Sony DCR PC100E Video Camera Image by zcreem via Flickr

[Ed. note: The Real Estate Internet Marketing blog welcomes a new voice to the blog, our intern Tom Cull. We think you’ll enjoy his perspective and experience working with video in this and other posts.] Remember when “Video killed the Radio Star“? According to The Pew Internet & American Life Project, almost 15% of all web traffic comes from You Tube and other video-sharing platforms.Couple that with Google’s increasing ability to index video into top search results and using video becomes a key component. Many small businesses are jumping on this bandwagon as people are becoming more accustomed and willing to watching video online as they are to read text, especially with advertising. Using platforms like YouTube also saves on storage and bandwidth costs with great distribution possibilities from social networking. But a caveat, large or small it is important to follow some basic rules of online video to communicate your message effectively and not turn off the viewer:

  • Keep it short
  • Have a loose script
  • Make it work with the sound off as you never know what noisy cafe or airport the viewer may be watching it in
  • Consider a pro. There are plenty of sites out there that can also connect businesses with established videographers if you do want a professional job done.

So how do Realtors benefit from using online video?

Realtors would be wise to consider every tool available to them online and video has many advantages that text and two dimensional images cannot convey. For instance, a video tour can tell the story of a house more effectively than static pictures and the prospective buyer can instantly feel more knowledgeable from the get-go. Skip from room to room with chapters and the viewer can spend as much or as little time as they want checking out the house. The buyer and seller can save gas and time setting up a viewing only to discover immediately that it is not the place for them, without going through the motions with a Realtor on-site. The viewer can see and hear who they might be doing business with before getting too involved. Unfortunately the Realtor can’t do the same! For Realtors, a house through the lens of a camera (especially a wide angle lens on a sunny day!) can bring the property alive and capture its best qualities that people can revisit over and over again. This really benefits houses with longer sales cycles perhaps on the pricier end where the discerning buyer will take a long look before considering it. Online video also provides real estate professionals with opportunities to answer questions about the property and, through the power of analytics, to learn from customers about what they are looking for. Another great way online video can be utilized is with Open House viewings. With live streaming for example, the real estate professionals can save buyers money and field questions using embedded chats through social media sites such as Twitter. A site like www.ustream.tv could also provide this. Good video content effectively communicated and distributed, can provide a great dynamic element to a Realtor’s business. In turn this can bring more traffic to your site and with luck yield more sales conversions without having to be particularly pushy to buyers. As Marshall McLuhan once famously said, “the medium is the message” and video is looking good.