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Online real estate marketing expert speaks

7 minute read

Let’s hear about real estate marketing and the Internet from an overseas perspective.

In particular, I’m thinking of a country where the housing market seems to be in meltdown, there is a fierce political campaign under way and there are some true online real estate innovators in action.

Yes, I’m thinking of the USA.

Joel Burslem

I’ve interviewed Joel Burslem about all these topics (except the political campaign). Before you read his words of wisdom, there are three things you should know about Joel:

1. He writes the blog the Future of Real Estate Marketing. http://www.futureofrealestatemarketing.com/

2. You’d never know it from talking to him because he’s so modest, but he is a certified expert who is quoted in the Wall St. Journal, BusinessWeek and the International Herald Tribune, among others.

3. Joel also recently got hired by Inman News, the technology and real estate news and conference company in California. He is helping them develop many of their social media and next generation web initiatives. [Full disclosure: I also used to work with Inman News.]

DP: Joel, first of all, thank you for taking the time to talk with the readers of business2.com.au today.

The picture we get of the US housing market on these shores is one of total meltdown. How bad is it really for real estate agents in the US right now?

JB: I would say that it’s probably worse than most agents are letting on. In my position I have the chance to travel around the country and talk to a lot of real estate agents in a lot of different markets.

You hear anecdotally that large volumes of agents are packing it in and leaving the business. A lot aren’t doing any transactions right now and are just trying to weather the storm.

On the other hand, the message that this is a good time to buy is valid, if you have cash and credit so you can qualify for traditional mortgages, especially if you’re in it for the long term.

The consensus that we got out of the Real Estate Connect conference that we ran in New York City in January is that we are about two years into a five-year down-cycle.

DP: How are online strategies helping agents keep themselves afloat?

JB: On the seller’s side, the big trend you are seeing now is the breakdown of the idea that the agent is the guardian of information. That’s traditionally the role they’ve seen themselves in.

Where that is shifting is now that agents are realizing that in an internet-based economy there is no value in holding the information, the value becomes your spin on that info and your professionalism and expertise.

You’re seeing a greater acceptance of the idea of listing syndication. You want to push your listings out as far and as wide as possible on the intranet. Rather than holding it close to your chest, push that listing out.

Q: What’s another thing seller agents can do to improve their online marketing?

There was a blog post Seth Godin wrote last year called “Blow up your home page.” I adapted that to the real estate market.

Your listings pages are your new landing pages. You have to think about the design of your listing pages to provide not only the listing data and photos but to provide consumers what they are looking for. Information and rich data like similar properties, a clear call to action, neighbourhood data—this will keep that potential buyer on your site.

Consumers have become more and more savvy using the internet and demand more information than they used to.

I think of Amazon.com, which recommends things that other people have also bought in addition to the product I’m looking at, and recommends accessories to go with that product. I counsel people in the real estate market to think of their listing pages as a product page. Add as many photos as you can, add all those things that you find on an Amazon site and apply to real estate.

DP: What about video?

JB: Video is a huge thing that is coming down the pike with properties. At the moment it’s limited to the high end but there is a growing realisation that it is easier and cheaper to produce your own video than ever before.

There are a four key pointers. One would be to insert yourself in the frame.

Also, make sure it’s well lit. Go down to Home Depot [the US equivalent of Bunnings] and get some work lights because there’s nothing worse than a dark video.

Keep it short, about two- to three-minutes long. Emphasize the key selling features. You don’t need to tell me how many bedrooms it has, for example, because I can get that from the text. What video allows you to do is emphasize the key selling features. Maybe it’s the great view from the master bedroom, hardwood floors, solid oak cabinets or a great walk in closet.

DP: What if an agent says I don’t want to use video because I want people to come find out what the property looks like?

JB: My argument is that they should think of a search funnel. People starting a home search start at the mouth of the funnel. They start with a city, then narrow it down to a neighborhood, then to a number of properties.

Whatever you do to move people to the next level down is really in your interest. It’s not a volume game or a numbers game in this market, it’s about getting the right buyer.

If I as a buyer have narrowed a search down to three or four properties, and two of those have videos that I’ve watched, by the time I get to those places I already feel like I know them intimately. When I show up it’s really just a matter of sealing the deal. You’ll get buyers who are that much more qualified.

