- Create two-to-three minute videos that explore a neighborhood or area.
- Snapshots and listing teasers are a great way to capture potential buyers' attention.
- Breaking down the buyer process will attract millennials.
Video is a hot topic in the industry today. It’s clearly becoming more and more important to feature video, be it to promote your brand or to promote your listings. There are tons of ways that you can take advantage of this platform, and I wanted to highlight a few of the ways that we use video in our business.
1. Neighborhood or area videos
One of our best successes with video has come from our neighborhood guides. We created an entire section on our website with tons of information about specific neighborhoods where we focus our efforts.
The main focus of this section was the two- to three-minute video that accompanied each area that we profiled. We highlighted things such as typical home style, a broad price range of homes in the area, great local restaurants and more.
These videos have even helped us obtain clients — both buyers and sellers. We had buyer clients who moved to our area from San Francisco. Before they moved to our area, they found us online through our community videos.
We ended up selling them a great home in one of our main neighborhoods, all because of our video highlighting our knowledge of the area. Sellers have also mentioned our videos in listing appointments and cited that they wanted to work with us because of our thorough knowledge.
2. Company or restaurant spotlights
This is a relatively new segment that we are trying out but have quickly gained traction and received incredible reach throughout the community. The idea behind these videos is to partner up with one local restaurant per month to visit and showcase.
When we began these videos, we called them reviews, but we recently changed that to shy away from providing a critical review. The videos show off the menu, ambiance of the restaurant and some clips from team members describing their experience.
We then provide the video to the restaurant and boost it on all of our social media platforms. It’s a win-win scenario, both for us and the restaurants that we feature because we are seen as a community resource promoting other local businesses, and the restaurant gets some added publicity.
The best video that we have created within this category so far was for a brand new restaurant that took the place of a long-standing establishment that unfortunately had to close its doors.
3. Market reports
This is also a new category that we are testing out this year. Because it is a newer category, we haven’t had a chance to look at the analytics and determine the reach and benefits. I’ve seen other videos from agents in other markets that detail the market conditions, either per month or per quarter.
My recommendation is that this type of video be no more than a minute long. People are curious about real estate and the real estate market. However, their attention span isn’t long enough to watch a five-minute video about how many homes have sold on a specific street.
Keep it short and to the point — highlight four or five major categories that people care about.
4. Snapshots or listing teasers
These are probably the most relevant videos that are involved in our business. We call these videos listing snapshots, simply because of their short nature.
We try to keep them between 30 and 50 seconds to capture potential buyers’ attention. These videos go up on all of our social media platforms, particularly on Facebook. By uploading these videos on Facebook, we can incorporate them into a boosted ad and use the video as a lead capturing system.
For listings that are particularly unique or fall within the luxury category, we will create a full two-to-four minute video showing off all of the great things that a home has to offer. These videos are usually more complex and take more time.
5. Buyer process
Gen Y and millennial buyers are characterized by the desire to know it all. They want to do their research before they purchase anything, a home included. Rather than reading article after article, my generation is more likely to watch a video explaining whatever we are researching.
By breaking down the buyer process into a few videos, we can capture their attention, drive them back to our website to learn more about our company and give them the information that they want.
6. Lead generation
In our market, we are not-so-slowly finding our way into a seller’s market. In many of our key neighborhoods, half as many homes have been listed in the first quarter of 2016 than there were in the first quarter of 2015 (stats thanks to our market report video).
The problem is that the pool of buyers has only gotten bigger. In addition to other tactics for finding off-market properties, we create highly targeted Facebook ads to owners in the neighborhoods where we need listings.
It must have worked because we have received calls from interested sellers who might not have originally thought about selling.
7. Virtual open houses
Finally, we create virtual open houses. This is a brand new method we’re testing, so I can’t speak to its reach. We have been testing using Periscope and Facebook Live to create walkthrough videos of the property.
Periscope allows potential buyers to log in and ask questions as we are walking through the home. Maybe this will work, maybe it won’t. Maybe it leaves me with another article to write in the future.
There are tons of different ways that you can get out and use video in your business. My suggestion is to try it and be creative! If you’re not creative, find someone who you work well with and partner up to create some great content.
Also, check out what others are doing with video. Some pros that you might want to watch are Raj Qsar (The Boutique Real Estate Group), Anne Jones and Marguerite Giguere (Windermere Real Estate) and Judy Weiniger (The Weiniger Group).
Final recommendations: Upload your videos natively on Facebook, as well as on YouTube. Native Facebook video will allow you to boost your posts and target specific demographics to get the best reach.
Also, remember that video is evergreen (I believe that this is a Katie Lance quote!). Reuse videos and get as much value as possible out of the content that you have already created.
Follow us on Periscope at @TheARTeam.
Jay Luebke is a residential sales specialist and the visual coordinator with The ART of Real Estate in Columbia, S.C. You can follow The ART of Real Estate onTwitter @TheARTeam.