Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
When we started producing real-estate videos in 2012, the data showed us that people would happily sit through a 3 to 4-minute real-estate video. The concept of a video tour was new and prospective buyers and nosey neighbors apparently had a more robust attention span back then.
That’s not the case anymore.
We’ve now produced over 1500 real-estate videos. Now we can look at the current data and get a very clear understanding of how long people are sitting through these videos today. We took a look at the analytics from our Youtube channel, See Your House Now. The average view duration of our real-estate videos is now one minute and forty-two seconds, which is down slightly from last year.
So why is that important? Well, it tells us three very important things.
Don’t save the best for last
You don’t want to waste any of that significant one minute and forty-two seconds in which you do have their attention on something that isn’t attractive or significant. If the backyard is a key feature, show it within the first fifteen seconds, don’t leave it to the end. In many cases, you’ll want to follow the natural flow of a home by starting with the front exterior, then the interior before heading outside. Often though, a backyard is more attractive than the front. We recently shot a 6,000 square-foot home on a pond. The front of the home had several large trees and it was difficult to see. The back, however, was a showstopper with a large pond and walk-out basement. When it comes to marketing a property like that, it’s the pond and grandeur of the backyard that will really grab a prospective buyer’s attention, so we showed it first.
Start with attention grabbers
If you are using a voice-over or appear on camera, punch out the three key features of the property right away to get someone’s attention. For example, you might start the video by saying, “Close to hiking trails, schools, and full of upgrades inside.” I’m a big fan of starting with three key features off the top. As viewing habits point to smaller attention spans, it’s important to make the best use of the time you have to draw in your prospective buyer. Think about someone scrolling through Instagram. If every tour that comes across their feed is music and wide drone shots, they will likely keep on scrolling. Saying three key features right away will stop your ideal buyer from swiping to the next post.
Promote your personal brand
Whether you decide to appear on camera or not, a video tour is a great way to promote your brand. As time is precious, make sure your name and contact information are visible right away before people click. I suggest an animated lower third with a photo, contact information, and social handles. When you suggest this to your video provider, ask for a “motion graphics package.” Unlike a billboard, bus banner or print ad, your video tour will continue to be seen for months and years as a suggested video by YouTube, so get your brand out there.
It’s also a good idea to have your logo as a “bug”. A bug is a tiny image you see on the bottom right corner of a video. You see them on TV shows all the time as a way to remind you which network you’re watching. The big TV networks do it to build brand recognition and loyalty, so you can now do the same.
Think of your real-estate video as a movie trailer. A movie trailer doesn’t show boring or insignificant parts of a film, so don’t show the powder rooms, unfinished areas or the utility room. Instead, show the best it has to offer and someone will buy a ticket to see the entire film/home. The ticket is a call or email for you to show them through.