There is a new trend in real estate. I call it the “talking brochure” … I’m here to tell you that it is here to stay!
I’m sure you’ve seen one. What I call a talking brochure is nothing more than a video of an agent giving a tour of a listing. And I need to tell you something else:
Agents who don’t master this new method of marketing may find themselves out of the business sooner than they think.
Sorry. There’s no way around it. I’m not pulling punches here. The talking brochure has arrived. And like many new innovations, it’s not going away.
Talking brochures are going to dictate how real estate is going to be bought and sold in the near future. If you don’t learn how to utilize this type of marketing, you will be left behind.
The internet used to be a very flat, two-dimensional place. You put up a website, you wrote a few words … and boom … you were done.
The internet is now a living, breathing three-dimensional entity. Where it used to be more of an expanded business card, think instead of the internet as your own personal television station.
I can hear you thinking, “But Denise, I don’t want to learn new technology. I just got proficient at email and basic internet marketing. Now you tell me that I need to learn how to make TV programs?”
Yes! That’s exactly what I’m saying.
We are living in a time of rapid change. So much of that change is driven by technology. We must either accept – no, embrace – technology … or board up the store. I’m that serious about this. Real estate has become hyper-competitive. If you don’t make the effort to compete on a serious level, then you’re sunk. It’s that simple.
Today’s consumer wants to be engaged. They want visuals and narrative. They want to view a property as it would be lived in. And you’d better be able to deliver what the consumer wants.
No matter what generation you’re from, you appreciate the value of three-dimensional marketing. Videos posted on YouTube or your personal website are just other versions of TV commercials. The difference is now that any business owners (not just real estate agents) can—and should—make their own “commercials”.
Most agents haven’t fully grasped this concept yet. They are still doing one-dimensional marketing with flyers, online ads, and static pictures. They are scared to death to get in front of the camera.
If this describes you, it’s time to get over it. You’re a salesperson, for goodness sake. Get out there and sell. With all the easy-to-use video technology that’s available, there’s no excuse for not taking advantage of every available medium for disbursing your sales message.
Here are my top ten tips for creating effective videos:
1. Treat the video as a showing.
Walk through the house exactly as if you were showing the property to a client. Just be yourself! Pretend a buyer is at your side, and talk through the features and benefits of the home as though you truly were showing the home “live”.
2. Tell a story about the home.
The purpose of a talking brochure is not just to showcase a large garage or beautiful marble in the kitchen. Make the talking brochure truly effective by telling the story of the home. You want the prospective buyer to “experience” the home, not just see it.
3. Have a script.
Just like a movie, you need a script. This can be as simple as a list of bullet points to keep on track. Don’t just “wing it”. When an agent “wings it”, they say too much. They add in more of what they didn’t want and leave out more of what they do want.
4. Keep it short—but interesting.
People will watch videos … if they are compelling. To create that “must see” feeling, your video must have great energy, good narration, and run an appropriate length of time. A period of three to five minutes allows ample time to show most homes. Better to have a shorter video that leaves them wanting more than a video that drags on and loses the attention of the viewer. And don’t forget – one of the beauties of video is a viewer’s ability to replay a video at their convenience. So keep it short, sweet, and structured.
5. Don’t show certain parts of a home.
There’s no need to videotape the toilet. Nor do you need to explain the faucets and showerheads unless those features are extraordinary. A bathroom is a bathroom. Everybody knows what you do in there.
Likewise, you don’t need to videotape the insides of cupboards. People understand that many cupboards equates to lots of storage space. Opening up cupboards and showing soup cans is an absolute waste of time.
Remember: focus your video on the lifestyle of the home. That’s how to capture the interest and emotion of a potential buyer. Thinking about showing people:
— Chopping vegetables in the gourmet kitchen
— Relaxing in the study with a book
— Sunning themselves on the deck or patio
— Actively playing games in the family room
— Enjoying a movie in the media room
— Entertaining in the living room
6. Narrate the video.
You are the star of this movie. Be truly “in” it. Talk to the potential buyer through the camera. Don’t forget that you want these videos to be great tools for lead generation. The way to do this is to make sure that people not only experience the home, but experience YOU as well.
7. Never underestimate the power of light.
Turn on all the lights in the room. Extra lighting will never hurt you. Poorly lit rooms look awful on video.
8. If you are showcasing something in a room, put it in context.
Let’s suppose that you want to feature a room’s beautiful built-in bookcase. Don’t just videotape the bookcase. Zoom out so that buyers can see how the bookcase fits in with the general “feel” of the room, and how the size, shape, or features of the bookcase can benefit them. Pan left and pan right.
9. Make sure the cameraperson stays still.
There is nothing worse than a video that moves too much. People will forgive a lot, but they won’t forgive a camera that is too jumpy.
10. Do not add music.
Music distracts you from what you’re trying to do. For example, the nightly news has theme music but they don’t play it during the actual reporting of a story. If you love music, go ahead and have a few bars as an intro and after your closing. But don’t have music as a background to your video.
And I’m going to add an 11th tip for you. Invest in video. If you’re simply not interested in learning the techniques to film a great video, hire a local company who can help. Given the advent of video in the marketplace, it’s easy to find a service partner for this important part of your business.
With so much competition in our industry, it is critical that you now make it a normal part of your business to add a talking brochure to every one of your listings. Videos will help to sell the home—and will help to sell YOU.
Got questions? Email me at [email protected] or call (360) 527-8904. The Lones Group can put you on the path to being a talking brochure superstar.
By Denise Lones CSP, M.I.R.M., CDEI