Happy New Years!
2014 was a very exciting year here at First Showing. It was certainly not without its challenges (I have resolved to not bike quickly down very steep hills!) but all things considered, my team and I had a fantastic time working with all of our clients, new and old!
New Camera: Sony A7s with Zeiss 16-35mm T* full Frame Lens
I made a significant investment over the Christmas break by purchasing a new camera. The Sony A7s is considered to be the most advanced DSLR camera for video currently produced, and I will be using it on all future tours (or at least until a better camera comes along ;)
How can the A7s benefit your property tours?
- It can shoot clean, sharp images in very low light (think those fourth bedrooms stuck in the corner of the basement!)
- The camera features a cinema-quality dynamic range (the difference between the brightest and darkest areas of a scene).
- It is future proof: I will be shooting all tours from now on at 60 frames per second (double the 'usual' rate of 30fps). This creates an exceptionally smooth tour. YouTube has announced that they will be rolling out support for 60 fps over the coming months, and First Showing is ready for it!
- The Zeiss 16-35mm f4 T* lens uses the very best in German glass to create sharp, high-contrast images for both still and video applications.
New Voice Over Technology & Practices
NEW! With the A7s camera, I now have the capability to broadcast the video signal as I record it. You can now watch in real time on my tablet as we walk through the property, so your comments can precisely match what's on-screen. What the camera sees is what you see!
Aerial Photo & Video Update: UAV
All that said, I now offer my clients...
First Showing Gallery Tour
There is a little map animation that shows the flight path I took, this should give you a ball park idea of the area that specific photos were taken. If you have any questions or would like to include an aerial photo in your tour package please let me know.
Marketing Your Marketing
Creating an effective property tour is just the start of the job. Once it's produced, make sure that your marketing – and therefore your marketing dollars – are easily discovered. But that's not all that I recommend. I strongly encourage you to also ensure that potential viewers know precisely what they're going to see. Read on to find out why I think this is important.
Most people, of course, start their web search at Realtor.ca, especially in our market where such a large proportion of buyers are from out of town. And many (but not all) potential buyers know about what they might find when they click the tiny, easily missed 'Multimedia' button. So make it simple for them! Everybody reads the listing description, so consider saving a few valuable characters to put words like these directly in the property description: "Click 'Multimedia' button above for High Def vid walk thru and pro photos!"
Why those words? Two reasons. First, it's a call-to-action, and you are offering a simple way for the viewer to become further engaged. You are also describing exactly what they can expect when they click the link. Why is that important? Because what you're offering is unique and highly effective. Go to MLS and click on a bunch of Multimedia links. You may find a gallery of sub-standard photos (if you find one at all!). You might also find a "video tour" that consists of, well, the same photos – but moving! – on a YouTube video. Sadly, the words "Virtual Tour" and "YouTube Video" have become synonymous with either the same property photos in a simple YouTube slide show, or pictures in a poorly designed interface.
So tell them what you've got. Tell them what they'll discover. A Hi Def video walk-thru. Pro photos.
What about the property description on your personal business page? I encourage you to use similar wording in ALL of your property descriptions, no matter where you post it: "Make sure you view a High Definition Property Walk Through of this home by <clicking clicking the virtual tour button below>". Make it easy, make it visible, encourage people to discover!
Many people these days are also turning to YouTube itself to search for properties. Video, after all, works on so many levels. There are many resources floating around that tell you how to get on the first page of a YouTube search but I'll let you in on my little secret: Get the YouTube video title right. Make it clear, make it concise. Make it what people are going to search for. No need to make it a vanity title with your name and business, just the facts, please!
Don't believe me? I went to YouTube today and typed in "home for sale in collingwood". There were 20 results on the first page, and 19 of the 20 were First Showing property tours, including all of the first 17! Note the tour titles to find out why they ranked as they did.
The important thing is to ensure that your First Showing marketing dollars are placed where people can find them. Yes, our tours are only one little piece of the puzzle, but I firmly believe that they are a very important piece that potential buyers want – and need – to market and sell their properties.