Browsing the archives for the Helpful Tips category

Do you check your download stats?

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Helpful Tips, Services, Technology

We all want to maximize our marketing effectiveness. We have found it helps to understand the full results of your efforts by analyzing your download stats. Making decisions based on accurate information collected monthly has allowed us to react to trends quickly and get the most out of our budget. We regularly check our video and photo download stats, which are traceable on some sites. They provide valuable information. We then prepare monthly reports with the information to strategize for the next month.

Attracting multiple buyers is central in this real estate market. There are many types of web campaigns you can launch. Many people find it best to advertise a large variety of social networking, video and classified websites. A real estate transaction only really needs one buyer. It can be hard to tell where the candidate will come from or even where they do eventually come from.

Agents who send their listings over a variety of distribution channels are staying ahead of the crowd. This is a key time to make sure your listing get an extra edge. Initial spending during the listing process can reduce listing time while attracting multiple interested buyers.

So many buyers come via the internet, because of how well your listings show virtually. They come without being prompted by personal interaction, based on decisions made quickly. The houses that have been selling have been selling fast according to Dave Watt, Real Estate Board President. The efficiency of using professional quality video and photos and posting them across the largest network possible is well documented, although some types of properties are better served by target specific campaigns.

How are you making decisions regarding marketing your listings? Are you using your stats to guide you or are you taking direction from previous successes? Have you been extending your reach effectively? What has been working for you?

How Are Your Resolutions?

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Helpful Tips, News

We began 2009 with an anticipation of change. Does it feel like we are back to the same old things? After the enjoyment of the holidays, we are seeing sparks of hope and optimism that the rough patches of 2008 are behind us. Many of us have ambitious plans to making real changes. Following through on resolutions is helping us achieve success in the New Year.

Is the New Year keeping up with your expectations? Changes are happening. The Bank of Canada’s deep interest rate cuts will stimulate credit flow, having a positive impact on the economic outlook for 2009. The federal government’s tax-free savings account will help save money. We have yet to see what impact the upcoming stimulus package will have. The hope US President Barack Obama has been calling for seems to be materializing all around us, for Canadians at least.

We have found this to be a good time to align with our goals. We are working hard to help encourage positive growth by making sure we set attainable goals. We are remaining disciplined while visualizing accomplishing them and making sure we have a plan for setbacks. We are entering the Chinese Year of the Ox, which embodies the spirit of steady persevering patience, while inspiring confidence in others. This is a great time to set plans to plough through for long term growth. We can all accomplish whatever we like, whenever we choose.

Progress is steadily happening. A theme of realizing new resolutions seems to be echoing across the world. What positive steps are you taking? How are you modifying your behaviours to be more in line with what’s happening in the world? Will developing habits that are more mindful of our surroundings and present in the moment help us move forward with our objectives?

Feel Like Alfred Hitchcock? Personalize Your Real Estate Video Home Tour

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Helpful Tips, News

We have been recently asked by some of our clients to develop a video tour that is distinctly different than our standard Video Openhouse Home Tour. Essentially, the video becomes an extension of the Realtors’ existing brand, conveying to the general public that they have a different approach to marketing homes. Here are 3 examples:

Ian Watt (, Macdonald Realty:
Brava: PH4 – 1199 Seymour Street

Jim Noonan (, Macdonald Realty:
Kensington: 50 – 1386 Nicola Street

Kasha Riddle (, Riddle Real Estate:
6587 Nelson Avenue

You will notice that all 3 videos are more upbeat and faster-paced than our standard Video Openhouse Tour. Users of the Internet are extremely impatient and want information quickly. We have found that most viewers will not watch videos longer than 2 minutes and want to see the highlights of any property as quickly as possible. In all 3 cases, many details of each property are left out but in every case the video is concise and keeps the viewers attention.

Both Ian Watt and Jim Noonan appear in their respective videos. Ian Watt is more prominently featured as he talks about the highlights of the suite. Jim Noonan is shown but usually as a cameo, having appeared on a deck, reading a paper or looking out a window in past videos. Again, it is an opportunity to let the general public become more familiar with the Realtor.

