Video: The Secret Weapon For Attracting Buyers
26 March 2021
ROOMTECH produces more than 20 000 videos a year for the real estate industry in South Africa. They say that video (3D tours) produces significantly more leads for real estate companies, 300% more shares than text and images alone, and 500-600% more inquiries. How can home sellers leverage this video when marketing their home? Three experts from Just Property weigh in.
Ana Roberts, a Just Property Upper Highway franchisee, is not surprised by these figures. The properties her agency promotes using video on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube get 80% to 95% more engagement than properties showcased via photographs only.
Andrea Stevens of Just Property Port Elizabeth (Gqeberha) agrees. “We have found that a property marketed using video on Facebook exponentially outperforms static, photographic content. Video marketing on the property portals ranks also as a higher quality listing, which ensures better exposure.”
“Video walkthroughs of homes for sale are an excellent way for prospective property buyers to get a better sense of a place before arranging a viewing. Limiting foot traffic through properties in a COVID-constrained world, and in a country where personal safety is always top of mind, is extremely important,” says Paul Stevens, CEO of Just Property.
“Providing professional photos is a good start but to really get a property to stand out, professional video footage is needed. For these reasons, as well as the emerging statistics on buyer response to video footage, we offer our clients the option of video walkthroughs to boost the marketing of their properties.”
“Video footage brings a property to life better than even the best photographs could,” says Ronel Theron from Just Property Struisbaai and she stresses the importance of using a professional videographer who can capture a property in the most realistic, yet appealing manner.
But even the best videographer cannot change the fact that for best results, preparation is necessary. “I would compare it to ‘dressing up’ your home for a show day. You want to create that ‘wow’ effect as the client enters the home, whether it be in real life or in a virtual world”, says Andrea.
Just Property also provides advice on how to leverage this marketing tool by styling or staging a home before photographs and videos are taken. Their agents understand the tremendous value home staging can contribute towards the successful marketing of a property and this service is not only reserved for high-end properties.
Here are some of their top property staging tips:
- Clear away the clutter
“You want prospective buyers to be able to picture their family and their pieces in the space,” says Ana. “Our motto, in terms of ornaments and knick-knacks, is that the lesser the better.” Retain just a few strategically placed items chosen to reflect your target market (a trendy executive versus a family with small children, say). This will serve to make sure your property still feels like a home, rather than a soulless show house.
Empty homes - where the owners have already moved out, or those that have been newly built for sale - benefit massively from staging. “We had an empty property that we were battling to sell,” Andrea remembers. “We staged it fully, brought in furniture, gave it some soul and sold it within a day!”. You can rent furniture or ask your local furniture store to lend you some key pieces to ‘dress’ the spaces and make them more appealing. The showcased furniture can be purchased along with the property if the buyer so desires, so the furniture store wins too,” says Ronel.
- Keep it neutral
“Once you’ve removed the clutter, find ways to let in lots of natural light and limit the colour schemes,” says Andrea. “Consider giving brightly coloured walls a coat of paint in a neutral colour,” Ana advises. “Similarly, you may want to consider bringing in furniture to reduce the amount of florals and reds. Neutral colours with just a pop of an on-trend colour are the palette to go for.”
- Remember: emotion sells
There used to be an urban legend that baking biscuits before a show house encouraged offers. How does one convey that sort of homeliness in images or a video? “Subtly including emotive elements like freshly cut flowers on a living room table or well-groomed pets in the garden can help clients imagine a good life in a property,” says Andrea. “There is something about fresh flowers which gives the place a sense of home, care, love and luxury.”
- Showcase the heart of the home
Knowing what to focus on depends entirely on what the property has to offer. For example, if the property is a ‘spacious home’ or ‘offers space and luxury’, these are the aspects to showcase.
“That said, the majority of our clients are focused on the living areas and kitchen because that’s where you spend most of your time with your family, friends and create the most memories,” says Andrea. For such homes, focus on these areas but not the detriment of others, warns Ronel. “Every purchaser’s needs are unique and you want to capture the entire property in one short video.”
- Take advantage of views and light
A good video is really all about the feel and the flow of the home, says Andrea, but if the home is being marketed partly for its “glorious views” these should be showcased too. “Open doors and windows will open up spaces and usually make the rooms more attractive,” says Ana. “This also allows more natural light into the home and helps the photographer produce wonderful view shots.” Where the weather doesn’t allow this and you have no option but to capture views through doors and windows, Ronel advises making sure they are clean and that there is no glare.
- Highlight location and lifestyle
“Showcasing the lifestyle offered is an important part of selling and letting properties and video allows us to do this effectively in just a few frames,” Ronel continues. “In Struisbaai, we have gorgeous views and landscapes, and we often feature aerial views of properties to stir the emotions of our clients.”
“Drone shots allow clients to see right away if the position of the house is more or less where they are aiming to purchase,” says Andrea. “I’ve found that the families who wish to live close to schools measure how close they’ll be by looking at the drone footage.” “Drone footage is great,” agrees Ronel, “but remember to stick to the guidelines and regulations and obtain the necessary permissions required regarding neighbour privacy.” In some cases it’s best to use aerial photography to showcase specific elements of a home but not to show the location, says Ana. “We prefer to discuss this with the potential buyers rather than showing a home’s location in photographs or videos.”
Times have changed and most buyers “shop” online for the properties they want to view. This makes the old saying even truer: first impressions count. “A well-staged home that is professionally videographed makes a world of difference in attracting buyers,” Ana concludes.
For more information on Just Property please visit www.just.property or call (087) 550 2258.
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