An Honest Look at the Impact of Video on Your Real Estate Blog

FlipCam

We recently had a Tomato Radio episode on the same subject, and this article is the collective opinion and insight from the contributors on our internal Matrix Blog.
My question to our audience was What is the Impact of Video in your Real Estate Blogging?

Below is my best effort at stitching together their comments in a comprehensive manner.

Pros:

The Audience Better Identifies With Author.

Rob Saxe: Who I am comes through more on video than when I write an article.  From experience, that video blogging as a marketing tool is indispensable and an absolute necessity for my business. 

Bruce Lemieux: A blog with compelling and informative written content can be a huge net to gather leads and build an audience. To pull leads into the boat and convert them to clients, you need to build trust by making a personal connection. Video can be just the lure to get them hooked. The trend is clear: people will continue to buy houses from people, not computers.
Cyndee Haydon leveraged Albert Mehrabian’s Rule of 7%-38%-55% to reinforce the idea of how effective video with conviction can be for Real Estate. According to Mehrabian, there are 3 Main Elements of Communication, with ranging influence to your audience:
* Words, (7%)
* Tone of voice and (38%)
* Body language. (55%)
“I love the thought that the non-verbal cues are important to conveying our “belief and conviction” so videos give the viewer the ability to connect to us as people (100%) versus just words on a page (7%). ”
Gena Riede: We are in the age of transparency and videos certainly do contribute to that aspect. The consumer is looking for REAL.
Bruce Lemieux: I think Gena’s got it exactly right – your written blog is the foundation, video adds the transparency and enhances a blog. It doesn’t replace the written blog.

Video Is Not a Fad

It was just announced that YouTube users are adding a staggering 20 hours of video every minute. Video viewing and capture on cell phones has greatly improved. Embedding video in your blog articles and pages is a snap.
HD video capture is available in your hand for as little as $229.

Search Engine Results

Well described videos published to Google Video and/or YouTube do very well in the SERPs for obvious reasons. Viddler is also starting to show some promise with their members’ videos placing well.
Its a well known fact that Google is working on developing powerful Voice Recognition Software to add to their search algorithm making it possible to spider audio and video clips.

Convenience For Your Audience

Watching and listening is easier than reading. Just ask your kids if their homework is done while they are sitting in front of the boob.
Soon, most will experience the Internet from the couch (10 feet from the screen) or by handheld device. Reading is not convenient in either instance.

Cons?

Being in Front of the Camera is Not For Me?

“I have to say I’m not fond of being in front of the camera.”
“I am not one for enjoying being in the eye of the camera.”

Me: Curiously, both of these quotes came from avid video bloggers.

Not Appealing to the Real Estate Buying Generation?

Daniel Bates: “I think videos area also more appealing to the younger generations while those over 40 or 50 are more likely to prefer written word.”

Me: What is clear is that the younger generation is not the one buying and selling real estate. (But it won’t be long)

Amateur Effort is Worse Than No Effort at All?

Judy Peterson: “The use of some video technology for real estate that I seen still shows the growing pains. Amateur video skills are exponentially worse than poor still photography skills. Like the “Worst MLS Photos of The Day”, I’ve seen some really ugly property videos (herky jerky, dark, slow to load,etc).”

Bruce Lemieux: “I still believe that very good pictures that depict a bright, spacious, well-kept home is the best web presentation. Having said that, a professional quality video could be a differentiator that get’s a listing. So I don’t rule it out for the future.”

Rocky Rockwood: Having [amateur] video out there doesn’t really reflect poorly upon you. With all the quickly uploaded video content found on any site like YouTube, people are used to viewing stuff at less than professional.

Me: Getting as much content in front the largest audience is the goal, right? And you are only going to improve, just as you have with your blog writing. You’re not unpublishing your earliest, and arguably most amateur, blog articles from your site. Why worry about your amateur effort with video?

The Effort and Learning Curve Is Steep?

