Videos are a great opportunity for commercial real estate marketing. According to Wistia, people watched a staggering 12.2 billion minutes of marketing videos in 2020. You’ll often see commercial real estate videos used for building tours or fancy drone footage, but they can enhance more than just your listings.
It turns out videos can serve you well in every phase of CRE marketing, including lead generation, client acquisition, and property sales. You just need to know the right type of video and distribution channels to use in each stage.
In this blog post, you’ll learn the best video types and distribution methods for these three primary steps of CRE marketing:
The best way to build a flywheel of never-ending new leads is to post helpful content online that attracts potential clients before they even need your service [link to inbound post]. Videos are a great medium to use for that purpose—people consistently prefer video over other types of marketing messages. And the best part is, they don’t have to be expensive or highly produced.
It’s not time for a direct sales pitch yet—not until a prospect shows interest. Instead, create videos that help potential clients understand some aspect of commercial real estate and get them in your marketing funnel for future outreach.
Try making one of these two types of informative videos to generate interest in your business:
As a CRE professional, you know about topics that aren’t obvious to someone outside the industry. Why not teach potential clients about them?
All you need to do is pick any CRE topic you can explain simply, then record yourself giving that explanation. You can pull topics from client questions, social media, or discussions you have with other people in the CRE industry.
As you create your educational video, keep your typical client’s level of knowledge in mind. You’re welcome to use jargon, but make sure to explain what it means before you use it.
Here’s an example of an educational CRE video from The Cauble Group’s Tyler Cauble.
Tyler’s pinned comment on the video’s YouTube page explains that people often ask him how to get started in CRE. So, he answered that question by breaking down everything he’d do if he had to start over in a video. By using the angle of starting over, he’s able to explore all the basic concepts someone needs to know to work in CRE.
You study your local CRE market all the time. Consider turning your knowledge about your area into a report, then explaining the report in a video.
A market report video will educate your potential clients and show off your authority in the local CRE space. Plus, you can chop up and repurpose content from this kind of report in multiple other ways, like creating a lead magnet on your website to generate additional leads!
Check out this market report video from NAI Tri Properties:
You’ll notice that Ed Brown, the narrator, keeps the video’s content concise. In a minute and a half, he provides an overview of the report in mostly one shot.
These helpful videos are targeting people who haven’t heard of you yet. So, you’ll need to place them where likely prospects are browsing for information.
Focus your top-of-funnel distribution efforts on these two channels:
When you post your videos on YouTube, you’re maximizing the number of eyes you get on them. People watch 1 billion hours of YouTube videos every day. CRE brokers like you can get in on some of those views, netting as many as 18,000 viewers on their videos.
Plus, it’s easy to post videos to YouTube. According to Buffer, you can set up a YouTube channel in three simple steps.
Social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram)
Did you know that marketers see more engagement and better conversions when they use video in their social posts? Put your video to work by sharing it with your followers. LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram are all great places to share video posts.
Look at how the professional organization ICSC used Instagram to share a talk between two industry professionals:
Thanks to Instagram’s tagging and hashtag features, they could link directly to the collaborator’s business and distribute their video to professionals in real estate and retail.
Videos make your nurture and closing campaigns more effective by making new prospects confident in your firm.
At this point in the marketing process, you’re in the middle of the funnel, where you want to create content that builds trust in your capabilities. You can build that confidence by explaining your history, creating a personal connection, or providing social proof with these video types:
“About us” videos
Every CRE company has a unique outlook on the industry. With an “about us” video or a similar video about your business, you can introduce your company to prospects and explain what sets you apart from your competition.
Depending on your video strategy, you can make a video that provides a broad overview of your company or focuses on an aspect of your business. These “about us” videos should focus on your team over a specific agent. (That’s another type of video you’ll learn about in a moment.)
Team and business-focused videos show prospects how you approach your working relationships. They put faces to the people behind your operation while providing a broad idea of your company values and workflow.
AQUILA Commercial’s team introduction video focuses on the company culture:
This video portrays the AQUILA team as friendly and a little offbeat — just like their city, Austin, Texas.
CRE involves plenty of one-on-one work between an agent and a client. Try introducing your agents to prospects through video so they know what to expect from the people working with their properties.
While the “about us” videos you learned about help prospects imagine working with your company, personal introductions show them what it’s like to work with a specific team member. They warm up the agent-client relationship before it even begins.
This introduction video from Keller Williams Commercial Real Estate establishes the goals agent Peter Tennis has in his client relationships:
The Keller Williams video takes a straight-to-business approach, but if you have a more casual culture, you can also tie in humanistic elements like the agent’s personal life and hobbies.
Social proof is proof other customers like your work — think reviews, testimonials, and word-of-mouth recommendations. If you have plenty of glowing reviews or a raving customer, you have video content readily available.
A popular type of social proof video is a customer testimonial. Reach out to customers who enjoyed working with you and ask them if they’d be willing to talk about your business on camera. You can then collect snippets of these testimonials into a single video or create individual videos for each client.
CARR took the former approach with this testimonial video:
You can also take positive reviews for your business and narrate them in a video. Think of all the places your customers have left reviews, including social media, and look for ways to share that content through video.