Do you really want to have 20 people parading through the home, of which 18 are just a waste of time? Or do you just want that one guy who has already watched the web video and is just looking for affirmation that this is the right place for him, that guy who walks in and says “Great, let’s put an offer together.”


DP: I read about the [Help] campaign on your website. Would you tell us more about that? Is it a model that agents and online folks in other countries can use to raise cash for good causes?

I think so. The [Help] campaign is helping the tornado victims from last week in the South of the US. It is evidence of a growing interconnectedness of agents online, which is primarily a result of more and more agents starting to blog and getting involved in online communities. There have been a couple of examples here in which the community has self-organized.

Links recommended by Joel:

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23 Comments

  • Peter Ricci
    Posted February 13, 2008 at 11:51 am 0Likes

    Dave, I think this is brilliant. Many of the points raised by Joel I agree with 100%, I have for years read his site (and others) with interest and many of my stories and ideas come from his articles.

    So Dave, a great great read. And you might even get some love on here for those sort of articles!

  • Glenn Batten
    Posted February 13, 2008 at 2:02 pm 0Likes

    A great post.. thanks Dave..

  • Dave Platter
    Posted February 13, 2008 at 2:26 pm 0Likes

    Peter and Glenn, thanks. I appreciate your kind words.
    Joel is a brilliant guy. As much as I would like to claim it, really, all credit goes to him in this case.
    Be well.

  • Kitchen design
    Posted February 13, 2008 at 6:52 pm 0Likes

    Speaking as a person who uses the internet especially for narrowing down property, he certainly has got it right.

    Great post.

  • michael liu
    Posted February 13, 2008 at 9:56 pm 0Likes

    Thanks for your positive words on video Dave. We are a world first map based real estate presentation site here in Perth. We do detailed online video walk throughs and do highlight video presentations of the areas around these properties for sale so people get an idea of what the area is like as well. We also do online research and are affordable to all price ranges. I must say it has been pretty hard to promote it here, real estate agents just don’t get it! except the two that have been using it, they love it, now that they know the power of it. I will be bringing it over to Sydney by the end of next year as I don’t think it will find as much resistant over there as they are a lot more forward thinking. Meanwhile, how do you suggest I get these numbnuts over here to realise what they are passing up for the price of a print ad?

  • Dave Platter
    Posted February 14, 2008 at 4:41 pm 0Likes

    Michael, I’ve been thinking about your question. I’ve got a couple of ideas:

    1. First, I wouldn’t call your potential customers “numbnuts” if you ever want them to sign a check for you. With all due respect, act like a professional.

    Agents aren’t numbnuts, they are business people and like any businessperson they need to be convinced an idea is going to work before spending their own or their vendor’s money on it.

    2. Second, forget creating your own portal. As myhome and about 10 other portals learned in 2007, it ain’t easy to generate enough traffic to your portal to make it worth agents’ while to advertise there.

    I can’t imagine you having enough content any time soon to make your site the first (or second or third or fourth) place people go when looking for real estate.

    3. Recast your business as a creator of marketing videos, pure and simple. It still won’t be easy because video is still the new screwdriver in the toolbox.

    But with perseverance you could become the principal creator of real estate video in the Perth area. That could mean something in three years, when video might actually be a big business.

    4. For now, focus on getting agents to post your videos on their own sites and on the major portals, like realestate.com.au and (ahem) domain. If people tell agents they saw the video and liked it, you may get repeat business.

    5. Find a way of getting your videos directly in front of buyers, so they can tell your agents they saw it. You might try advertising on realestate.com.au or (ahem ahem) domain in the suburbs where you have videos on available properties. Perhaps promise a free notification whenever a new video is available of a property that meets the buyer’s criteria.

    6. Finally, expand your customer base. Clearly, agents aren’t a big enough consumer of video at this point. What about local retailers, fashion brands, or musicians? All these folks might be able to use video as a marketing tool just as easily as agents. Musicians, for example, reach their fans in myspace. Why not sell a package of concert, interview and jamming videos, to be made over 6 months (for example), so they can always have something new to post on their myspace pages?

    Best of luck, Michael.

