Here, Inman contributor Jimmy Burgess will show you how to launch your marketing efforts inexpensively and build those lifetime relationships using the most convenient, time-saving tools. Plus, he’ll arm you with a solid strategy that generated him $11 million in listings — in three months.

New to the industry? Get started with everything you need to know about the early decisions that’ll shape your career, including choosing a brokerage, learning your market, creating an online presence, budgeting, getting leads, marketing listings and so much more. If you’re a team leader or broker-owner, New Agent Month will be jam-packed with resources to help your new hires navigate.

This post was largely taken from Jimmy Burgess’ work published on Inman.

Seasoned veterans often say you don’t know what you don’t know. And as a new agent, there’s a lot you don’t know. Not through any fault of your own, of course — there’s just a ton to learn as you get into real estate. 

On top of figuring out the complex ins and outs of physically putting a deal together on paper properly, you also have to create marketing and a reputation for yourself in this new career. 

Then there’s the hassle of learning all of the passwords for all of the new technology you must also quickly learn and adopt. 

And that technology has been rapidly evolving to meet changing consumer needs and demands and innovating to meet market expectations over the past couple of years — that were full of setbacks and brilliant technological advances.

And above all else, you have to bring in clients. Then, to keep those clients, you have to build lifetime relationships. 

It’s a lot to keep up with. 

But never fear, dear rookie. We have put together a few tried-and-true tips to cut to the chase on your lead-generating, nurturing and relationship-building endeavors. 

Below, Inman contributor Jimmy Burgess will show you how to launch your marketing efforts inexpensively and build those lifetime relationships using the most convenient, time-saving tools. Plus, he’ll arm you with a solid strategy that generated him $11 million in listings — in three months — using the skills and tools laid out for you here. 

Table of Contents

12 videos every agent should make

These 12 video templates, together with the two search rank term tools, will help you reach your target clients and build trust by answering their questions before they ask. 

Video is the preferred content for the platforms you’re engaged on and the people you’re seeking to attract, so your ability to generate this kind of content has never been more critical. 

These 12 video ideas will help you build value for your audience and answer the questions that potential customers have before they even ask them.

1. What people love and hate about living in (your area)

Share with your audience all the things residents love about living in your area and the things they don’t love. Whether you’re talking about a city, a neighborhood or a subdivision, people are curious about what it’s like to live there, and these videos will draw them in.

Whether we like it or not, negativity often attracts attention. If you share that you don’t love living in your area during the summer because July and August are incredibly humid, you’ll be a bit more relatable to the people trying to learn more.

2. Renting vs. buying in (your area)

Use this video to highlight the area you service, and include the area’s name in the title of your video. Then, really break down the specific options for your audience.

Show them the numbers of renting versus buying. Include how much an average house would sell for and a rough idea of their mortgage payment, including taxes and insurance. Then break down the monthly expenses of the lease payment versus the mortgage payment. Highlighting the potential for capital appreciation, the tax advantages of ownership and demonstrating that their payments will actually be lower than if they rent will usually reveal the value in purchasing.

3. Virtual open houses

Facebook has given us unbelievable reach for virtual open houses, even if we live in an area with the option for in-person events. Although our in-person open houses might draw 10 to 12 people, a Facebook video allows you the opportunity to reach an audience of hundreds of people.

It demonstrates to your sellers that you’re using unique methods to reach buyers, and it helps you draw a larger audience.

4. My favorite places in (your area)

People who are thinking about moving to an area want to see a highlight reel of the best things around you, so highlight a variety of offerings in your area. Include places to take the kids, places to take your spouse and any of the things you love to do. 

Shoot video at the local park, a restaurant, the farmer’s market or on a bike trail you love to ride.

Providing this insight allows potential buyers to begin to picture themselves enjoying the area. It also shows potential sellers that you are actively marketing the area to attract more potential buyers for their home, should they list with you.

5. Coming soon

As soon as you take a listing, shoot a video — even if it’s with your phone — and tell your audience how excited you are to bring this house to the market in a few days. Give just a few details, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and invite interested people to private message you for more details.

