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Video options for real state professionals – ready for your close-up?

Everyone knows that they should be using video to charge up their marketing. You know you should be shooting virtual tours, interviews, advice and tips and other helpful content for your audience.

Are you chicken? You know you should be doing it, but you are nervous about getting on camera and you have NO CLUE where to start. There are loads of options out there for you and they are getting easier and more affordable all the time. I will outline a few that I have tried with pros and cons and ease of use.

1. The Flip This is the camera that I have used most often. It is affordable, super easy to use, small and lightweight. I have a mini-tripod that I put it on for most of my indoor shoots and a larger tripod for outdoors and inside homes.

Cons: the mic isn’t very powerful and doesn’t do a good job if you are more than a few feet from the camera.

2. Digital cam Most digital cameras have a video option and they do a reasonably good job. Since you already know how to use this for your still photos it will be easy to adapt to video use.

Cons: same issue as with the Flip, and most small video cameras- the mic. Depending on the camera storage can be an issue, too.

3. Phone Especially if you have an iPhone. I have actually begun using my iPhone for as much video as I do my Flip camera. I love the fact that I can shoot, edit and upload my videos with one device that I always have with me anyways.

Cons: no jack for tripods to attach to, BUT there is a device that you can attach to the phone that will fix that issue. The glif is an affordable and smart attachment for your iPhone 4 that solves the issue.

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Once the video is shot, you will usually want to edit it. If you have a Mac then iMovie is fantastic. Windows users have Movie Maker, which is a bit harder to learn, but does a good enough job once you know how it works. I am partial to doing the edits on my iPhone with either iMovie or ReelDirector applications.

4. Screen capture How about using a program like Jing, Screenr or Camtasia to record a walk through of a market report or anything else you would like to share from your computer screen? For those of you that are truly too chicken to start by being on camera, this is the ideal solution.

Cons: I think video is best done with you as the focal point or at least a featured presence.

If you don’t know how to use iMovie or MovieMaker, you can use Animoto to create really great looking edits from your video and still photo footage.

These are just a few simple ideas to get you started on your video blogging adventure. Now don’t be a chicken- cross the road and fire up your video camera!

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Written By

Lesley offers 21 years experience in real estate, public speaking and training. Lesley has a degree in communications and was the recipient of an international award for coordinating media in real estate. In the course of her career Lesley has presented at international real estate conferences and state REALTOR associations, hosted a real estate television program, written articles for trade magazines and created marketing and PR plans for many individuals, companies and non-profits.



  1. David Pylyp

    February 1, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    Wonderful insights!
    Have been using video for the last 4 years Now at 50,000 views on YouTube. Others uploads do have higher viewership but youtube has Google mojo.

    Clients have an opportunity to meet you online before they see you in person; Makes for an interesting marketplace.

    Thank you

    David Pylyp
    Living in Toronto and starring in my own video’s

    • Lesley Lambert

      February 1, 2011 at 12:28 pm

      Thanks David! You are a true pioneer in this space and do an amazing job with your videos!

  2. Lisa Oden

    February 1, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    Just finished a video for a commercial office condo. Uploading, attaching a QR code and placing inside the front window of office. 🙂 It’s not Steven Spielberg movie, but I hope it will do the trick!!

  3. jay Great Falls

    February 1, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    for mac users, Screenflow is the megabomb video software to use. Super easy to learn and edit. Records your screen and you simultaneously–great for presentations, blogging videos and instruction.

  4. Mike Mueller

    February 1, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    I think there’s a time and place for all.

    Even the “I paid for these pro guys to come in and shoot my million dollar listing”
    One thing, when it comes to screen capture, it can be wonderful BUT if your video doesn’t zoom and we can’t see what your talking about – don’t do it.

    I use a paid version Camtasia for all my screen capture videos.

    • Lesley Lambert

      February 1, 2011 at 6:20 pm

      Great input and a personal shout out for your encouragement to me when I was starting video. 🙂

  5. Celia

    February 1, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    Bottom line is use the right tool for the job, or YOUR reputation is what suffers. Flip cameras and iPhone cameras are great for talking head/ video blogs. Just be sure to get a tripod AND an external microphone (audio is more important the video).

    If you’re doing a tour of a house for marketing a property, a FLIP camera is NOT the proper tool and and you will be embarrassing yourself and your seller, not to mention undermining the marketing of your listing. But looking at 90% of the still photos agents put up on the MLS – they don’t really care about properly marketing a property correctly…. so I’m sure FLIP video tours will be the moving picture version of the nasty MLS photos were accustomed to seeing all over the web…..

    It’s the perfect chance for better Realtors to SHINE.

  6. Greg Lyles

    February 1, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    Recently upgraded to a Nikon D7000, added dolly slides, cranes, sennheiser microphones, Final Cut Pro, and am taking lessons from international dale video guru Philip Bloom. I tend to go whole hog or not at all!

    • Greg Lyles

      February 1, 2011 at 6:47 pm

      That’s supposed to be dslr, not dale!

    • Dave Kinkade

      February 1, 2011 at 11:34 pm

      Wow, Greg, you are definitely taking your game to the next level. Respect! I have been making good things happen with a marginal Cannon camera for far too long. Time to get something that will help make the videos really memorable in the viewer’s eyes. Using a little flip-type camera is not attractive to the average viewer these days. I believe people expect more because video is now not novel – it is standard. Deliver substandard results and you will have people clicking away from your video. Anyway, very nice work!