Your prospect is now aware of your business and trying to learn more about it, so distribute your mid-funnel videos in places they’re likely to look. You can also use these lead-nurturing videos as part of your ongoing marketing efforts through email and social media. Use these three channels as you distribute your lead-nurturing videos:
If you have an email list, you already have a group of people ready to see your mid-funnel videos. The people on your email list want to hear about you, so share videos about your business with them.
Videos also improve email marketing performance — they can raise the average email click-through rate of 2.13% to as much as 7.74%.
Your website and blog
Videos about your business, agents, and customers often fit well on your website pages. For example, you can add an agent’s introduction video to their profile page. You can also create quick blog posts on videos that don’t fit into your main website content.
Merritt Properties has a website page dedicated to their video testimonials:
They also include some of these videos on their About page and link to the testimonial page.
The mid-funnel videos you make about your company also integrate into a social media strategy easily. Try sharing your company profiles, agent introductions, and social proof videos as part of your ongoing social media marketing strategy.
Kempf-Vanderburgh Realty Consultants, which deals in both commercial and residential real estate, made their agent introductions into a video series shared on social media:
Prospects who know and trust your business need to be sold on specific listings if you want them to buy or rent your property. Videos give you the chance to show your prospects why they should close the deal.
The video types we’ve covered for previous steps in the sales funnel focused on your people. Now it’s time to market your properties. Show off your properties with video formats such as:
Flythrough videos come in real-life and digital formats. In a real-life flythrough video, a drone flies through the inside of a property to record wide-range footage. You can also record a digital “flythrough” through a 3D rendering of a building in progress.
You can see what a virtual flythrough looks like in this Westech 360 video.
If you already have a 3D drawing of your building or a relationship with a drone recording service, a flythrough can provide a unique perspective on your listing.
Overhead drone video
When you want to provide a bird’s-eye view of your property and the surrounding area, an overhead drone video offers angles you can’t get from Google Maps. It’s a popular approach in real estate videos, for good reason. In commercial real estate, a video of the surrounding area shows where the tenant will fit in the local business scene.
This drone video from Block + Lot Real Estate demonstrates how you can show off a listing’s benefits from the outside:
After showing the outside of the listing and outlining benefits like a drive-through, the video pans out to show surrounding properties. It lists details like the time it takes to travel to a nearby shopping center. These tidbits of information give the listing context in its region.
Augmented reality (AR)
Thanks to modern property technology, you can create AR tours of your buildings. The technology converts a 3D architectural drawing to an AR experience prospects can access from their smartphones.
Take a look at this tech demo from RealAR that shows how CRE AR videos work:
The virtual tour shows digital versions of the building’s walls, windows, and furniture, helping prospects imagine their future space. AR technology can make a future building feel more real when you’re trying to close leads for a property in progress.
While the previously covered listing videos use advanced technology, live walkthroughs are still a valid form of listing video that provides more context than pictures alone. They’re also more affordable than the previous options because they only require basic recording equipment—even just a smartphone with a good camera. Live video also gives more context than 3D-rendered videos of properties in the middle of construction.
As you’ll see in this Delaney Productions video, you don’t have to use too many resources to make an engaging live walkthrough for CRE
The video starts with a zoom-in from a Google Maps satellite view, then goes into a first-person tour of the building backed with upbeat music. There’s no narration needed — just thorough sweeps of each room with a camera.
You should distribute videos of your listings in the same places you share the listings themselves. Put your videos front-and-center on your property pages, and distribute them with your marketing updates on your properties. Try using these three distribution channels for your property videos:
Videos communicate much more about a listing than pictures alone. Popular platforms like Loopnet let you upload videos to your listings alongside your pictures so prospects can get an in-depth look.
This listing from Civitas Commercial Real Estate Services features a property video as its second gallery entry:
Thanks to this video-first presentation, prospects can get a video tour of the building before diving into 3D tours and individual photos.
Many CRE businesses share listings as a pillar of their social media strategy. Try integrating your property videos into every stage of a listing’s social media lifecycle. For example, you can post a digital tour of a property in construction, then reveal its final look in a live walkthrough.
Hines posted the following video on Instagram to spread awareness about its in-progress Central Plaza Dublin property:
It combines a 3D mockup of the building exterior with shots of the surrounding area and an interview with a team member. This video serves as a reminder that you can make video and social content about a property at all stages of construction.
Email distribution for listing videos is fairly straightforward — share your property videos in your emails that share their corresponding listings. You’ll get the conversion benefits of video for email and attract more attention to your listing emails.
Every stage of a lead’s lifecycle presents opportunities for video marketing. Always look for ways to share information about your agency or listings more effectively with video. Not many of the video formats covered in this blog post have to be expensive or extensively produced.
In fact, you might get more engagement from a video with lower production value than most professional videos. An internal study by Consensus found that a video that took three days to make got almost 300% more engagement than a video that took three weeks to create. For most videos, a smartphone, a tripod, and a decent microphone will do the job.
Long story short? Get out there and make videos for your CRE business.