  • Glenn Batten
    Posted February 14, 2008 at 8:09 pm 0Likes

    Dave,

    I decided to hold off posting a day or two until the rawness of that numbnuts crack wore off…

    You combined much of my thinking and a whole lot more and I hope Michael appreciates the time you invested in that along with your industry experience. I reckon that would be some of the best advice he has had in a while.

    From a personal perspective I would love to get into video, but it just does not “fit” right now for a number of reasons. No doubt over the next 12 months I reckon we will start putting our toe in to test the waters, but I would be hesitant to work with any company that thought so little of our industry to post that on an industry forum….. and I certainly do not consider us “numbnuts” for not having used video to date.

    In contrast there is propvid which appears professional in every sense of the word. REA obviously thinks so as well with your partnership on the locality guides. A great job by the way… despite a couple of “teething” problems.

    Hopefully Michael can learn a little from propvid and your post. Right now for every marketing dollar we spend there is dozens of different solutions we can invest in.

  • michael liu
    Posted February 14, 2008 at 8:21 pm 0Likes

    1. Totally right Dave, sorry about the numbnut comment.
    2. I’m not sure about that yet Dave, as real estate newcomers charged into the internet thinking they will take number 3 without actually thinking about what they were doing (won’t go into that). We will never try and compete with any video catalogue company and we are only a supplement to them. It’s a very good point though and maybe we should push the fact that our/your videos can be access from the likes of realestate.com, myhome and individual real estate agent websites as most of our videos and maps are already accessed from realestate.com. It’s interesting to see the trend in online video post youtube, with sites like revver, metacafe, yahoo, google, daily motion, crackle, blipTV, veoh & tube mogul. Some are broad based and others are focusing categories like humour, I think as time goes by they will become more niche based. Maybe we could start a platform like one of these that was purely dedicated to real estate, where video, properties for sal, info & blog could come together to create rich content focusing on local buying opportunities and also seeking out new markets (remote buyers).
    3. You are on the ball Dave! we have a number of verticals within our company (real estate is just one stream).
    4. We do that, except we host all the video content on our site as most agents aren’t geared up to handle their own video. An interesting behavioural pattern we are seeing here is that agents like to get a ‘phone back’ lead, I don’t think they are totally comfortable with people going through a property without their knowlegde or without leaving a number. For what it may be worth, I think we need to find a way to get the leads phone number.
    5. That’s a very good point. A notification system sounds good,
    We have tried posting videos on overseas video sites and have had a number of views, but I don’t really know about that yet. Like you say, it is early days. We have always tried to stick to protocol and approach agents first as not to get their nose out of joint (I know that sounds funny re my numbnut comment above). Maybe it’s time to take the descision out of their hands. Other than trying to build traffic on our site for buyers to inspect property for sale, where else would you target buyers? there’s the traditional classifieds, magazines, any suggestions?

  • Peter Ricci
    Posted February 15, 2008 at 2:39 pm 0Likes

    1. Too funny. I think a real estate agents news site, which mainly agents read, is not a place to call them ‘numbnuts’. But hey, there was no malice in the comment.
    2. Do your own website and keep working on it (don’t agree with that one), but don’t spend $$$ promoting it, just tell the clients it is another place to view . Instead push and provide an easy solution for agents to link the video into their own website or system and play it from there. Create a super slick video player (make it customisable with look and feel), provide a solution to plug into their own website (even if it feeds off yours) and make this process as simple and easy as possible.

    So to refresh, do NOT try to sell your website as something it isn’t and push your product and services to the max, if your product is sound then it will work for itself over time, video is easily a better solution but it will be for the higher end of town until agents can easily create these themselves.

