Agents will often ask questions about how to use video effectively. Should they do a video blog? Should they use a video email service like Bombbomb? Should they do a combination of all the above? I’ve decided to do up an “Epic Post” to address this once and for all to which I can direct people to in the future when these questions inevitably arise. I’ll give the step-by-step below…but first, let me give you a WARNING.
Be Brutally Honest With Yourself
Agents are addicted to seeking out what I call “The Real Estate Holy Grail”. This is something (and can really be anything) that they believe will solve all their lead generation and follow up problems and deliver listing appointments to them on a silver platter. Vendors who have stuff to sell real estate agents like to push this button and position “their thing” as the magic widget that will accomplish this.
Video is one of these things.
So let’s get it out there right up front. If you do not pick up the phone and call people two to three hours per day and are in any way/shape/form thinking that doing up a video blog is somehow going to deliver you ready-to-list leads….stop right now. It doesn’t matter how high quality your intro or outro are. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got a great “call to action” and you remember to “ask people to share your content”. In fact, all the stuff that video bloggers tell you to do in order to make money with a video blog can pretty much go right out the window because video bloggers are in the business of selling stuff online. To anyone who will but their whatever-it-is online. Including their course which shows how they make money with a video blog boosted with Facebook.
It is HIGHLY likely that you’re here because you want to avoid using the phones and you are hoping that video will give you what you want (listing appointments, signed listing contracts, and commission checks) all by itself. It will NOT do that for you. And anyone who starts telling you that they’ve done it better provide proof because if you slit your wrists doing a video blog and close 12 deals per year from it…don’t kid yourself…you LOST money. You would have closed 30 or 40 deals if you’d used the time you burned on the video blog to simply pick up the phone and call people.
The money you DO make can be very deceptive because it can create the illusion that “you’re doing good” when really, you’re giving up 66% of the money you SHOULD be making. And to make matters worse, you could blow a year or two on this boondoggle before figuring out the truth.
So have a conversation with yourself. And be brutally honest when you ask whether you’re thinking of doing this as a primary lead generation source. If you are. Stop now.
Now if video should NOT be used by the Realtor as a primary lead generation mechanisim, then what should it be used for? Well let’s talk about that.
The Secret Formula for Success
If you have not listened to Century 21 Broker Neil Schrwartz and his seminal talk about what differentiates “The Difference Between Good Agents, Superstar Agents, and Legendary Agents”…then you really should. You can find it here.
The KEY to success in real estate is given in that teleseminar. I believe him completely and am actively pursuing it myself. It can be summarized as follows:
“Shove a bunch of people into a database and then a) email them weekly, b) snailmail to them monthly, and c) phone call every other month.”
I’m guessing that a call every 90 days would work too.
If those three tasks are the KEY to success in real estate…then it makes sense that you would only do things that fall into that plan. That means you’d spend time getting people onto a mailing list and you’d spend time on the phone following up with them every two or three months. You’d also spend time getting email out to them but the MAJORITY of your time should be spent on the phone finding the dang leads in the first place.
So where does video marketing come into play?
It’s the whole “email weekly” ingredient in Neil’s recipe for real estate success.
You will use video to enhance your the emails you send out on a weekly basis.
I am afflicted with Superman syndrome and I am guessing that you are too. When I started on this journey, I envisioned myself doing a video blog post every day like Gary Vaynerchuk of Wine Library TV fame. I had NO clue how much time it takes to do “acceptable” quality video. Forget epic-n-engaging video. Just “good” stuff.
My original plan was to make 5 video blog posts every week. While shooting each of those videos I would also shoot two “Preview Videos” that would talk about what the video blog post was going to cover in 30 seconds or less. One would be tailored for Twitter and one for Bombbomb. I would then produce the Twitter Preview video FIRST before the I even started editing the main video. Upload the Twitter preview video to Twitter with me saying, in the video, that the main post would be showing up in about an hour. I’d then produce the main video, upload it to YouTube, wait for it to encode, create the main blog post frameword at HousingTheD.com ready to publish as soon as I could grab the embed code from YouTube once the video was done cooking all ready for me to publish in WordPress.
While YouTube is encoding the main video I would work on editing up the preview video for Bombbomb in Adobe Premier. I’d upload the video that video email service and while Bombbomb was encoding it I would create the Bombbomb email “frame” that I would be dropping the video into once it was done encoding. The frame would consist of two paragraphs that would say pretty much the same thing as what I said in the video but it would be in text form so that if people are work and refuse the PLAY the video, they could still be encouraged to click the link at the bottom of the email (which would just so happen to be the header image from the main WordPress blog post at HousingTheD.com) and check out the video blog post.
By this time the main video would be done processing on YouTube and I would embed it in the blog post, hit publish, and then grab the link so that I could point the image in the Bombbomb email to that post specifically. From there I would embed the Bombbomb preview video into the Bombbomb email, send a test version of it to myself to make sure everything is fine, and then email blast it out to all my short-term leads.
What short term leads? You know…FSBOs and Expireds. My sphere and long term leads certainly didn’t need to see me showing up in their email inbox every day if they’re a year out from listing after all.
