For years, we’ve been writing about real estate video techniques, videographers and trends and long ago, tech writers agreed that it was the next “big thing” but we’ve all been waiting for the day to come that it really mattered. Some people have been putting a tremendous amount of effort into video for years while some are waiting to jump in until there is evidence that there is consumer demand.
The day is here! But why doesn’t everyone using video have a competitive advantage? Let’s break it down- new data from comScore on web video engagement reveals that the total American audience engaged in over 5.6 billion viewing sessions in May and 83% of all Americans watched an online video in May.
Users averaged 15.9 hours of video in the month with Google sites (aka YouTube) remaining the top video site with 147.2 million unique viewers, 2.17 billion viewing sessions, averaging five hours spent per view in May alone. This statistic is astonishing. The increase is not only because of smartphones now coming with YouTube apps built in, but better speeds on phones, both of which increase the mainstream adoption of web video.
VEVO followed with 60.4 million viewers (and 309 million viewing sessions), with Yahoo (55.5 million viewers) and Facebook (48.2 million viewers) taking the third and fourth spots, respectively. Viacom Digital came in fifth with 46.5 million viewers.
The concept that videos over two minutes fail to resonate with consumers is not true despite previously held notions as comScore reports the average web video watches is currently just over five minutes long.
Video and real estate
While a rise in consumer demand of video does not directly imply a rise in demand for real estate video, it is our belief that current data shows that the day has come that video is the next “big thing” and Realtors should be involved. The problem with real estate involvement in video is that it is impossible not to create a video that is an advertisement- for your listing, your team, your brokerage, your personal brand or otherwise, and the data does not necessarily support that consumers are demanding commercial video.
That said, Realtors using video do have a competitive advantage (with a caveat in the next paragraph) because of the amount of video being consumed putting them in the right place at the right time. Think of it as an online store opening a retail front as akin to a standard Realtor opening a web video channel. People know about the online store (or the concept of a Realtor) and are into it, they accept it, but they may not know or care yet about the new retail front (or web video channel) because they’re content with what they have, but as they go to more and more retail fronts (or web video channels), the likelihood of a connection rises over time.
Also, because of this rise of video demand, a shaky cell phone video of a dark walk through of a property with heavy breathing as a Realtor walks up the stairs won’t cut it anymore (unless it’s humor, of course). Bad video is becoming akin to a 1997 template website as consumers are more experienced with quality video, and the “oh he’s new to it, it’s okay” mentality is now gone and consumers are becoming less forgiving. The true advantage only goes to the agents who are implementing quality video.