The Ultimate Guide to Real Estate YouTube Marketing
By Matthew Bushery
About Inbound Marketing
Video has become one of the most powerful tools available to business owners. Video adds more dimension and personality to visual listings and your brand, and the Internet public is hooked on videos. Statistics don’t lie: Making videos is another great way to build your reputation online, share your professional perspective and increase your search rankings and leads. Because real estate listings with videos receive 403% more inquiries than those without videos
3 reasons YouTube is a great place to host your video content online:
- Youtube is owned by Google, it’s the #2 search engine in the world, and
- YouTube is extremely reliable for streaming (essential in today’s short-attention-span market).
- Google recognizes that videos are harder to create than just written content, so they weigh video differently when computing their web page rankings. Using this service ensures videos are seamlessly integrated and supported in their search results.
In this article we will cover the following topics:
Real Estate Video Marketing Tips and Tricks: Optimizing Your YouTube Channel
YouTube has seen many challengers in the online video market in recent years, but despite the competition, it remains the premier real estate video marketing platform — after all, 1 billion users can’t be wrong. You don’t want to reach all one billion viewers, however. Rather, you need to reach a select, targeted niche. That requires a real estate video marketing plan and detailed knowledge about how to optimize your YouTube channel. In this section we’ll cover both topics.
Design: Make your channel page look as good as your website.
The visual aspects of your brand should be reinforced anywhere you have an online presence. Your real estate YouTube channel is no different. Atop your channel’s homepage you’re allowed to add a banner and profile image, so create ones that feature your headshot, company name, contact info, and a stylish photo of one of your best listings. Here are four stellar designs expert agents (from top to bottom: Broderick and Burke Sales Representatives, Gabe Fitzhugh, Bob Burke, and Megan Shaw Williams) used for their YouTube channels.
Company Details: Include all your agency information in the About section.
A great rule of thumb for your real estate marketing strategy: There’s no such thing as oversharing your company’s contact information. Never assume your audience knows where to find you on social media or even how to find your website. Provide links that allow them to easily locate you in the digiverse or contact you by email or phone — especially in your YouTube channel’s About section. Look at Shorewood Realtors’ about page to see a prime example of how to provide ample information for users and show them where you can be found online:
Content: Devise a real estate video marketing plan for the long term.
It’s important to have a long-term vision for what you want to achieve with your YouTube channel and be consistent with your production, video length, graphics, and value proposition. The best way to craft this plan is to first figure out what subject matter and angles will best inform your audience, then hone in on the intricacies of each type of video you plan to create:
- How-to videos: Explanatory clips highlighting tasks every home buyer and seller needs to know about (e.g. securing a home loan, setting an asking price) can position you as a convenient resource.
- Market updates: Buyers and sellers alike want to know if the market is likely to see growth in areas like home values and employment opportunities.
- Interviews: Those with interesting stories, backgrounds, or knowledge (e.g. local restaurateurs and business owners) are ideal people to chat with on camera to highlight your local market.
- Listing videos: This is probably the most common format in agents’ strategies for video marketing for real estate, but nonetheless very effective. Flaunt your listings in the best light possible (literally and figuratively).
- Neighborhood overviews: Though not as common as listing videos, these recordings can get buyers to imagine what their lives would be like residing in your market. Highlight the best attributes of your community.
Don’t reinvent the wheel with your real estate videos. Look at what’s made other agents successful with their YouTube video marketing and examine how you can spin your own version of their clips for your channel. For instance, if you like the way in which a fellow agent explained what it’s like to live in their market — the neighborhoods, businesses, and restaurants there — write a script for your own video that does the same. Just be sure you use long-tail real estate keywords in your videos’ titles, tags, and descriptions so they’re discovered by home buyers and sellers in your market.
Titles: Create captivating headlines that get found and inspire clicks.
Just as you need to fashion SEO-friendly, witty, enticing real estate blog post titles, it’s imperative to craft headlines for YouTube videos that incorporate relevant keywords and makes users want to watch your clips. The good news is there’s really no difference in approach between writing titles for blog articles and titles for YouTube videos.
