This Week In Real Estate Video #5

April 27th, 2012

Last week several people pointed out that when I embed so many YT videos on the blog it really slows down the blog load time. So I’m going start just linking to YT rather than embedding everything. My job was a little easier this week there were only about 37,800 real estate videos uploaded to YouTube this week.

Readers are doing great at pointing out some great real estate video. several of these videos are older that last week but are such great examples I can help but bend the rules a little:

  1. I know Penny – A hip little pitch for Penny McLaughlin and her team up in Kitsap county, Washington  just across the sound from Seattle. The rapper is Zach Selwyn who does a great job for Penny’s Team. Yea can’t mess around with the Pacific Northwest!
  2. Real Estate Swagger Rap Music Video – Continuing the rap theme, a little ditty from Tom Ferry Real Estate training that talks about how agents are feeling after the real estate market crash in the US.
  3. Mr Volker’s Neighborhoods(The winner of the reader poll) A take off from Mr Rogers Neighborhood by Steve Volker in West Michigan. I’ll just bet Steve grew up watching Mr Rogers Neighborhood on TV, he’s about the right age. Nice smooth job of doing a video blog!
  4. Monthly Market Report – By Mark Taylor – Principal, Taylors Estate Agents in Sydney, AU. Very smooth and professionally done but poor use of the YouTube description field. One has to work too hard at finding Mark’s name, contact and website info. I think you should have all that info in the description field.
  5. Good photos sell homes…bad photos chase buyers away – By Norm Fisher and his team in Saskatoon CA. Long time PFRE readers will remember Norm’s wildly popular tour titled Unbelievably Bad Real Estate Photos Hall of Fame from about 2007.
  6. Broomfields Road, Whitford E7 By Allie Chen – Smooth little video with wonderful aerial shots and really appealing music. All that we’ve come to expect from But to me this feels very special.

So what do you think?

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19 Responses to “This Week In Real Estate Video #5”

  • I would have gone for the Monthly Market Report, but it turned to a blatant sales pitch at the end. What is it about Australians and good video?

    I do a monthly market video. I find stats difficult to present without being jump-out-of-a-window-boring. Would love critical feedback on my last one:

  • I join in admiring the production values of the PlatinumHDTV videos. They’re beautifully shot.

    I view production values as taking a distant back seat to views. If the videos aren’t being viewed by the right audience, I’d contend they’re worthless.

    When I look at the view counts on YouTube for PlatinumHDTV I find it hard to conclude that they’re not reaching any audience, much less the right audience:

    Look at the view counts for the last month and you’ll see a number of videos uploaded a month ago that have 0, 1, 2, 3 … etc views – some of those mine.

    Since I have such a simple-minded approach to this, I’d love to have the professionals explain to me what I’m missing.

  • @Joe- Brett Clements says that the primary reason that number of views is low on the Platinumhdtv YT channel is that clients tend to load their video and promote it on their own YT channel not the Platinumhttv channel… very few clients promote the video on the Platinumhdtv channel although if you sort it by popularity there is one video 5 months old that has 89,000 views.

  • Bruce,

    I would take your video over all the ones listed above. A few critical comments that might help. All of the graphics were very professional. Would like to know how you did the graphics, particularly the swinging sign on some of your stats.

    1) Just do the update, you are giving information on the park, as well as the market area. Choose one or the other in my humble opinion. It will also decrease the video time.
    2) Guitar is too loud, you are the important one here, and the music was mixed in almost as loud as your voice, found it hard to concentrate on what you’re saying
    3) Would use softer, more mellow music behind you as well. Or no music at all (perhaps try and see what you think)
    4) Let the stats breathe a little. It all went up there and disappeared so quickly it was hard for a numbers guy like me to absorb. I know I could pause the screen, but you might want to say that to someone who is watching.
    5) Hit only 3 statistics and give a touch more attention to the 3, instead of the broad swath of data that you gave. Keep it simple and concise, but show your knowledge as well. That’s a tough thing to do for me because I could talk about numbers all day long and love it.
    5) After watching my Google adwords account for the past 10 years, the term XXXX County homes for sale is a big keyword. I would use that in your tag as well as the description and title somewhere.
    6) Post it on facebook, twitter if you have it. Also put a QR code on your direct mail taking them to this video. Also on your direct mail (if you use that medium), get a domain name for your updates and forward the domain to the video for that month’s market report. Brand that along with yourself.
    7) VERY professional appearance, b-roll, etc. Love it!

    Hope that helps. Link to my channel if you like to subscribe


  • @Bruce- I like your market review… one of the best ones I’ve seen… very smooth and professional. Great work! Timing and background music was great for me.

  • Larry,

    I did the sort by popularity and found that 1% of the videos on that channel have 40% of the entire view count of the channel. The one you cite has, by itself, 20% of the channel’s views for more than 4,000 videos.

    Count me a skeptic on the notion that very many of the clients have their own YouTube channels – but that’s based solely on my experience with clients.

