Here below is a quick how-to guide for real estate agents who want to become local investor specialists but don’t want to go bawld doing it. Consistently featuring interior videos of distressed properties in your marketplace on a website is a surefire way to grow a list, get traffic, and generate a stream of transactions with repeat investor buyers for years to come.
- Load up a self-hosted wordpress blogsite. Design not important… pick a theme, any theme, and roll with it.
- Pick up 1 handheld video camera. Something like my $80 hot pink vado will do the trick nicely.
- Set up a YouTube account for the project. (You can also use an existing Youtbube account, you’ll just have to segment out the videos you want to use into playlists.)
- Install the awesome “Tubepress” wordpress plugin. Tweak the settings so it pulls in videos from your YouTube username (or read the plugin documentation for playlist based shortcodes.)
- Install a simple contact form in the sidebar, with the heading ” receive my latest distressed property videos every week by email”
- Create a page with nothing on it but the following wordpress shortcode: [tubepress]. Set this page as your homepage. (settings, reading)
Once a week, grab your video camera, and walk through a distressed property. Keep it under 3 minutes, go fast, focus on property deficiencies and systems. Shakiness is cool and fine. (If you obsess about editing and quality, you’ll never make this part habitual, and the time you spent on the setup will have been wasted.) We’re going to dress it up in the next step.
When you get back to a computer, take a minute to upload the vid to YouTube, add some basic “annotations” describing the property at different sections of the vid, and add audio to the background. The annotations and audio features are native to YouTube and this entire step shouldn’t take much more than 10 minutes to execute once you got the hang.
[With real estate video, "not boring" is more important than "polished!"]
Embed your video within a blog post on your site. Be sure to discuss cost-to-repair, ARV, the neighborhood, and any other relevant info. This accomplishes a number of things:
- Enhances your chances of garnering organic search traffic.
- Gives you landing pages to promote via external advertising.
- And most importantly, creating blog posts with your vids embedded allows you to use rss based newsletters to automatically deliver the promised content to your list.
Finally, be sure to deliver your latest video blog posts via email weekly. There are a number of ways to do this. Feedburner, Aweber’s RSS Based Blog Broadcasts, manually via mass email… they all work. However you do it, the money here is in the consistency. At least 1 new video a week = dynamic interesting site = more opts = more direct inquiries about your videos each time your mailing goes out.
Optional But Recommended (Promotion)
Each time you create a distressed video blog post, be sure to create a Craigs List entry with a link to the blog post and video. ( In big metros, this will almost always yield an opt or 2)
Facebook/Twitter – If your site is auto-syndicating, your vids will land in your streams for sharing.
Facebook ads – If your vids are appropriately short and informative, you should be able to drive traffic to your site for somewhere in the $.50-$1.00 range with 1 in 10-20 of these folks landing on your list. You’ll have to decide if $5-$15 per is worth it to consistently add names to your “list.” (Or just trust me, with this niche, it’s worth it.)
Get on the phone! Call every investor in town and let them know how cool and “alive” your site is.
What’s Gonna Happen?
You’ll find that you’re going to quickly get loads of investors in your area returning to your website on a weekly basis. And if properly executed you should be able to count on 4-12 warm inbound leads a month, and at least 1 additional transaction. Or I should say, one new investor client that could be good for a nice handful of transactions each and every year.
Why This’ll Work For You…
1. No one else in your market is consistently showcasing investment propertunities via video. You’ll quickly have one of the most interesting sites in your marketplace, and getting folks to donate and email address in return for more video content shouldn’t be hard.
2. Shooting the videos will likely become a fun habit for you before too long. You weekly video appointment with yourself will feel more like a break than real work.
3. Owner occupants suck. Big time. Investors are way better to work with, and you’ll soon have more of them calling you than you have time to service.
Don’t get hung up on the quality of the videos or the design of your site! Let the crappy distressed property do all the talking, and the lead generating. The videos will yield plenty of opt ins to your list, but most importantly they’ll prompt seriously interested contacts to call you directly for more info while disqualifying the investors who’s criteria are too stringent for the opportunity.
[Did I mention that you can have a ton of fun with this approach?]