If asked to explain the motivation behind their choice of profession, a real estate agent might provide you with any number of reasons.
In many cases, real estate agents operate as independent contractors, granting themselves the often-coveted ability to ‘be their own boss.’ This empowers them to gain control over the growth of their business, and to build lasting relationships with satisfied clients which could lead to beneficial referrals and even repeat business down the road.
And it’s in those relationships where the role of a real estate agent is most easily romanticized. While many acquisitions of property are little more than business transactions, so many more represent the first stop of building a home or even building a life. They are the means by which we achieve a cornerstone of the American Dream. As such, one could argue that their symbiotic relationship with one of our major aspirational goals grants real estate agents a unique relationship with the consumer. They are, quite literally, selling a dream.
The real question for realtors is whether or not they are effectively presenting their ability to help homebuyers to achieve that dream. In a world that demands more than lawn-planted signs with a polished headshot, are they employing the most current digital marketing strategies to ensure that they are being seen and heard?
If your answer is based around a confirmation that you have a Facebook page, you’re probably guilty of “doing it wrong.” You need to aim higher, incorporating a multimedia strategy because, if increased visibility is your goal, what better way to achieve that goal than through a visual medium. And with that, let’s explore the power of video.
You Are Your Brand
As a realtor, the services which you offer are as much ‘the products’ being offered to the consumer as is the property itself. But what makes your product different from that of other realtors? Part of that is the strength of your brand and the consumer’s perception of it.
As you know, brand strength is built upon ease of recognition, positive testimonial, and consistent reinforcement. In years past, this might take the form of a house bought or sold by friends; its lawn adorned with a sign featuring your photo and the words “Another House Sold By…”. Satisfied praise of your professionalism would be showered through word of mouth, and that referral serves as the highest possible compliment.
While all of these steps are still relevant, the digital landscape of today’s business world provides even more effective tools for brand reinforcement. The need for a well-designed, informative and responsive website goes without saying; and the accessibility afforded by diligently-managed social media platforms might be your most versatile tool of all. Frankly, if these aren’t the cornerstones of your business model, you’re more-than-a-little “behind the times.” But when it comes to consistently reinforcing your brand recognition, there is an even more powerful tool at your disposal.
How much time do you spend on YouTube? It is estimated that the average adult American spends a minimum of 1 hour a week viewing video content (and that’s a bare minimum). With over a billion users worldwide, YouTube accounts for approximately 1/3 of all internet use with 500 million hours of content consumed each day. And YouTube is just one platform upon which video can be experienced.
In 2018, studies showed that 9 out of 10 marketers either use or are integrating plans to use, video content as a cornerstone of their marketing strategy. With the American consumer base stretching from the aging Baby Boomers to the freshly-legal Generation Z, businesses need to ask themselves if they’re reaching those audiences as effectively as possible. That said, video is the means of doing so.
Through video marketing, a realtor is able to present themselves as accessible to a wider audience. Done properly, this can create a sense of acquaintance that makes initial meetings more relaxed. It can be informational, educating prospective clients in a relaxed manner, and establishing you as a priceless resource. And do we even need to go over the positive impact of video testimonials, endorsing both you and your services?
And while some forms of video content are best handled by professionals, many others are best-achieved through hand-held devices. A balance of both polished and relaxed content increases the accessibility of your message, appealing to a wider audience. And with that in mind, let’s look at three trends that you might want to explore!
Top 3 Video Marketing Trends for 2018
Less scripted and organic, LIVE video streamed in real time can prove enticing to a social media audience, especially if the content and presentation is engaging. Consider the possibility of using a LIVE video to drive up interest in attendance for an open house. This could be especially effective when showcasing a choice property, teasing one or two of its strong features, generating excitement about what isn’t being seen.
360 Video & VR
Realtors understand the power of digital exploration better than most industries. The growing prevalence of virtual touring on property listings is proof perfect of what the expectations are of today’s consumers.
This experience can be upgraded, considering the advances and accessibility of VR technology. And 360 video is another means of spicing up a presentation, allowing the viewer to explore a property, while processing the verbiage.
For the first-time (and even repeat) home-buyer, the entire process can seem very confusing. A great tool for presenting complex information in a simplified manner is through animated content. Consider how effective an animated step-by-step could be in preparing a client for the journey they are about to embark upon. Imagine their appreciation, for how easy you made it for them.
These are just some ideas worth exploring, but it’s important to update your strategy for the widest possible audience. With that in mind, do you incorporate video content in your digital marketing initiatives?