The real estate industry is undergoing major changes due to modern technologies. Realtors are running paperless offices, and clients are browsing listings whenever they want using their smartphones or tablets. The process of selling a house has changed. Placing a sign in your front yard and listing your house isn't enough. The market is tight, and if you want to beat your competition, you have to keep up with the latest trends. An efficient way to attract attention from potential homebuyers is to make and share short walk-through videos that allow you to present your house to an unlimited audience. Walk-through videos are convenient — they attract a huge number of interested viewers and help sellers get a better deal. Dale Mattison of the National Association of Realtors pointed out,
"It’s much more dynamic, much more succinct, much more quality flow than the old snap-and-shoot photos allowed. So it just brings a new dimension, a new reality to the experience for the consumer."
Real estate agents realize that video is one of the strongest forms of marketing, and we're seeing more and more home-selling videos. Many realtors convince sellers to feature in their video, making the video more genuine and letting buyers experience a personal touch. But it might be difficult to work with sellers who feel very uncomfortable in front of the camera. Once the video's done, the realtor uploads it to the multiple listing service, social media sites, and search destinations. It's important to properly tag the video, specifying important details in order to rank highly in search results. As soon as the video's tagged and posted on YouTube, Facebook, and other sites, it starts to receive clicks, views, and likes — spreading the word and attracting potential buyers. Ben Salem, a real estate agent from Beverly Hills, pointed out,
"More than 80 per cent of all buyers now find their home online, so when you have a YouTube video that comes up on Realtor.com, that’s huge. The best part is that you’re one click away from showing it to the whole world."
According to figures released in 2012 by the second largest real estate listing portal in Australia, domain.com.au, listings with real estate videos have a 403 per cent increase in inquiries and up to 6 per cent increase in perceived value. Plus, a study from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania found that potential buyers are 72 per cent more likely to purchase a product or service when they see a video, and they make their buying decisions faster. This trend applies to the real estate market as well.
What Should a Walk-Through Video Look Like?
First of all, you want to avoid producing a shaky, amateurish video, so you might want to consider hiring a professional. But if you decide to shoot the video yourself, make sure you use a quality camera and stabilizing software. When filming yourself, always stay smooth and walk deliberately, without any jolty movements. A common mistake in amateur videos is that the person filming shoots the room by going up and down the walls. This might be annoying, and you should instead shoot your video with a wide lens.
One of the general rules of the Internet and social media is that users have a short attention span, so we recommend you make a brief video focusing only on the best features of your home. The ideal video shouldn't be longer than two or three minutes, and you shouldn't spend too much time highlighting one particular feature, as it might not appeal to all viewers. You can add narration or subtitles if you like, but make sure you’ve gone over them with someone impartial — preferably a real estate agent who can make sure you’ve covered all the important points. It might be useful if you say a few sentences about the neighbourhood and life in your community. For example, you can mention your favourite local store or coffee house.
It’s always a huge positive if you can come up with something that makes your home stand out. You might want to find an unusual feature that draws attention. For example, if you have a beautiful garden and landscaping, you should point out some gorgeous stonework or a neat fireplace. A real estate video shouldn't deceive people about a house’s drawbacks — it should simply provide a nice overview of the home’s positive qualities.
Choose the right time to film, and make sure you have the right light to display your home’s best features. Don't film at night. You should work with natural light whenever possible rather than artificial lighting. Try to shoot at a time of day when traffic isn't too loud and other distractions such as loud neighbours are minimal. Be very careful with background music, and if you decide to use it, go for something neutral. We recommend you prepare your house before you shoot a real estate video. If you’re going to repaint, then you should choose colours that look good in videos. White is always a good option. The video should include your furniture, so that viewers know whether their furniture will fit.
You should shoot the video like you'd lead a tour, and try to focus on exciting details. Remember that your video should give the viewer a reason to want to see your home in person. Watch out for mirrors, and remove personal property and jewellery, which could attract thieves.
Making a decent video tour showcasing your favourite features of your house will make your home stand out from the competition and help you to get a better deal. It’ll save you a lot of time, as you won’t have to do showings for people that aren’t really interested, but only with people who’ve seen your interior already and like the home. But this powerful marketing tool could turn against you if you post a shaky cell phone video, so be careful and take your time.