Show Me the House
The first and most obvious thing I think the real estate world can (and should) be doing is buying video cameras and shooting their own walkthroughs. You don’t have to be a pro. You DO have to know how not to make something look horrible, but that comes with trial and error.
Pick up a Video Camera
If you don’t already own a video camera, two ends of the spectrum that I’d recommend for realtors are:
The Xacti is a higher end picture. The Flip is YouTube quality. Honestly, the Flip is the camera for the job, but some folks want the best, so it’s up to you. Me? I’d buy the Flip. (Personally, I use a digital camera’s movie setting to shoot most of my stuff).
Now, to actually do it, you have two options: learn how to edit things easily in iMovie (Mac) or Windows Media Maker (PC), or pay someone to edit what you shoot. Benefits of A are that you can do it when you need it and your time is all you pay. Benefits of B are that the editor will be good at what they do, will save you time, and will know what to do next. Drawback of B is that it costs and you have no control of when you get back your files, depending on how professional your person is.
Posting the Video
Last step to putting a video up is to find hosting for the video so that you can then embed it on your blog. YouTube makes sense for two reasons. One, it’s easy and most people can navigate it. Two, it becomes a second market for your homes if you’ve added captions at the end that show how to contact you.
If you want a different look and feel from YouTube, you can try Blip.tv, Brightcove, Vimeo and a gazillion other companies who host video and have a nifty player.
I could probably write a series on just how to add video to your world, but I’m in the middle of another series, so let’s leave it there for now. If you want helping DOING any of this, let me know and I’ll point you to the right resources.
Ways Your Blog Will Help
First, blogging about certain properties you’re hoping to move will give you an obvious potential return, but that might be limited. Instead, think of what buyers and sellers might need to know, and what they might need to know about you. You’re likely going to weigh this information heavily on the sell side, and that’s okay, so make your website a great place to learn about things like “curb appeal” and how to declutter a home for better show-ability. Give people ideas that have added thousands back to the sale price of your clients’ homes.
People are so itchy about asking for testimonials. Don’t be. Ask. Ask your clients with whom you’ve had a great business experience to comment. Want to get really edgy? Be willing to post someone’s negative comments about your business with them, and don’t be defensive. Instead, just thank them.
The Secret Sauce
As a media maker, you can do things that will add to one’s impressions of a potential new home. You can shoot video of the general neighborhood, add Flickr photos of some selling points of the town, record audio reports of people’s general feelings of the town. Can you imagine the impact that might make? You could potentially take a “normal looking” house and demonstrate the value of the home’s setting through media.