Video marketing is one of the most powerful tools in real estate. According to NAR’s 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 39 percent of all buyers use online video sites in their home search, with 56 percent ranking this resource as “very useful” in the home shopping process. Though 61 percent of buyers found video to be a useful feature for real estate website to offer, only 11 percent of sellers reported their agent having used video to market their home.
However, this essential piece of your marketing toolbox is more complex than it seems. Agents must consider the quality and professionalism of both the content and technical factors of their videos. A simple mistake could become an obstacle for success and result in wasted time and effort. Avoid these common real estate video mistakes and the time and effort you invest in this vital medium will pay off.
1. Failing to Rehearse
As Andrea Geller of Coldwell Banker in Chicago points out, “The first listing appointment is no longer when you walk into someone’s home. It’s what they see about you online.” Consumers want to find a real estate agent that is professional and trustworthy. Why would they put their financial future in your hands if you can’t rehearse for a promotional video?
Prepare for your video. Dress well, write a script, and practice, practice, practice. People do not want to hear “um” or “uh” in a video, nor do they want to listen to an agent ramble on for five minutes. Make sure your message is always clear and succinct to ensure you captivate viewers.
2. Not Focusing on a Single Message
Too often, real estate videos contain more than one message and quickly become confusing. Agents often fail to think of their video content as falling into a number of “types,” and therefore default to creating one long video that rarely gets watched.
There are four main real estate video types that you should know inside and out:
- The introduction: Listing videos are no longer the most popular type of real estate video. Instead, it’s your introductory video or video business card that potential clients are more likely to gravitate to. In fact, “find an agent” searches on YouTube are increasing by 46 percent year over year. Think of this video as a warm opener to your online followers or your real estate elevator pitch.
- The testimonial or “just sold” video: These videos should include genuine messages from previous clients that confirm your high ratings on review sites. They can showcase a property that you just sold or the client’s experience working with you.
- The neighborhood tour: This is your opportunity to highlight the location where you work. These videos can cover all aspects that may be important to your clients, such as the nearby landmarks, nightlife, or transportation.
- The listing or open house video: Showcase all aspects and details of a home you’re selling. Think of it like an open house, offering potential buyers the opportunity to see property specifics.
3. Not Interacting Digitally
Real estate agents need to build community engagement. This means you cannot ignore the reception you’re receiving on your videos. People may comment, asking for more information, and they need answers.
Don’t forget to check back on your videos after you post them. Interact with your viewers through comments, subscription callouts, or direct messages. On social media, direct messages are a great way to start a private conversation to answer questions about yourself or your listings.
4. Poor Quality Audio
The addition of music to your video can make it much more engaging; however, it can be a disaster if it’s not mixed right with your voice. Many videos allow the music to overpower the agent’s voice, which makes words and messages unclear.
Set the music volume at a low level during frames with audio. Your audio and message are more important than the music. When your voice isn’t heard in the video, you can raise the music volume to set the mood or invoke emotion. Simple video editing tools allow you to raise and lower music volume at a gradual level without the audio becoming choppy or inconsistent.
5. Bad Lighting
Lighting is often overlooked in nonprofessional videos. But pictures or videos that are too dark or bright or that feature unflattering shadows can completely change a viewer’s opinion of the content.
Natural light is your best friend. When you can’t film outside, film yourself or your subject near a window. This will fill the frame with light. But be careful that you don’t place a subject directly in front of a window, as backlighting will create a silhouette and darken the room.
If you have the proper equipment and licensure, consider using a drone for aerial shots. If you don’t have the ability to do it yourself, know that hiring a drone operator can cost as little as $200 and is a great way to stand out and attract new listings.
6. SEO-Unfriendly Videos
The first title you come up with isn’t always the best. If your title doesn’t contain your target keywords, your video won’t be found by the right audiences online and won’t show up prominently in Google or other search engines.
Highly searched, relevant keywords in your title and description will boost your video in search results. Furthermore, uploading your video on YouTube will ensure you are featured higher in Google searches. YouTube allows you to include video tags that help searchers discover your video as well as suggest it to the right audience. Be clear with your titles and use the city, type of property, and other relevant information.
7. No Video Transcript
Lack of transcripts for your videos will hurt you in search results and with viewers on the go. Google cannot read visual data in videos, so without a transcript, it’s unable to include such content in search results. In addition, if your viewers are on mobile devices or social media, chances are they are not viewing your video with sound enabled. According to Digiday, 85 percent of Facebook videos are viewed without sound.
As Jeff Lobb, CEO and founder of Sparktank Media, recently said, “We’ve become a more visual client.” As a visual marketing tool, videos are a gateway to your listings, talents, and values. Keep these common mistakes at bay and you will be able to conquer video marketing