Video Tools - is Free Cost Effective Enough ?

By
Real Estate Agent with Carmody and Associates LLC

Many of us feel that the technology requirements for our real estate of internet marketing offices are overwhelming.  We manage to master a new technology and watch as the next big thing arrives and nudges us back into the dust bin.

Now video presentations are more and more important to our sales presentations, property screen shows, capture pages or other client contact media.  We have worked with Adobe Premiere Elements or Serif Movie Plus or other video editor at reasonable prices and capabilities with mixed results depending on our skill, available time and patience. 

Well it turns out that there are some serious video editing products available to enhance our work at no cost (Free is my favorite four letter word).  There is a learning curve.  Complex software is not always totally intuitive.  But these offerings are powerful and well worth considering –  and the price is right. 

Vreveal_logo_clean-300x70vReveal is a powerful video enhancer.  What does that mean –  read on.

vReveal is a brilliant tool for improving your videos the way an image editor improves your MLS photos (in the real estate trade).   Shaky video –  vReveal can help (in real time if you have a fast video card).  The gallery function will search your hard drive for video files and facilitate your review (is that why the name vReveal ?).  Fix your lighting, white balance (color correction) and contrast on the fly.  Use a panning video as a source for a panorama still image and add titles to your video.   This is a lot of video enhancement capability available for download for free. <link>   There is a pro version but the upgrade price is very reasonable.  Check out their website for video examples. Not much complexity or learning  curve here.  The program performs some specific video enhancement tricks with single click commands –  but it will improve your video presentation significantly.  (Did I mention FREE)

Discussion of shaky video correction technology: (technology developed for military applications to enhance drone video footage…)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=8pTCdrT2-bk

 

LightworksLightworks for commercial grade video editing power.

 

Lightworks is a free video editor with more features than I have seen in other programs that I have used.  This is not Windows Movie Maker –  it is a serious commercial grade product used by television or movie studios.  That means lots of power and complexity –  so expect to take some time to learn even the basics of this program.  This program may not be for everyone reading this post.  But for those who accept the task, there is a good array of printed documentation provided and I have seen a collection of training videos on you-tube.com. 

The program features a broad selection of formats (audio and video) supported in a powerful timeline based editor;  powerful trim and autosync features; Multicam sync groups (syncing multiple camera shots of the same scene – wow !).  Lightworks has been used to edit major Hollywood features (including “The King's Speech”).  This is an open-source product with an active user's group that the programmers listen to.  If you need the power –  check this out.  And again –  it's freeDownload at lwks.com. (be sure and download the documentation files) Versions available for Windows, Mac OSX and soon to be released Linux.  64 bit Windows version to be released July 2. Other authors have commented that Lightworks may not gain traction in the professional editor industry because it works differently from some of the other commercial products.  But I haven't found any comments that say this is not a powerful, useful video editing product.  I am just getting into this product and I expect to be spending some time in the 300+ page manual. 

My expectation is that all of my readers that are working in video need to acquire vReveal.  For those with serious editing needs and a limited budget, Lightworks is worth a close look.  I point our that in the still photography world we see an open source product called GIMP which is a serious image editor that can challenge Photoshop for power –  but does not gain the popularity of Photoshop despite the free pricetag.  Like so many examples we have seen, sometimes something that is available for free is perceived as having no value.  If you think free software isn't up to the job, you will overlook a number of products that offer real power and value.  Take a close look at these before you decide.  

Enjoy

 

 

 

 

 

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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Selling Daytona paradise for heavenly good prices

Ted - I feel like helplessly behind. And these programs (not just these particular) take time, and I end up using a tiny fraction of the program.

I sometimes watch videos on AR, and mostly they are disappointing. It is a long video where you see someone sitting in front of the camera and talking to you. I do not think this should even qualify for a video

Jun 07, 2012 09:21 PM #1
Rainmaker
534,191
Morgan Evans
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Manhattan, NY
LICENSED REAL ESTATE SALESPERSON

Definitely some very useful information.  When we do video's its usually just a simple youtube type video, this type of information will be helpful.

Jun 07, 2012 09:24 PM #2
Rainmaker
370,219
Ted Baker
Carmody and Associates LLC - Winter Haven, FL
MidFloridaMediation.com

You are right, Jon.  There is a hidden cost even in a free program in terms of the time it takes to become proficient in its use.  But, I think your Canon camera has hi-def video capability - excellent with interchangable lenses.  The ability to assemble a group of video clips taken in a walk through of a house or condo (with beautiful ocean views and sunny beach and poolside amenity locations in your case) into a logical sequence, adding professional transitions between clips and title or other text for each clip is powerful.  Then adding a new narration track and background music track to complete a very professional video presentation gives you a competitive advantage with listing clients and buyers.  VReveal will remove some of the camera shake that may come from hand held camera work. A professional editor like Lightworks may exceed our needs while editors like Premiere Elements from Adobe or other choices from Serif or Corel (and others) may be sufficient for our needs to assemble clips from various sources with audio and music tracks.  The trick, in my view is to plan what story you wish to tell (and you need a story to tell to make this work) - storyboard the script planning the layout and clips to be used - fashion the clips to the script or write the script to take advantage of the clips - add narration, music and titles and you have another masterpiece.  You already create great slide shows.  Video clips just give you more means to express your story.  You also have the advantage of a daughter and son-in-law that are very good with these technologies.  

 

Morgan - we all get to decide what is the best medium for our message to potential clients.  You-tube hosts some very professional and slick presentations as wall as some obviously home grown video clips.  We each get to decide what is appropriate for our marketing style and our selected audience.  Certainly the presentation can overwhelm the product or the message or it can enhance it.  And each project takes X number of hours from our day to prepare.  For those who want to "kick it up a notch", I hope my research provides new tools for the toolbox.  In your case with a New York City market on offer, you may find that you want to reach out of town customers including foreign buyers or investors.  A polished video presentation with listing as well as area information may be useful for you.  You may want to utilize the technologies we are talking about or you may elect to outsource the project to a production company.  Your choice.  But consider various uses for a video presentation to send to a prospect or client, add to your website or social media pages or use in an email campaign.  Plan in advance so that you end up with a piece that meets all of your intended needs.  Stock footage of your magnificient city can, of course, be reused in multiple projects.  

 

Jon and Morgan - thanks for stopping by.

Jun 08, 2012 05:28 AM #3
Rainmaker
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Andrew Mooers
MOOERS REALTY - Houlton, ME
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Video, real full motion with natural sound video is so powerful. But like blog posts, imagery, copy in your real estate website marketing, fresh helpful content is key to harness the real power of video.

Oct 31, 2012 05:47 AM #4
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Ted Baker

MidFloridaMediation.com
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