Online video has proven to be an effective tool for real estate agents. If pictures can show off an available home better than text alone, then imagine how powerful video can be to the prospective buyer. It gives them the feeling of actually touring the property--outside of them visiting the house in person, there's no better way for them to truly experience it.
But for too long, real estate agents have been happy to shoot a virtual tour video and call it a day. And while that can help drive sales, it's hardly tapping the power of online video's ability to spread and have lasting impact on viewers. As someone who recently went through the whole home-buying routine, I can't tell you how boring those tour videos can be. They may have shown off the home, but they did little to excite me about the property. I've been waiting for a real estate company or agent to get way outside the box and create something with the ability to go viral.
And now I've found a couple great examples of real estate videos that are like nothing else in the industry, so I thought I would share.
Coldwell Banker's Famous Home
Coldwell Banker is a large national real estate company, with agents all over the country. But there's one special house one of their agents has listed recently that practically demanded something beyond the typical virtual-tour video: the house from the movie, Home Alone.
If you've seen the film, which I'm guessing most of you have, you'll almost instantly recall some of the architecture and decorating features of the home--the grand staircase or the classic red-brick exterior. The house is iconic. So the agent decided to take advantage of that, splicing in interview footage with the home's owners, who share memories of when the movie was filmed.
Here's the video:
Notice that the video is on Coldwell Banker's corporate YouTube channel--the agent didn't just upload the video to her own channel, but instead was able to leverage the brand-recognition of the corporate entity. This is a key part of Coldwell Banker's strategy--they've been very proactive in jumping into online video.
It helps, in this case, that the house was used in a famous movie... certainly this video wouldn't have nearly the views it does if the house were otherwise ordinary. But that's the thing about real estate videos... you don't need a ton of viewers... only the right single viewer.
Sex Sells Australian Real Estate
There's at least one real estate group in Australia willing to push online video marketing to its limits. Specifically, they use scantily-clad women in cinematic-style scenes that are staged inside the property the agents are trying to sell. It's like a dramatization---heavy on the sex appeal---that uses the home as a background element, like a bit of product placement marketing.
WARNING: There are women in lingerie in the videos that follow. I didn't make them, and I don't endorse them, but I cannot deny the viral power they've demonstrated, and that's worth discussion.
It must have worked fairly well for them, because in March they decided to try the same trick with a new property. This time it was 15 Queen Anne Court:
That video has over 650,000 views.
So even if the ads themselves are offensive to us, as I'm sure they are to some of you, there is clear power in what these agents have done. They've demonstrated that with the right gimmick or angle (in this case, sex appeal), a standard home-for-sale video can increase views exponentially.
As real estate agents begin to realize the capabilities that are now at their fingertips (cheap cameras that take high-quality video, cheap or free editing software, etc.) you're going to see more and more of them getting creative--maybe even daring--with their online video offerings. It may only take one viewer to turn into a buyer, but the larger the viewing pool... the more likely agents will be to find that buyer.