Making a Video Listing Sing

What sells a house? Sure, meeting a buyer’s must-haves is important: the right number of bedrooms or a newly refinished kitchen. But, what really sells a home is not objective at all–it’s the feeling a buyer gets when he walks through the door, the story a buyer sees unfolding in the space.

Video has long been the modern mode of storytelling, which is why Coldwell Banker Real Estate agents use video as a way to show prospective buyers the story of a home.

But, long before video, music served as a way to tell a story. What happens when one seller takes an active role in creating the listing video of his home? He makes the listing sing! Literally. Coldwell Banker Roth Wehrly Graber, in Fort Wayne, IN asked one seller, who happens to be a talented musician, to perform Phil Phillips’ song “Home” as the soundtrack for the listing video of his home.

Not only does the song tug at the heart strings, but the fact that the seller is singing it from his own living room makes it all the more personal– as if the seller is opening the door to his home and inviting us in.

Watching this, can’t you just see your family sitting on the sunny patio with a pitcher of fresh lemonade? How about little faces peeking through the stair railing? That is the story we help buyers see. And that is why video tours are so important to the buyer experience.

That said, it’s not just about the buyer experience. No one knows the story of a home better than the seller. Involving the seller in the listing process can bring valuable emotional appeal that ultimately sells a home.

Music moves us.  But, does it really move us?

Header Image Source: tunessence

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3 Reasons Why We Love the World Cup

According to a recent poll conducted by ESPN, Major League Soccer is now just as popular as Major League Baseball among Americans aged 12-17. With the rise of a domestic soccer league in the United States and the increased exposure we now have to the top flight European soccer leagues; the sport most beloved throughout the world is finally starting to catch on in the United States.

While the Superbowl and World Series garner an immense amount of viewership, the quadrennial event known as the World Cup is a spectacle rivaled by none other. In fact, it has been reported that half of humanity tuned in to watch at least one game during the 2010 World Cup; and experts are predicting an even larger audience for 2014. The game certainly is beautiful, and the tournament is always riveting – but there a few other reasons why we love the World Cup.

1. It’s about Home

At Coldwell Banker we believe that home is everything. Our homes are where we’re from, where we feel safe, and is a reflection of who we are. Each of us belong to a home with walls and nails and our loved ones in it, but we also belong to a home much bigger than the one we come home to each night. And that home is our country – wherever that may be for you. For one month, 23 players from 32 nations wear their country’s colors and do their best to represent the determination, character, passion, and resilience of their people. And for one month, despite whatever differences that may divide people of any given country, we all gather together side by side in plazas, pubs and homes, and root for our respective countries. Our home. It also gives us the ability to take a look back and appreciate where we came from as well. Whether we had grandparents who moved to the United States from Italy, or ancestors who migrated from Spain to Puerto Rico - often times the World Cup offers us the chance to also pull for countries who  hold a special place in our family’s story.

2. Video Content is King

As marketing guru Seth Godin once said, “Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell”. We feel like there is no more powerful medium than video to tell beautiful and engaging stories. Whether it’s our videos from our International Film Festival, Homefield Advantage series or the tens of thousands of agent and listing videos on our digital platforms – we know that video is an unparalleled way to connect with people in 2014.

The ramp up to the World Cup has seen a flood of engaging video content that connects with both avid and casual fans. While I’m sure many of the other participating countries have done so, US Soccer has embraced the power of video to tell stories and build a connection between American fans and the 23 young men on this year’s team. They recently released a video series titled: “One Nation. One Team. 23 Stories” that illustrates how powerful simple video can be.

3. It will be the most “Social” event in history

Lewis Wiltshire at Twitter recently told The Guardian that “the 2010 World Cup was the largest period of sustained activity for any event in Twitter’s history”. With that being said, there have already been more tweets generated about this World Cup before a ball has been kicked than for the entire tournament in 2010. From players engaging with fans on Instagram and Twitter, to broadcast analysts actively engaging with fans across the major social platforms; Social Media is no longer on the periphery – but an integral part of the World Cup experience in 2014.