  • michael liu
    Posted February 16, 2008 at 12:03 am 0Likes

    Dear Glenn,

    My humble apologies for the numbnuts comment, it was a mere reflection of my frustration at 2 years of constantly testing our product in the market, having buyers and vendors tell us how fantastic our product is with comments like…..
    Thank god I don’t have to have another home open.
    This is great tool for prequalifying potential buyers.
    I don’t have to waste my time going to see something that didn’t look like what I saw in the photos. Why aren’t real estate agents using this?The list goes on…and we will keep plugging away until the middle man eventually sees this. I agree with you on the propvid product, they are a slick and professional looking outfit and we are not in competition with them. We are a totally different product as we focus more on giving and receiving consumer information, and research. We are slowly but surely building up information about the industry that not many people have taken the time (or care to) to find out, like ‘what is the difference between the online real industry vs the real estate industry’, there are some interesting demographics trying to be hit, and not being hit here because of lack of information. Another one is ‘where are the new markets for real estate agents’, without taking market share from local competitors.
    If you had the time Glenn or the inclination, I would be interested to know what your personal “just doesn’t fit right now” for a number of reasons were.
    Hi Peter, thanks for your feedback. Quite right on the $$$ spend on promoting our site as no client of ours wants to know about making us famous. Excellent idea on a solution to plug video into their own website (do you like Grange or Hill of Grace).
    And thanks again Dave for the time you spent with your feedback.

  • Glenn Batten
    Posted February 16, 2008 at 8:49 pm 0Likes

    Michael

    Advertising for real estate agencies is always a juggling act with finances. Everybody selling some form of advertising or promotional equipment or solution seems to think theirs is the must have accessory or medium for an agent to spend their money. If I had a dollar for everytime somebody has suggested that we just had to sell one property to justify spending money on what they are flogging I would be able to retire. . Salespeople often offer the same argument when its not their money being spent..

    Lets look at the agency funding it.. What everyone seems to forget is that unless it replaces another existing initiative it is a new expense. Like all businesses we can only pay for new expenses out of profit. My own rule of thumb is that any new investment has to generate 5 times its cost to break even. We list well over 500 properties every year now so if the agency was to get videos on just the top 20% of our listings, that would represent an investment of $33,000 which requires at least an increase in revenue of $165,000 just to break even.

    In our area this represents more than 21 sales extra just to fund videos on 100 properties something I find highly unlikely to happen. Quite simply, if you want to invest in video on that sort of scale you have to convince agents that it will generate a lot of revenue. Quite frankly I doubt that can be done for the masses as we could find far better places to invest those sort of dollars.

    The other option is of course vendor paid advertising but owners are faced with the very same decisions. What can they spend the money on that will give them the most exposure and potential buyers per dollar spent. When vendors in our area struggle just to find a few hundred dollars for a total investment in a marketing campaign they certainly are not going to choose to spend $330 on a video. All they would be able to afford is a video and nothing else to promote it and give it exposure.

    For the moment until the average agents can divert funds committed elsewhere to video you will be limited to agents selling few properties for much higher values. The maths make a big difference and thats why you see virtually all agents working with Propvid are those operating in the more affluent areas.

    Print is a very expensive medium and at the moment it is just hanging on to its value proposition. As print becomes irrelevant in our industry you will find that the takeup of video will rise. You need to be working with those agents it “fits” best with positioning yourself for when video starts to become an acceptable norm.

    [My humble apologies for the numbnuts comment, it was a mere reflection of my frustration at 2 years of constantly testing our product in the market, having buyers and vendors tell us how fantastic our product is with comments like

  • michael liu
    Posted February 17, 2008 at 3:51 am 0Likes

    Thank you Glenn,
    That’s great feedback, especially the breakdown in revenue numbers and the propostion in print. We hear a lot of vendors complain about what an agent gets for what they (are perceived to) do, and in their (vendors) eyes it’s too much. Their seems to be an expectation of the ‘agent will pay’, but I guess at the end of the day as you say, if the vendor is not willing to put their hand in their own pocket it just doesn’t cut it.
    What would your number be on a very reasonable price?

  • Glenn Batten
    Posted February 17, 2008 at 6:37 pm 0Likes

    Michael,

    Real Estate is no different than any other business. There is a natural profit rate for successful agencies similiar to most other businesses. If an agent earns $8,000 on a sale the total profit figure after wages, rent, phone etc etc is probably somewhere under $1,600. Many offices struggle to make any profit at all.

    Not every listing you get sells. If you sell 2/3rds (and many offices dont even do that) it means that spending $800 marketing on each listing and you just reduced your profit by 75% down to $400 for every listing. If you sell only one in every two listings you made no profit at all. Thats not good business.

