“Why Do Real Estate Agents Take Such Horrible Photos?” | Oh SNAP!

Bad Real Estate PhotosFile this one under RANT…

Sooo, I’m sitting here editing a property video when I hear the familiar “ding”. It’s a Facebook message from one of my Facebook friends. No I don’t mean that as an insult – she really is a friend, not someone I don’t really know but we’re friends – on Facebook. Her question – one I’ve heard many times before – “why do real estate agents take such horrible photos?”.

Her comment:

Hi! How are ya! I’m sending you a message cause we have some mutual friends and it isn’t common knowledge, but my family is moving to Chandler or Gilbert. So I’ve been on Zillow and Redfin a lot lately and I wanted to tell you some of the pics I’ve seen in these listings are horrendous and made me think of your company. It’s clear as day why some of these gorgeous homes down there have been on the market for 100+ days when the lighting is awful and the family’s belongings are all over the place instead of staged to sell. 🙈 It makes me want to say, “Hey, your home isn’t what my family needs, but call this guy. He’ll fix your pics/videos.” Lol

I chucked. and then I cried. For their clients.

I mean, if they only knew what they are doing to their clients – hopes, dreams – let alone financial wellbeing by publishing horrible photos.

Look, I get it. Everyone wants to save a buck, but photos, scratch that – professional photos IS NOT the place to do it. It’s 2016. The consumer, regardless of their age is now digital. We are ALL digital citizens. We do everything online. Shop. Date. Socialize. Criticize. Research. Watch movies. Listen to music. We even order our groceries online. And of course we look at houses online too.

The last “official” stat I heard from the National Association of REALTORS® said 47% of consumers start their home search online. But I think that’s way too low. I think it’s more like 98%. I mean, I don’t know anyone that would look at a magazine or newspaper for a home – do you? We all go online. Like it or not – Online is where your first showing will take place. NOT when they get to the house. In fact, those iPhone pictures you took, the ones with you in the bathroom mirror, the ones that are overexposed or underexposed, blurry or diagonal, the ones with tooth brushes and other personal hygiene products in the bathroom or clothes thrown around the house or even a kid still sleeping in the bed (no I’m serious I’ve seen this) are not helping you. You know who else they aren’t helping? Your client. The seller that hired you to sell their home. The seller that is paying you big $$$ to get traffic and ultimately a buyer to their property. There is a direct correlation between increased days on market and a lower sales price.

But here’s the thing. Consumers are visual. We buy what we can SEE. We want what we can create an emotional attachment to. I don’t care how great the Wolf, Viking or Sub Zero appliances are – how shiny the Onyx or Marble kitchen is – how amazing the view is – if the consumer can not SEE them – there is no emotion. And sales 101 – we buy EMOTIONALLY and justify RATIONALLY – LATER.

It’s not like photos are all that expensive either. There are plenty of companies here in the valley that will HDR your listing for less than $150. $150! Where else can you invest $150 and possibly get $3,000, $6,000, $10,000 or more in commission back in return? But to make matters worse – it’s not about you. It’s about your client. They want to sell their home. The home their kids were born in. The house their favorite dog died in. The first house they got married in. To do this they need marketing. Scratch that. They need GOOD MARKETING and those iPhone pictures are the exact opposite.

I’m not writing this because we want to do your photos – we don’t even do photos. We do video – and that’s a whole other story but I won’t go there right now. Ok I will (slow down on the Facebook live from your latest listing, you’re making people dizzy)

By publishing horrible photos, you’re not just hurting your client- you’re also hurting yourself – your BRAND. Everything you do online either brings the consumer closer to you and your brand or pushes them further away. Your marketing, like your lender, your title company, your home inspection guy, is an extension of you and the level of service you provide. So, what is it saying about you?

I used to feel bad when I showed up to shoot a video of a listing and another agents sign (that lost the listing to our client) was still in the yard. But any remorse I felt was quickly removed when I saw the photos on the black and white flyers, on standard printer paper (if there were any in the flyer tube). Your first showing is happening online. And your past listings are easily searchable on Zillow, Redfin and others. Those horrible photos could come back to haunt you later and you won’t even know it. A seller considering your services will see your pictures and make an immediate determination – “do I want my house marketed like this?”. I’m betting the answer is – nope. What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen in an agents listing photos?

