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Where to Host Your Video and Why

Published: 12/02/2019

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Last week I had an interesting discussion with a reader about video hosting. The reader was complaining that on many posts I embed YouTube videos (like this post) when you do that when the video ends it displays a series of thumbnails that if clicked link to other videos on your YouTube home page. I'd never even noticed this YouTube feature that started in September of last year. Has anyone else noticed this feature or find it objectionable?

The reason I use YouTube videos here on PFRE so much is:

  1. You can find great tutorials on literally any subject.
  2. Many top real estate videographers have YouTube channels so it's a great way to keep up on what everyone is doing.

Of course, it's important to understand that if you want your video to be totally unbranded with no possibility of advertising of any kind you need to use video hosting like or the paid version of Vimeo. You may even find it beneficial to load your video on many hosting platforms to get the benefits of each service.

Popular Real Estate Video Articles

Larry Lohrman

21 comments on “Where to Host Your Video and Why”

  1. I just checked and this option still works. I got nervous when I read the post!

    Example 1 of YouTube video link (at end of video, there is 3-5 second delay and then thumbnails of suggested, unrelated videos appears):

    Example 2 of the same YouTube video link (add "?rel=0" to the end of the link in embed code and after the 3-5 second delay then thumbnails of other real estate videos from my channel appear which is a better option then unrelated videos)

    If you look at my clients, video page ( and scroll down past the YouTube videos (row 8), these videos are on Watch one of these (expand) and you will see how at the end of the video it dissolves back to the video page. I have not had the chance to swap out the IplayerHD links to YouTube yet.

  2. If you're using YouTube, just add "?rel=0" to the end of the embed URL to disable the related videos from coming up at the end of your video.

  3. I agree Larry that the thumbnails that appear after your film are really annoying! Good tip Herb thanks re how to stop it.

    Related, we've just switched to YouTube from Vimeo and, thumbnails aside, we are very happy with it. Anecdotally I always felt that Vimeo was less reliable than YouTube. Fairly often I'd click on one of our films and it would take ages to play. I'd stress that's anecdotal though.

    The other thing I really like re YouTube is the automatic subtitling. Load your film and within a while (day or so?) it automatically generates subtitle text. It still needs checking for accuracy and placement but it's easy to tweak an way easier that manually typing out subtitles.

  4. Keep in mind with VIMEO:

    Real estate walk through videos are against their Terms of Service.

    Commercial videos that may be disruptive to Vimeo viewers’ experience should remain private.

    Vimeo is a place to share and discover amazing videos. Commercial content that adversely affects on-site video discovery (e.g., by flooding search results) should remain private.
    If you’re uploading lots of similar, promotional videos (e.g., product demos), please keep these videos private.
    Videos focused on short term sales (e.g., real estate walk-throughs) should also remain private.
    Private Mode: PRO and Business members can use Private Mode to hide their videos and profile from discovery on vimeo or through search engines. Learn more about hosting and sharing private videos.

    In other words, you can only use Vimeo with real estate if you pay for a PRO account AND keep it PRIVATE, which of course reduces the effectiveness of anyone actually SEEING the video as they must have a direct link. It is not searchable or discoverable on a search engine, etc.

    I have had nearly 600 videos DELETED on two different occasions from Vimeo over the past decade. One was on their 'free' account, the other was on a paid PRO account that I had not made private. They deleted them all and THEN notified me that they had removed them.

    I know of several others personally that have had the same issues with this company. You're treading on thin ice with Vimeo. I would strongly recommend a site that IS real estate friendly, such as if you don't want to use YouTube.

  5. Not sure what happened above. I did not insert that video plus an entire line of text was deleted and replaced by that video....!

    ".....Private Mode: PRO and Business members can use Private Mode to hide their videos and profile from discovery on Vimeo or through search engines. Learn more about hosting and sharing private videos.

    I have had 600 videos DELETED....."

