Video and Real Estate Listings Part 2July 31, 2006
In part 1 of this post, we touched on some of the issues associated with online real estate video and podcasting. Here are some additional things that we have been thinking about with respect to real estate video:
Give the People What They Want
Some people like to watch video on the web. Others prefer to download videos to watch on their personal media players later on. People like choice.
Remove Language Obstacles
As I write this, we are less than two weeks from the launch of our three flagship websites in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. We also have been working to build a community around US and international real estate with our Spanish weblog and Portuguese weblog. Though there are many similarities and differences with international online communities, we have nonetheless been surprised at the quantity and quality of responses by real estate agencies. Of the 280 or so real estate agencies that have contacted us via our very simple online form, a good majority are from outside the US using one of the non-English websites and (surprise) many are already producing excellent quality videos of their properties. For interested, we are working on a process to quickly make these videos accessible to people in all languages that we support. We’ve already negociated a license with a sizable real estate agency in South America to translate their video as a proof of concept and to fine tune the process. We can do the same with your organization in any of our supported languages.
The web is a tool. Like any tool, people have varying degrees of skills in their use. Many of our experiences have been with agents and owners that either use the internet regularly as part of their business and are not geeks or understand the importance of the internet regardless of the level of their personal internet skills. With video as a reasonable next step in the online home search process, it is important to note that video raises the level of complexity for most users…even if only a little bit.
To those to whom this applies, step out of the Web 2.0 echo chamber for a moment. Most buyers, sellers, and agents don’t seem to care about the technical specifications of the tools that they use. They care more that the tools are easy to use, meet their business needs, and just work. The key part of success here is not only how video and podcasts can be integrated into listings, but also how they can be filtered, grouped, and viewed as part of the overall home search and sales process. There has to be some value-add for video beyond just being “cool” that particularly accounts for differences or preferences at each of the key points in the sales process.
Some quick examples include the following:
– prep for a home sale might require some sort of video template or quick training geared to the owner or agent to ensure that the fundamentals of good real estate video are covered.
– Self search for homes might require clearly identifying tight integration of online videos and/or downloadable podcasts into online real estate listings.
– Selection of homes to view with an agent might require the capability to unify videos of interesting properties into one searchable page where they can be quickly previewed, further filtered, compared and/or played without much additional effort to get from one video to another.
Make the Video Process Scalable
In short, sellers and agents are less likely to take video of their properties if it involves a large amount of work. That means that some sort of scalable and replicable process will be needed to reduce the complexities wherever possible. This process should extend from how to best prepare a home for presentation by video, recognizing the special challenges of real estate video, shooting the actual video, editing, making the video accessible, and then posting the video.
What are your thoughts about how to best integrate video into property listings? Are any parts of the process worth outsourcing (shooting the video, editing, translation, or posting online)? I’d love to hear your thinking.
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