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2011-03-18 20:22:26

Testimonial Videos That Work: Part 2

In Part 1 of this series, we highlighted 12 things necessary for the development of effective client testimonials. One of the key challenges is how to bring your client to deliver the right set of words on video, and most naturally. An obvious, prepared sales pitch or statement from a talking head lacks credibility, defeats the purpose of a true client testimonial and can damage your public perception and sales.

The key, besides of course filming a true, satisfied client, is in the questions you ask the client during the recording.

Here is a set of sample questions that generally lend to desirable messaging and credible videos. Do make it a point to practice with a member of your family before going out for the actual client shoot, and adjust the questions where needed, to get desired results. But under no circumstance should you have your client read from a prepared text.

Scenario 1: Continuous Scene

Q: Ken, in 60 seconds, more or less, please tell us how you heard of John and why you chose him to be your Realtor to sell/buy your home. If negotiation skills or neighborhood knowledge were important to you (replace these with what you’d ideally like to hear), feel free to mention them. At the end, please tell us the biggest reason why you’d recommend John to others.

This type of testimonial is relatively easier to produce and edit, but multiple recordings / retakes are more likely to be required. Remember to check for bloopers and adequate sound and video quality, before you call the session a success. Watch the final video and check if the speaker’s eyes wander away from the interviewer. For example, most people tend to want to look at the camera lens from time to time, instead of focusing on the interviewer. Here is a less desirable example. No matter how confident the speaker, one cannot help but question the sincerity of the message. A better examplecan be seen in this video capturing a statement from a Procter & Gamble executive.

If you have access to two exactly similar cameras (consistency in picture quality is critical for the final film), set one up to take a close up on the speaker’s face, while the other takes a slightly wider view. While not totally necessary, this gives you options to work with in your final edit. Otherwise, select the version you think creates a closer, more natural ‘connection’ with viewers.

Scenario 2: Storyboard

Q1: Ken, please tell me how you know John and why you decided to choose him as your Realtor in selling/buying your home.

Q2:  What is one or two key things you look for in a Realtor and did John offer them?

Q3: What impressed you most about John during the buying or selling process?

Q4: Anything else you’d like to say about John or his real estate service?

Q5: Please tell me if you would recommend John to your family or friends and if you like, and why.

With two cameras capturing your interviewee’s answers, the possibilities to get creative with your final edit are significant. Imagine a short 60-180 second clip that starts with a full screen with the name and city/state of your client, and your name/brand/organization/web address at the bottom right let’s say, appearing elegantly on the screen with soft, non distracting music in the background.

The next shot is of your client, in a close up on their face, saying they’ve known you for 5 years now, that you’ve helped them buy and sell homes twice so far, and that there was no question that’s who they wanted to work with again on their last transaction because they trust you.

The scene fades out to another blank screen and the word “reliability and trust’ pans in the middle.

Then the next scene appears, in a slightly wider angle, with your client responding to question number 2, talking about how they look for reliability and fast service, and based on a neighbor’s recommendation and their ultimate experience with you, they’re happy they made the right choice……

You get the picture. Each scene break is an opportunity to switch between close up and wide angle, and allows you to deliver key messages about your service in a memorable way.

The sky is the limit in terms of what you can do with such footage.

Good videos make for a more engaging website and enhance its Google ranking potential, as Google’s algorithms today seek such content. You can leverage your testimonial videos through tubemogul much like you would in listing syndication with software such as Point2 Agent, to effortlessly expand your online real estate marketing and generate free leads. Once loaded to tubemogul, a click of the mouse posts your video to top video and social networking sites, also for free.

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