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Using Video and Quick Response Codes to Attract More Traffic

Education & Training with BuilderRadio.com

This week we speak with William Woodard, J. Patrick Homes, Houston, TX.

So, you’ve made the leap to using video as a marketing tool.  You’ve even set up your own YouTube channel and link your videos to your website, blog and social media.

No?  If you’re not using video, you’re missing out on a powerful marketing tool.  And, if you’re not using video it’s probably because you’re not sure how to get started.

Well, worry no more.  Veteran sales pro, William Woodard, returns to our program with all the scoop on how to create attention-getting video of your homes, and then use Quick Response Codes to drive more traffic:

Shooting Video of Your Homes
I’ve been using video for several years and found what does and doesn’t work. I primarily post my videos with YouTube. They have some excellent analytic tools that let you see what’s working and what’s not.

To make these videos effective I have four simple steps. If you follow these steps, you’re going to have a pretty good video.

Step 1 – Time and Focus. Before you grab your video camera and start shooting, go to the home, take some time, and focus in on key areas that will carry more interest to the viewer and buyer. When you’re making a video for marketing you have to remember that it can’t be more than 3-5 minutes long. You aren’t going to have the time to focus on the entire home. So, focus on your exterior elevations, kitchen, your unique selling proposition or anything like that. But plan ahead and keep your focus on what you’re going to do in that 3-5 minutes.

Step 2 – Personal Touch. Start by introducing yourself to the prospect or viewer, just like you do when someone comes into your model home. If you do a Google search for ‘new home inventory’, you’ll find these videos where there’s a voice in the background but you don’t really know who it is. By turning the camera around and introducing yourself, you make it personal and earn create some expectation on what you’re going to show them as you go through the home.

I’ve seen people put music in the background where there’s no talking at all. The video just aimlessly wanders through the house. But the viewer doesn’t know what’s going on so they leave those videos pretty quickly. So, introduce yourself, tell them what you’re going to do, and then when you walk through the home and you’re talking to them they know what’s going on.

Another thing is to have your own personality.  If you’re funny, then don’t be afraid to go ahead and be funny.  We had video of this master bathroom in the inventory home. It was a large bathroom with a floating island tub and a walk through shower behind it.  As I went into the shower you could tell that the acoustics had changed quite a bit. So as I was pointing out the tile work, instead of ignoring the change I pointed out that the shower was perfect those that loved to sing in the shower and started singing. Believe it or not people would say to me “you’re that guy that was singing in the shower”.

Use humor, use your personality, because although you’re trying to inform, you’re also trying to hold their interest. If you put your personality in your videos you’ll get results. I’ve had people come into my model homes and recognize me from YouTube. That helps me break the ice and feel like I have a “leg up” on the situation.

Step 3 – Go Slow. Once you plan out Step 1, you have your time and focus, instead of walking through the house and swinging the camera, position yourself and slowly pan across the room while you talk at a normal pace highlighting the features.

You have to remember that you have seen this home many times but your viewer has not. They want to be able to see what you’re talking about.  If you have a feature that you want to highlight, if at all possible try not to walk while your shooting, because the camera bounces. Instead, use the zoom.  Zoom into it, then slowly zoom out to avoid all that movement.

Step 4 – Call to Action. I feel that if somebody has spent the 3-5 minutes with you, you’ve earned the right to ask them to come out. So at the end of the video, turn the camera around, put it on yourself and say, “Hey guys, thanks for watching the video and letting me show you around. There’s a lot more to this beautiful home and I’d be happy to show it to you personally, so come on out and see me.”

You can then add your phone number or email address if you want to. I don’t, because I use that video for a lot of other resources, such as Facebook, YouTube, EyeJot and so forth.

Those are my 4 basic steps to follow. If you follow them you’re going to be on the right track. I can’t say it’s perfect but it seems to be working for me right now. I use them on Facebook, my website, MLS listings, Eyejot and lots of other resources.

