Listing Video boosts your image, gains massive buyer views

It’s just simple statistics. When a listing also has a video attached to it the views go up! Your search results are better, your image improves in the eyes of the buyers as well as your seller! Still only a small percentage of listing agents use video to promote their listings. Why? There are several reasons.

  • They are budget conscious and think it’s too expensive.
  • They assume they have to go on camera and are too shy.
  • They don’t know what to do with the video file once they receive it and don’t know how to maximize the video’s potential to promote the listing as well as help in personal branding.

Let me give you a few tips in regards to these reasons.

  • I assume you have a marketing budget for each property you list. How much is it? 5%? 10% 15? of your potential commission? We have different options for video. When discussing your needs with your photo/video specialist you may become surprised finding that there may be a budget conscious option for your video that will still look amazing. Have a conversation and ask for a package deal.
  • Some people are more open to be on camera than others. You don’t need to be an HGTV start to say “Hi, I’m Mary! Welcome to my new listing at 123 Maple street!” Just this one line alone can give a warm and welcoming feeling to your potential buyers. They may like you so much that they would like to work with you directly and now even use a buyer’s agent!
  • Once you receive your video – what do you do with it? Here’re some tips. Ask for a non-branded MLS-friendly link. So you can post it on MLS and where other agents can see it. Ask for 1-minute long version, so you can post it on your Instagram. Longer versions are great for posting on Facebook and LinkedIn. In this day and age these 3 platforms are essential to use if you are involved in any B-to-B sales. Successful selling is about having a great product and exposure to as many potential buyers as possible. Additionally you can create a page on your website where you can post your video and photos of this listing. Creating a separate property landing page with address in URL is also a good idea and will help with your search results on Google. Finally, give the video to your home owners! They will be ecstatic to show off their home on their social media platforms! How about your fellow agents? Let them share it too and bring you a buyer!

We hope this has been helpful and that you will start using video tours of your listings to help you sell faster and for more money. Call us today to schedule: (470) 420-4237.

 

Team Headshots

Individual headshots are great! You should update your at least every couple years. We all change with age and it’s best to look and represent yourself with your most current appearance.

But what if you work in a team? Yes, we recommend a good team shot too. Sometimes it’s hard to take a perfect team shot if there are more that two people in it. So, we have a unique system where we can take individual headshots and then composite your team shot from individual photos. That way everyone looks great! Call/text us today (470) 420-4237 to set up your team photo! We travel to your office all over Atlanta and Metro area.

Prepping Your Home For Real Estate Photos

WHY BOTHER?

Simple. Because your first showing happens online. Your photos didn’t catch the eye of your potential buyer on the internet? Forget about seeing them walk through your door. First impressions count! Follow these steps to prepare you home for real estate photoshoot. (YOU CAN ALWAYS SCHEDULE YOUR PHOTOS NOW: (470) 420-4237)

 

LET’S BEGIN! HERE’RE SOME GENERAL TIPS

Thoroughly clean whole house (vacuum carpet, mop hard floors, clean countertops, clean windows)
Turn all overhead lights and lamps ON
Replace all burned out light bulbs
Use bulbs of the same temperature (ALL incandescent or ALL compact fluorescent)
Turn all ceiling fans OFF
Turn all TVs OFF
Turn all computer screens OFF
Open blinds/window treatments to let in outside light
Remove personal photographs (or replace with general landscape/object photographs)
Make all beds
Remove small floor rugs to reveal actual flooring
Place all shoes/jackets in closets

 

EXTERIOR

Often the first photo your buyer will see is an exterior shot. Think curb appeal!

Close garage doors
Remove cars from driveway and front of home
Clean up landscaping (mow, trim shrubs, clear leaves)
Remove empty planters
Use broom to remove cobwebs from eaves and door frames
Remove visible water hoses
Remove toys, sports balls, basketball goals, soccer goals, etc.

 

BACK YARD
It’s a peaceful place to relax!

Clean porch, tidy up outdoor tables/chairs/cushions
Pillows/cushions should be fresh, not faded
Clear out kid’s toys, balls, frisbees, etc.
Clean pool
Remove pool vacuum/cleaner hose
Hide pool cleaning supplies
Turn on pool fountains/water features
Remove visible water hoses
Remove trash cans

 

KITCHEN
People spend a lot of time looking at kitchen shots. This is where yes or no decisions are often made.

Clear countertops completely. No knife blocks, baking supplies, mail, etc.

Leave out max of one small appliance (ex. coffee maker)

Clear outside of refrigerator of magnets, papers, photos, etc.

Hide garbage cans in pantry or closet

Remove dishes from sink, place in dishwasher

 

DINING ROOM
Let them imagine a nice family meal here!

