If there is one thing I have consistently heard from agents over the last few years it’s that they want to use video in their online marketing but they don’t know how to get started. They understand that buyers expect to find quality video content when looking for a home online, that sellers appreciate when an agent incorporates video into their marketing plan, and that posting videos online can improve an agent’s search engine optimization (SEO).

Earlier this year, Digital House Hunt, a joint report by the National Association of Realtors and Google, found:

  • 86 percent of home shoppers use video to find out more about a specific community.
  • New-home buyers place an emphasis on virtual tours and videos showcasing properties and communities.
  • Finding an agent and agent-related searches on YouTube grew 46 percent from 2011 to 2012.

So the concept of using video in marketing isn’t difficult to sell, but getting started is another story. To make it a little easier, let’s break it down into four steps:

  1. Choose a topic:
    1. Agent profile videos — This is a great way to introduce yourself to a wider audience in a more personal way. Be sure to keep it client-centric, focusing on what you will do better than the next agent.
    2. Listing videos — More than a standard slideshow, live videos give potential buyers a moving tour through a home before they visit. This can be as simple as a three-minute walk-through.
    3. Community videos — These hyperlocal videos introduce buyers to prospective towns and neighborhoods and showcase you as the expert on the local market.
    4. Client testimonial videos — Let your clients do your promoting for you! Consider filming testimonials at the happiest part of the transaction: the close of escrow signing.
  2. Choose a camera — This can be a full-fledged video camcorder, a small pocket cam like the Sony Bloggie or Kodak Playfull, or easier yet, the smartphone you likely already have.
  3. Edit your video — This might be the most complicated part of the video process, so I suggest keeping it simple by using either iMovie, which is likely already on your Mac, or Windows (Live) Movie Maker, which is free to download on a PC.
  4. Share, share, share — This is the most important part. Create a YouTube channel to house your videos, then use those links to post the videos to your website and social media sites. Take the extra step of transcribing your videos and post them on your YouTube page. That will help search engines like Google identify the content and match it with search queries.

As time goes on and you shoot more videos, you’ll begin generating more ideas, feeling more comfortable in front of the camera and seeing more hits to your YouTube channel — boosting your SEO and, ultimately, your business.

While others looking at shiny new objects like Snapchat and Instagram, like they did with Google Plus, double down on video if it is helping you.

Kacie Ricker is the regional vice president for Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage’s Western Region. She can be reached at kacie.ricker@cbnorcal.com.

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