RTRE 62 – Video Marketing in Real Estate

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Video marketing is a common discussion among real estate agents right now. Today we discuss some of the things to avoid during when video marketing listings in real estate.

reThink Real Estate Podcast Transcription

Audio length 23:49

RTRE 62 – Video Marketing in Real Estate

[music] [Chris] Welcome to re:Think Real Estate, your educational and hopefully entertaining source for all things real estate, business, news and tech. 

[Christian]: I am Christian Harris in Seattle, Washington.

[Nathan]: Hi, I am Nathan White in Columbus, Ohio.

[Chris]: And I am Chris Lazarus in Atlanta, Georgia. Thanks for tuning in. 

[music] [Chris]: Hey everybody and welcome back to re:Think Real Estate. I’m Chris here with Christian and Nate. And today we’re talking about…Nate what are we talking about? 

[Nathan]: What are we talking about? Listing videos and…

[Chris]: Listing videos. We’re talking about listing videos today. 

[Nathan]: We’re gonna be talking about listing videos. What’s great about this episode, I think is, I’m not gonna be talking a lot, because I don’t do listing videos. So that’s…that’s great. But Mr. Harris here is…is really…God he…what’s the proper…he got a wild hair posses on this one. It was brought up I guess. [laughter] [Christian]: Oh boy. 

[Nathan]: He has got has got some strong opinions people. About these listing videos and so I mean… I guess I have opinions. It’s you don’t need to do them. But I guess if you’re gonna do them we’re gonna let Christian talk about what you should do and shouldn’t do. As we always talk about I guess on our podcast. I’m actually intrigued to hear what he’s got to say. Because maybe I’ll learn something since it’s not something I ever venture into. So Christian you want to talk about listing videos and…and how they’re done. Right. or how they’re done wrong? Or maybe it’s about content but you got some strong opinions. But what got this wild hair up, you know, to be so “eick” about it? [laughter] [Christian]: I don’t know how much of a wild hair. But, I mean, Nate so what do you do to market your listings? Because that’s when I say listing videos, I’m using it as a general term the agents use to market their listings.

[Christian]: Well I tell all my clients up front too that if somebody comes in here and tells you they’re gonna market their home, well I’m gonna tell them “Dude that’s a [censored] word generally.” In our market, again we talked about this in the last two episodes, when I say our market here. You know what you have to do for marketing in Columbus? Put in MLS. It hits Trulia, Zillow, Redfin, boom boom boom boom boom. Right. great pictures I think are a giant, enormous and key.

I don’t see the need for video and unless it’s depending on the caliber of the home. Right. I could…could do it. And then I’ll segue. I think a lot of it depends on what you’re also charging the client. Right. But…marketing…you put it in…put it in MLS.. Right. now that’s about all you need to do. I mean…

[Christian]: OK so let me let me ask you so what…so if you believe that all agents marketing is automatic, what value are you bringing your clients? What do you actually do for your clients that other agents don’t do?

[Nathan]: Boom. I’m better at negotiating then I think about 90% of the people out there. I guide them through the process of preparation getting their home prepared to put it on the market. What may need to be done or not need to be done to that home. Right. 

[Christian]: So how’s that presented if you’re not doing a marketing? And you’re doing photos. Right. But everybody does photos.

[Nathan]: But yeah everybody does photos. But again everybody does photos, b ut there’s a difference in the quality of photos. Right. you got plenty of agents to walk in with their own camera or their iPhone and take photos, yeah. Right. 

[Chris]: Stay away from the Galaxy you all. Just…

[Nathan]: Yeah right. Or you have an agency and a professional photographer to photograph a home. Right. 

[Chris]: Which standard should be standard. 

[Nathan]: Should be but I would…

[Christian]: They can’t…[crosstalk] [Nathan]: 50% of agents in the Columbus market do not use professional photography. 

[Chris]: And Christian yes a photographer should be standard even on a vacant house.

[Christian]: Oh no it should be. That was a little throwback to our last episode about the value of staging, you know. Yep professional photos help a house. 

[Chris]: Photographer yes. Stager maybe not.

[Christian]: Right.

[Nathan]: And again I think it depends. Now what I do, I offer three options when I go on a listing presentation. You have a four percent of five percent and a six percent. Right. And they all vary with what you get for that amount of commission. Some people don’t want to spend six percent. Most people go towards a five. But…

[Christian]: So you give them options?

