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Does real estate video actually give agents a competitive advantage?

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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?”

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 The American Genius, covering entrepreneur, real estate, technology news and everything in between. If you'd like to reach Tara with a question, comment, press release or hot news tip, simply click the link below.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Andrew

    August 8, 2011 at 1:36 am

    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. John DiStefano

    August 9, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    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. Middleton Homes

    August 9, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    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. Justin Adams

    August 22, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    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. mooersrealtymedia

    December 21, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    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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Business Marketing

TINA.org is helping the FTC crack down on Kardashian-esque influencers

(MARKETING NEWS) The Kardashians are just five of the seemingly endless amounts of influencers companies are using for marketing but TINA.org is over their tactics.

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A brand could find no better influencers than the Kardashians – the family who proved that you can get famous just for, well, being famous. Each Kardashian sister has an astronomical number of followers, making them obvious trendsetters.

That’s why brands pay the Kardashian sisters – Kourtney, Kim, Khloé, Kendall, and Kylie — tens of thousands of dollars a pop to post pictures of themselves on social media using their products.

Perhaps you find it hard to believe that the Kardashians stop by Popeye’s Chicken to grab a to-go meal before boarding their private jet. Regardless, the Kardashians, and the brands who pay them to pump their products, would prefer that you believe that these endorsements reflect the Kardashian’s actual preferences, rather than the paychecks they receive for posting them.

The Kardashians have been attempting to make their endorsements seem more “authentic” by totally disregarding Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rules that require influencers to disclose when their posts are paid endorsements.

In August of 2016, Truth in Advertising (TINA.org) filed a complaint about the Kardashians to the FTC, saying that the (in)famous sisters had “failed to clearly and conspicuously disclose material connections to brands or the fact that the posts were paid ads, as required by federal law.”

After receiving a finger-wagging from the FTC, the Kardashian sisters corrected less than half of the posts, generally by adding #ad to the post. The remaining posts, according to a recent TINA.org follow-up investigation, either have not been edited at all, or contain “insufficient disclosures.”

For example, some posts now read #sp to indicated “sponsored” – as if anyone knows that reference. In another tactic that also got Warner Brothers and YouTube influencer PewDiePie in trouble with the FTC, the Kardashians are posting their disclosure information at the bottom of a long post so that users will only see it if they click “see more.”

The Kardashians have also been posting disclosures, but only days after the original post. Considering that the vast majority of viewers comment on or like posts within the first ten hours after it’s published, most of them will never see the disclosure when it’s tacked on days later.

Some of the “repeat offender” brands, who came up both in last year’s complaint and in the recent review, include Puma, Manuka Doctor, Jet Lux, Fit Tea, and Sugar Bear Hair. This time around, the Kardashians have also failed to disclose sponsorship on posts promoting Adidas, Lyft, Diff Eyewear, and Alexander Wang.

TINA.org found over 200 posts on Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat where products are promoted without the Kardashians letting on that their raking in big bucks in exchange. The organization has notified the Kardashians, the brands they represent, and the FTC.

The FTC has recently been cracking down on deceptive influencer marketing, targeting not only the brands, but the influencers themselves.

In April, the FTC sent letters to 46 social media stars reminding them of their legal obligations to disclose, and followed up with 21 letters in September warning the influencers that they had until the end of the month to disclose sponsorships, or face legal consequences.

“The Kardashian/Jenner sisters are masterful marketers who are making millions of dollars from companies willing to turn a blind eye to the women’s misleading and deceptive social media marketing practices,” says TINA.org’s Executive Director Bonnie Patten. “It’s time the Kardashians were held accountable for their misdeeds.”

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Business Marketing

Dove dropped the olive branch with new ad campaign

(MARKETING NEWS) With any ad campaign there will be misses but take a note from Dove’s playbook and learn how to not repeat mistakes.

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Dove’s latest Facebook ad really hit the mark for whitewashing in advertising. The ad, since removed, essentially implied their soap could turn a black woman into a clean white woman.

