Getting real estate video marketing right in 2020

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Over the last decade, video marketing has exploded in popularity, accessibility, and affordability. While once the preserve of high-budget brands, video has become a staple across nearly every industry—including real estate—and for very good reason.

According to research from Wyzowl, 87% of video marketers say use of video has increased traffic to their website, while 83% say it has helped them generate leads. And 89% say video, in general, provides a solid return on investment.

In the real estate industry specifically, video has plenty to offer as a marketing medium. Videos make it much easier to demonstrate exactly what properties look and feel like, allow agents to show off more of their personality, and aid in fostering authentic, trusting relationships with viewers.

But with real estate agencies everywhere making video a major part of their marketing strategy, it’s no easy feat to capture customer attention. So if you’re thinking of making a move into real estate video marketing, or just looking to optimise your approach, we’ve put together a guide to help.

How to get started with video marketing

Video is a versatile real estate marketing medium that can be adapted to suit a range of different channels and purposes. But no matter what you’re planning, here are a few basic tips to make the most of your real estate video marketing budget.

Make a plan

Before you even start recording your real estate marketing video, it’s best to have some solid plans for what you’re trying to create and for what purpose. For example, it’s important to think about which specific segment of your audience you’re trying to target and what action you want them to take. 

Likewise, you should also decide on where the video will live, whether it’s your website, a social network, or on a specific landing page. 

Craft a script

While some real estate video marketing formats, such as live social media videos, favour an off-the-cuff approach, it’s still best practice to at least roughly script things out before you start. If nothing else, decide on your general messaging and direction and how long you plan the video to run for. For more structured videos, build a more detailed plan, such as a storyboard. This will keep your video content flowing smoothly and naturally.

During this stage, you should also consider the sort of language you use. As a general rule, video content favours a more natural, conversational approach than writing. Be clear and concise and keep things short. It’s easy to overestimate the amount of script you need for video content, especially if you’re bookending with brand images or intros and outros.

Consider your equipment

The equipment is often one of the most intimidating aspects of getting started with real estate video marketing, but it certainly doesn’t have to be. In fact, you can get started with an iPhone and a few other relatively straightforward accessories.

Unless you are going for a deliberate effect, it’s best to use a tripod to ensure a steady shot. And while your phone might come with an in-built microphone, it’s rarely a good idea to use it. Instead, basic plug-and-play microphones are relatively cheap and simple to use.

Prep the talent

Even in the relatively comfortable setting of your own office, suddenly being in front of a camera can make even the most outgoing property manager or real estate agent a little shy. To ease things along, leave enough time for your talent to get familiar with the script before you kick things off.

When you’re recording, break the script down into manageable chunks and record them separately, so you can get a strong take of each. During recording, coach the talent on their performance, and keep an eye on all your gear. There’s nothing more frustrating than getting to the end of a shooting session and realising your phone was out of memory.

Finally, it’s often a good idea to go back to the start of the script at the end of the session. Everyone is normally much more relaxed, and you’re likely to out-perform your original effort.

Be prepared to edit

Editing your videos can be as straightforward or as complicated as you like. While more advanced video marketers often use professional-grade software like Adobe Premiere Pro, beginners will have an easier time sticking with something like Apple’s iMovie.

Another way to make the video editing process simpler is by shooting the right type of footage in the first place. When you’re recording, try to leave buffers at the start and end of each clip, so the full video is easier to edit together. And, to avoid the cuts looking too awkward and jumpy, collect some extra b-roll footage to mask any sudden transitions.

What sort of video content works best?

Listing videos

While it’s unrealistic to expect that every one of your listings will have the budget for its own bespoke video, real estate agents throughout Australia are starting to use the medium to draw attention to more upmarket, unique properties.

Not only do videos allow agents to show properties in a much more engaging and dynamic manner than through still images and text, they also help to sell the lifestyle along with it. And for a real estate agent who’s comfortable getting creative, there’s room to push things even further.

Staff profile videos

Agent profile videos are highly effective when it comes to brand building, both for individual real estate agents and larger agencies. Real estate is a people industry, and video is the ideal format to demonstrate your agents’ professional competency as well as their individual personalities.

These videos don’t have to be long—even 30 seconds is plenty—and can be reused across a wide range of platforms and channels, so they’re well worth the investment if done right. Use a mix of structured, scripted footage and behind-the-scenes cuts to build in an extra sense of personality and fun.

Customer testimonials

If you’re keen to make the most of your well-earned good will with previous customers, a testimonial video is the perfect way to do it. There is a huge amount of research that demonstrates how effective testimonials are at building brand loyalty and trust, and capturing these favourable sentiments on film provides a powerful additional layer of authenticity.

There are a few easy ways to make the most of your customer testimonial videos. These include building a library of testimonials from different customer demographics to appeal to different audience segments, making them traceable to real agents and businesses, and focusing on the tangible impact of your services to your customers’ success.

Market update videos

You likely already include a range of updates on what’s going on in your local market through your real estate newsletter and conversations with clients, so consider crafting short videos to share on social platforms, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, or even on YouTube.

Short, digestible, and engaging video content about the real estate market can expand your reach beyond your existing customers. It can also act as a great lead magnet, drawing viewers to click through to more of your content and start exploring your website further.

Agency profile videos

It’s a universal truth of marketing that different audience segments engage better with different sorts of content, whether text, still imagery, or video. While nearly all real estate business websites feature an “About Us” page, most rely simply on a few paragraphs to sum everything up.

Including a bespoke video about your real estate agency can be an effective way to grab attention, as well as more effectively demonstrate what differentiates you from your competition. Showcase your people, explain your business ethos, and work towards building a genuine connection with your customers.

Question and answer

Property management and real estate can be remarkably complex to the uninitiated. Harness your industry experience and expertise to answer common questions about the renting, buying, and selling processes, and create shareable videos that can be distributed via social media and email marketing.

For inspiration, go direct to your current audience, or leverage your knowledge of what your customers tend to find most confusing. Then, start establishing your real estate agency as an authority by crafting ever-green video guides to these frequently misunderstood areas.

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