By Robert Freedman, Senior Editor, REALTOR® Magazine
Making informative and even entertaining videos of your listings seems like a complicated undertaking involving a professional camera, lights, editing equipment, and a lot of knowledge of how all that equipment works, but in fact you can be uploading videos tomorrow without too much trouble.
I’ll be talking about this at 1 p.m. today at the NAR Expo booth at the 2009 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in San Diego. Maybe you won’t be posting videos tomorrow when you’re back at the office but you’ll certainly see that it’s pretty easy to do.
What I’ll be focusing on is the Flip camera. If you haven’t seen one of these yet, I’m sure you will soon. They’ve been around for a few years, cost about $100 last time I checked, and they’re just too handy for words. They’re a little thicker than an iPhone but they take great video, come with a modest zoom, and you need no cables to upload their content to your computer. You just flip out a built-in USB port, plug that into your computer, and you’re ready to go.
Flip comes with an editing platform but you don’t have to use it. (I’ve never used it.) I use Final Cut Express, about $200, which works seamlessly with the iMovie video editing software that comes with a Mac (if you have the iLife suite). It’s pretty standard today, and iMovie take just a few hours to master.
Final Cut Express is just like the professional Final Cut Pro software. The only difference is depth of capability. The Pro version has much deeper capability, but there is no need to go that deep, especially if you’re just using it for listing videos.
I’ll be talking about how to set up your shots so you get a smooth look. I’ll also talk about editing and adding audio, both narration and music. I’ll demonstrate the use of the Flip, and one of my NAR colleagues from Information Central will walk you through an uploading and editing primer.
If you want to get a professional look, smart editing is essential, and that takes more than a day to learn, especially if you use Final Cut Express. If you use the Flip editing platform or iMovie, you’ll be terrific after a day of dabbling.
Take a look at the two-minute listing video I made above. It’s a mock listing; you won’t find it in any MLS. But it’ll give you an idea how you might make your own video. Even if you would do things differently than I did (after all, you’re the real estate pro, not me), you’ll see techniques that will get you thinking.
Robert Freedman is manager of multimedia communications for the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. He can be reached at email@example.com.