We love this because social is at the heart of everything we do at Coldwell Banker. Whether it be having meaningful conversations with consumers and our network via our #HomeRocks hashtag that we added to the end of our commercial, to posting MTV Cribs-like pictures of homes on Instagram, to holding user generated video contests on YouTube – we love the way social allows for authentic two way conversations.

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The true power of sport is that it is about more than just the game that gets played. It’s about the underdog. It’s about passion, dedication, persistence, belief and buying into being a part of something greater than just ourselves. We love the World Cup and are eagerly anticipating the magical moments that are assuredly to come in the games that will be played. But we also love the World Cup because of how it wonderfully reflects our society and how so much can change within four short years. Online video has exploded, Social Media has become ubiquitous and we’ve fully embraced the second (and third) screen. Everything changes and so have we. The World Cup highlights the best part of the human spirit and shows us how despite our differences, we are all very similar. We wish whoever you route for the best luck! Who do you have winning the tournament?

*Soccer field image courtesy of Paullus23
* Plaza image courtesy of Daily Mail UK

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Welcome Home: Everett Siblings

The Everett siblings became homeowners overnight after their parents passed away in a tragic accident during Superstorm Sandy. Zoe Everett, the eldest of four, took on the brave task of not only serving as guardian of her three siblings, but also managing their large Randoph, NJ home.

Wise beyond her years, Zoe sums up her struggle with managing the house: “I think the hardest part with the house is that it’s just large and unpredictable, but that’s with any house. Home ownership is just unpredictable.” How right she is!

Here’s where NBC’s George To The Rescue makes his entrance. Contractor and designer, George Oliphant, arrives with his crew to help the Everetts manage their cluttered house and turn their kitchen annex and office into rooms better fit for this family of four.

It struck me that even though the Everett siblings have taken on a very grown-up responsibility, their household is still very obviously the home of four young adults. This is most apparent in their reaction to the transformation of their home. George converts the office once overrun with clutter into an organized oasis, which is quickly renamed “the girl cave.” Likewise, the large banquette table George designs for family meals in the kitchen annex is declared “the perfect fort table.”

While the Everetts may view their home through the eyes of teenagers, they have a very adult perspective on home. “Home to me is the people you’re surrounded by,” Zoe says. Hear more about what “Home Sweet Home” means to the Everetts in the video above.

A story that breaks and warms your heart all at once, watch the full episode of George To The Rescue: The Everett Family Rescue.

Welcome Home: Everett siblings!

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Expert Tips for Finding the Perfect Neighborhood To Buy In

Guest Blog Post by Heather and Steve Ostrom

What’s the square footage, how big is the yard, is there enough storage in this house? These are all important buyer questions, particularly when you’re trying to determine what you want and need out of your next space that you will call “home.”

While we agree your home should rock, it is important to also factor in the neighborhood you will buying into as well. Buyer property searches are typically geared towards specific criteria in a house, helping us laser in on the “perfect space.” But what we can’t always observe online, that’s equally important, is how a day in the life would be like at your new house.

What’s important to you, in the area you live? Is it the quality of life, is it the commute, or is it the neighborhood’s amenities? Here are some of the important questions we encourage buyers to ask themselves, when on their journey for the perfect home and neighborhood.

So where do we begin as a buyer? First, make a list of what’s important to you in a home, and in the community you’re targeting. We feel, discovering what an average day is going to be like at your new place, is an important part of the research in finding a home that’s perfect for you.

Second, communicate to everyone involved in the transaction your goals in a new home: your trusted and local real estate agent, your lender, and to your trusted friends and family (or even co-workers). Sometimes they can point out items you may not have thought about, particularly if they live there … things that you love, what things might drive you nuts (or that your favorite coffee shop is only a mile away from that cute home you have been checking out).