Clear table, dust and polish the table top

Use decorative place setting if available

Feature one center piece such as a bouquet of flowers

Straighten all chairs and space them evenly

Remove child seats/booster chairs

 

LIVING/FAMILY ROOM
Place to rest and entertain

Remove stacks of magazines, papers, mail, etc.

De-clutter fireplace mantel/hearth (no more than 5 items, including art)

Clean interior of fireplace and re-paint if needed

Fluff and arrange furniture pillows

Remove kid’s toys

 

MASTER BEDROOM

Make bed, including decorative pillows/shams if available

Press bed linens and bed skirts

Clear nightstands of all personal items

Store away phone/tablet charging cables

Remove all clutter from top of dressers

Remove family photos from walls

Clean under bed, removing items that may show in the photos

 

GUEST/KID ROOM

Remove personalized names from walls
Remove wall stickers/posters
Remove diaper genies
Clean under bed, removing items that may show in the photos

 

BATHROOMS

To be spa-like the bathroom must be clear of all personal items

Clear countertops completely. No soap, toothbrushes, medications, deodorant, etc.
Put toilet seats down
Close closet doors
Remove shampoo, soap, loofahs, etc. from showers and tubs
Remove dirty towels – leave out only new, unused towels
Remove floor mats

 

PETS

We love pets! But their presence should be minimal during the photoshoot

Place food and water bowls in pantry or closet
Place pet beds/toys in pantry or closet
Use lint roller on furniture to remove pet hair
Contain pets in hidden crate or outside
Clear back yard of pet waste/toys

 

THE HOUSE SHOULD BE SHOOT-READY WHEN WE ARRIVE

We look forward to taking photos of your home!

We want the photos of your home to be the best they can be. This requires teamwork and cooperation that will result in an outstanding online presence when your home goes LIVE on the market.
When we arrive to take photos of your property, we ask that all staging and cleaning be done prior to our arrival. To efficiently maintain our busy schedule and deliver the level of service our clients expect, we can not spend unnecessary time at the home waiting for it to be cleaned, dusted, de-cluttered, etc.
Please review the previous sections for tips on preparing your home for real estate photography, and note that we are not responsible and will not partake in any of the following duties while photographing your home:

WE DO NOT:

Move or re-arrange furniture
Make beds, clean, dust or de-clutter
Pick up toys or yard items
Touch personal bathroom supplies (shampoo, toothbrushes, deodorant, towels)

“Photoshopping” out vehicles, walls, damaged walls, power lines, wall pictures, cords is sometimes possible at additional charge.

SCHEDULE PHOTOS NOW: (470) 420-4237

How often do you update your headshot?

Because so often I don’t recognize you on your business card photo. Perhaps it was taken 10-20 years ago? When phones still had cords attached to them?

Updating your headshot every couple years is a good rule of thumb. Maybe even more often if your looks change. Ladies love changing hair style and color, we lose or gain a little weight, clothes styles change. These are all good reasons for an updated headshot.

I specialize in simple business headshots. The kind you’ll be proud placing on your Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. Your thumbnail avatar is often the first impression people get about you. Keep in mind that it’s showing up tiny on all these social media platforms, so a close headshot is better than waist up or full body shot.

I bring all my lights and equipment and set up in your office. If you have a good size conference room, that will work great! Groups of 10 and more get a discount. Book today (727) 418-9016

Here’re a few samples of real estate agent headshots I recently did.

Twilight Photos In Marietta

What You Need To Know About Twilight Photos In Atlanta and Marietta

Have you ever seen a featured listing in Atlanta on Realtor.com or Zillow and Trulia and it really stood out to you? Chance are you saw some twilight photos of that home. Especially if the house is outfitted with elegant lighting and landscaping is lit up too. It just looks magical. Sometimes I create my own light to accent darker areas of the property. There are only a few minutes of magic light when the sun sets. I get to capture those minutes and create beautiful photos of your listing. I work in Atlanta and Metro area. My pricing is here.

Why not add twilight photos to your listing? Call me today (727) 418-9016 and lets schedule our evening photoshoot!

Here are a few samples from my latest twilight session.

IMG_2947IMG_2962IMG_2955IMG_2975IMG_2965IMG_2980

Time To Use Video In Real Estate Marketing

Are You Using Video In Real Estate Marketing in Atlanta?

Because if you aren’t, you may be missing some clients. I once made a property video for a client and a buyer bought it site unseen after he watched the video on his iPad while on the plane 30,000 ft in the air.

video-in-real-estate-marketingSearch Google for a property address. If that property has a video tour it will pop up in the top of the results! You can place a video link in your MLS, On Realtor.com, Zillow and Trulia. All my video are made with purchased copyrighted soundtracks, so you will never be kicked off if you load it directly to Facebook!

