3 Tips for using video and image marketing to generate business - PART 1

Services for Real Estate Pros with Eastman Kodak Company

3 tips for using video and image marketing to generate business – PART 1

Hi everyone! So this past week I was at NAR. It was a great time and I look forward to sharing some of that experience with you. Our Kodak booth had an immense amount of traffic at NAR, and we also had the chance to attend and support New Orleans Raincamp and hang out with Ben Kinney, ActiveRain, and Market Leader. Our Kodak Zi8 Pocket Video Camera was definitely the star of the show, and I want to thank ActiveRain and Market Leader for the opportunity to speak at their venues and reciprocating in kind!

The hottest topic in technology at NAR was how to use video in your real estate business. Social Media is important, but video and images are where it’s at now; and thanks to being indexable (read “search engine” capable), it is a must have piece of the real estate agent’s arsenal that can be used to generate business.

We were fortunate enough to have a significant contribution to this at NAR in having an absolutely AWESOME lineup of speakers at our booth, many of them speaking about the latest technology tools and tips to use Video and Image marketing in your business. In the coming weeks I’ll be featuring some of them in my Posts including Shannon King, Nicole Nicolay (aka Nik Nik), Verl Workman, Terri Murphy, Herman Chan, Drew Burks, Amy Chorew, Tricia Andreassen, Mark Porter, Bob Corcoran, James Dwiggins, and more. We’ll post the sessions on ActiveRain for the community soon! It’s so important to me and Kodak that we be actively giving back to the real estate community, and I can think of no better way than to feature successful, wonderful real estate pros like these folks who use our products and are so willing to give of their time and expertise to the community!



(Herman Chan (www.habitatforhermanity.com ) and Verl Workman teach at our Kodak booth!)

While I’m in no way the stars that these amazing individuals are, I did have a chance to teach at several seminars about video and image marketing, and I wanted to share the 3 tips that I gave to help agents be CONNECTED and INVOLVED with your prospects and clients before and after the deal is closed. Today’s post will feature the first one:

1) Make an Agent Bio Video

This is a great tip which is a “must have” for working both internet leads and personal referrals. Video offers you a way to create highly personalized experience for a potential client and putting a personal and warm greeting touch to your introduction. When I asked the audience to raise their hand if they had already made an agent bio video, almost none did! 

But never fear, it’s EASY to do and you should all have one by the end of the week with these easy tips below.

Benefits of the Agent Bio Video

a. Introduces you as the expert in the area

b. Lets them know a little bit about your personality and how you work with clients

c. Helps drive your search engine ranking when posted on Youtube, your ActiveRain Rainmaker profile, and Facebook.

Tips for making the Agent Bio Video

a. Keep it under 2 minutes, 3 minutes maximum to keep the attention of the user, especially a new internet lead.

b. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but shoot it in morning light with good audio

c. Post it on Youtube, and get the “Share” link to embed in your website and your signature on your email.

d. Make it fun and inviting!

e. All of the above is free and easy with Youtube.

How to make the Agent Bio Video

a. First, get a great camera like our Kodak Zi8 that has an external microphone jack. Use the external mic for great audio quality.

b. Shoot the video in 720p or 1080p High Definition, use a tripod for stability and so that you can stand and naturally perform in front of the camera.

c. Edit the video either with the built-in software or sites like www.animoto.com to easily create a quick video that can be posted to YOUTUBE. (Hint, our Zi8 comes with software that can help you auto-post your video quickly to YOUTUBE)

Last tip: Replicate the concept for your areas you serve

You may serve multiple areas. So make a version of the video for each area you serve, and keep it handy or in your signature to send to a client when they find you on the internet. This also gets more of YOU out there on Youtube and can help your search engine ranking.

But what if I don’t look good or don’t talk perfectly?

The video doesn’t have to be perfect, because you aren’t. People appreciate “real”, and as long as you are professional and clear, you’ll be fine. Also, if you absolutely feel that you can’t be in front of the camera, then be behind it and walk around your area highlighting great things about the community to illustrate your knowledge of the neighborhoods. At the end, get your headshot and upload it and your video to www.animoto.com or similar sites like www.wellcomemat.com which will stitch your video and photo into one cohesive video clip instantly. This is a nice substitute for you being in front of the camera. For a good example of how to use Video to promote yourself, check out Herman Chan’s Habitat for Hermanity and note how he uses YOUTUBE to promote his expertise to agents and buyers alike.

Please take advantage of our show special price on the Zi8 Video Camera of only $129.99 with free shipping to the Continental USA. We also sell the Zi8 on our Canadian Kodak store as well. Hope this information is helpful and thank you for considering Kodak for your business office and video needs!