These videos will demonstrate a willingness to do something different on behalf of the sellers, and you might even get a chance to double-side some of your listings.

6. Neighborhood highlights

Create a video of the area you’re farming or a neighborhood that you love, and highlight amenities like a pool, neighborhood gym, dog park or anything else that will interest your audience. You can shoot this with your phone, or you can hire someone to shoot it for you.

If you want to draw more traffic, you can spend a little money to buy a domain that you can point people to at the end of your video. If you’re highlighting Live Oaks subdivision, for instance, point your audience to a website you’ve created called LiveOaksSubdivisionHomesForSale.com, where they can see pictures of the homes that are available. Then point them to your website with an evergreen IDX feed of homes currently for sale in the subject neighborhood.

We use BoomTown for this because it allows the visitors to see pictures of the houses that are for sale, and it has a built-in lead capture prompting for them to opt-in to see more photos. It’s a great way to add value to your farm and build your reputation as the expert in that neighborhood.

Posting these videos on YouTube with proper titling, tagging, description and professional thumbnails has been highly effective for us over the past few months. 

If you aren’t sure how to correctly title and tag your videos on YouTube to generate the most organic traffic, try the tools Keywords Everywhere and TubeBuddy.

7. Cost of living in (your area)

People want to understand what it will cost to live in the area they’re considering, so start by figuring out the markets that are feeding people into your area. Doing a simple Google search for demographic information for (insert feeder city) and for your area will give you the ability to create personalized comparisons.

In your video, compare the price of a house where the audience currently lives with a house in your area. The people searching for this kind of information are likely close to a buying decision, so you can help them gather the information they need and potentially engage with them before any other agents in your market.

8. About me 

Customers want to do business with people they know, like and trust, so tell your story. Tell them about your family and your background in the industry. Explain why you love the industry, activities you enjoy and anything that helps people better understand who you are.

About me videos give you the ability to connect with clients before you actually meet them in person.

9. Testimonials

These videos are critically important because they effectively tell people that you’re safe to do business with. Begin the process by contacting your previous clients and asking them to share their experience working with you. Ask what they liked about working with you.

You could even record these at closing using your cell phone while your clients are happiest. Then, share these videos and begin to build rapport with your future clients.

10. New listings

Every single time you take a new listing, do a walkthrough video as proof of the business that you’re doing. Not only does it add value for the seller, but it also increases the odds that you’ll find the buyer who’s a good match for your property.

Customers are drawn to people who are doing business and generating activity.

11. Area demographics

To help people get comfortable with your area, gather statistics about crime, school performance, available churches and other information that’ll help them decide whether your area is a good fit for them. They want to know whether their family will be safe, whether the schools are good and what activities will be available.

Give them the information before they even ask for it, and they’ll be far more likely to call you when they’re ready to find a house.

12. Interview local business owners

Give a shoutout to your favorite businesses in the area by interviewing the owners and giving them a chance to promote their businesses. These shoutouts can include restaurants, handyman services, service providers or any other businesses in your area. When you post this on social media, tag the business to cross-pollinate your audience on social media with their audience.

This win-win proposition helps promote their business, and it draws potential clients to your network.

When you share information about local businesses and service providers, people will consider you a resource for all things, especially real estate.

Additional Resources:

The Takeaway:

  • Video is critical when creating value for your audience and building rapport with future clients.
  • Draw potential clients in by highlighting what’s it like living in your area, its various offerings and relevant statistics.
  • Virtual open houses on Facebook allow you to reach a wider audience.
  • Customers want to do business with people they know, like and trust, so tell your story.

20 tools to help you create killer video content

As any agent will tell you, video creation should have a special place in your marketing plan. Although it might seem intimidating at first, you’ll quickly learn there are easy and cheap ways to level up your video game. Here are all the tools you’ll need — from basic to pro.

Your ability to create engaging video content is now more important than ever. When I first started using video in my business, I was overwhelmed. I wondered: How do I start shooting videos?