[Nathan]: I give them options yes. And a lot of people like…

[Chris]: It’s a menu.

[Nathan]: Yeah it’s a menu. Right. It’s no more. But I personally don’t believe video sells a house. Why? Didn’t [censored] sell a house 10 years ago. Why? Because they weren’t doing it. And things sold just fine. So…

[Christian]: Well I mean that’s…I mean it’s a, you know, you know, you don’t want to get into that topic because there wasn’t an internet ten years ago. And things have changed so…

[Nathan]: Right. So…

[Christian]: You know what that last brokerage said? “This is that we’ve done for 40 years, I’m not going to change it now.”

[Nathan]: Famous last words.

[Christian]: I don’t think that’s what you’re saying. I hope not. 

[Nathan]: No. But like so you say, well “What do you provide?” Well I also offer…I hate the word [censored] “discounted” but I will list your home and provide what generally is the same as any other agent, I just do it as a better rate. So but go back to your videos.

[Christian]: OK OK. I wasn’t…that was intended as a joke. As just kind of…

[Nathan]: No it’s OK. 

[Christian]: I wanted to hear what you thought was the value you provide. 

[Nathan]: Here is the other thing I provide. I provide them [censored] honesty because most real estate agents are [censored] liars. They won’t tell the truth. They’ll say anything to get the [censored] listing. I don’t know if I talked about it. Let me rant on this one. I just went, did a listing presentation, like three weeks ago. I don’t think I’ve talked about this. Right.Bbut the client walked me upstairs and I walked in the room and I went “Oh my God that [censored] wallpaper has got to go.”

[Christian]: Yep you mentioned that in the…

[Nathan]: Right.

[Chris]: Yeah that’s a good one. 

[Nathan]: Right. So yes she laughed. Right. And I said what’s so funny Jenny? She says “All the other agents came in here, just told me the room look beautiful. You’re the first one to tell me it’s ugly and I know it’s ugly.” Most people just don’t tell the truth.

[Chris]: Was that the dentist?

[Nathan]: Yes.

[Chris]: Yeah I remember that one. 

[Nathan]: What? What…what do you get? Right. You get pure honesty. You don’t like it? Than don’t [censored] hire me. Enough about that. [laughter] Let’s go back to…we were talking about videos. How do we get back to videos? This all started with videos.

[Chris]: Back to listing videos.

[Christian]: Right. 

[Chris]: Bring it in. 

[Christian]: We’ve believed at this point a little bit. Nat’s value is not in the marketing. And I’d say most agents’ value is in the market, because honestly it is pretty automatic, it’s pretty syndicated these days. And it’s something, you know, I tell my…my clients too. It’s like “Listen this is what an agent is gonna tell you. This is [censored]. This is, you know, this is…this is how it works.” I think my axe to grind when it comes to listing videos is that what most agents call listening videos are glorified slideshows.

Stop calling it virtual tour or a listing video.

[Chris]: Yeah we’re…we’re gonna give you a virtual tour.

[Christian]: A moving-picture is not a video with some you know, generic music over. That’s, you know, pet peeve of mine. I don’t know why people still pay for that, you know, because I’ll look on the MLS we have that virtual tour link. Right. Half the time I click on it some, you know, [censored] tour factory slideshow, with some crappy music go over. I’m like “What the [censored] is this? 

[Chris]: Like yeah for us its property panorama but it’s the same thing. Takes all your listing videos, automatically adds the background music and there you go. I’ve turned mine off in the MLS.

[Christian]: Yeah so that bugs me. So to me I think when it comes to marketing there’s two main things you can…you can do. And maybe three. I mean you could do a dedicated, you know, listing website. Which I think could be helpful, especially if you’re seller is gonna share it, you know, as opposed to sharing like the MLS link or something, which looks, at least for us, looks archaic and cheesy. So having a dedicated landing page can be a helpful tool. Something like Kingston Lane. Really cheap. They do a good job. Or doing like a Matter Ports [phonetics] for 3d tour. I still think that is really powerful as a way for people to do a walk-through without actually being there. So they get a good feel for the house which you…

[Chris]: Matter Ports is good.

