Just like 360-degree tours, using video as part of your overall marketing strategy isn’t a luxury anymore. It’s a necessity.
Video marketing is the cornerstone of a strong online presence, which is essential since about 97% of buyers use the internet in their home search, according to a 2020 NAR report. Adding consistent, branded and valuable video content can help you stand out from the competition—which is urgent, especially in a rapidly changing market—Los Angeles real estate broker Ivan Estrada told a packed house at the 2022 REALTOR® Broker Summit in Phoenix.
“I’ve been in the industry for 13 years in L.A., and video completely changed my business,” Estrada said.
He’s a well-known video expert and top producer, and his YouTube channel is chockfull of resources for buyers, sellers and industry professionals. He’s covered topics like the future of Los Angeles transportation and what fees tenants will pay when renting in the city. He also does walk-throughs of homes and provides market projections.
“Video is no longer a piece of the marketing,” he said. “Video is the marketing.”
Still, Estrada admitted that it’s taken time to build up his online video library, and he encouraged attendees to start doing video at a pace that feels manageable to them. Estrada began by answering some important personal and business questions and creating a marketing plan.
“Video is vulnerable,” Estrada told the crowd. He added that negative self-talk is common when creating video content.
Often, people don’t like the sound of their voice or how they look on camera. Breaking down your team’s fears and overcoming the vulnerability together is step one. The main fears people have when it comes to video content are:
- They don’t like how they look.
- They don’t like how they sound.
- They’re afraid of public scrutiny and judgment.
To help with the fear of public scrutiny and judgment, Estrada had his team of eight meet in the office every so often for confidence-building exercises. For example, Estrada might have one of his team members stand at the front of the room while the others clapped loudly and cheered him or her on. Estrada said he noticed each team member becoming more confident in front of others and building a stronger support system among each other.
Next, Estrada had his team members commit to keeping a personal video diary on their smartphones. For three days, each team member had to produce a three-minute video. They didn’t have to share it with the group; they just had to create one.
“As time went on and we kept doing this, the agents became more authentic and comfortable in front of the camera,” Estrada said.
Finally, he suggested a mirror exercise to get comfortable looking at yourself. “Look at yourself in the mirror for 10 minutes per day. This allows you to connect with yourself over the course of time.”
It’s important to take an objective stance for this practice, he said. The goal is not to judge your reflection but rather to connect with that reflection in the mirror.
Identifying Brand Pillars
Knowing your brokerage’s most important values is key to achieving a consistent message and presence in your video marketing, said Estrada. This isn’t just for brokers, though. As an agent, it’s important to know your brokerage’s brand pillars for your video content, and it’s equally as important to figure out your own brand pillars. Figure out who you are as an agent. What expertise do you have, and what do you want to be known for in the business?
“Pillars solidify the voice of a company and tell people who you are and what you stand for as a brand,” he explained. “Figure out what your brand pillars are and create content based on that. Do not stray outside of those pillars.”
This, he said, ensures your marketing videos are consistently on-brand. Let’s say your brokerage wants to focus on creating content around market data, local happenings, and home design. Here’s the breakdown Estrada gave as an example for each of these pillars:
Real Estate Market Content
- Market updates
- Celebrity homes (which is relevant to Estrada’s L.A. market)
Local Area Content
- Restaurants and bars
- Art galleries
- Family-friendly events
- Smart-home technology
- Interior design trends
- Curb appeal
Estrada says breaking down each pillar into different subjects creates a roadmap for your video content.
Educational: Answer common questions about the home buying and selling process. Give specific information about local laws and ordinances. What’s most important, though, is that your videos provide information about the types of properties in which your brokerage specializes. “Stay in your lane,” said Estrada. “We’re not CPAs or lawyers.”
Interviews: If your goal is to create content about the local area, interview a restaurant or shop owner. If you want to provide useful information outside your professional expertise, consider interviewing a CPA or lawyer on a particular subject that would be of interest to your audience.
Day in the Life: “Audiences love [peeking] behind the scenes,” said Estrada. Consider giving the audience a look into what it takes to be a real estate agent. How do you organize your day or get ready for an open house?
Home tours: Make a video about the distinctive features of a listing, or do a walkthrough. Estrada said a simple video using a camera phone works well for social media.
Take a look at your pillars and choose a couple of video styles that would best complement those pillars.
Video content is one of the most effective ways to market right now, Estrada said.
“Video is a must to stay relevant and the number one way to build your brand. It’s also inexpensive to get started and doesn’t have to be perfect.”
Nicole Slaughter Graham is a consulting editor at REALTOR® Magazine and the manager of the YPN Lounge. Connect with her at firstname.lastname@example.org.