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Four practical tips on how to drive consumers wild with real estate video

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Video that stands out

Frequently tapped by national news media outlets like Fox News, CNN and the like, Brian Lewis, Executive Vice President at Halstead Property in New York City does real estate video a little differently. Above is his most recent installment that follows over 100 other videos Lewis has created on New York City properties, most of which implement humor as effectively as above. He is creative and his mock talk show format above is highly entertaining. 00:57 is hands down our favorite second of the entire video (as Lewis would say… “wow”).

It’s fresh, it’s hip, but most of all, it’s an effective approach that can translate to any market if done properly.

Four ways to drive consumers wild with real estate video

There are four ways any real estate professional can a drive consumers wild with real estate video and it’s more simple than you may think:

  1. Planning– Lewis’ videos are not of a Realtor walking around with a shaky iPhone giving a “tour” of a property, mumbling about the features as he walks through, no, Lewis’ videos are scripted, practiced, and planned. He knows where he’ll be sitting before the shot begins, what he’ll say, and with what inflections, and it shows. Whether being clever or not, any video should be planned out and written down prior to turning on a camera.
  2. Regularity– visit a random Realtor’s YouTube channel and you may see seven videos from 2008, three from 2009, thirty from 2010 and none from 2011. We’re not saying you have to video blog or that you should create a video for random reasons, but you should have a theme and give consumers some stability in their viewing lives or it appears you only get a listing once every quarter. Try doing a monthly video of your hottest property to get started and build from there. If it is high quality, more is better in this case.
  3. Quality video– speaking of quality, that is one of the top ways to drive consumers wild! You can do it yourself, but if you have the means to do so, videographers have come down in price and all metro areas have quality talent now. Make sure to have good lighting, quality equipment, a quality videographer (if possible).
  4. Quality editing– appropriate yet subtle music can make or break a video, as can transitions, removing “umms” and bad takes, and a quality editing job will have proper branding for any real estate professional. Again, this can be done yourself with quality software, but we recommend hiring a quality videographer that does editing as part of their package. This editing should reflect the script and vision you originally created which is the ultimate reason to have it written down.
  5. BONUS: if you can pull off humor, do it. Some people say the internet was made for funny cat pictures and it’s true- humor in a sea of drab real estate videos really stands out. Lewis appears approachable above, and because of the mocking tone, we watched it several times to figure out which part was our favorite. Then we watched other videos, and the breadcrumbs led us down the path of entertainment while seeing amazing listings. It can be the hardest way to drive consumers wild, but if you can do it, hit that home run!

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61 Comments

61 Comments

  1. Melissa Rose Zavala

    November 3, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    Wow!

  2. Bruce Lemieux

    November 3, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    I appreciate being introduced to RE videos on this site. However, I have to q

    • Bruce Lemieux

      November 3, 2011 at 9:57 pm

      (sorry about that)… I have to question the constant push for agents to do these super slick videos. Here's two reasons not to do video for listings:

      1. Getting views for listing videos is super tough. Put it on your website and sites like YT or Wellcomemat and count the clicks. 15-20 views a month for a listing isn't bad. But is it enough to justify the extra cost (money and time)? Until videos can be distributed via the MLS (few do this) and included in syndication, it's *really* hard to put your videos in places where buyers can find them. Why do it if no one will see it?

      2. To deliver a quality video, it takes a significant investment in time and/or money. Given #1, is this the best place to spend money to help sell a listing? For 99% of us – I don't think so.

      I'm a huge fan of video, but I feel like it's constantly being hyped as "the thing that we should all be doing". Brian Lewis, 1000watt, and everyone in Australia (it seems) are real pros and provide great inspiration. But, this simply isn't the right model for 'the 99%'.

      As a better model I would recommend @LasVegasTodd. The production is low tech, and the guy uses a white board, but he delivers great videos with great info. Something within reach of most of us.

  3. Prudential Locations Hawaii

    November 23, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    Interesting article.

