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Creating a Short Intro Video for Your Real Estate Business

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Properties SW, Inc.

There is a ton of competition in the real estate industry today. In our market alone, the MLS roster has 24,637 agents. Tha's today; there's undoubtedly more coming into the business tomorrow. So, how do you stand out?

I've been in this business long enough to know that you can spend tens of thousands of dollars on sales aids, promotional materials, and so on and so on. It sometimes seems like the entire west coast is composed of marketers that are single-mindedly intent on divesting Realtors all over the country of their commission dollars. You can pick and choose where to spend your money.

Since we do a lot of renovations and new builds in the investment side of our business, we've developed an outlook that predisposes us to find ways to duplicate expensive looking decor with inexpensive substitutes. It's often a challenge, but an enjoyable one. Now I'm sure that you can find consultants out there who will create a video business card for you, but why not try to do it yourself?

Here's one possible way:

Now, I'm not unfamiliar with making digitial videos, but I'm absolutely not a video person. I once spent around $5 million setting up a post-production studio for a company, but that was in a different life and a long time ago. Even so, I never got into the production end of the business.

So, when you're a novice and need video on-the-cheap, what do you do? Well, I have an Animoto subscription that I purchased specifically for this use. It's not terribly expensive, at least compared to the money you can spend buying other marketing and you can also use it to promote homes, so in my opinion, it's a good tool.

There are a number of steps that you should  take when creating a video. The first is determining your target audience. Since my intent was to create a video for our typical clients and we deal with a broad spectrum of people, that more or less predetermines my audience profile. They're used to watching fast paced commercials on TV, but probably don't want to waste too much of their time, so the video needs to get right to the point quickly. Based on the wide age spread of potential viewers, I selected a musical track (Animoto provides lots of selections) that should be widely acceptable. It wouldn't be a good idea to select something that would offend some of your audience. For example, I wouldn't recommend selecting a Death Metal track. You'd probably only please a group of viewers that would never consider using your services.

The second step is to script the video. You need to know what you are trying to accomplish. What conclusion do you want your viewers to have? What information do you consider essential. In my video, I wanted to emphasize things like experience, effectiveness, and success. You can come at these from your perspective, but if you can show how your experience benefits your audience, that is better.

The third step is to come up with the video content. I simply used existing artwork and some pictures that I already had.  I got tired of having boxes of awards and trophys some years ago and I simply arranged the things on the floor and took a picture of them, then threw them away (sadly, used award plaques and trophys have no resale value that I know of--wish they did, I'd like my money back.) I always save pictures of our successful sales, so having houses to show wasn't difficult. I also have a collection of local scenes that I use at times. These are all photos that I took myself over the years, so rights aren't a problem. Finally, I used promo pictures of us and some company provided information. Get all of your material in one place and have any pictures that aren't digital scanned in high resolution.

Fourth, with all of my materials gathered into one folder on my computer, I uploaded all of the artwork at once into the Animoto video creator. This is a great piece of software and is very easy to use. As a long-time programmer and software designer (started with the Apple II), I usually find software easy to learn. I've got a test for good software; if it can be used in a few minutes without reference to any instructions, then the design is excellent. Animoto fits that category and so I'm not going to try and describe how to use it to you. You'll be able to figure it out, trust me.

There are some steps that you need to take in sequence, though. I first selected the style of video that I wanted -- a flashy, quick-change of images type of style. Then I arranged the pictures in the order that mostly followed my script. This arrangement is just a suggestion to the style I selected, since it sticks pieces of pictures in the background at random and repeats itself at times. It does allow you to "highlight" selected images and the effect of that is to expose them for a little longer to the viewer.

After that was done, I went back and added some sub-titles to some of the pictures in the video. I didn't want too much text; it's not necessary. The pictures are more or less self-explanatory and the idea is to get you to want to use our services without wasting a lot of time reading.

Finally, you can use your logo if you have one and set up a link to your website or just provide a phone number. Both of these actions are easy to do. Animoto provides a special logo set-up that allows you to choose the animation effect for the logo and it also provides a "call-to-action" button setup that creates a link to an external site.

Creating the actual video was a snap; a three-hour, after midnight snap. I was sleepy the next day, but I think the result was well worthwhile.

Your opinion is valued.

Namaste!

 

Comments (5)

Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
MOOERS REALTY - Houlton, ME
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

There is so much look at me agent only videos. Those channels don't grow, get followed by other than the poster. Shoot, render, upload what the buyers want to save money, has, time. What the sellers expect, deserve for all your property listings, not just the two or three most expensive. Video works oh oh so well. Real video that is full motion with natural sound.

Nov 25, 2014 01:53 AM
Eric Martell
RE/MAX Properties SW, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Ph.D.

Andrew, Good advice. Listing videos work on all properties. The problem I see with many full motion videos is that the agent takes them walking through a property with a cell phone. The quality can be terrible and a real turn off. I usually use a pro photographer to create a 360 virtual tour and use their stills with special effects, text overlays and music - this works well for me. The intent of this intro video is just that. It's an intro to be used when people contact you for info about your services. It's not intended to get random views. That would be about about as likely to get clients as the old strategy of leaving your business card on a bulletin board at the grocery. Hope this clarifies my intent with this post. Namaste!

Nov 25, 2014 02:08 AM
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
HomeSmart - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

Eric, I have used Animoto and you are right, it is very easy to use. I like your video to show people who you are. I need to start utilizing video a lot more.

Nov 25, 2014 04:02 AM
Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI

Thanks for the advice. Video is at the top of my to do list.

Sep 30, 2015 07:50 AM
Eileen Begley
Coldwell Banker, DelMonte - Carmel, CA
Monterey Real Estate

Hi Eric; I have never tried Animoto. Do you have a link to the one you created?

Thanks.

Sep 28, 2016 03:08 PM