I have often said that buying a home is like falling in love. It can be exhilarating, but dangerous — hence, proceed with caution.
Like some dating apps these days, those looking for a date with their potential forever real estate can now preview their date with video. Unlike most dating apps, real estate videos offer more functionality; you can use video to tell the story of a listing, dramatizing it with music, action and a storyline.
But like human relationships, you have to get to know the property in person before taking the relationship to the next level and committing. Clients need to evaluate for themselves how a potential home appeals to all five senses.
Having said that, buyers still remember a visual much better than a written or verbal description; how does one describe or talk about the Mona Lisa’s smile (or lack of eyebrows)? It is a much better idea to present a visual that is action-packed, colorful and filled with movement and life. This will spark off buyers’ imaginations and motivate them to want to live there.
I’ve seen videos for listings that work successfully and have filmed a number of videos for my own. Here are my best tips on how to create a video walkthrough that will serve as a perfect impression of a home as well as garner more attention for it.
1. Guarantee that the viewer stays for entire video
Short and sweet is best: Ideally one minute and 15 seconds, never more than two full minutes. A long real estate video, even one starring Lady GaGa, were it possible — will not hold a buyer’s attention.
2. Emphasize 3 positive and crucial selling points
Even a listing that has it all — a lake, horse stables, tennis courts, a gazebo and other amazing selling points — will overwhelm buyers, rather than impress them. Stick to the “rule of three.”
Buyers will remember three features about your listing. Which three are remembered depends on the buyer — and what you choose to feature. Extras like drone views are very popular in the present competitive market.
Dramatic and action-oriented, these flying shots make an impactful opening with appropriate background music and can immediately establish the location. But ask yourself: Does it help tell your story?
3. Remember that lighting is everything
Just as in photography, capturing light and images on film with flattering lighting is key when filming.
Do consider sunrise or sunset, the most dramatic lighting nature provides, or even special effects such as speeded up lighting that moves from morning to evening in 90 seconds.
With all this going on outside the windows, it is easy to upstage the interiors, so the location and view should support this special effect.
4. Use sound to help set the mood
Is your speaking voice pleasant? Are you “smooth” on camera?
In this current age of easy, if amateurish smartphone video capability, have a friend film you as you walk through the space, speaking about its features.
Watch the footage, and be hypercritical of your performance.
Is your it natural? Do you touch your hair or say “um” too often? Do you smile? Practice being friendly on camera — which is easier said than done!
Clearly you are not only selling the property — you are selling yourself as well. You are a real estate expert, particularly about your listing. Are you convincing? Practice until you feel confident.
5. Do your research
Spend time viewing other agents videos. It is wise to look at top listers and beginners, as well as listings at all price points.
Adapt what works for these agents, and add your own style. Pay attention to the pace of the video.
If you are bored after 20 seconds of a monologue that plods through the space with statements like “this is the kitchen, this is a closet … ” imagine how a buyer would feel!
6. Wisely choose music
Sound adds to the drama and helps propel the story. Upbeat? Jazz? Classical? Appeal to your buyer’s audio memory. Broadway musicals are traditionally predicted as hits if the audience leaves the theatre humming the tunes.
Maybe your buyer will remember the background music that accompanies your listing. Endeavor to select music that complements your listing.
Serene “spa music” works for a vacation or mountain home, upbeat jazz for a city apartment.
7. Allow cameos
Moving to the “next level.”
A cast of 10 people is not necessary, but some “walk-on roles” can help your video immensely.
Your video can include pets, children, dancers, acrobats — the sky is the limit.
The cast, however should not upstage the space. A few giggling children riding scooters through the living room to illustrate the size of the room advances the story; an accordion player may not send the right message.
Of all of the tools available to real estate agents, videos can be the most impactful. Videos take time, practice and expertise.
Lastly, you should consider some of the features in this article, but not all of them at the same time!
See you in the screening room!
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