    Not sure how much I enjoy the “commercials” in that video example – however the uniqueness does start to grow on me. Wow… kind of funny.

    Otherwise good points provided to enhance your real estate video.

  4. Greg Lyles

    March 7, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    To address Bruce’s question about “if nobody see’s it, why do it?” I offer the following: Embed the video into your property listing web site – the one that the QR code or text for info sign takes them to. Secondly, embed it into your Facebook business page. I don’t think people go to YouTube to search for homes – in fact, I’ll go so far as to say I know they don’t. YouTube is simply a place to park the video and get an embed code so you can put your video where people WILL see it.

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Business Marketing

Snapchat’s study reveals our growing reliance on video

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Snapchat released a report that shows some useful insights for future video content creation.

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Snapchat's video

Snapchat is taking a break from restoring people’s streaks to publish a report on mobile video access; according to Social Media Today, the report holds potentially vital information about how customers use their mobile devices to view content.

And–surprise, surprise–it turns out we’re using our phones to consume a lot more media than we did six years ago.

The obvious takeaways from this study are listed all over the place, and not even necessarily courtesy of Snapchat. People are using their phones substantially more often than they have in the past five years, and with everyone staying home, it’s reasonable to expect more engagement and more overall screen time.

However, there are a couple of insights that stand out from Snapchat’s study.

Firstly, the “Stories” feature that you see just about everywhere now is considered one of the most popular–and, thus, most lucrative–forms of video content. 82 percent of Snapchat users in the study said that they watched at least one Snapchat Story every day, with the majority of stories being under ten minutes.

This is a stark contrast to the 52 percent of those polled who said they watched a TV show each day and the 49 percent who said they consumed some “premium” style of short-form video (e.g., YouTube). You’ll notice that this flies in the face of some schools of thought regarding content creation on larger platforms like YouTube or Instagram.

Equally as important is Snapchat’s “personal” factor, which is the intimate, one-on-one-ish atmosphere cultivated by Snapchat features. Per Snapchat’s report, this is the prime component in helping an engaging video achieve the other two pillars of success: making it relatable and worthy of sharing.

Those three pillars–being personal, relatable, and share-worthy–are the components of any successful “short-form” video, Snapchat says.

Snapchat also reported that of the users polled, the majority claimed Snapchat made them feel more connected to their fellow users than comparable social media sites (e.g., Instagram or Facebook). Perhaps unsurprisingly, the next-closest social media platform vis-a-vis interpersonal connection was TikTok–something for which you can probably see the nexus to Snapchat.

We know phone use is increasing, and we know that distanced forms of social expression were popular even before a pandemic floored the world; however, this report demonstrates a paradigm shift in content creation that you’d have to be nuts not to check out for yourself.

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Business Marketing

Technology is helping small businesses adapt and stay afloat

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Small businesses need to utilize digital platforms to adapt their businesses during COVID-19, or else they may be left behind.

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While many may not have imagined our present day back in March, and to what extreme we would be doing things “remotely” and via “hands-free contact”, we have to give some credit to small business owners who remain flexible and have pivoted to stay afloat. They deserve major credit on adaptations they have made (and possibly investments) in new technology (ordering online, online payments) especially at a time when their in-person revenues have taken a hit.

There are various marketing buzz words being used lately to say “let’s keep our distance”, including: curbside, to-go, hands-free, no contact, delivery only, order via app, social distancing and #wearamask.

The thing is, if you really think about it, small businesses are always in evolution mode – they have to pay attention to consumer consumption and behaviors that can shift quickly in order to stay relevant and utilize their marketing and advertising budgets wisely. They heavily rely on positive customer reviews and word of mouth recommendations because they may not have the budget for large scale efforts.

For example, we use Lyft or Uber vs calling an individual cab owner; we order on Amazon vs shopping at a local mom-and-pop shop; we download and make playlists of music vs going to a record or music store. Small business owners are constantly fighting to keep up with the big guys and have to take into account how their product/service has relevance, and if it’s easy for people to attain. In current times, they’ve had to place major efforts into contactless experiences that often require utilizing a digital platform.