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Thank you for your interest in HMC. We provide the highest quality business, commercial, event video productions, classes and services. We look forward to meeting you. Please fill out the form below or call 480.223.8113

Aerial Real Estate Video | Not Right For All Properties

Aerial Real Estate Video PhoenixAs a leader in real estate video in Phoenix, Arizona we work with a lot of great real estate agents, real estate teams, real estate brokerages, builders, title companies and lenders. There isn’t a day that goes by where someone doesn’t ask about aerial real estate video.

Aerial real estate video is all the rage. A quick search of Facebook or YouTube will return thousands of aerial videos. This is clearly a technology many real estate professionals have gravitated towards. And for good reason. There are some properties that can truly only be shown from the air. Notice I said SOME.

Real estate is a cut throat business. Often the difference between one agent getting a prized listing and another is their marketing. To many real estate agents, aerial video is the answer. I find many real estate professionals want aerial video without a true understanding of even why they want it. It sounds cool, hell, it is cool, but it’s not meant for all properties, in fact – aerial video can hurt your chances of selling some properties.

Lets discuss when to and not to use aerial video in your real estate marketing.

When To Use Aerial Real Estate Video

  • When the property has significant acreage
  • When the property is of significant size (I suggest 5,000 sq ft + in my market)
  • When the property backs to a golf course
  • When the property backs to mountains or other views
  • When the property backs to a body of water
  • To show the neighborhood and surrounding area, including the home’s proximity to amenities
  • The neighborhood and surrounding area, including the home’s proximity to amenities
  • When the property can’t properly be shown from the ground
  • When you are trying to show the property relative to a landmark (freeway, major employers, schools, community center etc)

When NOT To Use Aerial Real Estate Video

  • When the property is average
  • If the property is single story and sides or backs to two-story properties
  • When the property backs to power lines, power station, waste management site
  • When the property backs to a major road or freeway

How To Use Aerial Real Estate Video

Aerial video should be used sparingly. As an establishing shot. An establishing shot in the video world clearly establishes where an event is taking place. Watch any movie, TV show, Sitcom and you’ll notice before the scene begins you have a clear idea of where its taking place. At “Cheers” is was an establishing shot of the outside of the bar. In “Friends” it was an establishing shot of “Central Perk” or at Seinfeld it was an establishing shot of “Tom’s Diner”, I could go on and on. This is what aerial video is best used for – to show the consumer where the house is.

The Problem With Aerial Real Estate Video

But there is a problem. While real estate agents LOVE aerial video, the consumer gets bored of it rather quickly. By quickly I mean 5 seconds or more. In fact, after the 5 seconds it becomes annoying. “OK, I get it Mr/Mrs agent, now show me the inside!”. So you can see the problem when there are these 30 second aerial videos of the SAME – BORING – THING. This is one way aerial video can hurt you. Now, if you must use aerial video, break it up. 3-5 seconds in the beginning. 3-5 seconds at the end. But too much of anything is a bad thing and aerial video in real estate is no different.

The Big Mistake With Aerial Real Estate Video

I see some aerial video of the outside of a property and that’s it. Holy boring. Would you buy a car without seeing the inside? Would you buy shoes without trying them on? (ok maybe) but aerial video is used to market a property which means you have to show them what they really care about, the inside. The granite counters, the wood floors, the stainless appliances, the great room, the man cave, the master bedroom the pool, spa etc. This is truly what the consumer cares about. In fact, they may wonder if there is something wrong with the inside of the property if you are only showing them the outside, I know I would.

There are no shortage of people, companies hobbyists that will shoot aerial video for you, this is an emerging technology and field that will no doubt continue to grow. But just because the technology exists doesn’t always mean it is the best for every situation. In fact, aerial video can hurt you. Click to learn more about how NOT to use aerial video in real estate.

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Thank you for your interest in HMC. We provide the highest quality business, commercial, event video productions, classes and services. We look forward to meeting you. Please fill out the form below or call 480.223.8113



Sticks And Stones May Break My Bones But Words Can CERTAINLY Hurt You

Interesting title right? Thank you! I’m sure you remember your mom, dad, teacher whomever saying this little gem when you were younger. And it used to be true.

I say used to be because words can without a doubt hurt you. Errr at least your business. I hate to be the first to tell you this but not everyone agrees with you.

