Property Videos – What do Buyers Want?

Michael at FlexMLS wrote a few months ago that:

70% of consumers would be more likely to list with an agent if they used video as part of their marketing effort. In contrast, only .33% (that’s one-third of one percent) of agents use video.


When looking at Property Videos, What do you see?

Hey Jim Duncan with Nest Realty and here. I have a question for people who are searching for homes on the Internet. What do you want to see? We have the point of diminishing returns with photographs. Our local MLS allows up to 50 pictures and while we do take really good pictures, we think, we’re using video a lot more. Video is something that expands our reach as far as what we can show, but if you’re searching for homes online, I have a question. What do you want to see?

One of my favorite clients the example I use is last year, “If I were using video, what would you want to see?” He said: “You know, I want to see what the view is from the bathroom.” And I thought that was a really insightful comment because when you’re looking online from California, or London, or Seattle, for homes in Charlottesville, you might not know the area and so there is more to a house than what you see in the kitchen. You want to see what the view is from looking inside out.

So my question for you is: What do you want to see? If I were to take a video of a house for you, what would it contain?

Thanks so much. Please feel free to leave comments here or give me a call or an email anytime. (434) 242-7140. Thanks so much for your input.

Related discussion: Realtors versus the MLS and the Real Estate Board.

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  1. downtownenvy June 9, 2009 at 13:01

    I love this question! I also have a list of things that I DON’T want to see on video. I am going to use some of the things that I have learned from local agents on our MLS. I won’t name names, but I will critique behaviors.

    If you have the nerve to only put one picture in a listing in this day and age you should have your license revoked immediately. So for video, don’t just shoot the curb view from the front door and call it a day. I would like to see a good street view from the front and back porch if applicable. What does the house look like at night? Can I see inside closets and pantries? I know it has an unfinished basement, but I still want to see that as well.

    If there is a view from the kitchen into a backyard- that is huge for me as a mom with small children. Just how close is my front yard to the nearest street or road? I don’t want endless shots of just exteriors either. Break it up and make it even. Stand in the middle of the kitchen and give me an idea of work/social space. Honestly, if realtors around here (you excluded) did a better job of putting pictures or video up you would save a lot of buyers a lot of time. If you are too worried about us seeing inside then maybe it shouldn’t be for sale yet, if it is not a short sale/foreclosure in need of rehab. Just some thoughts. Love the idea.

  2. Pavel June 9, 2009 at 15:32

    I want to experience what it is like approaching the home I’m interested in from the road or from the entrance to the subdivision. A video showing the entrance to the subdivision and a recorded “drive” to the house which will show if there is still a lot of construction going on, or if a major highway is nearby, this will reveal what the neighboring homes are like, feel of the neighborhood, etc. But it has to be done with a high quality standard (in other words…. I would not want to see someone placing a jiggly video camera on top of their car and posting the promotional clip.) The quality cannot be sub-par.

  3. belocki June 9, 2009 at 19:28

    take a walk around the house with a video camera. with that, i can see the yard, the neighbors and exterior condition of home. a drive down the street would be helpful; what am i passing before i get to the house in question? if its a great house, but surrrounded by ugly homes, i would consider it a wasted trip out. Would like to know that before hand.

    a better view of the carpets and flooring. most carpets and flooring look so much better online than in person. seen plenty of pictures that made the carpets look new, but when visiting the home, carpets were in poor condition.

    video with audio, tell us what we are seeing: view from master or view from other bedroom or view from bathroom; looking east or west, etc….

  4. Keith Davis June 10, 2009 at 13:50

    I recently shot a video for a client of street and drive in as Pavel has requested. And I have to second the No-Sub-Professional request. The camera looked like I was going to hit oncoming car after oncoming car. I swear I was in my lane, but you sure couldn’t tell the way I had the camera hanging out the window…

  5. Doug Francis June 10, 2009 at 19:01

    I am going to give this some serious thought, but my advice is to keep it short like 2-3 minutes. Plan it out like a good movie… standing in front, looking out back, side yard, driveway and garage. But I think the inside stills are okay.

    By the way, I use a “flip” camera and the use MS Movie Maker which came included on my computer to make my clips for the “vlog”. I like to add captions to emphasize points. Click on name to see what I’m up to… and I did not do the “I am not…” video.

  6. Daniel, The Real Estate Zebra June 15, 2009 at 12:58

    The interesting part of this question is not only what the buyer wants to see, but what the seller wants to show them. If you are doing a video in order to promote one of your own listings, that has to come into play. It is one of the reasons that video won’t be effective for every listing.

    We have been doing a lot of video for our out-of-town buyers, recently. Theyway that we do that type of video is different than the way we have done listing videos. Buyers, for the most part, simply want the home documented. They want to see everything as it is; in essence, they have already expressed interest in the house, they just want me to show it to them.

    When doing a video for a seller, the objective is slightly different– the idea is to entice people to see the house. That requires a different approach to the content.

    In order to get the best input, you should probably find out what sellers want to see, too.

  7. Jim Duncan June 15, 2009 at 22:32

    downtownenvy – you rock. Thank you.

    Daniel – that’s a great point, and is exactly what I have found. A potential client just emailed me his frustration at the “doctored” photos currently found in the MLS, but expressed thanks for my candid videos that show the true nature of the property.

    It’s a fine line we walk between enticing and being “real” …. I’m constantly struggling with it. Sure, titles and transitions are great (I’m learning, slowly but surely) but I think buyers just want to see the darn house. 🙂


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