The Internet has changed the way real estate companies and residential and commercial developments promote the properties they have for sale or rent. The hottest trend regarding real estate marketing on the Web is the use of videos.
The cover story for the November/December issue of FloridaRealtors magazine was about using videos to market properties. The title of the article, “The Big Camera Conundrum,” concluded: “YouTube video with analytics is changing the way real estate professionals do business. It’s cheap, efficient and powerful.”
A recent article in BusinessWeek regarding real estate videos read, “Videos can convey more essential data in a shorter time. The viewer does not have to read long texts or jump between pages. Instead he or she gets fed exactly the data you want to deliver.”
And statistics released by Arbitron/Edison Media Research concluded, “7 of 10 Web visitors say websites would be more enjoyable if sound and video were included more often.”
All of this comes as no surprise to Duane Sulk, president of Sulk Mullin Global Media. Sulk, who spent 11 years in the television news industry and 20 years marketing real estate in Southwest Florida, has experienced the power the placing real estate videos on the Internet as the marketing director for The Chang Group, a real estate investment firm located in Fort Myers.
“For the past 16 months, the marketing department for The Chang Group has produced more than 120 videos which give prospective renters and buyers a room-by-room tour of the home, condominium or apartment,” said Sulk. “In that time frame the videos have garnered nearly 30,000 views with the majority of the properties being rented or sold within days of downloading the videos on YouTube, the company’s website and other real estate-based Internet sites.”
In early December Sulk, along with business partner Dan Mullin, launched Sulk Mullin Global Media, a company that focuses on producing Web videos for the real estate and business community.
“All signs point to the fact the real estate market is beginning to come back in Southwest Florida and we want to assist in accelerating that positive market movement,” said Mullin, a former Army soldier who was deployed to Egypt and Afghanistan.
According to Sulk, the main focus of the company will be real estate developments that have models and Realtors with For Sale homes.
“In most instances, if we can shoot the digital video and take the necessary photographs of the model or home in the morning, we can have the 4- to 6-minute completed video written, edited and ready to be placed on the Internet by the next day,” said Sulk, who not only writes the copy for the video but is the on-camera host and voice-over talent. “Think of the video tours as mini-documentaries with the home being the star.”
Sulk explained Realtors are encouraged to co-host since they represent the property. Kim Maloney of Florida Fidelity Realty Corp. of Bonita Springs was one of the first to take advantage of the marketing trend. Maloney was looking for a new way to promote a four-bedroom plus den/three-and-a-half-bath home priced at $1,099,000 in Bonita Bay.
“Within a month of placing the video link on our website, the MLS and other real estate-based sites we recorded more than 160 unique views,” said Maloney. “I’ve received phone inquiries regarding the property after prospective buyers viewed the video and have had several showings — once again, a direct result of the video. Buyers find them very informative.”
Producing hosted video tours of models and For Sale homes is only one of the offerings available at Sulk Mullin Global Media. The company is also pioneering the concept of community video newscasts.
“It’s the 60 Minutes format but done in 10 minutes,” said Mullin. “Incorporated within that 10 minutes would be 4 to 5 segments on a variety of topics including, for example, a model tour, a conversation with the golf professional regarding changes to the course, a profile of a Preferred Builder and end with a profile of a resident.”
According to Mullin, every month the lineup would change. And every month current residents and prospective buyers, who had visited the sales center, would be sent the link to the video via email so they can keep up with the community’s latest news and happenings.
“Consider it an entertaining, innovative and paperless way to communicate directly with those crucial to the overall success of the sales effort,” added Sulk.
The price of a hosted model video, which currently ranges from $500 to $1,500, is based on the size of the home under air. Monthly community newscasts are priced at $2,500 and include one model video with no size constraints.
Commercial properties are also prime material for a video. Sulk Mullin Global Media recently completed a 6-minute video for Paradise Center, a small plaza located on Bonita Beach Road.
“With so much commercial space available throughout Southwest Florida, a video about a shopping center, its location, current tenants and a quick tour of the retail or office space available — and then placed on the Internet — will garner more attention to prospective businesses and commercial ventures,” said Sulk.
All videos for Sulk Mullin Global Media are shot with the latest HD digital video cameras and produced and edited at KnowDibs Studio/Rental located at 4445 Bonita Beach Road in Bonita Springs.