How a Bird’s-Eye View Can Sell Your Home

The New Age of Property Marketing

Did you know studies show that agents who use video marketing get up to 400 percent more hits versus those who don’t? We have moved into the digital age and so has real estate. What if we were able to tell the unique story of our home with sweeping aerial views and postproduction animation? Well, it turns out the future is here, and it’s taking the real estate market by storm. Using drone technology in his videography, Ray Shak, of SHAK Cinema, is able to showcase the unique and interesting characteristics of his clients’ properties by giving buyer’s a bird’s-eye view of the listing. Read on for an insider’s look at the future of property marketing.

Q: Was your first intention to use drones for property marketing purposes? What first intrigued you about using drones for cinematic purposes?

RS: I started flying drones just for fun, as a hobby. I enjoyed the art of flying but I didn’t get into this business with a vision of using drones for real estate. Just one thing led into another and I became the number one videographer for the real estate market in Orange County. There wasn’t any vision to use drones to capture real estate, but we started filming one home and the light bulb went on. I was able to tell a story through the videography in showcasing that property.

What intrigued me was being able to capture a property from a bird’s-eye view. We are used to seeing eye level photography, so when we can see a property from a bird’s-eye view, everything looks prettier, different and nicer. It’s because we’re not used to seeing things from that angle.

16 Skyridge, Newport Coast (4K) from SHAK Cinema on Vimeo.

Q: How has technology facilitated your vision when it comes to cinematography?

Ray Shak: My vision comes from creating a story to tell about a property, and with every property, we try to find that story. Through drones and other filming equipment, we are able to showcase that  through our videos. In our digital age, people would rather hit a play button and watch a video than spend time reading a bunch of content for a listing.

Q: Is there an element of storytelling in your property marketing? How is this story told uniquely through this imagery?

RS: Our slogan for our company is “every story needs to be told.” For every property, we showcase the lifestyle. Lifestyle is everything when people are trying to buy a property, they want to know more than just how many bedrooms or bathrooms the property has. They want to know what they’re getting. When you’re buying a little $3 million home in Corona Del Mar on one of these side streets, you’re not getting much property for that amount of money. But we’re able to showcase through our videography that, hey, you’re five minutes away from the beach, with shops and restaurants all walking distance from your house. So the story that we bring to that video is the lifestyle that’s around you.

Q: A lot of your real estate projects are done with homes close to the beach, with sweeping vistas of the ocean. Can other properties benefit from your work as well?

RS: Yes! We just shot a home last week in Santa Ana, as well as some in Yorba Linda and Palm Springs. It just so happens that I live in Newport Coast, and our office is located close to the coastal communities. However, properties that are not located by the beach can also benefit from these videos, as every home has a story to tell.

79555 Tom Fazio from SHAK Cinema on Vimeo.

Q: How can real estate agents also benefit from listing their homes with your videos?

RS: A lot of agents are not informed on the benefits of video marketing. There have been studies that show that agents who use video marketing get up to 400 percent more hits versus those who don’t. These videos are helping the agents sell the homes faster because you’re really getting two powerful tools: you’re getting video and you’re getting music. These two combined, with the right mixture of music and videography, you’re able to move people and capture their attention. When you have some cool shots and music to go with it, you’ll find more people glued to the monitor, wanting to watch that video. The message through video is very powerful, and it helps agents sell homes easier.

Q: In your opinion, is this a necessity that has grown out of the rise in drone technology? Or has this been the goal for years?

RS: Well, to be honest, drones have just made it cheaper and safer. They used to do it with airplanes and helicopters, even with blimps, believe it or not. So obviously the cost with those methods is a whole lot more than our technology today. The fact that drones have come about has just made it more affordable and a lot easier. Drones are also able to fly at much lower altitudes so we are able to capture a shot that’s directly over a pool or directly over a person and lift up from there.

170 Emerald Bay, Laguna Beach from SHAK Cinema on Vimeo.

Q: The 170 Emerald Bay property in Laguna Beach is quite an extraordinary one. Can you tell us a bit about this project?

Ray Shak: Yes, the 170 Emerald Bay property was a unique situation. This particular agent has sold over 300 homes within the Emerald Bay community. We found out he’s like a local legend, and this was to be his first video ever. He absolutely loved the video but before he became our client, he had said that he never really believed in videos. But this video actually became a perfect example of showcasing a lifestyle. In the video we showcased the exclusive beach that this community offers and their annual Fourth of July fireworks. It’s all about that lifestyle. We did some animations in the interior where the camera goes into the living room and through the t.v. and ends up on the beach. These are animations that we are able to accomplish through modern technology and help to achieve our goal. It’s a cool shot that will get a reaction and will, ultimately, garner attention. It’s the “wow” factor that comes from this blend of drone usage and the post production editing that we do. It’s what makes our work different from what our competitors do.

Q: Lastly, how can aerial view shots increase the marketing value when listing a home? What does this view bring to those that are looking to buy?

RS: An aerial view is the only way to capture the entire property. You’re not able to capture the entire property through photographs on the ground, again, because you’re not looking at it through a bird’s-eye view. With drones, you’re able to see the entire property, the location and the surrounding area, be there a park, a golf course, or a shopping center. So with this view, we are able to showcase the property better.


Shak Cinema is dedicated to creating the highest quality cinematography and still shots. Visit their portfolio of completed projects, request a quote or contact them for more information. www.shakcinema.com

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