referral–is where on the web you can view their work. It’s pretty easy to tell when you are dealing with an experienced production team or not once you are watching their work (hopefully work that they’ve created for other real estate clients).

Tip two: don’t be left in the lurch

What happens after your video is created? This question will allow you to know whether your videographer understands your needs as a real estate professional or if they are winging it. If they can only create a video, leaving you to figure out how to apply an unbranded tour within your MLS etc, you might be in for a long ride.

Tip three: videographers vs. software developers

Beware of the hack job! Ask the production team you are considering working with if they are relying on a video platform that they pieced together on their own or have they invested in a supported/reliable video platform. Just like you, the agent, would have a hard time turning yourself into a videographer, production teams rarely make good software developers (but they do try, all the time).

Tip four: have video, will travel?

In working with a particular production team, will your videos be compatible with all mobile devices? This is another example of the value of your production team using a real video platform to support their clients. iOS (Apple) and Android (Google) devices have become so prevalent that some real estate companies are reporting that up to 30% of all their traffic is coming via mobile devices. Plus, you want to be able to do things like provide tour links on yard signs, within advertisements etc.

Tip five: tick tock…

5) Turnaround Time! Once you’ve found a video pro with great work in their portfolio, you’ll want to know how long it’ll take them to deliver videos to you. Ask about their process, from the time that you place your order to when you can expect to gather your content. Always require a video file! This way, if your production goes out of business or you need to part ways, you are not tied into their system.

Your turn to share

Tell us in comments your experience with real estate videographers. We know a lot of you do your own videography but today, we focus attention on hiring third party help. Have you had a good or bad experience you’d like to share with us?

The American Genius (AG) is news, insights, tools, and inspiration for business owners and professionals. AG condenses information on technology, business, social media, startups, economics and more, so you don’t have to.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Lucas

    June 23, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    As a photographer/videographer I find is current real estate videos attempt to replace still photography. This is just wrong. Video needs to be used in conjunction with still photography. Still photography is what the buyers want to look at over and over to see the details and features of a property. Video falls into three categories: Virtual tour, lifestyle, agent/property walk-through, or a combination of the three.

    Depending upon where the property is located you may want to highlight the lifestyle with video because still photographs can't show aspects of an area video can do so well. Or you may want a video virtual tour of some of the areas of the home where still photos just don't tell the entire story. In some cases the agent might want to be on camera and have a more interactive role. This is somewhat of a problem because MLS rules may see it as branding but it can be effective.

    The main thing with video is to have a plan. It isn't like still photography where you can do the same thing over and over. With video you want a marketing plan and you want the videographer to shoot/edit/and finalize the product for that properties unique marketing need.

  2. Kendall Everett

    June 13, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    Asking your videographer if they produce the videos for mobile devices is really smart. Like you mentioned, a big percentage of foot traffic comes from mobile devices so it’s important the video is available through that. If they have a demo reel, looking at that on a mobile device may also help you understand how they work.

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Business Marketing

Web design and development trends that will dominate 2018

(BUSINESS NEWS) Check out these top trends for web design and development to revamp your site for 2018.

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google meet web design 2018

New year, new you, new web design for your glorious site. You’re no longer good to go if your website simply boasts functionality in a conventional design layout. It’s not enough to make something that just looks pretty anymore.

Ever-expanding tools make web design a constantly changing digital medium that can and should be regularly updated to remain relevant.

As always, visuals are the first thing that will draw someone into your site. Your homepage and landing pages need to grab users’ attention with striking visuals.

Font choice has always been important for good design, and that’s not changing in 2018. However, the rise of typography, typeface design, and custom fonts will continue to take center stage.

Except for Internet Explorer (crossing my fingers for its death), most browsers can support CSS-enabled custom typefaces. Contrasting sans serif with serif fonts for large lettered headings is newly popular, as well as color and variable fonts.

Bold, vibrant, and saturated color schemes are on the rise as well since advances in monitors mean designers are no longer stuck with web-safe color palettes.

