Real Estate Video Marketing
Nov 23, 2011 by ReelMarketer http://www.reelmarketer.com/2011/11/reel-real-estate-video-rick-hoogendoorn/
Hi Rick, welcome to the interview! You’ve done some interesting marketing moves, with video notable! For the uninformed, please tell us about who you are, what you’ve done (video background) and what you do.
RICK HOOGENDOORN: Well, I started out in television when I was 15. I volunteered as a floor director for a local cable TV show in the late 70’s and had my eye on being a sports broadcaster. By 19 I was working as a part-time TV news reporter for CKVU in Vancouver, I got to work on Sportspage, and produced the evening news at 22. I left that business in 1988 but always had a hankering “to do my own thing”. Now technology has reached the point where we can all do just that. Initially I partnered with a friend who had much more technical knowledge (with shooting, lighting and editing videos) than I did, but he moved to Korea so I was stuck. It was either learn to do it myself, or not do it at all. So I learned.
I am now a real estate agent in Victoria, BC, and I use video to promote my own business, and anything else I like supporting. For example, earlier this year I created a 60 video YouTube series for the Family Caregivers’ Network Society, a local charity.
What does marketing/educating the public with your business ‘products’ (houses for sale) look like?
RICK HOOGENDOORN: My video style varies considerably. For example, the first real estate video I did incorporated many of the impersonations I do. I used visuals of the home I was selling with a voice over description by Christopher Walken, Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre, Sean Connery, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and others. My idea was simply to get exposure for the home. What I didn’t expect was that it would be noticed by the Social Media proponents in town and mentioned as “a game changer” in the video field. To be honest, I was just trying to make noise so the home I was selling got noticed.
Where did your ‘style’ originate?
RICK HOOGENDOORN: When I was a TV News reporter I loved doing those stories where I was able to be funny. For example, I’ve posted a video on my Facebook page of me visiting Studio 86 at EXPO in Vancouver. I made a complete hack job of the singing process but had a riot. I was the guy they’d send to cover the Polar Bear swim, with the expectation I’d go in myself! Or the reporter they’d send out to wear the protective arm gear that the police dog could attack in front of the camera!
I refer to it more as “playing video”. In the 1990’s, I helped Robert Fritz (author of The Path of Least Resistance) make a series of training videos for his company. In one of them, I played the roles of all three Maltese Falcon characters – Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre, and Sidney Greenstreet. So I think it’s just a combination of the television background I have, along with my comedy / improv / wannabeanactor thing.
Your angle of attack is different than your competition – I’ve seen no one else doing videos quite like you in Real Estate! You’re not going for the polished, expensive camera work pieces, and don’t need it! You’re creating unique, memorable yet informational web video. Please explain how your business made the choice to use online video (versus sticking to text and images for marketing).
RICK HOOGENDOORN: I don’t have the technical chops to be able to pull off the polished, expensive camera work pieces. It’s that simple. So I’ve got to make up for it with story. So usually I wait to be inspired by a particular angle or approach to the property I’m thinking about promoting. In my Dunford Ave video, it was all about the numbers. The positive cashflow on that property was insane, and so I used it as a way to educate people about how to look at the numbers when investing in a property. I used to be a financial planner, and I’m also a real estate investor, so that interested me personally.
For my Allbay Rd video, I asked myself who would be able to buy this waterfront home. I thought about the people retiring from Vancouver and just happened to hit upon some statistics that showed how the opportunity to relocate from Vancouver to Victoria was a good financial move! The property also had incredible views, so I was out there at 4:30am getting video of the sun coming up over Mt. Baker. You can’t convey that with text.
My Mars St video begged for a Twilight Zone treatment. I had done a Twilight Zone video with Robert Fritz, and knew I could do the voice of Rod Serling. The hook was the fact that it was one of the only new homes in Greater Victoria where one didn’t have to contend with the HST, nor the Colwood Crawl commute. I needed more showings on the property and needed to grab peoples’ attention. With thousands of properties on the market, you have to do something different to get attention for your listings.
All of this began, though, by accident. There was no master plan to make video part of our real estate business. Rather I was making a few videos already and my McCallum Rd listing wasn’t selling. I had to do something so I thought – make a video. It has just blossomed from there partly, too, because of the great feedback I’m getting.
Are there any metrics you use to quantify video marketing as a success? Is it working?
RICK HOOGENDOORN: There are well over 1,000 real estate agents in Greater Victoria. Trying to stand out in that crowd by doing what everybody else is doing is bananas. So every time a person views one of my videos I think it’s a win. There is also no geographical limitation to this YouTube marketing world. What’s cool is that someone I didn’t know viewed my Dunford video in Terrace, BC, and we ended up working with them to buy a property in Victoria! They liked my approach to explaining the numbers for real estate investors. Of course, that really makes it pay. But in all honesty, I make the videos because I love to. I also make the videos I want to make. My clients don’t have any creative input, or editorial control, though I do ask for permission to make a video about their property, and see if they want it to be serious or funny. I certainly don’t want to make a funny video, like the one for Mars St, for example, and then have an unhappy seller that wants it taken off YouTube. Aak! Mostly, though, the videos blow them away.
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