With fewer deals to go around, many markets experiencing a downshift and more agents than ever, it makes business sense to reach for the fundamentals. That’s why at Inman, we’re going Back to Basics with curated throwbacks to some of our most-read stories as well as new insights from agents in the field — all culminating in Inman’s Playbook for the Fall Market, a two-day virtual event that you should make plans to attend.
This article was last updated August 31, 2022
Investing your time to create videos for your business is a no-brainer. Trying to figure out how to film, edit or hire someone to help you is part of the formula for success to go from search to selection by picky consumers.
According to Cisco, this year, videos will make up 82 percent of all consumer internet traffic. The amount of video consumption continues to accelerate as we’re at new heights with the pandemic and more work from home than ever.
Let’s be honest, you know you should create more video content to reach those would-be clients, but where do you start? Here, I’ll break down how to identify content your future clients will love, create videos that will catch their attention, and post them for maximum exposure.
How to identify the content your ideal clients will love
Here’s a simple process to find your first or next three videos to shoot:
- Search “(city similar to your market) real estate” on YouTube: By entering this in the search bar, you will immediately see the top trending videos for that search term. A few of these top videos will be from real estate agents.
- Click on the link to the agent’s YouTube page: Instead of clicking on the video link, click on the hyperlink to the agent’s YouTube page. Here is where the data mining begins.
- Click on the videos tab: Once you land on the agent’s page, click the video tab. Once you are on the video page, click the dropdown tab on the right that says “sort by.” Once the dropdown tab opens, click the most popular to sort the videos by the most popular at the top. This will reveal the videos that performed the best for this agent. These are your top options to model your first videos after.
Here are a few of the popular titles of top-performing videos for several real estate agents on YouTube.
- Pros and cons of living in (your city)
- 5 top tips for moving to (your city)
- 7 best (your city) neighborhoods
- Cost of living in (your city)
- Moving to (your city)
You don’t have to recreate the wheel. Utilize the data available from the results other agents are having. When you model what is working in other markets and apply them to your city, you have the recipe for success.
How to create quality videos
Many people get overwhelmed, thinking they need expensive equipment and videographers to shoot high-quality videos. Although these items are helpful, many agents generate results simply by using their iPhones to record their videos.
The following are the items needed from basics to cinema-quality production:
The visual presentation of your video is the first thing viewers notice. In many cases, you can improve lighting by simply facing the sun or natural light source in the room where you are shooting.
When you place natural light behind you, it creates shadows and a less-than-desirable visual for your viewers. This one adjustment can make a huge difference.
Another inexpensive way to improve lighting is using soft white lights or ring lights. You can purchase both through Amazon with pricing that starts at around $25. A good ring light should be under $100 and will provide you with everything you could possibly need for lighting during content creation.
Audio is the second thing viewers notice when they push play on your video. Most viewers will immediately move to the next video if the audio is poor. If you are in a controlled environment with little outside noise, shooting from your iPhone may be adequate.
Lavalier microphones with 8- to 10-foot cords that attach directly to your iPhone are a great way to improve audio for under $30 if you record with your phone.
The next step up is a wireless lavalier mic that attaches to a camera. These will run around $250 for a good set of microphones and the receiver. This is the setup we use for our video production.
The iPhone does create quality video, and in most cases, it is more than adequate for creating content. But if you are looking to take the quality of your content to a higher level, upgrading to a camera is the next logical step.
We use the Sony A7iii with an 18-105 mm lens. This camera and lens setup runs a little over $2,500. There are cheaper options, but this camera provides the better range of use and professionalism we desire.
4. Video formatting and editing
The ability to edit your videos in a way that provides professional transitions will improve the viewing experience for your clients. The format I use is a brief intro, an intro bumper, the main video content and an outro bumper. You can see an example of this format in the video above.
Intro and outro bumpers can be developed on your own or purchased on a site like Fiverr.com for under $25. Simply go to Fiverr, and search for video intros and outros.
That brings us to the editing process. You can also purchase editing services from a site like Fiverr or Upwork. The prices range from $20 to around $150 per video. If you go this route, test a few editors. Once you find one who meets your quality expectation and your budget, build a relationship.
Editing videos on your own is easier to learn than you might expect. If you are looking to edit your videos yourself, start by watching videos on YouTube related to video editing. I utilized YouTube videos to teach me how to edit my own videos when I first started creating them.
Editing software is essential if you plan to do your own editing. A few options for editing software include iMovie, Camtasia and Adobe Premiere Pro. We use Adobe Premiere Pro because it provides us with the most powerful and professional editing options we could find.
How to get your videos seen
The best videos in the world are useless if you can’t get them in front of your ideal audience. The two main ways to maximize your video’s exposure are on YouTube and social media. Optimizing your YouTube and social media posts can mean the difference between a video getting zero exposure or possibly going viral.
YouTube is the most important place for you to house all videos. As the No. 2 search engine in the world, you can’t match the ability to generate organic traffic on YouTube.
There are, however, a few critical steps to improve the likelihood that your ideal clients will see your video. The exposure your video receives is driven by the title, description, tags and thumbnail.
Your video’s title, tags and description should include as many keywords or search terms as possible. This tells YouTube’s algorithm what this video is about and who it will benefit.
Several apps can help you identify the best possible title, keywords and tags for your videos. TubeBuddy is the app we use for invaluable optimization insights.
The thumbnail is the photo found by the video description, and it’s an integral part of optimizing your video. An eye-catching thumbnail increases click-through rates, and it can make or break a video’s exposure and reach. This is because the YouTube algorithm rewards videos with higher click-through rates.
A free tool for thumbnail creation is Canva. Once on the site, search YouTube thumbnails. This will bring you to many template options you can choose from.
2. Social media
All social media platforms are increasingly promoting video content. This creates an opportunity for you to gain additional exposure if you know how to optimize your video presentation.
Here are a few keys to making sure your video is found:
- Utilize hashtags: Hashtags are the tool people use to find specific types of content on social media. Apps like Hashtagify and All Hashtag provide hashtag suggestions, making the process of choosing the perfect hashtags easier and more efficient. Utilizing the best hashtags for your content can make a tremendous difference in your video view count.
- Upload directly to the platforms: The social media platform’s primary goal is to keep users on their sites as long as possible. By uploading a link to your video on YouTube, you are asking the users to leave the social media site and go to YouTube. This is an organic traffic killer that you can easily avoid. Instead of the link to YouTube, upload your video directly to the social media post. This gives the platform the video content it wants and posts that will keep the users on its site. This adjustment alone will dramatically increase your video views on social media.
The value of video content for real estate agents will only increase in the future. If you are uncomfortable shooting video, it’s time to embrace the discomfort and take action anyway. Growth and comfort cannot coexist.
By identifying the content your clients desire, shooting quality videos, and positioning them in front of your ideal clients, your business can’t help but grow.