Editor’s note: This is the third in a three-part series on video creation tools for Realtors. Read Part 1, “Turn mobile photos into listing videos,” and Part 2, “Shooting video is only the beginning.”
Video is rapidly becoming as important in marketing your listings as the sign in the front yard. As a busy Realtor, do you really have time to fool with lights, cameras, microphones, and all the hassle involved in making a video?
Very few agents would consider putting one of their listings on the market without any pictures. Today, video is rapidly becoming an expectation. The good news is that your smartphone, a good external microphone, a tripod, and a little creativity can allow you to shoot videos easily.
In terms of length, shorter is better. People have short attention spans. Furthermore, it appears that YouTube determines your ranking on their site based upon how many views your videos receive plus the percentage of people who watch your video to the end. The ideal length of most videos is 60-75 seconds. If you are making a “how-to” video, it can take longer, but you run the risk of having more drop offs and hence, a lower ranking.
James Wedmore says you can improve your YouTube ranking by generating more rewinds and replays. The way to do this is to embed a text or image within your video that will cause people to come back and look at that portion of the video again.
The one thing that you want to avoid, no matter what type of video you are making, is being a tour guide. Avoid walking through your listing and saying, “this is the living room, this is the kitchen, and this is the bathroom.”
To illustrate this point, if you are shooting a video about one of your listings, focus on no more than three interesting details about the house. Perhaps you point out the beautiful leaded glass doors that lead into the owner’s home office. You could then move to the beautifully crafted kitchen cabinets, the coffered ceilings in the family room, and the beautiful view from the living room and the master. The secret is to decide which emotion you want to convey.
In terms of what to say on the voice track, ask yourself what words would you put into a Google search in order to locate a house similar to your listing. You should then combine these words with the city, street, and ZIP code of the property. Research from Oodle shows those are the three primary ways that people search for listings.
Be sure to also use these words in the title for your video as well as on the voice track. The reason is that Google can now “read” what’s on the voice track in addition to text. Next, you will use these words to tag your video on YouTube.
To make your video come alive in the voice track, avoid using adjectives. When you say, “really lovely, lovely pool,” all the person who is watching hears is “Pool.” Instead of using adjectives, use verbs.
For example, “Unwind after a tough day with a quick swim, a glass of wine, and a great steak grilled in your new outdoor kitchen.” The verbs paint the picture of the lifestyle and how great it feels to live there. Adjectives merely create a laundry list of features with little or no emotion.
Ramp up your creativity
One of the most fun and entertaining video creation tools on the market today is Sparkol’s VideoScribe. If you have ever seen a video where you see someone sketching out a story on a whiteboard, the probability is high that the person making the video was using the Sparkol VideoScribe system.
Videoscribe works differently from other video creation systems. First, you must create a story line. You will select drawings, words, photos, and animations that bring your idea to life and place these items on a whiteboard.
Next, you will need your audio and will have to sync that up with the visuals. Once you do that, VideoScribe magically transforms your audio track and images into a very cool video where an animator appears to draw each of your images by hand as the viewer watches.
While VideoScribe is probably the wrong tool for doing a virtual tour of the property, it’s a fantastic way to take difficult topics and to make them easy to understand. To use this tool to its best advantage, the first step is to identify the story you want to tell. Focus on a single topic and provide details.
For example, you could use VideoScribe to explain the house purchasing process. Show the buyers calling on a sign, the buyers looking at the property, writing an offer, and then closing where the animated characters jump for joy. You can use images from the VideoScribe library or select images from sources such as Clipart.com or IStockPhoto.com.
If the house has a great view, you could use VideoScribe to show the animated characters getting home from work, pouring a glass of wine, and then walking out the door. The next frame would contain a picture of the backyard with the great view. This type of marketing has much more impact than those boring videos that merely walk through the property.
To sum up, you don’t need to get fancy. Your smartphone takes great quality video. Second, your videos don’t have to be perfect. Third, have fun. Finally, if you are doing a video that will have a long shelf life or that will be for a high-end property, hire a professional videographer and do it right.
Bernice Ross, CEO of RealEstateCoach.com, is a national speaker, trainer and author of the National Association of Realtors’ No. 1 best-seller, “Real Estate Dough: Your Recipe for Real Estate Success.” Hear Bernice’s five-minute daily real estate show, just named “new and notable” by iTunes, at www.RealEstateCoachRadio.com. You can contact her at Bernice@RealEstateCoach.com or @BRoss on Twitter.