Ready or not, here comes Facebook video chat

Some say new features could prove useful for real estate agents

Facebook’s announcement that it’s partnered with Skype to bring video chat to the social network may have left some commentators feeling underwhelmed, but some tech-savvy real estate agents and brokers seem ready to make the most of the new capability.

"Video chat has been around for years now, but it’s still not an everyday activity for most people," Facebook engineer Philip Su acknowledged in a blog post today. "Sometimes it’s too difficult to set up, or the friends you want to talk to are on different services."

Facebook chat doesn’t require a separate account, meaning the company’s claim that it’s bringing video chat capabilities to more than 750 million people may be only slightly overblown (Although Su said Facebook will make video chat available in more than 70 languages, users without webcams or some kind of audio/visual interface won’t be able to participate).

Russell Haskins, integrated marketing specialist for Homes & Land Media, says a Facebook presence is a must for agents who want to convince younger clients of their online marketing prowess, and that Facebook video chats will become a powerful tool for landing new clients.