“Do I need to build my brand by putting myself in my listing videos?”
That’s a question we get from realtors quite a lot. And the answer is BOTH simple and a little complex – until you figure out the right strategy…
The simple answer is: “Yes – putting yourself in your listing videos is maybe THE strongest way to build your brand!”
Where it gets complex is the “How” – the ideal ways to showcase yourself with both the technical side (lighting, audio, camera equipment) and your “messaging” in mind – what you’re actually going to say once the camera rolls!
Fortunately, how to create great content and market realtors is literally the question we work to answer every day here at Wow Video Tours!
I’m Todd Kivimaki, founder and owner of WOW Video Tours. Since 2004, I’ve been either producing real estate content or running a company that delivers professional content for realtors and agents, just like you!
But YOU can also create your own content too!
So let’s go step-by-step – the process of how you can address both the technical concerns of taping yourself AND how you can craft the same smart messaging we deliver in our AH-HA or Agent Home Highlight Ad videos (that you can see samples of in the WOW Factor April 2022 newsletter).
YOUR FACE IS YOUR BRAND!
We’re big believers in realtors and agents putting themselves in their own videos – because your face IS your brand!
An audience watching a video connects with your personality – just like a buyer or seller does!
If you’re a real estate agent, it’s probably a safe bet that you were attracted to the industry because you’ve always been able to connect with people. You realized early on that your unique personality is your “magic.”
You work your magic, and then a seller or buyer makes decisions based on not just what you say – but on how your facial structure, expressions, sense of humor, tone of your voice, sincerity and empathy affect them…
Your face REALLY is your brand!
VIDEO CONNECTS YOUR PERSONALITY TO SELLERS AND BUYERS!
Of course, video is perfect for EVERY one of those attributes that connect so well with a prospective client in person.
Video takes your “magic” and multiplies your talents exponentially – because one prospective client becomes hundreds, potentially even thousands of prospects!
So, what do you focus on with your video content?
INCLUDE YOUR BRAND, WHETHER YOU’RE SHARING EXPERTISE – OR SELLING A LISTING!
Well you hear it all the time – “be an expert influencer!” We have a product that does that, called the Brand Blast video, and we’ll circle back on that topic in a later newsletter or blog (the technical tips for that sort of content are largely the same, if you want to work through the checklist below and give that messaging a stab!).
But what we’ll focus on here is using your video content to do “double duty”… to showcase a listing – say in your own version of a walkthrough tour – AND put yourself in that video, so you and your personality are connected to the property you’re selling.
Whether you might not love being in front of the camera or you live for the spotlight, you’ll shine if you clearly have in mind what you need to say! But that’s really Step 2 of your process.
Step 1 is all about the technical side of how you shoot yourself. After we go over how to so that, we’ll circle back around to the messaging that will present your brand – while you showcase your listing!
4 TIPS TO SHOOTING YOUR OWN VIDEO – TO PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS!
First up, when it comes to shooting content on your own, you have all the equipment you need in your pocket or your handbag…
It’s your cell phone!
These days, a cell phone doubles as a very good camera, a great device that just a decade ago could have been on par quality-wise, as substitute for a professional-grade camera and lens!
Your phone really is the only thing you need to create content that connects with your viewers. So, let’s talk about a 4-point pre-shoot check list that you should think about before you hit Record.
And in addition to the written checklist that follows, also check out the April WOW Factor Newsletter featured video The 4 Step Pre-Shoot Checklist Before You Hit Record – To Shoot Your Own Video to Professional Standards!
SHOOT TIP #1: MAKE SURE YOUR LIGHTING IS GOOD AND BRIGHT!
You want light striking your face that makes you bright. The light makes you appear cheerful. And you can get good lighting without renting or owning and setting up elaborate external lights.
- Find the light! Look up, look around – and position yourself next to a nice bank of windows or warm ceiling lights overhead.
- Position yourself so that the light hits about ¾ of your face. Think of any good portrait you’ve ever liked
- Don’t ever have really bright windows to your back – because then you’ll go very dark in the frame.
Each frame you compose on your cell phone compensates to the brightest points. So with your back to really bright windows, the camera is exposing for the outside windows.
You become a silhouette – literally a shadow of yourself!
- DIY CHEAP PURCHASE TIP #1 – You can purchase a quick little $15 clamp-on light from Amazon (check out the April WOW Factor’s Newsletter video to see an example).
You just clamp the light right onto your camera, which pulls the power to active the light – and you’re able to brighten up your face just a bit; just enough to look like a pro!
A ring light is not true 3-point lighting, but it’s a true lighting setup.
- TIP – With the light two to three feet from your face, you’ll get a nice “fill” light that smooths out any wrinkles and features that would become less flattering in deep shadow and dark environments, but also in the other extreme – contrasty sunlight
And if you’re willing to experiment a little, you don’t even need that external lighting source on your camera or from a lighting setup. You’ll just use windows and overhead lights to your advantage.
SHOOT TIP #2: BE MINDFUL OF YOUR BACKGROUND!
The nice thing about shooting with your cell phone is that you have a preview monitor right on the front of your phone. You’re very used to using it – every time you take a selfie!
- TIP – So as you point your phone at yourself, look left or right a little bit – then pan and tilt the view so that you get a better looking, or less busy background.
- It’s all about NOT having anything in the frame that distracts the people watching you!
- And it’s also all about DEPTH – instead of a flat wall, you want to point your view towards a vibrant landscape or layered home interior, that stretches off “into infinity”!
SHOOT TIP #3: AUDIO IS 70% OF VIDEO!