Custom illustration is another growing trend, with product and marketing design prominently featuring tailored illustration to match brand tone.

Broken grid and asymmetry have become more popular too, shaking up more traditional layouts. Just make sure to keep the layout clean, or you risk offending your viewer’s delicate design sensibilities. And please, despite trends, avoid brutalist web design, please, it’s awful.

Speaking of design sensibilities, gradient is making a comeback. But like, in a cool way with subtle fading and complimentary color. Shout out to this fun original web throwback revival.

However, looks aren’t everything. If your site is not offering user-friendly, updated functionality, you’ll fall behind the curve.

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) elements aren’t new tech, but their rise in popularity due to their rapid progress can’t be ignored. While these are more relevant to mobile apps, elements can be incorporated into site design as well.

Mobile-first design still dominates (duh) as mobile browsing continues to overtake desktop use, so make sure your site plays nice on-the-go too or risk alienating mobile users.

Using speech as search tool came into play as devices like Alexa and Google Home have people searching using full sentences instead of keywords. Optimizing your site’s content to allow search with speech can put you ahead of the game as the world of SEO evolves.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is all the rage too, with more sites implementing smart chatbots to handle customer service and frequently asked questions. AI can also help with voice-based search using natural language processing technology.

?As animation and micro-interactions become more advanced, combining form and function for delightful surprises are another rising trend in 2018

Particle backgrounds solve performance issues with video backgrounds by utilizing Javascript to create movement without taking forever to load. The animations make movement a natural part of the background, enticing viewers with motion graphics that don’t affect loading time.

Integrated animation engages users too, using smaller animations and graphics for abstract or concrete concepts. Your site could feature graphics that animate during a load page, or appear when users hover over a link, scroll, or as the main focus of the page.

Micro-interactions can set your website apart from others using more complex visuals, skilled animation, and seamless data transfer. Implementing fun on/off toggles, load status indicators, and light animation when like buttons are pressed can delight users and keep them engaged with your site.

Try out some of these trending changes on your site for 2018 and watch the users roll in.

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Business Marketing

Facebook adjusts how much repeat video views matter

(MARKETING) For video creators and marketers alike, Facebook updates can mean a world of difference. What’s new now?

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mid-roll facebook video

For Facebook Video, intent and repeat viewership matter. Recently, Facebook updated video distribution methods to build more effective monetization tools and improve viewing experiences for users, namely regarding video distribution, ad breaks, and pre-roll.

Most video watching on Facebook takes place in the news feed, making this a great place to reach target audiences. It is the primary hub of activity, featuring status updates, photos, app activity, and video posts.

New ranking methods promote videos people seek out or want to return to, like serial episodes from creators regularly publishing content. Partners fostering communities by actively posting weekly or daily content get a boost as well.

If content publishers link a Show Page with their regular Page, they can distribute episodes directly to followers. This makes it easier to maintain and grow audiences, connecting users with relevant content.

However, although New Feed is a popular zone for creators and publishers, Facebook expects video engagement to eventually move to Watch, the platform for shows. In Watch’s Discover tab, shows people come back to will be prioritized for more convenient access.

After all, News Feed isn’t the easiest place to go for returning viewers since they have to sift through a constantly changing barrage of status updates. Watch offers a place more akin to YouTube, where episodes and content are contained in one place.

Creating a Facebook Group for the show adds another level of engagement, providing viewers a social viewing experience to connect with other fans.

Putting videos and content in an appealing, easily accessible area makes your viewers likelier to stick around. Grouping similar content will encourage binging, keeping your viewers in one place to engage with your content.

If content is difficult to find, or re-find when showing friends, it’s less likely to spread.

Revisions to Ad Breaks will hopefully drive up engagement as well. Previously, videos were eligible for Ad Breaks if they were at least 90 seconds, and the ad could show up as early as twenty seconds into the video.

Starting in January, videos must be at least three minutes long to have an Ad Break, and the break won’t come until at least one minute has passed.

Although Ad Breaks benefit content creators with a share of the revenue, disruptions to already short videos can drive users away. Delaying the break may improve viewer satisfaction, keeping people watching longer.

