In today’s digital real estate marketplace, clearing the clutter and bringing in a professional photographer is often just the start of many marketing efforts.
To entice buyers with storytelling, video has been thrust into the sales process and brought Hollywood-style productions into colonials and condos across New England.
Over the past decade, many brokerages have assembled in-house video-teams, equipped them with the latest digital cameras and editing software, and put them at the disposal of agents with high-profile listings.
Along with hosting showings, those agents are now narrating voiceovers and directing exterior scenes of the neighborhood that will later be cut together and posted on the Internet.
“The days when people would meet with a client, look at the house, sign listing forms and put it on the market the next day – those days are over,” said Sally Lapides, president and owner of Residential Properties Ltd. in Providence, one of the first locally owned agencies to embrace video. “You can talk about lifestyle and the community as well as how many bedrooms it has.”
Residential Properties has two full-time videographers, both graduates of New England Institute of Technology, who shoot, edit, record audio and post videos as part of its six-employee IT department. Lapides does most of the voiceovers.
Real estate agencies began to dabble with video as digital cameras became common in the early 2000s. The technology improved and became less expensive at around the same time print advertising began being replaced as the primary medium for listings by the Internet, which provided a platform for multimedia.
As videos became more common, they became more sophisticated with background music, meticulous staging, gallery lighting and carefully composed tracking shots that draw a viewer across a room or from the street toward the front door.
Most videos glide gently through a home, with the afternoon sun shining through the windows and tree leaves quietly rustling. Some extremely large and opulent houses have videos pushing four or five minutes.
“Agents are getting extremely creative and some of these videos are looking more like Hollywood productions,” said Davenport Crocker Jr., regional vice president for Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in New England. “Where in the early years you mostly entered a room and maybe [saw] a panorama, now they are getting more cinematic and really tell a story.”