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Take Two – Getting Used to the Video Camera

video camera with amyI am intrigue by the power of video. Armed with a video enabled cell phone people have captured footage that has captured our minds and hearts. Why? Video allows an emotion connection because it involved more senses, sight sound and feelings!

Think about it. Video has consumed America. Youtube claims that half of Americans view videos and share then virally with their friends. Youtube claims the number two search engine  spot more and more.

So why real estate. According to NAR, 39% of all homes sold in 2008 were found on the Internet. Many consumers go online long before they contact us. Video  allows you to create trust and can motive those prospects to contact you!

So how do you get started?

Don’t go crazy spending money. First think about using the video feature on your digital camera,  or purchase the well known TheFlip video camera. If you want a little more camera consider the Sanyo Xacti HC1010. This is a high def camera that has great sound and a swivel screen so you can see what you are videoing.

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Start simple. Here are 5 different types of videos you can start one.

  • Testimonials, (new homeowners in front of their home, or at the signing table)
  • Area (Show us why living in your area is the best!)
  • Neighborhoods (as a “neighborhood expert”, show us your favorite dry cleaners, best hamburger, favorite playground)
  • Events (pull out your video camera and hand it around, they’ll interview others around them for you)

How long should a video be? – The shorter the better. Videos under 2 or 3 minutes work best.

Should video be raw (as shot) or Edited and if so what to use to edit? Mike Mueller, my friend and a wonder with The Flip suggests:

Always edit if at all possible.  Cut the beginning and the end to length, snip out anything in the middle and add your branding; Make sure you include contact info, titles and links to items referenced in the video.

Most Important:  Use but minimize the transition effects and use a tripod whenever possible.

As for what program to use, it depends on if you have a Mac or PC.  Mac has imovie which does wonderful stuff, for the PC user they can use Windows Movie Maker.  Both are free and simple to use.

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Other programs that I like and use (not free) are Camtasia Studio, and Sony Vegas  Movie Studio. Each has its benefits.

Most every editing program has a Storyboard and Timeline view.  You can alternate between the two.  You’ll need to be in Storyboard to insert transitions, and you’ll need to be in Timeline to clip the length and add titles.

Ok, so we’ve created our video, now what do we do with it? Stay tuned . . .

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Written By

Amy is a national technology speaker who can inspire, train and help people implement technology strategies into their business. To find out about her training, coaching or webinars visit her website at



  1. Atlanta Real Estate

    September 6, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    Timely post and thanks for the good info and advice. Your timing is uncanny because I have been thinking about getting into this aspect on my site.

    This morning, in fact, I was doing a little research and found this:;contentBody


  2. JoeAndColleen

    September 6, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    “Getting Used To The Video Camera” is an understatement. My wife and I have just started doing video for real estate and our normal chipper selves comes off rather bland and boring on video. I think we both have a bit of stage fright to get over.

    Regarding video software. We have a Flip Video camera and love the software that comes with (actually, inside the camera) Flip. So easy a caveman can do it!

  3. Atlanta Real Estate

    September 6, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    I know what you are saying. Ever see that Austin Aaron video? Not the most professionally “produced” video, but he has the personality for it and it comes across.

    I would come across more like the The Terminator. I’ll soon find out as I plan to buy a Flip and give it a flip.


  4. Missy Caulk

    September 7, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    Can’t wait for the series, Amy

  5. Sheldon Cowles

    September 7, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    We’ve been working on a service for Realtors which enables them to upload their videos to our servers, we do the video editing and I personally do the voice-over. The ironic thing is our website finally went live last night – around the same time this was posted. I think your readers will find my service useful.


    Sheldon Cowles
    Art Director,

  6. renee kische

    September 8, 2009 at 3:17 am

    I thought this article was informative. My question is: why are local MLSs so reluctant to uploading video? Do you have any insight on this? Otherwise, I’m sticking to the Flip and look for some funny and informative video about Hollywood or Hollyweird as we like to call it!

  7. Atlanta Real Estate

    September 8, 2009 at 7:15 am

    As control oriented as MLSs are, the management of video would be way too much for them.

    They would need to hand review every single video to make sure some clown doesn’t put something really inappropriate up.


  8. Troy Roark (@ILRealEstate, Tweets!)

    September 8, 2009 at 11:15 am

    This article is getting me off the fence re: video blogging. I’m semi-video savvy, I have a bunch of acting experience, and I’ve had a concept in my head forever, but done zip about it. You need to get to the next installment!! 🙂

    As for MLS and video (at least in my case), they are very careful not to let our members market themselves, only the property. So, while you can do a video tour, you can’t do voiceovers yourself, be in the shot, etc. I get it, but what a bummer!

  9. Peanut

    September 8, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    Most MLS systems also like to have all the photos hosted within as well. They simply couldn’t handle the bandwidth or storage space required for video, not to mention you’d lose a substantial amount of quality when they (or you by requirement) compressed it. Many MLSs do allow for links to videos hosted outside though.

    I cover the video topic heavily on my Real Estate Technology blog on Here’s a direct link to the tech posts which cover everything from cameras, editing, and settings to tutorials and other techy stuff for Realtors (don’t worry I try not to rip off the million other bloggers)


  10. Green Grass Realty

    September 14, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    Video is where it’s at! I’ve had buyers from out of state wanting to see more of a home they like and the neighborhood. So I video the area for them and they love it. Video will not replace seeing a property in person, but it gives much more detail than pictures ever will.

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