Video isn’t the next hot thing—it has been the hottest for a while now. What’s changed during the past few years is how videos are created, marketed and consumed by viewers. You no longer need professional-grade equipment and expensive editing software to produce engaging content. Low barriers to entry is one reason there’s been a boom in new content. And this accessibility is exactly why real estate video marketing needs to be among your top priorities this year.
More importantly, consumers are watching videos at a higher rate than ever before. Currently, Americans average 18 hours of video-watching per week, which is 2 hours more than a year ago. It’s increasingly the go-to method for learning about a product or service, with more than two-thirds of people preferring videos to text or other types of content.
If you’re ready to put more fuel into your real estate video marketing, then read on. We’ll discuss techniques for maximizing video and leveraging the right platforms to promote it.
Three Tips for Better Videos
Although consumers are gobbling up video hours like candy, it’s just as easy to flip to the next shiny object if the content isn’t interesting. So, how do you maximize your precious video time? Keeps these three main points in mind when you’re creating your real estate video to ensure it’s as engaging as possible. This goes for listing videos (e.g. walkthroughs) as well as brand awareness/promotion (e.g. an intro to you and your services).
1. Keep it short
When people are browsing social media, their attention span is limited. The interesting thing is that the length of time they are willing to watch a video differs by platform. This mostly has to do with expectations. For example, people go to YouTube specifically looking for video content, so they expect it to be more in-depth and are willing to watch longer. On social media, on the other hand, consumers are only willing to spend so much time per post before moving onto the next.
Here are ideal video lengths by platform that HubSpot’s research uncovered:
Instagram: 30 seconds
Twitter: 45 seconds
Facebook: 1 minute
YouTube: 2 minutes
The takeaway here is that you need to get your message across as quickly as possible and cut out any fluff that lengthens your video but isn’t engaging. Front-load your videos with need-to-know content at the beginning in order to both hook watchers to stick around longer and ensure they learn the most important points before exiting the screen.
You can and should publish longer versions with your MLS listings or on your real estate website. Buyers browsing those spaces are similar to YouTubers in that they are expecting and want to watch an in-depth video.
2. Include audio and subtitles
A majority of people don’t turn up their volume to listen to audio (hence the “volume up” and “sound on” emojis and stickers that appear on many videos). While you should include audio for those who do want it, you must also include subtitles for everybody else. It’s the only way for you to provide context or important details if they aren’t listening in.
Many programs will be able to intelligently apply subtitles for you, but just make sure that the text is accurate and well-spaced throughout your video. If not, go in and make edits to ensure you’re publishing high-quality, accurate content.
3. Be visually engaging
You may think “easier said than done,” but that’s not true. Your best judgement will guide you in the right direction. Chances are you also enjoy watching videos, so you will instinctively know whether the video you make is snooze-worthy or worth watching.
There are a few things you can keep in mind that will help you ensure you’re keeping it visually engaging. First, make sure the rooms are well-lit. Don’t shoot at night, and when you record during the day, open all the windows and let natural light flood the space. Use indoor lighting when you don’t have a window to open or if the level of sunlight is too low.
Second, don’t move the camera too fast or too slow. If you’re doing a walkthrough, you don’t want to speed through a room so quickly that you force viewers to pause or rewind. Move too slowly and you’ll lose viewers, especially those who have their audio off.
Finally, ensure there is an interesting focal point in all shots. For example, if you are doing a walkthrough and there isn’t staging furniture set up, don’t pause on a wall as you describe the room. Keep panning the camera or move to another room so you keep viewers interested in learning what’s behind the next door.
One last step
When you’ve finished your video, share it with close friends or colleagues who can give you honest feedback. You won’t need to do this forever—you can sign off on the video yourself once you become more accustomed to real estate video marketing.
Where to Promote Your Videos
Too many real estate agents fall victim to publishing their videos with the MLS property listing and stopping there. You did the work, so you should promote it far and wide! Here are a few locations across the web where you can reach interested buyers and sellers.
1. Social media
If you already have a following on specific social media platforms, like Facebook or Instagram, then you should definitely share your video natively so your fans can interact with your content.
It’s also important to invest some of your advertising budget in your real estate video marketing. Push it out to those who don’t already follow your business pages but are in your sphere and target audience. When your sphere sees your ads, it’s a reminder that you work in real estate (so many people forget!). By promoting your content to your target audience, you are widening your sphere of influence by introducing yourself to new potential leads and improving your brand awareness each time they see your ad.
Homesnap can help you set up and target your video ads on Facebook and Instagram in just a few clicks, and you get to choose everything from the dynamic design to the lead form to the daily budget. Check out our video ads for real estate agents for yourself!
2. Your Google business profile
No matter what type of video you create—whether brand-focused or a walkthrough of a listing—you should publish it to your Google business profile’s media section. This is just another piece of content that will help leads and prospects get to know you better and see you in action.
If you don’t already have a Google business profile, now is the time to claim your space and get started, and Homesnap Pro+ can help. In addition to being a key place to extend your real estate video marketing, it’s integral for branding and establishing credibility.
Buyers and sellers browse Homesnap daily, looking at new listings, comparables and, of course, agents and their real estate profile. If your listing videos are already in the MLS, they will automatically be attached to your property listing in Homesnap. But, you can take it one step further and create unique content just for buyers and sellers who check you out in Homesnap.
Homesnap Pro agents can add a Story (similar to those on Instagram and Facebook) to each of their MLS listings. You’ll record content and add text, graphics, filters and more right inside the Homesnap Story creator. Your completed Story will be available to those who look at your individual listings, as well as your public profile in Homesnap. See how easy it is to get started!
You can also promote your Homesnap Story as a targeted ad on Facebook and Instagram just by selecting the boost story option.
A final thought
If you aren’t already creating marketing videos for your real estate business, today is the best day to start. Don’t forget: Practice makes perfect. The more often you produce content, the more natural it feels to be in front of and behind the camera. After you see for yourself the high level of engagement that videos get, you’ll be wondering why you didn’t start making them sooner!