I am not hugely in love with the idea of video for listings. My problem is simple enough to state: I think photos do a much better job of selling buyers on the home. Why? Because they’re bigger. Brighter. Of much higher resolution. And: Because they hold still. Video has geek-appeal to geeks and age-of-wonders appeal to everyone, but if buyers want to get to know a house, they are going to study it. Even if video overcame its crappy, fleeting quality, it would still be a poor medium for touring a home.
However: I do want that age-of-wonders appeal, and we always want to do more than our competitors can on our listings. And: If I can soak up another twenty minutes of a potential buyer’s time, that’s twenty minutes that won’t be deployed looking at other houses. The point is, there are good competitive reasons for including a video tour with our listings, even if video competes poorly with digital photography.
So what I wanted was a video format that made sense in the context of the listing — video doing a job photography cannot do, rather than video doing photography’s job badly.
Here’s what I came up with: An interview with the seller. This film was made this week — and, yes, I know: I suck as a videographer. The particular home is an extensive restoration, so taking the seller through the house room by room to talk about what was refurbished, what was remodeled, what was created from scratch — this is a way of turning video into a true added-value asset in the listing package.
The next time this seller refurbs a house, we’ll shoot video all along, memorializing the major changes. It might be slick to mount a web-cam from the ceiling to snap a picture every five minutes while work is going on: Time-lapse remodeling.
This works much better for me, in any case. We’re not depending on the video for high-resolution images — there’s luck! — but we are able to take on the story behind the listing in a way that is both compelling and uniquely suited to video as a communications medium.
And: As we do more of these, we’ll get better at them. I promise.