Online marketing expert Ahryn Scott talks to first tuesday’s Carrie Reyes, about effectively using online real estate promotions to gain new clients.
Tell me about yourself – what is your background in real estate?
I grew up in real estate and began working for my father’s real estate company in high school. While attending UCLA, I worked in special effects in Hollywood, which got me into the video and film world. I was a real estate agent during the 2000s in LA, Newport Beach and Riverside.
While working as a real estate agent, I saw small real estate businesses struggling with keeping all the balls in the air at once. Marketing a listing and marketing yourself are two constant efforts that need to be balanced.
And when the Millennium Boom went bust, that was when I started helping small businesses with their web marketing.
How effective are web videos in promoting a broker or listing online? Are they worth a broker’s time and expense?
Yes. If you brand the agent at the front, middle and end of the video, this allows the video to have longevity, even if it is for an old listing. Brand the agent in the description and get the agent on camera giving a personal message. Maybe give information about the neighborhood to show their expertise in that area.
According to Century 21, web videos on average increase home sales by 20%. And 70% of homebuyers look for videos on the web when they’re searching for listings.
What type of content should be present in web videos for brokers to gain more buyer clients?
Beyond the common listing video, there are a few different types of web videos an agent can use to market themselves.
The best type of video an agent can make is a client testimonial video. As soon as you sell the house, shoot a quick video of your buyer — you can use your smartphone — and you will get an authentic, raw video that shows their honest feelings of using you as an agent. This is kind of like word of mouth marketing in the digital age.
Also consider making an agent profile (or a profile of a brokerage or a service offered by the agent/brokerage). This can be a casual interview video where they give their background and highlight any specialties or special way they have of doing things.
An FAQ video can also be really helpful. Anticipate the top ten questions buyers have and the top ten questions sellers have. Answer the questions authoritatively to show you are an expert, branding yourself in that market.
What common mistakes do brokers make when creating a video listing?
The most common mistake is missed opportunities. Not including an audio track is a missed opportunity. Of course, a video with music as the audio is better than no video at all. But the value of a video with an audio track is much higher.
How much does it cost to make a video listing? Can anyone do it?
Investing in a lapel microphone will cost $15 or $20 and will make your video sound more professional. You can make a video using the software that comes with your computer (iMovie if you have a Mac or Windows Video if you have a PC). Or, it costs about $100 to buy low-end video software that actually works pretty well. Sony Vegas for PC is a good program to start with.
iPhones have good cameras (but not very good audio). You can always take the video with your iPhone then add an audio track later.
How do you direct web traffic to a video listing? Where should I post my videos?
YouTube has the highest traffic for video viewing on the web. It’s also owned by Google, so special consideration is given to YouTube videos when you do searches. Use the right keywords in the video’s title and description to have it show up in searches. Think of what you would type into Google to search. For example “San Diego beach home for sale” would be a good title. And the description can be several paragraphs long, so include popular keywords.
You can find the best keywords by using Google’s keyword search.
You can also link your video on Facebook. Don’t share the video from YouTube to Facebook, but upload it to Facebook separately. People are more likely to click the video if it’s hosted by Facebook, because then they don’t have to view the video in a separate page.
For an agent who has a limited budget, what type of marketing is the best gateway to acquiring new clients and keeping in touch with past clients?
Email is important. I recommend Constant Contact. Social media is also important, since it lets you interact with your clients.
But develop good content first, because as the saying goes, content is king. The delivery doesn’t matter as much as the message.
Pay attention to review sites and control your online reputation. Do this by asking happy clients to share their experience with you online, be it on Yelp, Google+, Facebook or Twitter. Reviews are quickly becoming integrated into search results, meaning your reputation is always visible. But this can be an effective tool if you learn to show off your good reviews.
Ahryn Scott is the owner of Web Video Ad Space, a full service marketing firm based in Riverside, California. His areas of expertise are web video marketing, web design, online marketing and reputation management.
Visit Ahryn Scott’s website at webvideoadspace.com. If you mention you read about him at first tuesday, you will receive 35% off your first Web Video Commercial!