[Christian]: Yeah so we use that on all our listings. If you’re gonna do video, I think you can either detract or enhance the house, to pay on how well it’s done. So I say for most agents is probably not what you want to do. One, it tends to be expensive if you do it right, because you’re gonna hire it out. If you do it yourself…you…you better be pretty damn good, you know. The reason I go with Matter Ports instead of videos, is because it allows the end user to control the experience. They get…it goes as fast as they want. They get to look at what they want. They’re not stuck with “Oh it’s a 30 second video and I didn’t get to see what I wanted in the house.” Or “It’s a 5 minute or 10 minute video and oh my God why is there five minutes of drone footage outside, before you get inside the house. I’m done.” They click off.

So the problem with video is that nowadays people want it quick. They want to see what they want to see. And so it can really shoot you in the foot if you’re not…if it’s not done well and it’s not done timely, it doesn’t have a specific point. But I do still think there’s definitely room for it. And…and there’s some great people out there doing some…some really cool stuff. 

Like I don’t know if you guys saw the listing video for Ryan Lewis’s house out here in Seattle. It’s, you know, thirty million dollars or some crazy mansion. And they basically hired a influencer to do a twenty minutes basically like a roast of his house, under the guise of he’s breaking and entering into Ryan Lewis’s house. It is as they’re making fun of it the whole…whole time through. And it’s hilarious. It doesn’t really good job to showcase the house.

In like a normal listing video I won’t last three seconds, and this thing, you know, watched all twenty minutes of it. Because it was funny. It was memorable. It’s an amazing house, you know, then, you know, some more grassroots people, they’re doing some amazing stuff with. Like Tim Macy, you know, our common Cameron, which we’ve had both them.

[Chris]: Yeah they’ve both been on the podcast.

[Christian]: Yeah but, you know, the RETV Facebook group is great for kind of forward-thinking, video focused content makers.

[Chris]: Erica Wolf just did a new tour of a home. 

[Christian]: Right. Yeah…yeah that was pretty…pretty funny. 

[Chris]: See those are the things that the MLS won’t allow as like listing videos though. Because with an MLS, at least in Georgia, for our listing tours it has to only be the property. So you can use Matterport or could do a video walkthrough, you can’t do anything creative on the MLS board. So that’s…that’s outside of our listing video territory. That’s social media marketing. That’s promotion…

[Christian]: This is if you want to stand out and actually provide something, not just as your own brand, but like if…if your clients want to be aligned with that outside-the-box viral video stuff, you know, I mean…I know like Phil Greeley, locally, he’s a Sotheby’s and he’s just double down on video. And he’s gotten some really high-end listings because he’s done some…yeah from like doing some amazing videos. That get some great traction, you know. Like that he wouldn’t have got that if he just did photos.

[Chris]: [inaudible] with Gary Vaynerchuk [phonetics].

[Christian]: Yeah I’m just saying…

[Chris]: And he was one of our first guests. 

[Christian]: Yes. But I’m just saying it’s not like it’s worthless.

[Chris]: No.

[Christian]: But if you’re gonna do it, do it right.

[Nathan]: Some people do like…what’s his name, The wolf of Whistler.

[Chris]: Wolf of Whistler?!

[Nathan]: Oh tell me you’ve seen it.

[Chris]: Oh I know what you’re talking about. Yeah. 

[Nathan]: Well I mean his is good. I mean, you know, it’s very much like a dollar shape for housing. But it was…I mean it’s catchy, it’s good, it gets people’s attention.

[Chris]: So let’s talk about quality of listing videos. Because Christiane you kind of got into it and I did a lot of Matter Port. I think Matterport is good spending the money when it’s not a seller’s market. When…when you don’t have to worry about, you know, the property being on the market more than 24 hours.

[Christian]: I just do it in all my listings. But I own the camera.

[Chris]: So out of Christian…

[Christian]: I am just saying it’s, you know, it’s part of what we offer. 

[Chris]: OK. I’m glad, you know, like staging is part of all your listings. I’m sure there’s exceptions.

[Christian]: If it makes sense. If it makes sense.

[Chris]: Yeah yeah it’s part of all my listings. So Matterport I’ve done. And…and I found that the Matterport increased the quality of the showings. Because by the time the people are coming out there, they’ve seen the property, over and over again. They’ve already walked the property over and over again. It’s decrease the number of showings before contract. And then during the contract period its decrease the number of walk throughs. Why? Because we’ve already got a diagram that has every measurement of the home that’s listed and it’s online. 

