• Commit to quality video content that genuinely helps your customers rather than solely promotes your business.
  • Start small with videos that are more evergreen in nature, which you can use for months or even years.
  • Working with a professional filmmaker and producing beautiful full-motion video is not just for the high-end market.

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So you want to get into video marketing? Fantastic move. Video just continues to prove itself as the preeminent form of marketing today.

Because you’re reading this, I’m sure you’ve already seen the eye-popping statistics of how video contributes to greater site engagement, increases your email marketing effectiveness and drastically helps your lead generation efforts. Consumers are craving it and search engines are rewarding it.

What we’ve been finding in our conversations with folks in the industry, however, is that there’s quite a bit of uncertainty in exactly how to get started in real estate video marketing.

It can feel like an overwhelming venture. There are a contingent of folks who believe uploading listing photos into a slideshow and throwing in some animation and music makes a video.

Others think it’s whipping out their iPhone while walking through a house with the video recording and simply uploading it to YouTube. Although those approaches had their heyday, it’s not where you as a digital marketer should be going in 2016.

So let’s walk through simple steps to get your video marketing program off the ground the right way.

In this first part, we’ll discuss determining your strategy and working with a professional filmmaker. Tomorrow in a second installment, we’ll get into choosing the right hosting platform and how to maximize the viewership of your incredibly engaging videos.

1. Determine your strategy

Marc Davison of 1000watt wrote a blog post a few years ago with a line that absolutely nails it: “Bad videos kill a brand. Decent videos aren’t memorable. But great video is worth its weight in gold.”

The reason I love this line is because it immediately tells you what you need to do to start formulating your strategy — commit to quality. The one thing that has proven itself time after time is you get what you pay for.

Meaning — don’t expect great returns if you don’t make the investment in quality. James L. McQuivey said in his report “How Video Will Take Over The World,” a minute of video is worth 1.8 million words.

The reason full-motion video is so powerful is that it’s the only medium that truly enables someone to emotionally connect with your message. The viewer can pick up nonverbal communication or feel like they’re experiencing a tour or walkthrough firsthand.

That being said, it’s time to figure out where to start. Your brokerage might have a hundred agents with thousands of listings covering dozens of neighborhoods. The thought of filming everything can quickly become overwhelming. I have two words for you: start small.

Choose a handful of evergreen videos. Evergreen simply means they have a longer shelf life, and you’ll be able to use them in your marketing collateral and communications for months, even years. A few options:

  1. Branding video: This can give your audience a sense of your value proposition, your culture and your services. Not only does this give a potential seller insight into your business, but it can also be used as a recruiting tool to attract the area’s top producers.
  2. Agent bios: Bio videos give your agents a platform to let their true personality shine through in a way that can’t be picked up by words on a webpage. It gives potential buyers and sellers insight into what it will be like to work with them.
  3. Neighborhood tours: 86 percent of homebuyers will watch videos of a neighborhood to get a better sense of life in that community. This gives your brokerage a chance to establish itself as the local expert to buyers relocating to your area.

Once you get into a groove, then look to expand into more short-term videos, such as property listings, market reports and company events.

2. Hire a professional filmmaker

Now that you know what type of videos you want to create, let’s talk about production. To restate one of the points made above, great video is worth its weight in gold. But before you start contacting potential filmmakers, you need to figure out what exactly you’d like to see in the final product:

  • Who’s your target audience, and what tone and message do you want to convey? Buyers looking for one-bedroom urban condos will have different needs than buyers looking for a four-bedroom single-family homes in the suburbs.
  • Do you want to be featured on camera or have more of a lifestyle vibe?
  • Do you want music and voiceovers?
  • Do you want aerial footage or time lapses?
  • Do you want to interview local businesses for information about the town?

The more fleshed out your idea is before you contact a filmmaker, the better prepared you will be to hire the filmmaker that will be capable of producing exactly what you are looking for. This pre-production process will also help you determine if you have allotted a reasonable budget for the project.

Now I know what you’re probably thinking: Professional videos are too expensive for anything other than luxury homes.

Not so fast, my friend.

Here are three examples of professional produced listing videos done well, with the most expensive listing at $229,900.

MLS 1108658, $229,900

MLS 63J6TF, $119,000

MLS 6684888, $223,873

When your plan is ready and you start contacting filmmakers, request to see their reel. This will give you a good idea of the filmmaker’s style and if it meshes well with your ideas.

In the conclusion, we’ll discuss the right platform for hosting your videos and how to distribute your content to get viewership in front of a real estate-specific, high-intent audience. And there’s going to be one mind-blowing recommendation that’s sure to raise some eyebrows.

Brian Andzejewicz is marketing manager at WellcomeMat

Email Brian Andzejewicz.