There’s always something to howl about

iMovie lets me produce six short real estate videos in three hours

I’ve never loved video as a means of promoting real estate listings. I much prefer lots and lots of really big, really detailed photographs.

But: The SMS marketing we’re doing with DriveBuy Technologies makes video a necessity. The integration of YouTube into smart-phones is simply too compelling an opportunity to pass up.

Hence, on Thursday I pounded out six videos for three of our listings, all in about three hours total labor. That’s everything, from set up to sequencing to background music to recording voiceovers.

How is that possible? I used iMovie, the more basic movie-making software for the Macintosh. I also have Final Cut, but iMovie makes making basic plug-and-chug videos a breeze. Even better, it integrates directly with YouTube, so I can publish from within the app.

I’m promoting houses, so I’m using photographs, not full-motion video. Assembling these little films is quick and fool-proof.

How’s the quality? You tell me. I think these are more than adequate to the task.

Let’s take a look:

For 5415 West Hasan Drive:

The house…

And the neighborhood…

This is just plain vanilla Ken Burns stuff, and you can take it the way the software does it or manipulate the effect yourself.

Here are two more, made for 1946 East Vista Drive:

The house…

And the neighborhood…

These two were done using iMovie’s Scrapbook theme, and all the transitions were done automatically by the software.

One more: 5708 East Paradise Lane:

The house…

And the neighborhood…

These videos used iMovie’s Photo Album theme, again with no manual intervention.

Without doubt you could do even cooler stuff by intervening with the software, but these results seem pretty sweet to me without my having to do a lot of manual tweaking.


12 Comments so far

  1. James Malanowski September 27th, 2009 8:29 pm

    I watched the 1st two and must say that I’m impressed. I think that’s the perfect replacement for full video (I’m not 100% decided on that topic) and a step above a normal “virtual tour” … Your personality comes through and you’re speaking directly to the consumer. Who wouldn’t love that when they pull up the listing on their mobile phone? Very nice.

  2. Barry Cunningham September 27th, 2009 9:19 pm

    More important than the “video” is the quality of the pictures. You lit the rooms extremely well. I know the homeowners must be very pleased.

  3. Marlow September 27th, 2009 9:59 pm

    Those are great. I’m inspired! Using photos and equipment you already had, you made professional and compelling videos for your clients. It may not help sell the house if it’s overpriced or in a bad neighborhood, but it will definitely keep your sellers happy with your efforts. Bravo.

  4. David Sherfey September 27th, 2009 10:07 pm

    FM – no static at all.

    Greg, your narration is the best I have heard. It is entertaining and memorable for its style.

    “The jewelery box proudly displays your life as its most fitting gem.”


  5. Randy Hooker September 27th, 2009 10:13 pm

    I give you an A+ for the videos, Greg. But I was surprised to hear you touting the $8,000 federal tax credit. I thought you were morally and philosophically against it. Just wondering…

  6. Greg Swann September 27th, 2009 11:38 pm

    > But I was surprised to hear you touting the $8,000 federal tax credit. I thought you were morally and philosophically against it.

    I’m opposed to everything that is founded in the use of force against innocents, but my opposition, so far, has not only not eliminated coercion from human social interaction, the trend of events is all the other way. Meanwhile, I have been commissioned to sell this house, and one of the stronger selling points for a home in that price range is that many buyers will qualify for the tax credit. All of them will qualify for secondary-mortgage-market loans, which are also the product of coercion. The only routes leading to the home are roads paid for by the confiscation of wealth from the people who produced it. I hate every bit of all of that, plus a whole lot more, but that has nothing to do with the way I do my job. I don’t tell other people what to do — the threshold of coercion — and I certainly don’t tell my sellers to foreswear the at-least-seemingly-beneficial local consequences of the pandemic criminality that — unfortunately — no living person is able to escape at present. I’m not beating you up, I’m simply pointing out that the path to the ideal is through the real. Right now the real world is far uglier than I would wish for it to be, but it is what it is. We each of us choose to live in it, each of us having made our own set of ugly compromises. In other words, I see no stain in being a slave. This is a fate none of us can escape for the moment. The sin, if any, would be to accept or even to embrace one’s enslavement without resentment or shame or rebellion.

  7. Brian Brady September 28th, 2009 8:11 am

    Bravo! I love the music and you did a great job reading copy, Greg. Your definition of luxury, on “Paradise Found”, was dramatic.

  8. Greg Swann September 28th, 2009 9:06 am

    > I love the music and you did a great job reading copy, Greg.

    That was the Brian Brady dramatic performance. 😉

  9. Al Lorenz September 28th, 2009 10:09 am

    Very compelling. I really like the scrapbook theme. I must be getting Mac envy. Your narration and writing adds tons. Do you have a source for the music that is license free?

  10. Ryan Hartman September 29th, 2009 7:07 am

    Dare I say GS is even better via video then via text?

    I mean, this approach should go a long way toward helping Bloodhound Realty make a lasting impression on those prospective buyers and sellers without the patience for for Ibsen?

  11. Brad Coy September 29th, 2009 1:27 pm

    Good work.

    I hear a lot of gripes about price when I tell people I switched from PC to Mac.

    A MacBookPro runs about what, $2K? I’ve had one now for a little over a year and there’s no looking back. With the stock ILife package, one can work magic. You could do the same with a regular MacBook for around $1K. For the time that one invests in using hardware for their needs, I would say it’s damn worth it. The learning curve easy and if you can’t stomach the idea of teaching yourself how to edit, their “one to one” training is a blessing at $100 for a years worth of training.

  12. Artur September 30th, 2009 7:34 pm

    So I got inspired by Greg and put something together using iMovie.
    What do you think:

    It’s a great program and the learning curve is not very steep.