    As a method to compete some real estate offices will often fund part or all of the advertising or offer things like no sale no pay policies. The advertising paid for by the agents is normally very minimal and is often sold as being more than there really is.

    In deregulated markets agents are able to increase their commission rates and have a great market share are able to fund a proper marketing campaign. These offices are generally the exception rather than the rule and are normally significant market players in their area.

    Whether an agent pays for the marketing or not does not change the value exercise. You have to be better value than other options available or they will just choose one of the other options.

    It’s natural for an owner to want an agency to pay for the advertising. As a consumer I don’t want to pay any fees and want a high interest rate on my savings when I deal with the bank. When I go to a restaurant I only want to pay what it would cost me to cook at home. What I want and whats reality are two different things.

    With regard to a rate on a reasonable price this is a hard one. The price you need for mass take up in the current market is not going to be sustainable for you….. Thats why everyone is saying that at the moment, video is not ready for mass rollout. Whats a price that is going to put you into better consideration??? I would think a price closer to $200 personally. That wont get you agents falling over themselves to sign up, but it should make your value appear much better and get you working with more offices. How that fits into reality I don’t know.

    The other things that will help your takeup lie outside of your direct control but you can exert some influence. This is the agency websites and the property portals. At the moment the integration with video is very poor. In most cases it consists of a simple hyperlink on property pages.

    You have heard from one of the chiefs at REA that they see video big in three years. They obviously have some sort of road map on improving video in their portal. Work with them, the other portals and real estate groups. Dont forget the independents. You have companies like Portplus who handle the websites of huge numbers of independent agents. As they improve how video sits on these sites for the consumer, your value improves.

    Something you should look more closely at is how the professional photographers moved into the real estate industry. Five years ago very very few photos were taken by professional photographers. Several companies have built up a huge business from this. They proved their value to agents by giving away photo shoots to leading agents in an area. Agents then noticed that those properties with professional photos got far more enquiries than those poorly exposed out of focus shots taken by salespeople.

    Once they had the market leader on board they then went around and approached the other market players offering the ability to catch up. Their value was proven and now they are called in to photograph a lot of homes.

  • michael liu
    Posted February 18, 2008 at 12:43 am 0Likes

    Thanks again Glenn for spending your time giving us your sound advice. There are many ways we are going with this and the one that seems to be attractive at this point of time is an exclusivity agreement, some agents think that our product can assist them with getting listings over their local competitors, but now the market has changed over here (WA) and listings aren’t so tight, I’m not sure if there is so much of a problem (lack of properties for sale) any more. We also have a model that includes a wider scope of interaction such as area highlight video tours, online consumer research, projecting property videos to the worldwide market through international real estate video companies and video hosting companies. We tailor these elements to the particular agents needs. Thanks to you sharing your insights with us Glenn, we will work on a model that gets us down to the $200 mark by supplementing our product with other forms of revenue, there won’t be a probem for us getting a product out at that price level. We have in the past offered to give away a number of these video tours on personalised maps (with no strings attached) but only one agent took us up on the offer, that agent however was totally satisfied and at one stage was paying a lot more than the current price advertised, he swears by it and is now our biggest customer and advocate. The initial freebie offer was over a year ago now and we will take your point into serious consideration by looking at offering up some more ‘no strings attached’ freebies in the near future. We did have a meeting with one of the big online players last year who were very interested in what we were doing. The guy running the meeting who was apparently on the board, didn’t give out business cards and didn’t even look at our site before he met us, preceeded nearly everything with ‘no offense but’ post ceded everything with ‘but we’ve grown from x amount of staff to xx amount of staff in a year’ (at this point we were wondering why they were even bothering with us), then proceeded to tell us how they were going to launch their videos, then gave us an offer of ‘we will take all your content, your operating system in exchange for a ‘prefered provider’ ad on our site, and even though they were a big player, they couldn’t guarantee us a revenue stream of any kind. My business partner and I just looked at each other and said ‘no thanks, we will just take royalty fees from you when you go public breaching our patent (watch this space)’. The point here is ‘content is king’ and we will never give ours away for ad space. We know that the bigger players come unstuck with low budget video content. Some of them already have a number of departments that have moving media resources and that all sounds flashy, now unless these resources are being utilised to their full ‘production value’ capacity, then anything else is an unneccesary overhead and these departments will be running in the red trying to compete with the likes of us. You look at Propvid, Brett has done a fantastic job with that, and I don’t think any of the media big boys can compete with him and give as good a product as he is producing at the moment, and when the market says ‘bring it in under $200’ this is where we step in. The person that will get in under us is the real estate agent who goes and shoots his/her own stuff and puts it up on sites such as youtube & revver then links it into their own site (which can all be done now).
    Any way, enough of my ranting, but as you guys have been generous enough to give me your time, most valuable ideas and advice I thought the least I could do was return the favour for what it is worth.

