WellcomeMat, the popular real estate video hosting site, has undergone a fairly extensive facelift – and they are now taking the service in a totally different direction.

The new Mat is carrying on the trend to ditch the maps (Real Estate Search Tit for Tat) — if you remember, the original site was designed as a consumer search tool to find real estate videos — and has introduced a number of social features designed for real estate professionals to connect with and get the experience they need from their peers. The goal is to help them improve their workflow so that they can more easily get up and running producing real estate video.

The site borrows liberally from social networks like Facebook, but this is not necessarily a bad thing. With WellcomeMat’s Activity Feed can see what your connections are doing across the site. You can create networks of different users so groups of agents in a single sales office could potentially combine their efforts to create a deeper local real estate channel.

Of course, the heart of WellcomeMat is still the video hosting and streaming service. In the My Channel section of the site you’ll find the link to upload your own video, as well as a listing of all your active videos. Clicking on an active video gives you the necessary embed code for your videos.

As you can see, WellcomeMat has also launched its new player with this release.

And while there are a lot of neat new features (cuepoints float on the video rather than take up space below the player) it honestly caused a few headaches for me, since the new player is so much bigger than the last one. Luckily you can still find the legacy code for the old players if your site’s design (like mine) can’t accommodate the new player’s dimensions.

Also, if you’ve uploaded video with the earlier smaller dimensions – you’ll see black bars around it during the playback, which I didn’t like very much (you can however expand the video to get rid of them).

Granted, this is still in Beta and there are bound to be kinks in a release this big. And WellcomeMat promises they will be rolling out many new options in the months to come, including new widgets to help you publish your videos anywhere you want.

WellcomeMat continues to be one of my favorite hosts for anyone considering dabbling in real estate video. This release has gone a step further to really drill down and tackle what’s the heart of the issue with real estate video right now; adoption rates. By providing more of a platform for people to interact and find support, hopefully more agents will begin to experiment with video.

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