If stores or restaurants didn’t already have an online ordering platform, they had to implement one. Many may have already had a way to order online but once they were forced to close their dining areas, they had to figure out how to collect payments safely upon pickup; this may have required them to implement a new system. Many restaurants also had to restructure pick up and to-go orders, whether it was adding additional signage or reconfiguring their pick up space to make sure people were able to easily practice social distancing.

According to this article from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, “Studies have shown that 73% of small businesses are not aware of digital resources, such as online payment processing tools, online productivity tools, e-commerce websites, online marketing and other tools, that can help them reach customers around the world. If small businesses had better access to global markets, it could increase the GDP of the United States by $81 billion and add 900,000 new jobs. During the pandemic, this could also mean the difference between thriving and closing for good.”

There are some larger corporate technology companies offering ways to support small businesses whether it’s through small business grants from Google, resources and grants from Facebook or Verizon giving them a break on their telecom bill. The challenge with this may be whether or not small business owners are able to find time from their intense focus on surviving to applying for these grants and managing all that admin time. Many business owners may be focusing on what technology they have and can upgrade, or what they need to implement – most likely while seeing a loss in revenue. So, it can be a tough decision to make new technology investments.

It does seem like many have made incredible strides, and quickly (which is impressive), to still offer their products and services to customers – whether it’s a contactless pay method, free delivery, or even reservations to ensure limited capacity and socially distanced visits. There are still some that just haven’t able to do that yet, and may be looking at other ways to take their business to a wider audience online.

We would encourage, if you can, to support small businesses in your community as often as you can. Understandably there are times that it’s easier to order on Amazon, but if there is a way you can pick up something from a local brewery or family-owned business, this may be the lifeline they need to survive and/or to invest in new technology to help them adapt.

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Business Marketing

There’s a shortage of skilled workers, so get learning

(BUSINESS MARKETING) COVID-19 may end up justifying training funds for lower-class workers to learn new skills. Skilled workers are desperately needed right now.

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skilled worker

The COVID-19 pandemic (yes, that one) has ushered in a lot of unexpected changes, one of the which is most surprising: An increased call for skilled workers — a call that, unfortunately, requires a massive retraining of the existing workforce.

According to the New York Times, nearly 50 percent of Americans were working from home by May; this was, reportedly, a 15 percent increase in remote work. The problems with this model are expansive, but one of the greatest issues stems from the lack of training: As employees of lower-class employment transitioned to working online, it became increasingly evident that there was a shortage of skilled workers in this country.

The Times traces this phenomenon back to the Great Recession; Harvard University’s Lawrence Katz points to some parallels and insinuates that this is an opportunity to elevate the lower class rather than regressing, and it seems fair to put the onus of such elevation on lawmakers and senators.

Indeed, Congress has even addressed the issue of skill equality via “bipartisan support” of a $4000 credit for non-skilled workers to use toward skill training. For Congress to come together on something like this is relatively noteworthy, and it’s hard to disagree with the premise that, given the invariable automation wave, many of our “non-skilled” workers will face unemployment without substantial aid.

COVID-19 has accelerated many trends and processes that should have taken years to propagate, and this is clearly one of them.

Supporting laborers in developing skills that help them work within the technology bubble isn’t just a good idea–it’s imperative, both morally and economically speaking. Even middle-class “skilled” workers have had trouble keeping up with the sheer amount of automation and technology-based skillsets required to stay competent; when one considers how lower-class employees will be impacted by this wave, the outcome is too dark to entertain.

It should be noted that non-skilled workers don’t necessarily have to scale up their training in their current fields; the Times references a truck driver who pivoted hard into software development, and while it may be easier for some to focus on their existing areas of expertise, the option to make a career change does exist.

If we take nothing else away from the time we’ve spent in quarantine, we should remember that skilled labor is integral to our success as a society, and we have a moral obligation to help those who missed the opportunity to develop such skills fulfill that need.

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