Ian Watt and Jim Noonan also have custom music that will not appear in any other videos on the Video Openhouse website. Their songs are much more upbeat and and much less in the “elevator music” style. The music is a reflection of their respective clientelle and does a great job capturing and holding the viewers attention.

In Zygmund and Kasha Riddle’s videos, they prepare their script for us first, before we shoot the property. The script becomes the outline for the content of the video. The voice-over further emphasizes the highlights of each property.

Having a Video Openhouse Tour produced? Want to become more involved in the process? Talk to us about your ideas and how we may be able to implement them in to your videos. We work with you to ensure the best video tours possible.

Neighbourhood highlights – before or after?

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Helpful Tips, Real-Estate, Vancouver

An ongoing debate (or discussion, to put it nicely) at our office is whether community highlights should appear before or after the video of the property being shown off.

One of our newest clients, Winnie Lam, has specifically asked to have neighbourhood footage before showing the property. Perhaps I am just so enamoured with Vancouver that I love the footage of this city, but I think the videos turn out exceptionally well.
Click here to view one of my favourites from her tours.

The other option is presenting the property first and neighbourhood highlights afterward. The idea is to wow the video viewers with the best of the product right off the bat.
Click here to view a recent tour done for Jill Pennefather.

What do you think? Neighbourhood highlights before or after…? Do you have a preference? Just let us know!

Real Estate Porn – Leave the Photos and Video to the Professionals

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Helpful Tips, News, Photography

The Globe and Mail published an article on the weekend titled, “HOUSE PORN: IT SELLS – For the real money shot, hire a pro“. The article focused on the ever-growing importance of great photography as Internet-savvy buyers become increasingly picture- rather than word-oriented. Potential buyers are becoming much more sophisticated, spending more time searching for properties on the Internet, wanting to view high-quality photos and video. Great real estate photography can get people through the front door, attracting buyers even if the house doesn’t have “curb-appeal”. Having professional photos shot is no longer just a tool for multi-million dollar properties, it’s becoming a necessity to market all listings.

Proper photos will be bright, colourful and spacious. Let us compare our photos with Realtor photos from the same property.

Their Photo:
Living Room
Our Photo:
Living Room

Their Photo:
Dining Room
Our Photo:
Dining Room

Their Photo:
Living Room
Our Photo:
Living Room

Great photos will generate more interest in your listings. Sellers are demanding more from their Realtor in this increasingly competitive market. At Video Openhouse, we provide professional and affordable real estate photography and Video Openhouse Tours that will allow agents to take their marketing to the next level.

“I’ll have what she’s having”

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Helpful Tips, Photography, Real-Estate, Testimonials

The first voice mail message of the day yesterday came from Jean Gibson of Macdonald Realty. She had received a piece of Email Marketing from one of our newest clients, Ursula Simpson, of Sutton Group Westcoast Realty.

From that marketing piece, she had seen the photos and video for the property that Ursula was hosting an Agent’s Open House at yesterday. She called Ursula, saying “the photos and video you’ve done for this property are just amazing! Where did you get them, I want that too!”

Jean promptly booked us to shoot a tour the next morning. She told our photographer, “each photo was like a mini work of art”.
I followed up with Ursula yesterday after her open house. She reported that it was a very well attended Open and that she had had several compliments on how well the property was shown in her marketing materials.

That’s great news for us! We had provided branded floorplans, printed colour feature sheets, not to mention those photos and that video that were so well received!

Will you have what she’s having? Call us!

Branding Your Video… Ian Watt did

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Helpful Tips, Real-Estate, Technology

Ian Watt, of Century 21 In Town Realty, recently visited our office regarding a special video we are producing for him (stay tuned, it’s not finished just yet).

While there, we started talking about his listing presentation and how his use of Professional Photography and Virtual Tours has gained him many listings. Always wanting to give Realtors more tools for their presentations, we suggested that he get branded video cases to show a tangible product during his presentation, not just relying on his clients seeing the product on their computers.

Now, not only does he get a souvenir DVD with the DVD and case branded just like the rest of the marketing that Ian does, but his videos look just like his website!


ian video branded



Which would you choose? It’s a one-time fee and you get branded video, DVD and case… let us know if you want yours!

Don’t have branding? Ask about our Graphics Design services… available for all ranges of need and budget.