Just as photos overtook written status updates, video is now eclipsing photos as the preferred online media. Even Instagram – the platform that originally started as a photo-sharing app – recently announced that it is prioritizing short form video in newsfeeds above all other types of posts. Video is becoming more integrated in our personal, social, and professional lives. It has had a profound impact on the real estate industry and consumers have come to expect video tours and 3D interactive tours in property listings.
But listings are just the tip of the iceberg for how real estate agents can leverage video in their businesses. Video can also be used to build your personal brand, generate new leads, connect with your sphere of influence, and raise your visibility within a service area. If you’re not already using video in your real estate business, you can bet your competition is – or soon will be!
According to the NAR 2021 Technology Survey, 37% of respondents said they use video in their marketing, 29% currently don’t, while 35% hope to start using video in the near future. And 24% of REALTORS® are already using YouTube in their real estate business. It pays to be an early adopter of new technology and find innovative ways to connect with consumers.
We’ve asked Shawn Battle and Matt Leighton – 2 Redwood Agents who are expertly using video to win business and market their listings – to share their advice for how to get started with real estate video.
Here’s what they have to say:
Shawn and Matt started using video in earnest in 2019. Together, they produce “The Shawn & Matt Show” on YouTube and each create their own innovative listing videos that have garnered thousands of views and generated dozens of lucrative leads.
Matt: Video is where the industry is headed and jumping in first ensures that you’re going to be better at it than the rest of the agents who are late to the game. For me, it came down to asking myself what was the best way to reach the most amount of people? If you keep up with your warm touch calling campaign, you might make 40 calls and talk to 4 people. But with video, you can get 50 views in an hour! My videos are like a sales team that work on my behalf day and night – and it really works! In the past 9 months, I’ve been able to trace at least 7 deals directly from YouTube, resulting in nearly $70K in commissions! Getting the most attention is what’s going to WIN in this game. If you want to make the biggest impact in the shortest amount of time, video is where it’s at.
Shawn: Using video has completely changed my career and the way I do business. I’ve changed my whole style of real estate. The results of using video are real. I’ve had at least 3 deals this year that started because of my videos. That’s about $50-60K in commissions! The best thing is that videos that you make and produce can live forever and could generate leads years from now. In fact, I have a deal in the works right now from a listing video I did for a property in Lake Barcroft. The client lived in Texas and saw the video and called me up. We did a few virtual showings, and when they flew in, we went under contract on a home in Old Town. It closes in February. And you know what? I could get a call next year from that same Lake Barcroft video!
Just do it.
Matt: A lot of agents are hesitant to do video because they don’t like their voice or the way they look on camera. That’s natural. I felt that way as well. But honestly, you just have to get over it. You are who you are, and you look how you look. Don’t get hung up looking perfect or having all of the fancy equipment. Just do it and the rest will fall into place.
Shawn: It took me a long time to start incorporating video into my strategy; Matt really had to push me into it. I was worried about what people would think. I hated my voice and how I looked on camera. But at one point I said, “Who cares?” Life is too short. Now, I’ve changed my whole style of real estate where I’m known for unique video. You just have to do it. Put it in your calendar and film it on your phone. Practice it a few times to get a good flow and then the most important thing…POST IT!
It doesn’t have to be fancy. Start small.
Matt: You don’t need a videographer or fancy equipment. And don’t feel like you have to start posting 10 minute videos to YouTube. Just make a quick video – under 1 minute – and post it to your Instagram- Reels or stories.
Shawn: Start Small. Don’t go for a home run right away! If you look back at our early videos, they start out pretty rough! But I’m proud of those first videos because they got me going. Everyone starts somewhere. You’ll get better and you’ll learn what works and what you’re good at.
Get creative! Don’t limit yourself to just listing videos.
Matt: Remember, not everything has to be sell, sell, sell! There are so many ways you can show up on video. Clients work with you because they like you…so think of video as a way to show your personality, keep in touch with your network, and virtually introduce yourself to hundreds or thousands of people! If you have trouble coming up with ideas, think about tips or advice you can give. Pretend one of your friends called you up and asked a question about home inspections. What would you tell them? Film that and post it! Look at what other top performers are doing and get inspired (but don’t copy them!). Make it your own and bring your personality.
Keep pushing yourself! It will get easier, and you will get better.
Matt: I got more confident and comfortable as I started actually doing videos. Every single listing gets a video now. Now, I’m pushing myself to be more intentional about the types of videos I create for each platform I’m on. YouTube and Instagram are my primary outlets. You don’t have to be on all the platforms. Just choose one and master it. Instagram is probably the easiest to start with because it’s built for short-form vertical videos that you can film on your phone and post on the go. But the most important thing is to actually show up and be consistent. It will get easier.
Shawn: I’m still evolving and pushing myself to get better with video. I have about 216 videos on YouTube, but most of those are videos that I do with Matt. The next level for me is to get comfortable doing informational videos by myself. The more you do video, the more comfortable you’ll get, and then it’s time to take it to the next level! You have to keep up to date in this industry and keep innovating or you will fall by the wayside. Don’t let that happen to you.
Contact us to learn more about Redwood.