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Re-Blogged 5 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. John Doe 11/10/2010 04:26 PM
  2. Bill Cobb 11/12/2010 09:41 AM
  3. Devona Garrigus 11/12/2010 09:55 AM
  4. D B 11/12/2010 10:03 AM
  5. Melissa McKinney 11/12/2010 01:03 PM

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Doug Reynolds
Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Realtor - Sacramento, CA

Great post! thank you

Nov 12, 2010 11:50 AM #64
Scott Baker
www.eHomeReports.com Coldwell Banker West Shell - Liberty Township, OH
Realtor Homes for Sale in Cincinnati, West Chester, Mason, OH Area

I use the kodak Watersport. There is alot of good information on this post. I am going to have to come back and re-read many of the comments as well.

Nov 12, 2010 12:02 PM #65
Melissa McKinney
McKinney Realty Group - Fayetteville, NC
Realtor, www.LivingFayetteville.com

Wow! I returned and there is a endless amount of great information here! I am very excited bout getting started with this... I will let you know how it goes. This post is really a wealth of information!!

Nov 12, 2010 12:59 PM #66
Julissa Jumper
Select Properties of Fayetteville, LLC - Fayetteville, NC
Fayetteville, NC Real Estate

I had been thinking of purchasing the Flip but looks like the Kodak may be the one for me. The Mark from Expo Realty has great videos and his equipment is impressive but I also stopped breathing when I saw all he uses. I need something easy and simple. I'd like to know all he knows but don't have that kind of time in my life right now.

@Melissa, I spent 2 hours making a one and a half minute video today. Dana will be posting it on my registration page on my website. I hate how I look on video but I just had to do it. Can't wait to see your videos

Nov 12, 2010 03:35 PM #67
Jark Krysinski *PREC (Personal Real Estate Corporation)

Mark, thanks for sharing the great ideas.  I've got a question for you, being that I've got a 5mp iPhone 4 with pretty snazzy video quality, how do you think the video capabilities of the iphone compare to the Kodak you endorse.  Good criticism is welcome.   Best, Jark from Vancouver, Canada.

Nov 12, 2010 04:01 PM #68
Mark Gridley
eXp Realty, Reinventing the National Real Estate Office! - Fountain Hills, AZ
TecKnow Real Estate Agent, Fountain Hills, AZ

Jark: I've seen the video from the iPhone 4 and was very impressed. The nice thing about it is you'll always have it with you. You can't imagine how many times I've said "Dang I wish I had my Cam".

Julissa: I did my first videos with nothing more than a webcam. You can make very effective videos on a real budget. Decent webcams with a mic will start at $29 and most laptops already have one on board. That would be my first purchase if you don't have one. Start with a bio. Your second purchase needs to be something you carry with you ALL THE TIME. There are a lot of good choices but the Z and the Flip our some of the easiest "No Brainers" available. Smart phones continue to invade this market and are probably the future of it. I think Smart Phones are now capable of shooting 12 megapixel and 1080i.

I wouldn't go blowing alot of money on a camera because in 2 years it's probably a throw away. Just like the phones are. The alternative is way to expensive for the novice.

Kodak Mark is offering a very affordable product that will do most of what the average Realtor needs. But what is a must is that you use it. Start shooting, Find a style that suits you and then grow with the direction it takes you.

6 months ago I never dreamed I'd drop $2k into a camera and lens. Today I think it was one of my best business decisions. It doesn't happen over night.


Dang I'm as wordy as my videos. But I wanted to leave you with a couple of cool apps. I know iPhone has these available but I'm a Droid user. Retro camera and Fx Camera both free for Droid.



I read a nifty blog that I wish I could find again about taking a skin and adding accessories to it. Essentially he took a cover and silicone glued a nut to the bottom so he could tripod mount it and he also glued a wide angle attachment lens. He had a second one that he did the same with a macro lens

For people using Z's and Flips I saw a nice blog on using post-it notes as a hillbilly prompter.

As Mark noted the biggest drawback of my sony bloggie is an external mic attachment. This would be a welcome addition to the Sony line. I was willing to sacrifice that for the ability to rotate the screen and 5x optical zoom with and additional 5 digital for a total of 10x. I'm not huge on digital zoom. Too many times I've shot something only not to be able to accurately see it in a video.


