There has been a lot of talk about the evolution of digital marketing tactics for real estate agents, agents are being told to market here, there and everywhere. And on top of that, if you aren't incorporating videos in to your listings then you are falling even further behind! Or are you? There has been a lot of talk about rich media and the importance of videos being included in listings, we investigate how essential it is and if you need to be doing it.

Let's get things straight first.

Before even thinking about video, pull up your last twenty listings and analyse every image you used in the listing presentation to prospects. Were the photos of high quality, and all shot in HD? Chances are no. A lot of people are looking at adding media in to their display without having the tools they currently are using down pat. Before looking at integrating video, ensure your listings videos are of the highest quality to date.

And now.... On to video. 

As we mentioned recently, you need to start ensuring you are pitching your marketing towards millennials, and investigate how they consume data. Inman reported that 85 percent of those aged 18 to 24 owned a smartphone while 98 percent of 18-to-34-year-olds watched video content on their smartphone on a daily basis. So video is becoming the accepted and integrated form of media consumption, that's not to say they didn't look at thousands of images as well, but with people now accepting to consume content via video, it is easily accepted that they will want to watch video presentations on properties they want to purchase.

It is a richer medium.

Video provides a much deeper and thorough look in to a property that a photo just can't. Video provides a better element of spacial understanding, whilst also demonstrating the true quality of the internal fixtures and fittings. Whilst lighting can play tricks on the mind, it is much easier to implement these lighting 'tricks' on static photos than over an entire video presentation. It is likely to build more trust with people that this is exactly what the listing looks like, leading to more genuine enquiries.

It appears to build stronger enquiry rates.

The ultimate aim for the agent and the vendor is to get enquiries, and the preliminary stats seem to demonstrate that it does that. According to an Australian Real Estate Group, real estate listings that include a video receive 403% more inquiries than those without. Whilst this may be skewed depending on the type of homes, it is evident that it never hurt enquiry rates by including video on the listing. 

It clearly increases engagement in the online sphere. 

According to Internet Retailers surveyed, 52% of consumers say that watching product videos makes them more confident in their decisions when it comes to purchasing. You can't forget that when a prospect looks online, whilst they don't make the actual purchase at that time and date, the initial reaction goes a long way to decide if they turn up to inspections and auctions.

Online retailers have found that in certain cases, there was a 144% higher conversion of consumers adding products to checkout when they had watched videos than when they had not. The richness in content and ability for the consumer to be more knowledgable about the product appears to increase trust and lead to higher purchases.   

Whilst real estate is a larger purchase product and requires more information, the principles do hold the same, a more educated buyer is more likely to convert to a buyer. Video does ensure that the buyer is a more educated consumer and therefore can more comfortably make a purchasing decision based off the information provided. 

What starts as alternate becomes mainstream. 

Video will be the next frontier of HD digital photography. As the photography marketing has improved over the years, the next logical progression is in to video. Photography is limited in its ability to showcase a home and the intricacies of what makes a home a home. Video has long been seen as the next step, the issue largely has been keeping costs down when you can't secure VPA for an added product such as videos that vendors don't think is necessary. Consumers are very much a product of what they are explained and see happening around them. If they see a neighbour use video on their listing and achieve a sensational result, they are likely to want to implement the same marketing tactics that saw them achieve a great result.

It takes a stronger buy in from the agent than it does the vendor, and all it takes is an agency in your area starting to offer the service included in their advertising package. You don't want to appear to fall behind, so start experimenting with half a dozen listings to see the results. The best way to do this is to ask your vendor if they would be happy for you to provide a free video on their listing, you can then use this content for marketing on your own site, as well as provide extra value to the vendor.

And then...... market it! Get the video everywhere, anywhere, and all of the above and see if it increases engagement. Have your tech team set up URL tracking so that you can be certain to measure the amount of clicks and if possible heat map the page to see how many people transition from the video to the lead form. Split test on the listing or a very similar one and see if the enquiry rates increase. If they don't for the first few times, don't despair, try different video content and also letting people know you are using it as a marketing function. 

There are no downsides to incorporating video in to your marketing plans, and there could be some very good upside. Start today and see the differences!

About the Author:

Todd Schulberg

Todd Schulberg handles all things marketing for Homely.com.au - Living and breathing property, Todd has a keen interest in the movements in the market and howagents can utilise new tools and technology in order to be more connected. Using all things social, Todd suggests different ways that agents can engage and think outside the square with their marketing approach.

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