Real Estate Videography is a booming business, and for good reason. The power of video to tell your story in an engaging way is unsurpassed by any other medium. If you are considering getting started in this industry but don’t know where to begin, worry not! This article will provide the basics on how to get started with Real Estate videography and produce a professional-looking video that you can be proud of.
Obtain the Right Equipment
The first step in producing a great video is to make sure you have the right equipment. The last thing you want to do is spend your money on expensive state-of-the-art cameras and then produce a crappy video because it looks like crap! You can get started with any camera that has manual controls, but here are some features I would recommend looking for:
- Auto-focus (so you don’t have to manually focus on your subject)
- Manual Exposure Controls (I like using Aperture Priority mode personally, but anything will work as long as you can control the exposure of each shot independently).
After that, it’s just a matter of buying some accessories. Below are the accessories that we recommend getting.
- Tripod: A good fluid head is essential for smooth pans and tilts when you’re shooting outdoors (you can save money by getting one that isn’t carbon fiber or super sturdy if you need to). Make sure it has a quick-release plate so you don’t have to screw/unscrew it every time you want to mount or dismount your camera.
- Microphone: If you’re shooting indoors, I would recommend getting a wireless lav mic that clips onto your talent’s shirt (I’m not aware of any consumer cameras with XLR inputs). For outdoor interviews where there is the ability to control the environment acoustically, you can get away with an external shotgun mic on a boom pole.
- Lighting Kit: If you are shooting outdoors, make sure it is sunny! You might consider getting an umbrella to diffuse the light or reflectors if your talent is in shadow (you’ll need multiple people for this – one to hold each side of the reflective material).
You’ll also need editing software, but that is beyond the scope of this article.
So now you have your camera and lighting kit – what should you shoot? Well it all depends on what kind of video you’re trying to create: a testimonial or an informational piece about the benefits of using your product/service in real estate transactions.
- If it’s a testimonial, you’ll probably want to get some b-roll of the person talking about why they like your product/service (don’t forget microphones and headphones if it is shot with a lav mic!).
- If it’s an informational piece, try getting shots that would be useful in explaining how the process works.
Take Your Time
Make sure you plan everything out in advance so you don’t forget anything. Make sure to scout your location well beforehand and have an idea of where the sun will be when it’s time to shoot (i.e., if you’re shooting outdoors, make sure there isn’t a big building blocking the light). Also, remember that filming is only 50% of what you need to do – you have to edit it all together later, so make sure your shots are good!
As a side note: using the right equipment and taking the time to plan things out will definitely increase your production value, but they can also be used as excuses for never finishing anything. Don’t let yourself fall into this trap – just get the best quality you can afford and move on.
Analyze the Success of Your Content
Videography and producing a professional-looking video is just one piece of the puzzle – you need to have content that your audience actually wants/needs or it’s all for nothing.
The best way I’ve found to do this is by trying out different types of videos (e.g., testimonial, informational pieces) with small subsets of my audience on a regular basis and then measuring the results.
For example, one month I’ll produce videos aimed at first-time home buyers (i.e., informational pieces), another month I’ll do testimonials for people who have used our services to buy their dream homes. A few months later, maybe we will try something completely different (e.g., a how-to video on buying your first home).
The trick is to measure which videos get the most views and/or leads, then make more of those types of videos! This will help you figure out what works best for your target customer base and hopefully turn into some great content marketing that really speaks to your audience.
How do I measure success?
There are a number of ways you can go about figuring out how well each video did: Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, or YouTube Analytics (just make sure you set up all the tracking parameters so they’ll actually show useful data).
Then it’s just a matter of comparing numbers over time to see which types of videos get the most views/conversions, then creating more of those in order to keep your audience enthralled.
Build a Team
One of the best things you can do as a real estate videographer is to build your own team.
You don’t have to go it alone – call up some friends and family members, offer them equity in exchange for helping out with videos (it’s good if they’re also passionate about what you’re doing). You’ll be surprised how many people would love to help out, so don’t be afraid to ask! Having a team will allow you to do more videos in less time and create higher quality content than you could on your own.
Another way of building a great support system is by establishing relationships with other real estate agents/agencies who can send each other referrals when needed. You could also consider partnering up with a videographer or video agency to do wrap-up videos and testimonial edits for your other clients – this will help expand the services you offer, while allowing them to focus on what they’re best at (videography).
When it comes down to it, there’s no better way to build your business than by doing things you’re actually passionate about. The more passion and interest in what you do will show through your videos, which should help them go viral (or at least get a ton of views). That is how I measure success – just getting as many people to watch my video as possible.
I hope this article has been helpful, if you have any questions please contact us at Buffalo Video Pros based out of Rochester, NY.