Traditionally, real estate agents marketed properties offline with options like newspaper ads and open house signs. Now with people spending more time online and making purchase decisions based on what they see on social media, listing sites, and more, you need a more engaging way to reach more people and attract attention.
One option is to use YouTube for real estate because with over 1.9 billion active monthly users watching 5 billion videos every day, YouTube offers a tremendous opportunity to market properties to a wider audience.
Since video has quickly become a popular way to share content, let’s look at why it needs to be a part of your marketing strategy, how to use it to build a thriving real estate channel on YouTube, and how to engage your audience once you have their attention.
Video isn’t a trend; it’s here to stay
Research shows that “video is not just a trend; it’s a necessary aspect of your marketing strategy from now on.” Another study by Cisco suggests that “video will represent 80% of all internet traffic by 2021.”
With the continued growth of video, it’s clear that for any business to grow and thrive video must be part of the marketing strategy.
Just like any other social media channel, the degree to which you incorporate YouTube into your marketing strategy depends on how much of your audience uses it. For example, if you cater to the 65% of millennials looking to enter the real estate market, research shows that “millennials prefer YouTube two to one over traditional television.”
If your target clients want to buy a bigger home or you work with baby boomers looking to downsize, age groups 35+ and 55+ are the fastest-growing YouTube demographics.
In addition to demographics, YouTube has a considerable amount of influence over customer-buying decisions. For instance, 64% of customers are more likely to buy a product after watching a YouTube video. When it comes to real estate, video allows you to showcase your properties more effectively. Instead of just relying on pictures, your audience can tour homes with a little more detail, which improves the chances of them reaching out to you to book an actual viewing.
Combine the importance of video with the fact that 44% of homebuyers look at properties online first before buying, and you’ll see that YouTube is an ideal platform to educate potential clients.
Despite all of the benefits of video, only 9% of agents create video listings. Not using video to market your properties is a huge missed opportunity, especially considering 73% of homeowners say they’re more likely to list with an agent who uses video marketing.
With the growth of video and more people turning to YouTube to watch videos, don’t miss out. Get started and set up your real estate YouTube channel.
A step-by-step guide to getting started with YouTube for real estate
Once you’re ready to create your real estate YouTube channel, it’s easy to get started. Since YouTube was acquired by Google in 2006, you’ll need a Google account, if you don’t already have one, to create your channel.
Once you have an account, you’re ready to create your channel.
How to create your YouTube channel
Use your Google account to sign into YouTube. Click on the menu icon at the top left of the page:
Click on “Settings” and then click on “Create a channel.” Click “Create a new channel” if you have an existing channel but want a real estate-focused channel:
Enter how you’d like to use YouTube and click “create.” You can choose to use your real estate business name or personal name depending on how you market your business:
If you use your business name, click on “Use a business or other name” at the bottom of the pop-up and enter your information:
From your account home page, click on “Customize channel” to add a description that explains who you are and what the channel is about:
In the “About” tab, add links to your website, social media accounts, and anywhere else you have an online presence. This makes it easier for your audience to find more listings and details about each property:
Finally, customize your channel by adding branding like logos and colors as well as relevant images. Click on “Add channel art” at the top of the page to choose your own images or to choose from a list of images in YouTube’s gallery:
How to interact with your audience
Once you’ve set up your channel, keeping your audience engaged is important for your channel to grow and reach more prospective clients. Here are a few tactics to use to interact with your audience:
- Encourage engagement by responding to viewer comments and questions. During each of your videos, actively ask viewers to leave comments or ask questions—like what they’re looking for in a property or what they want to learn more about. By responding when viewers follow through, you start to build a relationship that can be nurtured and move leads through the sales funnel.
- Ask viewers to subscribe to your channel. This way viewers receive regular notifications about your channel, for example, when you’ve posted a new video of a featured property. This keeps viewers coming back to view and share your content.
- Pin relevant comments to the top of your feed. This will be the first thing new users see when they find your channel, so share ideas you know are important to your audience. Use this to highlight the benefits clients get from working with you—like free home estimates, discounted staging fees, or competitive commissions.
- Add cards to your videos. These cards act as links and CTAs that redirect viewers to other sites and videos. The longer you can keep viewers on your content, the better the chances of convincing them you’re the agent to work with.
- Share viewer comments in future videos. If you keep getting the same types of questions from viewers, share your answers in a video to show you’re paying attention to comments and are committed to providing answers and more insights.
Now that we’ve covered the basics of getting started and engaging viewers, let’s look at how to maintain this engagement and grow your audience.