Bruce Lemieux: “Buy a camera and figure out how to use it. Move files from camera to PC. What’s that? Did you say your JVC camcorder recorded files in MOD format? Well of course, my video editing software (Camtasia studio) doesn’t recognize it (you ,idiot! How could you possibly be so stupid!) Do some research, rename files to mpegs. Still no. Rename *then* import into Movie Maker and create WMV files. That’s the ticket. That took a while. Now learn basic editing. Now learn how to produce and finally get a file that can be uploaded. I feel like I’m making this harder than it needs to be – I’m really getting tired of learning new stuff.”

Ryan Rockwood: “I suggest the no edit video. Like one short take straight to YouTube, using a Flip. Put the onscreen text on in Youtube. You’ll save yourself about 4 hours of goofing around.”

Me: Anything worth doing is worth doing properly. “Properly” in this case does mean that effort and education is involved. Producing a quality video takes practice, hardware, software, personality, as well as an understanding of lighting and editing. But if it means that you will now stand out (in a positive manner) from your competition then heck yea it is worth it.

Daniel Bates: “I just can’t get used to chatting with the camera when it’s easier for me to craft a well written post in which every word will be spidered and indexed by Google not just the title.”

Me: For some writing is way more challenging than chatting it up in front of the camera. Pick your poison.

Video Content Ideas for Your Blog

Video Directions to your Office
Tours of Neighborhoods
Deal of the Week
Interview Partners and Professionals with Whom You Work
Market Updates and/or Sharing Latest Real Estate News
Client Testimonials
How to Use the Site
Interview Residents About the Neighborhood
Interview the Professionals You Work With (Printer, Stager, Landscaper, Painter, Lenders…)

Video Production Tips

The Flip HD Camera. (No pocket-sized camera is better)
Keep your videos under 2 mins if you want them to be watched in there entirety.
High Energy = High Interest. Be exciting.
Consider your lighting situation, back-lighting is a sin.
Be conscious of your environment (sounds, signs, clutter, interruptions).
Write an outline and use it live.
Practice, and time yourself off-camera.
Green screens can look cheesy if you go cheap.
Camtasia is our preferred screen capture tool.
Excellent Teleprompter Program

Video Marketing Tips

A strong, compelling, keyword rich title is as important as the video itself.
If you are publishing your video to a blog, add at least a paragraph of description.
Easily email your video clips to your sphere with EyeJot.
Use YouTube’s hotlink to other related YouTube videos.
Take the time to set up a YouTube Channel Page, like this.
Set up a page on Facebook for all your videos.
Announce your good videos on Twitter.
Great Video SEO Resource at ReelSEO.

And finally, some sweet video success stories from our friend Cyndee Haydon:

Just had to share that we closed on deal and put 2 in escrow this week thanks to the Flip Camera 🙂

We had a cash buyer come in 2 weeks ago (from our blog) and buy a luxury beach condo – her husband was on the road so we did a video walk-through of the condo and emailed it to him and we deposited our commission check in the bank last Friday 🙂

We had another couple ready to buy a beach condo however was one was in love and the other was still considering other investments so Jack did a 4 minute video showcasing the view and lifestyle…and we wrote a contract and just finished the inspections yesterday 🙂

Then one of our team members had an out of town buyer this week that wanted to know more about a waterfront condo he liked so our agent did a walk through of the condo and the neighborhood – we made a quick movie and emailed the 7 minute video and the client wrote a contract.

PS: Just bought a 2nd Flip for the team since mine is always in my purse – lol!

Tomato Co-Authors

Tomato-PatchRob Saxe – SacramentoRealEstateViews.com
Joe Peffer – DeliciousRealEstate.com
Bruce Lemieux – MocoRealEstate.com
Cyndee Haydon – SandbarsToSunsets.com
Gena Riede – SacramentoRealEstateVoice.com
Judy Peterson – MainlinePAToday.com
Ryan Rockwood – RockysMLS.com
Steve Beam – RealEstateYak.com
Fran O’Neal – RealEstateInChantilly.com
John Coley – LakeMartinVoice.com
Susan Hilton – SusanHilton.com
Tyler Wood – TheTimWoodGroup.com

Thanks to all for your participation