January 19, 2011

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A Closer Look: Using Online Video

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’d know that videos are becoming more and more essential to real estate websites and particularly to any real estate marketing, promotion and advertising.

Video has already taken the real estate blogging world by storm with video blogging, or vlogging, and videos are also growing in listings, and even on news websites, including Inman News.

realtyvideousa.com, a company who provides and distributes branded videos and technology for the real estate industry, says that video now comprises 32% of all internet activity, and that online video consumption increased 40% last year alone.

So what’s currently happening in the world of online real estate videos? At the moment, a lot.

There are debates over what constitutes video, and how to best use it, some great examples of realtors who are using video to good effect, some cheap and easy ways to get started and test the waters, and even a competition from a well-known vlogger to get you engaged with vlogging.

Debate: what constitutes a video?

There is a lot of debate occurring over what constitutes a video, since online real estate video hosting website WellcomeMat issued a statement saying that slideshows are no longer accepted on their website.

WellcomeMat is like the YouTube of real estate video, so this is big news. The company said:

“Slide shows and video are not the same things, regardless of the fact that slide shows can be exported/saved into a video format. They are not video…period.”

The resulting comments from users on the website have ensured a healthy argument over video vs slide shows for realtors, but more interestingly also over what works best for real estate agents. Many argue that stills made into slide shows (with or without commentary) are the most cost effective and user-friendly way to show a property, while others are firmly in favour of the benefits of real video, with all the trimmings.

Example: how realtors can use video effectively

Perhaps the best way to explain the benefits of video for real estate agents is to show it. Joel Burslem at the Future of Real Estate Marketing Blog drew our attention to the amazing use of video that Halstead Properties, a New York brokerage, is making. Last year they launched Propertv Channel on their website, using WellcomeMat. Among their videos are introductions to the company explaining why consumers should use their services, and property listing showcases like this one:

Fact: using video online is not hard and doesn’t have to cost the earth

If you’re yet to get on the video bandwagon, don’t be put off by thinking that large price tags and specialist IT knowledge are involved - it’s not true.

A recent post by geekestateblog.com shows that videos don’t have to cost the earth. The tools you need are simple, and you might already have some of them:

1. A camera, camcorder or similar: the Flip (pictured) is a popular, and economical new starting point. Your mobile phone or a cheap camcorder is another option.
2. Video editing software: You could go high end with Camtasia Studio but geekestateblog.com recommend something you might already have at hand - Windows Movie Maker (possibly on your computer already if you have Windows XP). It takes photos or video from your camera, camcorder, or hard drive and lets you add voice-over and bells and whistles like music, titles and credits.
3. Hosting: Try youtube.com, vimeo.com, video.google.com, video.yahoo.com, or tubemogul.com. Most are free-to-use and allow you to embed video onto your - or anyone else’s - website.

Although video is accessible to you, as well as the experts who specialise in professional quality videos, by doing it yourself you could end up with a product that looks amateur - so use your judgement and use video sparingly.

Engage: try vlogging

You might not be ready to showcase your properties by super-slick video like Halstead Properties is, but this doesn’t mean you have to miss out on video altogether. Video can be used for much more than listings.

Vlogging is a quick, easy and cost effective way to get your name out there.

Canadian real estate agent Ian Watt has created such a storm with his vlogging, that he’s been asked by online competition software company strutta.com to promote a competition open to anyone for the best real estate video blog under 2 minutes. The winner receives a free SEO enhanced website from ubertor.com for 2 years, valued at $2000.

Maybe you want to vlog about the use of video in real estate?

So what next?

We suggest you read propertyadguru.com’s Top 10 Tips for Making a Successful Video.

[image: The flip is changing online video. Flickr/Nick J Webb]


Related posts:

  1. New iPhone App for Easy Video Posting
  2. Online Video: On the Increase
  3. Video – Is It Worth It?
  4. Online Video Continues to Grow
  5. Real Estate Video Creator Review: Animoto
  6. More Video Listing Inspiration
  7. Agent Strategies: Video Blogging for Visitors
  8. Five Reasons to Try Out Video
  9. Top 10 Tips for Video Marketing/SEO
  10. Photo-to-Video Company Targets Agents



  1. [...] week we reported on the latest news in online video for real estate agents. This week we can tell you it’s not a [...]

  2. [...] if you plan on including video or slideshows, make sure it’s professional quality. Read our article on using video here. [...]

  3. [...] Read more about the growing field of online real estate video in propertyadguru.com’s article A Closer Look: Using Online Video. [...]

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