7 Tips to Creating Successful Real Estate Videos

Video has been growing in importance as a marketing tool for the past few years, and 2013 promises to make the medium even more vital especially for real estate marketing. How can you take advantage of this trend?

We’ve compiled seven tips on what to do (and what not to do, especially regarding mobile optimization of videos) to create a successful video.

  • Avoid tiny text.
  • Use clear audio.
  • Put links to your website and related sites, such as your blog or a property listing, in the description.
  • Include keywords in the description.
  • Use close-up shots of interesting property features, neighborhood sites or interviewees.
  • Test the video on mobile devices.
  • Keep it no longer than 3 or 4 minutes, ideally 1 to 2 minutes.

Matt Kellam of Help-U-Sell Keystone Realty does a great job with the length, audio and keywords. Watch one of his recent videos of a property tour.

Not sure what to film? Try out this suggested content:

  • Property tours: If possible, record the sellers’ story of the home and focus on unique details of the property.
  • Neighborhood overviews: Give viewers a feel for the area and speak with local proprietors and residents about why they love the neighborhood.
  • Tips for buyers and sellers: Answer your most frequently asked questions (one per video).
  • Market updates: Share the most recent sales figures or give the latest interest rate information. Use graphs or other visuals to help explain the changes.
  • Client testimonials: Record your happy sellers’ and buyers’ praising you and your staff.

Do you have any other ideas for video content or tips for successful videos? If so, please share them with us.

[Special thanks to Inman News‘ Mobile Marketing Essentials webinar for a few of these tips.]

Broker Website Background Images Now Customizable

We always appreciate input and new ideas from our brokers, and, in response to a recent request, we have added another way for franchisees to localize their Help-U-Sell websites. In addition to the five theme options available for all broker websites, we have now added the ability for brokers to upload a custom background image.

Images must be high-quality (at least 1MB in size) and should fade to white at the top and bottom. You can upload your image in OMS by clicking on Setup and then Website in the system. Below “Website Theme,” you will see “Background Image.” Check the box next to those words, and you will be able to choose a file to upload.

Adding a background image to a Help-U-Sell website
How to add a custom background image to your Help-U-Sell website

When selecting an image for your broker website, focus on your area’s most iconic or attractive feature. Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty’s custom background image features the Washington, D.C. skyline.

Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty's background image
Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty's background image

We encourage you to send us your background image so that we can examine it and make any necessary adjustments.

Sold and Saved Banners Added to Broker Websites

During our annual Help-U-Sell Success Summit, several brokers requested we add a Sold and Saved $x,xxx banner to all Sold listings on the broker websites.

Last week, we worked on this feature and launched it over the weekend. You will now have the option to show either a Sold banner on your sold listings, or the Sold and Saved $x,xxx banner.

Help-U-Sell Real Estate Sold and Saved Banner
By request from some of our brokers at this month's Success Summit, we've added Sold and Saved banners to the broker websites.

We calculate the dollar savings by taking the amount you reported on the listing side of the transaction (if you represented the seller only), add 3% for the selling side, then compare the savings to a 6% commission. If you represented both the seller and the buyer, we take what you reported on both the listings and selling sides and compare it to a 6% commission.

We also are aware that in some cases, such as REOs, you may receive a full 6% on the transaction and therefore have $0 savings. To account for this, we will only display the Sold and Saved banner when the savings exceed $1,000. When the savings are below $1,000, we will only display the Sold banner.

We look forward to your feedback on this new feature. We also want to thank the brokers who participated at this year’s Success Summit and came up with this and several other great initiatives.

Help-U-Sell University Gears Up for Students

It’s back-to-school time for the kids, and Help-U-Sell University is almost ready for its students to start classes, too. We’ll officially launch it at the Success Summit, but here’s a little pre-orientation peek.

The online program consists of seven modules containing up to nine lessons each, all delivered in video form, with some audio components also. The lessons are accompanied by a print workbook and quizzes. An updated Help-U-Sell Operations Manual will be included, too. A coach will lead new franchisees through the lessons and help incorporate the information into the franchisees’ operations. Existing franchisees can learn at their own pace.

Help-U-Sell University
Help-U-Sell University is an online real estate training program for brokers and agents.

The lesson topics progress from an introduction to the Help-U-Sell Real Estate system and how to select an office location to how to court expired listings and tips on hiring buyers’ agents. Watch the lesson on creating your elevator speech on YouTube.

Help-U-Sell University is geared toward broker/owners but agents are welcome to participate.

Attendees of this November’s Success Summit will see a preview and receive the web link and a username and password to start learning immediately. We hope you can join us in Orlando. If won’t be able to attend, everyone will have access to Help-U-Sell University after the Summit.

OMS Upgrades – Listing Module Redesign and MLS Fields

The new listing module design is scheduled for completion by the end of the month. We gave a sneak preview to this week’s Tech Time Tuesday attendees. For those of you who couldn’t make it, here are a few screen shots and an overview of the functionality.

The streamlined listing module has five collapsible menus, down from the eight tabs currently in use. The Listings Details menu affords easy access to other functionality in addition to updating the description. A click on the address leads to the listing’s property page on the broker site. Click on the main photo and get a QR code that will direct people who scan it to the property page.

There are three options for printing the listing description: a three-photo brochure, a listings details sheet with a map and a listings details information sheet solely for agents.

Listing Module Design
The new streamlined listing module design features five collapsible menus, a reduction from the current eight tabs.

The other four menus can be opened by clicking on the plus sign to their right. The Listing History menu shows a graph of listing views and a list of status changes with the dates the status changed. In the Listing Attachments menu, the broker or agent can upload pictures or documents related to the listing and indicate whether the attachment is available for public display. The Open House Schedule menu contains a calendar where open house events can be entered and viewed. The Listing Notes menu enables the broker or agent to read and add internal information about the property.

Another enhancement we’ve created is the ability to add MLS fields to property listing descriptions. As each MLS is incorporated into the new system, brokers and agents will be able to select the fields that show up in the property listing descriptions. The names of the fields can also be edited. In the example below, “Style” has been changed to “Architecture” and “Spa” will show up as “Hottub.” These fields will be added as filters on the broker websites’ property search results page, as well.

Additional MLS Fields
With the new functionality, you will be able to control the MLS fields that show up in your listing descriptions.

Let us know what you think of the new listing module and MLS upgrades. If you have any questions, we want to hear them, too.