So, you've invested in some quality video production equipment and you are keen to start producing real estate videos for a living or at the very least to help make a few dollars on the side.
How much should you charge?
To help you determine a suitable price point, you need to discover and develop your own production capability, style and workflow.
If you're anything like I was, you might have a camera, a wide angle lens and slider. You might also have a price point in mind that you would like to charge for your skills.
But you need to prove those skills to yourself and your potential clients before any deals get done.
So, now its time to put your gear to work and see what you can do!
Don't have any clients? Well, do what I did and walk into a real estate agent office and offer a video for FREE.
What services can you provide?
There is a lot more to a real estate video than just shooting video.
What equipment will you be using?
- Sliders, jibs, tripods, steady cams, stabilisers?
- 4K cameras?
- Quality lenses? (wide angles are a must!)
- Lapel mics?
What production value will you employ?
- internal and external shots
- lifestyle and location
- twilight/night photography
- aerial videos
- time lapse sequences
How will you edit your videos?
- Musical selections and soundtracks
- Professional voice-overs
- Visual story telling (footage only)
- Agent presentation to camera
So, how much should you charge for your real estate videos?
Good question. It's a question I'm often asked. I remember asking myself this question back in 2011 when I first started producing real estate videos.
This is because the video production service that I provide is continuously evolving, as it should.
Every project is a creative process through which I learn something new. This knowledge adds to a cycle of continuous improvement and my video production skills improve a little more each time.
It is also a service that involves video cameras and production equipment that is ultimately replaced with better cameras and equipment over time which means better production value.
You will invest much time and money into your real estate videos via creativity, learning, cameras, software and hardware. As a result your video productions will improve with each project so it makes a lot of sense to review your costs regularly.
That said, to get to the point being ready to seek work from real estate agents, you may have already invested considerable time and money into producing real estate videos and surely by now you're feeling rather eager for some return on your investment.
Find a starting price point that feels right for you.
When deciding on your price points, think about the value that you are going to be providing to your clients. If your clients see real value in your products and services, then they will pay for it.
- Will you be directing and advising your talent on how best to present to camera? Inexperienced clients will appreciate your advise and knowledge with regards to how best to present to camera.
How much value do you put on the following?
- customer service
- quality of product
- turn around
- creative flare
- after sales service etc.
If you had to choose between two competent video production companies, both offering professional video productions but only one that offers after sales service, flexibility, fast turn around and good communication - I believe the decision would be an easy one.
Add to that a unique production style and a solid track record of quality videos and agent testimonials and you can be sure folks will pay a premium for your service because you deliver high quality products, consistently with a proven track record.
However, when no-one has heard of you and you don't have a lot of videos in your gallery to showcase your skills, it can be difficult to convince clients that you are the right choice for their project.
We all have to start somewhere!
You want to at least be competitive with your pricing and so to help you realise a starting price point, I recommend you do some research.
Take a look at your successful competitors and note what services they provide and their associated costs. Compare this information with what you have to offer, and do it honestly.
Better yet, compare this information and determine what you can do better. Can you produce smoother camera pans and tilts? Do you have a wide angle lens? Can you provide smoother editing, better graphics, more professional audio?
What do you believe will make your product and services different from the others? Identify your key strengths and start marketing them to your target audience.
But even after doing this research and putting together a competitive pricing structure you may still find it hard to land your first client.
Make an offer your first client cannot refuse
When I first got cracking in the real estate video business, I knew that I needed to get some runs on the board. I needed a showcase video at the very least to put on my website so that prospects could see the quality of my work.
To make this happen, I contacted a real estate agent I knew and offered her a FREE real estate video. Her name is Amanda and I told her my story in that I've been a video producer for years and I can see a great opportunity for video in real estate marketing. All she would need to do is write a script and present to camera - I would take care of the rest.
Amanda thought it was a great idea and agreed to letting me produce her video. We arrived on location and actually had a great time filming her pieces to camera. I went around the house and shot the various rooms before taking all the footage home and spending most of the night editing.
The real estate video (above) was the very first real estate video I produced. I shot and edited this video FOR FREE so that I could have something to showcase on my website.
My latest real estate video for Amanda is below. It's great to see how my production style has evolved and I can certainly see the value in what I am producing today.
Improve your skills and expand your offerings
When I first started tapping into the real estate industry for freelance work, I offered real estate video only.
Nowadays my packages have grown to include aerial video, photography, floorplans, agent profile videos and business promo videos.
Agents love the fact that I am a one-stop-shop when it comes to their marketing needs. This is certainly a point of difference when it comes to my business.
As far as real estate videos go, I have developed a variety of features available that can be used to create custom real estate video packages.
For the property:
- Property Highlights + Location Shots + Agent Presentation + Agent Voice-over + Professional Voice-over + Professional Presentation + Lifestyle (with Actors) + Aerial Photography + Aerial Video + Licensed Music Soundtrack + Custom Graphics & Animation
For the agent:
- Agent Profile Videos + Agency Promo Videos + Suburb Profile Videos + Agent Testimonials
Perceived Value through Professional Presentation
So this is where it all comes together. You finally have a real estate video show-reel on your well designed website and some happy clients thanks to your generous offer of a free real estate video.
You have taken the time to research your competitors packages and prices, honestly evaluated and compared yourself to determine the value that you can provide and through that process have determined a price point that is fair and a good place to start.
I hesitate to put a figure on this price point because everyone will be working at different stages, in different countries and with different markets and agents. I will say however that clients will pay premium prices for services they deem to be most valuable.
How to be an exceptional real estate videographer
- Provide real value, real quality and real customer service!
- Be confident in your ability and the way you conduct your business.
- Treat each of your customers as family and take time to ask and listen to their feedback.
- Do whatever you can do make them successful and ultimately get more listings.
Each of your agents will have a unique style, different from everyone else. So it is important to learn about your agents, get to know them on a level that allows you access to who they really are. Find what makes them comfortable in front of the camera and learn how to help them bring their best.
Above all, aside from producing a quality product, your aim should be to establish a successful working relationship with each of your clients. Doing so will almost certainly mean continued work and a chance for both you and your clients to grow your businesses together.
So, set a price to get the ball rolling. To determine that price, check out your competitors to find the 'average' price of real estate video production in your area and aim to produce videos and provide customer service that is worth double the going rate.
Keep learning and improving your production values, upgrading your gear and building successful working relationships and soon it won't matter what your competitors are charging. People will choose to come to you regardless because you are the best at what you do!
So how much do I charge for my real estate videos?
At the time of my writing this article, my real estate video packages start at $450 AU with a variety of packages available up to $2.5k AU.
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