Video Hot Topic at AEI MLS In Your Face Session

Mar 24, 2009  |  Michael Wurzer

I had a lot of fun being on the “MLS In Your Face” panel at the Association Executive Institute (AEI) meetings in Colorado Springs yesterday.  Marilyn Wilson from the WAV Group was the moderator and the panelists were me, Frank Llosa of Frankly Realty and FranklyMLS.com, and Errol Samuelson, President of Realtor.com.

Marilyn led us through a lot of interesting topics, but one of the topics that stood out for me was video.  Errol mentioned that some research Realtor.com has done indicated that 70% of consumers would be more likely to list with an agent if they used video as part of their marketing effort.  In contrast, only .33% (that’s one-third of one percent) of agents use video.

We released the ability to link videos to listings about 15 months ago, and I knew that Errol’s numbers weren’t too far off but I wanted to confirm it when I got back.  Across all of our 110 MLS systems, .26% of the active listings have videos attached.  That’s one-quarter of one percent.  In contrast, 9.87% of active listings have virtual tours attached.

One member of the audience asked how they could promote use of video to their membership.  Both Errol and Frank showed small video cameras they said made it very easy to create good quality videos and post them to the web for viewing.  Errol also mentioned Realtor.com has a good how-to video on how to create good property tour videos.  (Perhaps he’ll comment and give us the link.)

My suggestion was one I’ve made before here on the FBS Blog.  Associations and MLSs can encourage use of video with one simple step: Make video a category on the hot sheet.  If new videos were a category on the hot sheet, you’d see an instant increase in video use.  Promise.  Of course, quality video is important, too.  So perhaps the MLS could go one step further and put the videos on a public facing site and allow voting on them.  Overall, I think the hot sheet is a compelling tool both inside the MLS and outside to promote quality content in the MLS.

9 Responses to “Video Hot Topic at AEI MLS In Your Face Session”

  1. Craig Mische says:

    Atleast in my market, there needs to be some, if not a lot, hand holding.

  2. Jim Duncan says:

    One of the greatest challenges with implementing tools/products such as video are the restrictive rules in place by MLS against branding. Putting the video up on sites such as Vimeo, Viddler, Youtube, Vidlisting, RES, Obeo, etc is easy … but sometimes having to pay extra for a service just to get the “unbranded” option is just too onerous.

    Until MLS adapt, Realtors will struggle to adapt as well.

  3. Great point, Jim. I mentioned the branding issues during the AEI session as well.

    Craig, what would you say is the biggest challenge? Is it the taking of the video, uploading it to the web, working with it on their computer, or something else?

  4. Mike, thanks for the stats on this. I actually left you a message yesterday on the number of virtual tours you guys currently carry so no need to respond. I think your idea of creating a separate Hot Sheet category makes a lot of sense. Have any of your MLSs done this yet? I would be very interested in tracking the number of videos if they do, so please keep us posted.

  5. Doug Garner says:

    The biggest challenge would be getting agents to participate. MLS’s have to fine agents who don’t upload at least 1 photo. I think the virtual tour usage number quoted above is phenomenal. Of course, virtual tours have been around for awhile and agents have become more comfortable with them. All in all, it’s the old adage, 10% of the agents sell 90% of the real estate. I think 10% would be a great target number for anything that would be voluntary participation.

  6. Ed Nelson says:

    What do the Syndicators do with videos and virtual tours?

  7. John C says:

    I would lower that 0.33% by taking out the virtual tours that masquerade as videos. I am a member of 2 MLSs and I would say that well over half of the time if there is an entry in the Video category it is merely a virtual tour, aka pictures strung together to music. Not the same thing. No offense, but enter it in the virtual tour link, not video.

    @jim – nice to swap emails with you at retechsouth. Re: distribution you may want to try heyspread.com if you haven’t already. It makes it a tad easier to upload to multiple video sites.

  8. Casey B. says:

    We at VisitMyLuxuryHome.com have been doing full motion guided video tours for over a year now. We have them professionally hosted. We can give agents a unbranded version to put up on the mls and then a branded version for their personal website. We have had a auction house that sends us all over the country to shoot these videos as well. It really makes your listing stand out, it’s like a online open house 24/7!

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