Do you know you can now also directly upload videos to LinkedIn? THIS IS HUGE! Think about it. The more eyeballs you will have on your listing, the higher your chances are for selling that property quickly. And that’s what your seller wants. That is what you want too. I charge $200 for small homes, and $300 for properties over 2,000 sq.ft. Currently I include drone video in all my property video (if drone use is allowed in your area). Call me today (727) 418-9016 or send me a message to schedule your property video! Here are a few samples.

I make real estate videos anywhere in Atlanta, Marietta, Kennesaw and other towns of Atlanta Metro area. Ask me also about property photos, twilight photography, drone pictures and your headshots!

Taking Real Estate Interior Photos – What Is The Best Method?

Best Method for Real Estate Photos in Atlanta

Hello, Atlanta Realtor or any other professional who cares about Real Estate Photography. Before I go into details, I have to say that the described methods of taking real estate interior photos is a matter or preference and justified cost. I’ll show and explain why I prefer a multiple lights set up over single mount-on flash or HDR.

I’ll try to explain using this small simple bathroom. This is from today’s photo shoot, there’s no editing (just brought a little brightness up on HDR), straight out of the camera.

This is an HDR photo

(high-dynamic range), which is accomplished by taking several shots at different exposure settings and then blending them using software. It is not a bad shot. What HDR allows you to do is produce a single shot with everything in it exposed properly: the windows are not blown out and the shadows don’t go to extreme black. I’ve seen decent HDR shots when a photographer takes at least one shot with flash before compiling them. When no flash is used (like in this shot), lots or orange and yellow colors show up in the picture, which can somewhat be reduced in photoshop. But overall look is very flat.

HDR-shot-bathroom64

 

This is a shot taken with a mount-on flash.

The issues are obvious, heavy shadows, much brighter in the foreground, and some areas are not lit properly. It is possible to achieve a good shot with a mount-on flash, but the setting has to be just right. preferably no fans or other standing object in the front as they will cast shadows. The best way to take a shot with single flash, when possible, is by pointing it up or even backwards towards the wall instead of forward. That will give you a larger bounced ray of light and will soften the shadows. Another problem with this method is that it’s harder to accommodate much of ambient light, so the interiors end up with lots of flash light, and little natural light.

mount-on-flash-bathroom-shot63

 

In this shot I used three speedlights.

One in the shower, one bouncing off the wall near floor to lighten up the front of the cabinet and one more above my head, bouncing into the wall behind me. I had little time to play and adjust the lights, but you can see how much more definition there is in this photo. There’s also a doze of character, which potential buyers can easily identify with.

multiple-lights-bathroom-shot55

 

In my view using a miltiple lights method for interior real estate photography will produce more interesting photos. They more often than not will take a little more time in the field (I often spend two hours shooting a 3,000 sq.ft home, where an HDR or single-flash shooter can be done in one hour). But there’s a little less time used for Photoshop manipulation. I personally enjoy spending more time behind the camera than in front of the computer screen.

I shoot real estate photos and video in Tampa Bay, and some times a little further. You can see samples of my work on Flickr.

Realtor Marketing Skills Are Overrated

Stop Marketing and Start Selling

stop-marketing-start-selling-real-estate-tampa-bay-st-petersburgI know, Atlanta Realtor, I may get some critique from you about this post. I recently read an article outlining important skills a Realtor must have in order to be a “good” agent.  They were all good skills but 7 out of 9 were types of marketing know-hows that would somehow prove that the real estate professional has deep knowledge, experience and works very hard for the seller.  Things like taking good pictures, creating high-quality brochures, writing a property description, help you prepare your house for a showing, etc.

I LOVE all these things, and that’s precisely why I don’t sell real estate any more.  I like being a marketer more than a sales person.  A Realtor is a sales person?  Of course!  Last time I checked it’s commission kind of work.  So, if I wanted to list my home for sale, what qualities would I seek in my listing agent?

Ok, here’s a short list:

1) A good listing agent is a great negotiator, a sales person of great skill
2) Knows transaction flow in and out
3) Knows contract, addenda and any deal related paperwork very well
4) Knows real estate news in his community
5) Knows inventory and pricing well
6) Well-connected with vendors and other agents
7) Great closer and problem-solver
8) Great communicator who keeps things under control
9) Delegates tasks

Marketing skills?  I’d put those at the end of the list.  Why?  Because marketing can and, in my opinion, should be outsourced or delegated.  You can control your marketing, you can be the face and voice of your marketing, you can be involved in it somewhat on your personal time (like blogging), but putting together brochures, editing videos, taking pictures, fixing websites – is time that should’ve been spent building relationships, finding business, working with your sphere of influence and with your leads.

