My Single Biggest Real Estate Marketing Discovery of 2014

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Real estate agents, property managers, and vacation rental owners, listen up:

Chances are, your marketing skills are excellent in person. When face to face with a client, your personality alone can probably sell or rent a property better than most of your competitors.

However, when you don’t have the opportunity to be with a client face to face, you resort to email and phone calls — forms of communication that no matter how prompt or eloquent you appear always leave some of that compelling human angle to be desired.

The use of video has likely always been on your radar as a marketing means for your properties. But just thinking about video shoots conjures up anxious visions of excessive quotes, makeup sessions, staging, and fancy equipment that only specialists know know how to operate.

I was the same way until about 6 months ago, when everything changed with one small purchase.

What Was That Small Purchase?

A simple $99 Logitec webcam.

Related: How to Dramatically Enhance Your Website With a Simple Video

Because video doesn’t have to focus on your real estate. It can focus on you as an individual as well!

After getting inspired by the idea of “The Digital Handshake” by a video maverick named Will Franco, the idea of sending a quick personal video instead of an email or a phone call really resonated with my property marketing.

And since technology has gotten so good these days, you don’t need a fancy DSLR camera anymore.

To give you an example, here’s a screenshot of me with a $4,000 Canon Mark II (top) and one with my trusty Logitec C910 (bottom):

Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 11.19.33 AM

 

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I simply perch the webcam on a flower vase in my home office, and I’m ready for magic.

Enter: Video Marketing

So I began using my webcam as a substitute for some email and telephone correspondence. Video marketing is best for moments when I want to convey personality and uniqueness in order to set myself apart from the others guys down the street.

Related: The Power of Using Video For Negotiating Apartment Deals

Before I started with video, I was concerned about a few things:

  • I was bound to look and sound like a total idiot on camera
  • I was kind of intimidated by fancy equipment
  • I had absolutely zero interest in learning to edit video (sorry, video buffs)

But throughout my little learning process, I realized that:

  • Everyone thinks they look/sound weird starting out until they get used to it
  • You don’t need fancy equipment at all (I spent $99 for the camera)
  • You can actually do nonstop takes that require zero editing software (I literally record my take, hit upload, and embed it in the email with copy/paste)

And there’s not much prep — my style is super casual (I wear a t-shirt and just keep going when I mess up a word), and recipients say they prefer that more than perfectly-polished.

My Results Thus Far

Now, about 6 months into my video messaging career, I can’t say any other technique is single-handedly responsible for me closing more deals. With some basic analytics, I can see who views the video, what parts they watch more than once, and even who signs up for the “turnstile” or call to action at the end of the clip.

And as many deals as I’ve been closing, pretty much 50% of the time, I’ll get a response that’s unrelated to the content of the video itself: “Matt, that was so cool to see you in person! We’ll take it!”

My video emails seem to have this combined effect of a) conveying personality and b) setting me apart from all the other property marketers out there.

Why Choose Video Marketing?

Before you depart to continue your busy day, consider this analogy:

They say that it costs $1,000 to save someone from malaria and $10,000 to save someone from AIDS — which brings up the dilemma: if you only have $10,000 to invest, should you aim to save 1 person from AIDS or 10 people from malaria?

Hoping not to belittle these courageous medical initiatives, we must realize that all real estate agents, landlords, property managers, and vacation rental pros have limited resources… and that with those carefully calculated budgets (money/time), we must select the marketing activities that “cost” the least and that have the biggest impact on our bottom line. We must choose the best pound-for-pound techniques out there.

In my years of learning marketing, I don’t think I’ve yet come across a platform that’s returned quite the ROI of video messaging.

Give it a try and let me know if it’s working as well for you as it is for me.

Have you ever tried your hand at video marketing? Do you think your voice sounds weird on camera?

Let me know your experiences in the comments!

About Author

Matt is the Founder of the Vacation Rental Marketing Blog, the largest database of vacation rental marketing articles on the web.

12 Comments

  1. Hey Matt,
    You’re right, video is powerful. In fact it’s now by far the #1 marketing method in the ultra competitive “internet marketing” industry. Kudos to you for adapting something that works so well in another sphere into your business.

    In 2015 I plan to add videos and pre-recorded webinars to ours.

    • Nice Patrick! For me, it takes way less time than writing out an email. And in the eyes of the client, if received at the right time (after the first sales call), it’s pretty much impossible not to respond to.

  2. Donna Martinez

    Now I have double the reason to move forward with our video communication plans- your post is one of those palm-face moments. Of course we were considering it for our VR in Sea Ranch, CA. How snazzy would it be to respond back to inquiries for our newly purchased apartments in Chelan, WA. We will be remodeling the 4-plex- upgrading them to a similar luxury standard as our VR and responding back with video would be a classy, yet personal touch.

  3. Ronnie Sparrow

    This may be a silly question but how does this compare to the IMOVIE app?
    I just made a video for my squeeze page and used the IMOVIE app. It worked really great, I was able to do video editing and apply music to the back ground. Does this device offer video editing? And are you able to use lower thirds and place your name a logo on the videos?

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