Where’d the idea for the video come from?
We knew we wanted to show all the rooms of this historic mid-century modern house, the entertaining space and the great pool. We also knew we wanted to use Mary Dominick (our trusty office assistant) as the actress because she is so cute and has that wonderful red hair. Having her running around the house getting ready for a party was sort of a natural idea., and what girl doesn’t need a nap before a big shindig.
How did you market the video?
Julie Tambussi, our director of marketing, sent it out to the company email list of around 9,000 clients, leads and agents. We also posted it on Facebook and Twitter, and Julie did a mini-cut for Instagram. We then shared it with as many people and groups as we could.
Do you film listing videos for all your firm’s listings? If not, how do you decide which gets the video?
We do “walk-thru videos” for most of our listings. We would love to do lifestyle videos for all our listings, but we usually don’t have enough time before the house sells (our market has been moving at a pretty fast clip).
Doing the videos usually takes at least a full day of shooting and sometimes a little longer if the house is exceptionally large. So we need a seller that is on board to have their life disrupted by a shooting crew coming in and taking over.
Right now if the agent is all-in to do the work to develop the story, and the seller is cool with stepping out for a day or two, then we can schedule it. We are up for it.
How many views did this video get?
We got 600 YouTube views in six days. The house sold in one day, so we didn’t promote it as fully as we would have if the listing were active longer.
Any feedback from the sellers or prospective buyers on it?
The sellers loved it. They said it made them wonder why they were moving in the first place.
How much did it cost?
Did the seller pay for it or did it come out of your marketing budget?
It came out of the marketing budget.
What’s your threshold for doing a custom listing video?
Price, noteworthiness, etc. It’s a combination of elements that fall into place. We did a lot of the work in-house as far as producing, casting, directing, storyboard and shot list.
If we had to hire all that out, we would have to set a budget based on potential commission. The house has to look good too, but almost all our Savvy + Co. listings look good — we really do get the cutest listings.
Who filmed or produced it? How long did it take?
I have a background in film/commercial production, so I produced and directed it. This was a speed job. We only had three days between deciding we were doing the video and walking through the house to shooting it.
It took about a day to prep the job: shop for props, get rental equipment, etc. Then one shoot day. We arrived at 10 a.m. and finished about 4 p.m. We could have stayed longer and gotten more shots, but the listing agent, Shonn Ross, had scheduled an agent preview party that night. So we were trying to get out while they were setting up for the real party.
Did you craft the layout of the video or did the videographer?
I worked in tandem with the videographer, Peter Bentley, on the shot list. Some of it came together on the fly. Like the grapefruit happened on the spot. The stylist had bought one for the grocery bag, and I thought, let’s have it fall out.
Peter said, “Let’s have it roll down the stairs.” And then I said, “Let’s have it show back up at the end.” Peter edited the video, and I helped him tweak the final edit.
How does this video compare to the others you’ve done?
Like I said, this one had less prep than I would have liked. We decided to do the video late in the pre-listing timeline. The sellers were getting it ready, so we only had one day that could work, and we crammed it in. I would have done some things different if we had a few more days or even shooting hours. But I’m sure every director says that.
How many listing videos have you done or commissioned?
We have done several with stories and plan to do more. If it was up to me, we would have an entire department to do them.
Any fun stories from the shoot?
Patsy the Wonder Dog! We wanted a dog in the film but with such a short prep we couldn’t cast one. While we were shooting, the owner came home to do an errand and brought Patsy home with him.
I asked him if she could stay, and we would try to put her in the video. Little did we know — she was star material. I’ve worked with lots of “Hollywood dogs,” but Patsy was a true pro. She never missed her mark and never forgot a line.
Any tips to doing a great listing video?
Keep them short. Our goal was to have this be under 2:30. We didn’t want it to get bogged down and long.
Have a sense of humor. Nothing too serious — you want it to be fun. And always try to cast a dog.
Why’d you hire the videographer, if you used one?
We hired Peter Bentley because we wanted to work together on building a team for shooting more lifestyle videos. This was our first one together, and it went well. We collaborated on the creative and had fun doing it.
This video was directed and produced by Lexie Longstreet, co-owner of Savvy + Co. Real Estate.