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How to make property videos work for your listings

11 July 2016 Jacqui Thompson
Jacqui Thompson

If you are considering using video or increasing your property video usage, it is worth knowing the statistics behind what a video adds to a campaign and what goes into a successful property video.

Why use video?

Successfully selling homes involves creating an emotional bond between the property and the buyer, and offering an in-depth property experience helps with this engagement.

“Property videos have, on average, a retention rate of almost 90 per cent. That means the majority of those who have viewed the video watched the entire video,” explains Paul Gal, video manager at real estate marketing agency Campaigntrack.

In a crowded market, offering a point of difference to vendors and potential buyers assists with visibility.

“In our 2015 research, by reviewing all Sydney listings posted on a single day on REA, we found only 4.4 per cent of those listings contained a video. That’s a very small portion,” Mr Gal says.

The number of potential buyers that come through the door is affected by the amount of information provided. While a gallery of images may feature 10 photos, a video will commonly contain 25 or more clips of a property. If a home is particularly large or features multiple highlights, a video can communicate this quickly.

And the icing on the cake: greater visibility is created for the sales agent.

“When reviewing the 100 property videos we produced in September last year, they received an average of 330 views on YouTube, and this does not include the additional views they received on the major portals,” Mr Gal says.

“If the agent appears in that video, multiply it by the number of views and number of property videos made – that is a lot of coverage and personal exposure.”

Characteristics of a successful video

There are generally two types of property videos – those with an agent and those without.

1. Agent property videos

The success of a property video featuring an agent will be determined by the quality of the visuals, the quality of the voice-over and how these components are edited together.

To shoot a property in its best light:

  • respect the rules of architectural photography;
  • ensure vertical shots are straight;
  • use natural light;
  • conform to the composition rule of thirds (e.g. not too much ceiling or floor); and
  • minimise wide angle distortion.

For a great introduction and voice-over, agents should prepare for the shoot. Along with looking well-presented, choose three to five key talking points about the home you would like to showcase. The clips of the property will then be matched with the voice-over to illustrate what you are saying.

The aim is for you to appear relaxed and to describe the home with a comfortable flow. Listen to the videographer – they are viewing you through the lens and can guide you accordingly.

2. Stand-alone property videos

As the industry saying goes, ‘50 per cent of video is the soundtrack’. With this in mind, good music that complements the property is a must.

“The music has to suit the house and the visuals need to be cut to the rhythm of the music,” Mr Gal explains.

“An older, grander home may suit classical, while a contemporary property could use an upbeat, fast-tempo track.”

What about drones?

Drone footage adds a cinematic, bird’s-eye view to a property video that cannot be captured from ground level. It is best used if you want to promote the land and location.

According to Josh Brookes-Allen, managing director and chief drone pilot at Campaigntrack, there are two very important facts you should check before booking your pilot.

“Firstly, they should be CASA (Civil Aviation Safety Authority) licensed and should hold public liability insurance for their operation. If the operator can’t provide an unmanned operating certificate (UOC) or public liability certificate of currency (COC) upon request, it would be very unwise to proceed with using that operator,” Mr Brookes-Allen says.

“Secondly, ask about the equipment they use, to ensure the footage or imagery they capture will meet the minimum resolution requirements of the production and your video.”

In today’s market there is a wide range of drones, from cheap consumer models up to professional high-end systems. The better the equipment, the better the quality of the images. Multi-rotor systems provide a steady platform and deliver sophisticated camera angles.

“The drones we use are multi-rotor, so they typically have four, six or eight motors and propellers,” Mr Brookes-Allen explains.

It is also beneficial to inquire about the amount of experience and expertise the operator has. This is most readily obtained by reviewing examples of their past real estate shoots.

Promote your property video

Once a property video is made, it is up to you what happens next. Publishing it on YouTube is the first step. Your video provider may do this for you, but it is highly recommended that you create your own YouTube channel. Then the video needs to be shared across all your digital channels, and only then will it get traction and significant views.

“If you simply stick it on YouTube, it’s not going to get great views,” Mr Gal says.

“You need to make sure it’s on all the real estate website listings, your homepage, across social media and also that it is emailed to your database.”

How to make property videos work for your listings
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