I know, you could be saying “Wait? Audio is more important than video?” Yes!
You’re your own best audience, so be honest: what’s easier to watch?
- A video with good audio, where you hear everything going on and everything being said – but combined with a bad image?
- Or a great image with horrible audio? Where you spend the whole video trying to figure out what’s being said?
In the latter example, you spend so much time trying to hear the message that you miss the great image anyway!
- DIY TIP – Understand Audio Levels and where you record!
If you’re using a professional Zoom recorder, you will set your levels. But just about any contemporary cell phone has an audio pre-set that records really well – typically good enough for any social media post.
Ultimately, you need to be mindful of where you’re recording. For instance –
- DIY TIP – Find the quietest place to shoot you can!
- Inside – don’t record in a busy café or lobby, or an event where someone is using a PA or sound amplifier.
- Outside – of course a busy highway or road, or a passing train (it happens!) will be distracting and overwhelm what you are saying.
But wherever you’re recording sound, you need to be very aware of wind noise.
Because when that wind blows by the microphone on your camera, it will create static – and that overwhelms what you’re saying!
- DIY CHEAP PURCHASE TIP #2 – You can pick up a cheap external microphone from an online retailer, that you’ll easily plug into your camera (just like with the clip-on camera light, you can see an example of a cost-effective external mic in April Newsletter featured video).
You just want to make sure that it is going to be a microphone that will fit your cell phone. That will definitely help you get better audio.
SHOOT TIP #4: DON’T EXPECT TO BE PERFECT!
Quite honestly, your viewers don’t want to watch a perfect person. They don’t mind if you screw up on a line or two. Or if your hair is not perfect or your makeup is not done that day.
They want to connect with the real you! So don’t be too hard on yourself!
- DIY TIP – I find that if you cover up your screen once you start recording, you don’t get distracted by watching yourself.
- With your screen covered, you’re simply more apt to look at the lens and not at yourself on your camera screen.
- And when you look into the lens, you connect with your viewer much better!
- So here’s a VERY easy DIY tip: just grab a Post-it note!
Keep a stack of Post-its in your bag or your purse so you’re never without – and cover up yourself looking back at you, when you’re recording.
I hope these four tips have been helpful. Now let’s focus on what you’re going to be saying!
YOUR MESSAGE IS YOUR BRAND! 2 BIG MESSAGING STEPS + ONE SMART STRATEGY…
Being on camera can seem daunting, but only if you don’t clearly have in mind what you need to say!
At Wow Video Tours, we ease that concern with a concise outline that walks you through all the points you’ll easily touch on. And you can do that for yourself.
The process of being on camera is fun and easy – WHEN YOU’RE PREPARED!
YOUR PERFORMANCE ON CAMERA BEGINS WITH A SHORT SCRIPT – AND PRACTICE!
So we say: you want to script what you’re going to say. “Make the words your own!”
Then practice out loud. Or you’ll wish you had!
First up, you’ll need an introduction (or Intro) –
YOUR INTRO: THE WAY WE DO IT AT WOW – AND YOU CAN TO!
Keep it concise and simple – and hit four points:
- Who are you?
- Who are you with (your agency)
- Where are we today?
- Why it matters to the viewer!
Here are some examples from that we at WOW send to every AH-HA video realtor client (you can see an example of a Wow AH-HA listing video in the April 2022 Wow Factor online newsletter).
AH-HA – INTRO Opening Concepts (start with a statement or a question!)
- “Hi, my name is (name)! I’m with (brokerage) and I’m so excited to show you my newest listing at (address). This home includes (i.e. Hard Wood Floors), (Custom Woodwork) and so much more! Come have a look for yourself!”
- “Have you been searching for a (4 bedroom) with (a full basement) on (over an acre)? If so, you don’t want to miss our newest listing! I’m (name) with (Brokerage) and this tremendous home at (address) has all the amenities to impress. Come see for yourself!”
- “Hey! I’m (name) with (brokerage) here at (address), located in the beautiful (FILL IN) subdivision. So this a perfect home both inside AND out! Come on in & see for yourself!”
- “Are you looking for a for a gorgeous home that’s perfect for anyone who wants (A KEY SELLING POINT)? If so, I’m (name) with (brokerage), and you need to see my newest listing, at (address). Let’s take a look!”
- “Welcome to (BROKERAGE)’s newest listing: I’m (name) at (address). With completely updated everything, this house is a must-see. Let’s take a look.”
Next in the video, your audience sees your walkthrough tour of the listing. Then it’s time to close your branded video.
AH-HA Lite – Closing Ideas
At the end of your video, you
- double the impact of your brand
- present a CTA or Call To Action – that gets prospective buyers to come see the house!
Here’s some examples of quick Closing talking points that have worked for Wow Realtor clients:
- “Thank you so much for watching. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a private showing for this home, don’t hesitate to call or text me at (NUMBER).”
- “I’m so happy you could join me! To see more with a private showing, call or text me at (NUMBER).”
- “I hope you guys liked it. If you have any questions or would like to set up a private showing, call or text me at (NUMBER).”
- “This beautiful home won’t be on the market long. For your own private showing, call me for more information at (NUMBER).”
It’s that simple – or hopefully at least the process of putting yourself in your own videos seems a little less complex!
We recommend, before every video shoot, you go back and review the 4-step shooting and 2 step messaging tips before you shoot YOUR branding video!
At the end of the day, don’t underestimate the power of the videos that you can create.
Set goals, put it on your calendar and have fun doing it.
We will see you next time in the Wow Factor newsletter!
Todd Kivimaki – owner and founder of Wow Video Tours