YouTube Is Not A Magic Elixir...And The Data Proves It

By
Real Estate Services with Vidlisting.com

**UPFRONT DISCLAIMER: I own a real estate video company - though I try to stay focused on empirical data in the posting below, I do have a financial stake in a different company focused on the same market

BACKGROUND

This morning we looked at every You Tube property video that was marked as "1 week ago".  This means that the real estate video had been posted between 7-13 days ago.  Within our own company, we consider the first two weeks critical as it is a reasonable timeframe to begin to see tangible results not only in terms of visitors but also in terms of visitor feedback and action (contacts, etc.)  We specifically excluded certain types of videos that were not strictly property video - interviews, drivethrus, seminars, promotional videos etc..  Although to be honest, the results would not have been much different.

ANALYSIS

We found the following empirical data:

Number of Property Videos Posted To YouTube During This Period: 235

Total Number of Views of All 235 Videos: 3775

Average Number of Video Views after being posted more than one week and less than two: 16 views

Mean Number of Video Views (50% with views above and 50% below) during same period:  8 views

The much lower mean number signifies that there are a few "watched more than others" videos propping up the average. These are hardly eye-popping bifurcation points - a video from greece with 125 views, toronto with 202, two from CA with 125 and 113 respectively, and then the clear winner from India with 360.  No other videos are even close to 100 views in their first 7-13 days of YouTube life. 

We've talked about YouTube before in terms of effectiveness (sales) but the numbers here are too paltry to even begin to consistently generate sales.  Note: You are easily able to reproduce the results by searching "real estate", sorting by most recent, and capturing data about the videos that are marked "1 week ago".  This data is fairly telling of how effective YouTube really is or, in this case, is not (and I am a strong proponent of real estate video of any form).  

CONCLUSIONS

We've previously discussed issues with YouTube. Our own fledgling 6 month old site in English and Spanish have completely different and much more positive numbers than the much better known YouTube site - if you haven't heard about us, each property video is narrated in English, Spanish, and Portuguese as part of our standard video package.  To compare with Youtube, each of our language videos for the same property gets at least an order of magnitude of YouTube's video views which means  that any single property video on our site across all 3 languages will get between 20 and 30 times the video views of the Youtube site within 2 weeks. Perhaps, it is a standards issue but we think that it is more likely people prefer LARGE video with crisper resolution and no buffering.  I would not be surprised if other dedicated real estate video portals also handily surpass YouTube's results.

This data supports what we have suspected anecdotally about YouTube for some time. We'll have better data in the coming weeks but it seems that YouTube only generates about 15,000 video videos per months for properties.  Our site had 60,000 real estate videos watched in March 2007 alone arguably making us one of one more trafficked real estate video around - all this without a single US property video.....yet. 

Guess where we are headed next? 

Tony      (daily blog: http://forsalebylocals.wordpress.com)

 

 

 

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Rainer
145,223
Fred Light
Real Estate Video Tours for MA and NH
| Nashua Video Tours

The KING?  You've GOT to be kidding!  LOL  I'm still trying to figure out what the hell I'm doing...  :)

I'm primarily a web designer, so my main focus is getting eyeballs to the clients' website.  Since a number of these video sites (not YouTube, but most others) DO get indexed in Google where customers DO search, and since it's FREE to upload - I figure you've got absolutely nothing to lose. 

Additionally, as a listing tool, it's pretty impressive to tell your customer that their home will be on the first page or two of Google in a few days! And my experience is that happens about 90% of the time, depending on how competitive the search terms are.

However, once every Tom, Dick and Harry that takes a bunch of still photographs, applies the "Ken Burn's Effect", throw in some copyrighted music and then calls it a video figures out how to convert them and upload them to these sites, my guess is the effectiveness will be gone. Fortunately, most of those slide shows (aka 'videos') are flash and most people won't be able to figure out how to convert them!


May 06, 2007 10:27 PM
Rainer
48,394
A. Grey
Real Estate Video Mentor - Vidlisting.com
Vidlisting.com

Fred:  Thanks for your comments.  Hey, the Ken burns effect worked for Ken Burns!  My favorite copyrighted music story involved a video with "Stairway To Heaven" at max volume and the property owner insisting that it stay.  Take care

Tony

May 06, 2007 07:40 PM
Rainer
442,193
Jacqulyn Richey
Las Vegas Real Estate
Prominent Realty Group
Very interesting data. How did consumers react to embedded video on your site? -Charles
May 06, 2007 09:33 PM
Rainer
26,000
Toya Condelee
Exit Realty Results

It's free, so why not?

I go with the video king's suggestion about putting it up there helping to increase google ranking.

Nothing wrong with that. 

May 07, 2007 06:57 PM
Rainer
35,902
Dee Copeland
Principal Broker
Copeland Group Realty
I'm with you and like it when someone researches before employing a new strategy. Thanks for this post.
May 11, 2007 11:35 PM
Anonymous
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Rainer
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A. Grey

Real Estate Video Mentor - Vidlisting.com
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The blog and thinkpad of a real estate video professional. Topics include property tours, software development, advice about technology, consulting, and discussion of conceptual topics. All videos produced by vidlisting.com are produced with professional narration in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.