I started using video in my real estate business about 4 years ago, and I have no shame in saying that I was addicted, and that my first videos were horrible! I knew instantly that this was a great way to get my messaging across and that it would set my families’ company apart from others in the niche. I also recognized that video was a great marketing platform to really let your personality attract the types of clients we wanted to surround ourselves with in business. I was reminded this weekend when I met with a true pioneer in real estate video marketing, Kenn Renner, that video is an absolute essential for anyone who wants to be taken seriously by the real estate world.
Biggest Advantage of Video Marketing
I first started learning about video marketing when I met Than Merrill at my offices in Memphis. He was in town to check out our company because he and his partners were looking at purchasing some properties from us. He had a Flip Cam with him and kept shooting video of everything he was seeing. Then he asked me to hold it and shoot a video of him as he walked through our offices, introducing himself to everyone, and wanted me to record them introducing themselves to the camera and telling what they did at the company.
Than took the video back to his partners and sent me a copy about a week later. We sit back and laugh at that first video, but it taught me a very valuable lesson. We spend a lot of effort and time creating the perfect piece of marketing material, and most of them have very little impact. Nothing can match the power of meeting someone in person and introducing them to your staff. It allows people to get a real sense of who you are and the roles of all of your employees. If you are an agent or a house renovator, these are opportunities to showcase all of your support staff. No piece of marketing material or brochure is ever going to be able to match that. But video . . . well, it comes close!
A well-shot video that really captures the true identity of you or your company can be very powerful and, in an online world, can often replace the need for face-to-face meetings. In fact, many videos DO replace the one-on-one meetings. Videos allow our potential clients to connect with us by seeing who we are and it allows them to get a good sense of the kind of people we are.
If we are being totally up front with our first impressions, many of us are attracted to reality T.V. shows about Flipping Houses because of the antics and eccentric personalities of the stars of the show. I could never see myself doing business with any of the people I have watched on T.V. mostly because I get a pretty good idea after watching them that I don’t “like” them. Granted, much of that is staged for T.V., but it works well for my point. Video gives you a wonderful opportunity to help a prospective client decide they “like” you and your personality long before they ever meet you and that is the biggest advantage of video marketing.
Video Is Low Cost, Highly Effective Marketing Solution For Real Estate
The great thing about video marketing is how inexpensive it can be. Years ago, real estate agents, investors and other real estate professionals may have shied away from video because of the cost. I learned first hand early on, how much it costs to hire a video production company and it was well worth it, but not always necessary.
Today, every smart phone, digital camera and even tablets come with built in cameras and auto-downloading programs, so video can be as easy as turning on your hardware, pointing and clicking. For those who still prefer video recorders to make video and not calls, there are very inexpensive options and with a video tripod or stand, you are off to the races.
Once the video is shot, there are great programs from Quick-time, Flip-video, i-movie, Smoke, Camtasia, Final Cut, Animoto, Snagit just to name a few for video editing. Even YouTube has a video editor. Some of this software is more robust than others, but that is beside the point. None of it is difficult, some of the programs are free and the ones that cost money are usually less expensive than a set of 500 business cards. If you can shoot it, you can edit it and you can do all of it for very little out of pocket expense.
Now the real savings come in the form of how you use the video; the actual marketing part. I am quite sure that everyone has heard of YouTube at this point and many real estate professionals have been loathe using it. It is estimated that only 2 out of every 10 real estate professionals has an actual presence on YouTube with their own channel. That decision is strictly up to you, but YouTube is only the #3 ranked website on the planet so if you want to be seen,, this is the place to be seen! Currently YouTube does not charge for hosting your videos and each video creates a hassle free solution for sharing and even embedding video, so sharing and distributing your video can be low cost as well.
Using Your Video to be “Seen”
I mentioned earlier that being “Liked” was important. Now I do not mean collecting a bunch of button clicks on Facebook. I mean actually connecting with a potential client where they decide you are someone they could do business with. The buying process clearly shows that people are not going to do business with someone until they like them and they trust them. Video is a great way to achieve both.
I love using video on my website. I have a video that automatically plays as soon as a visitor lands on our home page. It is a simple, yet highly effective video. I am talking directly to the camera and trying to establish “eye contact” with the viewer. I really try to let my personality come out in the video so it is not flashy, but informative and inviting the viewer to take their time and really inform themselves on the ins and outs of doing business with our company. This video introduction should set the tone for what a prospective client can expect from our company going forward.
Using video on your real estate blog is a great way to establish consistent “eye contact” with quality, informative and educational information. A great tip is to use a tripod and film yourself giving multiple tips on your related topics. If you are a realtor, you may want to share tips on your favorite staging strategies or your experience hosting successful open houses. If you are a home renovator, maybe you share tips on introducing great “show” pieces into your homes that help you attract buyers.
Film an entire series of tips and you can pause between each one. Then take one long video and edit it into several short videos. Then you can share those tips one at a time as videos on your blog.
After watching Than shoot a video of our staff to show to his partners, I came back through the office a few weeks later and shot a video of our staff to show to our prospective clients. When someone registers at our website, we will send them a series of emails all meant to be non-intrusive and educational. Since we have already established a need to build trust, I include a video in one of the emails with an introduction to the whole team. This is designed to bring the viewer a little closer to our company and help them understand all of the moving parts of our investment company. When we do meet investors either at our offices or at events near their homes, they always walk up with a smile and no real introduction is needed. They already know everyone and almost always comment on how they recognize us from the videos.
Video is a powerful tool for building and maintaining trust with your clients. It is also a medium that you can really experiment with and try to add your own flavor. The days of stuffy videos where you hold a camera and walk through a house are over. Get out and try something different. Get in front of the camera and give your prospective clients a reason to want to do business with you. Earn their trust, earn their respect and earn their business by using video to introduce your business to the world. The results just may rocket you ahead of your peers!