Nov 13, 2010 11:08 AM #69
Mark Gridley
eXp Realty, Reinventing the National Real Estate Office! - Fountain Hills, AZ
TecKnow Real Estate Agent, Fountain Hills, AZ


Nov 13, 2010 11:11 AM #70
Mark Gridley
eXp Realty, Reinventing the National Real Estate Office! - Fountain Hills, AZ
TecKnow Real Estate Agent, Fountain Hills, AZ

Retro cam on a droid incredible...no editing

Nov 13, 2010 11:14 AM #71
Pat Haddad, ABR, CRS, ePRO, GRI
Keller Williams Indianapolis Metro NE - Carmel, IN
Carmel, Fishers, Westfield IN Real Estate Expert

Amazing amount of information here.  Thanks to the three Marks, Bill and all others.  So I am just wondering if this is going to be easy enough to learn so that I can keep selling houses, while I am trying to get by videos put together.   Mark Gridley sounds like a professional camera man!!!!! Guess I won't know until I give it a try.  You have certainly given me all the tools and info that I will need right here!!

Nov 13, 2010 02:00 PM #72
Kim McAllister
Eastman Kodak Company - Rochester, NY
Kodak Real Estate Solutions

Hi Everyone,

Doug - You're welcome - and thanks to all of you for filling it with useful info

Scott/Melissa - Glad you're enjoying it hope it's helpful

Julissa -  This post contains a lot of info on starting off with video.  Our Zi8 combined with Animoto or simple editing with Mediaimpression, Windows Movie Maker, or iMovie will probably get you all the "production" you need to start off with.  I have a post earlier on the advantages of the Zi8 over the Flip - and you can get the Zi8 for $129.99 through www.kodak.com/go/redeal with free shipping.

Jark - There are a number of comparison videos available on YOUTUBE that show users with an iPhone 4 and a Zi8 side by side.  I've noticed better color and less blur in the Zi8, not to mention Image Stabilization, the external mic, and expandable memory capability.  In short, the Zi8 is a dedicated video device.  That's not to say the iPhone 4 isn't a good device, because it is, but at this moment in time I don't think it serves the dedicated needs of real estate video.  This is my opinion, and please check out videos like this one to get an idea:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nD2aD8QwWBQ

Nov 13, 2010 05:36 PM #73
Kim McAllister
Eastman Kodak Company - Rochester, NY
Kodak Real Estate Solutions

Pat  - I think Mark Gridley said it best.  Invest, start, and learn.  It's the best way.  I've heard the concern a couple of times on the blog that setups like Mark G's are too complicated and intimidating, a point he made earlier on.  But it's not about that, it's just about STARTING.

If time is your enemy, and simplicity your goal, you can definitely do a great video with using a Zi8 and a simple software service online like Animoto or Welcomemat, which literally do most of the editing and stiching for you.  But if you get a little time, definitely try to use some simple freeware like Windows Movie Maker or something like that to just try editing a few clips.

You may find that you'll get hooked.  The nice part about doing the edits yourself is that you can tag the videos, title them and be a little more flexible in your SEO usage (Search Engine Optimization) of the video.  But just to start, try to make an Agent Bio Video or a Virtual Tour by shooting some video AND still shots with a Zi8 or similar camera, and upload them to Animoto and publish the video. 

Nov 13, 2010 05:43 PM #75
Al & Peggy Cunningham, Brokers
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage - Brampton, ON
Our Family Wants To Help Your Family!

Hi Mark, great blog. We have the Zi8, but haven't been using it, probably the wide angle is what is stopping us.

Is it necessary to us the "Pro Animoto" to be able to stop the music on certain slides.

Nov 15, 2010 05:49 AM #76
Renée Montgomery
Century 21 New Millennium - Warrenton, VA
Northern Virginia Real Estate

Thanks for all the info and may I say that Herman is Fabulous!!

Nov 15, 2010 06:40 AM #77
Mark Passerby
HDhat.com - Lansing, MI
HDhat.com - 517-896-4376

How to add a .5x wide angle lens to your Kodak Zi8 or Flip
Links to Order all parts mentioned in this article are at bottom of this post

Many real estate agents already own a Kodak Zi8 or Flip video camera and by now may have even tried it out on a real estate video or two. So it is quite evident that the field of view & capture of the camera out of the box is quite limited. Here is a simple solution for adding a wide angle lens.

What you will order is the Sunpak 0.5x Magnetic Mount Wide Angle Conversion Lens. This kit comes with a several metal adapter rings  which fit the Flip and Flip MinoHD or Kodak Zi8 cameras.

Simply place a bead of Plumbers Goop(available in Walmart Plumbing Dept) along the 25 - 37mm adapter ring then gently place that on the camera centered around the existing lens as best as possible. 




