Video marketing for real estate isn’t some short-term fad or trend that’s going to disappear in due time. Actually, it’s quite the opposite. Video is very much a significant part of the future of marketing for real estate agents and brokers, as it has proven (and continues to prove) to help industry pros’ lead generation, nurturing, and conversion abilities — and it all begins and ends with a single, powerful video marketing medium: YouTube.
How to Start Your Real Estate YouTube Video Marketing Strategy Today
First and foremost, to get going with your video efforts on YouTube, you need your own channel.
Steps For Setting Up YouTube Channel
- Sign up for a Google Account or sign-in using your existing one.
- Go to YouTube and create a channel. If it’s the first time you are creating your channel you will be promoted to give it a name. (you can change this later.
- Start uploading videos on your channel. Use playlists to segment your videos.
Branding Yourself On YouTube
The first and arguably the most important, task to take care is branding your real estate YouTube channel. As you’ve done with your business website, email marketing, and social media accounts, you’ll want to incorporate your real estate firm’s branding across your channel in order to truly leverage the power of video marketing.
This means adding the messaging you use to describe your company (think of the info you have on your site’s “About me/us” page) and the visual component of your branding: your logo and any other designs (e.g. fonts, shapes, color schemes) you use to brand yourself.
After this step is complete, you’re ready and raring to go to start publishing fresh, valuable video content for the niche buyer and/or seller demographics you typically market to and add yet another element to your online presence.
Before your film a single second of videos for your brand’s marketing, it’s imperative to take a step back and research how you can make your real estate videos stand out from the competition, educate your viewers (a.k.a. potential leads), and provide consistently valuable information to your audience.
Quick Checklist For Branding Your Real Estate Channel
- Use your team logo for profile picture
- Use a professional photo if it’s your personal real estate channel
- Branding intro and exit for all videos (stay consistent)
- Completed about me section
- Links to social media (Facebook, Twitter etc.) from your YouTube channel. Go to channel settings to edit them.
- Make sure that you have a nice cover photo for your channel page. You can add recently sold listings or a team picture here. Be creative.
Best Practices for Using YouTube for Real Estate Online Marketing
When it comes to video marketing, there is no one, single formula that works best for every business and professional — including real estate agents and brokers. Instead, each REALTOR who creates videos for their marketing — whether they consciously try to or not — will end up with a distinct collection of promotional and educational materials.
Having said that, being “distinct” doesn’t always add up to “interesting” and “helpful.” So, to ensure you don’t craft different videos for the sake of being different and, instead, produce worthwhile, enlightening videos your audience will actually care about and will get them coming back to your YouTube channel frequently, there are a few rules you must follow, including:
1. Be consistent to build a loyal following over time
Just as you publish a couple of blog posts each week and a few new website pages each month (you do post new site content frequently … right?), it’s vital to be consistent with the publication of new real estate videos. Use the same exact editorial calendar you use for your written content marketing collateral for your video production and promotion, and you will be able to easily schedule new video posts and when to share them via email campaigns, on social media, and even in pages on your site.
2. Produce an array of different types of videos
Craft a variety of videos in terms of the “genre” (e.g. how-to videos, listing videos, interviews, news roundups, etc.), the length (perhaps try 30-second and 3-minute videos and compare which tend to perform better), and style (for example, in-office vs. out-of-office videos), and you’ll gradually be able to discern which specific kinds of videos work best for your marketing.
3. Optimize your videos for search and mobile
You may think your agency website is the only digital asset you need to worry about search-optimizing, but in fact, it’s equally as important to also optimize your real estate YouTube channel. This means incorporating keywords into titles, meta descriptions, “about” sections, and tags. Moreover, ensure your videos will appear just as high-quality on mobile devices as they do on mobile (hint: use only a high-resolution camera and you’re halfway to accomplishing this).
Track the performance of your videos each monthWhereas Google Analytics is the premier data-tracking tool to use to monitor your site performance, YouTube’s proprietary analytics dashboard will help you pinpoint which videos are getting the most views and engagement (comments, call-to-action clicks, etc.) and which aren’t doing as well (and, in turn, can be deleted or refined to attract more hits). As with adjusting site content with better copy, images, and search terms, it’s just as important to regularly modify any videos that don’t perform well to keep your channel up to snuff.
