Video marketing can increase the profile of your real estate business and its agents, with prospective clients and the wider community. But you need a clear and consistent video strategy to maximise this medium in your real estate marketing mix.
As a judge on the REB Awards, I gain great insights into the ways different real estate businesses are not only using digital marketing but also how agencies and agents have progressed along their video marketing journeys.
A fresh approach to real estate video marketing
One of the standout entrants in the Digital category this year came from Harcourts Solutions, based in Brisbane. The real estate agency’s goal is “to create and maintain an online presence that is inline and complementary to our offline presence”. I thought this was a realistic and sensible aim, as well as an essential approach to real estate marketing in today’s digital world.
Harcourts Solutions demonstrated its commitment to this goal by hiring a marketing and business growth director – Bridget Gabites.
Bridget describes herself as “a bit of a chameleon”. A fixer, change leader and marketing whizz. She has walked the walk as a real estate agent and has eight years’ property marketing experience under her belt. She’s also worked with a variety of real estate businesses and agents to help redefine their marketing plans, concentrating on client-centric content.
In my view, every real estate business needs a “Bridget” in their life!
Bridget was hired to test the success of various digital marketing strategies, identify gaps and opportunities, and create new ways to raise Harcourt Solutions’ agency profile.
Focusing in on video marketing
Bridget has concentrated the company’s digital marketing output heavily on video. This has been a huge success.
Video enables your clients and the wider community to learn more about your business, all you have to do is create great content that they will want to watch. Easy, right!? The trick is to ensure that each video produced is informative, educational and highly engaging, making your real estate business more memorable.
For Harcourts Solutions, video has enabled people to get to know the team, from agents right through to business leaders, making the business more approachable and trustworthy. The other main advantage of video content is that people can watch videos on their own terms, in their own time, so it isn’t intrusive or inconvenient as a real estate marketing technique.
Taking a three-tiered approach to your video marketing
We all know there are many layers to a real estate business, but not many agencies take the time and effort to implement strategies that help each layer to grow. Bridget’s video digital marketing strategy was to break Harcourts Solutions’ video marketing program into three key market segments.
1. Agency to community
It’s essential for a successful real estate agency to have a trusted presence in the community it serves. Harcourts Solutions has used video in a number of ways to achieve this:
a) Community snapshots
These community videos feature Harcourts agents interviewing local business owners and community groups in their area, to promote camaraderie between people servicing the same neighbourhoods and collectively increase everyone’s brand awareness. Harcourts Solutions then market these videos across social media, paying to “boost” them to their own key audience, as well as the audiences of the featured businesses and groups on Facebook.
b) Corporate and leader videos
These showcase the Harcourts real estate sales team, showing how they work together and their training and development. They also feature insights from the leadership team, including inspirational one-minute videos from business founder and Managing Director, Martin Millard.
These videos are shared on Martin’s business page and emailed to his database subscribers, as well as posted on the company’s YouTube channel.
2. Agent to seller
Harcourts Solutions have also used video marketing to help them appeal directly to home sellers in their area.
a) Agent videos
These interview-style videos concentrate on the “realness” of the agents, telling their stories and showing how their backgrounds help them to help others.
“Clients in our area didn’t want the ‘flashy’ content,” Bridget explains. “They want to know they are working with real people that understand and can empathise with their journey.”
These videos are used in Harcourts Solutions’ social media marketing on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, as well as featured on their website and emailed directly to clients.
Here’s one of my favourites, featuring Gabrielle Baker, not only is she a real estate agent but also an art deco enthusiast. Gabrielle really has found her niche!
b) Solution sessions
These are short educational videos covering topics that buyers and sellers often ask. Home sellers often prefer to hunt down these answers for themselves instead of having to speak directly to an agent, so these videos make it easier for them to find the information they need. They also demonstrate the knowledge and experience of the Harcourts Solutions team.
3. Property to buyer
Appealing to potential buyers is an essential part of real estate marketing. Harcourts Solutions have used video to achieve this in several ways.
a) “Why buy here?”
Harcourts Solutions put together a “journey” video for each suburb they sell in. The content is made up of the agent, local property owners and business owners discussing in detail why the suburb is special to them.
b) Direct to Instagram campaigns
To cater for Instagram’s unique video format and audience, Harcourts created beautiful videos and images concentrating heavily on property and interior design. These videos are short and make a real impact.
‼️JUST LISTED‼️ Your private retreat! An entertainer’s delight! Auction – On Site 28 July at 11:30am – Unless Sold Prior . 4🛏️ 2🛁 2🚘 1010sqm . More information ➡️ bit.ly/94FaheysRdWest . An inspection this weekend is an absolute must! Contact us now on 0416 818 114 or firstname.lastname@example.org #justlisted #albanycreek #sellingalbanycreek #brisbanerealestate #harcourts #harcourtssolutions #jamesgwynneteam
How the videos were created
A variety of different production techniques were used, depending on the intended audience and what each video was meant to achieve.
Videos with a 12-24 month lifespan, such as agent videos, company videos and suburb profiles were produced to the highest quality. The interviews and local market updates, which would date more quickly, received a lower production spend.
Martin’s one-minute videos were self-recorded. This shows there is a place for self-recorded videos in your real estate marketing. However, for your clients’ property videos or your agent videos, you should always choose professional production.
Altogether, over 50 videos were created for Harcourts Solutions, with Bridget taking great care to make each one unique.
“Great video content is all about the effort you put in with your planning and preparation,” she explains. “Providing clear instructions and ensuring the entire video crew, right through to the video editor, are well-versed on the brief, is the only way to ensure that each finished video is fantastic.”
Why it’s important to embrace change
As Harcourts Solutions themselves agree, the key to success these days is to constantly embrace change and be willing to try new marketing methods, particularly when it comes to digital marketing.
By producing informative and engaging video content and distributing it across a variety of channels, including paid advertising on Facebook, Harcourts Solutions have increased brand awareness and trust throughout the local community.