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LIGHTS…. CAMERA…. ACTION! Using Video for Your Business

Part One of Two…

To say that the video explosion is coming to the internet is like saying that cars will replace horses as the main means of transportation. It’s already happened. 72 hours of youtube video is uploaded every minute, 4 billion videos everyday. Four billion hours of video are viewed each month. And get this; in 2011 there were one trillion youtube views OR 140 for every person on the planet.

In the real estate business, the video possibilities are endless. The problem (or opportunity) is that very few agents have any idea of how to best utilize this fantastic tool.

First, however, let’s make the case for WHY. Why should you invest time, energy and money in the video realm of today’s techno world? I think there are several compelling reasons: 1) To help others. Countless people are looking for information and video is becoming the venue of choice to meet their wants and needs. 2) Sharing experiences. Real estate professionals have a deep reservoir of experiences that are relevant to people today. Sharing helps people understand the world around them through the eyes of expertise, gather what they need to make decisions and it brings people closer. 3) Offer insight. Again, because agents sharing about any real estate condition is valuable, their insight is valuable as well. And 4) people watch video!

Still with me? Let’s go to step two: how. Begin by opening a youtube account. Youtube is the most utilized video site on the internet and second most used search engine (and is owned by Google). It makes sense to be where the people are. Go to to sign up. Once a member, watch a video tutorial explaining how the site works, how to upload, establishing a channel, and tips to a better video production.

Then…. begin creating compelling, relevant content. The standard real estate video practice at this point is to shoot a tour of a listing. That’s an awesome idea, however, let’s not limit ourselves to the obvious. Beyond the home tour, is a world of opportunity at your fingertips (or your camera lens). Here are five key areas where you could not only help consumers, but maybe, just maybe, obtain some business from your efforts.

1) The Market. Creating an informative video about your local (or the national) market is a great way to share your knowledge and position yourself as the market expert. Give facts (statistics). Share stats like the average sales price, Days On Market, the amount of inventory, and other valuable numbers. Remember that whatever numbers you deliver must have a perspective. Compare to a year ago, the last quarter, something!!! Comparison gives the statistic power when the viewer knows the number and then can see the trends (by you comparing it to another timeframe). Also, do not forget to INTERPRET your market. The numbers are well and good, but your take on what they mean is even more valuable and will help you gain the label, “market expert.”  Julie Paez of Coldwell Banker Mulleady shoots a quarterly video explaining her local market. You can view it at Remember, If Julie or anyone waits for their video to be “perfect,” it will never be published. Just do it!

2) Neighborhoods. Consumers love maps, they love seeing what’s around a town, city or neighborhood. So……. show them. Giving a potential buyer (or seller) a unique look at a neighborhood can make an important contribution to you being seen as the “neighborhood expert.” A good neighborhood video will explain where the neighborhood is (on a map preferably), what’s nearby (x miles to the airport, shopping, parks, whatever…), and maybe some history. An overview of the market explaining the range of property values is helpful. You might even share some of your favorite places; restaurants, stores, recreational locales and the like. The king of neighborhood video is Brian Copeland. You can find his videos at

3) Information for Sellers. To me, this and the next suggestion, Information for Buyers, are the key to your ascendance in the world of agent video. Many consumers are seeking real estate information. In fact, the National Association of Realtors tells us that obtaining information only ranks behind searching for property as consumer’s most frequent uses of the internet. Any bits of information you might share with a consumer in a blog, a packet or verbally, is fair game for a video. Some ideas are:
  • Pricing your home 
  • Fix up investments with solid return
  • Creating competition for your home
  • Your home: product or commodity?
  • What’s the deal with Zillow?

4) Information for buyers. As above….. Some ideas are:
  • The homebuying process
  • Competing in a multi-offer market
  • Buying a vacation home
  • Working with a new construction property
  • What to know in a changing market
and of course…..

5) The House Tour. A tour of a property is a very valuable tool, especially if I am home searching at 3 am in my PJs. While a wide array of styles and techniques can be examined online, I think the perfect house tour has four parts: The Opening, Features, Favorite thing and Call to action.

The opening is you, in front of the camera, introducing the house. Be excited, give the address, be welcoming. Describe and show up to five features. Pick wisely. As you’ll learn in part two of this offering, a great video is no more than 2 minutes (3, absolute tops!), so not too much. Then proceed to your (or your seller’s) favorite place in the home and create a little emotion, if possible. An articulate, controllable seller might be able to stand in front of the camera during this section (use that suggestion wisely…). Finally call people to action. Get back in front of the camera and say something like, “Thanks for checking out 123 Elm Street. If you like what you see, call or send an email to…..”

On Monday, Part Two will cover planning your video, shopping for equipment and the Seven Best Tips for success. In the meantime….. “all quiet on the set:   Lights…Camera…Action!”