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Build Your Portfolio (and Bank Account) With Real Estate Videography

A real estate agent’s approach to presenting a property online can make or break a sale — especially since 52% of home buyers searching for available properties find their home during an online search. 

If a prospective buyer shows interest in a home, real estate agents can then pursue this new lead. But if a property isn’t receiving much online engagement, this standstill could be caused by an underlying issue in the agent’s approach. 

To stand out in a highly competitive housing market, real estate agents are looking for more effective ways to attract new clients and sell property quickly. 

This is where a little bit of video production expertise can go a long way. 

The increased demand for real estate videography presents an evergreen opportunity for you to diversify your portfolio and increase revenue at the same time. 

Whether you want to make real estate videography your full-time job or another source of income, this type of client work benefits all parties involved. With the right strategy, you can grow your client base and get more exposure as a creator. 

This article details the process of pitching yourself to real estate agents, creating a stellar video, and forming long-term working relationships.  


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Make Your Pitch & Expand Your Clientele

Preparation is an important precursor to any pitch. 

Before you get in touch with potential partners, take inventory of the work you’ve accumulated so far. This can inform how you approach pitching your service to real estate agents.

Let’s say you’re just getting started as a videographer and in the early stages of developing a portfolio. 

In your first email to a real estate agent, the sample video that you include doesn’t necessarily have to relate to real estate videography. The purpose of this video is to showcase your potential, which you then leverage in your pitch. 

According to Matt Moreno with Downfield Media, “We [as videographers] want to make sure we have a level of complexity to the video — b-roll footage, bed music, on-screen graphics, intro/outro, etc. — to show the many talents we can bring to the table.” 

Also, in this first round of emails, you might offer to shoot a video of an agent’s property for free. 

There are several perks to this strategy: 

  • This video can become the new sample video you include in future emails to agents.
  • You can use this video to continue building and diversifying your portfolio.
  • If the real estate agent likes your work, they may hire you to film their next property.  

If you already have a diversified portfolio and various samples to choose from, you may choose to jump ahead in the process and pitch your services for an hourly or flat rate. However, taking the first approach and creating a video for the experience is still a great way to get your foot in the door.

Get to Know the Real Estate Market

It’s important to have a foundational understanding of the real estate market before you transition into this type of work. 

Take some time to research and familiarize yourself with the different market trends of nearby cities. How competitive is the market in the city where you live and work? What is the average price range for the homes on the market? 

Answering these questions can help inform how you price your work.

Keep in mind that a real estate agent’s commission tends to be 6% of the sale price. Typically, 3% of this total goes to the listing agent, and the other 3% goes to the selling agent. 

If the rate that you charge for a real estate video is too high for the agent to rationalize cost-wise, the agent might decide against working with you. 

In the video below, videographer Ryan Snaadt offers helpful advice on getting started with real estate videography and ensuring that real estate agents see your work as a smart investment.    




As you learn more about the real estate market, you’re better equipped for pitching your service to agents. By taking the average price ranges for houses into account, you’re more informed when deciding on a rate for your real estate videos. 

Shooting Real Estate Videography 

Once you’ve gone through the preliminary steps to secure a gig with an agent, you’re objective then becomes to authentically showcase the property. 

Different videographers have access to different resources. You might arrive at a property with only a video camera, or you might bring along a gimbal, slider, and/or drone. 

Whatever your situation or circumstance may be, you can produce an incredible real estate video for your client with the gear you have on hand. The key to a cinematic in-house shot is to use a wide angle lens (like a 12mm) to make sure that you can show each room in its entirety. 

But when choosing a lens, make sure the lens that you opt for won’t distort the room with too wide of a shot.  

If you want to use a drone to capture aerial shots of the property, just be sure to go through the proper legal channels first.

Because you’re filming for commercial use, you’ll need to register for a Part 107 license and renew the license every three years. You can then follow the steps outlined here to become a FAA-Certified Drone Pilot. 

There are regulations in place that limit how you can use your drone, but you can apply for a waiver if, let’s say, you want to capture aerial footage of a property at night.

To Sign or Not to Sign: Retainer Agreements

If you’re interested in making a career out of real estate videography, forming a retainer agreement might be a strategic move for your business.

Rather than wrapping one job with an agent and moving on to the next, you can sign on to work with an agent for a set period of time. One of the signature benefits of this type of contract is that you have a consistent monthly flow of income. 

If an agent is hiring you consistently for individual jobs, it’s worthwhile to suggest forming a retainer agreement. You can negotiate the terms of the contract and decide on a monthly rate that makes the most sense for you both. 

Whatever your approach might be, working with agents to produce high-quality real estate videos is an effective way to diversify your portfolio and earn money at the same time.  

As Dan Edmonson, the Founder and CEO of Dronegenuity, points out — this type of marketing is valuable for agents looking to earn the trust of prospective buyers: 

“The videos really offer what I consider a tangible transparency that helps develop trust in the potential buyer and displays the effort the agency or agent is willing to put in to appropriate the highest quality of marketing.” 

When done right, your services as a videographer can aid real estate agents by improving the quality of their outreach and lead generation efforts. 

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