So we’ve got the entire floor plan of every floor of the house, that Matterport comes with. In addition to that they can continue to walk and do whatever they want. They can be screen shots and save the images. Whatever they need to do at night, in bed, kids are asleep. Whatever it is. Husband and wife. Whoever is buying the house can look at the property together or by themselves and just figure out where their furniture is gonna go, without coming back out to the house while it’s under contract. So it’s dramatically decreased the number of showings, but it’s also decreased the number of times the buyer has to come to the house. In substantially sized homes. 

Video. 100% has to be quality. I have fired video or content companies, for photo, Matterport, video. They do it all. I fired them because when I saw the video that they turned out, I can see the footprints in the video going up and down as the photographer’s walking through the freaking house. And it just drove me nuts because it’s like giving me motion sickness. And I know that my eye is better for that than like most of the public. And hardly anybody’s gonna notice. But I notice. That’s my brand. So that [censored], not acceptable.

It’s hard to find a good photographer. Somebody that can do video. Because they’ve got to have  the equipment. They’ve got to have the stabilizer. They’ve got to make it so like they’re walking through. They’re not like…

[Christian]: If you’re paying for it they better at least have a gimbal. So you…it doesn’t look like they’re walking, you know, bouncing walking through the house. I mean it’s a basic. You could buy one of those for 80 bucks yourself, you know. 

[Chris]: Well if you’re using it for an iPhone. But for a camera it’s not 80 bucks. 

[Christian]: Yeah I mean they’re more expensive. But my point is, you know, if you’re like that’s what you do, you better had the equipment for it.

[Chris]: Yeah absolutely. So I’ve got a great photographer in Georgia. His name is Keith Hirsch, Georgia home view. Best photographer in the state in my book. I’ve had a lot of people come across my desk and Keith is the only one that I’ve looked at and I’ve said “You know what? I can’t do this. That’s like…that’s way above like my…my level.” And I’ve been in a darkroom since I was 14. So I’ve been around a camera…

[Christian]: They locked you the closet? Under the stairs? 

[Chris]: Like developing, you know, each other.

[Christian]: Oh OK I thought you were talking about child abuse. OK. I’m sorry. [laughter] [Chris]: A real darkroom. Not Harry Potter’s bedroom.

[Christian]: Got you. OK.

[Chris]: So when I saw that, I got in. and he doesn’t have a gimble. He uses a shoulder rig or I think he’s got like one of those rigs for his camera, where you hold it with two hands. He’s just so good that it looks fluid. Like you can’t even tell. I asked him. I thought he shot the inside video with a drone, and he didn’t. It was just his camera and he was walking through the property.

Look the quality of your media reflects the quality of your work. That’s what you’re putting out there. If you’re putting out a free MLS provided, you know, flipbook, of the properties that you have, the pictures that you’ve already listed and just putting it to music, nobody’s gonna watch that. That’s a waste of time. And for you to market yourself and saying “This is a video. Like we’re gonna give we’re gonna give a video tour of the property too. We’re gonna turn all you have pictures into videos.” Welcome to 1997 like tech class in high school. Like that’s…that’s….we’re way beyond that.

[Christian]: Sure. Well and that’s why I like…I mean when I first got into real estate, you know, I pretty quickly started pushing back against kind of the idea, you know, a lot of agents were being told “Hey you just do something. Just get something out there. Get content out there.” Now I’m like “Well no you better think about it. Better get it right.” Because if you put bad content out there, that’s gonna hurt you worse than you if you had nothing out there, in some situations. Because…

[Chris]: It’s like that note, it’s like that saying “There’s no such thing as bad press.”

[Christian]: That not true. Well because I mean if…if I…if I did…Let’s say I did listing photos with my iPhone and you look like [censored] that’s not better than having one good picture up there. You know, or, you know, you know, and so far we’ve talked about like listing videos as far as like if you’re gonna do them do them, do them right, do them professionally. 

But if there’s…I think there’s also room for, you know, more on the social media side. For the Facebook lives, Instagram lives, you know, the walkthroughs, the impromptu type stuff. You know, that’s not gonna be professionally done edited, that’s in on the fly type of thing. There’s definitely room for that. But, you know, again have a purpose to it. Don’t just be, you know, talking to talk or going live to, you know, to do it. And yeah I don’t know.  What are you guys thoughts? Do you go live

[Chris]: Nate?

[Nathan]: No. Again…

[Chris]: [laughter] “No. Not me. I don’t do it.”

[Nathan]:  I think a lot of these…

[Christian]: I think in social media you can.

