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By now, almost every real estate agent on earth has heard about the magical power of video. Given social media’s reach, property videos and home tours have been shown to drive massive amounts of internet traffic to listings.
But did you also know that most people don’t bother to turn on the video’s sound? Whether it’s because they’re in public or simply don’t want to listen to the sound, the majority of viewers consume video on mute.
“Over 85 percent of videos on Facebook are watched without sound,” Ray Shak, the founder of Shak Cinema, told Inman. “There are many different reasons for that. Sometimes people just want quiet and sometimes they’re at work and don’t want their boss to find out [they’re on the internet].”
Given such numbers, how do you create video — sans sound — that still captivates viewers?
Here are six tips for making your silent real estate videos shine.
1. Tell a compelling visual story
No sound means that your visuals have to be extra-strong. For that, go back to the basics: Either buy relevant footage, or get a good camera and get right to filming it yourself.
Skip the talking heads, and go for lifestyle footage, a vivid background and relevant graphics.
It also helps to have the story you want to tell planned out ahead of time. If your goal is to get buyers to see themselves living in a home, take them through the home. If you want to market yourself, show footage of homes you have sold.
“Soundless video should have more of a focus on rapid clips that convey info about the message very succinctly,” Andrew Crefeld, the founder of HouseLens.com, told Inman. “Text and key imagery are important because you only have a moment to capture the viewers attention and deliver the content.”
2. Know your format
Not all video formats will work equally well for silent video — but fortunately for agents, home tours do splendidly. If the only videos you post are chats and interviews, now is the perfect time to get shots of the house and play around with silent home tours.
“Make sure that the viewers have a very good sense of where you are in the house,” Shak said. “Take the viewer along as though they are entering the house.”
3. Think about text
Chances are, your silent video will need at least some text to get the message across. Use either short notes or subtitles that guide viewers along as they follow the video.
That said, do not make the mistake of adding text like you would regular commentary or background noise. Too much writing on the screen will make you lose the viewer. Instead, keep it brief and highlight key features of your story. AgentImpress.me co-founder Kyle Draper recommends apps like Add Subtitles or Rev.com for adding subtitles.
“Don’t get lazy,” Draper told Inman. “Check your subtitles diligently. It’s really annoying when we are watching a silent video and a bunch of the words are wrong.”
4. Remember your brand
Depending on where it’s posted, your video could be seen and shared by people who have no idea who you are. That’s why Shak recommends adding your contact information, brand or company site somewhere in the video.
Popular options include a watermark or a five-second screenshot at the end of the footage.
5. When editing, be merciless
In silent videos, there is no option to have the video playing while you do the dishes — viewers are either giving it their full attention, or they’re out.
As a result, don’t be afraid to cut anything that doesn’t enhance the story. Mundane footage, extra text and useless graphics should be the first to go.
6. Be creative
As with all videos (and, it can be argued, real estate), creativity is what will set you apart from your competitors. See going soundless as a challenge, and find the most interesting footage that you can.
“You have to make this video exciting enough for viewers to get the message without sound,” Shak said.