Adding Music to Real Estate Videos and Guidelines to Follow

Music can improve the viewer's experience when it's done right.

Couple using laptop in living room
••• David Lees / Getty Images

More and more real estate professionals are using videos to showcase their listings. It's a trend that doesn't seem like it's going to go away anytime soon, but the question remains: How do you create a video that's impactful and gets the job done without being offensive or irritating to potential clients?

There's a very wide range in the quality of videos out there. Just check out all those available on YouTube. Some are...well, unappealing, particularly those offering home tours.

You're not doing yourself, the property, or your sales efforts any favors if your video doesn't show well. In fact, a poor video might be seen as a negative by prospective buyers. A brochure or web page can be more effective if you don't have the patience or the motivation to produce a video and to do it right.

"Patience" and "motivation" are the key words here. You can learn what you need to know about producing one with a little guidance. Just approach it as you would any other new challenge, keeping in mind that your sales depend on it to some extent. Here are a few things to keep in mind. 

Videos You Can Do Yourself

You don't have to produce a Hollywood-quality video, and although it can be easier and more time-efficient to hire a professional, it's not really necessary. Today's technology makes it easy to produce a very acceptable video of a home tour.

You can use still photos with Windows Movie Maker, or you can use a camera like The Flip and do a moving video. Home tours using a high-end Canon digital and wide angle lens can be effective, too, but The Flip is great for capturing local color and nature. 

Voice or Music?

Background music improves the viewer's experience, and some videos don't need any voice on the soundtrack at all. This particularly true if you—or whoever is doing the voice-over—has a distinctive regional accent, such as from Texas, the Bronx, or Boston. 

Text cues of the home's features can work as well, as if not better than, talking. If you're using them rather than voice-overs, or in the case of nature or outdoor videos, a subtle music track at low volume can be perfect.

Choosing the Right Music 

Look for music that's simple, engaging, and sets a warm, relaxed tone. You want it to engage the listener but not overpower him. Instrumentals tend to work better — again, you're getting away from voices and dialogue.

You don't need easily recognizable artists or popular tunes, and you don't necessarily want the viewer to start singing or humming along. You want him to pay attention to what you're showing him. Vocals can shift the viewer's attention from the real estate to the music. You're not throwing a party. You want to create a mood that focuses on the property, one that personalizes it. 

Royalty-Free Music

It's obviously important to handle all this within the letter of the law. You'll need royalty-free music, or your video could easily end up costing you more than you might earn selling the property.

Several online sources offer royalty-free music for purchase. What does royalty-free mean and why would you have to buy it if it's free? The music itself isn't free—there's an upfront charge—but you don't have to keep pay ongoing royalties to the artist after you buy the song. You purchase it once, and you can then use it over and over in your videos, as well as on your websites or blogs. If it were not royalty-free, you could potentially pay a fee every time anyone logged onto your site and clicked on your video to open and hear it. allows you to download a single song or even an entire album, and the downloads are easy to accomplish in .wav or .mp3 formats. You can then just drag that music track into a video in The Flip software or Windows Movie Maker. It's an affordable solution for real estate video music at about $1 per minute of music or less.