Tips for Success in Real Estate Video

by : Christian Jacobsen

Video production skills can go a long way in real estate. With more buyers searching home for sale videos, and a wide variety of syndication options available, a well-shot video can quickly sell a home and drive up website traffic. Real estate agents who want to build their online presence and close more sales will find this a good place to start. The best part is, it's easy to learn how to make a good video if you know where to start.

The first step in producing an effective real estate video is deciding which format to use. In the past many Realtors chose the Flash format because it was the fastest for browsers to load, and easiest to modify after production. But as Internet connection speeds increased and syndication became more widespread, digital video became the format of choice - it brought the most attention to homes for the least amount of work. Now Realtors can publicize and syndicate the same digital video file on a wide variety of platforms, including Youtube, Metacafe, IFILM, and Revver.

Once you've decided on a format you're ready to plan your video. Real estate videos can be shot in many different styles, and it's important to choose one that best suits your market and the type of property you're showing. The two main types of real estate videos are hosted, and non-hosted. A hosted video is one that features you or another on-camera personality walking through the home and talking to the viewer - this is the style used on the popular Television show MTV Cribs. A video host adds character to the production, and makes it easier to feature other people on the property. Hand-held filming (done well) is acceptable and even preferable for most hosted videos, as it adds freshness and keeps things from looking too staged. The only danger with hosted videos is that they can be badly hosted, and possibly put a negative spin on a perfectly sellable property - that's why it's important to make sure your host looks and performs well on-camera, and part of the reason this style will require more work. Non-hosted videos take the viewer through the property without an on-camera personality. This style works well for situations where filming access is limited, or where big panoramic shots are taken. It's also safer, more traditional, and without the risk of a bad host making the property look unattractive.

Whichever production style you choose, it's important to start the video well with a concise introduction - this helps build anticipation for the showing, and cuts down on boring setting narration and directions later in the film.

There are a variety of strategies you can employ to make sure your video is widely seen. One might be to embed the video in a well-written blog post optimized to attract traffic, another is to syndicate the video widely - Google's new indexing model displays well-optimized videos alongside web-pages, giving videos the potential to show up in any web search.