Live video is taking over. In 2016, 81% of internet and mobile audiences watched more livestreamed videos than they did in 2015. Consumers find live video more appealing compared to other types of content; research from Livestream, a video platform affiliated with Vimeo, found that 80% of people would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog, and 82% prefer livestreams over social posts.
In real estate, visuals often have more of an impact than text, which makes live videos an excellent tool for agents. You can show potential clients inside homes, go behind the scenes, or highlight neighborhoods by going live on Facebook or Instagram. LinkedIn launched an invite-only beta version of its own livestreaming feature, LinkedIn Live, and has applications for those interested in testing it out.
It’s natural to feel nervous before a live video, and being prepared beforehand will help you put your best foot forward. Whether you’re a broker or an agent, these five tips can help you pull off a successful live video while remaining calm and professional.
1. Make a plan.
Determine the purpose of your live video and create an outline of what you want to accomplish. Consider the reason your audience should tune in. Do you want to offer viewers advice or host a Q&A for current clients? For example, you can interview an expert to offer insights on topics—such as insurance, property taxes, and maintenance—that would benefit first-time homeowners. You could also share a client’s positive experience in a live testimonial or success story.
Regardless of your livestream goal, it’s essential to have some type of agenda for the video. Include bullet points of what you want to cover so that you’re prepared and ready before going live.
2. Promote your livestream in advance.
Make sure your audience knows about your live video ahead of time so that they can tune in. Share the event in an email newsletter, on your website, and across social media channels. No matter whether you’re hosting a virtual open house or conducting an interview with an industry expert, it’s a good idea to also include an eye-catching graphic or even a short preview video that lets viewers know what’s coming.
Spreading the word about your livestream and the value it presents to audiences will increase your chances of a high turnout. Provide the appropriate links and be clear to your viewers about what website or app you’ll be broadcasting from, especially when promoting across different platforms.
3. Rehearse and test your equipment.
You can’t go back and edit out mistakes in a live video, so it’s important to get it right the first time. Practicing and doing trial runs will help you get comfortable with the topics you’ll be discussing. The more you practice, the more prepared you’ll be in front of the camera. For instance, you can rehearse your live video without anyone else seeing it by changing your privacy settings on Facebook. Select “Only Me” as the audience so you can see how the live video will appear without anyone else tuned in.
While your live video doesn’t need top-notch production quality, it’s vital to test the equipment to ensure that the audio, video, and internet connection all function correctly. You don’t want frustrated viewers to leave due to a slow connection or because they can’t see or hear you.
4. Encourage audience participation.
Going live is an excellent way to directly engage with viewers. Facebook Live, for example, drives comments at 10 times the rate of prerecorded videos. Audiences can comment and post their reactions in real time.
Acknowledge your audience during the livestream to keep people engaged. This creates a two-way conversation—you can greet those who comment by name, ask viewers for their input, answer questions, and encourage other feedback. For example, you can ask viewers for their opinion on paint colors or open floor plans as you take them on a tour of a home.
It’s also a great idea to have a list of questions ready beforehand in case your audience is shy and isn’t quick to ask questions. Conversely, if engagement is too high and distracts from the video, you can ask viewers to send direct messages so that you can reply to them once the live broadcast finishes.
5. Be yourself.
Audiences aren’t interested in a perfect, scripted video when it comes to livestreaming. They are looking for authenticity. Try to be as relaxed as possible and showcase your personality as a real estate professional to work with. If you’re a funny person, add humor to your videos. If you like to focus on teaching others, take an informative approach.
Embracing live video in your real estate business will help you reach new clientele and stand out among competitors. The key is to be yourself in order to relate with people and build trust with potential clients.