Real Estate agents turning to video to sell homes

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Real estate agents turning to video to sell homes
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Video gives potential home buyers a better look at listings, real estate agents say.

By Jennifer Sheehan, Of The Morning Call

Using a 4-foot jib and a cleverly designed camera dolly, Dan McKinney was hard at work at his latest shoot.

The dolly, fashioned from a recycled jogging stroller and PVC pipe, allowed him to smoothly move through the location and film with ease, using his Pansonic Lumix GH2.

McKinney, a Center Valley-based videographer and a real estate agent with Prudential Patt, White Real Estate in Coopersburg, was shooting video of a 3,000-square foot custom-built home for sale in Center Valley.

“That’s the whole advantage with video,” McKinney said. “You can get a real sense of the space of the home, but you can also convey a lot more emotion.”

Videos have become critical when it comes to marketing homes in the Valley, area real estate agents say.

“We found that potential buyers like the video better because you can get a sense of what the house looks like versus the stills,” said Barb Bottitta, a real estate agent with Keller Williams Real Estate in Allentown. “The sellers love it. We find we are getting more hits with the homes with videos. It’s better for the sellers.”

According to the 2012 National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 15 percent of agents nationally used video to sell detached single-family homes, up 114 percent from 2011 when 7 percent said they used it.

The survey also showed that 47 percent of home buyers used the Internet to find the home they purchased.

Among those who used the Internet to find their home, 21 percent found videos very useful.

Bottitta often uses video for listings of homes selling for $200,000 and above.

“It doesn’t have to be a luxury home,” Bottitta said.

Typically in her videos, Bottitta acts as the narrator, detailing the home’s features as the camera person follows her through the home for sale.

Bottitta says she’s been using video over the past 21/2 years and estimates she is at a video shoot of a client’s home two or three times a month.

She uses Home Focus Media, which is based in Whitehall Township, for video production.

Ken Unangst, owner of Home Focus Media, says he’s done 500 video productions for real estate agents over the past 10 months. Unangst said he has two teams that film three to four home tours a day.

“Sellers are demanding video,” Unangst said. “It is the future.”

Brad Patt, senior vice president/region manager for Prudential Patt, White, said video has become a critical tool for agents.

“With the Internet we’re definitely seeing video be the go-to vehicle,” Patt said.

Patt said that every property listed by Prudential Patt, White gets a YouTube video (which streams still photos of the property) and its own single property website. According to the Google & Complete Home Shopper Survey done in 2011, YouTube was the top video research destination for home shoppers with 57 percent. Brokerage websites came in at 41 percent.

“I think the consumers searching online want to see digital photos and video,” Patt said. “This gives them a sense of the property before they even walk into the door. Having video helps us market more effectively.”

Copyright © 2013, The Morning Call http://bio.tribune.com/JenniferSheehan

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/business/mc-video-real-estate-new-20131006,0,2711211.story#ixzz2h4azoTcV

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