Head to Google AdWords’ Keyword Planner (or one of the countless other keyword research tools out there) to identify which terms are the most applicable to your videos and overall marketing strategy. Organize the keywords so you can distribute them across your video content, maximize your reach (since you’re taking advantage of multiple terms), and discern over time which words and phrases bring about the most clicks on your recordings.
Once you have a keyword list to work with, it’s time to get imaginative and develop titles for each video. Think of a few different options for each clip and select the one that both sounds natural when reading and is different from other videos on the topic. A great way to determine both of these things is to search for similar videos on YouTube and see what headlines have been used already.
Should you implement a series of videos, think of a recurring title you can use and add in subtitles for each new episode. For instance, if you dispense tips on searching the market for the right home each week, you could call the series “Searching the [Town/City/County Name Here] Market with [Your Name Here].” Subtitles for each episode could simply be whatever you’d normally call the episode (e.g. a video in which you describe how to use search engines to find the right listings could be called “Google Your Way to a New Home”).
Calls to Action: Add Cards and Annotations throughout your real estate videos.
Annotations have been the core calls to action (CTA) marketers have added to their YouTube videos over the years. A new CTA type, however, is on the horizon. Cards were announced by the video platform in early 2015 and will eventually take the place of annotations as the primary mid-video marketing method brands can use. Whichever CTA you implement in your clips, remember the essential structure for promotional pop-ups: succinct copy that explains why you want viewers to click, and a link that brings viewers to the page they were promised.
This goes back to having a concrete real estate content marketing strategy to support your YouTube channel. Create website pages and blog posts that offer your audience ample value. Then, you’ll have plenty of places to send those who click your CTAs. This annotation used by California-based Mainstreet Realtors for its innovative Google Glass listing tour video is another avenue you could take: Keep viewers on your channel and checking out as many properties as possible:
Thumbnails: Ensure viewers know your videos’ focus with appropriate images.
Besides attractive headlines, the thumbnail images that appear in the video list on your YouTube channel need to convey exactly what each video is about. The images don’t even have to be a frame from the video itself, but they have to relay the focal point of each clip. For example, if one of your videos explains the difference between buyer’s and seller’s agents, an image showing the title of the video, your name or agency branding, and a photo of you helping a client should be more than enough for viewers to interpret what the video is about.
Conversely, pixelated or irrelevant photos, small or missing copy explaining a video’s subject matter, and a lack of cohesion among all of your videos’ thumbnail images can lead to poor click rates and even hurt your overall real estate branding efforts. Consumers crave quality and consistency in the content they check out. Fail to offer both and your video creation could be for naught.
Below are examples of thumbnails Placester has used for our Marketing Academy Secrets video series, in which we presented advice on a range of marketing topics. The copy color, style, sizing, and placement are consistent across the board, as is the use of the photo of Placester VP of Sales & Marketing Seth Price, who speaks in each clip:
Descriptions: Write search-optimized copy describing your videos.
Writing a couple sentences that roughly summarize the concepts of your real estate videos won’t cut it. Instead, several paragraphs featuring either a transcript of your clips or a thorough explanation of the content need to be added to the description field so your viewers understand what the video will show them before they watch a single second.
As with titles and tags, write a description that clearly explains the topic for each video, and then optimize the copy for search engines. If you’ve written blog posts on the same subjects of clips, be sure to use different keywords so your videos and articles that relate to one another don’t compete in search results. This doesn’t mean you should use just any keywords with your video descriptions — they should still be highly searched, moderately competitive terms you have a realistic chance of ranking for in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Don’t forget to add links to your website either. If a real estate video of yours describes a neighborhood in your market, include a link in the description that sends viewers to an area page on your site that details that community. Additionally, link to your social media accounts in the descriptions for all of your videos.
Captions: Provide subtitles for the hearing impaired and foreign language speakers.
Though technically not a real estate video optimization tip, this helps in reaching prospective home buyers and sellers who cannot hear or whose primary language isn’t English. Making the effort to reach these viewers could have a sizable impact on your lead generation, so use Transcripts — which offers speech-recognition technology — to provide captions for hearing impaired users, and Google Translator Toolkit to develop subtitles for foreign users (you can translate your content in up to 58 languages).
Just like captions on TV, YouTube populates on the lower-third portion of the screen, as exemplified in this video from Teri Conrad’s Conversations That Matter channel, so as not to block the main content:
Playlists: Allow users to view a stream of videos related to the same topic.