  • Brett Clements
    Posted February 20, 2008 at 5:57 pm 0Likes

    Thank you Michael for that compliment. I really enjoy reading the discussions on this site and then halfway through the article, I started reading about myself. We’re doing Propvids down around the $100 mark now, in studio, utilizing some blue-screen technology and a new camera rig. We’re just doing a soft trial of what we’re calling a ZIP. About 20-30 seconds and loaded with lifestyle. We’re exploring inserting stills but there’s no ‘grain’ in a digital photograph so you know its not film and it always jolts me and looks a bit…nasty.
    Anyway. Joel. Awesome comments about what a video should be – and not stating the obvious. I’m always saying to Agents the fridge in the corner usually means this is a kitchen….and please reserve comments like “awesome” for the Grand Canyon. One of the few things in life which doesn’t disappoint. Cheers guys.

  • Brett Clements
    Posted February 20, 2008 at 6:06 pm 0Likes

    And Glen. Gimme a call. 0433 407 039. And I’ll shoot you a free one. I’ll make it a Platinum too. Our creed at Propvid is “The Agent is the Star; the property is their stage.” I’ve copped a bit of stick for that over the years but you have to have a philosophy and that happens to be our’s. Anyway. Thanks again for everybody’s comments about being ‘professional’. That’s the greatest compliment. Cheers

  • Philip Muscatello
    Posted February 21, 2008 at 10:37 am 0Likes

    Well, while we’re all promoting our video products, have a look at our latest forLend Lease.

    We produce our Tours for $100 – $400 + GST, and while we use “nasty” stills, we do have professional voiceovers who give very classy soundtrack. Our composer has also come up with some pretty nice music as well. If it’s good enough for Ken Burns…

    I am aware of 10 players in real estate video area at the moment. Hey Brett, I think there’s room for us all – we all just need the market to grow. How about a peak industry body to promote the medium and to liaise with the portals on video integration?

    Our offer also goes out to all agents – a free trial Property Tour. Call me on 0438 044 022

  • Glenn Batten
    Posted February 22, 2008 at 2:44 pm 0Likes

    Brett,

    Sorry, I have been tied up with meetings yesterday and only got a chance to check back on this thread today. I would love to take you up on the offer and will give you a call Monday.

    I am intrigued by your Zip versions and have a a question on that in a sec, but first, I am also confused slightly about the $100 you highlighted.. Is that the Zip version for that price? Surely you could not shoot on location at that price point no matter the length of the video could you?

    I am guessing your Zip is video of the salesperson talking about the property overlaid over the top of still shots (albiet you could still pan zoom etc the video frame around the photos) … ala the weatherman?

    Also.. I always have trouble with viewing the examples on your website.. no matter which browser I use… it always has “communicating with database”. I can see “this week’s propvids” and “realestate.com.au profiles”… but not the examples.

  • Dave Platter
    Posted February 25, 2008 at 4:03 pm 0Likes

    Guys, have a read of this story in Venture Beat, about TurnHere’s business model. They do on-demand video. Real estate was initially one of their primary targets (if not THE primary target) but they have very successfully diversified to higher-demand segments.

