Last week we talked about the top 5 reasons why you should be using video to grow your real estate business. All of those reasons may sound great to you, but the idea of actually doing it makes you shut down and run away. It shouldn’t. Like anything else, the more you do it, the easier it gets. So, the most important step is the first one. Once you get that first video under your belt, you will start to be more comfortable with it. So, let’s get started.
First and foremost, I am not a professional videographer and, frankly, I am guilty of not always practicing what I preach on video (hence the lack of video on this blog). Also, if you’re new to this blog and haven’t read any of my other totally awesome posts, you don’t know that I am all for simple, cheap, and easy.
You aren’t going to win an Oscar so don’t feel like you have to be Scorsese.
1) Have a Plan
If you’re new to video or been doing it off and on for a while, the place to start is with a plan. What kind of video do you want to do? Blog videos? Client testimonials? Listing videos? Start by knowing what you want to do with video and come up with a strategy from there. Think about time needed, frequency of posting, scripting, scheduling with other parties, and/or professional assistance.
2) Have the Right Stuff
A little bit of equipment can go a long way. You don’t have to have a professional video camera or editing software to do good video. I’m a big fan of Mark and his crew at HDHat.com. They have equipment that allows you to shoot from your phone, good microphones for voice-over work, and will even edit your listing videos for you for a very reasonable price. If you want to get fancy, especially if doing blog video or interviews, look at some lighting options and backdrops. I got mine on Amazon.com from Cowboy Studios.
- Camera – Your cell phone camera has more than enough functions to shoot, edit, and post video right at your fingers. Your tablet probably does too. That being said, it can always be better. There are numerous add-on camera lenses that can snap right on to your camera that will give you the wide-angle view you need. A GoPro is a great camera for your needs and also can double as an awesome camera for all of your extreme sports activities.
- Sound – Depending on what kind of video you are shooting, you need your viewer to hear it. A real simple mic with an adapter for your phone can make a world of difference. Also, for you iPhone folks, your earbuds can act as a mic too and it isn’t bad in a pinch. You can also start and stop video with the volume controls. Don’t make a great video and then ruin it with bad audio.
- Editing Software – This was always the big one for me. Editing the video was my Everest. Fortunately, there are a ton of easy ways to do it. iMovie, Movie Maker, Photoshop or part of the Adobe family, and even GoPro’s editing software are great options. There are apps like Videolicious or Animoto that allow you to edit right from your mobile device. You can find editors on sites like fiverr or elance. As mentioned above, HDHat does a great job with listing videos.
- Platform – Like I mentioned in the post last week, you need a YouTube account if for no other reason than for the power of Google. Vimeo is another platform for posting your videos. You can self-host, but why? Take your videos from YouTube and/or Vimeo and embed them on your site or social media outlet.
3) Drop the Excuses
Yes, I know, the camera adds ten pounds. You should see how fat my face looks on camera. I also know that you don’t like the way you sound. Me neither. Guess what? The people viewing your videos are, hopefully, going to meet you and see your fat face and hear your squeaky voice. So get over it! Yes, you do have the time and if you really don’t, hire it out. It’s pretty cheap, all things considered.
4) It’s OK to be Imperfect
As I mentioned before, you aren’t a Hollywood director and your video isn’t going before the Hollywood Foreign Press for consideration. No one expects you to be perfect. In fact, studies have shown that people actually find “imperfect” videos more endearing. Don’t worry about a slight mess-up or having the occasional “umm” or “uh” in there. It’s ok. Remember, 86% of your competitors aren’t doing any video anyway so it’s not like you’re going to be shown up.
5) Commit Yourself
Like blogging, prospecting, and networking, video takes planning, consistent execution, and commitment. If you are going to use video to build your business, you need to have a plan and execute it regularly. Imagine what will happen when that prospective client goes to your YouTube channel and sees one video that you posted a year ago. Not as impressive, right?
If you feel like this is elementary, it is designed to be. There are a lot of video classes you can take, instructional videos and webinars to watch, and services you can hire to get past the beginner stage. I truly believe that you can make yourself stand out from the crowd with video, especially if you are building your website with your productions. Have fun! If I can be of any help, you know I’m here.