A picture may tell a thousand words, but a well-produced, marketed video of a home for sale can lead to a faster sale worth thousands more. That’s the belief among many real estate professionals who continue to urge their clients to use the power of video to help buy or sell a property.
Consider that 92 percent of homebuyers today use the Internet in their home searches, according to a recent poll by the National Association of Realtors. Now consider how popular videos for real estate listings have become: RKS Marketing reports that 70 percent of homebuyers look for a video either on a website, Facebook or YouTube, and a study published by Google and the NAR last year revealed that 51 percent of homebuyers watched a video as part of their research before buying.
“Buyers often are previewing homes on the Internet prior to their initial contact with a real estate agent,” says Debra Kroon, real estate agent with Yosemite West Real Estate, Inc., Oakhurst, Calif. “They’re looking for good, representative visuals of the home, which includes virtual tours and videos.”
A video can increase the number of people willing to invest time in a physical tour of the home. Kroon adds: “It will also eliminate in advance those who do not care for particular aspects of the home.”
Scott Gray, agent with Rossetto Realty, LLC, Milwaukee, says consumers today have higher expectations when it comes to buying higher-cost items like a residence.
“Video offers an effective way to offer consumers a sneak peek of a property before they step foot inside of it,” Gray says. Previewing homes via video beforehand can help narrow down choices and allow the buyer to make a faster decision.
Home-for-sale videos today are typically shot and created by the real estate agent, a member of his or her team or a professional service outsourced by the real estate agency.
“There are several different approaches to videoing a home. You can have your agent’s photographer come out and take professional pictures that only show the home’s best features, and then they piece the pictures together and move them around to look like a video,” says Anna Marie Barnard, principal and broker with Sand and Sea Realty, San Diego.
Another method is to take footage while driving up to the property and walking into the home, accompanied by either verbal or subtitled narration. “This way, the buyer feels like they just walked through an open house,” she says.
Another technique is to conduct an on-camera Q&A between the agent and client.
“Authenticity sells, and so does sincerity. To be most believable, the agent should discuss the possibility of featuring the homeowner in an interview-style video, as first-hand testimonials are a powerful way to connect with potential buyers,” Gray says.
Experts say the video should always include the living or great room, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, exterior views of the front and yard and special features such as a fireplace, ornamental windows and architectural features.
While you should leave the marketing and distribution of the video to your real estate professional, posting the video on your own social media accounts and sharing the links with friends and family doesn’t hurt, says Ellen Mitchel, owner and agent with RE/MAX Executive Realty, Hollywood, Fla.
“Casting a wide net is key, as you never know what resource your buyer will originate from,” says Mitchel, who adds that it’s important to select an agent who has experience in creating and marketing home-for-sale videos.
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