Green Industry Articles

10 Ways to Rev Up Your Marketing with Video

"To be successful in real estate, you need to be a reporter," comments Cynthia Lee of Kimberly Howell Properties, San Antonio, Texas.

The former TV news anchor and reporter turned real estate practitioner says those in real estate not only need to be up on local and national housing trends, statistics and legal issues, and so forth, but they also need to convey that knowledge effectively.

Video is a great way to do it.

Lee says it's a great marketing tool that can help you get more business.

And some recognition.

She recently attended a local meet and greet and a woman approached her and said, "I know you. You're the real estate person I saw in the video about my neighbor's house."

Priceless.

4 video marketing tips

Here are some ways to leverage the power of video:

1. Self-promos: Introduce yourself at your website with a video. It's all about making a connection, according to Lee. Keep it short (Lee's is 41 seconds long) and be genuine.

Consumers can spot a fake, so be sure your video reflects your personality and your natural way of speaking.

Tip: Don't memorize and deliver a heavily edited script.

2. House tours: Jot down a loose outline so you don't forget the high points of a house you're promoting. But, again, don't rigidly follow a script. Act as if you're with prospects and you're showing them around for the first time. Home tours are also opportunities to address a house's flaws. You could mention that a drab spare bedroom that is being used for storage could be transformed into a home office or art studio.

Tip: Include a local interior designer in your videos and let him or her share design tweaks that could change the feel of or improve a house.

3. Green features: Zero in on a property's green features and show the tankless water heater and point out the energy efficient appliances and other features in the house as you're talking.

4. Community tours: Out-of-town prospects really want to get a sense of their new community. Deb Grimaldi, GREEN, ABR of RE/MAX 1st Choice in Cranston, R.I., produces videos profiling local businesses and spots around town, such as golf courses, farmers' markets, and shops to give people a feel for her community. Highlight places that are most relevant to your client base, such as hiking and biking trails, community gardens, accessible transportation, and other sustainable features.

DIY or professional

Lee can rely on her years as a broadcaster to ramp up the professionalism of her videos and she's also co-owner of Videocast Now, a real estate video company. The advantage of professional video companies: They can turn out clean, well-edited videos.

You can also take a DIY route, if you're willing to learn to shoot and edit videos.

Here are some DIY tips:

1. Invest in a video camera and microphone. Video shot and recorded on a cell phone will look and sound like a video from a cell phone. Plus, Lee says, the sound is hollow and unprofessional.

2. Learn editing software. There are an array of options that range from free (YouTube Editor, JayCut!) tools to pricier professional options, such as Final Cut Studio and Adobe® Premiere® Pro CS5.5.

3. Be yourself on camera and dress professionally. I've seen videos where people are wearing clothing that are way too revealing," observes Lee.

4. Get to the point. People's attention spans are short, so Grimaldi aims for videos that run for no more than two to 2.5 minutes.

5. Embrace criticism. Lee suggests showing the video to others and being open to suggestions and criticism. Do I come off as cheesy? Is the video too long? Do I talk too fast? Do you see enough of the house? What's missing?

6. Drive traffic to your video. Include your video at your website and include it in the MLS under virtual tours. Also post it to YouTube, Realtor.com, Trulia, Zillow, and other real estate-specific sites, and promote it on Facebook and Twitter. In addition, Lee suggests sending it to the sellers and asking them to e-mail it to everyone they know.

Source: Green REsource Council Newsletter, September 2011