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Does real estate video actually give agents a competitive advantage?



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,” 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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  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):

  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

Spruce up your product images with Glorify (just in time for Black Friday!)

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Want professional, customizable product images for your company? Consider Glorify’s hot Black Friday deal.



Glorify app lets you create beautiful designs for your products.

Glorify, the app that creates high converting, customizable product images for your business, is offering a lifetime deal for $97 this Black Friday. In just a few clicks, you can transform one of Glorify’s sleek templates into personalized, professional-looking content – and now, you don’t have to pay that monthly fee.

Whether your business is in electronics, beauty, or food & drink, Glorify offers a range of looks that will instantly bring your product images to the next level. With countless font styles and the ability to alter icon styles, shadows and other elements, you can access all the perks of having your own designer without the steep price.

In 2019, Glorify was launched – the app was soon voted #2 Product of the Day and nominated for Best Design Tool by Product Hunt. Since then, they have cultivated a 20k+ user base!

Glorify 2.0, which was launched last week, upgrades the experience. The new and improved version of the app is complete overhaul of intuitive UI improvements and extra features, such as:

  • background remover tool
  • templates based on popular product niches and themes
  • design bundles for your website/store, social media
  • annotation tool
  • upload your brand kits and organize your projects under different brands
  • 1 click brand application
  • & much more!

“But the most important aspect of Glorify 2.0, is that it comes with a UI that sets us up for future scalability for all our roadmap features”, said CEO of Glorify Omar Farook, who himself was a professional graphic designer.

Farook’s dream was to provide a low-cost design service for the smaller businesses that couldn’t otherwise afford design services. Looking through reviews of the app, it’s evident that Glorify does just that – it saves the user time and money while helping them to produce top-notch product images for their brand on their own.

Glorify is one of the many new design-based apps that make producing content a breeze for entrepreneurs, such as Canva. As someone who loves design but doesn’t have the patience for Creative Cloud, I personally love this technology. However, Glorify is unique in that it is the only product-driven design app. All you have to do is upload your photo!

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Business Marketing

This new Chipotle location will be fully digital

(BUSINESS NEWS) In the wake of the pandemic and popularity of online delivery, Chipotle is joining the jump to online-only locations, at least to test drive.



Chipotle exterior, possibly moving to a fully digital restaurant space soon.

A lot of industries have switched to an online-only model in the wake of the pandemic. Most of them have made sense; between abundant delivery options and increased restrictions on workers, moving away from the traditional storefront paradigm isn’t exactly a radical choice. Chipotle making that same decision, however, is a plot twist of a different kind—yet that’s exactly what they’re doing with their first online store.

To be clear, the chain isn’t doing away with their existing locations; they’re just test-driving a “digital” location for the time being. That said, the move to an online platform raises interesting questions about the future of the restaurant industry—if not just Chipotle itself.

The move to an online platform actually makes a lot of sense for businesses like Chipotle. Since the classic Chipotle experience is much less centered on the “dining” aspect than it is on the customizability of food options, putting those same options online and giving folks some room to deliver both decreases Chipotle’s physical footprint and, ostensibly, opens up their services to more people.

It’s also a timely move given the sheer number of people who are sheltering in place. A hands-on burrito assembly line is not the optimal place to be in a pandemic, but there’s no denying the utilitarian appeal of Chipotle’s products. To that end, having another restaurant wherein you have the option to order a hearty meal with everything you like—which is also tailored to your dietary needs—is a crucial step for consumers.

Chipotle’s CTO, Curt Garner, says he is hoping this online alternative will offer a “frictionless” experience for diners.

As a part of that frictionless experience, consumers will be able to order in several different mediums. Chipotle’s website and their mobile app are the preferred choices, while services like GrubHub will also be available should you choose to order through a third-party. The idea is simple: To bring Chipotle to you with as little fuss as possible.

For now, Chipotle is committing to the single digital location to see how consumer demand pans out. Should the model prove successful, they plan to move forward with implementing additional digital locations nationwide.

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Business Marketing

Your business’ Yelp listing may be costing you more than you think

(BUSINESS MARKETING) The pay per click system Yelp uses sounds good in theory, but it may be hurting small businesses more than helping.



Man browsing Yelp for his business listing in open office environment.

We all know Yelp – we’ve probably all used Yelp’s comment section to decide whether or not that business is worth giving our money to. What you might not know is how they are extorting the small businesses they partner with.

For starters, it’s helpful to understand that Yelp generates revenue through a pay per click (PPC) search model. This means whenever a user clicks on your advertisement, you pay Yelp a small fee. You never pay Yelp a cent if no one clicks on your ad.

In theory, this sounds great – if someone is seeking out your product or service and clicks on your ad, chances are you’re going to see some of that return. This is what makes paying $15, $50, or even $100 a click worth it.

In practice, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. When setting up your Yelp account, you are able to plug in keywords that correspond with your business. For example, owner of San Francisco-based Headshots Inc. Dan St. Louis – former Yelp advertiser turned anti-Yelp advocate – plugged in keywords for his business, such as “corporate photographer” and “professional headshots”. When someone in the Bay Area searches one of those terms, they are likely to see Headshots Inc.’s Yelp ad.

You are also able to plug in keyword searches in which your ad will not appear. That sounds great too – no need to pay for ad clicks that will ultimately not bring in revenue for your business. In the case of Headshots Inc., Dan plugged in terms such as “affordable baby photography” and “affordable studio photography”, as his studio is quite high-end and would very likely turn off a user who is using the word “affordable” in their search.

How Yelp really cheats its small business partners is that it finds loopholes in your keyword input to place your ad in as many non-relevant searches as possible. This ensures that your ad is clicked more and, as a result, you have to pay them more without reaping any of the monetary benefits for your business.

If you plugged in “cheap photography” to your list of searches in which your ad will not appear, Yelp might still feature your ad for the “cheap photos” search. As if a small business owner has the time to enter in every single possible keyword someone might search!

In the case of Headshots Inc., Dan ended up paying $10k in total ad spend to Yelp with very little return. Needless to say, he is pissed.

So what does this mean for you if you use Yelp for your business? If you don’t want to completely opt out of Yelp’s shenanigans, try these 3 tips from Dan:

  1. Try searching some potential irrelevant keywords – are your ads showing up in these searches?
  2. Do your best to block the irrelevant keywords. It’s impossible to get them all, but the more you do the more money you will ultimately save.
  3. Keep an eye on the conversation rate on your profile – does more clicks mean more client inquiries? Make sure Yelp isn’t sending low-quality traffic to your profile.

Ultimately, it’s about protecting your small business. Yelp is the latest in big tech to be outted for manipulating individuals and small businesses to up their margins – a truly despicable act, if you ask me. If you don’t have tens of thousands of dollars for ad spend, then either boycott Yelp or try these tips – your company may depend on it.

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