What Makes a BAD Property Video?

What makes a BAD property video? Avoid these mistakes in your next real estate video.

By Ian Nicholson - Property Cinematographer at Real Estate Movies

What Makes A Bad Real Estate Video?

As a real estate agent, you're trying to sell a property, right? So why, when it comes to a video, do so many get it wrong? You can spend a lot of money on a beautiful, cinematic video, but if it fails at the one thing is it supposed to do - generate REAL interest in buyers so you can sell your vendor's home - then it's money down the drain.

Here's a few reasons why many real estate videos miss their mark.

Too Much Focus on 'Fluff'

I see too many videos where the emphasis is on objects or items which will not come with the property.

For example, bouquets of flowers, interesting furniture, shots of other ornaments. Why? They will be gone when the new owner moves in, so why are they selling points? Yes, you could argue that they raise 'emotion' in the video, but that's a risky call.

The taste of the furniture and ornaments might be the complete opposite to the prospective buyer, so why bother with their close-ups in detail?

As with everything else in life, there's a balance. Yes, it's good to see nice furnishings in the property, but they should not be the focus of attention, as is often the case.

Of course, filming rooms with nice furniture is essential since it will give the prospect an idea of how they can place their furniture, but there is no need to close in on cushions, magazines on the coffee table, artwork, etc.

As for the flowers? It's an obvious gimmick that fools no-one - even if they are the most expensive bunch from Woolies.

Keep the shots relevant to what it is the prospective buyer is purchasing - i.e. interesting fixtures like sinks, stove-tops, etc.

Real Estate Agent Arriving in Expensive Car

Sorry guys, but this has to be the tackiest inclusion in any real estate video, and I'm afraid to say that a LOT of you do it! I'm actually gobsmacked by how many videos have this - where the agent speeds into the property driveway in his brand new Porsche/Lamborghini/Ferrari (to be honest, I'm yet to see a Bugatti!) and hops out like he owns the place. It's quite embarrassing to watch and I'm deeply mystified why any real estate videographer or editor with any sense of taste would allow it into the video. 

Trust me, it's in very poor taste, because, well, nobody likes a show-off. You may think you're demonstrating your success, but really, it only demonstrates your vendor is paying too much commission and you are bragging about it. More importantly, it does absolutely nothing to sell the property. Nothing. At all.

Oh, and the same goes for expensive watches. What your watch has to say about the property is irrelevant.  

Recently, a Western Sydney agent made a 'part music video, part softcore porno' which raised eyebrows and was greeted with much controversy. Sure, even bad publicity can sometimes be good publicity, but the video puts too much attention on the dancers such that it loses focus on the property. Did the video draw more buyers to auction or get a better price? Nobody knows for sure, but the fact they didn't repeat the experiment is telling. In fact, they took down the 'raunchier' version and replaced it with a slightly tamer version

In film-making (and marketing), we are always taught to consider the audience. In your video, consider the elements and be honest in appraising whether they might draw the wrong audience, or worse, turn the right audience away.

Keep the video focused on the key selling points of the property. If you're thinking about adding a close-up of your Rolex in the video, ask yourself: "Does this help sell the property?" If the answer is no, save it for your wedding video.

The video is all about the property - not your car, not your watch and certainly not your dance partner.

Do It Yourself Smartphone Videos

Yes, there are a few out there where the agent has shot the video themselves on a smartphone. Straight away, these look amateurish and are always let down by the biggest crime in film-making - poor sound. As we are taught in film school, an audience will often forgive a poor picture, but they will never forgive poor sound.

If you are making videos like this - please stop! Expecting a phone to pick up decent sound from more than 1 metre away is just not a good idea. True, smartphones offer great images, but nothing will yet beat the image and sound of a professional camera.

Too Much Drone Fluff

Drone footage is great, but you can have too much of a good thing. Again, I see too many videos where there are too many shots of the property's roof. In fact, one video I saw had a 20 seconds continuous shot of just the roof and trees. Why? Presumably because the client had paid extra for a drone shot, but really, it added nothing. A drone shot should establish two things - the property's geographic positioning in the street (ideally from the front) and maybe (but not essential) an overhead shot of the entire property to show the land and boundaries.

The Music Video

There are a lot of frustrated music video producers out there that insist on delivering something that very closely resembles a music video - complete with pounding music and stroboscopic visual effects - and I've even seen a few examples that should come with warnings for those with epilepsy. They would be well at home on MTV or Rage, and are a fine testament to the editing prowess of the producer - honestly, it's a real talent - but they're just WAY too over the top. They will no doubt 'wow' you and your vendor, but do they sell the home? When you go to meet a prospective buyer, do you dress up like a Christmas tree to grab their attention? Of course not. The same should go for your videos.

Photo Slideshow Videos

I just don't see the point. Well, I do - it's a cheap way to upload a property video because properties with videos get more hits and sell faster, right? Absolutely! But the photo slideshow is a cop-out, and robs the viewer of what they were expecting - a movie about the home. No matter how good the photos (which are, presumably, the same as the ones added to the listing), they will never give the same immersive experience as video. Don't cheat your prospects - give them a video!

In Summary

The point of a real estate video is to show your vendor's property in its best light, and also to give the viewer a broad idea of the layout of the property and its key features (selling points). At Real Estate Movies, we believe that a simple walk-through video is best because it allows the viewer to see the property as they would - just by walking through. No fluff, no gimmicks, just the visual info the buyer needs to proceed to the next step - a viewing.

Oh, and just like we'd be the first to tell you if you had something stuck between your front teeth, we will always make sure your videos stay in the bounds of good taste!

Real estate videos are no longer only in the realm of more expensive properties. At Real Estate Movies, our prices are low enough to be a no-brainer for rental properties. Call us today!

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