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Commentary by Benjamin Wayne

RISMEDIA, April 16, 2008-Real estate professionals have long understood the power and effectiveness of video in selling property. Virtual walkthroughs and video tours immerse the buyer in the experience of the property, and result in shorter sales cycles, higher conversion rates, and better qualified prospects. In fact, real estate sites using video report buyers exposed to video are up to four times more likely to act than those presented with words and images alone.

Whereas, even a year ago, capturing video meant engaging a professional production team to the tune of thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars, today any agent with a digital camera can capture highly-effective professional-looking video footage.

But, before you dive into the deep end of the video pool, there are a few dos and don’ts to consider:

DO shoot with lots of light
Video is much more sensitive to light than still images, and the more light you have when shooting, the clearer, smoother, and crisper your final video will be. Daylight is best, but if you have to shoot in artificial light, make sure you work in conditions that are as brightly lit as possible.

DON’T zoom or pan
Zooming or panning (moving the camera from side to side) tend to be very hard on the eye. If a horizontal pan is important to your shot, move very slowly and keep the camera as still as possible.

DO fill the frame
Try to fill the entire frame with the subject. Online video tends to be shown at sizes that are much smaller than the average television, so for maximum impact, get as close as possible to the home you are filming.

DON’T hide your video
As with any content, make sure your video is clearly labeled and placed on your home page, as this will tend to attract a lot of attention from potential home buyers. A video on the home page will attract as much as 80% of the overall activity on that page. Buyers who experience a video walkthrough tend to be better qualified and more likely to act.

DO keep it short
Videos with shorter than two minutes tend to have much higher viewership and completion rates and tend to be more impactful than videos with longer durations.

DON’T rely on YouTube.
By using YouTube, you are driving traffic away from your site, and to a place where they may lose sight of your video as they get distracted by the “clip of the day”. What’s more, the quality of free players is somewhat poor, and they will not submit your video to search engines, which helps potential homebuyers find your listings.

DO take as few steps as possible when implementing a solution
White-label video solutions have come a long way today in aiding the real estate professional incorporate video into their sites. Take the time to research video service providers to ensure that they have everything it takes to roll out a robust and easy to use solution; uploading, encoding, storage, and high quality playback in a plug and play manner.

Benjamin Wayne is CEO of Fliqz.

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