What is important, and what is irrelevant about shooting good videos? How do I edit those videos? How do I get exposure for my videos? In case you’re wondering the same thing, here are 20 video creation tools that will help you take your video marketing to a new level.

1. Your smartphone is all you need

The iPhone is an amazing tool that boasts really high-quality video, and the audio gets better every time the company releases a new version. Don’t get overwhelmed by where to start. Your iPhone or latest version of a smartphone is all you need to get started producing engaging video content.

Quality video creation is really broken into four sections. These include the video recording device, the lighting quality, the audio quality, and editing and distribution. I will break down entry level tools and also include expert level tools for each of these categories.

Recording

2. BombBomb is the Bomb

BombBomb gives you the ability to send personalized video emails. It also integrates a screen record section that allows your face to be in a small portion of the screen while you’re sharing.

The screen record function gave me the ability to review contracts, record personalized video and provide video CMA reports where I review the numbers right on my laptop. In short, BombBomb is one of the most effective video tools I’ve used to personalize quick videos and record my screen.

3. Zoom has more functions than just meetings

Zoom has become the new norm for many of us. But why not use Zoom to record an interview with local influential people your clients or potential future clients would find interesting?

Instead of giving a report on the school system, interview the superintendent of schools or a local principal. Instead of speaking about the low crime rate in your area, interview the local sheriff. Instead of talking about the local housing boom, interview the head of the local building department. Don’t just settle for just meetings with Zoom. It can be an effective tool for interviews as well.

4. The Sony A7III Camera is all you could ever need

The Sony A7III is the camera we use to produce crisp video quality and enhance our videos with professional backdrops like blurred backgrounds. The cameras with lens will cost around $2,500, but when you are ready to go to the next level, it’s a great investment.

Audio

5. A lapel mic for iPhones improves quality at a low cost

A simple lapel mic with a 10-foot cord that plugs directly into your iPhone will help improve your audio quality when shooting video. These mics run about $20 and are readily available on Amazon.

6. The Saramonic Blink 500 wireless lapel mic is great for flexibility

The Saramonic Blink 500 comes in a lapel mic wireless set with two mics. This mic provides you an opportunity to shoot with great audio quality while moving around or from a distance.

It also provides flexibility for great audio quality while interviewing someone or having two people on camera at once. The Saramonic Blink 500 setup runs around $200 depending on when and where you buy it.

7. Sennheiser MKE 600 boom mic provides studio-quality audio

This boom microphone provides tremendous quality when we are in controlled environments. The setup includes a tripod with a boom stick that holds the microphone. The entire setup runs around $500.

There is a noticeable difference in audio quality when using the boom mic, so if you are looking for top-quality audio, this is the way to go.

Lighting

8. Natural light is always the best light

Lighting really boils down to having any natural light in the room facing you instead of behind you. To avoid shadowing, always face a window. Natural lighting is what we use in as many videos as possible.

9. Clip-on selfie ring lights are not just for teenagers

Clip-on selfie ring lights attach to your phone or your laptop with a hole that puts the camera lens in the middle of the small ring. They have multiple settings, and they are great for controlling light when you are in a room with harsh overhead lighting or a dim room.

This is also a handy tool to have for Zoom calls on your laptop. They can be readily found on Amazon and are usually priced under $20.

10. Soft box lights are a great next step

The next step we took in lighting was purchasing a set of two soft box lights, which are what you see in a lot of photography studios. They provide the ability to offset lighting, and they run around $80 on Amazon. If you are looking for a great mid-priced lighting solution, this could be your answer.

11. Tripod large selfie ring light provides exceptional options

These large ring lights are approximately 6 feet tall, and the camera or phone sits in the middle of the ring, providing light directly in front of you. These lights have multiple settings offering exceptional options no matter where you shoot. It typically runs around $80, and it’s the go-to light at the moment.

Postproduction

12. Fiverr.com can make you look like a pro

Fivver.com is a site that provides you the option to find high-quality intro bumpers and outro bumpers for your videos. For $5, you can have branded bumpers that give your videos a high-end feel for a very low cost.

