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Will Real Estate Ever Fully Adopt Video?…the answer is YES!

I just read an interesting blog questioning whether video in real estate sales will ever go mainstream.  Author Stephen Fells doesn’t think so.  I completely disagree.  And I better be right! Consumers are demanding video and we better give it to you.  A recent postling.com infographic showed that 73% of homeowners would want to list […]

I just read an interesting blog questioning whether video in real estate sales will ever go mainstream.  Author Stephen Fells doesn’t think so.  I completely disagree.  And I better be right!

Consumers are demanding video and we better give it to you.  A recent postling.com infographic showed that 73% of homeowners would want to list with an agent who had video capability, but only 12% of Realtors have a YouTube account.

Thankfully, while the industry struggles to adopt video, Coldwell Banker is way out in front.  We have seen great adoption within the Coldwell Banker ® brand to Coldwell Banker On Locationsm which debuted on YouTube in May 2009.

Since we introduced our collaboration with Google and YouTube, Coldwell Banker agents have uploaded more than 60,000 videos.  We have countless examples of consumers choosing an agent and even finding their home via video.

Adoption to video seems to be following a pattern in our industry.  Years ago when digital cameras went mainstream, real estate agents made a slow transition to using to digital photography to market homes.  In fact, we once enacted a rule that forced agents to have at least one digital photo on their coldwellbanker.com listing.  Today, photo counts on a listing can routinely be in the dozens.

But  photos just don’t cut it anymore.  The adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” is outdated today.  And it should be.  After all, that line was coined 80 years ago according to Wikipedia.  So what’s a video worth?  I checked on Google and unfortunately no one has come up with a popular  new phrase.  But in real estate, I can tell you it’s worth a lot!  Videos allow an agent’s personality to shine through as they showcase their experiences, neighborhoods and listings.  And the homes you are buying and selling, including fireplaces, ceiling fans and other amenities, simply look better in video.

Coldwell Banker has made a major commitment to video.  Not only is our On Location channel heavily promoted, but your agents who utilize video are rewarded.  Listings with videos attached automatically receive higher priority in an customer search.  And that is the way it should be as we continue the video education process.

And, of course, the quick adoption of the iPad has put video on the front burner.  The larger screen, portability and ease of use is allowing the iPad to revolutionize how we consumer video content.   As the first national real estate brand with an iPad app, we put the power of On Location to work.  Our app heavily features video.  In fact, a real estate app without video is like driving a Maserati without proper tire pressure.  Sure, the car will perform but not at the maximum effectiveness you paid for.

The time has come for greater adoption of video in the real estate community.  We are working hard to help Coldwell Banker agents push the envelope even further.

“73-12″ chart from postling.com infographic, Real Estate Industry + Social Media Use by Alexis Lamster

COO for Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. Ohio born, Jersey raised, NYC, LA and Nashville cultured. Father of three daughters and married to a saint. Undergraduate from Rutgers and MBA from Anderson School at UCLA. After 20 years in the car industry, Mike joined Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC in 2008 where he guided a string of innovations while serving as the CMO. In 2013 Mike was promoted to COO where he oversees the Coldwell Banker brand’s internal operations, learning, talent attraction, international, events and marketing.

  • http://www.agencylogic.com Stephen Fells

    Hi David,

    I agree Coldwell Banker is ahead on video usage and I’ve been an advocate (and channel subscriber) for a while. I love what you are doing on YouTube and blogged about it in 2009 (see: http://tinyurl.com/3q6rbdw) and the recent coverage of the Generation Blue Conference is also excellent (see: http://tinyurl.com/3qjn8bs).

    Relative to other major real estate franchises/brands Coldwell Banker corporate has adopted video in a very forward thinking way. Keller Williams are a close second but the rank and file agents still need a lot of help. I look at things from a consumers perspective and am often left scratching my head.

    The computer based voice in this video takes almost all of my attention. Instead of concentrating on the home I feel like I’m watching an 80′s sci-fi movie:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8s6ObOCOnQs

    This next video is worse, it’s just missing the “Press 1 to find out how many toilets this home has”:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQfWCbvg-vY&NR

    Too often agents focus on marketing themselves more than the home. Why is only 25% of the screen used to show the photos of the property in this video?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fkX8YDQsjY

    To be fair, this imbalance is seen in many areas of real estate marketing, not only video.

    If my home was in featured like this I would be disappointed, especially when I know that video can be so much better. Several moving images with a computerized voice over is not what I consider video even if it is on YouTube.

    Again, I think Coldwell Banker is doing an excellent job. I just think we’re going to see poor video’s for a long time to come no matter how much help agents are given. Let’s both hope I’m proven wrong

    Steve http://www.follr.me/steve

    • http://blog.coldwellbanker.com Coldwell Banker

      Hi Stephen. Thanks for your comment and for the blog post that sparked this discussion. We appreciate your noticing of what we’ve been doing in video and we’re glad you’ve caught wind of the Gen Blue videos as well. I completely agree with you that robotic voices and slideshows turned into videos are not the best option for the consumer. We have been dedicated to educating our system on the right way to do video and have produced guides to help them do so (http://www.scribd.com/doc/55840109/Real-Simple-Video).

      However, we do have some agents that are doing amazing things with video and we’re making sure they are brought to the forefront. Video listings like http://youtu.be/npX-AvbuaGg or testimonial videos like http://youtu.be/rLRktuyxsd8 as well as a number of others that are doing video right are being rewarded for it. It’s an uphill battle but one that’s worth fighting for the consumer as both the seller & buyer are rewarded by doing video.

      It’s become part of our brand’s DNA and permeates everything we do from our site to YouTube to our iPad app and we’re excited to see it continue to grow as more agents get on board.

  • http://www.resf.com jose

    http://www.resf.com has been doing this since 2007. CB is late!

    • http://blog.coldwellbanker.com Coldwell Banker

      Glad to see you’ve adopted video as well. Thanks for the comment!

  • http://www.4ClicksAway.com Chris Rasmussen

    The only question I have is "why real estate agents wouldn't use video"? We spend enormous amounts of money on print advertising including flyers, postcards etc. Agents should use video, the "richest media format" with the greatest impact! Think of the "flat" nature of an agents marketing campaign. People get tired of having to read endless text (like this!) to figure out "why they should consider your services as an agent".

    For example, I see a future in which Realtors grow their business through their own YouTube channel. Every Monday morning an agent uses their web cam to shoot a 1 minute video of themselves giving a "snap shot" of their specific market. I would call it "Bob Smith's Real Estate Round-Up". Bob would tell about his open house that had 22 people come through it and the comments buyers were making like "now seems like a great time to buy with low interest rates" and "the market here in our town seems to have bottomed out". Bob can relate this to "sale pendings" increasing in his town. Bob tells all his past, current and possible future clients to come and watch his Monday "Round-Up" to stay current with their town's real estate market.

    Now, would you rather have watched a video of me "saying" all of this or did you like "reading it" better?

    Check out my "Video Version" at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ag1MrTMenmQ of the above text.

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