Are you still stuck in "E" rather than moving forward into "V"?
If so, it’s time to shift from email, e-cards, email newsletters, blogs, and auto-responders to the next generation of communication: vmail, vcards, vresponders, viewsletters, and vlogs.
I recently spoke with Roger Noujeim of ListedBy.com about his take on the latest trends. He noted that ListedBy clients who use video to promote their listings generate significantly more traffic than those who don’t.
He also noted that there are 700 videos posted on Twitter every minute. Noujeim described this trend as going from "E" to "V." In fact, Cisco projects that 90 percent of all Web traffic in 2014 will be devoted to video. If you haven’t jumped on the video bandwagon, here’s how to get started.
From email to vmail
People retain 10 percent of what they hear and 15 percent of what they see. The average person spends about eight seconds viewing a text message. In contrast, video email is viewed on average to 85 percent completion. Consequently, to get better results from your email communication, shift from regular email and text messaging to vmails.
Vmails garner greater attention because they are more personally compelling. For example, instead of sending past clients postcards, send them a video message wishing them a happy birthday, update your current sellers with buyer feedback about their home, or review next week’s marketing plan.
An easy way to begin is with the free service from Eyejot.com. Eyejot allows you to connect in a "self-contained, spam-free environment." It works on any platform, including mobile devices.
With Eyejot, there is no software to download or install. Just log in to your account, record or upload your video, and send. The recipient gets a friendly email message telling them they have a new video message, and they can watch it with a single click. You can use Eyejot to send "vcards" rather than a traditional business card as well.
Vresponders and viewsletters
Once upon a time, auto-responders seemed like a good idea. Most people today, however, feel they are canned and impersonal. Furthermore, auto-responders are a great way for spammers to discover whether your email address is valid.
In contrast, a video response, even if it is canned, seems more personal. Instead of telling people in text that you are out of the office, you can use your vresponder to create a more personalized message thanking them for contacting you and informing them that you are eager to be back in contact with them as soon as possible.
There are two solutions that provide a glimpse of where real estate video communication is heading in the future. Iwowwe.com and Talk Fusion have very slick applications that allow you to send vmails, conduct video-conferencing, as well as use video-autoresponders. Like Eyejot, Iwowwe provides a free video email service.
Both Iwowwe and Talk Fusion provide a suite of video communication and marketing products. (Iwowwe is $20.00 per month and TalkFusion, which offers a larger suite of products, is $35.00 per month plus a set-up fee.)
What I found particularly intriguing is the notion of having a "viewsletter." This is a very attractive newsletter format that has at least one, and sometimes two, windows where you can upload video. The video plays within the viewsletter in a format that is reminiscent of the "Daily Prophet" in the Harry Potter movies. Imagine how much more powerful it would be to offer a "viewsletter" to the people you meet as opposed to an email or traditional print newsletter.
There are hundreds of ways agents can use this tool to market their businesses. For example, you could use the video to update your community in terms of the prices, market conditions, or anything else that has to do with the real estate market.
You could also use it to share the local lifestyle or special events in your area. Interview the basketball coach about the upcoming game, capture images from the blizzard that buried everything in white, or record fun things that make living in your area great.
How long does it take you to write 160 words? Did you know that you can create a 160 word vlog (video blog) in just one short minute? Blogging has always been a chore, even when you’re a good writer. "Writer’s block" is a real issue for professional writers and even more so for agents.
In contrast, most agents are good at talking. You can now create a "vlog" simply by posting to your own blog site, or if you don’t want to deal with the hassle, set up a Facebook business page where you post your videos. A vlog can be an alternative to a video newsletter or a supplement to it as well.
The smart move is to start looking at ways to employ video in your business. We know Google loves video (it owns YouTube) and ranks sites that have video more highly. The real estate business is definitely heading in this direction. The sooner you begin using video in your business, the greater your advantage over other agents will be.