For realtor Chip James, buying and selling homes goes hand in hand with his love for his community. This fifth-generation Ohio native uses video to connect with his clients and highlight everything his hometown has to offer for newcomers and locals alike. 

“A lot of us in the real estate profession think that if we could get one on one time with the potential customer, then they could get to know us. I can’t find a better way to do that than through video,” Chip says. “As people get to know me, I want them to think better of Dayton because of the legitimacy, honesty, and quality of the work I put out there.”

Over the past 15 years, as Chip’s business grew parallel to Dayton’s revitalization, video has become an integral element of his marketing strategy. Though he was initially daunted by the idea of tackling video production on his own, Chip is self-taught and conceptualizes, produces, and films his videos himself. (And is now making and sharing video content that beats industry averages by up to 76%!) Here’s what he’s learned along the way.

Make super-charged real estate videos

Our AI analyzed 5,000 real estate videos from across the Vimeo landscape, studying specific attributes in each video, like music, logos, aerial shots, narration, and interior scenes.

We determined which videos performed better based on whether certain attributes were included, how they were used, and when they were used, creating a “thumbprint” of thousands of videos.

Use what you have

One of the most daunting things about creating a video as a non-professional video creator is capturing content that matches up with your own aesthetic standards. But there are some quick and dirty ways to make sure your content looks great and is easy to capture. “As my process evolved, I learned to keep it simple, use the technology I have, and roll with what I’ve got,” Chip says.

Chip’s biggest advice for getting gorgeously lit interior shots? “Always face the window,” he says. “Find the pretty light, and let it hit you in the face.” 

Once you’re done capturing your content, ask someone with a trustworthy, critical eye to watch it. “Ask that person, ‘Does this seem like me?’” Chip suggests. “You don’t have to say, ‘is this phenomenal,’ or ‘is this an Oscar-winning production.’ It’s more about: ‘When you see me on camera, is that really me, or are you seeing someone else?’” Capturing your in-person essence on video can go a long way in establishing a genuine connection with your clients, which should put you and your brand on the path to building strong relationships with your people.

Just start making stuff

Once you’ve got some high-quality content, it’s time to put it all together. But for many, the assembly process means big-budget outsourcing or hours of Final Cut fiddling. Unless… 

“Until Vimeo Create, it felt like creating a video was so daunting,” says Chip. “I was pleasantly surprised with how easy it could be. It’s user-friendly, and it felt like I could create something I would be proud to put out in a matter of minutes.”

In a recent run of Facebook and Instagram ads powered by Vimeo Create videos, Chip racked up a click-through rate that exceeded the industry average by 76%, while also undercutting the average cost per click by 72%. 

“Until Vimeo Create, it felt like creating a video was so daunting. It’s user-friendly, and it felt like I could create something I would be proud to put out in a matter of minutes.”
Chip James, Real estate agent

Consider client needs

“Marketing 101 is solving someone else’s problem and making their life a little bit easier,” Chip says. “Real estate video, and video in general, should follow that guideline.” He suggests using video to present customers with clear, digestible answers and solutions. Targeting doesn’t hurt, either — Chip has found success in targeting potential clients in specific cities, as compared with casting a wide net online.

“When I think about the companies that advertise to me right now, the ones that get me to hit ‘more info’ or ‘buy’ are the ones that make it super simple,” Chip adds. “People want you, as the expert, to answer their most basic questions. If you do that, you’re ahead of the game.”

Make a real estate video