Creators now have an Ad Break insights tab to better understand video monetization performance, tracking impressions and clicks per minute.

Additionally, Pages with over fifty thousand followers can now have Live Ad Breaks. Smaller Pages and Profiles aren’t eligible since Facebook determined these publishers are less likely to comply with their monetization guidelines. Plus, their audiences are typically smaller, meaning it’s more difficult to gain significant revenue from Ad Breaks.

Facebook also plans on testing six second pre-roll ads, but only in places like Watch since viewers are already actively seeking out this content.

Combining metrics tracking insight and updated distribution tactics with intentionally crafted content may promote repeat viewership, leading to more success for publishers.

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Business Marketing

How Snapchat earns over $1M a day on just one lil’ feature

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Marketers are jumping on the bandwagon, giving Snapchat more and more money – but what little feature rakes in so much cash!?

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snapchat 3d filters

Although Snapchat is still struggling to net a profit, they make a million dollars a day with branded AR lenses. If Snapchat can remain crazy popular with its users, this may help the company get out of its revenue slump.

Snapchat’s shares dropped 22 percent since their March IPO, and their Q3 earnings saw a revenue loss of $0.14 per share with the slowest user growth ever. But there’s still growth, and Snap has never really been profit focused anyways.

CEO Evan Spiegel certainly isn’t worried, publicly at least. Spiegel’s product strategies have been mirrored by Facebook and Instagram, and a huge chunk of teens prefer Snapchat over these other social media giants.

Which is why Snapchat can charge upwards of one million dollars a day for augmented reality lenses. Snap’s popularity, especially among teens and young adults with disposable income and social influence, bodes well with media agencies.

AR lenses are one of many features offered on Snapchat, allowing users to superimpose augmented reality images on pictures and videos. If you’ve spent any amount of time on the internet, the dancing hotdog is a testament to how easily an AR lens can turn into a meme.

In September, Snapchat introduced sponsored 3D World Lenses, giving advertisers the opportunity to feature targeted campaigns on the platform. Bladerunner 2049 was the first campaign at the launch, and since then Budweiser, BMW, and McDonalds have jumped on the bandwagon.

Pricing varies depending on when the lens goes live, if it’s a “premium” day like a holiday or anticipated movie release, and the targeting criteria of the agency. If a lens is specific to a region, for example, it’s not going to cost as much as a nationwide campaign.

In a report from Digiday, one NYC-based ad executive stated AR lenses are currently Snap’s most expensive ad product, and for some agencies it’s offered as a standalone purchase. Others reported Snapchat offered a “holistic media-buying plan,” including stickers and filters as well as AR lenses.

James Douglas, SVP and Executive Director of social media for Society explained Snapchat Ads are all about media negotiation, with some of his clients signing annual media contracts, while others may try out shorter stints.

“If it’s a well-known consumer packaged goods company, Snapchat may quote $200,000 for an AR lens, but not on a premium day,” he stated. “Snapchat is very flexible to negotiate media investments with agencies, and I like that.”

According to a Snapchat spokesperson, the base price for a 3D lens running up to 12 months is $300,000. However, the final price depends on if the lens is based on audience impressions or a national takeover on a premium day.

While the AR lenses are not necessarily driving sales for featured brands, users are completely engaged with lenses. Featured lenses are widely shared among users, and screenshots of particularly popular, interesting, or funny lenses end ups shared on other social media platforms.

Even if the lens is being mocked, that still leads to impressions since ultimately the ad is being spread when people send Snaps to friends and feature lenses in Snapchat Stories.

Right now, Snapchat is doing all the engineering for AR lenses. Agencies provide the ad assets and Snapchat creates the lens. Future plans involve opening up creation to select brands, as Spiegel announced in November.

Snapchat is testing a pilot program with Lens Studio, a self-service toolkit allowing advertisers to create their own lenses in as little as an hour. Eventually Snap plans on offering the AR toolkit to advertisers for free, but for now it’s only available to top clients.

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