Fivver.com is also a great place to find inexpensive editors if you are not looking to edit your own videos. It’s hard to beat the low expense and the high impact Fivver.com provides for your video quality enhancement.

13. Videolicious is just what the iPhone editor ordered

Videolicious is an app for your iPhone that makes video editing easy. I use this tool for video walkthroughs of houses and showing neighborhood amenities to out-of-town buyers.

The app easily blends multiple videos together, has background music options, provides the ability to add text and includes many other features. I love its ease of use, too.

14. Epidemic Sound provides the best background tracks

One of the biggest enhancements to video can be background music. We use Epidemic Sound to find royalty-free music that we use as background music or as intro and outro tracks.

There are a few options on pricing, but we pay $15 per month for our usage level. The availability on Epidemic Sound is outstanding, and it’s our go-to when we’re looking to take a video to the next level.

15. Camtasia makes editing easy

When I first started editing my own videos, I used Camtasia on my PC, and I found it extremely easy to learn and use. This editing tool was well worth the $249 I paid for it when I first started.

I still use my Camtasia editing software when I need a quick edit instead of waiting on our videographer to make an edit for me.

16. Apple iMovie is an amazing free editing tool for Apple users

Apple iMovie provides amazing editing options, and it’s free on Apple products. If you are looking for a great editing solution with tons of flexibility, iMovie is a great option.

17. Adobe Premier Pro is our go-to for top-quality editing

Adobe Premiere Pro is simply the best editing software our team has been able to find. The options are endless, and the integration with other software puts it head and shoulders above anything else we have used.

Adobe Premiere Pro runs about $250 per year — but it’s well worth the cost if you want best breed of editing software.

Publishing

18. Keywords Everywhere takes the guesswork out

Keywords Everywhere is a browser add-on that gives you the ability to see how many people are searching a specific topic on YouTube monthly. This allows you to research whether there will be interest in your video before you ever shoot it.

It also tells you the cost-per-click (CPC) advertisers pay for this search term. This helps identify potentially profitable topics to cover in your videos as well. For $10, I get great search capabilities that have lasted me for months. It’s a great investment to identify the video topics your clients want to see.

19. TubeBuddy provides optimized titles and tags on YouTube

TubeBuddy is a browser extension for YouTube that provides advanced keyword research. I use TubeBuddy to help me identify the ideal title and tags for YouTube. TubeBuddy analyzes and ranks your titles based on search volume and competition. This scoring system provides a great way to know how your video will perform before you even shoot it.

When adding tags to your YouTube video, TubeBuddy ranks the best and most effective tags for your video. TubeBuddy has a free option, but I upgraded to the roughly $15-per-month option due to the tremendous results I’ve seen since using this great tool.

20. Publish your videos everywhere

The best videos in the world need exposure to be effective. Make sure you are publishing your videos everywhere you can. Utilize YouTube and all your social media outlets.

You are one viral video away from seeing your business explode. Take action on video creation, and the results will follow.

Additional Resources:

The Takeaway:

  • Having the right video creation tools can help take your video marketing to a new level.
  • Your smartphone is all you need to get started.
  • Improving audio, lighting and postproduction goes a long way in making your videos appear professional, and there are many simple, cost-effective ways to do that.
  • Your videos need exposure to work. Make sure you are publishing them everywhere you can.

11 tech tools that’ll save you time — and drum up more business

Automating your processes will allow you to focus more on building relationships — which is the key to taking your business to the next level. Here’s a list of real estate tech that’ll make your life easier.

Any real estate professional will tell you that relationships are the key to building a fruitful real estate business. So, the more we can automate our processes using tech tools and apps, the more time we’ll have to spend with our clients.

Here, you’ll find the top 11 real estate tech tools that can help streamline our day-to-day work — and speed up the process of getting people to know, like and trust us.

1. Slydial

Ever wonder about those voicemails you receive without hearing your phone ring? Slydial is a ringless voicemail that allows us to reach a large number of people with a single voicemail without ever “calling” the user’s phone. The best news is that we can personalize the message so that it doesn’t sound like a robocall, and we can use it in several different ways.