Types Of Real Estate Videos to Publish on Your YouTube Channel
As noted, there are more than enough kinds of videos you can put together and publish to YouTube that promote your brand, market, services, and listings. There is no one video type to produce before others that will help catapult your YouTube search ranking and garner your channel hundreds of new followers … but, your easiest video “win” is arguably the listing video. Why? Because you can easily create ones for listings you represent with a few pieces of camera equipment and an hour of your time.
Take a look at how some of the premier agents and brokers nationwide create their real estate listing videos to get some inspiration for your own, but even if you don’t have the fancy, high-end video gear many of these top producers have, you can still produce stellar listing walkthrough clips your smartphone or tablet, a tripod, some lighting, and a little video editing experience (for instance, iMovie for Macs is pretty intuitive and easy to learn — even for the un-tech-savviest REALTOR.
If you want to fashion more than just listing tour videos that showcase the latest properties you represent, there are plenty of other YouTube video options at your disposal.
3 Types of Real Estate Video Ideas
1. Live streams at open houses and while out and about
Facebook Live has become the live-streaming video service that allows users to quickly and easily use their mobile device cameras to share what’s going on with them at any given moment. The best part about it is a) the videos are meant to be impromptu and not high in production value, so it’s okay to have a “shaky-cam” effect, and b) you can edit live streams after the fact, download them and share them to YouTube. So, use the tool to give a glimpse into your open houses or show off some neighborhoods in your local market — anything that can humanize your brand and provide some form of value to your social fans and followers.
2. Q&A sessions with peers, colleagues, and local personalities
Find some intriguing folks in your local market who don’t mind chatting with you on camera for 10 or 20 minutes, then edit down that footage of your discussions (which can cover anything you think your audience will find interesting, like the latest home sales and price data to come out) and post those clips to your YouTube channel. These videos can be highly engaging when the other person has a large network with whom they can help promote the video and have unique insights to share, so find vibrant, knowledgeable personalities to interview.
3. Testimonial videos with your most satisfied clients
The best kind of social proof — that is, content that provides just how great of a real estate agent you are — is the testimonial. While it’s ideal to have plenty of written testimonials to post on your site (along with Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, and the like), it’s also a smart idea to sit down your most recent customers for video testimonials and get them to wax poetic about the many benefits of hiring and working with you and how you helped them achieve their buying or selling dreams.
In short, the real estate video marketing possibilities are seemingly endless for your brand. All you need is a bit of imagination, sometimes to research how other top agents and brokers have constructed (and even promoted) their finely edited recordings, and the time and energy to begin crafting your own original masterpieces you can publish to YouTube and, in turn, grow your “fanbase.”
Equipment & Softwares For Creating Real Estate Videos
A lot of real estate agents think that they need to spend tons of money on buying professional equipment and invest loads of time with video editing software.
The truth is you need very little time and effort to get started with video marketing. If you look at the history of both YouTube and the recently launched Facebook video you will see that most prominent channels got started with a simple camcorder. Some of them just used iMovie or Camtasia studio to edit their videos.
Once your channel grows and you start seeing some traction, you can hire a video editor to edit your videos. The important thing to understand is why you are doing video marketing in the first place.
Here’s a quick checklist:
- Use your smartphone for live videos
- Shoot videos on your smartphone for open houses/ listing tours etc.
- If you are a MAC user use iMovie.
- If you are on PC buy a software called Camtasia Studio which is extremely easy to use.
- Hire a designer to create your intro and exit branding. Simply add these clips in the beginning and end of videos.
Hit the Ground Running with Your YouTube Presence — Then Enhance Your Strategy
Posting videos to your YouTube Channel is just the beginning of your real estate video marketing adventures. There’s video remarketing, which allows you to turn your YouTube videos into targeted ads your niche audience (in other words, those who may actually convert into viable leads) will watch. There are text overlays in the form of annotations and calls to action that can be placed over your videos at certain times during your clips that link back to your website.
In short, there are many opportunities for you to make the most of YouTube for real estate, enhance your brand awareness, generate more site traffic, a build a strong presence online that gets you the leads and clients you need to scale your business … but before all of that, it’s time to get your channel up and running ASAP.