I know what you're thinking...that's cuz I'm psychic. Well, not really psychic but empathetic. You see, I once walked in your commission-paid-for shoes so we share the same hopes and fears. You think that I can't be objective because I sell videos. Well...that's true but I sincerely believe that, while video killed the radio star, it can save the real estate agent. That's why I got into this business. Here's why:

#1 Buyers Do Video (and your competitors don't)
Video is one of those new-ish technologies that has yet to see a serious breakthru in the real estate industry for a variety of reasons: complex technology, cost and fear of being on camera are the top 'nos' I have heard. But the truth is that the technology has never been cheaper or easier to use. For less than $250, you can buy an HD-quality video camera that fits into your pocket and autoloads to Youtube and other sites. And the higher-end cameras and editing software have gotten cheaper and easier to use as well giving your local videographer the ability to charge you lower prices. I am able to deliver a $200 video but only on Thursdays.

And consider this - less than 8% of your competitors are doing video while 65% of Americans over 35 are watching video and 30% are sharing them with friends. Do you know what that means? If you are up against 10 other agents for a listing, less than one of them is doing video. But 65% of buyers (and your prospective sellers) watch videos on the Internet. Every agent I have talked to gets positive, often surprised, reactions from sellers when they show them how they are going to market their properties using video.

Oh, and by the way, have you seen some of the real estate videos out there? The overall production quality is still quite low so it doesn't take a super-polished video to be effective. Think you won't look good or come off professional on video? Videos that are a little more down-to-earth often get better results than the corporate-tasting videos. You see this all the time on YouTube where some kid sings in front of his webcam and a million people come to watch. Coldwell Banker has done a good job of balancing production value with interesting content.

#2 Distribution, Distribution, Distribution
More importantly, video reaches significantly more buyers than photos and text alone. Distribution is king and many buyers are searching and watching real estate videos on YouTube (#1 U.S.) and Daily Motion (#1 Europe). In addition to increased traffic to their websites, my real estate clients have reported: Sunday open house appearances, calls and emails from relocating buyers and my favorite, increased referrals from friends and local business people.

And this is why a seller should hire an agent who does video - not just because your home will reach buyers cruising YouTube, Yahoo and Aol - but also because an agent who reaches out to the right buyers at the right time is an agent who is more likely to employ this strategy throughout the marketing of your home. In fact, many sellers choose video agents without even knowing why. This is exactly what Malcolm Gladwell is talking about when he describes 'thin-slicing' in his bestseller Blink.

#3 Search Engine Love
You need content for for the search engines. Each time you post a piece of content that gets indexed by Google, it's like buying a lottery ticket. The more you buy, the more chances you have to win. And when you choose local keywords to tag your video, it's more like buying a raffle ticket from the fire station down the street...your chances of winning go up dramatically because there are less tickets being sold (and more prizes).

Blogging is great but over 20% of agents do this and it is getting tougher to stand out in search engine results (but I still recommend doing it). But video gets special treatment by sites like Google which likes to display photos, videos, news, weather and stock reports in their Universal Search Results. And it is still pretty easy to find the first page in video search engine results. Type in "Danville California" into YouTube and you just might find this video:

#4 Re-energize Your Marketing

Video is like a swiss-army knife...there are a hundred different ways you can repackage it for use in your marketing program. Are your newsletter click-thru rates low? Try sending your database a video and see if they perk up. Want more referrals? Go interview local business professionals like Atlanta-based real estate agent Dagmar Sands does. She might not get a million hits, but she gets something infinitely more valuable...a local friend whose business she is helping to grow.

That's all I got for tonight. Feel free to look around my real estate video lab for tips on better marketing your real estate business with video. And if you do decide to go video, here are some video and powerpoint presentation aids to help you drive your point...home. Video1 | Video2 | Powerpoint

Eric Robbins
Concierge at MoveVideos.com
Create Video | Rent Video | Learn Video | Green Thursdays

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Comment by Eric Robbins on December 10, 2010 at 2:56pm

I just saw the fastest affirmation for a real estate video ever! Less than a day has passed since we launched the vacation rental video 27 Fresno Street San Francisco and the owner passed on this information to me: "The video is already doing it's magic! Thanks again, Steve." This was in response to a vacation rental request, "Love the video by the way! Please book us in for the 14th to the 18th as mentioned, so we can make arrangements. Cheers, Tom."









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