Marketing a Home Using Video: David Maez of Vivo Realty Explains When to DIY And When to Hire a Pro

You could definitely say that David Maez of Vivo Realty is a film buff. A real estate film buff, that is, as his brokerage is forging a path forward using HD video to market upscale properties, lending a point of view you often don’t see.

Using video to market homes as lifestyle choices is a tactic luxury brokerages are adopting at a breakneck pace. Take this piece in the Wall Street Journal for example:

Minimovies and Hollywood-style trailers complete with scripts, musical scores and even action sequences are cropping up as a new way to pitch pricey homes and condominium buildings. According to the National Association of Realtors, 14% of sellers used video to help sell their homes in 2012, up from 9% five years ago. [Curt] Hahn, the director and CEO of Film House, said he shot his first real-estate minimovie in September of last year. He has since shot nearly 10, doing about one a week since June.

Still, it’s not for everyone. Maez took the time to break down how video marketing works, what properties it works for, and why it’s not for everyone. What are the different kinds of marketing video formats available?

David Maez: I actually started my first company doing real estate videos for Realtors back in 2005.  The technology was very new at this time and expensive, but I always knew it would be the future of showcasing homes and Realtors.  Regarding the different formats, it really depends.  You can do something as simple as recording a Vine or Instagram video on your iPhone or a quick YouTube video to hiring talent or a full video crew.

I think agents who are creative with video can do some really great things.  An agent may do a quick Vine about hanging a picture on  a wall or a quick Instagram video of a new upcoming listing, these are some of the effective ways to use video.  They could also do a Buyer FAQ and then upload it onto YouTube and create their own YouTube channel then post on Facebook and other social media platforms.

CD: Which type do you think works for most listings?

Maez: I think a “Coming Soon” video works really well and this is something that could be shot on your iPhone.  If you are thinking of doing a full video then I really think it should be done by a professional.  Pricing ranges from $200 for just a simple video tour to $5,000-plus for a full video with talent and storyline.  These types of videos work really well with luxury homes.  If you think about what you’re selling when you sell a home, it’s “lifestyle,” not the walls and roof.  Video allows you to sell that lifestyle.

CD: What type of video works best for luxury listings?

Maez: I kind of answered this above but definitely video with talent.  Having a creative storyline that allows you to want to be in the home is what sells.  Many buyers are coming from abroad such as Canada and Asia and they want to see video of the home since they are not local.  You have to really wow them.  There are some companies such as, Platinum HD in Australia that have really capitalized on this even doing risqué videos to sell some of their listings.  The results?  It works.  Well.  Most of the videos have over several thousand views.  This provides amazing exposure to for your seller’s home.

CD: What are big no-nos for marketing videos?

Maez: I think if you’re going to do video yourself then make sure it’s simple and short and provides value.  No one wants to watch a poorly produced 5 minute video tour done on a shaky low-res camera or phone with bad sound.  If you’re doing anything over one or two minutes then hire a professional or at least a high quality HD camera with a livelier or professional microphone for sound and have a camera person assist you.  The other big “no-no” is spending too much time working on videos than selling homes.  I think too many agents get caught up trying to be a videographer or marketing person.  Hire a professional so you can spend your time selling.

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