[Nathan]: I think a lot of what we do right now is all dependent upon your market. And were, you know, buy or seller market. What, you know, what you’re charging commission. I mean we talk about a lot of things. But a lot depends on what you charge. What condition is your market in. What…what’s the house like. How much…you know, let’s be honest, you know,  you’re not gonna stage one hundred thousand dollar house with three thousand dollars furniture. You know, staging. Right. So it’s all relative. 

It’s each…each situation is different. I am…like I said. I have not staged a house. I’ve not done video on a home. I do have one that I would consider doing video of. But I think a lot of it is overkill. It’s just my opinion. Whatever you do in whoever you use just make sure they’re reputable. Like here if I was to have video done, I’d called Joey…Joey T media. He does an awesome job and that’s who I would hire. Right out the gate. So just make sure, you know, whatever you do it’s…it’s professional. That’s…that’s kind of where I’m at with it.

[Chris]: You talked about Facebook live? And go and live on Facebook right now. Just as we’re gonna wrap up this episode.

[Nathan]: Oh God Almighty.

[Chris]: Oh God Almighty. Heaven forbid I go on Facebook live Nate. Like really. So I mean Christian I think you’ve got some great points when it comes to listing media and making sure that the video is quality. Not using the stupid slideshows of images and how we do the…like the property panorama. What is it? What’s the service that you have where you are?

[Christian]: I mean whether it’s a tool live or a factory. I mean if you wanna do a slideshow, do a slideshow. But don’t call it a listing video. You know.

[Chris]: Yeah. 

[Christian]: Don’t call it a virtual tour.

[Chris]: Yeah it’s a slideshow. It’s not a listing video. It doesn’t help market the property. Nobody’s gonna look at it. Make sure that the quality’s there. Or, you know, be like Nate and don’t do any of it. Just be honest and, you know, what’s your humor show. And there we go. [laughter] Christian is playing us back.

[Christian]:  I’m watching you live well recording this. 

[Chris]: Hey Christian Harris is watching. Bring them online. I’m not bringing you on camera Christian because…

[Christian]: No that would be bizarre. We have like us some time vortex.

[Chris]: Yeah be like…we will be looping back and forth for like minutes. So it’s…it’s important that we make sure that the quality of our marketing material is on par with the brand that we want to portray as our business. So, you know, any last words guys before we wrap this up?

[Nathan]: No I’m good.

[Christian]: Yeah….yeah I mean it’s I’d say for any service you provide, any marketing, I mean it really comes down to what are you doing for the client. You know, like do you have… is this intentional or you just kind of like throwing stuff out there? You know, so whether you choose to do video or not, whether you choose to state or not. What…you know, like however you do stuff. Like make it consistent. If, you know, and…and set the expectations up front. 

You know, if people are paying you to like be honest and, you know, you…you think all marketing is the same than hey or just, you know, say that out of the gate. You know, but if you think you really do something that kicks [censored] in marketing and that’s why they’re hiring you, hey make sure to emphasize that.

[Chris]: Yeah when…what…definitely. And I will reiterate that. When it comes to your marketing, it is your name, it is your brand, it is you building your business. And if you want to be good at it you need to focus on all of the aspects of your business. You need to make sure that that media that you’re putting out there to the public is a reflection of who you want to be. Period.

So alright everybody thank you so much for tuning in. this has been another episode of re:Think Real Estate. We’re so happy to have you on board. If you haven’t already, please go to re:Think Real Estate’s website which is rtre.podcast.com. Subscribe to the newsletter. You’ll get a notice every time a new episode drops. And please go on…find us on iTunes at re:Think Real Estate. Leave us a five star review. Tell us what you think about the website or about the podcast. You don’t even have it…you don’t even have to listen to us. For anybody that’s watching on Facebook live right now, just go and leave us a review. We’ll be happy.

[Christian]: I think. I’m the only one live now. 

[Chris]: Yeah one person that’s watching live right now. More people will see it later. They’re always watching the recaps. So thank you so much. We will see you next week. 


[Chris]: Thanks for tuning in this week’s episode of the re:Think Real Estate Podcast. We would love to hear your feedback so please leave us a review on iTunes. Our music is curtesy of Dan Koch K-O-C-H, whose music can be explored and licensed for use at dankoch.net. Thank you Dan. Please like, share and follow. You can find us on Facebook at Facebook.com/rethinkpodcast. Thank you so much for tuning in everyone and have a great week.