In a three-second video on the company’s Facebook page, three women transformed into the next when they removed their shirts. The first transition caused an uproar: a woman of color lifting a brown top over her head to reveal a different woman, who is very, very white.

Although the white woman then lifts her shirt to reveal another woman with darker hair and a darker skin tone, the initial transformation is problematic in its implications of whiteness as cleanliness.

Dove has since removed the ad and issued an apology, stating in a tweet “In an image we posted this week, we missed the mark in thoughtfully representing women of color and we deeply regret the offense that it has caused. The feedback that has been shared is important to us and we’ll use it to guide us in the future.”

Wait, haven’t we been here before? At this point you’d think skin care companies would have realized a little more delicacy is required when rolling out ad campaigns. Remember Nivea’s disastrous, short-lived “White is Purity” mishap? How about Dove’s other blunder in their 2011 VisibleCare ad?

These featured another series of three women standing in front of close-ups of skin, with the darker skinned woman in front of the “before” label, and the woman with the lightest skin by the “after” picture. Although Dove didn’t intend to imply white skin is cleaner, oops, that’s what happened anyways.

While Dove has gotten many things right in terms of inclusivity and featuring models of different racial and ethnic backgrounds, there have also been several instances of intentional racist missteps. Let’s use this as a teachable moment for handling marketing mishaps.

Whenever an ad campaign offends people, the company’s response can make or break the business. If you find yourself in the midst of a marketing crisis, you can take some mindful steps to manage the situation and begin repairing your public image.

First, acknowledge the problem and issue a genuine apology that gets to the core of what your audience is saying. Dove recognized they upset people, and instead of taking a defensive “sorry you felt offended” stance, took responsibility for their actions. Once an apology is issued, explain the original intent to provide context for the situation.

Dove meant to create an inclusive campaign featuring a diverse cast of women. Lola Ogunyemi, the first model featured in the now controversial shirt ad, has even defended the ad. She stated, “I can see how the snapshots that are circulating the web have been misinterpreted, considering the fact that Dove has faced a backlash in the past for the exact same issue. There is a lack of trust here, and I feel the public was justified in their initial outrage.”

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Business Marketing

Aori helps you pack a punch with AdWords

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Aori is the newest tool designed to help anyone using AdWords to kick more butt.

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Search ad campaign managers constantly wrestle with the best way to organize their keywords into campaigns. Most of these decisions strive to balance the time needed to manage the campaign with efficiency of campaign expenditures.

Take the SKAGs strategy, for example. The SKAGs (Single Keyword Ad Group) system is setup to trigger a unique ad for every single keyword by placing each keyword in its own group.

There’s lots of literature touting the benefits of the SKAG system. Generally, the hyper-specific match between ads and keywords improves click-through rates.

This leads to higher quality scores, which leads to lower costs for click, which leads to lower costs per conversion. The tradeoff with this system is the setup. You could be looking at hundreds of keyword groups to set up and maintain, and that’s a lot of work for a small business or startup.

This is where Aori comes in.

Their system helps to automate the process of setting up a SKAG system for your AdWords campaigns.

According to the website, the tool’s primary function is to automate keyword generation. Users enter a set of “root keywords” and common keyword extensions, and Aori will automatically generate all possible combinations of those keywords for your campaigns.

Additionally, through Aori, users can create ad templates using a “dynamic keyword insertion tool,” to enable you to utilize the strongest ad copy across multiple phrases.

In what is the least clear value point of the whole pitch, Aori also uses what they call a “unique bid-optimization algorithm.”

There is almost no detail to be found on how the algorithm works. If the tool handles all bid management for you, this could be a handy tool for PPC novices who are less familiar with the process and lack the time to learn it.

Aori appears to run cheaper than the others we know of, but that may be due to the level of automation available. For example, Aori requires the user to feed it keyword inputs, both root and extension words.

It’s also important to understand where a SKAG system can and can’t work. It is likely a better system for smaller campaigns where ad testing wouldn’t yield statistically meaningful results.

Because every keyword group targets one phrase, you can’t readily say that improvements in ad copy will translate to other campaigns.

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