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video_touchscreenToday’s “Ask the Expert” column features Patty McNease, Director of Marketing with

Q: What are some common best practices for marketing property listings using video?

A: Attention spans are getting shorter and people want things fast and easy, which is why most house hunters would rather watch a short video about a listing than scroll through a page full of text or even pictures.

Studies show that the use of video will increase your Google ranking, conversions, open rates, click-through rates and more by staggering amounts, with average engagement levels increasing as video continues to play a more prominent role in the online experience—the number one way to get millennials interested in anything these days.

Further, the more videos you have posted on YouTube, the better placement your website will have in search engine rankings. A recent study showed that 51 percent of homebuyers use YouTube to view video listings, and the site is the number one research destination for home shoppers.

The best thing to do when producing videos is to be creative and have some fun with the video. Include a neighborhood tour, add some testimonials from people in the community, and zoom in on the home’s unique features. Include a strong narration so people know what they are seeing and use the voice of someone who is strong and excited with his or her descriptions.

Just be sure not to do too much, as you want your videos to be short enough that people won’t phase out before it’s over.

Here are some other ideas to include in telling the “story” of each home:

  • Clips from local school sports teams celebrating a victory
  • Interviews with parents talking about schools and the neighborhood
  • A montage of shops and local restaurants
  • Interesting facts about the history of the home

Once your videos are created, link to them on your other social media channels, announce them in tweets and post them on your listing websites and company blogs.

Some other tips for making your videos work better for you are to include a link at the end of your video that will go directly to your website, link to downloadable PDFs or other marketing material about the house, and offer incentives or prizes for those who share the video on their own social media sites.

Some in the real estate biz will hire a professional videographer to create their videos, but with the advent of simple-to-use digital cameras and a wide array of helpful apps and editing programs, it’s no longer necessary to spend that much money on having the job done correctly. For those who do want to go that route, consider hiring a local college or high school student who may know a great deal about video technology and will cost a lot less than a pro.

Or consider the newest listing product on the block— listing videos. Not your typical cookie-cutter video, these are powered by VScreen and designed to increase engagement and reach more homebuyers.

The videos are dynamically generated from listing photos and property details and include valuable information like agent contact info, the number of days on market, median list and sale prices of nearby homes, as well as local maps and social share options. Plus, a trusted professional-quality narrator will be the voice behind the story.

For more info on adding listing videos to your properties and other marketing solutions, visit