  7. Lesley Lambert

    February 1, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    While I appreciate upgrading quality (and am working to do that with my own video content) I want to make sure that new people are not dissuaded or intimidated into thinking they have to have professional studios before they try video. Some of my best received videos were very casual and barely edited.

    There is room for all ends of the spectrum. Get in there and get learning!

  8. Greg Lyles

    February 1, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    If you want to see some very nice videos, check these out:

    • Mike Mueller

      February 1, 2011 at 8:52 pm

      Greg – Those are all stunning videos!
      I however agree with Lesley in that getting started in any way is the first step.
      I say fire up the flip, start scrappy if you have to, and then work on improving.

      Reputation is one thing, but having people watch, engage and connect with you is a far better end result than doing nothing for fear of possibly tarnishing your rep.
      But hey, that’s just my opinion.
      ; )

    • Jeremy Blanton

      February 11, 2011 at 11:49 am

      Like Mike said, those are stunning videos!

  9. Dave Kinkade

    February 1, 2011 at 11:08 pm

    I was one of the early adopters of YouTube in the Tampa market back in late 2007. Almost 53,000 views later, I can honestly say it has transformed our business. It is funny to look back at the earliest videos. They are pretty sad, but as time has gone on, the quality improves and I am about to purchase a high end camera and take my game to the next level.

    If you aren’t doing video, the end is probably near. If you aren’t doing quality video, chances are good that somebody who does will be wooing your clients away from you:

  10. Bruce Lemieux

    February 2, 2011 at 11:04 am

    I agree that the only way to get started is to jump in. Still, doing video comes with significant risks. Bad video (poor quality, bad light, bad sound, too long, etc) does more harm than good. And it takes time and money.

    Once you have a video, then the #1 challenge is getting views by your target audience – buyers and sellers. The Michael Thompson profile vid referenced above ( is really fantastic. Yet, according to YT, it’s had only 21 views since May 2010. Not so good.

    Why spend the time and expense producing video that no one is going to see? I would love to hear ideas on getting views. Putting on YT and expecting people to find you doesn’t do it.

    • Dave Kinkade

      February 2, 2011 at 11:54 am

      The way to get the views increased is to take the video to where the people are. You are right to say a great video can sometimes never be seen if you just put it up on YouTube. The way I’ve had the most success (almost 53,000 views) is to place a link to the video onto any and all advertising. Craigslist postings tend to drive the most viewers because that is where so many of the people go to shop (at least for rental homes). Posting links on Facebook and Twitter that is accompanied by a compelling headline also is very effective. You must also optimize your videos with as much descriptive text and ‘tags’ as possible so the search engines know what it is you’ve posted. If you don’t do that, Google pretty much ignores your video.

      Bottom line: Real estate is local. Searching on YouTube for videos of local properties is very inefficient so waiting for the views to roll in will be incredibly frustrating.

  11. Andrew Mooers

    February 2, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    Real full motion video uses the eyeballs and the ears. Your real estate buyers wants to know, see, hear about your area first. So local community videos on the area, no real estate are the first marketing to extend your reach beyond the home town borders. Then well produced videos on all your listings, not just the two highest priced needed. Everyone on the property listing sports bench plays, supports each other. Your brand is behind those community first, property second emphasis in rural real estate. Content, no cheesy grinning under flourescent continuous loop of broker going on and on about integrity, honesty and their awards. Give buyers, sellers something they want, can use. Not about you. Move out of the camera, hand over the microphone to capture local folks, the natural sounds of the area you live, work, play in.

    Have over 450 videos, real full motion ones on youtube platform alone, embed them in blog posts, link to social media, season emails with them. Designed to help, save time, expose as the local tour guide. Not 40 million dollar productions, but the global village likes them. Neat to have videos for years as part of the marketing mix. Your biggest video critics don’t shoot, edit, upload and implement them so tune out that blah blah pie hole opinion propaganda and jump in. Give a look

  12. Greg Lyles

    February 3, 2011 at 9:30 am

    The issue I see with some who purport to “just jump in” is that their videos look like crap. Maybe that’s all the folks in their areas expect – who knows. But it reflects badly on those agents.

    Dave Kinkade is right, nobody goes to YouTube to search for homes. Videos need to be embedded into your web site, property pages, social media, etc. where they can do some good.

    I am also not insinuating that agents need a “professional” studio to produce quality videos either. I have less than $4,000 invested in my video capabilities, including camera, lenses, equipments and software. But most important is taking the time to learn a little about the “craft” before just rushing out to create videos. As Dave also stated, produce substandard results and you’ll have people clicking away from your videos.

    Here are some links to help agents understand the basics of video production:

    You can also join the “Video for Real Estate” group on Flickr. You’ll see loads of videos from around the world, see the critiques of those videos and get some great ideas on how to make your own videos.

    • Bruce Lemieux

      February 3, 2011 at 1:15 pm

      Greg – thanks for the links, these are useful.

  13. naplesflorida

    February 3, 2011 at 10:22 am

    There are a bunch of video syndications now,, Dailymotion, Blip, Metacafe, Veoh, Vidilife

    You can dump your vids in all of them or pay to have someone do it for you

  14. LesleyLambert

    February 3, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    I love that everyone is bringing such wonderful input to this post and that there is such diverse opinions here. I truly believe that for most, it is best to educate yourself and then get going with the best option you can afford.

    Keep sharing everyone, this is fabulous!

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