    PlatinumHDTV blogged about creating YouTube channels for several of its clients last July:

    If you look at the two real estate cliients mentioned in that blog, you’ll see – in general – the same thin view counts that you see on the PHDTV channel.

    We have about 2.2M views on our primary YouTube channel. The most popular of those videos (Ivanka Trump) generated 56.6K views. We have almost exactly half as many videos online as PHDTV and almost exactly 5 times as many total views on our channels as PHDTV does on its.

    When I look at YouTube’s Analytics for our channel, more than half of our views come from 1) YouTube suggested video, 2) YouTube search and 3) Google search, in that order of view counts.

    It’s curious that YouTube and Google generate views for videos on our channel and not for PHDTV’s – as a general proposition.

    It’s our standard practice, where relevant, to link to a client’s website at the beginning of the descriptive text in each video. PHDTV links to its website rather than to its client’s.

    The point I’m heading toward – indirectly, as you can see – is that video needs a distribution strategy and a search optimization strategy in order to have any value. YouTube alone, for whatever reason, doesn’t seem to get the job done for most real estate video. I’ve been monitoring the success or lack thereof of real estate video for 5 years now and have seen almost no real estate agent / company channels that garner enough views to justify the effort and expense that’s gone into them.

  • Hi Guys. Hey Joe.

    We do not use YouTube as our primary channel. Far from it. We’ve invested about half a million dollars over the last 8 years building a proprietary streaming system. We even have our own transcoder. Etc. Etc. This allows Agents to embed videos directly into their site without having the YouTube water mark on it. Also. When the video finishes, a whole selection of other videos to watch doesn’t pop up on their site (like videos shot by your competitors. We also experiment with super-wide screen and stuff. YouTube doesn’t cater for this. If we’re going to do a big video – like a Queen Anne – that is going to get a few hundred thousand views – more often than not it will go up on the Client’s channel. Like NEO. This is because we can’t afford to take half a million hits on our comms. We’d get killed on $$. YouTube also moves vitral very fast. However. We primary use YouTube as an archive and a second, back-up system for streaming. On average, each one of our videos gets about 130 to 200 views – probably about the same number of people that would go to a physical Open Home.

  • Bruce,
    Your market report is one of the best I’ve seen. What program did you use to create the graphics?

  • @Terry – I really appreciate the detailed feedback – thanks. I worry that real estate market stats are so incredibly boring, that mixing in with a location and adding music is a way to hold the viewers interest. I have a strict ‘2 minute length rule’ that was ignored on this one – agree that 3 minutes is too long; could have easily edited this down. Thanks for the other points – I’ll review these with my media guy.

    @Terry, @ Wayne – the graphs were completed in Excel. I was bringing these into Powerpoint 2010, adding simple animation, and generating a wmv file which was edited in. Anyone with basic MS Office skills can use that methodology to animate graphs (and other stuff). Now, I create PDF’s that my media guy brings into Adobe After Effects (I believe). The swinging door animation is from that.

  • interesting watch, thanks….

  • Hey Bruce,

    Your media guys want some extra work? I’m creating all my graphics in Keynote and it takes me forever. Love this as a hobby, but not a profession if you know what I mean. Need some folks to help me out with some extra stuff.

  • @Joe – Seems to me the best video RE video strategy should succeed on two levels:

    Couldn’t agree more that “video needs a distribution strategy and a search optimization strategy in order to have any value”. I’m amazed at the consistently high number of hits YoChicago gets on YT. As a small broker, I haven’t figured out a way (yet) to drive sufficient traffic to my YT vids to justify the expense. The primary way that I drive *meaningful* traffic to vids is to create an unbranded version that’s attached to a property’s MLS listing. This allows me to distribute a vid to 10s/100s of MLS sites where buyers are actually looking at homes. As an example, here’s the stats for a 2 week old listing:
    – Youtube 100 hits (from website, email newsletter, facebook)
    – Vimeo Unbranded MLS – 100 loads with 74 plays

    My vimeo hits are worth maybe 5X my YT hits since these are all from buyers looking for homes in that area and price range. IMO – RE listing vids (in the US) must be distributed via the MLS to be effective.

    Maybe I’m wrong, but I think video must be engaging to be effective. If most vid viewers have ADD like me, they are clicking ‘next’ after 10 sec if the vid is boring. Unless there’s a super charismatic guy being filmed, the vast majority of low production vids won’t be worth the effort either. IMHO. PlatinumHD is light years ahead of anyone in the RE space for production value. The quality of their most basic listing vid is stunning. And their highly produced vids are unforgettable (I can only dream that one day a tied-up lingerie model will be describing the merits of my listing’s walk-in closet while waiting for a swat team to arrive). I would imagine that their retention rate is through the roof – 90%+. To you’re point, however, none of this matters if people aren’t finding them.

    As a test to this theory, I reviewed YT ‘Audience Retention’ for a couple of my vids to see how long viewers stick around:

    – My most popular listing vid from Sept 2010 –
    It’s long, and the production value isn’t very good. Audience retention is a linear, downward line. By 2 min, less than 30% visitors are still watching.