After putting together a comprehensive collection of YouTube real estate videos, take a step back and determine if there are opportunities to set up playlists. The point of these curated lists is to provide your audience with related content to watch on your channel. In this regard, playlists act like Pinterest boards: There’s one overarching theme, but each individual piece has a different slant and has a different value proposition.
Let’s say six months into your real estate video marketing strategy you’ve developed 20 how-to videos that teach buyers and sellers the ins and outs of finding the right property, closing deals, and other essential information on their transactions. Since you have considerable amounts of content to share with both lead types, it’s in your best interest to bundle your buyer-oriented videos into one playlist and seller-related ones into another. After a buyer-themed video ends, for example, the next one up in the playlist will start playing.
This particular playlist from EXIT Realty is geared toward its recruiting efforts and features several videos aimed at attracting top agent talent to the agency:
Analytics: Examine the metrics associated with your real estate videos.
Google, YouTube’s parent company, has mastered (and continues to perfect), insightful analytics tools that show the basic metrics you need to monitor (total views, traffic sources) along with more intricate ones that can help you enhance your video tactics (like retention rates, which show how much of a video a viewer watches and when they abandon watching a clip).
The reporting capabilities are seemingly endless, but don’t get frazzled by the bevy of tracking options — just know that checking your analytics with relative frequency will only improve your overall real estate marketing strategy.
Promotion: Use your site, social media, email campaigns, and ads to boost views.
“Without promotion, something terrible happens … nothing!” This quote from P.T. Barnum couldn’t be more relevant for your real estate marketing, including your YouTube presence. Create all the videos you want, but without promotion, they won’t reach their full potential.
Schedule a regularly published stream of tweets, status updates, and other social media posts for your content. Moreover, use your email campaigns to share listing videos, how-to clips, and other recordings with your lead lists. The more videos you develop, the more you have to include in your real estate newsletters, so continue to create videos that you can integrate with the various email types you share with your audience.
And, of course, there’s your real estate website. Craft blog posts around your videos. Feature your neighborhood videos on pages about communities you serve. Explanatory videos detailing who you are, what you’ve accomplished, and how you can help buyers and sellers can go right on your about page.
Feedback: Determine where you can improve based on users’ comments.
This doesn’t mean solely reading the comments in the real estate agent videos themselves, but by interacting with leads who have viewed your videos to get feedback on what they liked, didn’t like, and want to see in the future. Perhaps they want to learn more about the community in which they plan to buy, or hear from top entrepreneurs in the area to get their thoughts on the job market. Whatever it is, take their answers to heart and use them to transform your YouTube channel for the better.
Have you seen success with your real estate video production for YouTube? Tell us how you make the most of your video marketing plan below.
Next lets look at optimizing your YouTube channel and videos for local search engine optimization.
Optimizing YouTube Videos for Local SEO
As YouTube is a property of Google, the results of a search often feature YouTube videos. With some simple optimization, your YouTube videos can show in a Google local search in your area.
Here’s how you do it.
Geotag your video.
Geotagging associates your video with the GeoCoordinates of your business’s location. This is useful, as it helps search engines pick up your data on area searches that are most relevant to you.
“Less is more. Keeping it simple takes time and effort.”
— Jeff Bullas
Leave your NAP information in the video’s description.
When someone performs a keyword search and arrives at your video, you want to make it easy for them to connect with you. It should be extremely easy for them to find your NAP: name, address and phone number. You don’t need to include every piece of your physical address info in every box; maybe insert the phone number in one location and then the address in another.
Use your NAP information within your actual video.
Your script can include a period where you say your name, address or phone number out loud in the video. The video scripting that Google creates of videos posted on YouTube (which contains your actual location information) will be useful in picking up on your business information.
Add your site’s link to the video in the description.
It may seem silly to repeat the link into the description when it’s readily available at the top of your page, but leaving it here will increase the likelihood viewers will visit your website. Many people won’t be bothered to take the extra step of copying and pasting the URL into a browser. Don’t lose their business after they see your awesome video; send them right there with an easily accessible link.
Pick a knockout title.
