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Real Estate Video Tips: A Comprehensive Guide for 2021

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by Kyle Handy       Updated February 5, 2021

Video is key to a successful content marketing strategy. And yet, most realtors do not take advantage of it. In this post, I will share the best real estate video tips that you can use to create quality videos and grow your real estate business.

What We’ll Cover:

  • Why Use Video
  • Types of Real Estate Video
  • How to Film
  • How to Edit
  • Which Platforms To Use
  • Have a Strategy
  • Keyword Research
  • Additional Resources

Why Use Video

There are very few real estate agents that are using video to capture their market. This makes it a huge opportunity for any realtor for a number of reasons:

  • Video is the quickest way for you to build relationships and gain trust with your clients.
  • You increase the chances that you will be discovered and your content will rank organically, quickly.
  • People will start reaching out to you instead of you constantly having to prospect and try and draw them in.
  • Your clients will view you as an authoritative voice in the field
  • Look more professional
  • Stand out from the competition
  • Videos are more powerful than photos

Types of Real Estate Video

Listing Videos

Videos are a great way to get your listings promoted to the most amount of people. Listing videos should be anywhere from two to five minutes long. You can either have it professionally done or just make it yourself.

Explainer Videos

One of the best real estate video tips is to create a library of videos on popular topics that buyers and sellers are interested in. You’ll want to do this for a couple of purposes. 

First, so that your content can rank organically on Google, and people can discover you through it.

Second, if you have a question that your clients ask you all the time, it's easier to create a

three to five minute video explaining it. Then, you have that link ready to share with other clients who ask that question in the future.

Examples of explainer videos include:

  • Things You Must Know When Living in _________
  • The 5 Pros and Cons of Moving to __________
  • Frequently Asked Questions When Moving to ___________
  • How Much Does It Really Cost to Live in ___________

Neighborhood or Area Summary Videos

For these videos, provide a six to twelve month overview of five top zip codes, neighborhoods, towns, or cities in your area.

You could also look at the history of that zip code and what it’s looked like over the past five years, and cover some of the different types of things that people are interested in that zip code. For example, great shopping, restaurants, schools, or whatever is unique in that area.

Live Video

Your videos don't always have to be highly produced to be successful. With a live video, you just turn on your camera, film your video, and put it up with no extra work involved.


Another reason why live videos are a great choice is that right now Facebook organically promotes live video above every other type of content on their site.

Live video is especially good for behind-the-scenes videos, and for creating a more personal connection with your audience.

Video Messages

Video messages are a great way to build relationships with your clients. For example, when somebody’s birthday comes up, you can really stand out from your competition by creating a  short video message rather than just sending a text or posting on social media.

There are some programs you can use to do this, such as BombBomb, which is a video emailing platform that you can use to create simple 10-20 second videos.

How to Film

Audio

When it comes to real estate video tips, the audio is actually the most important aspect to be aware of when filming. Having good audio is even more crucial than the video quality itself.

To that end, investing in a good mic is extremely important, even if you’re just taking videos with your phone. Some good options are:

Lighting

Another one of the most important real estate video tips is lighting. One of the best things you can do is just be aware of the natural light in your filming area, whether inside or outside.

For times when you’re filming indoors and need a little extra light or if you’re filming at night, use a ring light or softbox.

When you need to take something with you on the go, use an Aperture LED Mini Light. This can attach directly to your camera or be propped up anywhere you need it.

Video Equipment

Simply using your phone or starting with whatever you have, even if it’s old or outdated, is a good place to start because you want to make sure you can upload videos consistently before you go out and spend thousands of dollars on video cameras and fancy equipment. If you can’t be consistent using your phone, you probably won’t with a camera either, so you’ll just end up wasting all that money.

Webcam

If you plan to be creating mostly stationary explainer style videos, using a webcam is a good option.  One recommendation is this generic 1080p Webcam from Amazon.  1080p is typically more than enough quality for most real estate videos.

However, if you plan to be on the go or want to shoot videos outside of your office/studio setup, you’ll need to look into either a quality camera or smartphone setup.

Cameras

There are essentially three types of cameras: Point and shoot, DSLR, and mirrorless. The best one for you will depend on how big of a camera you need. If you’re looking for something smaller, you could look at a point and shoot.  However, with a point and shoot you’re limited to the lens that comes on the camera and they cannot be swapped.  A good middle ground between size and function I feel is a mirrorless camera.

The other thing you’ll need to decide is full-frame vs cropped sensor.  A full-frame camera will do better in low-light situations and produce a slightly higher image quality compared to cropped sensor cameras.  Although newer crop sensor cameras can still produce extremely high 4K content.

There are several wonderful Canon options:

Another great company is Sony, which I use personally. Some great Sony cameras are:

Lenses

One thing to note for all of these cameras is that you should avoid using the kit lens that it comes with because they won’t give you the best quality. If you can, just buy the camera body to save money and then purchase a lens separately.

Particularly if you’re going to be vlogging or shooting interiors of houses, you’ll want something wide-angle, which means a lens that’s 16 to 20mm in focal length.

However, lenses can tend to be expensive. You can find cheaper off brands such as Tamron and Sigma that work just as well.

