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How to shoot real estate video that sells

Videolicious founder Matt Singer talks bookends, panning, 'color'

What does it take to shoot a great video? Matt Singer of Videolicious.com did a live demonstration at Agent Reboot that illustrated exactly how simple it is to take great videos for your real estate business.

When it comes to marketing your listings online, video continues to be the hottest marketing medium. Singer illustrated how simple it is to create powerful videos for your business.

While it still probably pays to have a professional shoot any video that will have a long shelf life or that is for a more expensive property, you can greatly improve your online marketing efforts while also enhancing your ranking on Google and YouTube by using video. Singer offered the following tips:

1. Choosing what to shoot
Singer suggested that when you make a video for one of your listings, it’s smart to shoot only the property’s three best attributes. The total length of the video should not exceed 60 seconds. Each of the three clips you will embed in the video should be about 15 seconds in length. The Videolicious tool lets you make the master or background video and then easily embed the other three videos in just a couple of minutes. The result is a much more interesting and engaging video as opposed to the typical agent who merely walks through the property saying, "This is the living room … this is the dining room," etc.

2. Where to position your shot
Singer says that the nature of the feature you are shooting determines where to position your camera. If you are shooting the exterior of your listing or perhaps a wide-angle shot of the expansive view, shoot wide for size. If you want to show the detail on the hand-carved doors, shoot close for detail.

3. Panning: like driving a car
When many agents first start shooting video, they may walk through the property. This creates a shaky, unprofessional result. A better approach is to use a tripod that results in a stable shot. Singer suggests that if you are going to move your camera (pan) that you do a very slow pan with just a tiny bit of movement. In other words, your camera will move no more than an inch or two. If you are going to pan a shot from the bottom to the top, use a very slow tilt. Singer also suggests that you use only one move per shot.

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4. Lighting
A simple way to get a well-lit shot is to hold the camera against the window (i.e., the person you are shooting is looking toward the window rather than having the window in back of him or her.) A different alternative is to purchase one of the mobile light solutions from HDHat.com. One of the least expensive solutions that is much easier to work with than putting up with the standard stationary lights is the LED Dimmable Video Light from Makayama designed specifically for use with the iPad.

5. Wide-angle lens
If you’re going to shoot great video, you need a wide-angle lens for both interior and exterior shots. Singer recommends the one from Photojojo.com as being one of the least expensive attachments that works well. The lens attaches to the iPhone or iPad with a small magnet making it simple to use without having to modify your mobile device.

6. The bookend technique
If you have ever tried speaking to a video camera, you immediately recognize the truth in Singer’s remark that "the camera is an energy black hole." To make sure your videos start and end well, Singer suggests ramping up your energy by using what he calls the bookend approach. Before you turn on the camera, put on your best smile. When you end your video, put your smile back on and hold it for a few seconds until the camera has stopped recording.

7. What to say
Singer suggests that you use what is known as "color techniques." This is not a reference to the colors on the video, but rather to the content of what you are describing. To achieve this goal, describe more than what you are seeing. For example, instead of describing the lovely pool and backyard, describe how the buyer would use it: "Wouldn’t you love to come home from a long, hot day at work and have a refreshing swim in the zero-edge pool?"

8. Describe what makes the property different
A great approach to shooting video is to look for what makes the property unique. For example, "This home has a beautiful breakfast nook, something you never find in this location or price range."

Using video allows you to show off your personality as well as leveraging what you do best: marketing property. Best of all, with the advances in all the tools and apps, it’s easier than ever to shoot great video for your real estate business.

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.

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