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How a MIAMI Realtor is leading a Real Estate Video Renaissance

by | May 23, 2018


By Chris Umpierre

MIAMI Staff

 

Struggling as a new brokerage, MIAMI Realtor Jorge L. Guerra Jr. was in need of an edge. A way to differentiate himself from the crowd.

He found it in 2006. Guerra Jr. was watching several short films made by a friend who was attending the New York Film Academy. Could he use video to promote his real estate listings? Could he leverage this relative new phenomenon called the Internet to send his property videos?

Guerra Jr. didn’t know. YouTube, Instagram and Twitter didn’t exist.

So Guerra Jr. did the next best thing--- he filmed his listing, posted it on Google Video and emailed the listing as a video podcast. The video could be viewed on a cell phone, video iPod or computer, and the response was eye-opening. The property’s listing agent received an abundance of calls. People from around the world such as Australia, Italy and South America were clicking on his video.

Guerra Jr. immediately overhauled his firm’s marketing plan. Coral Gables-based Real Estate Sales Force’s emphasis on video and digital marketing has fueled the firm’s meteoric success. RESF has grown from 4 to 480 agents in 13 years. Guerra Jr., whose firm now shoots in 4K and uses drones to promote listings, is at the forefront of a real estate video renaissance.

Guerra Jr, the 2018 MIAMI Association of REALTORS® (MIAMI) Residential President, speaks and mentors Realtors about using technology. He speaks at national and international events such as the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Convention and Imocionate in Spain.

“Video is a game-changer for real estate,” Guerra Jr. said. “Video saves agents 90 percent of their showing time. Video cuts the fat from their work. Appraisers love them. Inspectors love them. Buyers show them over and over again. Video is good for the environment because it saves gas in driving to show properties and video never dies. As an industry, we have to add video to our arsenal.”

 

Trial by Credit Card

Guerra Jr.’s transition to tech savvy Realtor wasn’t smooth. After that enlightening experience with his friend in New York, Guerra Jr. took an online course on video editing and an IT friend showed him the technology for integrating video into websites and distributing his video electronically.

Afterward, he bought the best camera he could find. Guerra spent $4,000 on a Panasonic camera in 2005. The camera was great, except it was the wrong one.

He needed a camera that shot 60 frames per second. The one he purchased shot 20 frames per second.

“Trial by credit card,” Guerra Jr. said.

Another trial by credit card would begin when Guerra transitioned to drones. Let’s just say his unmanned aerial vehicles crashed. Multiple times. RESF is on its 13th drone.

“It’s not a question if you’re going to lose a drone,” Guerra Jr. said. “It’s when.”

Hire a Video Provider

Guerra Jr. doesn’t recommend Realtors to learn video editing. He recommends brokers and Realtors to hire a video provider to shoot and edit their listings.

Video differentiates a listing from the crowd. Take a look at the MLS and you will see most listings don’t include a video. Many agents are still taking 23 pictures, some bad quality, to promote their listings. When you shoot a high-quality video with dramatic music, you send the right message to your seller.

“Buyers and sellers are aware of the high commissions earned with selling a home,” said Guerra Jr. “As a result, not only is it expected, it’s now demanded for agents to step up their game.”

What about the experienced Realtor who believes he or she doesn’t have to change?

“If you are a true real estate professional, you know that our business is continuously changing,” Guerra Jr. said. “One of the biggest strengths we have as Realtors is our ability to follow trends. Right now, the trend is producing great collateral video. It’s not difficult to go out there and find a video provider. Just like you need a good accountant, a good inspector, and a good appraiser on your team. You need good video as a part of your arsenal.”

His point is more significant in South Florida, which attracts foreign buyers from all over the world. In South Florida, 25 percent of buyers are foreign nationals and 6 percent buy sight unseen.

“That’s a huge number,” Guerra Jr. said. “When you are able to deliver a product to someone’s iPhone and computer, now you are able to make that sight unseen decision even easier for them.”

Next Technologies to Make an Impact

Real estate revenue generated by virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR) has the potential to reach $2.6 billion by 2025, according to a study by PwC and Urban Land Institute.

Guerra Jr. believes VR/AR is still early on the scene. It’s hard to create and share VR and AR video.

“For me, virtual reality isn’t practical right now,” Guerra Jr. said. “But in the future when VR gets easy to produce and consume, yes, it will be a game changer. Anytime you can improve the experience of seeing a property, makes a big impact.”

Guerra Jr. is constantly on the lookout for programs, apps or services that can help his business. He loves the new Remine app from the MIAMI Association of REALTORS® (MIAMI), currently in Beta however officially launching in May 2018. Remine puts real estate agents in the center of the transaction, providing them with more insights, data and intelligence than anywhere else.

“Remine is designed for geo-farming and it identifies who is more apt to sell,” Guerra Jr. said. “From a farming perspective, I think it’s the ultimate tool. You can see who is late on their mortgage, has equity in their home, had a name change on deed and more. It’s a no excuse tool.”

 

The Tech Guy

The real estate industry has changed.  New ways of doing business continue emerging and new challenges threaten the roles of the broker and the agent.  Now more than ever we need to adapt to the changes around us as it pertains to technology. 

If there's anyone at the forefront of technology as it relates to the real estate industry, it's Guerra Jr., who is serving as 2018 Chair for the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Emerging Business and Technology forum. 

"While some real estate agents think they're embracing technology by curating their social media feed or taking extra classes at the MIAMI Association of Realtors on just about every program offered - the truth is the majority of agents aren't quite sure how to translate technology into the kind of game-changing leverage that would truly take their business to the next level,” Guerra Jr. said.

“High-tech strategies for every agent differs greatly based on skill, background and the willingness to embrace the unknown."

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GUERRA JR BIO

● Name: Jorge L. Guerra, Jr.

● Board position: 2018 MIAMI Residential President

● Employment: President and CEO of Real Estate Sales Force (RESF)

● Achievement: Guerra Jr. is serving as 2018 Chair for the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Emerging Business and Technology forum.

● Did you know? Guerra Jr. has served as a keynote speaker at a number of national and international high-profile industry events that include: MIAMI Rock the Market, Florida Realtors Convention, National Association of Realtors (NAR) Convention, NAR’s Tech Edge, Xplode Conference, Women’s Council of Realtors, NAHREP National Convention, Inman Connect Miami, Inman Connect NY and Imocionate in Spain.

 

ABOUT THE PROJECT

Getting to Know Our MIAMI Leaders is a project by Chris Umpierre highlighting the 2018 presidents and chairmen of the MIAMI Association of REALTORS® (MIAMI). The leaders are: Chairman of the Board George C. Jalil, Residential President Jorge L. Guerra Jr., Commercial President Brian Sharpe, Broward President Patricia C. Anglero, Young Professionals Network Chairman Jorge H. Fernandez and JTHS-MIAMI President Barb Fox.

Read all the profiles at www.MiamiRealtors.com/Leaders

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