From there I would post the video to my Facebook “fan page” (or business page or whatever they call it these days) and at the same time I would “share” the PREVIOUS day’s post on that same Facebook fan page to my PERSONAL Facebook page. (Tomorrow I’d share TODAY’S video post from business Facebook page to personal page. That way if someone is following both they don’t see the same thing twice in a row if you post the new content to the biz page and instantly share to the personal page. How tacky is that?)
Finally, I would share the post to Twitter complete with header image so that the Tweet would stand out and I would then be done.
Remember, only the SHORT TERM leads would get these daily emails. What about the people that are in the database that are suppose to get the “email weekly”? Well they were not getting these daily emails were they? Nope.
So once per week I would need to shoot a video summarizing all the video blog posts I had covered over the previous 7 days, provide links to them in the email, and send them out to everyone in my database in order to get the “check in the box” on the whole “email weekly” thing from the Neil Schwartz recipe for real estate success. That video would get uploaded to Bombbomb only – but it was more work.
The point is that I thought I was Superman. I had no CLUE how long it took to do even ONE of these cycles and I didn’t even mention the fact that while the main CONTENT for the videos is done for me by Keeping Current Matters…I would still have to write an intro and outro to it so that the video would have a high quality look-n-feel. Just reading the blog post into the camera alone doesn’t cut it. The whole thing EASILY takes 3 hours from start to finish. Easily. Sometimes more.
Did I mention that I thought I was going to put these things out 5 days per week? Or how about the fact that I was going to record PERSONALIZED introduction videos for each and every lead that I got once they gave me their email before I put them on either the daily or weekly email cycle. There’s a whole nother process for that and I was going to do it with EVERYONE.
Yeah. Because I’m Superman.
The Thing You Need to Get
Before I go over the NEW plan for how I’m going to implement video, it’s important to understand that WHATEVER approach you’re going to use…the time investment has to be cut back. SEVERELY. I’m talking about no more than 4 hours per WEEK total. Unless you are paying someone to do everything for you and all you’re doing is getting in front of the camera and waiting for them to hit the record button for you.
Four hours total. Per week. That includes any time writing content to be read in the video camera, converting that same content into formatted text in the blog post itself so people can read it if they don’t want to play the video itself, shooting the video, editing the video, uploading the video, waiting for it to encode, and then then anything else that comes after that. Four hours. No more.
If you don’t make a conscious decision to do that then you’ll start robbing Peter to pay Paul in the form of sacrificing your phone time in order to keep up with your video stuff. Which we already agreed would lead to you making LESS MONEY even if you have more fun tinkering with your techy toys.
Oh, yes. We’re back to that. You didn’t think I’d let you forget that you are NOT allowed to think of this as a primarily lead gen mechanism did you? If you’re thinking of how YOU could pull this off and SOMEHOW tweek it to get you leads on the front end…well again…stop it. You’d be burning thousands and thousands of dollars. Just like throwing stacks of cash into the fire.
The New Plan
So here’s my new plan and the plan I recommend YOU use if you’re a solo agent and you’re going to work video into your business routine.
Do up some old-school TEXT blog with 5 posts per week. The content should be “Done-For-You” so you’re not wasting time writing it yourself. Of those 5 posts that will show up on your blog each week a maximum of TWO of them will be enhanced “video blog” posts. If you do just ONE in video that will be fine as long as you’re working the phones like you should.
And when I say “video blog” post I’m saying that you will be reading the text blog post content into the camera using a teleprompter. You’ll also have to create into/outro video snippets that you’ll “glue” to the front and back of your video blog posts when editing in order to make them more watchable.
Remember that extensive and seemingly mind-numbing process that I outlined earlier? I suggest you still DO that….but you only do it TWICE per week and you record ALL the video content on a single day and then, when you have a “light day” where listing appointments are concerned, you just load the content into your video editor and make it a video blog post day. If your entire week is stocked full of appointment, then you don’t post ANY video enhanced blog posts that week…you just post regular blog posts for the entire week that you basically copy-n-paste right from Keeping Current Matters to your blog and then shoot just ONE 90-second video at the end of the week that you’ll slam into Bombbomb which says,
‘Hey friends, it’s me Brian with RE/MAX…here’s what we covered THIS week in order to help YOU keep YOUR finger on the pulse of the real estate market…on Monday I showed you why a rise in interest rates will impact both buyers AND sellers and then on Tuesday I…blah blah blah’
Here’s an example of what one of these should look like…but instead of being on YouTube it would be uploaded to Bombbomb and sent in email form.
The general idea is that you’ll be doing things the right way. You won’t be wanting video to be more than what it is. You won’t sacrifice the BIGGER money maker (making phone calls for three hours every day) for the SMALLER money maker (making VIDEO stuff for three hours per day).
You’ll batch record your videos on a single day each week and parse them out as time allows. Your face will show up in front of people each week (in the Bombbomb email) and even if they don’t watch the video in the email itself or click through to check out any of your posts (which I will tell you is pretty rare….people are just too dang busy) they have at least SEEN your face in the email and they identify you as someone who is different, consistent, and likable. After all, no OTHER agent in your area is doing this same thing, are they?
So that’s it. Take it as you see fit but I’m pretty sure that this is the most efficient and effective way for REALTORS to use video consistently if they don’t have a stack of cash to pay someone else to run the whole thing for them.