The process involves uploading the phone numbers of people we would like to reach with our message to Slydial via an Excel spreadsheet. Once uploaded, we record a voicemail message and schedule the time for it to “drop” in the recipients’ voicemail.

It costs around 10 cents per voicemail drop, meaning we can reach 100 people for around $10. Here are a few ways I’ve used Slydial in my business.

New listings

Anytime we get a new listing in a neighborhood, we can notify the surrounding owners with a quick personalized voicemail. Here’s an example:

Hey, this is Sally Agent with ABC Realty. We just listed the house at 123 Oak St. so we wanted to let all of the owners know so they’ll have the opportunity to choose their next neighbor before the house hits the open market in the next few days. Please give me a call or text me at … for more details.

This message provides valuable information for the owners in the neighborhood and shows them we are actively involved in their neighborhood.

Missing out on a multiple-offer listing

If your buyer missed out on a house that had multiple offers, this is a great opportunity to show your value to your buyer and uncover listing opportunities.

Let your buyer know that you completely understand that they are disappointed, and you are going to call all the homeowners in the neighborhood or area where the house they did not get is located to see if you can find them an off-market home.

Record a message like this to send to the neighborhood:

This is agent Joe with ABC Realty. Not sure if you are aware, but your neighbor at 123 Oak St. put their house on the market two days ago, and it just went under contract after receiving multiple offers. I was the agent for a great family that did not win in the multiple-offer negotiations.

They really want to be in your great neighborhood, and I am doing my best to see if I can find them a home. If you’ve heard of any of your neighbors that have considered selling or if you have considered selling, I would greatly appreciate you giving me a call back at (your number) to learn more about this great family.

Because they missed out on the other house, they are possibly willing to pay a premium if the house they find fits them. Thanks in advance for any help and I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Staying in touch

Phone conversations give us a great opportunity to stay connected with our clients. However, it can be difficult to limit the length of those calls, and that can occupy a lot of precious time, especially as our business grows.

Instead, record a personalized voicemail that provides activity information about their home, and invite them to call with any questions they might have. Here’s what you could say:

Hey, just wanted to give you an update about the activity on your place over the last week. (Share any relevant information here.) If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to give me a call.

This process helps us stay connected to the people who need to hear from us regularly without sacrificing more of our time than is necessary to get it done.

2. Crystal Knows

Although social media helps us learn more about people before we even meet them, Crystal Knows takes that ability to the next level. It helps us tailor our communication with our clients by providing characteristics about people from their online profiles. In other words, the platform can help us learn about our clients and prospects beyond data information and other basic insights.

Once you’ve downloaded the app, you can visit a specific LinkedIn profile, and Crystal will provide details about that person’s personality that can help you present information in a way that he or she will receive best.

Crystal Knows can help develop a personalized playbook for each transaction, so we can build deeper relationships and close deals faster.

3. Forewarn

Forewarn has multiple uses, but the main use is to help us know people before we meet them for the first time. It can be risky to meet a stranger at a vacant house, so Forewarn allows users to conduct a background check using details like name, address and phone number, to name a few.

Forewarn also helps us acquire phone numbers for people we’d like to connect with through a highly accurate database. We use this in many cases when searching for phone numbers in conjunction with Slydial (mentioned above).

Another great benefit of Forewarn is the property records section that shows details on properties owned by the person we search for. This is a great way to see if that online buyer lead you just received might have a home to sell.

4. BombBomb

BombBomb is an email tool that allows you to record a video message, and then embed a GIF of that message into an email. That way, when users open the message, they’ll see a GIF of the personalized message you’ve sent them.

It’s a unique way to personalize your communication and improve your clickthrough rates at the same time. Here are a few different ways you can use BombBomb.

Follow-up

After meeting someone for the first time, send a video email that says something like:

It was great meeting you today, and I’m looking forward to spending more time with you at our next meeting on [insert date]. Take care, and I’ll talk to you soon.

