How To Make Your Real Estate Videos Sound Professional in 90 Seconds
You should recognize the power video has in helping your business. After all, viewers retain 95% of information from a video they’ve watched, as opposed to 10% of information from something they’ve read. In our rush to video, though, it's easy to forget the importance of sound. Bad sound drives viewers away.
Films are 50 percent visual and 50 percent sound.
Sometimes sound even overplays the visual.
- David Lynch, director
Good sound vs. bad sound
Video is visual, but bad audio will ruin your video - no matter how good it looks (or how much money you spend on it). It's easier to show than tell, so here's a quick (under 20 seconds) example of how you can over-invest in video equipment and under-invest in audio, and how far a small investment in audio will take you:
So... sound matters
Good Sound Makes Your Video Better
An MIT study found that “video with better quality and stereo sound were consistently rated as more likeable, interesting and involving. Viewers also rated programming with better audio as having higher picture quality.”
That’s right. Good audio for your video can actually make your video look better.
Bad sound makes you look like an amateur
Before you say audio isn’t that important, ask yourself this: when was the last time you willingly watched a whole video that had terrible audio? You know the type: you can hear a garbage truck in the background while a tiny, distant voice shouts over seemingly hurricane-force winds. Who wants to watch a video that’s incomprehensible?
There’s evidence that professional quality leads to higher returns. Real estate listings with professionally photographed homes can sell at prices up to $19,000 more than a listing with amateur photography -- professionally-photographed homes also get 61 percent more online views. How do you think leads would respond to a video that sounds amateurish?
The good news is, it’s pretty easy and affordable to upgrade the sound quality of your videos - and it won’t take much more of your time, either.
Getting professional sound
Upgrade your camera mic for an instant boost in quality
Time Required: 15 seconds
Stop counting on your in-camera microphone to do the trick. In-camera mics are probably the cheapest piece of hardware in a camera. Camera mics are generally omnidirectional: they capture all surrounding sound (and at a low-quality level). If you’re doing a listing video for a new property, the last thing you want is to have “home video” quality sound.
You’re a professional. You should sound professional.
Most cameras have a microphone input. If yours does, consider upgrading with an on-camera directional mic like a RODE. You don’t have to spend a ton of money to upgrade your audio quality. Since these are directional mics, they will capture what is in front of them - that's you. While there are still drawbacks to a directional mic, it'll be leaps ahead of your in-camera mic.
Plugging a microphone into your camera is a 15-second job.
Go wireless with a lavalier or audio recorder
Time Required: 30-60 seconds
If you want high quality, intimate, isolated sound of your voice, consider getting a wireless lavalier mic. This kind of setup affords you the freedom to move around without worrying about whether or not you’re facing the mic.
If buying a set of wireless lavalier microphones is out of your budget, you can always grab something like a Zoom H1n audio recorder with microphone and microSD card. Whenever you’re recording with an external device, you’ll have to sync your audio with your video. It’s an extra step, but worth the time.
Setting up your lavalier microphone or audio recorder will take a tiny bit longer than plugging in a directional mic. You have to turn on the device(s), attach them to your subject, and make sure they're recording. Once you get the hang of it, it'll take you 30 seconds.
Syncing your audio
Time Required: 60-90 seconds
If you end up using an external recorder for your sound setup, you’ll want to make your job easier later by doing the following things:
Start recording your audio
Start recording your video
Look at the camera
Clap your hands
Now go on with the rest of your video!
When you clap your hands, you are “slating” your video and audio. The moment your hands come together, a noise “spike” will appear in your audio, and you’ll know to match up the audio spike with the moment in the video where the hands come together. Check out the (less than 60 second) tutorial on the concept below! Note, while the tutorial uses Adobe Premiere Pro, this concept works with all editing software.
If you're invested in video but nervous about sound, there's no reason to be. There are simple steps you can take to improve that sound and, as a result, enhance your videos. Sound like the professional you are.