***LET DRY OVERNIGHT*** then simply screw the lens on and you are ready to go.







Recommended Setings:  The Kodak Zi8 shoots far wider on the 720p setting than the 1080p and your results will be far better setting video setting to 720p 60fps setting.  Here is the actual specs. of the camera without a .5x lens then below is specs. with a .5x lens.

Specs without .5x lens: Lens: 6.3 mm, f/2.8, fixed focus, 35 mm equivalent: 61 mm (1080p), 46 mm (720p/60 fps, 720p , WVGA), 42 mm (still)
Specs with .5x lens:  Lens: 6.3 mm, f/2.8, fixed focus, 35 mm equivalent: 30.5 mm (1080p), 23 mm (720p/60 fps, 720p, WVGA), 21 mm (still)


*ORDER WIDE ANGLE LENS KIT HERE: Order Wide Angle Lens for Flip and Zi8

*EXTERNAL STEREO MIC CAN BE ORDERED HERE: Sony ECM-DS70P Electret Condenser Stereo Microphone

*25' Extension Cable for your Zi8 Microphone:  3.5mm jack to 3.5mm plug Stereo Extension Cable 


I also have a full post on the Zi8 on activerain here: http://activerain.com/blogsview/1735072/real-estate-video-kodak-zi8-full-review  but I now recommend the "plumbers goop" over the Crazy Glue as experience has shown that the Plumbers goop just doesn't fail.  This article has sample videos and sample photo galleries.  I recommend the .5x lens.

Mark Passerby, http://www.hdhat.com




Nov 15, 2010 06:52 PM #78
Kim McAllister
Eastman Kodak Company - Rochester, NY
Kodak Real Estate Solutions

Al * Peggy  - You're very welcome.  Mark's post about the wide angle options is a great place to start for a good wide angle solution.

Renee - Glad you found the info helpful and Herman's definitely entertaining, but that VLOG of his drives a lot of business too!

Mark - as always, great stuff, thanks for the detailed wide angle info!

Nov 16, 2010 03:34 AM #79
Mark Passerby
HDhat.com - Lansing, MI
HDhat.com - 517-896-4376

The Zi8 is a great solution and we have packaged up a Zi8 with the lens already attached for those that don't want to fuss with it. http://www.hdhat.com/store.html

I also put up a video here of a quick example of the external microphone and the extension cable here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rU-socuGOmI 


Nov 23, 2010 04:42 AM #80

I hope many people start using $100 video cameras and glue on $30 wide angle  lenses to promote themselves and their listings.

It will just make ME look better.

Just look at the litter that is all over YouTube with these home made, shaky blurry videos!  If I were the seller I would fire most of these agents.  It's just not acceptable marketing for an item that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars.

And the old argument about how buyers want "Real" as an excuse for a really, really poor, and in many cases unwatchable presentation, is just absolute BS.  If that's what people need to talk themselves into this, then go right ahead.  

But talk to buyers.  These "real" videos make them sick.  They're difficult (sometimes impossible) to watch, and they present the home in a poor light (in many cases, it presents them in the dark because these $100 cameras don't WORK indoors!).  

Nobody wants or needs a "slick" production, but a well lit video that is steady, comfortable to watch and tells a good story IS what people want.  And a $100 Clip camera in the hands of most Realtors who can't even take a good still photo if they had to - is a recipe for disaster.

Use the right tool for the job.  A Flip camera is NOT the right tool for a property video.  (it's great for a video blog though!)

Jan 02, 2011 12:20 AM #81
Mark Passerby
HDhat.com - Lansing, MI
HDhat.com - 517-896-4376

I would agree that Youtube is filled with some unbelievably bad real estate video.  However, we edit 1000's of real estate videos for agents in 2 countries and what I can say for certain is that the equipment has less to do with it than you think.  Many of these "bad" videos had plenty of light but what is suffering is "technique" and "shakiness".

Technique - I tell any agent that calls and starts to work with us..."the difference between a Pro Home Tour Videographer and an agent Pro Home Videographer is about 5 tours and proper coaching along that way. We start all our agents off with the tutorials on our site http://www.hdhat.com and especially the one on "turning" seems to change the quality of agents video almost instantly. 

Shakiness - It is in my opinion almost impossible for most people to shoot a real smooth walking tour video without using an expensive stabilizer system or software that stabilizes video in the editing process.  HDhat stabilizes all videos in our editing process so that something that a video can be transformed like in this example http://tours.povvideotours.com/tours/401_tourb.html (this is an example of Machine/Software stabilized video). 
How machine stabilizing works? Most software driven stabilzing works by lining all the frames of a video up.... then it crops the edges.  This is why a wide angle is crucial so that an agent can capture the widest area possible before it is stabilized.  Once the software stabilizes it then crops of an area.  The better the filmnig technique the less that is lost in the machine stabilizing process. 

