Every property deserves a video tour
Some less expensive or distressed homes may not require a professionally done video. When selling these you can simply shoot a video tour on your phone or small camera and narrate as you film. As long as you keep your hands steady, keep it short and give some valuable information to your potential buyers – you will be just fine. You can use your iPad or iPhone to quickly shoot, edit and upload your video to YouTube – it will take just under 15 minutes.
Some homes are worthy of a professionally done video. There’s a misconception that such tours are only done for expensive high-end homes. Not necessarily. I have a Realtor friend and he decided to produce professional videos for every listing he gets over $100k. The potential commission on a $150k sale is around $4,500 (or $9,000 if you work directly with both the seller and the buyer). Many good agents will spend up to 20% of their income on marketing and advertising. So, is it worth spending a few hundred dollars on professional photos and video tour? Here’s an example of a simple video tour I just finished. Trust me, it won’t break your marketing bank.
What is your vision and what is your plan?
Deciding how much money to set aside for marketing and advertising and what portion of it will be used for video and photography – is not always easy. Realtors have to spend a lot of money every year: Realtors fees, MLS dues, Supra lockbox, desk fees, splits with a broker, office supplies, technology fees, franchise fees – these are often a must. Video and photo often fall in the voluntary expense fund (if there’s any left) out of which you pay for enhanced listings on home search sites, mail-outs, postcards, brochures, magazine ads, food for open houses and broker’s opens, personal website, IDX search plug in, membership in local networking clubs, and many more.
My advice would be to start with your vision and skill assessment. Decide where you want to be in 5, 10 years, what you need to learn and then focus on getting there. Some aspire to always work on their own, others want to build a team, some dream of becoming a broker, others desire to run a commercial real estate division. Your plan and your vision will affect how you apply your marketing money. How much of your budget should go to marketing will depend on what stage you are in. Don’t spend your dollars on any marketing without having a vision and a plan to accomplish it.
You will have to adapt to the ever-changing world and learn new technology on the way to your dream. Decide early on to only use technology that can substantially boost your business and give you advantages over competition without changing your vision and core values, and without putting a strain on your budget.