I think this post is highly appropriate on the release date of the movie that (according to my movie-buff husband, at least) will revolutionize the movie industry – and maybe even the world. This post isn’t about Avatar, but it is about how video should be the new tool in every real estate agent’s marketing toolbox.
And you don’t have to be James Cameron to have a ton of success. A client of mine recently started filming his own “virtual tours” which he narrates as he walks through the home. He uses a flip-screen camera and simple video editing software on his PC – nothing fancy.
After only a few weeks filming and publishing those tours online he’s already had a bunch of calls and sold one of his listings. He’s also started to film a weekly video market update – to supplement the written update on his blog – and that’s had a great reception, too.
If you’re interested in using videos to promote your listings, or get yourself out there as the established expert, here are some tips for doing it right:
1) Be cool. It’s fine to rehearse where you’re going to walk and what you’re going to say on your tour before you press “record” but don’t write a script – it will sound canned and awkward. In this world of DIY and reality TV, people aren’t looking for perfection – they’re looking for humanity. Obviously you want to be coherent and get your point across well, but you don’t need to be Walter Cronkite.
2) Put it out there. It’s great to put your video tour on your website with the listing (though if you have any kind of self-promotional language in your video, you shouldn’t put it on the MLS). But you should also distribute it to the huge number of social media video sites. One easy way to do that is through http://www.TubeMogul.com, which offers both free and paid services. Post the video to your blog, too.
3) Call to action. I wouldn’t call it the #1 rule in marketing, but it’s up there: calling to action. One of the (many) benefits a video tour has over the traditional virtual tour is that you can talk up the home, just like you are talking to a potential buyer at an open house. Explain the fabulous features of the home and why it’s such a great buy.
Then, at the end of your video, invite viewers to call you for an in-person tour, or in general with any questions about real estate in your area. Use your video editing software to include your name, phone number, e-mail address, and website on the screen at the end of your video while you ask people to get in touch.
I don’t think that videos should replace written blogs – and I don’t think they will. But adding videos to your toolbox can be a powerful way to reach a new audience. People love images – pictures are great, but video is even better. If you think about it, when it comes to home-hunting, it’s easy to see why offering people a chance to tour the home right from their desks is wildly popular.
Onward and upward,
Image source: Microsoft