Comparison Videos:

Sony HX1
- This video was filmed with a Sony HX-1 i.e. about a $500 investment: http://www.wellcomemat.com/video/D9C3217C45 
Kodak Zi8 - This video was filmed with a Kodak Zi8 with the .5x wide angle glued on:  http://www.wellcomemat.com/video/744A8FCD79 

Iphone 4 - This video was filmed with an Iphone4 with .5x wide angle lens case:  http://www.wellcomemat.com/video/E06A884430 

Flip cameras - A FLIP brand camera isn't a Kodak Zi8 or Kodaks newest the Kodak Playtouch(which shoots wider/touchscreen/brighter in lowlight).  A FLIP Brand Camera is in my opinion not even near as suitable for video blogging. 
The Zi8 and Kodak Playtouch on the other hand have an external mic jack so you can buy an inexpensive mic like this http://www.amazon.com/Technica-ATR-3350-Omnidirectional-Condenser-Microphone/dp/B002HJ9PTO and then you have a killer video blogging tool. 
In my opinion after seeing many many Flip videos is that the filming quality from a Flip brand camera just doesn't do as well as the Zi8 or Playtouch for filming anything including home tours.

Buyers don't want a story.....we have done several thousand tours and I have personally talked to 100's of buyers and work directly with hundreds of agents......What buyers want is a walking tour of the home....i.e.
1) Start with a pan of the front of the house and stop on the front door
2) Now start at the front door and do a logical walkthrough(really watch our tutorial on turning in an out of rooms :) )
3) Do the upstairs and downstairs in a logical walkthrough then
4) then do the backyard
5) Also don't forget narration in our editing plans our standard gives 7 "drops" or 7 sections of narration to describe 7 key areas of what a viewer is looking at.  Things like beautiful fireplace when they are looking at the fireplace isn't in my mind well thought out narration but things like "Corian Countertops" is because the viewer of the video wouldn't be able to discern that the counters were in fact Corian so it is relevent buyers info.

A fluffed up whimsical narration and video tour will bore your buyers/viewers to tears.  Also a disconnected tour will send them out of your tour faster than you can turn your Zi8 on :).  What I mean by "disconnected" is that many agents and even Pros are using tripods to pan a room then they go to another room and do a video pan....then they edit all of this together and produce a video that jumps from room to room very disconnected.  What their video tour becomes is what I call an "oversized photo tour put into a video player" it is no more valuable to an online buyer than a photo tour and in my opinion worthless to a buyer". 
Buyers want a video walkthrough i.e. a video floorplan that as it progresses answers through narration some of the basic questions i.e. is that Corian? is that a gas fireplace? etc.

Professional Editing & Coaching - This is where most of the "bad" video comes from.  If you are editing yourself find a 3rd party to honestly critique your work and find software that "stabilizes" your footage.  Or choose a professional editing company in our case we call every new agent, we find out what camera, we advise on methods and coach them intensively through the process of shooting like a Pro.  Like I said earlier in general that journey to Pro Level is about 5 tours and Pro coaching.  If you choose a third party to edit be sure they are real estate specific and understand how to tag, and syndicate the video to specifically help sell the home and drive boatloads of traffic to your personal agent website.  A great video improperly syndicated is a worthless tool.  All parts need done correctly....filming.....editing.....syndication. 

A note on Cameras and Lowlight - If you are shooting a bunch of listings that are "dated" with dark walls and poorly lit then a camera like the HX1 where you can adjust exposure is a better choice. 
The Zi8 and Kodak Playtouch are fantastic choices for contemporary well lit homes.  The Zi8 and Playtouch are also the only reasonable choice for video blogging at a great price.

In about 9 days we will rollout a new video product(beta) that will change how everyone thinks of real estate video, qr codes and the mobile web.  The beta release will quickly evolve but we will be looking for lots of feedback from our AR friends. 

Mark Passerby, http://www.HDhat.com

Jan 02, 2011 04:51 AM #82
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Extra normal is an easy fun way to get a point across. This took 10 minutes, I'm the one in blue suspender..the diagonal one.

Jan 18, 2011 09:51 AM #83
Dave Sullivan
Real Estate One - Birmingham, MI
Michigan Realtor with an investor viewpoint

I did a quick interview with Brian Stevens and Frank Gureay on video bloging you can view it here  

Aug 13, 2012 11:06 PM #84
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