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RISMEDIA, January 8, 2011—When was the last time you did business with someone you didn’t like? Now granted, sometimes we don’t have a choice—such as the checkout clerk we happen to get stuck with. But the truth is, when we have a choice, we deal with people we like.

For that very reason, video provides the power and persuasion to drive clients to your door like nothing else. It’s an irony that most agents and brokers think of video as something to use in a home tour to help sell a house. The problem is, you need to sell yourself before trying to get the listing. That’s why people usually do business with people they like, trust and have confidence in.

The smiling face on the billboard, business card or website is OK, but it doesn’t begin to tell the real story. Video gets under the skin and helps reveal the person inside—the personality, the demeanor, the communication skills, the likeability. It’s all part of the whole package that sets you apart from the competition, and nothing does it better than video.

What does it all mean? If your online video marketing does not include a personal touchpoint, you’re missing a huge opportunity. It doesn’t have to be long or elaborate, but it should be something people can identify and connect with. Even a 20-second personal greeting and “welcome to my website” clip is a hundred times better than a photo. Your tone of voice, body language, and personality can all combine to make a positive first impression. Even if you don’t think you’re that good on camera, practicing a few well-chosen lines, doing a number of takes, and asking friends to help you pick the best one can make the whole process a lot easier than you imagined.

Professional firms like VScreen are also available to coach you through the process and even record your videos. Remember, first impressions are lasting ones. Harness the power of video to make yours the best.

Stephen Schweickart is the co-founder of VScreen. For more information on this topic, visit VScreen’s blogsite at