Editor’s note: This is the first of a three-part series on video creation tools for Realtors.

I’ve spent the last three days playing around with various video creation tools looking for simple solutions that Realtors can use without a lot of effort. Making effective videos can be very simple or extremely complex. The question is which approach is right for your business?

By 2014, most experts are predicting that 90 percent of the all web traffic will be devoted to video. YouTube alone garners 4 billion video views every day with the average viewer staying online for 26 minutes. The bottom line is that using video to market your listings is rapidly becoming as important as having photos on the MLS.

On a recent webinar, James Wedmore cited the results of a 1,000 agent poll he conducted regarding how real estate agents use video themselves. Wedmore asked the following questions:

“Have you seen a YouTube video in the past seven days?”

Eighty-two percent of the agents responded with a “Yes.”

The next question he asked was, “Have you UPLOADED a YouTube video in the last 7 days?”

Only 11 percent of the agents said, “Yes.”

Clearly, the opportunity for using video in your business is huge. More importantly, it can provide you with a clear-cut advantage over your competitors. If you’re still struggling with pulling the trigger on using video, below you’ll find some solutions that may compel you to try it out.

In previous columns I’ve discussed what a number of video experts recommend in terms of shooting your own videos. The choices available are overwhelming. Having said that, here are some of the places where you can use photos from your mobile to make a simple listing video.


This iPhone app is very easy to use. Best of all, it only took me about ten minutes from the time I went to the app store, downloaded the app, and made my first video. (Please note, this was not an actual video, but a slide show with music that looks like a video, much like many of the virtual tour companies provide.)

To create your video, begin by choosing 5-10 photos that you would like to use. You then upload the photos to the app. Ptch allows you to annotate the photos with 2-5 word captions.

Once you add the captions, pick out music that you like from the Ptch library. (I didn’t observe a way to do a voiceover unless you uploaded a video that already had the voice track on it.) Once you choose your music or voice track, Ptch works its magic and you have a video. Ptch also allows you to upload your videos into their system as well.

Once your video is complete, Ptch provides you with an email link that you can use on the social media, in your email, or just about anywhere else. The app is free and there is a 60-second limit on the length of the video. The length is determined by how many pictures/video clips you upload.

If you want to wow sellers on a listing appointment, take pictures of several of the rooms in their house. Upload the brief captions into Ptch, and have the sellers choose the music they like. You will have a video to show them in just minutes. This is a simple way to standout from the competition.


Animoto has been around for several years. It’s more complicated than Ptch, but not my much. To use Animoto, begin by selecting one of their templates. I found most of their animated templates to be highly distracting when you played back the completed product. This was true, even for the Pro product. There was so much going on with the background animation that the photos and the videos became secondary to what was happening in the Animoto template.

The old standbys

When I was reviewing some of the options with our GM, she pointed out that it would perhaps be easier for me to use Keynote or PowerPoint with a voiceover and then upload it to YouTube.

The beauty of using Keynote is that you can also select any of the music from your iTunes library to back it up. If you don’t have tunes that you would like to use, you can locate additional tunes at PremiumBeat.com and Pond5.com.

The challenge with using Keynote or PowerPoint is that for each slide, you have to build the slide, choose the animation, and then put the timing in.

If you have ever built out PowerPoint or Keynote Slides, you know this can take some time to do. Ptch was much faster, but it didn’t have all the flexibility that you could create using Keynote or Power Point. Most users who have tried both systems, say that Keynote is much easier to use than PowerPoint and produces a much higher quality product.

In addition to Ptch and Animoto, YouTube has a slick tool to help you create video from the YouTube site. See Part 2 to learn more.

Bernice Ross, CEO of RealEstateCoach.com, is a national speaker, trainer and author of the National Association of Realtors’ No. 1 best-seller, “Real Estate Dough: Your Recipe for Real Estate Success.” Hear Bernice’s five-minute daily real estate show, just named “new and notable” by iTunes, at www.RealEstateCoachRadio.com. You can contact her at Bernice@RealEstateCoach.com or @BRoss on Twitter.


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