Screen-recording

BombBomb includes our image at the bottom of the screen any time we record our screen, so we can review contracts with people or show them aerial maps of an area or a house they’re interested in. It creates the sense that we’re sitting with the person while we review the information.

I’ve personally used this tool to create unsolicited video CMAs for owners who had mentioned they might sell their homes within the next couple of years.

In the fourth quarter of 2018, I sent 72 unsolicited video CMAs that updated homeowners about the current value of their homes, and I directly listed $11.2 million in property directly from this effort. Of those listings, I sold $9.1 million.

BombBomb is one of my favorite apps to help agents grow their business by differentiating themselves in a crowded market.

5. Testimonial Tree

Online recommendations are the lifeblood of our business because the first thing any prospective client will do before engaging with us is search for online reviews. To make that presence more attractive, we should make sure our past clients are sharing online reviews and recommendations.

Testimonial Tree automates the review process by inviting customers to provide testimonials and then automatically uploading them to selected platforms (as long as the review meets a standard previously determined by the account owner). It’s a great tool agents can use to keep their online presence consistently updated.

6. BoxBrownie

Having photos that grab viewers’ attention is so important — especially to the way we do business now. BoxBrownie is a nifty platform that helps agents enhance their photos and make them more appealing.

What’s more, BoxBrownie can also digitally stage a property (if you have images of empty rooms), and it can remove debris and clutter from photos and make things like a kitchen counter look more presentable.

Another great thing about BoxBrownie is that it can liven up your existing photos by, for example, making the sky brighter or even adding a stunning sunset that makes your photos pop when people see it online. BoxBrownie is a great tool that comes at a very affordable price, considering the impact it can make.

7. TubeBuddy

People are scouring YouTube to find information about neighborhoods and communities — now more than ever before. That’s why it’s a great time to add video to your content plan.

TubeBuddy provides information on search numbers and details on videos we should shoot about our communities and farming neighborhoods. It provides assistance in choosing the best title for organic search traffic, proper tagging and SEO optimization on YouTube — which can be the difference between success and failure.

If you want to take your video marketing to the next level, TubeBuddy is definitely a must-have.

8. TurboScan

In our existing market of low inventory and multiple offers, time is of the essence for agents. Sometimes, we need to send documents to a buyer or seller even if we aren’t at the office.

If situations like that, TurboScan can let you use your phone as a scanner and turn your multi-page documents into PDFs or JPEGs that you can then send to your customers quickly — right from your device. Speed is so important in today’s market, and TurboScan helps you keep up with the fast pace necessary for success.

9. SendOutCards

This tool allows us to send out electronically generated handwritten cards (in our handwriting) — making the process of personalized communication efficient and streamlined.

You start the process by sending in a template of every letter of the alphabet written in cursive in your handwriting. Once they have that information on file, you submit the messages you’d like to send, and SendOutCards sends a card with your handwritten message to the recipients.

You can also personalize the photo on the front of the card so that it’s a photo of your clients’ house, an acknowledgment of an award they’ve received or any other visual that’s personal to them.

I especially like the ability to preset birthday and anniversary cards that will automatically go out to my clients once I set them up. This helps organize communication with past clients — with a more personalized touch.

10. Linq

Business cards are mostly a thing of the past. They usually end up in a pile on our desks, and as time passes, we tend to forget all details about the person who gave us the card.

Linq is an electronic business card that allows the people you meet to pull contact information directly into their phones using a tap or a QR code — even if they don’t have the app themselves. A profile in the Linq app could include contact information, a website and other important details that help the user identify you.

Keep in mind, too, that though they may not remember our names in the weeks after the initial meeting, we can add details that will make it easy for them to find us, like “Sally agent” or “beach Realtor.” If they don’t remember a name, they’ll at least remember the keyword “beach” and find it on their phones.

11. Asteroom

Asteroom is a new technology that disrupts the Matterport tool that previously provided entire floor plans or virtual walkthroughs of a property. Using a stand and a smartphone, for an affordable fee, Asteroom will take the pictures and adjust the lighting and other features to give the photos a professional look — even for those of us who aren’t professional photographers.

