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Video In Real Estate

March 20 2014

video camera womanVideo has become the technology du jour in real estate. At the Century 21 annual convention last week, I counted about 4 or 5 video solutions and only one website solution (the Century 21 broker and agent solution offered by their partner, Market Leader). It is a telling story.

I would like to think that there is more of a story behind "who" is at a convention like the Century 21 convention. Clearly the most prominent companies are the ones that have a formal relationship with the brand. Behind that are the hunters – those solution providers who have paid for the privilege of being able to hunt at the convention. Beyond that, you have the poachers – the companies who do business with Century 21 agents and brokers, but do not have any marketing relationship with the brand. You find them in the lobby having unsanctioned meetings.

So, why all the fuss with video?

The numbers tell a big part of the story. Video is the fastest growing this or that. Consumers prefer video over this or that. Video is simply better at telling stories. Video provides great search engine optimization...yadda, yadda.

All of this is true, although it may be a bit overstated in terms of its effectiveness. Nobody has ever actually proven these claims for the real estate industry in any great detail. Sounds like a future WAV Group study. The reality is that the claims are believable enough.

What is the mobile video story?

Perhaps the last horizon of video for real estate is the mobile story. The number one source of video is television. The number two is desktop. The number three is mobile.

Here is the strange one: Video for television is the most expensive to produce. Video for mobile is the second most expensive. Video for desktop is third. When we look at video on mobile, we are always shocked to see that it is a premium to a desktop-only solution. What is confusing about this is that the cost of streaming the video to the desktop is more expensive (higher resolution file) than on mobile (lower resolution file).

In summary, all of your virtual tours should be converted into video today. Publish them to YouTube and syndicate the links with the other components of the listing wherever they are displayed online. Also, be sure to explore neighborhood videos, agent and firm profile videos, and market videos.

Think beyond the listing video. You will be glad you did. And, by the way, test them on iPads and iPhones. If they work there, they will work everywhere.