Real estate marketing has got to modernize, and fast. There is a substantial gap in the marketplace between how buyers are now finding homes, and sellers are listing them for sale. The majority of real estate research has shifted online over the past 2-3 years, with more than 90% of homebuyers using online search at multiple stages of their hunt for the perfect home. Online listings have multiplied in response to this shift, but well-done multimedia property presentations that clearly communicate the “wow factor” of a home remain few and far between.

So where exactly is this gap? Online video for real estate marketing. According to the National Association of Realtors, only 14% agents use video to market homes, whereas 45% of buyers find video tours to be very useful, and more than half of buyers did research specifically for videos of houses for sale. When a home is FSBO, the number of sellers posting online videos of their home drops even further, to less than 10%. Yet, more buyers are searching for homes for sale on Youtube than on brokerage websites:

National Association of Real Estate and Google Real Estate Study Chart

Marketing a home with online video makes so much sense. You get to bring a prospective buyer into the home and walk them through it from your perspective, highlighting your favorite aspects of the property, and you even have the ability to edit the script afterwards. Further, rather than taking just one appointment at a time, hundreds of people can look at the house simultaneously online, and gain much broader exposure than traditional real estate media, like print ads, could ever hope to achieve.

There are no more excuses when it comes to making a video of a home you are trying to sell. HD cameras drop in price all the time – even a Flip Cam would do the job – and little portable tripods are usually under $20, meaning you do not need to spend a fortune to get nice clean shots of your property. Even better, there are some great apps that can help you with the process, even if you do not have any footage to work with.

Easy Editing Software

Between iMovie and Windows Movie Maker, you probably already have access to free and easy-to-use video editing software.

iMovie and Windows Movie Maker Logos

Most of the editing process in either application is drag and drop, and the best real estate videos feature clean transitions, requiring no special effects to produce. Even a text overlay is simple to create, which you can use to highlight a feature, the listing price, or other important information about the property.

Animoto

If you only have photos of a property, Animoto can help you turn them into an animated property guide. Much more engaging than a typical slideshow, you can add transitions between photos, as well as text and music or a voiceover.

Animoto for Real Estate

So what makes a real estate video great? Whether you are a professional or an owner looking to market a home, here are some tips and tricks to help you get started.

Keep it Simple

Here is an excellent example of a professional, clean, and simple real estate video:



This video does a great job of showcasing a home because:

  1. Note that the video creator properly staged the home, and then took very simple panning shots of the exterior and interior of the home. You get to see a lot more than you would with an online photo gallery, and you get a much better sense of the layout and natural light in the home, both important factors for prospective buyers.

  2. Also key, this video is only a minute and twelve seconds long. That does not sound like a long time, but in the world of online video, it is.

  3. Using upbeat music and text overlays rather than spoken word is a stylistic choice, but definitely speeds up the editing process. You do not have to worry about a script or editing out any misspoken or repetitive words, and you do not have to worry about your appearance on camera.

How to Market your Real Estate Video Online

Ideally, your real estate video will reach as many prospective buyers as possible. Publishing it on Youtube, as our example video did, is an obvious place to start. Make sure you properly categorize and tag it so that your video shows up under relevant searches for homes for sale. Edit the video title and description as well. Take full advantage of the space allowed in the description to add keyword density, increasing the likelihood it will turn up in SERPs for the right search terms. But you’re not done yet.

If you are a real estate agent or an owner, do you want other people’s property listings to show up once your video stops playing? This is good for the shopper, but not for you, given the housing market is roughly as competitive for sellers as it is for buyers, if not more so post recession. This makes a good case for a more professional video hosting provider that will allow you to embed your videos on your listings website, or provide the website hosting for you as well.

Further, using an online video host like SproutVideo will allow you to use email capture at the end of it, rather than displaying other people’s videos, allowing you to follow up directly with interested viewers. You could even add a link taking them to a page with more detailed information about the specific property:

SproutVideo Post-Play Screen Call to Action

To learn more about using online video for lead generation and email capture, read our recent blog post on the topic with helpful tips and tricks.

So, if you are looking to sell a home in the near future, get that camera out and start rolling! We would love to hear how you are using online video in your housing search or sale. Let us know in the comments below, and please SHARE this article with anyone you know looking to sell their home.

Written by Courtney Purchon

Courtney is the Head of Marketing at SproutVideo. Follow her on Twitter.

Posted February 5, 2014

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