Third, once everyone is on the same page of what you want in a home and your community … it’s time to head out to the homes in your target area, and see how the neighborhood functions. Once you find a home that seems to be “the one” … part of the research portion, could include talking to the neighbors, or perhaps doing a trial work commute, or talking to small business owners and restaurants. People love to talk about their area.

So what are you waiting for? Start making that list, talk to your trusted real estate agent, and let’s find the right home AND neighborhood for you. … Oh and P.S. If you’re in our area, make sure to invite us over for your neighborhood block party, we hate to miss a good get-together. ;-)

Steve and Heather Ostrom are with Coldwell Banker Sun Ridge in Roseville, CA. Check our more great videos from the Ostrom team here.

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Quick Tips for Repairing Doors

front door Quick Tips for Repairing DoorsWhen’s the last time you replaced the doors of your home? I’m guessing never. It’s something we don’t really think of. They’re just there. They open. They shut. So what if there are a few dings in them from children, door stoppers or rambunctious pets.

But I’m guessing if you look at your doors the chances are you know there’s are few imperfections on them. Who wants to deal with replacing or even fixing doors? Well, what if it wasn’t that difficult?

The video above from the folks over at eHow Home shows some simple tips on how to fix those door cracks and dents using wood putty. Wood putty costs maybe a few bucks and the time to fix it is minimal.

So watch the video above on repairing doors and make the doors to your home all that more welcoming.


Header image courtesy of Flickr user Cristiano Betta

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This is Home with Rapping Kids

thisishome This is Home with Rapping KidsThe Coldwell Banker Life, Camera, Action YouTube contest provided some amazing videos of kids, pets and homes from across the country. Actually the videos with pets vs. the videos with kids was pretty much a 50/50 split. The 10 finalist videos were all pretty amazing. It was fun to see the different takes on what makes a home so special. Some were touching. Some were humorous. But the winning video was just plain adorable.

I dare you to watch this video without smiling. The $25,000 grand prize winning video above is called “This is Home” but affectionately here at the Coldwell Banker office we refer to it as “Rapping Kids.” It’s quite simply one of the sweetest and entertaining videos about home that you’ll ever see.

The video comes to us from the Johnson family of Henderson, NV where dad, Jeff, is a schoolteacher and his wife, Suzanne, runs her own business out of their home. Their twins, Liam and Elle, will turn 4 in December and have easily the brightest music career imaginable ahead of them.

I talked with Jeff about the inspiration for the video and he said the song was something he was actually working on for a few months and when he heard about the Coldwell Banker contest it gave him the motivation to finally complete what he had started.

As you can imagine choreographing twin 3 year old’s while also trying to get them to sing the right words is quite a task and the video take more time than expected to get done which didn’t give them much time to get votes before the contest ended. But thanks to a late push in voting by friends and family their video was able to make it into the top 10 finalists.

We wondered how a high school social studies teacher manages to find time to create rap songs and shoot music videos, but Jeff explained this is something he enjoys doing as projects. Well Jeff, this project just paid off.

The Johnson family moved into their current home just over 2 years ago when they quickly realized their home at the time that had only 2 bedrooms wouldn’t quite work for their growing family. So the winnings from the contest they hope to put towards redoing their backyard as they’ve had some plans for it in their minds but didn’t think they’d be able to see them come to fruition.

I’m hoping their plans involve a water slide and perhaps a basketball court, but whatever they end up doing I’m sure Liam & Elle will love it.

Take a look at the video above to see “This is Home” and add a smile to your day. And if you really want a smile, watch the video below and see the kids’ reaction to being told they won the contest:

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Favorite Videos from Life Camera Action Contest: Dear Poppy

dearpoppy Favorite Videos from Life Camera Action Contest: Dear PoppyYesterday we highlighted an adorable and playful take on an “open house” that was submitted as a video in the Coldwell Banker Life, Camera, Action contest. Today, we’re featuring another video that missed out on becoming a top 10 finalist, but might be one of the most touching videos that was submitted.

