Why (and How) Real Estate Agents Should Use Video

Why (and How) Real Estate Agents Should Use Video

Earlier this year, the social media management gurus at Buffer reported on 2018 trends and confirmed what we’ve known to be true: Video is the most popular type of content on social media, and it’s not going anywhere. In fact, BuzzSumo found that video posts on Facebook have twice the engagement of other posts.

More and more people are putting marketing dollars into video, and there are tons of reasons that real estate agents should do the same. Here, we answer a few FAQs on video and how you can bake it into your digital marketing strategy:

Aside from the Metrics Above, Why Is Video So Important?

Ivan Estrada of Ivan Estrada Properties is prolific in his online real estate videos. He says that videos, at their core, build trust by showing your personality and humanity — clients feel more connected because they aren’t just looking at a static photo.

“70 percent of the time when I walk into a listing appointment from someone who just calls in from the website, they say, ‘I watch all your videos and I feel like I know you, and it makes me feel comfortable,’” Ivan says. “I think it’s a way of establishing trust with someone without even meeting them.”

And it doesn’t just build trust with clients — it builds your brand with other agents, too. “It gives me that nationwide exposure and reach, so I can build connections with other agents across the country and we can refer business to each other. I think it has definitely been the best marketing tactic for my business as a whole,” Ivan told us.

Okay, I’m Sold on Video — but What Kind of Content Do I Share?

Your natural inclination might be to put all your marketing dollars into videos that are tied directly to your listings, but Ivan says there is a lot of value in sharing non-listing content, too — particularly when it comes to building that trust.

“I hate being sold to,” Ivan says. “ I want to be able to give value to either home buyers, or people who are just looking to get more information on what are the ‘in’ colors for design … or what are the trends for kitchens of the future. I think that’s something that people value, and when they actually think about real estate, they think about me because I gave them information and not just a sales tactic of selling them my listing.”

Aside from real estate, Ivan has found that what entices viewers are design trends, new technology and pretty much anything about the future and how their lives will be made easier.

Brian Hopper, a broker with Sotheby’s International Realty in Kirkland, Washington, agrees that you need to balance listing videos with lifestyle and storytelling content. “We created a two-minute video … that does tell my story, about how I got into the business and what got me in it,” Brian told us. “I think a video about who you are as a person is very powerful.”

What If I’m Not Comfortable on Camera?

If you’re feeling uneasy about sitting in front of the camera or being filmed, we’ve got one word for you: practice. “Buy yourself a little camcorder or even your phone and a tripod, and just practice. Practice alone, practice with friends as well, and other people who want to do video,” Ivan says. “That’s how you’re going to start feeling comfortable with anything.”

Another tip? Reach out to folks who are doing video well and ask them for advice. Then once you’re a video whiz, help other agents who ask you for help.

So, How Do I Actually Film These Videos?

Ivan and Brian both suggest investing in a videographer if you can, because you’ll save time and also get a more polished product. “It typically doesn’t have to be that much money,” Brian says. “On ours we spend anywhere from $400 to $1,200 for a video, and if we have a larger listing, it’ll be greater than that.”

He even suggests using Facebook Live or Instagram Stories to share live video content right from your phone, which won’t drain your budget: “Maybe it’s a behind-the-scenes of a photo shoot or at an event. And those types of videos, we just want to make sure they’re clean in the sense that they’re not super shaky or poor-quality audio.”

And if you’re worried about budget, Ivan even suggests putting some of that mailer money into video instead.  

“Instead of spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on mailers,” Ivan says, “I decided to invest that into video, which has a much longer lifespan. It sits on YouTube, it sits on Facebook, and people can always watch and go back and see it again.”

How Do I Share These Videos?

Ivan suggests BombBomb for sending video content via email, and the traditional social media channels and YouTube. With BombBomb, “you’re able to integrate video into emails and people can play them from their smartphones, from their tablets, from their home computers,” Ivan told us. “It’s very easy to do and it’s very inexpensive.”

He also does targeted Facebook marketing so he can focus his dollars on people of specific ages with specific interests who are most likely to buy his properties.

To hear more about this topic, check out Snapshot episodes #74 and #53.

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