Over the past year, a crop of media-based mobile apps have emerged and skyrocketed in popularity. People have rediscovered media, such as photos and videos, as a great way to engage with others online. As people become busier the need for quick, visual consumption of information makes photo and video content increasingly essential for effective real estate marketing.
In this article, we will list and review our recommended photo and video mobile apps that are sure to boost your real estate marketing efforts. Make sure you read to the bottom, because in partnership with abodograph (an exciting new app for Realtors), we are giving away two Animoto Plus one-year subscriptions!
Top Photo Apps for Realtors
Visual, emotional connections play an enormous role in just about every real estate transaction. Since over 80% of real estate transactions start online, helping prospective home buyers visually and emotionally connect to a property they see online can be a difficult task. The following mobile photo apps make taking, editing and sharing beautiful, creative photography fun and easy:
We can’t mention photo apps without including Instagram somewhere. Boasting a user base of over 50 million plus and continually topping favorite photo app lists, Instagram is an essential app for any photo creation / sharing strategy.
PROS: Free, Simple to use, Available for iPhone and Android, Includes nice filters to improve photos, Great integration with social accounts for quick, easy sharing
CONS: Only square-oriented photos look best (panoramic or other shaped photos aren’t presented as nicely), No web interface
We’re not huge proponents of Facebook’s current mobile strategy of releasing multiple, one-off apps that could / should all be built into the main Facebook app, but we won’t get into that right now. Instead we will talk about why and how the Facebook Camera app is even on our list of top photo apps for Realtors.
PROS: Free, Clean user interface, Ability to easily tag friends in photos, Ability to easily upload multiple photos at one time, Includes comparable filters to improve photos
CONS: Only allows uploading of photos to personal profiles (no Facebook Page integration yet), Will likely be replaced or merged with Instagram since Facebook bought Instagram
We’d love to all think that our photo taking skills are so good that the thought of any photo editing or doctoring is insulting. However, the reality is that most people can point and shoot, but capturing the perfect lighting, framing and elements are all skills that only professional photographers or hobbyists have seemed to nail down. Fortunately, there are some fantastic photo editing apps, like Snapseed, which allow for super simple photo editing.
PROS: Includes all the best photo editing options, Simple interface that completes complex photo editing tasks, Includes thousands of photo filter combinations to differentiate your photos
CONS: Costs $5 (currently being offered for free though), No syncing between desktop version and mobile version
Top Video Apps for Realtors
Great photographs have been known to help convert website visitors into leads. A property that is showcased with quality photos or consistent, creative photo updates on social networks can do wonders for netting prospects and even enticing them to want more information. For everything that photos do, videos just may accomplish twice as much. The following mobile video apps make taking, editing and sharing effective videos fun and easy:
The best way to describe this popular video app is “The Instagram of Video apps”. Viddy has piggybacked off of the Instagram concept and allows users to upload short video snippets, add some cool filters and effects and then share them via multiple social networks.
PROS: Free, If you’ve used Instagram then you know how to use Viddy, One of the quickest ways to take, edit and share a short video
CONS: Celebrity videos seem to dominate the featured section, the target audience for real estate agents may be small right now
Google’s new social network, Google+, may be somewhat of a ghost town right now for many people, but one fantastic feature it has going for it is Google+ Hangouts. Hangouts allow G+ users to hold video conversations via their desktop or mobile app. Text chats can be sent during the video as well. The Google+ app is a great tool for holding video conversations from your mobile device.
PROS: Free, More reliable and better quality than FaceTime or Skype (in our opinion), Easy to add multiple people to a new or existing video chat (aka Hangout), Works with iPhone and Android
CONS: Not many people are on Google+ yet, Google+ Hangout notifications (on iPhone) need a little work as chat messages don’t notify the user and new Hangout notifications hardly seem to work
By far, one of our favorite video apps is Animoto. This video slideshow creation app allows users to make beautiful, fun, HD video slideshows from the photos on their phone. Check out some of the real estate examples shared by Animoto to get a better idea of how you could use this app for your real estate business.
PROS: Easily the best video slideshow app available, HD quality options, Provides music choices to make videos more interesting, Offers multiple video editing options to liven up the videos, Videos can be created on the web version as well
CONS: Best options come with in-app purchases or “Plus” subscription, Full length videos require $5/mo fee, Cannot upload videos to YouTube
We actually love this app so much that we really, really think you should be using it. To encourage you to do so, and not miss out on any of the great features, we are offering to give away 2 Animoto Plus accounts. Here’s all you need to do for a chance to be selected as one of our two winners:
Retweet this article with the hashtag #giveaway
We will randomly select two lucky readers on June 15th. All participants, whether they win or not, will receive early access to a new real estate photo sharing app, abodograph, that will be released later this year. This app will allow Realtors to take beautiful wide-angle photos that can then be posted to Craigslist, Pinterest, Facebook and/or Twitter. Just request early access here.
Step Up Your Media Marketing
Creative, high quality photos and videos can be your best content for lead generation. By mapping out a media marketing plan and using the tools recommended above you should be able to convert more visitors and social media followers into actual interested buyers and sellers. Before we let you go we thought we would leave you with some specific recommendations to get the most of these apps and the media they can create for you:
- Take quality photos – there’s nothing worse than seeing blurry, poorly framed photos on Instagram
- Don’t use shaky videos – unless you’re creating the next Blair Witch Project, then make sure your videos are shot with a steady hand
- Don’t over edit – apps like Snapseed and Animoto are meant to make your media more interesting, not unrecognizable so layoff adding every filter or edit to your media
- Stick to a schedule – plan to post specific types of media on specific days to keep yourself on track and your visitors engaged
- Share, share, share – take advantage of the simple ways to cross-promote your media across your social networks
If you’re already using these apps and social networks or if you plan on starting, then we would absolutely love to see what you’re up to. Feel free to post your examples in the comments below or your usernames so we can all check out your hard work.
As always, if you have any questions or need more of a push to get you started then just let us know in the comments below and we will be happy to help.
We encourage you to take advantage of the Animoto Plus giveaway mentioned above as well as the early access to abodograph. We would also like to thank abodograph for contributions to this article and providing expedited access to our readers. Follow @abodograph.
Good luck with your media marketing efforts!