Daily Archives: September 14, 2013

How making Real Estate Videos can help Small Agencies seem Large.

In Trinidad and Tobago the demand for Real Estate Videos is growing, at least in my observation. This phenomenon is due in part to the fact that the industry continues to splinter and agents of yesterdays’ agency, is tomorrows’ agency owner. Properties are also continually being added to the market, and lastly, investors are looking more to purchasing properties as investment instruments, over mutual funds or fixed accounts; with all this movement in all areas of the industry, it’s no wonder there is interest anew in having better marketing tools utilized in the marketing of new listings.

Online Marketing

Today , the idea of visiting a website for information and even initial contact is a common option and is often utilized by consumers and browsers on the local real estate market. That means that agents are now driven to get new content, which traditionally means more and more properties to be listed. However the habit of agents to co-broker deals can throw a wrench into these plans. When a few different agents co-broker on a few different properties, the problem becomes repetition for the consumer.

As you can agree, when someone is on the market, they always speak to more than one agent. The client then speaks to three or four agents that are either sharing the same social spheres and relying on word or mouth, or relying on recommendations of past clients, and eventually end up all presenting the same options to the clientele. This can falsely lead to clients thinking that there is a limited number of properties on the market, or some other incorrect conclusion.

In reality this can be solved by considering the increase in content to not only be volume, but also in the depth of the information given. Instead of only listing a property with the same images that all other agents on the co-brokering agreement with you already have, agents are now considering having a video produced for these listings.

Real Estate Marketing Utilizing Digital Publishing

The trick to Real Estate Videos, like any other type of marketing tool, is distribution. The more eyeballs you have, the more opportunity to have your product sold. Videos break through social spheres, ages, economic or geographic demographics and more, simply because they are prepared and distributed as digital content on a world wide web platform. Like the blog, a video can be published from my desktop, and instantly shared, liked, embedded or otherwise distributed,  often using  third party assistance.

Like the video on facebook? As soon as you do, your friends will see it, and they may comment, then their friends see it, all with the click of one button, Then if we embed internet breadcrumbs like active links and ping backs etc, the distant viewer who the initial publisher never met, can immediately be taking back to the initial video source, the agents website! Brilliant eh!

Rights to Publish

Another tool the agents are utilizing is the age old television and broadcast agreement platform. A property is privately owned. This means for a crew to gain access and shoot on location, within the property or compound, there must be an agreement in place authorizing the crew to shoot, and more importantly to broadcast the content. Usually the area of distribution, the duration, or life of the broadcast and other details are included into the agreement.

Be Savvy about your Digital Content

The savvy agent will understand the benefits of the publishing agreement and present that the agreement includes them into it. As such, they essentially gain exclusive possession of that video content and its distribution vis the avenues identified in the agreement.  Simply put, if the agent is branded in these property videos, they are the only agents that can benefit from it; so where ever that video goes, its a calling card right to their doorstep. Nifty stuff.







Shooting Real Estate Outdoors, in the “Rainy Season”

I have recently been asked to film a bunch of new properties on the market. As is expected, every shoot has to make the property looks its best, while giving a true representation of the location, condition, features and other sometimes subtle or overlooked things…….. like the view. To do this, the exterior has to be filmed and sometimes the surroundings and landmarks also make the cut.

However, I have been having a great challenge recently with the unpredictable weather we are having in Trinidad. The weather can go from sunny and clear skies, to stormy and lightning in a matter of minutes, making filming a challenge for those picturesque videos scenes. Im sure many others in photography and video work will agree that this can be a time consuming and even costly factor, when considering assistants, bookings lost and the other aspects that are required for a good shoot.

My solution? I have regulated my shooting down to two times of the day and tried to limit my shooting to two properties per day, sometimes that has been as many as four locations in a day, weather and traffic permitting. Ten AM and two PM, I’ve found that this is just when the sun is where I can do outdoor shooting, but also just after morning traffic and just before the evening traffic rush. Also, if the day starts off clear, it usually takes a turn for the worse just after these times… Any earlier than that and you would have noticed the bad weather from the beginning of the day and made it an editing day in studio instead.

Also, the sun can be extremely hot and bright just an hour or two before the weather changes for some reason, I’m sure the scientists can explain why , so in an attempt to solve this, I recently started using special UV and other filters on my lenses. Can I say, this has helped a lot and going from Broadcast Cameras to DLSRs for filming has also increased the number of lenses that I can use on a shoot, all adding to the lighting control I have and the look of the video with no post production, but those details are for another article.

All in all, It’s a fantastic feeling to get a great shot of a person’s home, sometimes when they see the video, they say they have “never seen it look so good”. This makes me, as an always learning videographer and television producer, feel all fuzzy inside, but its also a professional accomplishment when I can say I’ve learned how to use the tools available to make the shot, even when the conditions aren’t the best.