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Video as a tool for telling your story with Brent Bastin

With Brent Bastin, First National Tauranga

Thousands of years ago, the Greek philosopher Aristotle argued that to be persuasive, a speaker needed to make three appeals. A speaker had to inspire confidence and appeal to emotion and reason.

Aristotle’s principles continue to apply today. The most successful agents in real estate are hardworking – there is no doubt. But they also convey trustworthiness to their clients and are outstanding at appealing to reason and emotion. They prove another Greek philosopher correct, Socrates who said, “Even the man who is thoroughly familiar with the facts will be not a bit nearer to the art of persuasion."

These foundations of persuasion therefore are what make video so interesting. In one medium, an agent can convey who they are and appeal to emotion and reason at the same time. You can tell your story.

As we all know videos of emotionally engaging and informative content are exploding around the world.

Who doesn’t know Grumpy Cat? The statistics tell the story. In 2017, video content represents 74% of all internet traffic and 51% of all video plays are on mobile devices - a 15% increase from 2015 and a 203% increase from 2014. Video and mobile go hand in hand.

What’s surprising however, is when you look at the pick up of video in the real estate industry it has been surprisingly slow. It seems that video was initially used either as a tool for brag marketing or Hollywood kind of trailers and both kinds of offerings failed to connect to audiences.

Many concluded therefore that video wasn’t a useful communication and marketing tool. But it was being used in the wrong way. It can’t just be used to say, 'Look at me, I’m great'. Audiences do not respond to such blatant and crude sales pitches. Engaging video has to convey that you are trustworthy and credible, and can create emotional and rational connections to the property for sale to trigger interest and action.

Don't be left behind

Video’s capacity to inspire action therefore is what makes it so essential. In one medium – an agent can convey who they are and appeal to emotion and reason at the same time. Consumers are hungry for engaging video content. Switched on agents around Australia and New Zealand are now connecting video with Facebook and You Tube because they realise it can be a great communication platform for capturing buyers and sellers. It is critical therefore that your business starts to create content that users will want to view and share. The question is: what do you do?

The Brent Bastin story

In the booming Bay of Plenty market in New Zealand, Brent Bastin from First National Real Estate Tauranga is one of the very best at utilising the power of video to tell his story. His authentic and unique videos uploaded to You Tube and his Facebook page are capturing thousands and thousands of views and more importantly generating leads.

Buyers and sellers alike love and share his funny and entertaining videos of him riding a kid’s bike, juggling fruit, planting kale and roasting marshmallows on an open fire. He hugs pet rabbits and uses sweeping drone shots to build an emotional connection to a property. Brent says, “Times are changing and technology is becoming more prevalent within marketing properties and we just find you have to have something slightly different to capture purchasers' attention, and this is what video is for.”

Brent says, “In the last year, I think we produced 150 odd videos. So those videos go onto Facebook, and for $20 per video, we can reach up to 20, 30, 40,000 people a week." One of his most popular videos is of him water skiing with a drone for a property. Amusing, it also showcased that the property was near the water and highlighted the aspirational kind of lifestyle a new owner would enjoy. The video showed the lengths Brent would go to sell a property which creates credibility and also created an emotional connection to the property which is what you need to secure a sale.

Another video of him showcasing a property from a go-kart ignited interest from a Perth buyer. Brent says, “He flew over from Perth, funnily enough to buy this house. He didn’t like the photos. He didn’t like the script. But the video showed the fact that the driveway wasn’t as narrow, and the piece of land wasn’t as narrow, because the video followed us on a go-kart on the drone." The video answered buyer questions and ignited a conversation with a buyer and led to an eventual sale.

Brent's energy and enthusiasm and his ability to emotionally engage with a property is communicated in the videos and that is what gets people talking and sharing. He says, “I was downtown, and just catching up with a client of mine, and a gentleman walked up and said, 'Oh, are you Brent Bastin?' And I said, 'Yes'. And he said, 'Oh, mate, I just wanted to let you know I love your videos. I love the work you’re doing. I love the last one, when you’re on the go-kart with the kid'.”

Brent brings a freshness to marketing, which connects to the property and follows through with getting the sale and capturing more sellers. Due to his high visibility in the local market, many clients ring straight through now and say, 'Saw your videos. We’ve got a property we want to get on the market. What video would you do for us?'