Use YouTube to grow your real estate audience
Once your channel is live, get creative and start experimenting to figure out what your audience responds to. First, take the time to define your ideal audience. Ask yourself questions like:
- Are they first-time buyers or current homeowners?
- What’s their budget?
- Which neighborhoods do their prefer?
- Are they moving with a family or by themselves?
- What type of home are they looking for? Bungalow? Condo?
The answers to questions like these will inform the types of content you share. By narrowing down content, instead of trying to target everyone with a wide range of topics, you stand a better chance of attracting the right kinds of leads and growing your client list.
Create engaging content
Some of the most popular types of content on YouTube include:
With these video types in mind, here are some ideas to help you come up with new content.
- Post videos that explain a real estate trend. For example, talk about interest rates and mortgage approval for first-time buyers. You can even create a poll in social media and talk about the results on your YouTube channel. This approach positions you as a trusted and informed source.
- Share recent client success stories. Post a highlight reel that includes customers getting the keys to their new home or standing in front of a sold sign with their family. This video can also double as your channel trailer that gives new viewers a sneak peek at the value and benefits you offer clients.
- Host educational real estate webinars. Searches for “how-to” videos are growing an average of 70% year over year, so post videos where you talk about how to stage a home for an open house. Show before and after video examples or go one step further and interview a professional home stager. Depending on your audience, you can also talk about how to understand mortgage interest rates, how to get pre-approved for a loan, and more. Basically, cover anything that your audience finds relevant.
Implement audience growth strategies
Once you have your content ideas, use them to help attract more viewers to your channel. The benefit to more traffic is the potential to collect more leads, bring brand awareness to your company or team, or build up your referral program. Some ideas to implement include:
- Post consistently. Choose a timeline that fits into your schedule. This can be bi-weekly, monthly, or more frequently. This way, subscribers and followers know when to expect new content from you and know when to come back. This allows you to grow a consistent, loyal audience who will share your videos and refer new leads to you.
- Include subtitles. A growing number of videos are watched without volume—in fact, 85% of Facebook videos are viewed without sound—so make it easier for viewers to follow along if there’s commentary you’d like to share. Commentary can include features in the home, notes about square footage, or really anything that’s important to your specific audience.
- Share your videos across different platforms like your website, social media, and email campaigns to drive traffic to your channel. Leads come to you from different outlets, so optimize those platforms to drive YouTube traffic. For example, include a CTA in your videos to visit your channel to find more properties like the one just viewed.
- Use SEO within your channel. Just like you would for blog content, research keywords for your area of specialization and include them in the title of your video, in the description, and in the video tags. Over time, your content will move further up in ranking in Google search and on YouTube, giving you more exposure and traffic.
- Use YouTube Analytics to see what your audience engages with the most—like comments, shares, and more—and use the data to improve your content by providing more of what your audience gravitates to.
Real estate agents to follow on YouTube
There are lots of examples of real estate agents who’ve created strong YouTube channels and a growing following. Some examples include the following agents:
Kris Lindahl from Kris Lindahl Real Estate:
What he’s doing well:
- His videos are a mix of client testimonials, educational resources, interviews, and more.
- His About page talks about his successes and how he works to give his clients the best experience possible. This page also includes links to his website, blog, and social media platforms.
- He posts fairly regularly, on a monthly basis.
Gary Ashton of RE/MAX:
What he’s doing well:
- Videos in his channel aren’t just about the properties he sells; he also posts videos of the work he does in the Nashville community and the events he attends. This makes him more personable by giving viewers a look at his accomplishments beyond real estate.
- He shares lots of videos from other RE/MAX agents, which helps to build up the team but also drives traffic to his page when his team shares his videos.
Rebecca Schumacher from Sotheby’s Real Estate:
What she’s doing well:
- Her cover image sets the tone for the types of properties she specializes in—high-end, modern family homes.
- The featured video has an in-depth description to go along with the property. She’s likely incorporated keywords to help this listing rank high in YouTube search. The listing talks about the property itself and highlights the features—and keywords—her audience is most interested in and search for—11′ foot ceilings, custom cabinets, five-star amenities, and premium location.
- Most of her videos are at, or below, the two-minute mark. Since 56% of videos published in recent years are about this long, her videos are aligned with what viewers expect.
Now it’s your turn
Now that you have the basics covered, it’s time to get started. Set up your channel and start by experimenting. Experiment with the types of content you publish, the video length, the keywords you use, and more to get a sense of what your audience responds to.
This is your chance to be creative and find new ways to not only cater to the needs of your clients but also grow your business.