The Value of Narrated Videos

By Michael Repka

The way that real estate is typically sold in Silicon Valley varies from the way that many sellers may envision. Nowadays, buyers like to be able to access properties on their own schedule with their own agents without the seller or even the listing agent present. Although this is not the general rule for very high-end properties, it is the preferred approach for the vast majority of properties in and around Silicon Valley. While this approach certainly increases the number of showings and the overall marketing exposure, it has the very material disadvantage of reducing or eliminating the listing agent’s ability to speak directly to the buyers. We have found our narrated videos are an invaluable tool in balancing these two approaches.

By producing a narrated video for each of our listings, we have the ability to speak directly to buyers in that virtually all active agents in the area know that they are available on our website. Typically, when a buyer’s agent tours a property with their client, they let themselves in using a secure electronic lockbox that can only be accessed by the agent and this lockbox leaves an electronic record that they visited. Then, the agent is the one walking through the house and pointing out the features of the home. The flaw with this approach is that the buyer’s agent often doesn’t know the details of the home or possibly even the neighborhood. However, taking the approach of showing the home only by appointment with the listing agent present would dramatically reduce the number of showings because many agents would simply drop the home off of their list of properties to show. It is simply too hard and a hassle to coordinate the schedules of the buyers, buyers’ agent, listing agent, and seller.

The narrated videos give me the ability to speak directly to the buyer over the course of a 2-3 minute video; accompanied by a high-end imagery of the property, neighborhood features and other elements of local interest. Further, our homes stand out amongst the competition because there are still agents that do not provide narrated videos.

Many agents rely on much less expensive alternatives such as still pictures set to music, or, on occasion, actual video set to music. While these are certainly much less costly, these solutions are woefully inadequate. Buyers tend to focus less on the pictures to begin with when there is no narration and they could potentially lose context of what they are seeing.

Enhanced Exposure

Because virtually all active agents know that we have high-end narrated videos for all of our listings, it makes it very easy for them to forward to the link to their buyers if they think they might like that type of property. This is particularly effective when they have a buyer that is looking for a different area or a slightly different style of home and the agent just wants to expand the possibilities.

Another way we are able to enhance exposure is by referring to the video on the vast majority of our television commercials as well as our direct mail pieces, newspaper and magazine ads, and radio commercials. That way, the potentially interested buyers have an avenue to collect more information, which will entice them to visit the home.

We have found these videos to be so valuable that we commissioned a professional film crew to go around Silicon Valley and capture footage of top area attractions and points of interest that will further enhance the presentation of our listings.

Many agents argue that they should not have to do any marketing for their homes with the exception of online marketing or word of mouth marketing. While this is understandable given that many forms of online marketing and word of mouth marketing are completely free of cost to the listing agent, these statements miss the importance of attracting visitors to the online site. Taking this argument at face value, it makes it even more clear that the presentation online should be professional, comprehensive, and persuasive. That is why all of the individual websites that we set up for each of our listings includes high-end photography, a narrated video shot by a professional production company, and a three-dimensional tour of the home. Additionally, visitors will find a description of the key features of the home as well as a link to the disclosures.

The modern-day marketing of real estate still remains relatively straightforward. First, a successful listing agent must capture the attention of the maximum number of potential buyers, including those who are not looking in that specific area. Then, the agent should provide sufficient detail and marketing collateral to entice the potential buyer to visit the home. Finally, this material should be available to the buyer to revisit when they are deciding whether to put in an offer and what price they should select. To see an example of the aforementioned process, we suggest visiting and clicking on any of our listings to understand the importance of narrated videos and three-dimensional floor plans.