How to Succeed With Online Real Estate Video

By: Nick Viale

While almost everyone uses online video, many marketing professionals have left this resource untapped in favor of more traditional, time consuming methods. For tech-savvy Realtors it can be a huge opportunity to advertise home listings and services prominently where other marketers have been unsuccessful. With so little competition for a huge viewing audience, Realtors who do produce videos can quickly generate attention, and rank highly in search engines for keywords in their market.

Online real estate video can generally be separated into two categories: podcast content, and promotional content. These categories typically attract different audiences, and can play off one another to produce a well-rounded video marketing campaign.

Podcast content should cover subjects that can regularly updated for viewers who want to stay current on their market. Such material might include new home listings, market trend reports, neighborhood reports, and mobile phone-ready home tours. Podcast videos are usually more dialogue-oriented and longer than promotional videos.

Promotional content is the more common form of real estate video production, and typically includes company descriptions, website introductions, and traditional home tours. These videos are generally shorter in running time, but more visual and eye catching than podcasts.

Quality control can go a long way in both podcast and promotional content. As real estate video has evolved, successful producers have learned to avoid things like static shots that simply pan from side to side or zoom in (a photo is more practical for this because it provides higher resolution and allows the view to focus on the area of interest), cheesy background music, and vague, overly emotional language. Realtors need to keep in mind that people watch videos for entertainment as well as information, and produce accordingly.

Video's popularity has not gone unnoticed by software developers and search engines. Google's high-priced acquisition of YouTube was a clear indication of this, and a green light for the future of online video, prompting huge demand for video-related tools, services and hosting sites. Some of the more interesting developments in this area include video search engines that can parse dialogue and imagery, real estate video production companies and tools, and marketplaces which bring real estate agents and video producers together. Video mashups with other tools have also opened up new avenues for real estate buyers and sellers - one popular example is an application that combines home video tours and online mapping, allowing home tours to be searched on the map - but again, competition among Realtors is low here.

Coming up with an effective real estate video campaign may be a little harder than simply creating another webpage, but it's worth every effort.

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