The Internet is a broad, multifaceted medium, one with many uses; however, its most impressive feature, arguably, is that of Internet video, and the way that Web users can stream video free-of-charge to millions upon millions of consumers.
We’ve covered the topic of Internet video marketing rather exhaustively, but we previously left out one important ingredient – why Internet home shoppers actually flock to Internet video sites. Thankfully, though, the recent “Digital House Hunt” study by Google and NAR featured such data, and it’s the focus of our latest entry in the “Google Real Estate” series.
Google Real Estate: Why Internet Video?
In their study, Google and NAR found that there were a number of reasons that Internet home shoppers utilized video when looking for properties:
- Interestingly, the number one reason that home shoppers used Internet video was not to learn more about a specific property, but rather, to learn more about a certain community; 86 percent of home shoppers, Google and NAR found, utilize Internet video for that reason.
- Seventy percent, meanwhile, tour the inside of a home with video, while 54 percent obtain general information and 44 percent compare features across multiple companies.
- There were other notable reasons that home shoppers used Internet video – 38 percent, for instance, use video to better understand the specific features of a home – but what surprised us the most were the 30 percent of home shoppers who use video to watch client testimonials; we’ve written before about the increasing importance of client testimonials on the Web, and this seems to be only further confirmation of their importance.
Internet Video: Where the Home Shoppers Are
So, home shoppers utilize Internet video to learn about communities, tour homes, learn the specifics of a home’s features and view client testimonials – and we should add, they predominantly do those things on YouTube. Though 37 percent of home shoppers use Google Video and 41 percent a broker website, the majority of home shoppers (51 percent, in fact) go to YouTube for their Internet video needs.
And those Internet video needs, said Craig Hogan, the director of Coldwell Banker Previews in Chicago, are defining how real estate takes shape in the coming years.
“[A] very important segment is the up and coming Millennial buyer. By 2015, Millennials are expected to be the largest consumer demographic and nearly a third of the U.S. population, and they spend, on average, 26.2 hours each week online and engage with video more than any other group,” Hogan said. “The consumer is now more interested in seeing the property on video via their tablet and smartphone and being able to contact the agent from the same app. It’s also the best way to engage the associate and see who they are with personal branding videos. It’s how we engage today.”