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Five tips for hiring a real estate videographer

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.

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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.

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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 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.



  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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