Video Equipment and Editing
You don’t need an expensive camera. As a matter of fact, a lot of the videos I shoot these days are with my regular digital camera. If you have a digital camera, look on top and it will have a little video feature. I use that.

I’m not really a fan of the Flip cameras because they don’t give you the depth or zoom capabilities of others. If you have an Android or iPhone, they have video features that work quite well.  You don’t need to spend $500 – $600 on a video camera.

For video editing I use Pinnacle Studios, which you can find online for about $100. I’ve also used Windows Movie Maker, which is free software that actually comes as part of Windows, so you probably already have it on your computer.  So you just import your video to your computer, add it to the timeline in your editing software, add a couple of transitions between segments, and then publish it.  It might take you a week or two to really get into all the minute details, but you can have a video up in 30 minutes.  If you’re just going to use the video on YouTube, you can now use their online editor, which is very simple and easy to use.

When you upload your video to YouTube or any other video sharing format, take the time to fill out all of the information about the video. Fill out the geographic information, metatags, and what the video is about because Google use this information to put your video in its search results. For example, if you’re searching in Houston, TX for a home and you have your video tagged with that location, then that video will be one of the search results shown. So take the time to fill all of that, out because it’s worth it.  Also, in the long term, you’ll be pulled up along side the related videos as well.

Many people will just link their YouTube videos to their Facebook profile. The challenge here is the time line – people might see it when it’s fresh, but soon it just falls off.  Maybe ten people see it before it’s gone. But if you upload the video to YouTube and also upload it to Facebook, when people click on the Video Tab on your Facebook page it will be there.

Whenever you upload your video to YouTube, it will come to a page where you can edit the description, add metatags, and set who can see view the video.  On the right side of the page you’ll be able to set the ‘Geo location’. There’s a map there and you can drag a little pin and place it wherever you are. It’ll tag that spot, which is great because Google gets a lot of local searches. So take the few seconds to move that little pin over to the lot where it’s located.

Using Quick Response Codes

So you’ve made the video, you’re happy with it and you’ve started connecting with folks on the web. But, there’s also those folks that walk into your model home, grab a brochure and they’re out the door. The spouse may not be with them or they are just looking for information.  We want to be able to get that video to them as well. With these QR codes, you can send that video you made right along with them in your literature. It’s free, easy and it really impresses the people.

QR, or ‘quick response’ codes are images similar to bar codes that can be embedded with information and scanned with a smart phone.  They have been popular overseas for a while, and we’re now starting to see them in the states. I’ve been using them with my videos and getting some good results and generate more leads.  The cool thing about these codes is that you can embed them in video, text messages, or emails and when someone scans their smart phone on that QR code it sends all the information directly to their phone.

They’re also really simple to make. If you can type your name on a form field then you can make a QR code. To get started quickly, just go to Google and type in “QR code generator” and you’ll find a list of free sites that will create them instantly; just type in the information you want included and you’ll get an instant image that includes that information.

If you have your video uploaded to YouTube, you’ll get a link to share it.  Just paste that link into the Code Generator, then hit generate… and that’s it. It will generate the code for you and/or save it to your computer. You can put that code on the back of your business card and even on your website in the description.

Another great way to use it is if you have the sidelights on your door, you can write on top off it “for information on this home scan this code.”  It’s like being open after hours.

Sample some of William’s videos here. http://www.youtube.com/user/MrWillster

QR Code Generatorhttp://qrcode.kaywa.com/

Listen to the audio interview: http://builderradio.com/blog/

Renée Montgomery
Century 21 New Millennium - Warrenton, VA
Northern Virginia Real Estate

Great post and thanks for the tips. Video, here I come....

Dec 04, 2010 11:44 PM
Doug Stucky
Stucky Design, Inc. - Wichita, KS

Thanks for the informative post. Video makes so much sense especially when combined with the QR code.

Mar 23, 2011 12:38 PM