  6. @Herb "?rel=0" still applicable? I use to use it regularly and even showed some clients how with their videos, then YouTube changed the platform, eliminating access to url's or even a box to check that would add the ?rel=0 feature. Assume it conflicted with their ad generating revenue push. Just went to my channel to doublecheck, looking at editing options and saw nothing. Only url available for sharing was short format copy only - not editable. Tried copy and pasting to a new browser and adding ?rel=0 to the end, but still had all the thumbnail playlist to the side (and the ridiculous ad banners embedded in the video on the free accounts). The only thing I saw blocking your channel from sharing which is the exact opposite of what you would want - share yours, but don't push others at me.

    I typically refer to YouTube as the necessary evil. You always want to have the video on your YouTube channel supporting Google web rankings and searches in addition to having your video pushed to others. However, to keep people on your site you want something with paid hosting on Vimeo or iPlayerHD as your primary to eliminate having "suggested" videos pushed/auto-play at the viewer. Realtors don't want their listing at 123 Oak St to be followed by 321 Oak St listed by a competing broker. Or worse, another Realtor's personal bio, stating how great they are and you should list your home with them. I actually had that one pushed to me as I was viewing a Realtor Association training video hosted on YouTube, and you can be assured if your client has a personal bio linked to YouTube from their website that they will have their competitor's bio pushed as "suggested" (and probably paid subscription for placement) videos.

  7. Frankly. the best bang is to become Zillow certified and put them on there. That's where people are searching for properties. As far as I'm concerned, YouTube and Vimeo are great places to showcase your skills, but not the best place to actually find buyers.

  8. @Michele & @Herb Dierks - Thanks for the ?rel=0 tip!

    @Fred Light - Shame on me for not remembering the restriction about Vimeo and real estate video because you have told me your story about getting your stuff deleted before.

  9. I have had the pro plan at Vimeo for years and never had any problems. I have over 300 on there now, but have had as many as 700 on there at one time. Every year or two I will delete the old ones that sold when I get time.

  10. I had iPlayerHD for 8 years now and love it for hosting commercial video after Vimeo killed off my account way back in the early days for uploading real estate video. I think Vimeo is a good community though for filmmakers and pusring the artistic form of the craft?

  11. What a nightmare. I have 950 videos on Vimeo. I have a pro account with Vimeo. Just to be sure I understand. So by moving them to private mode only removes the search engine aspect but keeps links intact on all embedded videos. Is this correct? I have to admit I am a tad scared now. The thought of having them all being wiped due to technicality on no communication from Vimeo is scary. Heads up and that you have to switch by what ever date with be the proper way to handle things.

  12. Mike: What they require for real estate is a paid PRO account. But you also need to make all of your videos 'private' in order to use that service, so essentially your videos can ONLY be accessed by a direct link (say from an MLS listing, etc.). They are NOT searchable or discoverable any other way, such as a search engine, etc.

    So as long as you pay and make your account private you should be OK. My issue is WHY bother uploading to Vimeo if it's not made public? That's what I want, that's what agents want and that's what sellers want... for people to SEE the video of the property! It's about exposure.

    YouTube videos pop up on page one of a search on a particular address within hours of uploading. That type of exposure makes ME look good, makes the AGENT look good and makes a seller very, very happy. Vimeo offers none of that since you have to keep your videos a 'secret'.

    And of course the way Vimeo has treated me and MANY others out there by deleting massive amounts of video and THEN notifying you after the fact... leaves a bad taste, to say the least. I've been with for about 10 years. Never an issue, incredible customer service (you can actually TALK to the owner, Wes Moore if you have an issue) and they are very real estate friendly.

  13. YouTube is the #2 search engine after Google. If you don't use YouTube, you've lost the very large audience that's looking for real estate on YouTube, and reduced or eliminated your visibility in Google searches.

    My site is a YouTube channel partner, which gives us the ability to eliminate overlay ads.

    The majority of our traffic on YouTube (over 9 million views) comes from suggested video links in the right column and at the end of others' videos.