Some may say: I can’t afford to pay someone else to do my marketing.  What you can’t afford is spending your time on it instead of focusing on generating business.  Trust me, I’ve made that mistake.  Even your most creative marketing efforts that will generate you leads are worthless if you are not working those leads.

Do you eat your lunch alone?  What are you doing with your 500+ friend list of Facebook?  Your 10 closest friends – do you know what’s going on in their family life?  Do you know 5 most successful people in your town and do you know if they have a Twitter account?  Do you follow?  Answer these questions before you spend two hours making a brochure or thinking about your marketing plan.

I hope you know WHY you got into real estate.  I hope you are taking your “why” seriously and your vocation as a full-time job.  There isn’t much room for you in real estate business these days if you are not.  In the last 10 years the way we do real estate evolved rapidly.  However, if you are new to this business or struggling to build it to a level of success – I have some thoughts to share with you. But that’s in my next post…

Why Saying You Are Better And Different Is Not a Wise Choice In Real Estate Marketing

Why Saying You Are Better Than Others Is Stupid. Especially If You Aren’t

better-than-you-realtor“Soaring above the rest”, “Why we are different from the rest”, “We answer our phones” – and so many other ways some of us advertise come across as passive aggressive, heck, sometimes plain aggressive.

A friend told me: I don’t want to be known for what I am against, but what I am for. Negative notes often speak to our ego. They reflect our immaturity. It’s one thing to address something wrong done by others, another to use a blanket statement to the rest of your competition. What will push you above the crowd is the respect of others, never just your own promotional efforts. The bullshit radar is so very sensitive right now among all generations. We spot arrogance, we see when someone lies and we don’t want to deal with them. Rolling that way online only magnifies things.

It will take someone 5 minutes to check on your real presence online, your work and your reviews. If there isn’t much to show then your statements of being “different” are foolish.

So how do you promote yourself correctly?

The simple answer is that you don’t just promote yourself. Today’s marketing is offering help and telling a story, providing service and education about product. It is not blasting mass emails to 1000 addresses you just bought and then try to immediately close, churn and burn style. Today it’s give, give, give, politely ask. Love them to sale. And I see more and more professionals in Altanta and Metro area doing just that.

Practically speaking

1) Like Gary Vaynerchuk says: become self-aware . What are your strengths? How can you use them in your business?
2) Decide how much of personal life you want to share with your audience. But share some.
3) Don’t just push your listings on your wall. Start thinking like your clients, what do they really want from you?
That’s right, they’ve already seen all new listings, maybe even those you yourself haven’t seen yet. What is your value to your client? Define it, package it, offer it.
4) Thank before you bank. Your past clientele is your best advertising tool. Take a selfie with your happy buyers or sellers. Help them move in. Ask for a positive review.
5) If you do something much better than others, don’t say so. Simply show it and offer it. “I love making property videos for all my new listings! Love to show to my community what’s new for sale in the neighborhood! Follow me on YouTube, new listings coming this week!” – Something like this is positive and offers value.

Tell Your Story – Reach Your Audience With Quality Media. Domain Homes

livingroom149I have worked with Domain Homes for a couple years now.  I could see passion in what they do and their enthusiasm for creating a brand name that is recognizable and carries a great reputation. My passion was to work with such passionate people. I wanted to come along and help them in this pursuit. Idea after idea, project after project, Domain Homes has grown into a reputable company in Tampa Bay whose brand is well recognised.

Quality Photography

design-center188For Domain Homes it was not a question wether they needed to present their homes with great photography. They wanted quality and consistency. Every model home was photographed and featured with a video tour.

Video

They wanted more. They honored owners of the lots they bought from, threw parties for them and presented gifts. When a kids baseball league found some of their equipment stolen Domain Homes stepped in and purchased new item for them. They also kept the story-line going with photos and video.

When I suggested we create a video presentation of their Enclave Model in the style of House Hunters – they jumped on it without hesitation. The video is now on their YouTube channel and uploaded directly to their Facebook Page.

Results

back240For a small Tampa home builder they created a strong following on Facebook and you will find their daily posts on Twitter and regular videos on YouTube. The awareness of their brand is huge in Tampa Bay. People in St Pete know of them, Tampa Heights, Seminole and Safety Harbor – all heard about Domain Homes. Not an easy task when you are competing with national new home builder giants. Same goes for builders in Atlanta, Marietta, Alpharetta and other Metro Area towns.