During the pandemic, Will Lau, a residential realtor with 10 years of experience under his belt, decided it was time to experiment with the idea of integrating video creation into his business strategy.
He got the idea in 2014 after attending real estate conventions that social media was going to be an invaluable tool in growing his business.
While he bought some basic equipment—a DSLR camera, green screen backdrops, ring lights—Lau didn’t spend a lot of time investing in video.
And then COVID-19 hit. “We didn’t know if our industry was going to be essential, and whether it would grow or tank,” says Lau, who is a residential realtor and founder of the Orange County-based Will & Way Homes. So he picked up his camera and started doing interviews with professionals in the field, HVAC experts, and home inspectors.
“We had no idea of whether the real estate market was going to tank, and so I wanted to do what I could to stay top of mind among my sphere of influence and network.”
On top of his other realtor duties, Lau put time into creating video content and promoting it. His hard work paid off. Video creation helped grow his business significantly. And thanks to making video marketing a priority, that, coupled with market conditions, led to an increase of 60% in his business sales from 2019 to 2020.
Standing out in a competitive real estate market
The pandemic has certainly changed the world in countless ways and brought about some unexpected changes. One of the many surprises was how it set the real estate market on fire.
The steady climb of U.S. home prices in this sellers’ market is keeping realtors busy, no doubt. But for those working directly with buyers and sellers, the residential real estate market is a saturated one. In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) membership count, there are more realtors than listings available.
So how can residential real estate companies stand out in a competitive space that will only become increasingly more saturated? Enter video. Video is a powerful weapon to have in one’s arsenal to stand out in a crowd. As more residential realtors enter this red-hot market, here’s why video is mission-critical to land new clients and grow your business:
Essential in brand-building
As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. In fact, recent research finds that video was the most memorable form of content for 21% of consumers and 29% of Millennials. Communicating what you can offer your clients and what your company’s business values are can help set you apart in a crowded market.
Cuts across social channels
A report by Brightcove reveals that 53% of consumers and 66% of millennials engage with a brand after watching a video on social media.
Whether you’re creating a video to put on your website, to feature in a real estate listing, or if you’re posting on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok, it could lead to engagement and attract customers more so than if you simply put up a standard listing with a few photos.
Captures a younger audience
In 2020, both Younger Millennials (ages 22-29) and Older Millennials (ages 30-39) continued to make up the largest group of home buyers. Further, 86% of Younger Millennials and 52% of Older Millennials were first-time home buyers.
Over half of consumers say they’ve purchased a product after watching a video, but a whopping 85% of Millennials said they’ve pushed the “buy” button after watching one.
Frank Besteiro, VP, Strategic Business Development at Wochit, explains:
“As this segment of first-time homeowners continues to grow, creating video can help kill several birds with one stone: Make a great impression, engage with potential clients, and also show that you’re tech-savvy.”
Generates more leads
Overall, property listings with video generate more than four times more leads than videos without.
An interesting fact: While nearly 3 in 4 (73%) homeowners express they’re more inclined to work with a realtor who offers to do video, a mere 10% of realtors create video listings. By offering to do video listings, you’ll have a competitive edge over real estate agents who don’t provide this to their clients.
While video is a powerful, meaningful medium to grow your business, it can require investment of time and resources. And if you’re a realtor working with a team for a larger company, how can you maintain brand consistency and make sure your content meets compliance?
Especially when you’re a newbie, you might feel overwhelmed with all the possibilities. On top of that, which types of videos should you invest in to get the most bang for your buck?
Real estate videos that drive results
The types of videos you use and how they play into your marketing strategy are key to the overall success of your real estate business. Your videos can be used for social media pages, landing pages, and local audience outreach. Let’s take a look at five:
1. Mass-create videos for listings
Most real estate businesses don’t have the resources and bandwidth to hire someone to create video listings and video tours for every property. Plus, it can be time-consuming to create videos while you’re busy juggling other aspects of your business, as well as a steep upfront investment. To save on time and resources, you can mass-generate videos for every property listing on your site.
Here’s how it works: You can use a video template and draw from MLS data to quickly and efficiently create video listings. Let’s say you are putting up a listing in Virginia and California on the same day. You can do both within a speedy time frame.
2. Listing updates
“Homebuyers don’t want to simply see photos of a property, they want to experience it,” points out Besteiro. Beyond an initial video of a property, offering listing updates can be an easy, effective way to inform and engage clients. These videos you create can then be posted across different social channels for maximum impact—and return on investment.
3. Educational series
Creating thought leadership video content through, say, an educational series can help position you as a go-to source for information and insights, and differentiate you from fellow residential real estate companies in your area. Plus, it can help your realtors engage with both buyers and sellers. And coupled with SEO best practices, a simple educational series can help drive traffic to your site and social platforms.
4. Personalized agent outreach
Besides experience, background, and track record, both buyers and sellers want to work with realtors they have a rapport with. This helps your realtors in different offices create a personalized touch and offer that human connection while customizing your video message to the needs of buyers versus sellers.
5. Market insider
Position your company and realtors within your field or niche by creating a “market insider” series. This form of brand journalism, through generating video content with information specific to your customer base, can increase engagement and lead to more sales.
For instance, maybe your company specializes in buying bicoastal properties, lakefront homes, for first-time homeowners with small families. Educate buyers and sellers by creating video content sourced from top listings and MLS market data.
Along the same lines, you can create video content by collaborating with and interviewing expert colleagues who can help inform your audience and generate leads—think home staging experts, home inspectors, and property managers.
How to get started creating your own videos
Save on costs by finding multiple use cases. As we talked about, video creation goes beyond video listings. “What seems like a single-use can spawn into infinite uses,” explains Besteiro. You can position yourself as a thought leader and strengthen your brand through an educational series, and build rapport with your clients by providing a personalized touch through custom videos. Or maybe you can offer insights on an area where your listings are located, such as top local restaurants, or a weekly roundup of listings.
Use the “big rock” content approach. Instead of re-inventing the wheel each time, consider the “big rock content” approach: where you can repurpose content and use existing video templates to save on time and the monetary costs of video creation. For instance, you create a video listing that offers a tour of a property. But then you can repurpose assets by layering in data or cutting into smaller snippets.
To get started, Besteiro recommends working with a company that can provide you with a blueprint, and wants to work with you and scale with you. These templates should be brand compliant so that each video you produce represents your brand safely in market. Work with a company that takes the time to understand where you’re at with your business, considers your unique needs, and provides tailored solutions for a customized experience. In turn, it could lower the cost of qualified leads significantly. He sums up with:
As you’re venturing out into a new medium, you’ll want to join forces with an organization that can hold your hand, help you every step of the way, and customize the experience for you. In this seller’s market, make sure you are doing everything you can to be successful. Creating videos is a must-have in your toolbag.
How Wochit can help
Wochit’s suite of video creation solutions empowers anyone and everyone in your organization, regardless of whether or not they have a background or knowledge in video editing, to create high-quality, professional-grade videos that articulate your brand promise in a deeply engaging way that resonates with your audience and inspires them to act.
With straightforward UX that simplifies editing, smart editing features with many options for customizations, an extensive pre-licensed library of 200 million images and videos, and myriad built-in templates, you will definitely have what it takes to help your organization not only evolve but to grow and wow and dazzle and convert, every step of the way. And if you ever need assistance, Wochit’s Video Strategists will support you during each stage as you evolve.