Video Rock Stars
This past month, REAL Trends released its 2017 real estate website rankings. The goal of these rankings is to take a comprehensive look at some of the top websites in real estate and rank them based on best community pages, best design, best mobile experience, best property detail pages, best overall and best video.
The winner of the best overall video strategy was Beverly-Hanks & Associates, based in of Asheville, North Carolina. REAL Trends sat down with Michael Phelan, the vice president of marketing for Beverly-Hanks. We interviewed Michael with the goal of understanding how their brokerage crafted such a unique and compelling video strategy.
RT: To jump right into it, Michael, when did you begin incorporating video?
MP: We began working with video back in 2011, and we started slowly and experimented with a few different kinds of videos. We centered in on what would be our overall video strategy.
RT: So, you create video in-house instead of contracting out. Do you guys have a dedicated staff member strictly for video production?
MP: We do, we have a full-time, in-house videographer. We did start with a contractor, and that was a really good way for us to start. We actually worked with a couple of different contractors to get a feel for what we were looking for in terms of production and cost and things like that. We decided that if we wanted to drive the creative vision, timing and scheduling, we needed to accommodate the real estate industry, we needed to bring that in-house.
RT: That’s great, well Michael, the next question for you is just a general rundown, how did Beverly Hanks develop a video strategy?
MP: It was part of our larger content strategy. You knew we were looking at some very specific website analytics, time on site and things like that, and obviously, at that time, Google was starting to put a lot of emphasis on the presence of video on our website and the generation of dynamic content. We knew that video was going to become a bigger part of that. So, we laid out a strategy that started very broadly and worked that down to specific property videos, which is a little bit different than everybody else—at least when we initially did it. Everybody seemed to have started with property videos or videos about specific agents, and we started very broadly. We started with lifestyle videos about the various ways you can live in Western North Carolina and slowly built our strategy down to now where we are very focused on scaling property videos and agent profile video.
RT: That’s great Michael. How are you using video for lead generation or branding purposes?
MP: Almost all of our video is specific to the branding and overall impression of the firm. I have been introducing people to Western North Carolina, and the interesting thing about Western North Carolina is that it is a very desirable place to live. It is very popular right now and makes a lot of top 10 places to live. A lot of people are looking for general information about the area, and we try to provide that and become a resource for that from a lifestyle perspective, so it is very much a branding strategy.
RT: Since you were using a different strategy than everybody else is using in the beginning, where do you use your video? Since you are doing more brand awareness on communities and neighborhoods, is the video strictly on your website? Do you share on social as well? Do your agents typically use them or is it more typically Beverly Hanks using and sharing the video?
MP: We use it everywhere we can. Lately, we have been emphasizing that agents share our content regardless of whether it’s video or any of our other content elements. We use it extensively on the website. We feature at least five videos on each property detail page. So, if there is a property, we will geo-match videos related to that property and display those to the consumer.
Every property, regardless of if it’s a Beverly Hanks listing or not, has five videos associated with it. From there, we provide video for the agents to use on their individual profile pages and coach them on how to use it on social media as a part of our monthly electronic newsletter. There is a theme each month that we build out from on our overall editorial calendar.
To hear more about agent adoption, future video trends and insights into Beverly-Hanks analytics, listen to our podcast.
LISTEN TO VIDEO ROCKSTARS PODCAST
Listen to podcast with special guest Michael Phelan