Finding Home Listings in the iPhone Age - A Video Demo

Real Estate Agent with Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.

A video challenge doesn't hold much promise during January in the DC area.  Even an experienced videographer would find it difficult to make the landmarks, neighborhoods, and homes look good with perpetually overcast skies, barren trees and dirty snow.   I know my limits and never took the Flip video out of its case for the ActiveRain and Kodak Contest, but there were still challenges using a video-cam to create this video. 

L&F AppSome of them were no different than any other marketing piece:

  1. Selecting a topic... and title.
  2. Determining content and organizing it.
  3. Offering something of value to viewers.
  4. Making it easy on the eyes.
  5. Holding visitors' attention to the end.

This video challenge did, indeed, challenge me.  I ended up with three videos on three different topics... and countless takes on the cutting room floor.  This was a process - one that reinforced things I already knew and provided new lessons specific to the video production:

  • If you want an iPhone screen to show up on video-cam, you gotta turn off all the lights.
  • Leave out some of the details unless you want viewers to die of boredom before it's over.
  • Turning the iPhone to silent before using it for a demo is good... but that doesn't block incoming text messages.
  • Expect the unexpected during recording...  losing your wireless connection, for example.
  • I need a better quality video-cam before doing this again.  

This contest challenged Activerain members to create a marketing video which focuses on some component of our business.  Finding Home Listings in the iPhone Age does that by offering something of value to home buyers in my area while promoting me and my company.  Who knows, it might even impress a prospective home seller in my community.

My signature on every Activerain post includes a line reading "Download a FREE Long & Foster mobile APP for iPhone/ iPad and use this VIP Access Code: 21114."   Now it includes a link to this YouTube video:

"This post is written as a submission to the ActiveRain Kodak Video Challenge contest. I have the chance to win the KODAK PLAYTOUCH Pocket Video Camera, great for REALTORS looking to create wide angle home tours and real estate marketing videos!"

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This infoMargaret Wodarmation was provided to you by Margaret Woda, an Associate Broker with Long & Foster Real Estate in Crofton Maryland. Contact Margaret today for general real estate information or to learn how she can help you buy or sell a home in Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton, Davidsonville, Gambrills, and Odenton. 

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Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation

Andres - It's nice to have a personalized app... I think it helps set apart Long & Foster agents who use it from all the agents who refer their clients to REALTOR, Zillow and Trulia Apps (to name a few)

Michelle - Yes, I took out the line that said something about there being a reason no TV network ever offered me a gig as anchor on their evening news show.  LOL.

Katie - After about 150 tries.  Haha... Seriously, I made it a day or two earlier, put it all together and found it was waaaaay too long and I had to omit most of the details.  But I think this serves its purpose... I hope so.

Elizabeth - You're too kind.  But it was a challenge to do a demo without one of those fancy programs that would allow me to record my computer screen.  Figuring that out was probably the biggest challenge of all.

Jan - Fortunately, this was recorded early this morning BEFORE the missing earring.  However, I do still have the video on another topic, with one of them missing, and I'm still trying to decide whether or not to post it.

Steve - One of my relocating buyers said they watched every one of my YouTube videos, and that's how they felt.  I guess that's a good thing.


Jan 28, 2011 02:29 PM #8
Mike Jones
SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) - Tucson, AZ
Mike Jones NMLS 223495


Can I vote, 'cause I'd vote for you to win.

Mike in Tucson

Jan 28, 2011 02:47 PM #9
Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation

Mike, I'll bet you say that to all the girls!

Jan 28, 2011 02:54 PM #10
Jeff Belonger
Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc - Cherry Hill, NJ
The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans

Margaret... I agree, great video and cool app... I need to think about working on one for mortgages, rates, and mortgage posts. My mind has been thinking about this... and good luck with the challenge...

jeff belonger

Jan 28, 2011 03:29 PM #11
Marilyn Boudreaux
Marilyn Boudreaux, Century 21 Mike D. Bono & Co.'s - Lake Charles, LA
Lake Charles LA Century 21 Realtor

This is awesome!!  I have been waiting to launch my own mobile app and hopefully it will be very soon, had to go through act of congress to get my board to release IDX stream.  I will have to borrow this idea and create a video for my area.  I just did something similar as a how to search listings on Facebook!  Thanks Margaret

Jan 28, 2011 04:16 PM #12
Hannah Williams
Re/Max Eastern inc. - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818

Excellent ..I enjoyed that easy is good !


