Real Estate Video
Just curious if anyone out there is picking up any real estate tour video work. I'm considering doing a bit on the side for some extra income, but I want to know what the pitfalls may be, and what people seem to be willing to pay these days if anything. Also, going on the assumption that most people aren't going to shell out big bucks, I'd be interested in how you go about minimizing the time you spend on each tour. My sister and her husband are selling their house soon, and I thought I'd use them as a guinea pig and see how much effort it would take to create something decent.
Any advice would be appreciated!
University of North Carolina @ Charlotte
Have not done one myself. These seem very work and time intensive if you want to do them really well. And if you don't do them well, they might actually drive customers away instead of attract them.
Some folks who do a lot of these shoot very wide stills with a very high resolution digital still camera, then just throw some panning and zooming moves on a montage of stills and call it done. Fast and economical, don't know that it really sells all that well. Lighting is certainly easier to do, just a flash and maybe one slave flash to get each room.
Part of what makes those HGTV home improvement shows look so nice is the extensive and careful/artful lighting they do for the "after" shots. There is extensive use of kookaloris and pattern generators, plenty of accent spots and flags used here and there to add subtle drama and focus and make the colors and patterns 'pop'. That plus they often use jibs to move the camera dramatically. I doubt you can do the same for eight homes a day every day to feed the beast of those repeating-loop real estate shows on local cable sales channels.
For exteriors, a nice high-angle shot works wonders to show the yards and other features while hiding a multitude of sins. If you are doing a lot of this, look into renting or buying or making a version of the "hi-Pod" monopod. (google it)
For a multi-million-dollar property, you can get aerials done using kites, RC choppers or tethered robotic camera balloons or you can shoot stills and use a photogrammetric modeller to create a 3-d model you can rotate in space and virtually inspect from all angles.
Realors here in the Great White North seem to be paying $100 for 3D walkthroughs. Hard to make a living at that rate.
Thanks for the input. I was sort of considering offering something much simpler than all of that, though. The still image animation might not be a bad route. 100 bucks for a 3d animation sounds terrible, that's for sure.
To better understand whether or not you can make money shooting video tours for the real estate industry, you must first understand the customer. Real Estate agencies are comprised of multiple realtors who are nothing more than independent contractors. The Realtors give up a small percentage of each sell to the agency in exchange for name brand recognition and administrative services such as office space, secretaries, sales seminars, technology training, etc. etc. The individual realtors are responsible for funding their own marketing efforts. (i.e. virtual tours, newspaper listings, magazine listings, personal billboards, etc.) After presenting our product to several Real Estate brokerage firms, the top executives all made it quite clear that the agency will not pay for virtual tours. Knowing that you will not be successful in marketing your product to the various agency executives, it is important that you learn more about the individual realtor.
The average realtor is a 43 year old woman who makes around $40,000 a year. Those stats tell you a lot about your prospective customer. First, how well does this demographic use technology? My experience has been that there are very few in the real estate industry that are techno literate. You end up not only trying to market your product, but training the realtors on how use their computer as well. Not fun! Second, she only makes $40,000 per year. Now I