November 20, 2015

Last week, my wife and I were driving and she, unfortunately for me, had control of iTunes. I’m not the biggest fan of 80’s music and there isn’t a crimped hair artist that she won’t belt along with given the opportunity. But I digress. Video Killed The Radio Star came on and despite my lack of fervor for that decade of music (sans old school Metallica or Black Flag), it got me thinking about the significance of that song in music history. 

On August 1, 1981, MTV played it’s very first music video, that illustrious Buggles classic. Trevor Horn wrote that song to signify a new era of music was being ushered into mainstream America...the music video. Soon after, record sales for artists featured on MTV skyrocketed and video became the music industry’s most effective marketing tool.

Maybe not with the same media hype as MTV, but full-motion video has effectively done the same thing for real estate - it has ushered in a new era of content marketing for real estate companies. At the same time that I was held hostage to, uhh...I mean admiring, my wife’s beautiful vocals, I was thinking about some work stuff and somehow I started rewriting the lyrics to that song in my head.

Video Killed The Virtual Tour

Video Killed The Virtual Tour

Engagement came and broke your heart

Oh-a-a-a, oh

(You don’t have to say it. I know that’s super cheesy. I’m already making fun of myself.)

Since the beginning of WellcomeMat, we’ve been unwavering is stating that full-motion video will forever change real estate marketing for the better and make the virtual tour obsolete. And since we have the largest database of real estate video content in the world, we decided to tap into our analytics and see how much greater impact on engagement full-motion videos have over slideshows or virtual tours. We were pretty stoked (but not surprised) to see that full-motion videos get on average 154% of the engagement and viewership than that of virtual tours...and the gap is only getting wider. It goes back to a blog post that I wrote a couple months ago about emotionally connecting with your audience and making them care.

Our long-time friend, Tom Flanagan, recently did an interview with Sally Lapides, CEO of Residential Properties Ltd. The telling part of that interview was the following:

The impact that video had on our business the first year was hard to calculate. It took a while for the agents to adopt this new marketing option into their listing presentations. Shortly after the top producers began to use video, the more skeptical agents in the company began to notice that the top producer’s businesses were increasing exponentially. It is now easy to see how video has impacted the overall company business. Our sales are up, our listings with video sell faster and for more money and our web traffic is higher. Our agents say that they almost never lose a listing at a listing presentation when they show one of our videos as an example of the marketing that differentiates Residential Properties Ltd. from our competitors.

The same way the music video propelled artists into the spotlight back in the early 80s is very similar to how full-motion video content is propelling brokerages that have committed to the most engaging and effective form of marketing as we know it. They're building world-class brands, attracting and retaining the area's top-producing agents, building lead generation machines and winning listings with ease. And in the end, isn’t that what it’s all about?

Rock on!

(Full disclosure: I’m extremely lucky to have a wife with an awesome sense of humor.)

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