Release Your Inner Spielberg

By |2017-11-22T14:00:16+00:00November 22nd, 2017|

Today’s buyers and renters value the “realness” of video more than ever. Not only that, they also want these videos to be accessible and easy to find, especially through social media channels. But how can a leasing agent with no videography experience create these types of videos that will resonate with their prospects?

Easily!

Creating real and social-media quality videos is easily achieved with the help of the increasingly powerful mobile video capabilities. With a few tips, tricks and best practices, anyone can release their inner Spielberg and become a video pro in no time! 

Why is Video Important?

Before we get into those tips, tricks and best practices, let’s talk a minute about why you should even care and why video is so important for you and your team. Video used to be a great ‘nice-to-have’ tactic in a marketer’s toolbox. Not anymore. According to Hubspot, over 1/3 of all online activity is watching video. Specifically, buyers and renters vastly prefer video when it comes to selecting a new home. Real estate listings that include video receive 403 percent more inquiries than those without and where these videos are housed is just as important. 64 percent of customers were influenced to make a purchase decision by watching a video on Facebook and 92 percent of mobile video consumers share videos they view with others. Those are all pretty staggering statistics. 

What Does it Take to Release Your Inner Spielberg?

  1. No one needs to be a fully trained videographer to make a quality video. Even Spielberg himself dropped out college. 33 years later he was able to finally finish his degree using Schindler’s list as a student project. All that to say, what one really needs to get started making videos is a smartphone or tablet and a ‘go-get-em’ attitude.
  2. Even Spielberg understood that the value of today’s videos is in the realness. People value real life and the experiences it brings, both good and bad, over highly produced, edited pieces. In particular the highly sought after Millennial and Gen Z real estate market values real, transparent video over artistic, produced video. The lesson here? Keep it real.
  3. This may seem like a simple one, but turn the camera horizontal when filming. Rotating into landscape mode will better capture what you’re looking to showcase and plays back full screen for screens of all sizes. There are few scenarios where portrait (vertical) filming will provide more value than landscape. Just say no to vertical videos.
  4. Above all, make the video interesting and catered to your audience.
    1. Include music that is interesting, but not over powering — and be careful of copyright infringement. You can’t just throw Beyonce’s latest track on there and get away with it.
    2. Give a little context to the video by talking viewers through it in a voice that they can relate to – meaning don’t be too stiff or rehearsed. Just be yourself.
    3. If there are special features to call out that don’t make sense to verbalize, use captions. 39 percent of viewers are more likely to finish a video with subtitles – particularly if turning up the volume isn’t an option.
    4. Find times to pan the room – give viewers the perspective of being IN the room and looking around themselves. However…slow…down. Too often, mobile video shooters run through their shoot and the end results will usually make their viewers sick .
  5. Gadgets can also help. As mentioned above, today’s mobile devices are highly sophisticated; however, a few affordable gadgets can make them even better.
    1. Consider a battery operated gimbal for professional level anti-shake in the palm of your hands. These ranges from $100 to over $400, but the end results are astonishing.
    2. A very easy add on to best capture your space is a wide angle lens. Skip the fish eye and go wide angle. It provides the most realistic picture and truly helps provide full dimension to your filming. 
    3. If you’ll be speaking during your video, a lav mic or clip-on boom mic will significantly increase the quality of your audio. Tired of wind noise? Not a worry with these add-on mics. 

How to Use All of This in The ‘real’ Real Estate World

All of these tips may sound amazing in theory – and being Spielberg would be awesome. But you may still be wondering how this actually translates into real life leasing for your multifamily property.

Easily put…videos will help you and your team in two major ways – connect with prospective residents and engage with existing ones.

Connect with Prospects

  • Each prospective resident is unique. They each have different needs, will have different questions and will likely care about seeing different things during their decision-making process. With practice, creating personalized videos for new leads will become a breeze and not only show them exactly what they want to see, but will truly differentiate your community from the rest with such personalized service. 
  • When a lead comes in and you find out they’re interested in a 2 bed / 2 bath unit with the lease starting next month, send them videos of your available 2 bed / 2 bath units immediately before they ever step foot on your property. By them previewing those units before visiting in person, they’ll come to the property at a different decision-making level. 
  • People forget things. It happens. To alleviate repeat showings for prospects, send them a video of the apartments that they toured in person as a reminder that they can watch…then rewatch…then share with family and friends…and ultimately fall in love with.
  • People can also be horrible with directions. Especially if they’re new to town. Make sure your prospective residents know where to park when they come to visit by sending them parking instructions via a video making sure they know exactly where to go.
  • As mentioned above, video can be used to truly differentiate your level and quality of service. In highly competitive markets, the impression you leave could be the one thing that makes someone stay versus leave for the apartment down the street. Send a personal follow up and thank you video to prospects after their tour or them signing a lease. Make it personal and be yourself. As a follow up to their tour, this is also a great opportunity to discuss any issues or open questions they may have voiced during their tour.

Engage Residents

  • Having issues with residents not picking up their pet’s waste or parking where they shouldn’t be? Instead of sending an email or sliding a flyer under everyone’s doors, create a video re-enforcing the proper procedures and desired outcome.
  • Doing construction at the property? This can be a major inconvenience for residents. Be upfront with your communication and keep people in the loop with video updates of construction progress. Not only will it keep people happy knowing what’s going on, but it will also build buy in from residents along the way. 
  • Throwing a resident event or party? Create a fun video promoting the event to send or post as an invitation, and create a video of the event to showcase it for the next year’s event or on your community’s social media. 
  • Have residents nearing their renewal? Video can be a great way to unobtrusively engage with them to start the renewal conversation. If you know they would like a larger place, send them videos showcasing available units that are larger. Have they not been happy with their view? Send them videos showcasing better views. Be personal in these videos and let them know how valued of a resident they have been.
  • When it comes to what can really convince a prospective resident to sign their lease, current resident testimonials can make all the difference. Make your existing residents feel appreciated and valued by allowing them to voice their opinions on video, then get their permission to use those videos for leasing purposes. Showcasing happy residents can be a huge asset for multifamily communities. 

It may seem like there are a lot of moving parts and necessary things to do in order to release your inner Spielberg, but it really can be as easy as pulling out what is always in your purse or pocket and beginning to film. There are things like Fair Housing to ensure you are being compliant with, but that’s another issue for another day. Take the above tips and tricks to heart, get to practicing, and before you know it you’ll be producing videos even Spielberg himself would be proud of. 

 Until next time…keep it real!

About the Author:

I was fortunate enough to flip my first house the Summer before Senior year in high school and ever since real estate and entrepreneurship have been my passions. I get to live out both of those passions every day by helping real estate professionals from around the world market, advertise, lease, and sell their properties and spaces in new, innovative ways using video.

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  1. […] production crew – or a massive budget. It’s as simple as grabbing the nearest phone or tablet, channeling your inner Spielberg, and creating videos that will differentiate your property from all the rest. But, it’s also […]

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