Potential vendors like the fact that Brent can see what makes their home a lovely place to live. Brent says, “Vendors say, 'It’s nice to see that someone likes our house as much as we like it'. I get stopped halfway through a listing presentation, and they just say, 'Look. We just want to know what kind of video should we do here?'" The videos therefore also create a collaborative relationship with the vendor. Brent says, “Future vendors see the ones we’re doing and think, 'Oh actually that would be really good, and that would be really great on our property'. So it gets them involved in the process as well. I find in a lot of cases with a lot of agents, what ends up happening is they dictate how the process should go, where for me it’s more about you’re putting your heads together and making it work as a team.”

The videos usually take an hour to film and are shot and edited by a professional production company - Marshall Masters. Inspiration for each video is spontaneous. Brent says, “What I’m finding is people actually want more raw than they do scripted. People don’t want to see perfect anymore, especially in videos."

Brent of course, understands the power of funny – he knows that if it is done right, it also helps to create credibility. He is also aware however, that funny has to be mixed with an ability to sell and negotiate. He wants all his abilities to be understood as his story. He says, “I look at a video as a trailer to the property. So, from my point of view, it’s about having trigger points with your clients, so with your buyer, with your customer, whoever it is, you want them to find some form of trigger point to come and see the property. So, if you look at a movie, for example, you don’t usually go to a movie now without watching the trailer. So I now think of it as a trailer to the property. So one, it’s a benefit to the vendor. Two, it’s a benefit for us, because once again, it breaks through that barrier of trust where you’re not the dodgy agent trying to sell them the house anymore, but you’re actually the really nice guy, or the idiot that was on the scooter. Or you were nice to the kid, or something like that, so it breaks that barrier down of the salesperson, and you become the trusted advisor, which is really important, obviously, when it comes to the transactional side of it."

As he has become more experienced in crafting his sales pitch through video, Brent is becoming more conscious of wanting to create videos that benefit his buyers and sellers. Each video is now crafted with a structure and method to capture maximum interest. He explains, “Before it was about the goofy videos, and enjoying this. And don’t get me wrong, we want to keep on that. But now I think it’s more about the education with the videos, and the hot tips, and making sure that you are actually giving information out, as opposed to just kind of splattering it out there, and kind of hoping that it works. It’s about putting a structure in place now, I think, and making sure that those videos are run out in the correct way, so that this benefits our buyers and sellers."

Lights, camera – ACTION. Tell your story.

If you’d like to check out some of Brent’s fine work, visit the Brent Bastin Real Estate Youtube Channel.


Other Real Estate Video Stars

CHRISTIAN BARTLEY Bellarine Property

Youtube Channel - Bellarine Property

  • Uploaded to YouTube - Selling the heart of the area; the locals and the lifestyle.

DAVID HIGHLAND Highland Property Agents

Youtube Channel - Highland Property Agents

  • Number nine agent in Australia in recent REB awards.
  • Highlights the local area and sense of community.


Youtube Channel - James and Francesca Nicol


  • Uses humour but while delivering market results

NATALIE DOWNTON Downton Property

Youtube Channel - Natalie Downton

  • Famous carpool karaoke

Top Eight Video Tips

  1. Google owns YouTube, so video content hosted on YouTube therefore ranks well on Google. One of the best ways to capture search traffic from YouTube is to create videos around topics people are searching for or talking about, from viral phenomena to commonly asked questions.
  2. The research shows that you don’t have to have high production values in your videos. You just need to provide helpful or emotionally engaging and funny content.
  3. If you need help – call in the professionals.
  4. Make sure your video has subtitles if you are sharing on Facebook. Users are very likely to watch with the sound off.
  5. Focus on creating a response, not just content, on building trust, not just traffic and creating a product that people will share.
  6. Sell your community and neighbourhood - people don’t just buy a house. Showcase and interview the owners of the best cafes in your patch. Share the best place to swim or walk the dog.
  7. Think of yourself as more of a teacher and educator than a salesperson. Be more human, humble and helpful.
  8. Add videos to your emails. Video is engaging and entertaining. According to Campaign Monitor, including video in an email can lead to open rate increases of 19% and click-through rate increases upwards of 50%!

How to create a sense of credibility


  • BE MODEST - UNDERSTATED - let the audience come to a conclusion about you based on what you say and how you present yourself. Don’t tell them how great you are.
  • STATE THE OPPOSING ARGUMENT as that will make you appear fair and reasonable. Present yourself as balanced, informed and willing to listen to/acknowledge that there are more sides to an issue than yours.
  • USE INCLUSIVE PRONOUNS - such as we, you, us - we all want the same thing - don’t we?
  • DECLARE YOUR SPECIAL INTEREST - if you have one. This makes you present as honest and trustworthy.
  • SPEAK IN DETAIL about important ideas or events as this makes you appear honest and reliable.





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