As a good digital citizen I am active on the internet. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WordPress, you name it – I’m probably on it. So I see all kinds of things on the inter webs. All kind of things. Good and bad.

Recently I came across a post in a Facebook forum dedicated to real estate. The real estate agents post got my attention. The subject: a listing she lost. Because of her political views.

Crazy right! Not so much. I’ve said it many times and you’ve heard it many times in your career, it’s one of the first things you learn about sales: People Do Business With People They Like And Trust. And I believe it.

The real estate agent lost the listing because she posted a video on Facebook about a presidential candidate. She later received a message from a seller she would be interviewing with to not come over as she didn’t want to waste her time as they are voting for this candidate.

Oh that hurts. And it was 100% preventable.

I’m controversial. I know that. When I was a sales exec in the title world I was saying things in my blogs and on video to get real estate agents to think – differently. In a world where so many sales execs were lining up to kiss the next ass for a deal I was asking questions like “what is your value” and “Are you a commodity”. Sometimes you have to push the onvelope. To be different.

But one place I never went was politics. NEVER. Am I a Republican? Democrat? Independent? Conservative? Fiscal Conservative? Moderate? Civil Libertarian? You don’t know because I have never talked about it. And I never would. You see, if I was a Democrat I may believe something different than you. And If I am Republican I may believe something different than you. But I may not get a chance to tell you what that is because you, like your sellers, buyers and future buyers and sellers may be offended.

So you need to ask yourself. Is your ability to feed your family, put your kids through school, put a roof over your head as important as your political views? The agent referenced above lost the opportunity to earn at least $3,000 on the low end and depending on the market, $30,000, $60,000 maybe even more.

I get it, it’s America and you can believe what you want. It’s a free country. But this cuts both ways. This also means your clients and potential clients are also free to work with whomever they see fit. Maybe someone that shares their political views.

You can draw a line in the sand and say “I only want to work with people that like X or Y” and it may make you controversial and you may end up attracting those like you to do business with. But in my experience, the top real estate agents have a well rounded business, one that does not rely on any one source for business.

It’s 2016. I’m not single but If I was, I would without a doubt check the Facebook page, Instagram etc of someone I was considering meeting with. Not only because I’d want to see how self centered they are, but I’d want to see if I can glean anything about their views, political or otherwise – are they like me? Are we compatible? Are they racist? Rude? Self centered or absorbed?

Your clients and potential clients undoubtably do the same. A quick glance of your Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr or whatever will either bring them closer or much them away.

I stay away from everything and anything controversial – politics, abortion, religion, gay marriage, Syrian Refugees, climate change, gun control, ISIS, ISIL, The Taliban, Black Lives Matter, White Lives Matter, Immigration, Health Care, Foreign Policy, Taxes, The Wage Gap, Animal Testing, The Death Penalty, Medical Marijuana, Marijuana Legalization, Animal Testing, The Pledge Of Allegiance, Drone Strikes, Minimum Wage, Standardized Tests, Bathroom Identification, Gender Identification and anything else that would give someone pause in doing business with me or my company.

If you absolutely must post your political views on Facebook or any other social network it may be a good idea to join a private group dedicated to it. There your views would obviously be not only welcome but you may end up picking up some business. You could also adjust your privacy settings to prevent future clients from seeing anything you post. But this kind of goes against the point of SOCIAL media right?

Words can hurt. But not if you don’t post them.

Oh and if you must know, I’m a Republican-Democrat-Independent-Conservative-Fiscal Conservative-Moderate-Civil Libertarian who is also gay and straight :-)

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Thank you for your interest in HMC. We provide the highest quality business, commercial, event video productions, classes and services. We look forward to meeting you. Please fill out the form below or call 480.223.8113

Instagram For Real Estate | 8 Tips To Leveraging Instagram In Your Marketing

Instagram for real estate agents
Instagram For Real Estate
At the time of this post, Instagram is the fastest growing social media platform, increasing its users by over 23% in the last 6 months. Instagram can be an integral part of the forward thinking real estate professionals marketing plan IF you know how to use it.

Facebook, once the end all be all for millennials has been eclipsed by Instagram. In fact, many millennials (AKA first time home buyers) have stopped using Facebook to communicate now that mom, dad, grandma and grandpa have taken up the largest social networking platform. But as their kids have kids and other life events it’s only natural to assume mom, dad, grandma and grandpa will naturally migrate to Instagram as well.