It’s the first thing your audience will see, so make it stand out. Entice the audience with something engaging, but also relevant to the video’s content. Some great examples of titling:
Using strong adjectives like “beautiful” or “breathtaking” to describe the addresses you’re planning to show in the video are helpful to pique customer’s interest. Virtual Innovative Design uses clear, imaginative language to draw their audience in.
If your videos have a stronger general background, it can be useful to try a catchy phrase or unexpected question to draw in your audience. Boutique Realty Group captures viewer attention with video titles like “Our Story” (see image above of their YouTube page). It’s mysterious and interesting, and it makes you wonder — what is their story? The subscribe link is present throughout the entire video, while a shot of their storefront, with all their contact information is displayed around 1:25.
You can also choose a traditional route, with a listing’s name, your business name, or location-specific terms.
Tag your video for keyword search optimization.
YouTube’s video manager page allows you to set keyword descriptions for your content (see #2 in image below). Using specific and relevant keywords (and possibly some of the YouTube-suggested terms) will offer outstanding results for how often your video is not only found in search results, but also how it is found by the right people and how it becomes associated with other related videos that appear in YouTube’s sidebar feed.
“Clarity trumps persuasion.”
— Dr. Flint McGlaughlin
Embed your video.
Once you’ve finished creating the video and saved it to your YouTube page, you can click on the video and select the “Share” button (see image below). This will allow you to take the embed code and plug it into your site’s HTML code. Having your video on an established landing page on your site enhances your SEO potential that it will come up in searches. Visitors to your site also will be accessing this new content and may be drawn to subscribe to your feed on YouTube.
Share your video on social platforms.
You’ve spent a significant amount of time creating and editing this video, so promote it! Share on all your social media outlets, and often. Be sure to use the social share links specific to each platform (provided in your video’s page) for best viewing.
Here are some great examples of socially connected real estate videos:
Virtual Studio Innovations uses decorative language for their property video titles. Their high-quality videos exude luxury, which corresponds to the high-priced properties they help sell. There are not as many links within the videos (this video displays their website at 5:50). VSI’s YouTube page is visually appealing and draws you into viewing multiple locations just to see how beautiful they are.
The Boutique Real Estate Group has fully integrated social into their video stream on YouTube. This unique take on a promotional video draws a viewer’s attention quickly and sustains it for the short video duration. The subscribe link is present throughout the entire video, and all their contact information is displayed at the beginning (:04) and the end.
This video shares a local agent’s perspective. It details a great neighborhood that appeals to someone with a family. When introducing Richard Silver as the speaker (0:12), his agency is noted as well. This is another small but effective way to direct business to your site. He speaks clearly on the great school systems of the area, the positive shopping and transportation perks.
Above all, be creative, stay true to your brand image and make sure each piece of your optimization speaks directly to the purpose of your video content.
Have these tips helped you track improvements in your local SEO rankings? Let us know in the comments below! (We’d love to see your videos!)
WSo far we’ve covered tips and trick on how to optimize your YouTube channel, then how to optimize your YouTube videos for Local Search results.
Now we are going to look at 5 Real Estate Agents Nailing YouTube Marketing.
5 Real Estate Agents on Top of Their YouTube Marketing Game
You’ve started publishing lots of great blog posts, trend articles and evergreen content regularly. You’ve beginning to master your social media marketing by staying activity engaged with followers. But have you tackled video marketing for real estate?
Though the aforementioned marketing techniques are assured to make your online presence well-known, video marketing is yet another avenue you’ll want to take a stroll down.
There’s a reason that, with each passing year, more and more marketers utilize YouTube to market their brands: More than 50% of prospective home buyers use YouTube as their primary video research. This means that if you’re not showing off your IDX listings, providing digital property tours or offering other valuable information for this audience, you could be missing out on a massive business opportunity.
To give you the sense of what you can accomplish when creating real estate YouTube videos (for instance, using videos to bolster your brand), take a peek at these five real estate agents below who have definitely mastered their video marketing skills on the user-generated site.
“Honest Real Estate Agent” provides life and work tips. Talk about dedication. Mario here has been developing real estate YouTube videos for nearly five years, meaning he invested a little time and effort in the video site’s infancy (before it blew up and was later bought by Google) to see if it was worthwhile to post to the site.
