Using Video in Your Real Estate Marketing

So HD video might not be in your gameplan yet (see The Power of HD Video) – but video surely is coming.

I’ve been talking to Realtors and Brokers all over the country this year who are using video successfully in meeting and servicing buyers’ need and helping sellers market their homes (see Century 21 Puts Open Houses in Youtube).

And it seems large brokers are catching on and building video into their marketing plans too; just this week I saw a press release that East Coast brokerage Weichert, Realtors had announced a deal with Turnhere to add online video home tours to their website.

I wanted to probe a little deeper so I asked Morgan Brown, fellow Blogger and newly minted Marketing Director at Turnhere to answer a few questions about video.

How can real estate professionals use video in their marketing?

With such a large percentage of home owners starting their search for property online, using video in online listings is the first thing that comes to mind. Pictures are nice and descriptions are helpful, but there is no substitute to video for giving a user a firsthand experience of the property with a well-done video home tour. In addition to using video to highlight listings it can also be used to showcase neighborhood attributes and provide a profile of your business and team.

For example if you are a Realtor in the East Bay of California you can use video to highlight the quaint neighborhood of Rockridge and its beloved walking streets lined with local restaurants and shops. This content is ‘evergreen’ and helps people evaluating your listings get a true sense of the surrounding area.

Is appropriate for every listing?

I can’t think of a listing where it isn’t appropriate. Even properties that don’t have the most curb appeal can benefit from a video by capturing the attention of just the right buyer. Listings that are moving fast already and perhaps properties that rely less on online research for sales are exceptions to that statement.

Videos too expensive for most Realtors, right?

Professional video production is totally affordable for nearly all marketing budgets. Compared to traditional marketing channels it’s a bargain. It’s much cheaper than print materials, flyers, radio, TV, outdoor (bench and billboard) and other marketing vehicles.

What makes a good web video?

I think there is a big misconception out there that it is easy to make a good video. The fact is making good video that is compelling, authentic and relevant to the viewer is difficult. To wit, of the millions of videos watched on YouTube each day the average view time is less than 10 seconds. This is a direct result of most video not meeting the needs of the viewer.

When the viewer gives you permission to talk to them by clicking play you have to deliver, and deliver right away. To make good video for the Web (which is much different than traditional broadcast video advertising i.e. a :30 second TV spot) it needs to focus on three key things: authenticity, delivering a compelling message, production quality which makes it enjoyable to watch and drives action.

Bottom line is that web viewers have near-infinite choice for their attention and are typically skeptical. This means that your message has to be compelling, relevant and real. Over-produced sales pitches or videos that don’t meet the viewer needs are big turn-offs online.

What are some ways you can leverage the video content you create?

The nice part about video is that it’s a highly portable piece of content so you should look to get it out on the Web to get as many eyeballs to it as possible. Using a smart distribution strategy can put you in front of the right people at the right time. Whether it’s putting your video up on YouTube, Facebook, Active Rain or making it shareable via email and embeddable in a widget the idea is to get your video out there to where the viewers are.

Can you give us some examples of some of your favorite videos on the web? (Not those kind of videos…)

My favorite videos are ones that are compelling and interesting. They take a piece of everyday life and show it to you in a different way. I love to see the stuff that you don’t get every day in mainstream media. Show me the true character of a city by doing a tour of all the BBQ joints in town or show me the kitchen of the hotel that cranks out 1,000 four-star meals a day. Give me a clip of the author talking about why they wrote their new book. One of my favorite videos is the author David McCollough talking about how Washington escaped from the Red Coats at the site of the Brooklyn bridge – amazing insight that I would never get. I also love the videos of Mentos and Diet Coke so it goes both ways. Videos that give me a unique, authentic perspective on life are the ones that I love.

(Full Disclosure: Turnhere is owned by Inman News Publisher Bradley Inman)