A Web site that is a mashup of real estate video content and Google interactive mapping tools has a catchy name that is also a mashup:
A Web site that is a mashup of real estate video content and Google interactive mapping tools has a catchy name that is also a mashup:GooTube.net.
The site was developed by Philippines resident Roldan A. Aquino as a Google Maps and YouTube mashup and has since evolved as a free upload platform for real estate videos. In addition to the videos and maps, the site also features text descriptions of properties, including for-sale prices and Zillow value estimates. Real estate categories include homes for sale, rental apartments, vacation rentals, commercial space, and off-topic “just for fun” videos.
Video and mapping are hot properties in the real estate world these days, as real estate professionals are increasingly incorporating multimedia content to draw more consumers to their Web sites.
Research and consulting company Borrell Associates, in a February report on local online video advertising, reported that with the national real estate market cooling down, “more agents are turning to the Web as a means of delivering more value to their main clients — the sellers. Home tours abound on the Internet, and the cost of getting one produced is low with the glut of videographers in most markets.”
The report also noted that the market for online advertising by locally owned businesses “was dominated by real estate, health, high-tech and automotive” companies in 2006. “These categories comprised half of all online ad spending by local businesses.” And online video advertising “could be the perfect showcase and branding opportunity for agents — less expensive than broadcast TV, but more effective than a color picture of themselves in a local homes magazine or the newspaper,” the Borrell report stated.
The GooTube.net name alone is drawing a fair amount of traffic to the site, Aquino told Inman News in an e-mail interview. And that’s not a big surprise — Google announced in October that it would acquire user-generated video site YouTube in a deal worth about $1.65 billion. He said he doesn’t mind the Web visitors but hopes the site will attract people with its content — not just the name.
“For some reason, a lot of people are searching the name ‘GooTube’ on search engines,” Aquino said. “It draws traffic to the site but I also want GooTube to be known because of its own merits. I want GooTube to be known as the video site that hosts virtual tours and local videos that never took off on cable for free.” GooTube.net is not to be confused with GooTube.com, which is in no way affiliated with Aquino’s real estate video site.
The site is free to use and features Google AdWords advertising and banner ads. The site features numerous videos created by The Real Estate Home Show, a company that produces and markets individual property videos for agents and also produces a national television program, as well as other video content.
A search tool at GooTube.net allows users to search for property videos by category, location, keywords and price range.
The entry page at the site features a list of randomly selected videos and a separate list with the latest videos added to the site. Map icons show the location of homes that are featured in the videos. Aquino said that in the future he may add “featured properties” and “featured sellers” advertising options at the site to boost views for those videos.
Among the other features he is hoping to add are video streaming within Google maps, an improved system for commenting on the real estate videos, historical sales and comparable homes data plotted on the Google map, among other enhancements.
Aquino said he has not worked as a real estate professional but he has prior experiencing developing Web sites for real estate companies. The original site was developed about six months ago.
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