Versatile video: worth the expense
“Online video marketing is considered a must do for estate agencies in the USA, but according to recent research few agents there make use of this versatile tool. What is happening in South Africa? Estate agencies shared with Property Professional why they use online video and how it improved their business.”
Recent research by the National Association of Realtors in the USA found that 73% of sellers would choose a real estate agent who could market their property with video but fewer than 5% of agents do this.
In the absence of statistics for South Africa Property Professional asked local real estate agencies about their use of online video and whether it is worth their while.
Online video marketing is the direction the online property market is moving towards says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
He explains “We are not entering the digital era, we are right in the middle of it. Using videos or creating clips with moving images can do a great deal towards drawing a buyer in. It is much easier to scroll past a static image than it is to ignore a video link.”
Estate agents need to understand this, he says. “A good way to tell if an agent understands the value of digital marketing is to have a look at their social media feeds to see if they are uploading videos on these platforms that promote some of their properties or that provide valuable insight about the neighbourhoods that they serve,” Goslett added.
He said agents can even record video with their mobile phones, although it is preferable to hire a professional videographer or photographer.
Rory O’Hagan, CEO of Chas Everitt Luxury Portfolio division, says video is a great way for agents to assist buyers in the decision-making process prior to coming to view the property. They often have professional videos made of luxury properties that they also advertise in the media, so they can show the video to clients who react to the articles.
They also find video useful for engaging with clients who come to them through online portals without video capabilities, especially if they don’t live in South Africa. “We can send them links to the online videos and they are then able to ‘walk-through’ or ‘fly-through’ a few properties that meet their requirements before choosing which to visit in person,” O’Hagan explains.
“We believe it will become an increasing important marketing tool,” O’Hagan says.
Jawitz Properties Western Seaboard have even gone one step further and opened a digital showroom last year making it possible for clients to ‘walk through’ various properties in a range of different geographic locations.
“One of the biggest benefits virtual reality affords our sole mandate clients, is the ability to showcase their property to many potential buyers without upsetting the current tenant. They also, don’t need to deal with constant viewings, says Corne Davidtz, Principal at Jawitz Properties, Western Seaboard. “The scope of potential buyers also increases exponentially with anyone being able to view the property, from anywhere.”
Olivia Kent, Sales Partner for Rawson Properties Constantia & Kirstenbosch agrees online videos stimulate positive interaction with clients. “Videos are versatile and can be used on our social media platform, plus it is a great way to interact with our client base as we get a lot of shares and good comments on our videos and photos. Interested clients contact us immediately to book viewings,” she adds.
On lessons learned Kent said they found the use of good wording and simple things such as lighting influences the overall message and quality of the video. “The more enticing the video is, the more a potential client will want to come and view the property. By using a professional service we find that the results are both artistic and evocative and most importantly it is an honest representation of our clients home.”
Add to this that having video on your properly optimized website increases the likelihood that it will be featured on page 1 of Google search results. This is good news as higher search result rankings means more users will find your listings which could mean more offers which is what your clients want.
Tips to keep in mind with video marketing:
- Choose which properties to sell on video. Unless you own your own drone or have a very steady hand, you need to use a professional to shoot your video.
- Share and post everywhere from social media to property portals. Handy hint: on Twitter use hashtags that prospective buyers might be searching for #beachhouse #retirementvillage
- Market trendier properties with virtual reality tours which is still relatively new technology.
American real estate news publisher Inman shared this video on how to use video to connect with clients on a more personal way after receiving a lead. Click on this link to see the video: https://www.inman.com/2018/03/19/what-your-lead-follow-up-is-missing/