You also want to find a lens with a fixed aperture. Avoid lenses that have a range for Aperture, such as f4 - f5.6,  and instead, look for a singular number of f4 or lower. An aperture of f4 will give you a blurred background look in your videos. The higher the aperture (lower number), such as f2.8, the more blurred the background will be.

Also, as long as the mount is the same, you can use most full-frame and cropped sensor lenses interchangeably on full-frame and cropped sensor camera bodies.  However, be aware that using a cropped sensor lens on a full-frame camera body will give you a black circular outline around your image unless you have a cropped mode within your camera settings. 

Also, the focal length will change if you put a full-frame lens on a crop sensor.  For example, most crop sensors are 1.5x magnification so a full-frame 18mm lens would actually be 27mm on a crop sensor.  So to get your desired wide-angle you’d need to go even smaller of a focal length if using this type of setup.

The lens I use personally is the Tamron 17-28mm f2.8 on my full-frame mirrorless Sony A7C.  This gives me a true 17-28mm focal length which is ideal for the style of video I shoot.

Drones

Drones are great for certain video shots. Since they’ve grown in popularity, they’ve become easier for the average person to operate, and there are usually sensors that protect them from crashing.

The one I use is the DJI Mavic 2 Pro. It’s small and compact and puts out extremely high-quality video. However, the drone I recommend to most starting videographers and drone pilots is the DJI Mini 2.  This drone packs a ton of tech and quality into one of the smallest drones on the market.

Internet Connection

For live videos, make sure you have a strong internet connection. Otherwise, it doesn’t even matter if you have high-quality audio and video.

If you’re outside somewhere and you only have one or two bars, wait to film until you move to someplace with a stronger connection.

If you can, film your video somewhere with Wi-Fi. If you use Wi-Fi, it’s better to have a wired connection rather than wireless to make sure your video quality is as smooth as possible.

For live videos, it’s important that you check your upload speed as opposed to your download speed. Try to have at least 1 megabyte of upload speed for optimal live streaming.

How to Edit

Hiring a professional to edit your videos can be costly, so it’s worth it to learn how to do it yourself.

I use Final Cut Pro X to edit my videos, but you can use any program, such as InShot, LumaFusions, or iMovie. All of these programs can be used directly on your phone, so you don’t need a fancy editing setup.

If you’re going to be editing on your computer, Final Cut Pro X or Adobe Premiere is the best option, but they’re more advanced.

When it comes to video length, your video should be as short as possible while still getting the point across. While people enjoy watching videos, not many of them are willing to sit down and watch a 50-minute video. Try to keep your videos to 15 minutes or less for YouTube and 2 minutes or less for Facebook and Instagram.

Which Platforms to Use

There are two categories of platforms to publish your video content to: 

  • Evergreen 
  • Promotional

Evergreen platforms are the best because you can post your content and have it work for you over a long period of time. These are platforms like your blog or YouTube channel.

For example, you might create a video today and it'll get searched eight months down the road.

As you add more videos and build up a library, the better your results will be for your brand and lead generation because people can continually discover you through that content.

Promotional platforms on the other hand are great for short periods of time but then engagement falls off over time. Promotional platforms are social media networks like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

The best way to utilize these two different categories of publishing platforms is to post your content on your evergreen platforms, and then promote that content on your social media channels. For example, if you post a video on YouTube, link to it on Facebook.  

Try not to duplicate content on multiple networks, instead point each network to your main evergreen platform.  For me, I like to create trailers or teaser videos on my social networks and publish the full video on YouTube.

Have a Strategy

One of the best real estate video tips is to have a concrete strategy. To figure this out, first think about what’s motivating you to film videos and what your desired outcome is.

Are you doing this so you can gain knowledge? Or is your goal to keep buyers and sellers informed? Or are you just wanting to increase your organic traffic?

Then, decide how you will start.  Will you start with keyword research to find out what people are looking for? Or do you already have some topics in mind that you know you want to cover first, based on your past experiences with your clients?

Next, come up with a posting schedule and stick to it consistently.

Keyword Research

No list of real estate video tips would be complete without mentioning keyword research. This should be the first step you take before filming your video. There are tools that can help you, such as KWFinder, which shows you what people are searching for on Google.

Use the tool to see what the demand is for a particular zip code, area, or topic that you are interested in filming. Then, create a list of keywords and then just work down the list starting with what is most in demand.

If you're looking for a keyword research tool specifically for YouTube, the best one is called TubeBuddy.

It can be a good idea to use both tools, because sometimes you’ll find a keyword on kwFinder.com that might have a lot of competition, and then find the same keyword on Tube Buddy with less competition. This would mean that a YouTube video would be a highly effective way to target this keyword.

Additional Resources

You can teach yourself more real estate video tips by watching photography and videography videos on YouTube. Utilize these resources to answer any questions and improve your skills.

Below are the photography and videography channels I recommend:

Final Thoughts on Real Estate Video Tips

One of the most important real estate video tips is to just start now with the equipment that you have. Remember it’s easy to feel discouraged because it takes a while before your content will start gaining traction.

Some people hope that they can put out one video and start seeing traction after a week or a month. When this doesn’t happen, they become discouraged and stop posting.

Realistically, your video marketing strategy is something you have to commit to for at least a year, and possibly longer, before you start seeing any real success. So don’t give up!

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