Architects, Builders, Real Estate Brokers and Homeowners should be thinking differently about how they market properties in the new year. Whether they are sharing their new design build with the public, listing a luxury home in real estate or putting a condo up for winter rental, they should be telling a compelling story about their property in order to grab a potential buyer’s attention.
There’s An Emotional Connection
With recent advancements in technology and easy accessibility to the Internet, buyers are more sophisticated and desire to review construction sites and real estate listings from the comfort of their own homes.
They want to be able to virtually walk through a property on their computer or mobile device and they want to see the entire property from a bird’s eye view. They need to be drawn into the story of a property and gain an elevated perspective in order to see themselves living there or owning the property.
So how can professionals in the housing market produce content that engages viewers while sharing the narrative of a property?
Here are a few tools for telling a property story more effectively:
Virtual Reality (VR)
3D Virtual Reality Walk-throughs add incredible value with the most immersive experience available on the market today. These walk-throughs bring properties to life and give clients the ability to virtually walk through the indoor and outdoor living areas of a property.
The viewer can use either VR goggles to view the imagery or they can access it from a computer or mobile device. The screen display looks much like a YouTube video but adds visual markers inside of the space. The visual markers can be clicked or tapped to navigate throughout the property, just like being there in person.
“Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) in particular are becoming increasingly popular technologies in the industry, as they allow real estate professionals to offer a unique experience and perspective to potential buyers by digitally touring properties from anywhere in the world. Helping both agents and customers save time, and considerably speeding up the buying process, this technology is only expected to grow further, as indicated by a recent Goldman Sachs report. The research predicts that the VR and AR market in real estate will reach at least $80 billion by 2025.” ~Forbes.com
Pro tip: Most online platforms now allow the embedding of virtual reality videos.
Aerial Drone Imagery is a must-have for telling the story of a multi-acre property, mountain property or a structure with unique architecture. Photographs and video that are taken from above, give a unique perspective to buyers that they normally would not see during an in-person or even a virtual walkthrough.
In the past, aerial imagery had to be done from small aircraft. However, with the recent rise of drones in the commercial sector, aerials have become more affordable and accessible to architects, builders, real estate professionals and consumers.
Aerial imagery offers an unparalleled perspective on a property by showing top-down perspectives of buildings and land. It also shows off expansive views of surrounding peaks and forest of unique mountain properties. In addition, aerials can show a property’s proximity to nearby schools, shopping centers and recreational open space. This adds tremendous value for a buyer because it helps them understand the entire story of the home along with the context of the surrounding area.
“According to MLS statistics, homes with aerial images sold 68 percent faster than homes with standard images. Video tours that incorporate drone footage are also a great way to make your property stand out and to attract new listings.”~rismedia.com
Pro tip: Always use an FAA Certified Drone Operator to ensure that you obtain your aerial images safely and legally.
Mix video is a mixture of motion video and still images. This type of video can be a way to engage your clients further with cinematic panning, zooming, pull-focusing and fading techniques. If you want to grab the attention of potential buyers and stay competitive in the market on Facebook, Instagram and Youtube, you must start marketing with video. It will represent over 90% of Internet content in the next year and videos improve engagement by 28% according to Twitter. Video is an incredible opportunity for you to take advantage of in your marketing efforts.
“Video is taking over internet marketing like a firestorm. If you want your properties showcased and featured where the buyers are … you must be marketing with video.” ~Brian Gailey, southcascade.com
Pro tip: In a world where video is now dominating online media, make your videos stand out by choosing a vendor who will help you produce an engaging look along with multi-faceted content like interviews, aerials, b-roll and cinematic editing.
Last but not least is professional, HD photography which can show off a property’s true character. These are not images taken on an iPhone or even a point and shoot camera. These are high-quality images produced by a professional grade DSLR camera and look crisp, colorful and sharp like those in a magazine. They have adequate lighting, straight lines and unmatched composition that draws the viewer into each space.
HD photography can be used in many mediums such as local magazine articles, brochures and architectural websites. This type of photography is especially important when selling or renting a property.
“Photos are overwhelmingly viewed first in real estate listings and professionally photographed homes sell for up to $19,000 more.” ~marketleader.com
Pro tip: There are many photographers out there who claim to be “professional” and who are marketing their services as such. Be sure to review their portfolio and ask for sample images so that you can ensure that their style matches that of the property’s story you want to tell.
Pulling It All Together
Interactive storytelling platforms can help pull together all of the media mentioned above into one cohesive package that engages buyers longer.
Similar to an online storybook with pages that virtually flip when clicked, each page can contain text, still images, video, 3D virtual reality walkthroughs, mix video and aerial drone footage. The front and rear pages of this digital flip book can contain personal or company branding including a logo, profile picture and contact information.
This is a one-stop-solution that engages potential buyers as they watch compelling video, interact with the property by clicking through each page and as they view various photographs displaying the character of the property.
“By creating the perfect union of elegant design and interactivity, storybooks boast 10X the engagement time of a typical online listing. The longer your buyers stay, the greater chance of love.” ~studeohq.com
Pro tip: To engage buyers faster and for a longer period of time, always use a unique domain name and at least 3 different types of imagery when creating an online storybook.
Experts in the housing industry and consumers alike must shift their thinking from marketing properties in a traditional way to using new forms of media that enhance a buyers experience and bring value to them as they engage in the stories of those properties.
Storytelling for properties is of paramount importance in today’s housing market.