Part 2 of 3 in a series.
I have been reflecting on the past five years as I am marketing the home of some of my first international clients. They moved from the UK to Crozet (their house is for sale and is shown at the end of this post). When we were meeting a few weeks ago, they were looking at the faxes I used to send them, discussing the websites I used to put up for them – photos of neighborhoods, areas, houses, etc. and we were talking about how things have changed and evolved since then.
The second technology that is “here” is:
Video – at the time, I was taking hundreds of photos and putting them on private, password protected websites for my out of town clients using .mac sites. It was relatively simple, but vastly more time-consuming than taking a quick 10-minute HD video and uploading it so my out-of-state or -country clients can see the house. In fact. I sold a house this year to tremendous buyer clients by virtue of a 15 minute video I did as their buyer’s agent.
Now I’ve moved from taking dozens of photos and am doing videos.
“There is a distinct and important difference between the “marketing” videos we do and the “walkthrough” videos I do for my buyer clients. The former are good fluff, presenting the house in the best light; the latter are “real” – kinda shaky, not always perfect lighting or framed shots, but they are real – looking in closets, laundry rooms, up at the ceiling fans, out the bathroom window (a suggestion of a client), down the street …“
– Bandwidth is less of an issue than it was a few years ago, but will remain a challenge for some. The US still lags behind much of the world in internet connection speed .
– This story is already out of date. I started it early last week and these two relevant stories have popped up.
Video is the “next” thing but will be is limited by the MLS politics. Once again, technology is not the enemy, it is the facilitator. The enemy are the Realtors. Consumers don’t care about MLS politics. We Realtors need to accept and understand this. Not doing so comes at our own peril.
Now, video is ubiquitous and more consumers now have and use high speed internet:
But, it is important to recognize that only two thirds of Americans have broadband access at home:
Two-thirds of American adults (66%) now have a broadband internet connection at home, a figure that is little changed from the 63% with a high-speed home connection at a similar point in 2009.
Challenges to more significant video usage by Realtors and real estate agents:
– Video has to be COMPELLING. Boring video doesn’t work. I’ve found that video without an accompanying transcript does not work as well as video with words. Some people at work can’t watch videos.
– Branding & the MLS. I don’t do marketing videos as much anymore because the single greatest director and source of traffic – the MLS – has an obscene aversion to branding. For example: if I put a video up of a property I’m marketing and use my primary youtube account (the easiest way to upload and share video) I can be and will be flagged for “branding” because the consumer can find me via youtube.
– Youtube has a 15 minute limit on video length, and 14 minute HD videos often are larger than their 2 gigabyte limit.
– The Consumer Doesn’t Care about Realtors’ squabbles about branding. They want to see everything, and if they don’t get it from Realtors, they’ll get it somewhere else. See: Part One.
Part Three – Real Estate Technology I wanted Five Years Ago is Finally Here – Paperless Transactions.
Prologue – What’s Next?