Video: the real estate game-changer

If you had to select one tool for 2010 that would give you an edge over 99 percent of your competitors, what would that be?

When I wrote “Waging War on Real Estate’s Discounters,” the main goal of the book was to help agents craft a “unique selling proposition” (USP) that distinguishes their services from their competitors and thereby earn a full commission. To achieve this goal, agents must be able to demonstrate how their USP helps sellers achieve maximum exposure to the marketplace that results in the seller obtaining the highest possible price in the shortest amount of time.

While there are plenty of ways to create a USP, some startling new statistics indicate there is a tremendous opportunity in a surprisingly obvious place: video. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), only 1 percent of the agents are using video to market their listings, yet 73 percent of all sellers would list with an agent who uses video to market

their property.

In other words, using video as part of your USP gives you an edge over 99 percent of your competition. If you want to convert more listings into signed business in 2010, video is one tool that shouldn’t be overlooked.

After Google, YouTube is the most-used search engine in the world. Also, Google’s algorithm appears to rank videos higher than podcasts, blogs or static Web sites. In other words, using video helps you increase your search-engine ranking. Google also has new software that translates the voice track on video into searchable text.

This means Google can search what you say on your videos. Consequently, it’s important that on the voice track you say the address, the city, the state and the ZIP code where the property is located.

At NAR’s annual conference and expo last month, Jerry Rossi’s session, “The Hook of E-Motion,” was packed with useful tips about how to implement video in your business. Some highlights:

1. Emotion, not features, sell houses
The best way to tap into emotional buying is to use video. To engage potential buyers in your video, Rossi suggests using the “look, hook and then cook” model.

For example, if you are marketing a beach property, make a video called “Escape to the Beach.” Your video should be 60 to 90 seconds in length. Instead of walking through the house saying, “This is the kitchen, this is the living room, this is the view,” create an image that grabs their attention.

Rossi suggested taking a picture of your feet in flip-flops propped up on a beach chair overlooking at the waves lapping at the shore. Jiggle the ice in your drink and say, “Ahhh – home at last.”

If you have a horrible house where the yard is a mess, you could use the same approach, except this time use work shoes rather than flip-flops. The suggested caption: “Not doing yard work is highly overrated.”

If you have a horse property, don’t just tell the listener about the corrals and stables. Instead, hop on a horse, take your video cam with you, and show the viewer the property as you ride. The point here is to give people an experience that captures their attention and is fun – that’s how you tap into the emotion that causes people to buy.

2. Highly polished videos turn people off
Because we are constantly bombarded with ads, most people have become adept at tuning them out. Our response to professionally produced videos is: “Oh, that’s an ad, time to tune out.” YouTube viewers like “roughed up” or unedited videos. These are more likely to produce a favorable emotional response than highly produced, professional videos.

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Video: the real estate game-changer