Forget the boring social media posts showing 'just listed' and ''just sold properties. Michael Citron, president of Citron Real Estate Group at RE/MAX Park Creek in Coconut Creek, uses a carefully crafted video strategy to build relationships with buyers and sellers. From a Vlog (a video blog) that features a day in the life of members of the Citron team to a weekend Citron Saturday video that highlights open houses, showings and the community, Citron is killing it with video and becoming a household name in Parkland.
Continue reading for an exclusive piece of our interview with Michael for the full interview listen to the podcast.
Michael, you do a lot of video. I noticed you do Facebook Live and vlogs and you have a special Citron Saturday video. Tell me about your strategy.
Let's face it, video is taken over our lives. Everyone has access on their smartphones to videos and all social media platforms. People want instant gratification and do not want to read long articles or be bored with just seeing static images and content on their social media. When it comes to real estate, clients they want to see more. Static imaging can be engaging, but videos make everything come to life. Our videos can help tell a story, and help us share our creativity and individualism. I first tried out using some videos and saw more views and likes than the static ones that we posted and in order to stay above the curve I knew that video would help grow our business now and into our future. Our goal was to be known as everyone in our areas go to real as the team and video helps us do that.
How long have you been doing the videos?
We've done videos for probably about 5 years now and they, of course, changed as we've gone on as it's gotten easier to record the videos and perfect them.
Do you create the videos yourself or do you hire someone to do it?
Five years ago I was doing it myself. I was just taking a selfie stick and putting my ideas in front of a property and that was it and it was shaky, and with all the new technology it has improved. But recently, I hired a full-time marketing in-house videographer who handles not only doing all the videos, but also setting it up. We have backdrops in office for our ask Michael Mondays. Also, coordinating the shows - that's another big thing we have our in-house guy doing. Every day he's out videoing ,we're setting up the videos or a lot of logistical things going on in order to implement these shows on a regular basis and that's why I hired somebody because it took so much time away from myself or my assistant to be able to do it, and you were just throwing things together last minute.
How much time a week do you estimate that you actually record or film?
We're filming at least a few hours a week. Our shows go anywhere in two-minute to 10 minutes and then we're doing our listing videos, neighborhood videos. Everything has become video now. We are taking professional photos still, but video has become every ounce of our marketing even our postcards have a landing page to go to see a video.
A lot of people feel like they can't do it themselves, they think it's expensive to hire a videographer. What do you look for in someone if hiring in-house vs someone you could hire on a case by case basis? What are some tips that you recommend?
I think you should stick to your budget first off. Years ago I didn't have the ability to hire somebody full-time, so I was in everybody's shoes just listening. And I first started off by saying I would take these videos myself. What would be the next step?
You can hire a freelancer, you can go online and get somebody to just can do it for a couple hours, what is the most important aspect of a video that you could use in your business. I think agents today should be using a video if they're talking about their services. Maybe a video testimonial of a client recently. You can hire somebody to just do those videos that are a little bit more professional that can capture the attention of what you're looking to do. If you're looking to work with buyers or sellers, and showing an experience of a day instead of on a weekly basis, you just do this once where you can implement that strategy and not have to pay a lot of money. Maybe hire a company that can do three or four videos in those few hours that you pay them and then they can help you edit them and then give them to you so you can implement on your social media platforms.
Let's go through the three types of video programs that you have. So first we'll talk about Facebook Live. Tell me about the types of live events you do and what type of engagement you're getting.
We started off doing 'Ask Michael Monday' it's a show that we do every Monday at 5:30p.m. Sometimes we do it live in our office as well as we'll go on site to projects, but know we we've had a lot of guests. We brought everybody from mortgage lenders, title companies, insurance agents, a business owner, to the mayor of the city to people running for office.
It's become a show that we've brought in lots of different people. And it gets engagement of you know, I think we have 500 to 2000 people watch it every week which I'm in a little, small city out in a West Fort Lauderdale suburb, it's not a huge city, but we're getting a lot of engagement from people that are watching. They were consistently doing it at 5:30p.m we go like every Monday. For example today we were contacted by the candidate who's running for Parkland commissioner. Last week we interviewed the other candidate. So, it's great to see that you know people are reaching out to us to be on the show kind of debate and go over their topic.
So, for our city. It shows that we're leaders that we're doing something different and we're not just about selling you a house, but we're really caring about the city and seeing what's going on in our community. We live here, we work here, we play here, and we've seen people just call me up and say, "Look I've seen your show on every week, I see you everywhere," and that's the kind of thing I think real estate agents need to use video in their marketing. Because if a person in your city you're looking to sell and become a listing agent buyer specialist whatever your net is people know who you are they're going to want to work with you and I think s Michael Monday's show shows that you know we take the show, we have alive and then obviously after the show if it stays on people's feed and we e-mail it and we have it on our social media platforms to watch afterwards. And I think that really shows that people are you know getting connected with who I am, and who our team is and what separates us from the competition.
In these shows we really are providing very knowledgeable experience and we're talking about market trends and things of that nature to really get clients that live in the area to be aware of not only real estate butt things that are happening in our city that are important.
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