Asteroom also allows users to provide a view of the outside spaces in addition to the inside of the house, which is more important than ever for users who want to virtually walk through a house.

It’s a less expensive option than Matterport with powerful capabilities to impact every one of your listings.

Any one of these 11 tech tools can streamline our processes and help us grow our business. Automating our steps to make better use of our time and resources will allow us to focus more on building relationships, which are the foundation of the work we do, and the keys to taking our business to the next level.

Additional Resources:

The Takeaway:

  • In our existing market of low inventory and multiple offers, time is of the essence for agents.
  • Automating your day-to-day processes will allow you to focus more on taking your business to the next level.
  • Many tools exist that can help you reach people with personalized messages, voicemail and videos.
  • Learn about ways to automate your review process, enhance your listing photos, digitally stage a property, and scan and send documents straight from your phone.

Here’s how I generated $11M in listings — in 3 months

Nothing is more impactful than letting homeowners know the value of their homes in the current market, and nothing will keep you top-of-mind more than this process. Enter the unsolicited seller CMA video.

Despite the lack of inventory and the hyper-competitive market, agents who implement this simple strategy can generate listings now and return business down the road.

This single activity generated more than $11 million in listings in my own business, and it was one of the most impactful things I’ve ever done.

Unsolicited video CMAs

As prices have increased this past year, so has the opportunity for many homeowners to work from home or wherever they choose. These options have led many homeowners who usually would have stayed in their current homes for a decade or more to reconsider all their options.

The best way to add value to homeowners right now is to provide an updated comparative market analysis (CMA) of their home. Agents have historically done this with a printed copy of the CMA, but we’ve found that recording your screen to create a video explaining the updated valuation and emailing it to the seller is a game-changer.

In the fourth quarter of 2018, I did one unsolicited video CMA per workday. With holidays and days off, that totaled 72 unsolicited video CMAs done and emailed over that three-month period, which directly resulted in more than $11 million worth of listings.

The following is the system and strategy I used to see these incredible results.

Begin with the understanding that we will specifically target three main groups with these CMAs:

  • People who have told you they were interested in selling within the next year or two.
  • Past buyer clients who live in a home that you sold to them.
  • People who are homeowners in your area that you’ve met through marketing activities.

Consider sending one unsolicited video CMA per day, which is basically a 5- to 10-minute video informing the homeowners about their home’s current value. Each one will take you about 30 minutes to create. In my case, each one of the videos I made was worth about $3,600 per hour based on the results I generated after doing 72 of these unsolicited video CMAs. 

Even in areas with a lower average price, if your average price is half of the one in my market, it’s safe to say that most of us would gladly schedule any activity that generates close to $1,800 per hour.

How to create video CMAs

To start, we’ll pull up the following tools on our computer browser before we actually begin recording:

  • Google Earth
  • MLS with comparable homes
  • CMA data
  • Estimated seller net sheet

Begin with Google Earth, and plug the owner’s address into the search bar, so that as soon as you begin recording, you can click to search, and the map will zoom directly to the owner’s home from space. 

This technique is a small differentiator that will catch many people’s attention because they won’t likely have seen anyone do it before. It also looks high-tech, and when the sellers see their own home, it will compel them to continue watching. 

Once we’ve started recording and we’ve zoomed in on the home, we’ll click the MLS tab that shows active, pending and sold comparable properties, which will give us access to all the information we need without having to try to remember it. Although we’ve already pulled this screen, we can show and talk about specific similar properties compared to their home.

Next, we’ll access the CMA tab, which will provide data for three or four of the best comparable sales to help the owner understand how we arrived at their home’s value. Doing this allows us to narrow in on the best comparable houses to the owner’s home and give a range of estimated value to the homeowner.

Then, we’ll display an estimated seller net sheet, which can be as simple as a Word document that includes the estimated selling price, typical closing costs for sellers in your market, and estimated net proceeds to the seller, excluding any mortgage payoff or prorations. 

Providing the estimated net number has the power to grab the owners’ attention to help them fully understand the value of selling their home.