So how can you, a savvy real estate pro leverage Instagram in your business? Here are 8 ways.

Instagram Hub Media CompanyProfile

Set up your profile. This is no place to be vague. Post your elevator speech, unique selling proposition and most importantly (I think) value proposition for how you can help your ideal client buy, sell, save time and money. Make sure you add your website to your profile where consumers can easily click to learn more about you. One of the things I noticed about my ideal client is they liked that I was a “family man”. So I made a conscious decision to post pictures, videos, events, milestones of my family. One thing about social media is it’s not all social and it’s not all business. Too much of one or the other and you could turn your ideal client off – so post away.

Real Estate Video PhoenixShare Experiences

Showing an awesome house? Insta it. Just closed on a new build for your buyer? Insta it. Want to show what goes on in your day to day of being a real estate pro? Insta it. Showing homes in your favorite community? INSTA IT! Posting any and all of these gives your target audience an inside glimpse into your world. They can see what goes on and at the same time see you as an authority in your space. Much like Facebook and Twitter, in fact, more so, Instagram relies on good, relevant hashtags to get your content found. Showing in DC Ranch? #DCRanch Showing in your favorite community? #Ocotillo. Selling a new build? #FultonHomes. You get the drift. Make sure to add a hashtag for you, your team, company or any and all to help your ideal client find your content. Encourage the consumer to visit your website to learn more about you and what you do and most importantly – how you can HELP them.

Be Strategic

Instagram, was purchased by Facebook for over $1 BILLION in April of 2012. That’s a lot of loot and Facebook LOVES Instagram. I’ve noticed images I post to Facebook disappear rather quickly from the newsfeed but those same images posted on Instagram and syndicated to Facebook last a lot longer. So don’t just post your images on Instagram and neglect Facebook, it’s easy to click the button when you share your images to share them on Facebook as well. Double bonus.


share your images on Facebook, twitter
share your images on Facebook, twitter
When you upload your images to Instagram you have the option to syndicate your images to other social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr and Swarm. Which ones should you syndicate to? ALL OF THEM. Real estate has gone digital and by syndicating your images you are not only leaving evidence of success, you are leaving digital breadcrumbs to help your ideal client find you.

hub media company instagram mapsPhoto Maps Photo Maps allow consumers to browse your photos by geographic location. Clicking “add location” lets people know where you took your photo which will be displayed on your photo map. You’ll also have the ability to choose a specific place name (“Silverleaf, Scottsdale Ranch, Scottsdale, or even your brokerage name, restaurant or event”) to associate with your photo.


Follow strategically. Follow your competitors to see what they are up to. Follow brands and influencers in your space to get the latest news. Follow home builders, lenders, investors and engage with them. When I was a sales exec in the title world I followed the top real estate agents I wanted to do business with and I engaged with them on regular basis. When they posted a picture or comment about something they felt was important in their lives I was there to give it a like or comment. By doing this I was immediately inserted into their world. “Stephen likes your comment, your picture, your video”, who’s Stephen? Oh yeah that’s the guy with XYZ title. This can lead directly to increased brand awareness which is the first step to doing more business. Follow your past clients and engage with them regularly. By liking an image or a comment you are telling them, rather showing them you care. Remember – people to business with those they LIKE and TRUST.

Post Videos

Instagram was all about pictures but following facebook’s lead they are all in with video too. The default profile for Instagram allowed us to upload 15 second short videos. But recently Instagram began rolling out videos up to 1 minute. So post videos that will help the consumer learn more about you and the markets you serve.

Be Authentic

IMG_4783It’s been said, when you meet someone you aren’t really meeting them but their representative – who they want you to think they are. One thing about me, I’m authentic, And you should be too. Be real. Be vulnerable. Ask for help, suggestions, engage with your audience. This will help them see you as a person instead of the dreaded SALES-person.

Instagram is a powerful platform to help consumers learn more about you and your brand. Start leveraging it today and it will pay dividends tomorrow. Follow us at instagram.com/hubmediacompany to come along on our shoots, lifestyle and community videos and so much more. So how are you using Instagram?

