Doing research like our 2013 Broker Website Effectiveness Study (BWES) helps WAV Group identify and measure a multitude of strategies that brokers may deploy to improve their online performance. One key trend today that is working very well is video. I am not sure how long video will help brokers gain an edge, but today it works.
Some of the facts we gathered in the BWES included that Google is the #1 search engine by a significant margin, capturing 75% of all search traffic (see image)
If you combine the predominance Google with an understanding of how search results are displayed, you recognize that for every keyword search, Google attempts to display a video search result above the page on the first page of results (see image insert). This has been a keynote strategy that we have long appreciated with virtual tours.
Today, virtual tours by most vendors are automated. They rely on data feeds from the MLS or Listhub to acquire the data ingredients, including photos that are stitched together, price, description, etc. In many ways, the information found on a virtual tour webpage today is a comprehensive IDX display. Turn every virtual tour into a video and leverage it!
Here are 4 tips for your virtual tour solution.
- Dynamically publish the tours to Facebook, Twitter, and to YouTube.
- Do not let your virtual tour provider syndicate
- Include the virtual tour link in your Listhub, Point2, or other broker listing feed to portals.
- Make sure that the URL of the virtual tour (both branded and unbranded) resolves on your domain name e.g.virtualtour.brokerdomain.com/brokername/agentname/property address rather than on the virtual tour provider’s domain name e.g.:realbiz360.com/MLSnumber (By the way, realbiz360 constructs the domain names correctly – do not infer anything from the example).
New thinking: 1 plus 1 equals video
If consumers like video and google indexes video, why aren’t brokers converting every MLS listing to video? A progressive IDX solution should display video rather than images – or both.
Here is another hidden benefit. Video cannot be scraped. That means that a broker’s data would be protected.
About the Author
Victor Lund is a founding partner of WAV Group Consulting along with Marilyn Wilson and Mike Audet. WAV Group provides strategic business consulting services to enterprise real estate brokerages, Multiple Listing Service providers, REALTOR® Associations, and real estate technology companies. Victor Lund is also the Chief Executive Officer of RETechnology.com, the industry’s most visited business website.