Below, we’ll go through the process to give you all the tools and scripts you need to get started immediately.

Recording the screen

Countless tools will allow screen recording, but BombBomb is one of the best because it creates a GIF of the video that you can include in the body of an email. When users open the email, they will see a brief preview of Google Earth zooming into their home, which will naturally make them want to click play to see more. There is a fee for BombBomb, but it will quickly pay for itself with these CMAs.

For those who are already using Zoom, simply set up a meeting that includes only you, and share your screen so the homeowners will be able to see you and the details. 

Use the record feature on Zoom to capture the information easily, and then either share the link to the video that Zoom will provide you, or upload it to YouTube or whatever platform you are using to house videos.

Throughout the video, your image will be included in the corner of the screen, talking them through the information in the video. The homeowners being able to see you on the screen while going over the specifics helps you build rapport, and it helps the homeowners see you as their real estate resource. 

The script

The narration could sound something like this:

“I wanted to give you an update on your home’s value because the market has been shifting over the past year. You might be surprised at how high your home’s value is right now, so I wanted to give you an updated range of your home’s value.” 

This sets the tone.

Then, click to comparable sales.

“I’ve pulled up all the houses from our local MLS that are comparable to yours that have sold, that are active, or that are currently under contract within the past three months.”

Go through some of these details, and then click to CMA.

“I’ve narrowed this down to the best three comparable sales to your home to give you an idea of your value in the current market environment.”

If you have information about those sales, share it with the homeowner here. Provide background information, price-per-square-foot, bedrooms, bathrooms and other details.

“Based on these adjustments, though I haven’t been inside your house (in a while), I’m giving you a range of within 5 percent or so of your home’s value. If you’d like a more specific value, it will only take me about 5 minutes to walk through your house and give you a free no-obligation update to this amount.”

“Whether you are thinking about selling right now or not, I think it’s great for you to have a marker of where your home’s value is currently, following the year that we’ve been through.”

Click to the sellers’ estimated net document.

“Whether you’re considering selling your home or not, it’s important to know where you are financially in your investment because a home is usually one of the most valuable assets you’ll own.”

“But if you did decide to sell, the typical closing costs would look something like this. These are only an estimation because there would likely be other small fees and prorated amounts plus a mortgage payoff if you have one. But this gives you a rough idea of what you could expect.”

Provide as much information as necessary about the closing costs, and then give the bottom-line number.

“I hope this gives you a better understanding of your home’s value, and if you ever want to revisit this, you can search your email by searching for your address.”

Use “[Address] Valuation Analysis Update” as the email’s subject line so they can easily find the content later.

One of the great things about using BombBomb for this video is that whether two months or two years have passed since the original email, the platform notifies the sender when someone clicks on the video.

So, if you haven’t heard from the person for a long time but they click into the video at some point in the future, you’ll know that they might be wondering about their home’s current value.

Now we can reach out to them and say something like this:

“It’s been a while since I checked in with you. Hope you are doing well. Are you still loving the house?”

You will likely be amazed at how many opportunities a brief outreach like this can generate.

The ‘tail’ in your business

Probably nothing is more impactful than letting homeowners know the value of their homes in the current market, and nothing will keep you top-of-mind more than this process.

As we build a daily schedule and work on systemizing our business, we should schedule at least one of these a week, or even one a day, if we want to create a significant impact. Often, once we generate an opportunity on the listing side, we’ll create one on the buyer’s side as well, and who doesn’t want a chance to double-side deals in this market?

Additional Resources:

The Takeaway:

  • Unsolicited seller CMA videos are a simple way to keep you top-of-mind in a hyper-competitive market.
  • It’s as easy as this: Record your screen to create a video, explain the value of their homes in the current market, and email it to the sellers.
  • This strategy generated Inman contributor Jimmy Burgess $11 million in listings — in three months.
  • Scheduling at least one of these a week will create a significant impact in your business.

Jimmy Burgess is the Chief Growth Officer for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida in Northwest Florida. Connect with him on Facebook or Instagram.

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