The booming consumer appetite for YouTube videos brings myriad good news for real estate agents and brokerages, especially since it is the second most used search engine on the planet behind Google.
But, before you grab a camera and set up a tripod, let’s talk about which type of video gives the best bang for your buck. Frankly, this is where many agents go astray. Some are under the impression a homebuyer’s top priority is to learn about an agent’s experience or the history of their company. While “About Me” videos play a role in the overall decision of whom to work with, there are three other video types that outrank them in the top 5, which are as follows:
1. Community/market-based videos (86 percent of online house hunters watch videos to learn about a specific community). Location. Location. Location. It’s still the buyer’s top priority. How’s the local market? What’s the area like? How does the school district rank among others in the state? Are there a variety of cultural activities available? Are shopping and restaurants within a short drive away? How about parks, recreation and public transportation? The list goes on. When you’re the only company in your area providing this type of video, you jump to the head of the pack.
2. Listing videos (70 percent of homebuyers watch video home tours). Proper staging and quality photography help showcase the property to potential buyers. Use props like a stack of fresh towels by the pool or a glass of wine with a cheese board in the kitchen to tell the story of what it is like to live in the home, and add mapping and point out features that make this home unique. Using video builds excitement and anticipation because it engages through sight and sound. When animated graphics or moving images are combined with the human voice, our brains retain it much longer than text.
3. “How-to”/informative videos (54 percent watch video to gather information about the buying and selling process). Unless you’re looking for Lady Gaga, some trending viral video or cute kittens, one of the most commonly overlooked YouTube search terms is “how to.” With that in mind, buyers and sellers crave tips that help them gain leverage. How to prequalify for a mortgage and negotiate a purchase price. How to improve curb appeal and stage a home for showings. How to choose a home inspector. The topics are endless. Even better, these evergreen videos establish you as a local expert they can trust.
4. Testimonial videos (30 percent watch video testimonials). Of course, testimonials have always served to raise your credibility without tooting your own horn. Video testimonials bring it to another level. Watching happy, satisfied homeowners wax on about their agent’s awesomeness will always leave a more powerful, memorable impression.
5. “About Me” & “About Us” videos (25 percent watch “About Us” company and agent profile videos). There’s a reason this ranks in at No. five. Once you’ve established yourself as a go-to source for the information they want, through the video platform they love, potential clients already feel good about you.
More good news — you already know how to market, because you’re a professional real estate agent. Clients’ needs haven’t changed. The only thing that has changed is the way they gather information. People still want to know about where they’re going to live before they want to know what they’re going to live in. If you’re going to invest in online video, start by casting the widest net … community videos are what they are most interested in. When done well, the agents and companies who master the top 5 will take more than their fair share of the business.
Online video. It’s here to stay. Get used to it, or get left behind.
Source: Statistics are from “The Digital House Hunt: Consumer and Market Trends in Real Estate,” a joint study from the National Association of Realtors and Google.
Stephen Schweickart is the founder and CEO of VScreen, the nation’s leading video services company within the real estate industry.