    – More recent vid from this month –
    Production value is much higher. Audience retention drops to 75% after the first 10sec, but then it stays there to the very end. Visitors start dropping off during my closing.

    So hits are one important metric, but Retention is equally important. Perhaps the best analytical measure of a vid’s effectiveness.

    Sorry for the long comment. The merits of the very two different levels of success for YoChicago & PlatinumHD have made my head spin quite a bit. And have added several more things to my “Vid To Do” list.

    @Larry – appreciate you starting these discussions.

  • Bruce,

    Our website is the core of our distribution strategy, and generates the most referral views:

    Views are also generated by search traffic to blog posts, often long after the day of the post.

    I also watch retention info and don’t see the correlation you do between production quality and retention. I find retention to be more correlated with how interesting the home / topic / person is than with production values. That said, we don’t pay a great deal of attention to production values on the carefully articulated and I think time-proven theory that, given the trade-offs, our audience would rather see more than better and our clients (by and large) are unwilling to pay for better.

    I know many will disagree with me on this, but we absolutely shun the use of music and refuse a client who wants it. I’ve heard from many consumers who find it annoying and tell me they tune out the second they hear background music. The lack of annoying music is a branding element that encourages viewers to watch more of our videos.

    The only arbitrary length limit we set is to avoid short videos. Our experience is that consumers bypass short videos on the oft-correct assumption that they’re nothing more than a slide show with music.

    We promote our videos on Twitter, on Facebook where relevant and through relevant comments on other sites.

    We urge our clients to create and promote their own branded YouTube channels, and will create them for free if there’s any resistance or inability. We repeatedly push our clients to promote their YT channels – repeatedly, because they thoroughly and systematically fail to do so.

  • Joe – thanks for the detailed points that describe your overall strategy and value proposition.

    I’m fascinated by the strategy: no music, long vids, ‘more rather than better’. This is counter-intuitive to everything that I would think effective RE video would be. You guys have been doing this for years and you obviously track the numbers. You didn’t mention non-branded MLS video distribution. I wonder if you’ve considered that an option.

    I would expect that PlatinumHD would sell “high production value” of their videos when getting business.

    As an agent, there’s lots of firms telling us “what works in video” (as with all other parts of the business). And usually, “what works” is the same as “what service is being offered”.

    Forums like this help us put pieces together to figure out what really works for us. At least for me, it’s not an easy nut to crack. I appreciate that you’ve added a couple of new pieces to consider.

  • Thank you so much for highlight the work of my staff and the Steve Volkers Group. We have had so much fun with the weekly videocast of Mr.Volkers neighborhood. Thank you for the work you doing putting out this blog each. It’s amazing to see what people are doing with video and photos these days. For more episodes and other videos we are doing please checkout out our youtube channel!

  • Bruce,

    We came to video from a 20-year background of producing consumer-oriented real estate publications. That gave us tons of exposure to what readers (now viewers) want.

    We’ve been fortunate over the years to have had enough success to take an independent approach and not be guided primarily by what agents want to see. They think they want music. They think they want short. They think they want better quality, and are oblivious to what that costs. We refer them to other sources and focus our efforts on what we’ve found consumers value, because at the end of the day agents want leads and want to please their sellers by showing view counts and results.

    Too many sources have mis-educated agents that consumers have short attention spans and won’t watch longer videos etc. etc. We point agents to the view counts for those guys and for our videos, and that’s usually sufficient to change their minds.

    One reaction I had to your earlier point about retention. When I watch buyers at open houses, which is what I consider a video to be, I see high drop-off rates before the end of the walk-around – and I see drive-bys. If you don’t expect to retain every open house attendee all the way through a tour, you shouldn’t expect to retain every viewer all the way through a video.

    We don’t do the non-branded videos because in MRED, the local MLS, they’d show as virtual tour links, and we believe that consumers have developed a firm mindset about virtual tours: not worth the time when you’ve already seen the stills. It would also require a number of changes and a separate edit, and we’ve seen zero demand for it from our clients.

  • Its amazing how guys like Joe Zekas and others who have “been in the industy” for years keep talking about views and are using youtube as their main video source. Having their videos play default in the lowest possible 360p quality.

    Anyone who is serious about video is using a premium hosting service like iplayerHD or vimeo pro (or a custom platform like Brett) as their main source and youtube only as a portfollio so the hits are going to their main hosting platform, not youtube. These platforms have bitrate detection or HD as default so their work is shown in the nest quality possible, and 80% of viewing can see it on HD.

    Joe and the others might want to do a little research and realize that youtube views mean little, I could add 300 views to any video in 30 mins……its not rocket science.

  • What’s amazing is how haughty anonymice can be about what it means to be serious about video, how unfamiliar they appear to be with YouTube’s click-fraud prevention algorithms, and how presumptuous they can be about whether others have done research and whether it’s possible to draw different conclusions from it.

  • What’s with the man on the video? Never had any idea what’s on the video until I finally watched it! anyway its all about real estate I’m concern of.

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