“Dear Poppy” is a simple story told through black and white photos and simple title screens, but is sure to stir your emotions. It shares the journey of one couple who found each other, then their dream home, but it wasn’t until someone else came into their lives that their house became a home.

Take a look at “Dear Poppy” and have some tissues nearby just in case. I’m not saying that I need them…ok maybe I did.

You can watch the top 10 finalist videos at and come back tomorrow to see who will be named the $25,000 grand prize winner!

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World’s Most Expensive Homes: Quixote Winery Estate

quixote winery Worlds Most Expensive Homes: Quixote Winery EstateNapa Valley. Those two words immediately make you think of vineyards, beautiful scenery and good eating. The capitol of wine country in California also is home to our next episode in the Coldwell Banker series, World’s Most Expensive Homes.

Today we go inside the Quixote Winery Estate to see a home that is truly one within its surroundings as well as explore the amazing winery that is the only Friedensreich Hundertwasser building in America. 

Set on a lake and positioned perfectly amidst the vineyards for its winery, the Quixote Winery Estate is one of the most unique properties you’ll come across in the Napa Valley. Listed by Cyd Greer with Coldwell Banker Brokers of the Valley, the home not only offers the luxury of your own winery, but also some pretty spectacular views.

Check out Episode 4 of the Coldwell Banker series World’s Most Expensive Homes by watching the video above.

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World’s Most Expensive Homes Hits the Virgin Islands

estate at spring bay Worlds Most Expensive Homes Hits the Virgin IslandsIn the Coldwell Banker web series World’s Most Expensive Homes, we’ve started off in the U.S. visiting the Versace mansion in South Beach and then hiking up to Aspen to explore the incredible Jigsaw Ranch. Now in Episode 3, we step outside the continental U.S. and head to the Caribbean to visit the paradise of St. Thomas.

The Estate at Spring Bay is the focal point of this latest episode which contains some of the most incredible and beautiful footage ever displayed in a real estate video. From the private beach to the multiple pools to the ridiculous sunset views, the Estate at Spring Bay is the definition of paradise. 

Listed by Amy Land-de Wilde with Coldwell Banker Island Affiliates, this home is an island treasure. Step inside the Estate at Spring Bay by watching Episode 3 of the World’s Most Expensive Homes from Coldwell Banker.

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A Look Inside “The Emirati Home”

The first ever Coldwell Banker International Film Festival kicks off today over at Over the course of the next three weeks, we’ll be showcasing short films from filmmakers across the globe that share with us their answer to the questions, “what’s the true value of a home?”

The first video of the inaugural film festival comes from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). When you think of the UAE, Dubai is probably the first city that pops into your head with its exotic resorts and magnificent skyscraper. But in this film, entitled ‘The Emirati Home’, filmmaker Siddharth Seth shows us how hospitality and entertaining play a central role in any Emirati home.

When we asked Siddharth about his inspiration for the film he remarked:

In the United Arab Emirates, over 80% of the population consists of expats. In spite of this peculiar demographic, the Emiratis, or the local citizenry, through their rich cultures and tradition have managed to maintain a very strong identity of their own. But more importantly, these figures prove that the Emiratis are splendid hosts. They are extremely welcoming and make it a point to make people from all different nationalities feel absolutely at home in the Emirates.

‘The Emirati Home’ is a tribute to the ‘Emirati’ hospitality and way of life which is a combination of the traditional and the modern, the familiar and the unfamiliar.

‘The Emirati Home’ also has one of the most memorable lines of the entire film festival. The narrator remarks that “it’s common to see a father teaching his son to ride a bike…only after he’s first learned to ride a camel.”

Take a look at what the true value of a home means in the United Arab Emirates in this first video of the film festival over at

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