Welcome Chaim! After reading your interviews in other publications, it's great to get a chance to chat. Tell us about your site RentSeeker.ca and what it's all about!
CHAIM RIVLIN, RENTSEEKER: First of all, thank you for this opportunity!
It's great to have a chance to share our tips and tell our story. We launched RentSeeker.ca with the idea of being able to market real estate rental properties online using many new tools and technologies that are now available to both landlords and renters!
Where we come in is we specialize in marketing real estate rental properties that aren't being utilized in the market place in an overall capacity. For example property videos and 3-D floor plans are both really amazing marketing tools that can help renters virtually view a property, it’s layout, area amenities, and more.
And it's all online, rather than having to spend hours having to physically visit the properties.
We also utilize social media to the max, by having a very active presence on channels like Twitter and Facebook, and YouTube for viewing and sharing videos. Most people today know how popular social media channels are, but only a few rental sites integrate them well and use it for the specific purpose of apartment marketing.
As one can see from our follower base on Twitter and Facebook, there are thousands of prospective renters “out there” that are on these channels.
Now that they can utilize a rental site like RentSeeker.ca to follow, they can ultimately find their next apartment using social media.
What services does RentSeeker offer? To which clientele?
RENTSEEKER: We now offer a host of online marketing services for landlords, property managers, realtors, developers, etc. Our services now include:
- Listings & Syndication. Syndication means that when a client lists a property with RentSeeker.ca, it also automatically gets listed on partner sites which they get sent to automatically via feeds thus expanding the reach of each listing for maximum online visibility.
- Property Videos. We produce property videos and market them by adding the videos to the clients listings on RentSeeker.ca, as well as adding them to video portals such as viddler and youtube , again for maximum online visibility.
- 3-D Floor Plans. Most people are familiar with standard black and white floor plans, but using available technology, we’re able to convert the standard plans into 3-D models with furniture placement, and can even customize these plans down to the minutest detail such as bed ruffles within the plans. Clients can then add these 3-D plans to their listings on RentSeeker.ca, as well as use them in print ADS, and even as handouts to prospective renters, so truly an amazing marketing tool.
As I mentioned earlier, we also offer our clients social media set up and management packages, as well as website design and SEO for those clients who are looking to launch their own websites to showcase their properties, which is always a good idea, especially for the clients that own multiple properties.
I should note, our website is 100% free for renters searching for rental properties! It's full of great features to help with the searching, such as a walkscore in everylisting, tenant forums, student & school school, floor plans and rental agent contact info!
…Renters are asking for property video tours in a big way.
Are many tenants seeking rental spaces asking for video, and if so, how is this an opportunity for the landlord to capitalize on?
RENTSEEKER: Given the amount of subscribers (over 1,000 now) and views (over 200,000 now) on our YouTube channel of the property videos we’ve already produced, I think the answer is a clear yes.
Renters are asking for property video tours in a big way.
I think landlords are seeing those numbers as well, since demand has surged for property videos. We now have well over 100 videos produced and over 150 more in order & production stages. I think it’s safe to say within a few years, you’ll be seeing 1,000’s of property videos on our channel and an increase in general on the web. On a side note, I think that you can parallel the demand for videos with the hot-selling tablets such as the Apple iPad which really makes video marketing so much more popular.
Could you please share with us a great example of well-produced and engaging video of this nature?
RENTSEEKER: While I would love to share one with you, I really think all our videos are well produced and engaging.
No specific video more than another.
To elaborate, our video production service is a full service. We begin with scripting a narrative for each individual property, specific to the property location and area. Once we finalize the script with the client, we go to shooting mode, where we take the highest quality shots of the property, inside and out.
This includes amenities within the property. For example, if a property has a swimming pool, we would make sure to include that within the video.
Once the shooting and editing is 90% complete, we add extensive branding, a call to action, a contact information, music, voice over / narration, and then final production. We focus on every detail of the property within the video, so the end users, the renters, can get a fully detailed description of the property and be able to contact the client immediately after viewing the video.
What are the top reasons why a landlord or realtor should have video of their property?
RENTSEEKER: I think the top 3 reasons that every landlord should have, or at least consider adding videos to their marketing stratedgy is:
- Keep it Short ‘n Sweet. Videos, just like commercials on television are the most clear and concise way to get a message across to a customer, in this case renters, in usually under 2 minutes.
- High Quality is the Way to Go. A well produced and high quality video will have a shelf life of forever (and in cases of major renovations or ownership changes, which do happen) can be edited in most cases and continue being used in the future. A low quality video won't hold up – if you invest once upfront, spend what it's worth to do it with the right production company.
- Video Marketing is in High Demand. With the growth of the smartphone and tablet market as well as the popularity of videos online (namely youtube), video marketing is only going to increase in popularity and demand.
…DIY video won’t cut it for a condominium, homes or a larger property.
When should a rentor make video DIY (do-it-yourself), or should they consider hiring a professional video creator?
RENTSEEKER: I have seen many DIY videos.
While some may work for homeowners looking to rent out a basement, DIY video won't cut it for a condominium, homes or a larger property.
Most landlords that own rental properties that have multiple units or landlord that own multiple properties and there is consistent turnover in some capacity. A well made professional video is well worth the cost, given the longer shelf life, higher quality, and it's ability to tell a story the way it should be told. (ie describing the property, amenities, area, etc)
The experience a professional saves time and money and gets the job done right the first time – our clients are coming back for more, which shows it's worth it.
[embedit snippet=”AD1″]What are some common mistakes that DIY creators quite often do that should be avoided?
RENTSEEKER: Professional video production takes time to learn and understand so I’m not sure that there are specific common mistakes for those DIY’ers. Much like your article how to make a promotional video addresses, it's more about beginners not yet having an understanding of video production, the importance of the quality of the shots, and understanding the importance of refining a script to ensure the video does it’s job properly.
I guess I would add, there is a reason that companies that sell products on TV (ie retailers) don’t shoot the commercials themselves and hire agencies skilled in the area of commercial production!
What are some practical tips that should be heeded before shooting a property video?
RENTSEEKER: Great question, I can answer this very specifically:
1) Staging Adds Value. Properly staging with furniture, etc available units is always helpful in ensuring a renter can visualize the living space.
2) Watch the Skies. Weather plays a very important role when it comes to property videos since the quality of the video will always be enhances when the weather is right.
3) Show More. Specific to property videos, area amenities are always importance to include when possible, as it allows renters to understand quite a bit about where they are going to be living, transportation, shopping, etc.
How and where should videos be shared or shown so the right people will see them?
RENTSEEKER: That’s a great question. We’ve had many clients approach us with videos that were produced for them and they weren’t exactly sure what to do at that point.
That’s one of the reasons we promote our video work as “video production and marketing” because we not only produce videos, we help market them by first of all adding them within the clients listings on RentSeeker.ca (which is a video friendly site), as well as adding them to the clients corporate website, and then of course to the most popular video hosting site in the world, youtube.
The reason youtube is so great is because it gets picked up in search engines, so titling the video properly (ie addresses), and adding tags and appropriate keywords when uploading them, will help renters using search engines, come across the videos.
A well made professional video is well worth the cost, given the longer shelf life, higher quality, and it's ability to tell a story the way it should be told.
That was really great information, it's fantastic to get to speak with you Chaim! How can people easily learn more about RentSeeker.ca services online?
RENTSEEKER: Thank YOU again for the opportunity! This was a lot of fun, we love sharing our passion with people people that care – hopefully your readers have learnt something from our chat!
To learn more about us, people can visit www.RentSeeker.ca,