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.

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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.

Wrap Up

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.

  • Duncan Schieb

    That's us.. Cool.. We are launching in the US this spring.

  • Todd Breen

     Great to see the real estate industry finally coming around to using video.  I've been publishing the complete video walk through tours you like since 2004 at my real estate company, and published my real estate video tour training online at 

    According to the agents who make REAL video tours that actually show the entire property, and the home buyers who watch their videos?  This WILL change the way real estate is marketed!

  • Tim Judge

    Video is quickly becoming the norm and not the exception. I have simple videos on an average street still gaining hits 1200+ from over a year ago. I think its a great time capsule for the home and although the home may not be re-listed for 7 years+ the current buyers will remember that video, and you may even get the listing!

  • Kory Snider

    I think another important aspect of real estate video is the added branding and exposure for the listing agent. Virtual Tours have mostly focused on the property and not so much on the agent. I recently did a video for an agent in a well established neighborhood...while we were shooting her in front of the property, several neighbors watched from a distance with interest. Not only does the agent benefit from creating a video to sell the property, they also send a powerful message to potential sellers near and far.

  • Douglas Aurand

    Guys, really don't understand real estate sales and how buyers find homes on the Internet. They search by location, price, #Bedroom, #Baths, etc which is why serious buyers use websites like and other real estate websites that can be searched with the criteria they're looking for
    Plus none of these 3 video could be posted or distibuted through most of the local Multiple Listings Services for content problems; Agent's Name & Image and morals rules that would be instituted reall fast if they didn't already exist

  • Ronnie Bincer

    Cool ideas... even though most Agents won't spend the needed money to make vids like these, you guys are great at pointing out examples that others could build on (even if it is a home-grown version of the above)... might make a sale.

    • JeremyScott

      Right. Even a more amateur-quality video could still do the job and find a buyer, and in a localized market it wouldn't even need to go "viral" as we currently define it.

  • The WebVideo Company

    Hey nice article Jeremy we been doing this some time now along with other related web videos promos its the logical route to take with the highest ROI (for smaller companies in particular) we know of ..if your a real estate company why not not give us a call we can share some expertise with you on this subject..

  • Social Web Videos

    Great to see a little T and A selling B and M when in doubt roll out the flesh...

  • Gregg J

    I've been thinking along these lines for over 5 years. I always hated the virtual tour b/c of it's skewed perspective that you don't really see how it looks in real life. The Aussie vids are obviously an interesting approach but in reality may or may not sell houses.

    From a video production standpoint when my company was younger and more in need of clients we tried many times to work with real estate agents. The thing is that most of them have to spend their own money for marketing so dropping the kind of dollars to produce a quality video was a hard pill for them to swallow. From our end, we couldn't justify doing those videos for fractions of what we'd charge other clients.

    I like those examples and maybe its a way to get the parent companies to spend the dough to make it worthwhile for all parties.