Hiring a Video Pro? Ask These 6 Questions First

By January 6, 2016 Blog No Comments
video training

Last week, I shared three easy steps to get started with video marketing. One of those steps was to choose your video pro.

I suggested last week that you get recommendations from colleagues or other trusted sources. But what if that gives you an overabundance of candidates?

Start by looking at demo reels (samples of work). That will help you identify which pros have a style that matches what you’re looking for. Then ask these six questions to narrow the field.

What do you mean by “video”?

For some pros, “video” means using still photos to create a slideshow that moves smoothly from image to image. The slideshow might include zooming into and out of photos or panning across them. For other pros, “video” means using actual video footage, either to create a walk-through tour of a house or a movie-style video that tells a story. Other pros might combine still photos with video footage. To avoid surprises, make sure that you and your pro are speaking the same language.

What areas will you shoot?

A typical video package includes footage of the home’s exterior, major living spaces, bedrooms, at least one bathroom, and the kitchen. Some packages may also include additional bathrooms, average-size yards, and outdoor features that are close to the house (think pools or patios). Barns, guesthouses, other large outbuildings, and neighborhood amenities often cost extra. Make sure the videographer will be shooting all the areas you want to highlight, and ask for up-front pricing on any add-ons.

Who will shoot my video?

Be aware that some individuals may send an intern or assistant to shoot your listing, especially if real estate video is not their primary business. Make sure the person shooting your listing will actually be a full-fledged professional.

If you’re interviewing a video company that assigns shoots to a roster of videographers, ask how they ensure consistent quality. Especially if they use independent contractors, do they stand behind everyone’s work? Look for a company that certifies or thoroughly vets all their pros for skill level, professionalism, and safety.

What’s your timeline?

Once a home is staged and ready to sell, you don’t want to wait a week for the videographer to show, then another week to have the video in hand. Companies that work exclusively in real estate marketing, or have a department dedicated to it, will probably have greater availability and a better turnaround time. Look for someone who can send a videographer to your listing within one or two business days and deliver the finished video within 48 hours after that.

What’s your cancellation policy?

There are many reasons you might need to cancel a shoot: bad weather, contractors who get behind schedule, homeowners who take longer than expected to prep for market. Look for a pro who lets you cancel or reschedule for free within 24 hours of a shoot. Penalties for canceling or rescheduling should not be more than half the regular fee.

What else do you do?

Make sure your pro will deliver the video in a format that is compatible with your preferred distribution method. Does it comply with your MLS’s (un)branding requirements? Can you post it on your own website or social media?

And ask if your pro does anything besides listing videos. If you want to build a comprehensive marketing program, you’ll want to build a relationship with someone you can call on for photography, an agent bio, community videos, and more.

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