  14. Fred: I will make the change tonight to protect the account. I will then start shifting over to as you mentioned. Also, thank you for getting back to me I enjoyed talking with you!! You have helped me so much! I feel like I got a second wind and my photography business just found another gear to engage! Cheers mate!

    Larry: Thank you!!!!

  15. One thing that will not change is video work will come on the back of referrals always and 99.9% of the time. With all the tech, luts, mirrorless cameras, swoosh in and swoosh out, lipdub music styles, 4k this and 6k that, video work will always come off the back of referrals just like photography. The craft of storytelling through motion still belongs to the individual behind the camera. However, the market you chase will always depend on how hip you want to be in my experience...

  16. @Joe Zekas - you just stated what I was trying to state earlier. Always use YouTube for the suggested link at the right. You (your client) WANT to be on that list to attract the interest of someone who initially was looking for something similar. The reverse is the issue - if you direct link a prospect to a video of your property, you want to keep them - not hand off to a competitor's property listed on the right. Supposedly YouTube channel partner and subsequent advertising is not part of the search selection algorithm so lesser accounts that can't meet the high subscriber/viewing hours/ad eligibility requirements of channel partners are treated equally. While I jokingly referred to YouTube as the necessary evil, 100% of videos should be uploaded to YouTube as a SECONDARY to take advantage of the right column to swipe prospects away from competitors as well as the broader Google search which elevates video content since they own YouTube and list first page in the general search return, plus has a tab at the top dedicated to video search. For PRIMARY video hosting where you want to retain the prospect, use iPlayerHD or Vimeo Pro with those links distributed (and embedded) as appropriate. Both have the capability to share with your YouTube channel as well as other social media, making it quite simple. Also, with iPlayerHD (not sure on Vimeo) encourage your client to download the mp4 file and upload to their "Joe Realtor" personal YouTube channel that has their contact info. With differing titles (there is a science to it), could have the same property twice on the right side.

  17. Also, the added value of YouTube is the powerful Google partnership and with the newer "my places", you're going to get a lot of bang for your buck, for free. Free hosting of a lot of videos on Google/YouTube will help your SEO. In addition, you can do the Zillow walk through video and other portals to reach buyers.

  18. Is there a way in youtube of keeping the web link address even if you update/replace the video? The advantage of vimeo is that you never lose the original link.

  19. I'd be very concerned with using Vimeo or Youtube as a back up site. I hope to not sound too aggressive, but why would somebody keep hundreds of property videos hosted once they've sold? Current listings, including a few that just sold and a portfolio of the ones that turned out the best makes more sense to me. I'm also in the dark about the argument of it being valuable for viewers to be able to search for property videos on those services rather than being guided in via links from RE centric locations.

    I've seen horror stories from people that make their living producing content for a YouTube channel that have been hit with malicious or erroneous infringement claims. The first strike gets a warning, the second a suspension and the third deletes the account. Youtube/Google doesn't want to adjudicate anything and often takes a complaint as a conviction and you have to go back and forth to get a strike removed hopefully before your account is suspended or deleted. More videos can mean a greater chance that one of them is tagged by automated systems as infringing on a Copyright. I'd really hate to explain to a bunch of customers why I couldn't post their property video or why all of the ones they have me hosting suddenly went off-line. It's sounding like there could be a good opening for a company to specialize in hosting RE listing videos by subscription and include a search system that could locate properties in a specified area within given parameters. In the mean time, it makes a ton of sense to have a Plan B and have backups that don't depend on another company's whims. Many hosting companies have plans that would work for hosting videos in terms of speed and monthly bandwidth. It's just a matter of how much you need vs. what they charge. You could even sell targeted advertising (lenders, title companies, inspectors, uHaul/movers, flooring/appliance companies, cleaning services, etc) to help pay the costs. You just have to stay away from ads that compete with you or your customers. The advantage is that you never lose the link and you are in charge.

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