5 mistakes real estate agents make with video … and how to correct them

If you’re like most agents, you feel the need to produce videos. Create content to get attention. The more attention you get, the more deals you close. Right?

We’ve been told we should make these videos:

  1. Property videos
  2. Community videos
  3. Interview business owners
  4. Market reports
  5. Tips for consumers


These videos don’t work. Not anymore.

Instead, they just add to the noise, and serve as a distraction to growing your business.

Below I’ll take a deep dive on each of them and explain why they don’t work AND what you should be doing instead.

Yes, this is going to hurt. But I promise if you read to the end, you will find powerful new ways to use video to grow your business.

Property videos: Great for attracting attention to a new listing in your business, but does not help build your career. There was a time when videos were new and this set you apart from the crowd of other real estate agents, but those days are long gone. And please, please don’t use property videos to build your YouTube channel. People are not searching YouTube for your latest listing.

Community: I bought into community videos hard core. I wanted to be a media company that happened to sell real estate. I started a show called the I Love Madison Show. I created the I Love Madison Food Tournament where we determined who had Madison’s Best Cheeseburgers through rounds of voting in a tournament-like setting. We documented it all in a vlog—Who has Madison, Wisconsin’s best cheeseburger? I put it on YouTube. It ranked great, and continues to get great views. But here’s the thing: I don’t sell cheeseburgers! The person searching for this video doesn’t want a Realtor, they want a cheeseburger! Takeaway? Don’t just produce content for your community. Make sure your content is aimed at the right person.

Interview business owners: I think we’ve all heard it: “Go interview small business owners, coffee shop owners, burger joint owners, nonprofit presidents, and other mover and shakers in your community.” Great idea, but here’s the thing. Just like the community videos above, no one looking for a real estate agent is searching for these kinds of videos. “But,” I hear you say, “aren’t they great for social media?” Nope. They’re not. They aren’t as interesting as we think they are, and no one is engaging with them. Most importantly they don’t build your career. Exception: If you’re a commercial broker and your clients are business owners, then, yes, do this. It will work for you. But otherwise—don’t.

Market reports: I get it. When you talk about the real estate market, it shows you are smart and up to date with all of the stats. If it works for those reporting on the stock market, then it should work for the real estate market too. But here is the thing: Very few people really care. There were 87 listings last month and only 79 this month. The absorption rate is at a record low at 1.3 months. Nobody cares. We think they care, but they don’t.

Tips for consumers: I get it, let’s give tips to consumers to help them and show what we know. I mean, how to videos can be extremely popular on YouTube. But let’s stop and think about this. If someone was searching for “How to complete a home inspection?” it means they already have an accepted offer, which means it’s too late for you to be their real estate agent. They are in the middle of a transaction! It’s too late, you didn’t meet the buyer at the right time. Also, truthfully not many are going to YouTube for that kind of information, are they? Instead, they’re going to their real estate agent, right?

While we’re at it, one more…

Testimonial videos: Again, I get it. We want to impress people with our raving fans. What a great video—people rave about how wonderful we are. And yes, it works for your website, but, no, it doesn’t work for YouTube or social media. The consumer looks at these as commercials. Now if you turn these into stories about a client succeeding, making them the hero of the story, with you as the guide or the helper, then I see this working. Make it about them, not you. But here’s the thing: You are far better off putting this same energy into the kind of videos I talk about below. That way your videos can bring you 20-30 clients per year instead of 1 or 2.

Let’s get started.

To begin, let me ask you a question. What are your ideal clients searching for?

Consider this scenario:

“I received an offer to move to Madison Wisconsin. Yes, it’s a pay increase of $50K a year. But right now I live in Indiana, and my cost of living is really low. Given the difference in the cost of living, will the raise do me any good?”

If you were this person, what video would you search for?

Would you search for “Who has the best cheeseburger in Madison?” Nope.

Would you search for “Madison WI real estate market update”? Nope.

But you would search for “Cost of living in Madison WI.”

Another scenario:

“I got a job offer from Epic (Madison’s largest employer). I’m moving from Minneapolis MN, and I need to figure out where to live. I might rent first, then buy. But I want to live in a hip trendy area, and money isn’t too much of a concern.”

If you were this person, would you search for “Interview with XYZ nonprofit leader”? Nope.

Would you search for “top five coffee shops in Madison WI”? Again, no.

But you might search for “Best places to live if you work at Epic.”

Another scenario:

“I need to care for my mom who really shouldn’t be living on her own. I’ve heard of in-home care assisted living, and I know there are other options. But I’m not sure where to start.”

If you were this person, would you search for “new listing property tour XYZ address Madison”? No, you wouldn’t.

Neither would you search for “step-by-step guide for completing a home inspection in Madison.”

But you might search for “best places in Madison for an aging parent.”

One more…

A military family is moving to Truax Field in Madison. They need to know where to live nearby, best places for day care and grocery shopping.

Would they search for “Taste of Madison 2019”? Or “Why should I buy with Neil Mathweg?” You already know the answer: No!

But they might search for “best places to live near Truax Field Madison WI”

Do you get what I’m saying? Does it make sense?

What videos should you create? Here’s how you decide:

  1. Identify your target audience
  2. Ask yourself: “What questions does my target audience need answers to?” (Not: “What content do I want to produce that maybe my target audience would want?”)
  3. Find the answer to those questions.
  4. Do your keyword research to make sure people are actually searching for what you’ve identified.
  5. Once you get all of the above done, then produce your video.

Explore this and more in the following podcast:
RETHINK Videos Real Estate Agents Need To Make – Episode 293

Download "Secrets to Winning Listing Appointments"

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