I’d like to show you how to create the perfect luxury real estate marketing video.
The first thing you need to do is watch the video below. I’ll wait…
… all right then, let’s recap.
If you’re going to create the perfect luxury real estate marketing video you have to include all the following elements in your video:
1. Introduce the style and atmosphere of your video from the very first frame.
Audio is just as powerful as video. Most video production companies think they have audio covered with a music track. Set the tone visually and aurally. Viewers typically make up their minds in the first 10 seconds about whether they are going to keep watching a marketing video. Notice the sound of the pool and the children’s laughter in the background as the camera tracks through the magnificent indoor swimming pool. A few quick cuts to some beautiful architectural shots and you’re already committed – you want to see what comes next.
Don’t roll a bunch of credits or branding or text titles by themselves at the beginning of the video – many viewers will never get past these. In this video, the titles were overlays which didn’t interfere with the feel of the video.
2. Get to your ‘story’ (if that’s the structure of your video) right away.
If you’re going to introduce a storyline in your video, even if it’s relatively unstructured, then get to it right away, and make it intriguing. In this case, the ‘story’ is a standard ‘day-in-the-life’ sequence of a family living in a beautiful home. The story has to revolve around the house (it’s a property video) so you have to be careful to find the correct balance between story and house.
This video does an excellent job of striking that balance. I really enjoyed the device of following the kids through the house up to the parents bedroom at the beginning. It provided an immediate purpose for showing different areas of the house and it made you want to know where they were rushing off to. The ‘story’ doesn’t need to be obvious, in fact the ‘story’ can be quite loose, but ideally there should be an air of intrigue to draw you in.
3. Choose your music carefully.
Yes, I know, that’s sort of like saying ‘make a good video…’ but bear with me on this one. The music in this video is good… however, (nitpick alert!) my very first impression (that’s what music does – it provides you with a ‘first impression’ of the video – it literally tells you how to feel…) of that staccato piano riff wasn’t great. It just didn’t seem to match the elegance of the house. However, it quickly resolved into a richer song that contained lyrics that supported the video quite well.
I loved the fact that the video started with natural sounds and then introduced the music. But the beginning tone of the music didn’t work as well as it could have, IMHO. Often, when we’ve created real estate video, we’d choose the music first and let that influence the edit of the video.Choosing a music bed that contains lyrics is an interesting choice because the viewer will listen to those lyrics and will associate what is said, to some degree, with the visuals. If the lyrics wander too far from the visuals then that can lead to confusion by the viewer.
In this case the first lyrics ‘the mountains lay so perfectly as the blue hangs over my head” is set up nicely with the exterior shot of the mountains followed by the mom looking up through the skylight into the sky. Having the key phrase in the chorus ‘ this is something beautiful’ continually remind you of the quality of what you are watching is brilliant.
4. Cut to close-ups.
I appreciate this comment is straight out of ‘film-making 101’ but if you’re going to show a unique feature in a home or a human action in a wide shot then you have to cut to a matching close-up to let the viewers see the details or the reaction in that shot. I thought the editor did a really fine job of taking the DP’s best shots and mixing them into the story of the video. Close-ups provide you with more information, they add artistry and depth to a video and they serve as resting points as you watch the video progress.
5. Make those key features interesting.
That big middle section of any real estate video (once you’ve made it through the set-up and before you showcase your emotive, epic ending) is to take you through the key features of the property. The primary objective of this part of the video is to leave an impression. To be clear – your job as a video marketing professional isn’t to show stuff – it’s to leave a lasting impression. Information informs. Emotions sell. Two excellent examples here:
1. The Orchard. Clearly the orchard is a key feature of the property. The aerial shots of the orchard are good but showing the mother and father driving through the orchard in their… Australian looking jeep thingy, is inspired. The shots are beautiful, but more importantly, the shots place you in that setting and give you a more visceral experience of what it would be like to be in that orchard. The human reaction shots serve to relay emotions associated with that experience- that’s important.
2. The stable. I imagine that in real estate, a stable is much like a swimming pool – either you want one or you don’t, and if you don’t, you probably won’t want the property. So for those who do want a stable, showing family members enjoying and using the stables is wonderful. Again, the editing of the video tries very hard to associate positive feelings with those key features of the property – that’s how marketing works. That’s very smart.
A decade ago when people just started to use video for marketing property the slider was the cool tool of choice. Static shots were much more dynamic if you added movement to them. The drone is the ‘new slider’. If you’re selling a multi-million dollar property you have to employ aerial footage. Seriously. You can’t cheap out and ignore the grounds, the neighbourhood, the views, the context of the house – those are all critical. If you don’t own a drone the cost of hiring a professional drone pilot is dropping quickly. (When the old-school drone pilot tells you he charges $500/hr wish him luck and call someone else.) You can capture beautiful footage on a $1500 DJI Phantom 4. (If you need a Octo-copter to capture footage on your Red Epic then absolutely, call the expensive guy.)You shouldn’t pay for tech you don’t need.
That said, a licensed drone specialist is still the best bet if you don’t know what you’re doing and if you are uncertain of UAV regulations in your region/country. Technology is allowing everyone to own the best new toys. Yep, that’s scary. (Especially considering the increase in the number of people flying blenders with cameras over your house…)
7. Showcase different living scenarios.
At almost 5 minutes, a lot of ground is covered in this video (both figuratively and literally). There’s a big difference between using actors as ‘window dressing’ – i.e., sitting on a couch, looking out over a balcony holding a wine glass, and having your actors actively living in your video. That’s one of the things I was impressed with – the direction of this video – the actors were active and engaged in what they were doing: playing with the kids, driving through the orchard, dropping into town, entertaining another family… the shots were interesting and quite natural. (Well… as natural as a bunch of happy, attractive people in a multi-million dollar setting can be.)
8. Creative Editing.
You don’t always have to tell a linear story. In fact it’s more interesting if you don’t. Mix it up a bit. Use close-up shots that are disjoint from the on-screen action to change the pace and to highlight different features of the house. Show multiple sequences by going back and forth between different scenes that are taking place at the same time. Editing is going to become the key differentiator in high-end luxury video as everyone gets good at taking the same beautiful property shots.
Special Note. These are recommendations on how to create the perfect STANDARD Luxury Real Estate Marketing video. The next level of risk is trying to add humour, intrigue, surprise or anything else that will get the attention of an even broader audience but not distract from the purpose of the video – to sell the property.