The Purpose of Video

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Inman Connect New York | January 29 - February 1, 2019

The sad state of most video in real estate is long, boring and entirely selfish.  Slide shows of still pictures with voice over.  Long videos showing the Realtor drone on about the features. Overwrought glide cam shots panning from floor to countertop and over to the sink.  Beside the home seller and the Realtor’s mother, does anyone watch more than a few seconds of these videos?

Boring vs. Captivating

What is the key difference between the videos that bore me to death and the ones that captivate my attention?  Said another way, what is the best use of video?

I think video is at it’s very best when it delivers something unattainable in a brochure- either online or printed format.  Still pictures?  Effusive ad copy?  A recitation of the home’s features?  If I can get all of that by scanning a brochure or a webpage in 20 seconds, why should I invest my time watching your video?  Many of these videos are 4 minutes or more- these are minutes that deliver no value to me- and they are minutes I will never get back.

What is Captivating?

In contrast, consider Eric Lavey’s Pacific View Dr. video.

Now, I am neither young, male nor that impossibly cool- but for 2 minutes and 20 seconds I could see myself living an amazing life- if I could just find a way to buy that house.

Similarly, Raj Qsar’s recent video, Bob White Rd. tells the story of a family oriented life style.

I am sure my life would hold no worries if I lived in that house.  (The perfect kids and the beautiful friends are included in the purchase price, right?)

In both of these videos, the point is not the granite counter tops or the stunning view.  The point is to show you what it feels like to live in this home.

It’s the Benefits, Baby

It is the first lesson taught in Real Estate- talk about benefits, not features.  What benefit does your listing offer to the potential buyer?  I think video can make this point better than any other medium.

Authenticity Matters

Authenticity is something else video delivers effectively.  Consider Dave Chomitz’s delightful thoughts on the importance of location.

We’ve all heard how important location is, but seeing Dave make that point as the 18 wheelers thundered by was priceless.  Just as priceless is Dave, himself.  He is just talking into the camera like he was chatting with a friend.  Honest.  Authentic.  Approachable.

Applied to a home, consider my video for 732 South.

There is something about a homeowner telling you why she loves her home that is emotional and captivating. If a salesperson said exactly the same things, or, if an ad had that same copy it would feel very different.  It would seem suspect.

Respect the Audience

In the end we need to respect the audience- respect their time, their intelligence and their needs.  Make sure your video delivers something that can’t be captured on paper.  A few ideas – show how the rooms flow together by walking through the house.  Ask the homeowner what their favorite feature is- highlight that and tell the viewer why it is special.  Show a little bit about the community- a park, the shopping, the nightlife.

Give the audience something of value and you will be rewarded with more views, more appointments and, ultimately, more listings.