It’s been really rough being a videographer in the real estate space. If there is any industry that is slow to change it’s real estate. As powerful as video is you’d think MLS’s had found a way to properly and prominently showcase video with real estate listings – and you’d be wrong.
Real Estate Slow To Change
If there is any industry best suited for video it’s real estate. Video simply says so much more than any other medium. It’s also emotional as it uses more senses than text or pictures. Emotion = sales in real estate. I’ve been shooting video here in the valley since 2008. And to be perfectly honest, our videos are beautiful. They really do bring the property to life while prominently highlighting the real estate agent. The agents place their videos on YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Twitter Instagram, Pinterest, Linkedin, websites, email, CRM’s and of course MLS. But Unfortunately video is still the red headed stepchild to photographs in MLS, receiving only a small tab to show the consumer there is a video – that’s IF they can see it.
But there was hope. Zillow, one of the leading consumer destinations for real estate began to support video. Sweet! With a catch. It supported video (walk through videos as Zillow calls them) created by real estate agents, through Zillow’s App and required the use of a smart phone to capture the video. Yes, a smart phone.
There are a few challenges with this scenario. First, it relies on the real estate agent to capture the content to property showcase their listing. The real estate agent that might be excellent at negotiating, writing contracts, showing properties, networking, social media etc, but not so great at camera angles, exposure, white balance, lighting, stability, storytelling etc.
As a result, the walk through videos loaded to market the listing often did more harm than good. Sadly, I needed Dramamine to watch some of the walkthrough videos I’ve seen on Zillow. Bad video is worse then no video at all.
I’d given up.
But earlier this month I received exciting news via Inman. Zillow is now supporting pro level videos! This means, our clients can now place the videos we create for them to market their listings and themselves where consumers would naturally look for them – Zillow. This. Is. Huge. (for the agents that understand the benefits)
What You Need To Know
This feature costs $149 per listing.
You can load videos up to 10 minutes long
The videos can be branded (you in them, your logo, your contact info etc)
Zillow Video Requirements
Video Codec: H.264
· Container Format: MP4
· Frame Size: HD: 1920×1080
· Video Data Rate: 10 Mbps or greater
· Frames per second: 24 or 30
· Audio Codec: AAC (advanced audio codec)
· Audio Data Rate: 320 Kbps, 44.1 Stereo
· Aspect Ratio: 16:9 (no letterboxing)
While I have seen real estate agents complaining online about the additional fee and promising they will not use it, I can tell you most of our luxury clients will be all over this new feature. They will have their videos in a place where consumers search for real estate, the buyers (which may be sellers as well) will be directly engaged by their marketing and their brand. I can see email inboxes already, “Found you on Zillow when looking for a home, I have a home to sell as well, If I list with you will you do a video of my home like this one?” HASHTAG BOOM.