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RISMEDIA, June 22, 2010—When brokers and agents think of video, the first thing that comes to mind is often a home video tour. And while that’s certainly not a bad idea, another approach can make a major impact as well—and that’s a video tour of the neighborhood. After all, who can forget the top three factors when someone buys a home—location, location, location.

For starters, don’t worry about trying to include everything in the neighborhood. Begin by focusing on common areas of interest, including schools, shopping, entertainment, recreation and medical facilities. Libraries, churches, museums and cultural attractions are also important.

Next, focus on what sets the community apart from others. It may be an area of natural beauty, a well known landmark, unique architecture, historical significance or convenient transportation.

Don’t forget to emphasize lifestyle issues. The local climate, seasonal sports, proximity to attractions like mountains, national or state parks, the coastline or nearby major cities are just a few examples. You might even consider interviewing a few local residents willing to share why they enjoy living where they do. Be sure to include broad demographics in your interviews for maximum impact.

It would be good to remember a few technical tips as well. Avoid the temptation of videotaping from a moving car. Instead, select your targets carefully, park nearby, and carefully frame your shots using a tripod. Shooting on a bright, cheery day is also a good idea—just remember to keep the sun to your back or side. Videotaping during the so-called ‘Golden Hour,’ beginning about two hours before sunset, can also give a warm, rich look to your footage.

If you’re going to narrate your presentation, we suggest using a lapel mic instead of the built in one on the camera. It’s also a good idea to identify your subjects and itinerary in advance so you’re not randomly looking for something to videotape and driving all over town in the process. And finally, be aware of privacy issues and limit filming to common public access areas. Avoid filming people who are clearly identifiable, unless you have their permission.

Neighborhood video tours can add an exciting new dimension to your local real estate marketing. If you have questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you. Thanks for watching!

Stephen Schweickart is the co-founder of VScreen. For more information on this topic, visit VScreen’s blogsite at