Wondering what’s new in the world of real estate marketing by video? There are countless tools geared toward helping agents get a leg up in their local markets. Technology like the Multiple Listing Service has already forever altered the way Realtors do business. Now it’s all about translating properties into compelling videos to give prospects a feel for a home before they buy. These video marketing tools are less of a total-industry-shake-up than the MLS and internet at large, but represent valuable systems for agents to stay at the top of their game.
The Realtors at Lenihan Sotheby’s International Real Estate in Louisville, Kentucky began using 3-D, 360-degree videos to market all their high-end sales this year. “Forget the fisheye effect and clunky old panoramas,” says LSIR marketing VP John Wurth. “This is something you really have to see in person. It will blow your mind.” His team captures footage using a high-tech camera that not only takes visual images of a room, but measurements too. One of the coolest things the Matterport room-scanning technology can do is translate the images into a “dollhouse view,” which looks down at the house through the roof to give a better picture of how the rooms are laid out and interconnected. The end goal, says Wurth, is to have clients stop by their office, put on a pair of glasses, and “walk” through an entire home as if he or she were there. The potential is HUGE for agents, as one could just as feasibly show a vacation home in Tahiti just as easily as a local new custom construction build in town.
Real estate agents say they have had great success with the new social media platform that has more than 150 million daily users – particularly in attracting attention from international or wealthy buyers from afar. Victor Alia, broker at Douglas Elliman Real Estate, was able to sell a $2.8 million Upper East Side Manhattan condo to an international buyer by using a Snapchat video to show how high up the condo was. Mostly he uploads videos to his “Snapchat Story,” or he’ll make pictures and videos based on client requests – adding text, drawings and details on special features of a home that can be sent out via text.
The caveat of using Snapchat, of course, is that the photos and videos have a very short shelf life – just 24 hours, in fact. Yet, as Gary Vaynerchuck points out, “Because the content disappears, you can be sure that users are really paying attention to what’s happening on their screens.” He recommends that agents create custom filters to show off the neighborhood at large for homes they’re marketing. “You can do quick reviews of the nearby restaurants, schools, the back porch, the patio, the pool, or anything relevant that adds value to the consumer,” he explains. These mini reviews don’t have to be polished or take up a lot of time. They can be quick little blurbs designed to generate interest and enthusiasm, and push buyers further down the sales funnel.
You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on video editing software and training to get a polished, cinematic real estate video. Hyperlapse is a new (free) app launched by Instagram that uses time-lapsed photography technology along with image stabilization software to produce high-quality footage from cell phone cameras. You can use Hyperlapse to create a quick home tour, neighborhood drive-through, or show off particularly beautiful surroundings during sunset or sunrise times. It can be helpful to show how much traffic (foot or automobile) a particular area gets during peak times. Capture a time lapse of furniture being added into a staging room or of a new custom home going up week after week. The quick pacing of these videos works well when you’re looking to generate enthusiasm for your listing. A word to the wise, though: Most agents will agree that the “timelapse” feature can be overdone, so it should be used sparingly – but the image stabilization feature is something that will benefit every video you make.
Live video is about as exhilarating as it gets. Periscope and Facebook Live Stream are currently the most popular platforms for real estate agents now that Meerkat is focusing their efforts elsewhere. Leigh Brown, a broker at RE/MAX Executive Realty in Charlotte, N.C., recently hosted a livestream foreclosure property tour that attracted 7,000 viewers and four offers!
During her broadcast, she not only took viewers through the house, but spoke about what to look for in a foreclosure. “This house has a story… and pictures would not adequately tell it,” she explained. “It was also a chance to answer questions I had been receiving from prospects in a way that is honest and relatable.” She says she won’t use live video for every listing, but it’s a great tool for those special properties you want to move.
As Placester explains, you can use live video streams beyond basic home and neighborhood tours to:
When done in the appropriate situation, livestreaming is an excellent way to generate hype in the same way as a live auction. Sure, people can bid on items at their leisure online, but nothing beats the palpable excitement of hearing the numbers rattled off on the chopping block, live and in-person! Today, videos translate that enthusiasm with ease.
Video is no longer “optional” for real estate agents. If you want to be competitive, you’ll need to harness the latest platforms to connect with home buyers. Despite the glut of information being shared online, there is always room for a knowledgeable Realtor to connect all the dots and present a complete package to buyers. Sometimes the best way to tell a story is to show it – and for that, video content is king. To keep up with the latest trends, you can look for emerging technology to be covered on a few of the leading real estate podcast sites like LuxuryRealEstate.fm and LouisvilleRealEstate.fm.