  • John Simon
    Posted February 25, 2008 at 8:58 pm 0Likes

    Hello all.
    Peter, I hope that deal from down in Melb turns out alright and is in your realm of expertise.
    I think video streamed within the real estate sector is here to stay. As an ex agent, video enables the agency to better market to ‘out of area’ buyers. This is where the money is regarding sales.
    Agents need to be educated on the benefits of using video. Anyone producing video content for the real estate space knows this. If the agent/agency sees the value, they will pass this recommendation onto the vendor. They usually foot the bill. Both agent and vendor must be convinced. Price points are also critical. We have not yet reached the tipping point from print to internet advertising/marketing; but we are close.
    So, how does the agent become educated on the benefits of video……statistics. What would the potential purchaser rather view, why, what age group, demographic,price range etc etc.Would it be more beneficial to market in print or on the internet? Who is being promoted better in each of these sectors? Agent or agency?
    I looked at the real estate portal idea. Its a waste of time. Too many big fish and extremely difficult to create traction. I left real estate sales and started LightsCameraSold because I believe that video is the most effective medium for marketing listings. The space will evolve quickly. Focusing on price is a mistake I believe. Some agents charge 2%, others charge 3%. It comes down to how much you believe in yourself, your company and your product. You then need to convince the agents! Regards
    John

  • Brett Clements
    Posted February 26, 2008 at 9:33 am 0Likes

    Hi Glenn. I’ll have one of our Qld Producers, Daniella Atkinson phone you. Our Senior Producer Sarah Estela tried to email yesterday in respect to the streaming issue. RE: ZIP, we have been shooting lifestyle on the Gold Coast for almost two years, taking advantage of every fine day. We have extensive helicopter aerials and wide, establishing shots of most key locations. That, combined with some other techniques we’re deploying, including blue screen, will see us roll out a bottom-end production over the next few weeks. My focus as Creative Director, however, will be introducing the next level of HDP technology into our offering and raising the production standards again. We are aiming squarely at meeting 35mm motion picture values. Our last three Platinum HD productions have all been top secret and we can’t stream them in the public domain as the Vendors demand a great deal of privacy, however I will be able to show you ‘selects’ of the new footage, which now allows us to lift glossy A4 prints from.
    As for the uptake of video, when I started Smash! Pop! four years ago (which turned into Propvid) and rolled out video, initially for Laing+Simmons and then RW Double Bay, you could ‘Google’ property video and be lucky to fill a page. Today, many of our initiatives have been copied here and abroad – some to the point of cut and pasting our products and prices into their sites.
    At Propvid, we will continue to innovate. I don’t come from a real estate background but from three decades of production so we’re just scratching the tip of an iceberg in terms of what we have to offer. Best Regards.

  • Brett Clements
    Posted February 26, 2008 at 3:54 pm 0Likes

    ‘Turn Here’. A lot of real cool NY film-makers Dave. We’ve been watching them for years.

  • michael liu
    Posted March 1, 2008 at 4:14 pm 0Likes

    Like your work John, really simple, straight forward, and easy to get to. Thanks for your advice/ideas on your article regarding the education of real estate agents. I agree with on the fact that video is here to stay and that we need to educate. We are in early days, and I must admit It has been hard for us to try and educate/convince agents that this is a product for them, we are getting there slowly, this is actually good for us as we are learning that different real estate agencies have their different ways of approaching the market. At least we know that the ones we do get, stay with us as they realise the economic and not so economic benefits once they have used our product, I am sure the same goes for everyone else in the business. As for the portal idea, we love it and it’s not about competing with the big players (which seems to be a knee jerk assumption by a lot of people that access our video tours via our homepage). Our product is mainly accessed via the likes of realestate.com, domain, agents home pages, youtube, & yahoo, and as far as the consumer is concerned, we don’t exists. What we want to get is traffic credits from these hits for future uses (watch this space), If any online business out their is cheating themselves of this ‘RETHINK HARD FOLKS!!’, extremely valuable water to have under your bridge if you think you are going to be around in a few years. Most ex film makers have been pre conditioned to create content and hand it over (like the good ole days) and I think that the smart ones will realise that they need to have some sort of control over their content. At this stage I don’t think there is a ‘how to’ get it right as it is too early in the game to know what people want (I don’t think the agents know half the the time, and why would they as this is all new to them). I think it’s great that there are a number of online video real estate companies out there trying this online real estate presentation product in there own different ways, and it is my guess that the different types of real estate agents will be attracted to the different types of video marketing tools that are available to them. I do know one thing, that when it does go off in a couple of years, there will than more enough work for all of us.

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