The Video Gauntlet is Dropped

WellcomeMat, the online video host, laid out an ultimatum this week – effectively banning video slide shows from being hosted on their site.

Their rationale? According to the site, “slide shows and video are not the same things, regardless of the fact that slide shows can be exported/saved into a video format. They are not video…period.”

It’s a bold statement. And one that may rustle some feathers with some of the virtual tour providers out there.

But, underneath the hyperbole, I think the real takeaway here is that the conversation around the use of video in real estate needs to move beyond simply showcasing listings (see Video Isn’t Just About Your Listings).

Thanks to video evangelists like Jeff Turner and Mike Price (whose talk at REBarCamp NYC on Video, Video and More Video! opened more than a few eyes) real estate professionals around the country are seizing on the idea that there are many different ways to integrate video into their businesses (see 72 Hours to Sell a Home).  

In that vein, Ian Watt, the Vancouver-based Realtor profiled in that earlier post, has created a a contest on Strutta.com to help showcase some of these different approaches to video. I think it’s well worth highlighting some of the entries he’s received to date.

Dale Chumbley has gone all out and created a very creative introduction to his service area.

Mike Lefebvre takes a slightly different tack and creates a slightly more ‘traditional’ video advertisement.

The bottom line here is that, semantics aside, slideshow or no, video is an increasingly important tool to add to your marketing mix. Previous barriers to entry like cost and complexity diminish daily it seems and the really exciting thing is that there really still is no “right way to do video.” (Though there are definitely some basic principles you want to keep in mind, see All Aboard the Brandwagon).

Like Ian, Dale and Mike have shown, what’s most important is to engage, experiment and evaluate the medium and more importantly, keep trying new things. 

And if you want to enter Ian’s contest, there’s still two weeks left in the contest if you want to try your hand at a submission. 

For a good example of how a brokerage is using video, check out New York based Halstead Properties who launched their ProperTV channel on their website late last year.