To say that the events of 2020 were unexpected is an understatement. While we saw many traditional marketing tactics take a big hit, the cloud does have the silver lining of broader adoption of digital tactics. This has been especially true in real estate, which always covers a broad range due to the wide variances in target audience. As the pandemic caused shutdowns across the nation, sales teams that had dabbled in virtual tours, zoom appointments and video profiles jumped in with both feet. This sudden proliferation of virtual selling tools has yielded the good, bad and the ugly.
Of these, video is perhaps the most widely adopted. Realtors, home builders and developers used video for years to show off properties, communities and create visions. From drone overviews to community profiles to even 3D renderings — there are many different styles of video content our team has helped our real estate clients develop. Now that the dust is settling and we look forward to 2021, this is the time to take a strategic look at the videos you are producing and where they fit into your brand story.
Start 2021 on the right foot.
As 2020 draws to a close, you may be finalizing your 2021 marketing budget and plan. How much of that plan is video? How much should be produced in-house by your sales team and when should you use a professional? Whatever your original 2020 plan was for video, consider increasing your investment in this tactic during the planning stage, so you aren’t playing catch up.
No matter what type of video you are producing, you should start with a plan. Know your objectives and your audience. Create an outline for quick videos and a storyboard for longer productions to stay on track. Know how you will distribute the video before shooting so you can focus the content appropriately.
Self-produced social videos, which can be a property tour, a live social feed or a promotional announcement, should be regularly published by your sales team. Weekly or every other week is a great rhythm to get into. In these videos, remember to be yourself so you can create a personal connection. There are tons of tutorials online and on YouTube to help you understand how to record, edit and post interesting social content. For some of our clients, we have created tools, outlines and templates for these videos to give them a consistent, branded look and feel. Having that strategic insight at the start has helped to ensure the videos are on point and professional.
Consider partnering with an agency for a variety of video projects. Each of these has a great place in your library of video content. Generally, you start with an objective and audience in mind with a set budget and parameters. Below are just a few of the types of videos we have produced for real estate clients.
Community Brand Video — Gives a look of the complete brand or community vision and its impact on the audience. Generally 2-3 minutes, and is great for website intros, landing pages and YouTube content. Create at least one vision/overview video and plan to update it annually.
Promotional Video — Think of this as the “commercial”. A promotional video can build awareness or support a specific objective. Generally 15-60 seconds, they are perfect for social media, paid social ads and YouTube pre-roll. Use on landing pages and in emails or they can be broadcast-ready when needed. Plan to have several of these throughout the year aligning with your promotional calendar. Great for quarterly campaigns.
Community Conceptual Vision Video — Many people ask us how we create videos before groundbreaking. These videos can combine stock footage and images along with static or animated renderings to create a sense of excitement about what you are creating. They can feature voice-over or just be music with superimposed type. Usually “one time” projects, these videos are an amazing way to get a project off the ground and everyone excited.
Aerial Community Tours — Primarily uses drone footage and on-screen titles to tell the story of the community or location. Additional on-screen animations, overlays and graphics can be used to enhance the final results further. These are generally 2-4 minutes and are great for websites, social, paid social ads and shareable content to prospects. Drone videos can take two different approaches:
- A quick flyover that shows what is happening and progress. Can be done quarterly and require little planning and editing but have a short shelf life.
- A longer, narrative approach to tell the brand story through primarily drone footage, but can feature other types of B-roll footage. Longer shelf-life, but requires updates after 12-18 months.
Guided Home Tour — Typically these can be created by the agents, but occasionally for a special property or neighborhood, a well-scripted video with either professional talent or a really great on-screen agent can give an extra “HGTV” feel to the spot. If you typically do tours in-house, consider taking this approach for a little extra attention. Generally 3-5 minutes.
Web Series — A web series is a great way to get more in-depth about a certain topic in your community. Consider a web series about constructing a model home or launch of a neighborhood, with chapters showing the progress. Each episode could feature interviews and B-roll and should be short snippets. These are great as a monthly content boost.
These are just some of the types of videos you should be putting into your planning as you prepare for 2021. For great ideas or help with video production plans, our team is ready to make sure it shows your community to the fullest. Give us a call to get started.