The Importance of PEOPLE in Real Estate Imaging

People in real estate video (or photos)? What?!? Are you nuts?

The lovely Holly Quinn, filmed with soft natural light supplemented with proper, daylight-balanced production lighting

Well, maybe. But not when it comes to this. Many traditional real estate listing videos don’t include people. They don’t include the homeowners, they don’t include potential buyers, and they certainly don’t include the real estate agent who is marketing the place (and themselves) through the listing. I lament this. I try to work counter to this paradigm as often as possible.

Realtor Kristan Rigdon presents an incredible home in Colorado Springs. Her interview gives the video depth and a backbone.

Real estate is about, well, real estate, right? Sticks and bricks. Sure. But more deeply, more fundamentally it is about people; the folks selling a cherished home, or compelled to change the location of their lives because of some major development or circumstance. It’s about the young family seeking a new home in which their kids can learn and grown, or an old couple finding a place that suits their more relaxed, less-mobile lifestyle. And real estate is certainly about the dedication and hard work that the best agents put into representing their buyers and sellers. All of these examples should compel a videographer or even a photographer to include people whenever possible, and they should do this in a way that respects the human form and the particular subject being represented.

I Am Holly Quinn from William Burcher on Vimeo.

Realtor Holly Quinn tells her compelling story.

This means using the typical conventions of portrait photography and film—to present the person in the most visually attractive manner possible, to present him or her in the way most true to their personality and presence, making up for the visual limitations of even the most modern equipment. Good lighting. Good editing. Good sound design. Good interviewing skills. And here’s the sales pitch. At 3RD I, our interests and skill-sets go beyond mere documentary videography. The human form, the human character is beautiful and compelling—more compelling than a simple video tour of a place. Videos with people in them are more likely to be seen, more likely to resonate with the folks we’re trying to speak to.

So when our clients ask us about video for real estate, we’re going to ask if the seller or the seller’s family would like to be in the video; then we’re going to ask if our client (usually the realtor) wants to be in it too—and if they decline initially, we’re going to ask again, politely. Because we want you to look good. We want you to look good, and the property to look good by association with the interesting and compelling people representing it. If there’s a story to tell, we want to help tell it; and for realtors concerned about MLS prohibitions, we’ll edit and provide a person-free version of that video without charge to satisfy any and all (unfortunate, dated, “people-free”) video-tour requirements.

Love Me Broken by Whiskey Kate from William Burcher on Vimeo.

Will completed a music video for acclaimed Colorado musician Whiskey Kate in the summer of 2017, working on a minimal budget to treat the subject well, visually.

The resulting product is a beautiful, long-lasting story of a listing you had, and the dedication to the successful marketing of a piece of real-estate that you can show clients for years to come. On social media. On your website. On your company’s website or through a broadcast media outlet even…potentially reaching thousands of folks who would probably like their homes, their own stories, presented in such a complete and respectful way.


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