1. A topic that others will be interested in.
  2. Someone to do the voice work, if it is for a listing – can be you.
  3. Equipment: microphone, camera, earpiece, computer/tablet/iPad/Laptop
  4. Fast computer for editing
  5. Software for editing
  6. Great backdrop/setting or greenscreen for in office
  7. Good lighting.
  8. A plan of how you want to use the video after.

Let’s talk about each of these:

  1. Yes, a topic. Your topic can be an introduction to you or your office: a 30-60 second “hello” video. Other topics can be a tour of a property, or a sample of a property video from a drone to show your value and how cool their house can look. Knowing the topic will guide your video – even if it is only 1-3 minutes long. It should only be about that long. Here’s the hard part – are you totally boring and do you mumble? You have two choices: fall behind your competition and skip using video – or PRACTICE and get better at using video until it’s a no-brainer.
  2. If you are recording this yourself as intro and for properties – FANTASTIC! This makes it easy and quick. BUT, you need to speak clearly and upbeat to generate an infectious excitement to make them want to talk with you directly or engage in your services. If you have another person helping, you’ll want to catch the next in this series going into the planning.
  3. Let’s talk about the equipment. It doesn’t have to be hard. You may already have some of the items. It will matter if you are doing this in your office or in the field at a property.
    1. Video. As of this post 3/7/16 we are all partial to the Logitech C920 or C930e for your webcam. These are more than adequate – pan, tilt, zoom, features, auto light – color- limited face following – both have built in microphones but not the greatest audio for recording videos – use a separate microphone. These also have tripod mounts so you can use them anywhere.
    2. Microphone. Even at your desk, we prefer the Blue Snowball USB microphone or the Blue Yeti USB. Do not go wireless! Too sketchy. Have enough settings to keep your voice crisp. They also have an earbud/headphone jack. VERY useful to keep out feedback from your speakers. More on that with the HOW TO record post later. If you are really spitty  – you may need a filter in front of the mic. If you are on location doing this, you’ll want a portable mic with muff to keep out ambient noise more than three feet from you. On the Fly recording can benefit from a Lavalier (clip on) mic – $20 on Amazon.
    3. Earpiece, headphones, earbuds. If you are on camera, you will want to be subtle without the mouse ears/ ear muffs on your head.  This is so you can hear your guest. It will not affect the quality of their recording. Keeping the sound in your ears, rather than coming out of speakers in the area cuts back on feedback and layering of voices 99% of the time. Wireless or wired, it’s up to you. If you move around a lot, you’ll want wireless. If you can contain yourself, you’ll get steadier sound through a wired set, but you’ll be able to see the cord.
    4. Device for recording. We know anyone can record audio and video from their phone, iPad if they are on the road, and with a portable webcam – your laptop or tablet too. If you are in office, your desktop. Thy key to recording is to have enough memory. If you are on your desktop, make sure you have a clean reboot and unnecessary programs shut down, including your antivirus, back up system, etc. They all hog resources. You want this SMOOTH. When you are done, don’t forget to turn them back on.
  4. Computer for editing. This is not the same as the one you used for recording, or it may be. You want something with SPACE and good video and audio cards if possible. Think gamers without going to those over-the-top types with three drives, radiators, five fans – you just need space to edit your short videos to be efficient.
  5. That brings us to the software. You need RECORDING software and EDITING software. They can be the same, but we don’t recommend it.
      If it is just you, you are able to use something quick and easy to record like Zoom.us. VERY friendly. You can also use YouTube live events in your channel to record in HD if you have a good camera. Be sure to mark the recording PRIVATE. We are not fans of Skype. If it’s you and your phone or iPad out in the field, be sure to upload it to the cloud so you can download later and edit.
    2. EDITING:
      We like Camtasia Studio. It’s not as heavy duty as the Adobe suite, but gives enough transitions, easy ways to tweak audio, syncing issues and more without a lot of struggle. The output can be in many formats.You Mac folks may prefer iMovie. Whatever is most comfortable for you. If these are intro videos, you want something simple and quick to bang them out. If you are producing something with images of properties, etc. you may want to get an intern (high school or college student) to help you. We’ve found coming up with  a template for each type of video saves a TON of time.
  6. Company’s coming!
    1. Are you recording if your office? How tidy is it? We know it doesn’t have to be a major production, but you want to give your viewer confidence in your capability. Tidy up the place. If you are screensharing – same thing – clean off your desktop and thin out the browser tabs. The more you have open, the more resources it will take from your camera and mic.
    2. Do you want to get more elaborate and drop in other footage behind you – like the weather person on the news? Then you will want to explore a green screen. Kits are inexpensive, but they require you have your lighting better than the fluorescents overhead. Green screens are handy if you want to drop in your branding, photos of homes in your area and more. With Camtasia, Adobe Premiere and iMovie, they make it easy to drop out the green background. Be sure to not WEAR green or have green hair.  It will look odd and you will be transparent. The template option comes in handy here, too. SAVE AS is your FRIEND!
  7. Let’s talk about lighting. Cowboy Studios complete kits with frames, screens and lights are between $100 and $200 on Amazon and will do what you need! If you plan on doing a lot of green screen, you may want a couple of extra lights. SHADOWS are what you are trying to eliminate.
  8. Finally what are you going to do with these videos? Some will be small enough to email to individuals, some may be great in a blog post. Where will the video reside? YouTube and Vimeo are GREAT options. YouTube is FREE and it gives you a lot of SEO options, playlists, custom cover image and embedding. Vimeo gives you the option for private videos with a password or only those with the link can view. Think about this. You don’t want a bunch of intros on your YouTube channel. But you would want a neighborhood tour, local market update, tips for buyers and sellers, quiz show formats on YouTube for anyone to find – especially your prospects.


Let’s Talk

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Mike Krein

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