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2007-01-30 09:15:00

Next Internet Wave: Real Estate Video Portals

By Miles Johnson

The video portals have arrived and it appears they are here to stay. The Real Estate Home Show has captured this opportunity to assist real estate agents and brokers in marketing their listings and the consumer is enjoying this new and innovated means of home shopping.

REHS places listing videos on the major portals of Yahoo!, AOL, Google and YouTube (and, of course, TheRealEstateHomeShow.com). We do this on the day you receive your e-mail notification; however, the portals are not as sophisticated as your mulitple listing service and it may take up to 48 hours to find your home when doing a search. The good news is that the consumers are finding the video listings in large numbers.

Last quarter’s numbers were impressive! All five portals generated over a million video views with a total of 1,009,000. This averages to over 210 views per listing per month!

We are testing several emerging video portal sites; if they meet our standards we will add them to our arsenal.

We currently post all listings and if you are an “About-Me” subscriber (a one-minute video presentation about you), we also post and maintain these as well.

We do receive quite a few inquiries regarding the portals. Some of the most commonly asked questions follow.

Question:     Why is it important to be on the portals?

Answer:       Visibility and a means to reach a broad and interested audience. This audience did not trip onto your listing to view it. They entered a keyword (noted below) which confirms they are an interested party.

Question:     How do I find my listing on any of the portals?

Answer:       The portals allow for key words to assist in the search process, they do, however, limit the number of characters or words (usually 180 characters). REHS has worked very hard on determining the most effective key words.

Go to AOL.com, Yahoo.com, Google.com, YouTube.com (click on the “video” tab). In the search bar enter the following:

Homes for sale [city name]
Homes for sale [abbreviated state name]
Homes for sale [zip code]
Homes for sale [city, St, zip]
Real Estate for sale [city name]
Real Estate for sale [abbreviated state name]
Real Estate for sale [zip code]
Real Estate for sale [city, St, zip]

We also post Land and Business for sale. Use “Land for sale” or “Business for sale."

Question:     How do I locate the number of times the video has been viewed?

Answer:       Each portal will display a “Views” number on the detail page displaying the video.

Question:     Can you provide me with the number of views my listing has received on the portals?

Answer:       We would love to; unfortunately the portals do not provide a means for us to collect this information on a per listing basis.  Our programmers are working on a method to collect this data, look for it in the near future.

Question:     What happens when I make a price change?

Answer:       Our customer service staff is notified of changes you make to your listing. This information is updated to each individual portal. Most of the portals make the change immediately; others may take 24-48 hours.

Question:     What happens when I sell the listing?

Answer:       Congratulations! Be sure to log into your account and “Unpublish” the listing. Our customer service staff is notified of this change and will update all portals by removing the listing. The portals may take 24-48 hours for this to occur.

Question:     I am an About-Me subscriber, how do I locate my commercial?

Answer:       In the same manner as locating a listing, but change to “Real Estate Agents” i.e. Real Estate Agents [city name]

Question:     Okay, the consumer views the video, how do they get in touch with me?

Answer:       The video displays your contact information at the beginning and the end (consumers may pause the video). Some portals like YouTube allow REHS to add your contact information to the display page as well.

Question:     Do I need to have my listing on the TV show, The Real Estate Home Show to have it included on the portals?

Answer:       No, you do not. The listing will be posted to the portals when you buy the web version of the Featured Listing Video.

Question:     On some portals the video image looks fuzzy, why?

Answer:       We provide the portals with a broadcast quality video image (the same one that you receive directly).  Some of the portals take our video and compress it downward so that it meets their performance requirements (as apposed to a display requirement). Compression can cause image degradation.

Question:     I went to AOL.com, entered Homes for sale and did not see any videos; what’s up?

Answer:       AOL is a good example; in the location that you entered “homes for sale”, notice the tab labeled “Video”; simply click on this tab and then search. Most all portals offer the same feature.

(Miles Johnson, The Real Estate Home Show)

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