“Luxury Upgrades” video from MarketVideos.com

How often do your past clients call when they’re ready to buy or sell a home? I’m betting it’s not as often as you’d like. You’re not alone. According to the National Association of Realtors, over 80 percent of recent homebuyers say they would use their agent again. Yet, in spite of these good intentions, more than 70 percent can’t recall their agent’s name within a year of closing.

As I travel the country speaking at various conferences, I always make a point to ask, “How many of you maintain a past customer database?” Less than 25 percent raise their hand. Of those who do, most admit they don’t have a consistent stay-in-touch program in place.

That’s one missed opportunity, and here’s another: They don’t segment their database according to each client’s position in the homebuying lifecycle. It doesn’t make sense. Sending new market listings to someone you closed six months ago won’t achieve the same results as it would with a family who bought their home seven years ago.

When you use your database strategically, you can you stay front of mind and create those elusive “customers for life” everyone talks about. What’s the magic bullet? Provide them with they want — high-quality information relevant to their lives — right now.

For example, when you review our video titles it’s clear we’ve crafted the information to target specific stages in the homebuying lifecycle: 1) Benefits and Versatility of Glass Tile; 2) Design Tips to Liven Your Laundry Room; 3) Understanding the Mortgage Fine Print; 4) Preparing for a Last Minute Viewing.

This type of content, personally branded, establishes you as a knowledgeable local resource in touch with your client’s needs. Our in-house analysis indicates these videos successfully build client loyalty, and generate social media engagement within your sphere of influence and theirs long after you hand over the keys to their new home.

These days, integrating video content into your website is no longer the exception to the rule, but rather the expectation. It’s a must-have. Recent studies show that Web pages with properly implemented video are up to 53 times more likely to generate first-page Google ranking over Web pages without video. Once these video thumbnails appear on Google, they experience a 41 percent higher click-through rate.

The video thumbnail will take them to your website, where they will stay approximately six times longer to watch the video. This is six times the opportunity for you to capture them as a lead. This expanded opportunity is also where the return on investment in video is found, assuming you are doing your job correctly.

If you’re still not convinced your market prefers video, here’s an example closer to home. When we advertised our new real estate turnkey video solution for agents, MarketVideos.com, we started with a standard Facebook display ad. When we changed the image to include a video player, our click-through rate more than doubled.

This begs the question: If the latest research proves video has already become a strong driver of lead capture, why is it that only 5 percent of real estate agents use video content in their marketing? The simple answer: Most agents believe high-quality video is way beyond their budget. In the coming weeks, I’ll be discussing why this perception is no longer the reality.

Stephen Schweickart is the founder and CEO of VScreen, the nation’s leading video services company within the real estate industry.

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