As much as we love words, the stats say that four times as many customers would prefer to watch a video than read about a product.
But besides being an effective way to deliver more of what your audience wants, videos enjoy a number of algorithm privileges. Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter all boost the visibility of video content (over text, links, static images, etc.) on their platforms. This makes your content more likely to be seen.
Video content also tends to perform better for businesses because our eyes are primed to detect movement and linger on it. Plus, visitors tend to spend longer on web pages featuring video content. This in turn positively influences how high that page ranks in search engine results.
In short, videos can help you rank better, and be seen by more people.
The current real estate video landscape in Australia and New Zealand in 2019.
To date, most Australian and New Zealand real estate video content has been listing videos. And while there’s nothing wrong with them per se, on the whole they tend to be resource intensive, time sensitive, and generally made for a tiny audience.
That’s a lot of bang for a one-off ROI.
But there are other, better ways to create videos that yield longer-term returns in real estate and property management in 2019. To get more bang for your buck, start by shooting for bigger, longer-term goals like:
- talent acquisition
- getting new listings
- growing your business’s brand
- building trust and connecting with prospects
- boosting desirability of your listings
- besting your local competitors
- building your social media engagement
- building your personal brand
- throwing light on events and fundraising, and
- educating your audience.
Where to spend your effort (and dollars)
While 80% of all online content is likely to be video pretty soon, not all of it will kick ass. Creating video just because everyone else is doing it basically guarantees you’ll create something crappy.
So how do you avoid making lame videos? Here are some ideas we’ve seen work for property professionals.
The ‘about us’ video
Why it’s important: an about us video explains to your audience who you are as an agency and a brand. With trust in businesses at an all time low, an about us video does what your words can’t: it can show your prospective clients why you are the real deal.
But it also has a recruiting purpose, too. In a market where hiring good talent can be difficult, having an attractive brand video can help you highlight why your business is also a great place to work.
How to get it right: focus on what makes your team so great, what kind of property or services you specialise in, your philosophy and so on. Basically, focus on why you’re the perfect choice for your prospects.
Inspiration: Check out this video made by Bellcourt Property Group, which we think gets the tone exactly right. Or, for something a little closer to home, check out our own ‘Life at Console’ video. It was made in-house by our talented marketing team:
The ‘our neighbourhood’ video
Why it’s important: real estate is all about location, location, location. Selling your audience on what’s so great about your neighbourhood can make all of your listings seem that little bit more attractive to purchasers and tenants.
How to get it right: We’ve seen quality results from agents and property managers who take us on a tour of their suburb. They show us some of their favourite spots or highlights, schools nearby, transport options, parks, cinemas and so forth.
If you’re camera shy, you might prefer more of a birds-eye view type video. Using drone footage of your neighbourhood teamed with uplifting music can be a compelling way to sell your suburb. Here’s an example of a more subtle neighbourhood sell from New Farm real estate agent, Beth Leach:
The thing explainer
Why it’s important: explainer videos distill complex concepts or ideas into a simple explanation with the use of visual aids like animations. They’re great for educating your customers and prospects about specific aspects of your business or services—especially ones you get asked about a lot.
How to get it right: successful explainer videos focus on one, and only one, idea. They then break it down in an order that makes sense to a layperson, as clearly as possible. There are different styles of explainer videos that are better suited to different topics too. Yum Yum has a good 101 video to help you pick a style that suits your business.
How to get it right: we love this one from Aussie home loans:
And for some creative bad-assery, we also admire this one from American website specialists, Agent Fire:
The testimonial compilation video
Why it’s important: the testimonial video is social proof of your good work. It helps cement a prospect’s opinion of you as legitimate, trustworthy, and credible. But perhaps most importantly, audiences are more likely to trust opinions held by other customers than they are to trust you.
How to get it right: we used the word ‘compilation’ on purpose here. Customer testimonial videos on their own are unlikely to be so rapturously engaging that your audience will feel compelled to binge watch ten of them in a row.
Find 3-5 of your best advocates, and work with them to identify what they would like to say to camera. These should form tidy snippets of no more than 20 seconds each. The whole video itself shouldn’t ran past two minutes in length. Fun fact for scripting: twenty seconds of film will buy you about 6-8 lines of typed text in 12 point font size.
The event spruik
Why it’s important: this type is more suited to sharing with your professional networks than your customers. But it’s a great way to promote your business if people from your office are attending an industry event, supporting a charity event, or perhaps even hosting something yourself.
How to get it right: there really is no limit on budget or style for this one. The point is to use your video to drive attention towards why the event is important and what action your audience should take (attend, donate, etc.). Vidyard also have some fun ideas for how to maximise your video marketing pre-, during, and post-event.
The YouTube series
Why it’s important: this one is a passion project. If you love what you do and you want to make a video series, a video series can be a great way to grow your personal brand while marketing your agency.
How to get it right: Look no further than Ballarat Real Estate, who’ve created the Youtube series BRE.tv.. The boys from Ballarat have a small but highly engaged audience that share and comment on their videos, and effectively boost their signal.
If you’re considering starting your own series, start by mapping out a calendar of videos. Who is your audience? What information or advice will they find valuable? How can you make that information entertaining? How often should you publish?
Figuring this out in advance can save you an awkward, abortive attempt that ended up being all hard work for very little result.
The social video
Why it’s important: social videos build engagement on your social media platforms. They're also great for making your business more personable and relatable, which in turn builds trust. Use it for milestones, competitions, announcements, funny occurrences, and everything else in between.
And unless they are absolutely exceptional, spare your audience a steady deluge of listing videos. While it’s easy to get excited about them, chances are that your audience feel they are more like ads than social posts.
The result: they will feel they are being spammed. So if your listing videos aren’t getting great engagement, it’s probably time to respect your audience’s choices, and back it off.
How to get it right: we asked our social media editor for help with this one. She says, ‘You've basically got seven seconds to capture their attention, so you've got to make the most of it.
Think about the kind of videos you like to watch and react to on social media yourself. Mostly they’ve got eye-popping visuals, work with the sound off, and they’re less than two minutes long.'
'And finally,' she says, 'if you get stuck: look out for cute animals, charities, occasions, cakes, and flowers. These five subjects tend to make for reliable and photogenic good news stories, and people tend to engage positively with them. So if you see this social media gold, pounce!’
Here’s an example of one we did ourselves last Christmas (‘occasions’). This was filmed in under an hour, using a smartphone, a basic editing kit, and some Christmas decorations. We hope you enjoy it:
Wondering what to read next? Here are our predictions for the future of email and letters, or learn about the five qualities of highly effective software migrations.