Real Estate Video Tips from NYC Premier Broker Brian Lewis [Interview]

Megan O'Neill


Named by Wall Street Journal as one of the top 150 agents in the United States in 2014, Brian Lewis, Executive Vice President of Halstead Properties, has been selling homes for 16 years and using video to sell homes since 2008. To generate interest and leads for his clients from around the world, he’s produced between 130 and 140 property listing videos that are as entertaining as they are educational.

We met Brian back in January, when he spoke on a panel at Inman’s Real Estate Connect conference in NYC, about using video to sell homes. Last week, we had the opportunity to hop on a call to pick his brain about his approach to video for real estate. Here’s what we learned.

Go the extra mile with video

As a real estate agent or broker, you don’t have to use video. But video is a great way to stand out and show that you go the extra mile for your clients. Through using video, Brian told us, “I spend more time and money on the homes I sell. But my sellers feel confident that I’ve turned over every stone. They feel confident that their home has been marketed well.”

Brian also points out that as more and more millennials start buying homes, video will become more and more important. “The next generation – the millennials – are marching towards us, and they like being marketed to with video.”

Create videos for every single property

We asked Brian how he decides which properties to create listing videos for. He told us, “I try to do videos for every single property because I think it’s important for every price range. It’s an important tool that I’ve used for multi-million dollar homes and also for starter homes. Sometimes the audience for a walk-up 1-bedroom is much more attuned to video than those in the multi-million dollar range. I’d never want to miss an opportunity for any seller to find the perfect buyer.”

Show yourself in the space

When asked for tips on how to create an effective property listing video, Brian told us, “It makes a property three-dimensional when you show a human being walking through the space. It helps determine scale. So much in real estate photography is wonderful – it’s beautiful – but it’s not always the truth. When you show yourself (or someone else) in the space, you get a much better impression of the place and how it might live.

“This is a value add to the consumer on both ends – the buyer and the seller. Time is such a commodity for everyone. If I can save buyers time and make sure the property is right for them, they’ll come in and see it and feel like it’s their second visit to the home.”

Brian often gets creative in his videos and clones himself to show what a room looks like with a group of people inside, as in this sneak peek inside one of the properties he represented.

Real Estate Video Tips from NYC Premier Broker Brian Lewis [Interview]

Be yourself

“I don’t take myself too seriously,” says Brian. You can probably tell this from the video above. “I think we have to have a good sense of humor about this thing that we’re doing. I try to bring a spotlight that other brokers do not, by making my videos entertaining.”

What does Brian recommend for other brokers and agents thinking about getting in front of the camera? “We are in a personality-driven market. Find an interesting angle and be yourself. Don’t try to be something you’re not. Be the most authentic you possible.”

Worried about being on camera? Check out our blog post on how to feel more comfortable on camera, featuring tips from online video personality and certified YouTube consultant Tim Schmoyer.

Use video in all aspects of your marketing strategy

Finally, Brian Lewis told us that video doesn’t just have to be for property listing videos. He also recommends video for:

  • Neighborhood videos
  • Agent bios
  • Educational videos for future clients

“I’ve started creating videos for future sellers where they can watch me talk about the various stages of the selling process: how the process works, from the day we start working together to when we close.” Brian also points out that these types of videos can be a huge time-saver for agents.

As a real estate agent or broker, how are you using video? We’d love to hear about your experience. Share your comments and links below, or reach out to us on our Facebook page.

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