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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 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

Tired of “link in bio”? Here is a solution for Instagram linking

(MARKETING) The days of only one link in your Instagram bio are over. Alls.Link not only lets you link more, it gives you options for marketing and analytics too.

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Woman checking Instagram on phone

If you’re like me, you’ve probably swapped out the link in your Instagram bio 100 times. Do I share my website? A link to a product? A recent publication? Well, now you don’t have to choose!

Alls.Link is a subscription-based program that allows you to, among other things, have multiple links in your bio. I’m obsessed with the Instagram add-ons that are helping business owners to expand the platform to further engage their audiences – and this is NEEDED one.

With the basic membership ($8/month), you get up to 10 customizable Biolink Pages with shortened links (and you’ll be able to choose your own backend). You also get access to Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel for your pages. With the basic membership, you will have Alls.Link advertising on your Biolink Page. Plus, you’ll be allotted a total of 10 projects, and Biolink Pages with 20 customizable domains.

With the premium membership ($15/month), you get link scheduling for product drops and article releases, SEO and UTM parameters, and you’ll have the ability to link more socials on the Biolink Page. With this membership, you’re allotted 20 projects and Biolink Pages with 60 customizable domains.

If you’re unsure about whether or not Alls.Link is worth it (or which membership is best for you), there is a free trial option in which you’ll be granted all the premium membership capabilities.

Overall – premium membership or not – I have to say, the background colors and font choices are really fun and will take your Biolink Page to the next level. Alls.Link is definitely a program to consider if your business has a substantial Insta following and you have a lot of external material you want to share with your followers.

The day-by-day statistics are a great tool for knowing what your audience is interested in and what links are getting the most clicks. Also, the ability to incorporate Google Analytics into the mix is a big plus, especially if you’re serious about metrics.

If you have a big team (or manage multiple pages), I would suggest going premium just for the sheer quantity of domains you can customize and link, though there are various other reasons I’d also suggest to do so. Take a look and see what works for you!

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Business Marketing

Use the ‘Blemish Effect’ to skyrocket your sales

(MARKETING) The Blemish Effect dictates that small, adjacent flaws in a product can make it that much more interesting—is perfection out?

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blemish effect

Presenting a product or service in its most immaculate, polished state has been the strategy for virtually all organizations, and overselling items with known flaws is a practice as old as time. According to marketing researchers, however, this approach may not be the only way to achieve optimal results due to something known as the “Blemish Effect.”

The Blemish Effect isn’t quite the inverse of the perfectionist product pitch; rather, it builds on the theory that small problems with a product or service can actually throw into relief its good qualities. For example, a small scratch on the back of an otherwise pristine iPhone might draw one’s eye to the glossy finish, while an objectively perfect housing might not be appreciated in the same way.

The same goes for mildly bad press or a customer’s pros and cons list. If someone has absolutely no complaints or desires for whatever you’re marketing, the end result can look flat and lacking in nuance. Having the slightest bit of longing associated with an aspect (or lack thereof) of your business means that you have room to grow, which can be tantalizing for the eager consumer.

A Stanford study indicates that small doses of mildly negative information may actually strengthen a consumer’s positive impression of a product or service. Interesting.

Another beneficial aspect of the Blemish Effect is that it helps consumers focus their negativity. “Too good to be true” often means exactly that, and we’re eager to criticize where possible. If your product or service has a noticeable flaw which doesn’t harm the item’s use, your audience might settle for lamenting the minor flaw and favoring the rest of the product rather than looking for problems which don’t exist.

This concept also applies to expectation management. Absent an obvious blemish, it can be all to easy for consumers to envision your product or service on an unattainable level.

When they’re invariably disappointed that their unrealistic expectations weren’t fulfilled, your reputation might take a hit, or consumers might lose interest after the initial wave.

The takeaway is that consumers trust transparency, so in describing your offering, tossing in a negative boosts the perception that you’re being honest and transparent, so a graphic artist could note that while their skills are superior and their pricing reasonable, they take their time with intricate projects. The time expectation is a potentially negative aspect of their service, but expressing anything negative improves sales as it builds trust.

It should be noted that the Blemish Effect applies to minor impairments in cosmetic or adjacent qualities, not in the product or service itself. Delivering an item which is inherently flawed won’t make anyone happy.

In an age where less truly is more, the Blemish Effect stands to dictate a new wave of honesty in marketing.

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Business Marketing

Google Chrome will no longer allow premium extensions

(MARKETING) In banning extension payments through their own platform, Google addresses a compelling, if self-created, issue on Chrome.

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Google Chrome open on a laptop on a organized desk.

Google has cracked down on various practices over the past couple of years, but their most recent target—the Google Chrome extensions store—has a few folks scratching their heads.
Over the span of the next few months, Google will phase out paid extensions completely, thus ending a bizarre and relatively negligible corner of internet economy.

This decision comes on the heels of a “temporary” ban on the publication of new premium extensions back in March. According to Engadget, all aspects of paid extension use—including free trials and in-app purchases—will be gone come February 2021.

To be clear, Google’s decision won’t prohibit extension developers from charging customers to use their products; instead, extension developers will be required to find alternative methods of requesting payment. We’ve seen this model work on a donation basis with extensions like AdBlock. But shifting to something similar on a comprehensive scale will be something else entirely.

Interestingly, Google’s angle appears to be in increasing user safety. The Verge reports that their initial suspension of paid extensions was put into place as a response to products that included “fraudulent transactions”, and Google’s subsequent responses since then have comprised more user-facing actions such as removing extensions published by different parties that accomplish replica tasks.

Review manipulation, use of hefty notifications as a part of an extension’s operation, and generally spammy techniques were also eyeballed by Google as problem points in their ongoing suspension leading up to the ban.

In banning extension payments through their own platform, Google addresses a compelling, if self-created, issue. The extension store was a relatively free market in a sense—something that, given the number of parameters being enforced as of now, is less true for the time being.

Similarly, one can only wonder about which avenues vendors will choose when seeking payment for their services in the future. It’s entirely possible that, after Google Chrome shuts down payments in February, the paid section of the extension market will crumble into oblivion, the side effects of which we can’t necessarily picture.

For now, it’s probably best to hold off on buying any premium extensions; after all, there’s at least a fighting chance that they’ll all be free come February—if we make it that far.

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