How it all started.
The year was 2010. We launched our very first property video. I had purchased a Canon Handycam of some sort and I remember it had a flip-out screen so that I could turn it around to the lens side and see myself. I walked through that dark and dingy circle house and told you all about the obvious things that you could see even if I had not told you about it. The footage was so noisy and grainy and I doubt I had an external mic. Then I put it on the $20 tripod that I bought at Walmart and I set up with the house in the background where I’d talk all about the great location and neighborhood.
At the time I spent every night watching editing tutorials from a course I had purchased online and taught myself how to use Sony Vegas editing software.
We were so proud because there was virtually no one in the South East using video to market their listings. More accurately speaking there probably wasn’t 1-2 in the US that we were aware of and there most certainly wasn’t anyone doing it in-house. That video was the most hideous video ever done! It is doubtful that anyone besides us and our client ever actually watched it until the very end!
Little did we know that our journey had begun.
We’ve been tutored by one of the best videographers on the planet from most likely the largest Real Estate Video production company on the planet based out of Australia, shot multi-million dollar properties in the Las Vegas Market as well as a timelapse of the sunrise over the Las Vegas strip from an all-inclusive double guard gated highrise condo with valet parking ONLY! I still don’t know how we got in with all of our equipment!
In our Brevard office, we’ve got a full studio available for our agents with professional backdrops and lighting. We are currently on our 5th full-time videographer and we were also the first to scene with drones (maybe even before we were supposed to 😉). We’ve got the latest drone technology with both wide-angle and zoom lenses and an FAA drone pilot’s license along with the latest Apple Computers and Adobe Premiere Pro Video Editing Software. We’ve invested nearly $70,000 in professional-grade equipment. Put it this way, there are many professional commercial video companies that have a fraction of our equipment, technology, and skill. To say we take video seriously would be an understatement.
How hard is it?
While it has taken us years to master this craft, our goal is for our agents to step right into it and look professional and represent their clients with top-shelf video marketing from day 1. While we believe there is no substitute for what video brings to the table we also know that it is a completely different skill set than what an agent needs to be spending their time learning to do. The last thing a successful agent needs to be doing is learning how to use cameras, lighting, editing software, and how to present themselves on camera all at the same time. A successful agent makes money when they are in front of people. PERIOD! They are either spending their time looking for opportunities or they are in front of PEOPLE. Anything less, no matter how expensive or cheap, is the wrong activity.
And, bad video or bad audio is worse than not using video at all.
We also believe that an agent will do approximately 100 very bad videos before they can do them well. So, we recommend you get started! 😉 Or let us do it for you and avoid the heartache.
Please take a look at the bottom of this blog post. I have two recent property videos that I am so proud of.
The first one is hosted by Farrah Baynard. She has been a real estate investor as well as a contractor for many years but she is relatively new to representing clients in buying and selling. We spent a few minutes writing a script and then our videographer helped her to feel comfortable and carry herself properly on camera. This was her very first video and it’s among the best that I’ve ever seen.
The second one is hosted by Diane Luebbers. Diane is a very experienced agent. She recently joined our company and one of the main reasons was that she wanted to start using video. Sadly, she joined just 3 days before I was scheduled to go to the Keys for vacation with my wife so I wasn’t able to help her. She spent some time watching videos from our other agents and our videographer helped her do her part when I returned she had launched her very first property video. That video came out amazing!
Some agents see our videos and think to themselves that is way too hard and they’d never be able to do it. That simply isn’t true. We have the people and coaching to make sure your part looks great and we do the rest for you. You drop by the property for less than 30 minutes and less than a week later you are the hero!
Why is the agent in the video? Is it not about the house?
I have heard people make comments like “they just have an ego and like to see themselves on camera”. (In fairness it’s usually another agent that can’t do what we do) I can tell you that this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, it’s like pulling teeth trying to convince some agents that they need to get in front of the camera. No one likes the way they look and sound on camera. Trust me when I tell you that most agents avoid using video because they do not want to be on camera. However, what we’ve learned is that once they see the results they are all in. I also have a little secret that I think is the appropriate time to tell you. When your clients meet you for the first time, they will see exactly what you look like and hear exactly what you sound like so you might as well get this part over with!
When I see a property video that has no agent and no narration, I am looking at an agent (or rather NOT looking at an agent 😉) that does not understand video marketing. Sure the main purpose is to sell our client’s property, to tell the story that can’t be told in 3-400 character MLS remarks. Most of the buyer’s agents just open the door without really knowing much about the property and the video gives our agent, the one that the seller hired to sell their house, the opportunity to tell the story and sell the house to those buyers and their agent. Please explain to me how a slideshow of the photos that you have in the MLS with a backdrop of Beethoven’s 5th symphony is going to help sell anyone’s house?
And we aren’t going to lie. Everyone knows that future home sellers will look at an agent’s marketing to determine whether that agent is one that they should interview to sell their house. So yes, it doubles as an agent commercial, but hey, what can I say, we are the ones paying for the marketing right.
If not now, when?
I told you our story and how it began in 2010. It wasn’t easy to get to where we have marketing that is among the best in the world. There may be better property videos out there but they are most likely because of the subject matter. Luxury markets have luxury houses and those videos will look better than our videos for the average home in Western NC. But what can I say? We take pride in the fact that we can offer this level of marketing to each and every client no matter what their price range is. It’s expensive to sell a house. If your house is $2m it is expensive to sell your house to you. If your house is $250,000 it’s expensive to sell the house to you. Our clients deserve the best, no matter what their price range is. They deserve the full arsenal! They deserve professional photography because first impressions happen only once. They deserve a professional video hosted by their agent because we can raise the perceived value and tell the story that no one else can tell and we wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to tell. They deserve a 3D tour so their buyer in another state feels comfortable making a contract with a high due diligence fee, sight unseen. They can walk through, zoom in and even measure. They deserve these things even in this market. Yes even now when a house will sell without it.
If you believe that you should do your best at everything you do. If you believe that spending a few hundred dollars to get your clients many thousands of dollars more then you know what I am talking about here. And the fact that our agents have all these tools at their disposal at wholesale pricing along with coaching on how to use them doesn’t hurt either.
When Covid hit we saw agents scrambling around trying to figure it out because the time had finally come that Not doing a video was no longer an option. We saw some terrible videos. We saw some agents really damage their brands.
You’ve known for years that you needed to be all-in on video. You’ve heard the coaches and gurus preaching it from the mountaintops but you also know how hard it really is. We do too, trust me!
Maybe you are ready for the boutique experience?
If you’re considering a change in brokerage, I’d love to share with you what we do to encourage, support, and inspire our agents to build the business of their dreams in every market environment.
We are looking to add growth-oriented, relationship-driven agents to our company/family right now!
Please reach out to me. I’d love the opportunity to see if we might have the tools, technology, and growth-oriented culture you need to build the business of your dreams.