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Caught on film: Using video as a sales and branding tool

We’ve all done it. We’ve listened to Kevin McCloud give his closing spiel on Grand Designs and thought, I could do that.

As real estate agents, you do it every day — pinpointing what makes that property special and distilling it down to its essence for your client.

Yet, it’s a daunting prospect to follow in Kevin’s footsteps and stand in front of the camera.

“The occasional ‘um’ or ‘ah’ makes them seem a bit more human,” said Gary Freitas, Creative Director of real estate video specialists Lightbox Films.

The cost to produce these videos is surprisingly low, coming in under $500 per video on average. Some agents foot the bill themselves, but often the cost can be transferred to the vendor.

On average professional shoots take between 1-2 hours — an insignificant amount of time when you consider the benefits video can bring to your listing.

For example, video can help boost the Google ranking of your listing. Gary gave an anecdotal example of a client that left a listing online after the property had sold, purely for marketing purposes.

“We find that a lot of agents, when they complete a video, go online and tweet about it,” said Gary. “This is a great way to create a viral campaign.”
Residential and commercial property videos differ.

“In the commercial sector nobody knocks back a property because of the ‘feel’ of the kitchen. In commercial it’s the hard facts that will sell that property,” Gary said.

“The reality is a lot of the buyers for these properties are solicitors, executives, developers etc … people who are time poor and cannot leave the office to meet with agents.”

Increasingly, agencies are using video for suburb profiles or market updates that give clients an extra insight into the area they are buying into.

However, whether you focus on the pool or the park next door as the key selling point, videos have to grab the viewer within the first three seconds.

Presenter Toolkit
Chat with vendor
Have a conversation with the vendor before you turn up for filming. Find out what drew them to the property in the first place and why they loved living in the area.

Plan a route
Decide in advance what route you want to take through the house. This gives the video director a clear plan of action for the shoot and will help you when putting together your presentation.

Identify key selling points
List the key selling points for the property and have an idea of how you would describe these features.

List adjectives
There are only so many times you can say ‘fantastic’ in one video before it gets repetitive. Come armed with an arsenal of adjectives and phrases that describe the key features of the property.

Read lines backwards
Professional presenters will often read their lines in this way so as to prevent them anticipating, and stumbling over, certain words.

Identify your audience
Choose your language to suit your audience and maintain a professional tone.
This article was first published in the June 2013 edition of the REINSW Real Estate Journal.