His patience and effort were certainly rewarded, given YouTube’s substantial user base, including consumers on the hunt for new homes and agents searching for ways to become better at their jobs.
While the frequency of his videos may no longer be what it used to, Mario has clearly made a name for himself with his channel, and it seems that success has led to a book that he wisely promotes in his YouTube profile, along with links to his website and blog.
VIDEO TIP: If reputation management is something you want to focus on, then you’d be wise to start a YouTube channel today. Mario is proof you build a strong brand with semi-regular videos featuring worthwhile content for your audience (though it doesn’t hurt to brand yourself as the “honest real estate agent” either).
2) Kevin Ward
Confident training coach expertly relays agent tips. In addition to be a longtime and well-respected agent and broker, Kevin is also a revered real estate coach and speaker who offers up an array of training to real estate professionals looking to better their skills.
What better way for an industry thought leader like Ward to share his brand of expertise than with short-form videos his audience can access with ease?
Not only is Kevin clearly knowledgeable about the real estate market and how agents and brokers think (see: “When and How to Leave A Message when Prospecting or Following Up”), but he’s also adept at giving agents positive reinforcement and confidence with his broader life advice (e.g. “How to Go From Mediocrity to Opportunity,” “Your Dreams and Your Success”). This mix of content widens Ward’s audience and gives him more visibility on YouTube — not the easiest feat to achieve.
VIDEO TIP: Before getting started with video production, closely analyze what kinds of content your audience wants, whether it’s tips for fellow agents and brokers or the ins and outs of purchasing homes for sale for buyers. Then, determine the details: how long your videos should be, how to best communicate your message, etc. Ward clearly takes the time to figure out his messaging, which is why his videos resonate with so many viewers.
“Marketing is a contest for people’s attention.”
— Seth Godin
On-the-go Realtor makes time for unique videos. Think you need to rent out studio space or hire lighting and boom mic assistants to create interesting videos? Think again. Take North Carolina Realtor Jessica Riffle Edwards, for example.
Though she has some real estate videos on her YouTube page in which she clearly sets a more elaborate scene, a great deal of her published content is simply her speaking into a tiny camera while she’s in her car (presumably coming to and from open houses and client meetings). Her videos are quick, simple and to-the-point, while showcasing her personality.
VIDEO TIP: When making videos, remember to relax! You don’t need to be stiff as a board to be authoritative. Have fun, show off your personality, and even infuse some humor where you can. People want to see authenticity when watching advice/thought leadership videos, so make sure to loosen up before hitting record.
Visuals aid this informative agent’s profile. In Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, agent Greg Harrelson is focused on using his YouTube profile to provide training, tips and tricks for agents and buyers. But what separates him from others who create these types of videos is his use of visuals.
While he may not have unique graphics pop up on-screen to help get his points across, he does make use of a simple but effective tool any agent or broker can use in video marketing: a whiteboard. All it takes is an idea, a marker and a blank canvas to clearly tell a story or offer some advice to your audience.
VIDEO TIP: Look into what kinds of visuals can help you best communicate your messages via YouTube videos. This could mean slides that you speak over, graphics that pop up over the course of your video or simply handwritten messages, like Greg’s whiteboard. Video marketing allows for the artist to come out of you, so use your creative side to jazz up your video as much as possible (without going over budget, of course).
Teamwork leads to high-quality content. Okay, we’re cheating a bit with this one since it’s more than one agent helping to put together the videos for this channel, but that’s exactly why we’re including them.
The Goodlife Team definitely seem to have a lot of camaraderie with one another, which tells us they’re in the real estate business together, as opposed to working separately.
So here’s a message specifically for brokers: Unite your teams. Get them working together. Have everyone at your firm partake in the YouTube channel. Think of it this way: The more capable agents you show to prospective buyers, the better your chances could be at landing their business.
VIDEO TIP: Got a great team working alongside you? Round up everyone to help create one unified YouTube channel on which you and your colleagues can take on different messaging in videos. Determine what each agent enjoys discussing and is most passionate about regarding real estate, and start developing great content ideas.
Published on January 23, 2019
Written by Matthew Bushery
I'm the Sr. Content Creator for Placester, where I educate real estate professionals about modern marketing and, in turn, help agents and brokers make the most of their online presence, earn more traffic, and generate more leads and business.