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Tips for Creating Quality Online Media

High quality online media is an important aspect of real estate marketing that is often lacking from many real estate agents’ marketing plans. The majority of the industry’s use of media in online marketing consists of low quality photographs taken by the agent’s $200 consumer digital camera, or perhaps the all-too-familiar “fish bowl” experience while viewing the “virtual tour” with wavy walls and distorted room perspectives.  However, with the proliferation of low-cost, high-quality video technologies, combined with interesting new web applications that help present great content, a much more powerful and compelling viewing experience is within reach for tech-savvy agents.  Here are a few tips to help real estate agents like yourself create high quality online media in order to stand out from the crowd and better market yourself and your listings.

An Effective Tool for Building Great Media

One exceptional tool for creating production quality online media is Animoto.com.  Animoto is an amazing web application that allows you to easily integrate high quality still images with short segments of full-motion video to build compelling video-like content.  You can even set the photos/video to music and the playback adjusts to mesh well with the tone of the audio.  With the use of an Animoto Pro account, it’s a simple matter of investing 30 minutes to upload and organize your still images and short video segments, add titles, and make a background music selection.  Then, sit back and allow the “magic” to happen as Animoto creates a professional quality video presentation of the property that can be added to the your website, blog, or embedded in other sites.  The end result is a compelling, professionally produced video that attracts viewer attention and creates important differentiation from other properties and agents.

Here is an example (Click Here and scroll down – embedding is not working properly) of an Animoto-produced video that my parents, both of whom are real estate agents in Lafayette California, created for a local city guide on their website.

Effectively Leveraging This Content

  1. Create Quality Local Content – The above video serves as a visual guide to the town where my parents’ business is focused.  For visitors to their website, many of whom are not local and may have never seen Lafayette before, the video is a great introduction to the town.  You can also create even more hyper-local content such as videos with dedicated webpages for the neighborhoods you specialize in, like this neighborhood page for Happy Valley, a small but popular neighborhood in the area.  This creates a highly targeted landing page with quality content that gets number of long-tail SEO referrals.  While the volume isn’t huge, the quality of that traffic is exceptional – several SEO referrals to my parents’ website for queries like this have translated to actual closed transactions just this year alone.
  2. Marketing Listings – As a seller’s agent, creating and distributing high quality photos and videos of a client’s home that provide a compelling viewing experience for the prospective buyer is of paramount importance.  If you don’t have the time, skills, or equipment to shoot high quality images or video, for many listings, it’s worth hiring a professional to shoot high quality digital images of the home.  With those in hand, the agent can readily augment them with HD video shot from the newest generation of smart phones, such as the Apple iPhone 4.  Even a short segment of video showing a panoramic view or children playing in the neighborhood can add texture and interest to the video presentation.
  3. Winning Listings Presentations – In a competitive market, every effort to stand out helps.  Why not go into a listing presentation with a pre-made video of the prospective client’s home?  Even a rough version using images and video from the outside of the home and neighborhood only will still give the seller a taste of what you can do to best position their home via media.

Creating and distributing compelling online media has never been easier, and can make a meaningful impact on your business.  Good luck!

About Brian Rothenberg

Currently a founding team member and Head of Product & Search for SkillSlate.com, a venture-backed startup in the local services space. Former Product Manager for Yahoo! Real Estate and Team Lead for search engine optimization (SEO) across several business units in the Local & Commerce division of Yahoo!.

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  • Anonymous

    Animoto? I will have to check it out. Any tool that can give you an advantage going into a listing presentation is a plus.

  • I LOVE Animoto! Best tool ever. I’m having so much fun with it. For agents that may be afraid to enter “that aspect of technology”, do it! It’s so easy.

  • As an agent, it is amazing to see how many valuable resources are available that are easy to use. The real trick I find is digging deep enough to find them. Once you get rolling, it can really help increase business!

  • I’ve been using Animoto for awhile. I started with just a few fun 30 second videos, but they simply aren’t long enough to be able to do much and you can’t add video. I upgraded this year to the real estate pro account, and have been creating a video for every listing. I use them like a movie trailer…trying to capture the feeling of a home & community, and offer just enough to get someone to dig deeper. I put the videos at the top of my featured listing pages on my blog. Here is an example of one of my current listings – a 117 yr old home in a vibrant part of the city http://www.archcityhomes.com/2010/07/4158-shaw-blvd-st-louis-mo/.

    But I don’t try to show everything in the videos. I create a walking tour for that which is uploaded to YouTube and then embedded on the post a big farther down.

    I recently started experimenting with advertising on craigslist promoting these video…and using the word video in the title. Not sure yet it if will get more attention to the listings, but being a technology focused agent means continuing to experiment until you hit what works best…and then be ready to change as soon as something new comes along!

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  • Thanks a lot for sharing this useful and attractive information and interesting posts from you. keep it up.

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