Brokerage

YouTube playlists: a cool way to expose listings

Done right, agents could potentially corner their markets

Video has become an integral part of the real estate business. Have you ever considered how you could use this powerful tool over and beyond property tours, self-promotion and sharing the lifestyle in your market area? Are you willing to take the plunge and explore?

According to Alexa.com, YouTube is currently the third most visited site in the world. It ranks second worldwide in terms of average amount of time spent on the site, second only to Facebook. Consumers love video. In fact, they are much more likely to pay attention to your marketing messages when you attach a video. If you would like to reach more consumers and convert more listing appointments into signed listings using YouTube, here’s how to do it:

Imagine that you have five listings in a single market area. You would like to find a way to market all five listings to local residents. The challenge is that you don’t have their email addresses, door knocking is a chore, and using the backs of the brochures to market additional listings works only when someone stops by your brochure box.

You can now market all five listings with a single URL from YouTube. The secret is to set up your own personal YouTube channel. This is a powerful way to stand out from the competition. Furthermore, only a small percentage of agents have made the transition to integrating video into their business. Even fewer have created their own channel, and virtually no one is using the playlist feature as a marketing tool in conjunction with traditional mailing programs.

I discovered the playlist tool on YouTube when I wanted to load 12 excerpts from our new agent training program into a separate YouTube channel. Since I had already set up a YouTube channel with my name, YouTube would not allow me to create another channel, even when I tried using a different email address. I then noticed that YouTube had a feature that allowed me to aggregate multiple videos into a playlist attached to a single URL.

The process was simple. First, create your videos. Second, select the ones you want to include in your playlist. Third, name the playlist. Fourth, upload the videos into the system. YouTube then generates a URL that will allow you to play all the videos from a single link. The feature works the same way you would create a playlist in iTunes.

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So how can you use this approach in your business? First, you must set up your own YouTube channel. If you don’t already have a YouTube channel, you may want to consider setting one up based upon your market area rather than your name. If you spend a number of years developing this out, you will probably have a very valuable asset that you could sell when you leave the business. If you’re like most agents, however, you will probably opt to use your name.

Imagine that you have five listings in a single market area. You would like to find a way to market (these) to local residents. The challenge is that you don't have their email addresses, door knocking is a chore, and using the backs of the brochures to market additional listings works only when someone stops by your brochure box.

The next step is to decide which properties you would like to market. You may choose to have professionally shot videos or fun videos that you shoot with your phone about the lifestyle in the area, or some combination. You then upload them to YouTube. (By the way, this is a simple process if you use a mobile device such as an iPhone, iPad, or Android phone or tablet. All you have to do is to click the YouTube “share” icon and your device will automatically upload the video to your YouTube channel.)

The next step is to add each video to the playlist. YouTube will also ask you to create a name for the list. It could be “Best Condo Buys in Westwood” or “Austin Luxury Estates Fall 2013.”

When you create the list, YouTube generates a single link that you can now use in multiple places. Put it on your website, your blog, each of your single-property websites and on your Facebook business page. You can also use it on Twitter. To shorten the YouTube URL, you can use bit.ly or some other link-shortening tool. (Please note that if you post on Twitter, it will automatically generate a bit.ly URL-shortened link for you.)

Best of all, you now have a powerful way to market these listings through traditional mailing. Place the link on your postcards and/or tie it to a QR code so that people who receive it can scan the code or enter the link on their phones to view the video. Instead of searching for recipes or sending out boring Just Listed and Just Sold cards, you now have a strategy that makes you stand out from the competition.

Moreover, imagine walking into a listing appointment and showing the sellers your video virtual tours for your area as well as a playlist of before-and-after videos of properties that have been staged. This is a great way to show your technological expertise and to convert more listing appointments into signed business.

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.