Jan 28, 2011 04:51 PM #13
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Margaret - This is a great video to highlight something that buyers are very likely to use.

Jan 28, 2011 05:07 PM #14
Joe Manausa
Joe Manausa Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Tallahassee Real Estate

Great "how to" video Margaret. I love this type of video for learning.

Jan 28, 2011 07:37 PM #15
Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation

Jeff - I don't know if anyone will 'use this app, but I think of it like the 50' tape measure in my REALTOR tool kit.  It's something good to have.  As my first manager said, you'll probably never use that tape measure except to offer it to homebuyers... they'll usually say "never mind" when you offer it, but they'll be glad you had it available for them.  He was right - NEVER in 38 years has a buyer taken me up on the offer to use my 50' tape measure.  The moral of this story is the following:  It doesn't have to be an award-winning app... just get one that's personalized to you. 

Marilyn - This was pretty tricky to create, and I had to fight the temptation to demonstrate each step.  When you get to doing a video, call me and I'll tell you some of the other lessons learned.

Hannah - Easy IS good... Happy house-hunting!

Jan 28, 2011 11:36 PM #16
Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation

Christine - When Activerain first came out with custom headers, I learned how to create one using from a video that Jeff Turner made.  Ever since, I've wanted to pay it forward and maybe this will encourage a consumer to try the app kinda like Jeff encouraged me to use Picnik and create a custom header.

Joe - Thank you... it was pretty tricky, but I think it turned out okay.

Jan 28, 2011 11:39 PM #17
Kimberly A Norgard
Devlin McNiff Halstead Real Estate - East Hampton, NY

Margaret,  I love my iPhone and your demo is great.  Thank you for taking the time.

Jan 29, 2011 12:19 AM #18
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

Nicely done Margaret.  Great demo and easy to follow.

Jan 29, 2011 12:36 AM #19
Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation

Kimberly - When I think about how long I resisted the iPhone...

Cindy - I almost called, but let me ask now... What editing program do you use for your videos.  I like the transition between sections on yours.

Jan 29, 2011 12:41 AM #20
Eleanor Thorne
Equity Resources - Cary, NC
Equity Resources 919-649-5058

I love you in this video!  You come across as the person you are - a talented, saavy, experienced agent buyers and sellers are FORTUNATE to work with!  YEAH!

Jan 29, 2011 01:07 AM #21
Martha Brown
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc., Annapolis MD 21403 - Annapolis, MD
Your Homes Around Annapolis Agent

What a fabulous video Margaret and you definitely made it all seem so seemless and of course easy to use which it is. Great job!!

Jan 29, 2011 12:56 PM #22
Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation

Eleanor, Can I hire you as my publicist?  LOL.

Martha, My first attempt was twice as long... TOO long.  I had to skip all the details, like viewing the pics, the map, the details... So it means a lot that you think it was okay.

Jan 29, 2011 01:53 PM #23
John Novak
Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace - Las Vegas, NV
Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate

Nice video demo of an impressive app, Margaret! Is there something comparable for your Android home buyers?

Jan 29, 2011 06:07 PM #24
Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation

John - They tell us the Android app is in development.  When that becomes available, I think I'll try again.

Jan 29, 2011 10:51 PM #25
Sally Dunbar
Lyon Real Estate, Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento Area) - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks Realtor - Fair Oaks Homes for Sale

Margaret - that was so  natural, and so informative.  You did a great job.  No wonder you are so successful.

Jan 30, 2011 03:24 AM #26
Lora "Leah" Stern 914-772-4528
Coldwell Banker, 170 N Main Street, New City NY 10956 - New City, NY
Real Estate Salesperson

Margaret, loved your video.  Easy to follow and you make it all appear easy to use and the video easy to do,

Feb 02, 2011 03:33 PM #27
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