Real Estate Videos: Are They Worth the Effort?

We received a research request in the NAR Library on whether real estate listing videos prove worthwhile and of equal (or greater) value to photos. The answer to this question is somewhat subjective—what is true for one agent in his or her market may be the opposite for another agent in a different market. Real estate is local. However, after scouring the web we found some compelling evidence to support the technology and time investment for video creation.

As you may already know, the NAR partnered with Google this year on a research project titled The Digital House Hunt which surveyed home shoppers between July of 2011 and June of 2012. A few highlights of this report include:

  • 16% of those who used a mobile phone during the home search process watched an online video about a home (p. 8).
  • Of the home shoppers who used video in the home search process, 51% went to YouTube, 41% went to brokerage websites, and 37% went to Google video (p. 12).
  • Finding an agent and agent related searches on YouTube grew 46% year-over-year in 2011 (p. 21).

And according to the NAR’s 2013 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers:

  • About 4 in 10 buyers rated virtual video tours very useful among website features (p. 45).
  • 27% of home buyers and sellers looked at online video sites during the home search process (p. 47).

Additionally, the Pew Internet and American Life project publishes immensely insightful and reliable reports that frequently cover technology topics. Some recent reports and their highlights include:

Online Video 2013, (Pew Internet and American Life Project, Oct. 2013):

The share of online adults who watch or download videos has also grown from 69% of internet users in 2009 to 78% today, and mobile phones have become a key part of the video viewing and creating experience.

Photo and Video Sharing Grow Online, (Pew Internet and American Life Project, Oct. 2013).

Last, check out the NAR Library’s Field Guide to Digital Video as a Sales Tool and a few other articles from around the web:

Dare to be Different with Video, (REALTOR® Magazine, Aug. 2013):

Video is becoming more and more important to businesses. Forrester Research found that Web pages with videos are 53 times more likely to appear in the first page of Google search results than text-only pages. That kind of power is moving many real estate professionals to find new and interesting ways to present video as part of their marketing plan.

Growth of Video, Photo Sharing Raises Online Bonding, (REALTOR® Magazine, Oct. 2013).

Taking Video Marketing to a Shorter Level, (Chicago Agent Magazine, Oct. 17, 2013)

Turn Mobile Photos into Listing Videos (Inman, 2013).

Homebuyers Seeking Out Video on YouTube, (Chicago Agent Magazine, Feb. 20, 2013).

Let’s Get Reel, (REALTOR® Magazine, Aug. 2012).

Good Audio is Key in Real Estate Videos, (Inman, 2012)

Kate Stockert

Information & Web Content Specialist at the National Association of REALTORS®

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  1. I’m sure the numbers would be closer to 90 percent if 100 percent of the listings had video and were a requirement by local mls to provide for clients. It is an awesome tool to use and I highly recommend it.

  2. I have been privileged to work with agents that want to leverage this type of medium. The results are awesome and the process is fun. There is some cost involved, but I try hard to be competitive and provide great bang for your buck. Video is such a great way to communicate the unique style and feel of your home. Highly encourage people to do this.

    If you’re interested, I can help.

  3. Use video in a very good real estate website. We have sold more homes through photo videos. Customers would rather watch a video than a photo. Also you can see more details of the property, as the amplitude, space, light, etc. …

  4. Kate

    Thanks for the comments everyone–it’s great to hear stories about personal experiences with this type of technology.

  5. Videos for real estate are the only way to go and definitely worth the time!

  6. This is an easy one..of course video marketing works. A lot of people prefer to watch videos instead of reading articles or watching a picture slideshow.

    However, generating real estate leads with videos entitles more than just putting a house tour together.

    For example, the video needs to be fairly short, have a strong call to action at the end, direct people that watched the video to a landing page on your website where you can capture their information.

    Hope this helps,
    Nick Z

  7. Interesting results.

    GIven a choice I’d always go for a superb photo portfolio rather than a video. When viewing news updates, I’ll often skip the update if it shows a video icon rather than text and photos.

    If you can do a video, do it, but my take on the statistics is that you’re better off FIRST spending the money for high quality professional photography.

    I recall 2013 NAR report says 83% of buyers rated photos as the most useful website feature … twice as many as felt videos were useful, and 5 times as many as viewed a video.

    Still useful to have videos done.

    The same 2013 NAR Report said quality of neighborhood was the most important factor in where they bought a home. That’s one of the reasons we shot our first professional (i.e. – not one I did myself) neighborhood video on Sunday.

    Certainly consider home videos – my thought is to “focus” first on high quality still images.

    Ira Serkes

  8. I created a video when selling my home and it ranked very high on google and resulted in a lot of phone calls from buyers, many of which did not have an agent representing them.

  9. Video is the quick, easy, memorable way to deliver area information, local property listings at any hour, location, no matter what the weather. No driving, no delays and rewound, watched, listened to over and over. So many properties sold because of video alone to out of the country buyers if SEO wired right. Cash sales, no bank needed, quick close. Yeah, video works oh oh so well but still does not list it as one of the social media options like facebook, linked in, ….crazy. Out of touch.

  10. Thans very nice blog!

  11. Very nice blog post. I certainly apprefiate thi site. Keep writing!