Does real estate video actually give agents a competitive advantage?

August 7, 2011
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Video camera in action on the beach; original photo by Joshua Davis Photography.

Is real estate a feasible marketing tool?

You’ve heard that video is the next big thing for years. We’ve covered different talent in the field and revealed how real estate teams are using real estate video, but some who have not gotten their feet yet still wonder if it is a bill of goods they’ve been sold or if real estate video actually gives agents a competitive advantage?

Our answer remains that we believe it does give Realtors a leg up, but only when done well. A shaky 1997 cell phone video tour that looks like the Blair Witch Project won’t give anyone an advantage outside of the horror film industry.

Polling the industry

Although it is a matter of opinion, as part of their “Video’s Declaration of Independence from Virtual Tours,” WellcomeMat.com has embarked on studying the impact of real estate video.

Respondents were asked, “Has video ever demonstrated itself as a competitive advantage for you, a client or someone on your team? Has anything unique happened to you because of your use of video as a marketing tool?”



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We reviewed the private poll results as submitted so far, and one respondent noted that they were too new to know while another said it was too difficult to tell, but every single other respondent that answered the question answered some form of “yes,” with the majority sharing emphatic support for real estate video.

Respondent sentiments

On the topic, real estate professionals and real estate videographers indicated various opinions as to what degree real estate video gives them a competitive advantage. Here is a sampling of some of the responses submitted:

“Yes. Sellers are more likely to list with my clients because they utilize the most current and effective marketing techniques – internet video. My clients also spend less time at showings because the videos help weed out those that aren’t truly interested in the home.”

“We use video internally and externally and there is nothing like it to explain, market, teach or communicate a message. Many of our members use and have made a great investment in differentiating themselves with video production and its proved a compelling and powerful differentiator – for getting listings as well as marketing them – especially to an international audience.”

“Yes, our clients are selling properties quicker and exclusively because of video.”

“A listing of mine was once purchased by some folks that worked the third shift. The first time they saw the home in the daylight, was at the inspection. The reason they submitted an offer in the first place, was because they could “tour” the home at their convenience. When they finally saw the home in person, after sunset, it matched what they had seen via video. The video ensured, for my sellers, that folks coming through the door to tour were already interested in the property and not “seeing” it for the first time.”

“Yes it has. A entire legion of real estate a*s clown coaches began ranting on how production level videos create distrust among consumers. Well maybe that’s not so unique, after all, making sh*t up to prove one’s point is a daily happenstance in real estate. “

“Video is a powerful and personal tool that makes customers feel drawn in to a presentation as if they where there on the inside not looking in through the windows of a fish bowl.”

“I sell in a rural second home market, most of my buyers are 4 hours away. Since I’m the only one doing video in my area, I find that my buyers ask for video of other agents’ homes. One service I offer to buyers is to go and shoot a custom video of other agents’ homes and send them a private link.”

“As a producer of luxury video tours in Miami, FL I have seen the impact they have made for realtors and buyers. Nothing more exciting then sending an interested buyer a beautifully produced movie about their ‘future home’.”

“Have had buyers ask for copy of the video of the house they purchased. Have had buyers talk about how excited they were to show a video to their friends and co-workers, once their offer had been accepted.”

Take the survey

Do you agree with others’ sentiment or are they off base? The study is ongoing and are working with WellcomeMat to bring you results from within the industry to give a full picture of the effectiveness of real estate video.

Click here to take the poll.

Tara Steele is the News Director at AgentGenius, covering real estate news, technology news and everything in between. If you'd like to reach Tara with a question, comment, press release or hot news tip, she frequently checks her email, simply click the link below.

5 Comments

  1. I think you hit the nail on the coffin there. On top of that having a video that is too good could be bad as well! I have noticed that having professional photos for example that make the house look bigger and better than it actually is turns off buyers who walk into the house expecting better…everything.

  2. Once agents realize they can leverage the power of the internet via video they will come running, it is our job to educate and offer an easy solution

  3. Yes, Yes, and YES!! Since purchasing the iPad 2 I've been shooting video tours of local neighborhoods in my area. I then edit and upload the videos on the iPad using iMovie. Totally awesome! I've now created 35 local neighborhood video drive-through tours. As an agent, this gives me a competitive advantage. I also use Camtasia Studio to shoot screen-capture videos with voice-overs. Consumers LOVE them!

    Love video and am surprise more agents don't use it.

  4. Video tours are definitely growing, however they will most likely not replace photos and standard virtual tours any time soon. The reason for this is much more costly and time consuming to produce good videos than good photos. Using technologies like HDR photography, photos can often show the home better than videos, which almost always have blown-out highlights. Here's an example of what can be created, using a combination of still and panoramic photos (no video, although it play like it is): home2market.com/20773

  5. The buyer is short on time, wants to see more local area information, a greater number of property listings and videos uses the eyes and ears to deliver. No matter where the buyer is parked on the planet. Think Droid phone during an hour to kill waiting at an airport for a flight. Take the real estate show on the road, around the world and not limited to your office visit at the physical sticks and bricks. Video is so powerful, memorable and shows how the property goes together, breathes life into the listing. Not costly if agent, broker shoots the loops, edits, renders, uploads. Who knows the property better than the listing agent who spent two hours collecting the stills, measuring rooms, taking the listing with the Q and A at the seller’s kitchen table?

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