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Thank you for your interest in HMC. We provide the highest quality business, commercial, event video productions, classes and services. We look forward to meeting you. Please fill out the form below or call 480.223.8113

Video Testimonials | The Ultimate Social Proof

video testimonials phoenix
The Ultimate Social Proof
Social Media, SEO, Blog Articles and others are a great way to get traffic to your real estate website. But the way to educate, inform and present yourself as the expert in your field when they get there is with a real estate video testimonial.

Real estate agents, sales people in general, love to talk about how great they are. But there is a problem. Not only do consumers not respond well to it, they actually are less likely to do business with someone that does it. We just are not big fans of self promotion, especially in a field where many consumers believe all agents are the same.

So, how can you educate and inform the consumer about how you can help them, what problems you solve, the markets you serve as well as how your past clients feel about working with you? Have your past clients do it for you with a video testimonial.

We are swayed, rather easily, by what others say about a product or service, even if we don’t know the people that used that product or service. It’s called social proof. To illustrate social proof, look at your own behavior. When you shop on Amazon, before you purchase a product you read the reviews. Reviews from people you don’t even know. You start out looking for positive reviews and eventually start looking for the negative. Enough positive reviews and you buy. Enough bad and you don’t. This is social proof.

Every business, every real estate agent should have testimonials but the old school written testimonials are out. That’s because the consumer not only prefers video, they are expecting it. Video uses more of our emotions than any other medium. The viewer can HEAR what a past client has to say about you, they can SEE if they are being sincere through body language which says 80% of what we actually say. In some cases, they can even FEEL the testimonial. This is very powerful. Here are some of the questions we ask that get great video testimonials for our clients.

Why did you decide to buy/sell your home?

Context is everything in video testimonials. Having the consumer tell us why they decided to buy or sell allows them to be relatable to other consumers that may be in the same situation. Maybe they needed a bigger house after marriage or an addition of a child. Maybe they needed a smaller home now that they are empty nesters. This is where the story begins.

Had you worked with another real estate agent previously? How was that experience?

It’s surprising how many buyers and sellers do not use the same agent again. This could be because many do not stay in touch or because they were not happy with the experience. Finding this out allows the consumer to compare and contrast previous agents with our client, creating a more compelling story.

How did you find the real estate agent?

Was the consumer referred to the agent from a family member or friend? If yes, this shows a degree of trust. Did they find the real estate agent online? If yes, this shows a degree of marketing prowess. Was it an open house? An expired? A cold call? All of these lay out the foundation for the story that is to come.

Why did you choose the real estate agent?

Did they choose the agent because they made them feel comfortable? Did they have all the answers to their questions? Did they have an amazing marketing plan no other agent spoke of? Did they like their particular niche and experience of selling luxury homes, 2nd homes, representing first time home buyers? Hearing about these nuggets could positively influence your website visitors and potential clients.

What did you like most about the real estate agent?

What was it about the agent the buyer or seller really liked? Did they communicate regularly and often? Did they have a team of professionals to help them along the way? Did they show up with comps for the appraiser to justify a sales price? Did they recommend a lender to help them get financing?

Would you recommend the real estate agent to your friends and family?

This is how we end every interview. The money question. Would they recommend the agent to their friends and family. Typically we don’t even have to ask this question. Most buyers/sellers we interview go straight into “we would highly recommend Amy, Jennifer, Tim, Jason, to anyone looking to buy or sell a home!”

Presentation is everything with video because there is so much information being shared. Not just the words or the body language but the background, the lighting, the audio, the composition, the movement and so much more. The buyer or seller can say everything perfectly and give you a rave review but if you can barely hear them because of bad audio, or barely see them because they are in front of a bay window, or see their faces well, or they are shaky because you went handheld (never recommended) or they are swaying from nervousness – it can be all for not.

While you can certainly shoot a video testimonial on your own with your iPhone or iPad, it is not always recommended. This is why some of the best real estate agents in the valley hire us to go to the buyers or sellers house to get the video testimonial. This assures them, not only a rave review but a video that engages other buyers and sellers and brings them closer to you and your brand. These video testimonials can be embedded into your website, shared through social media, used in paid ads, embedded in emails, emailed to potential clients and so much more. To learn more about our video testimonials please fill out the form below or see our video testimonial examples.

Contact Us

Thank you for your interest in HMC. We provide the highest quality business, commercial, event video productions, classes and services. We look forward to meeting you. Please fill out the form below or call 480.223.8113