1000watt Blog

Writings about real estate, branding, marketing, media and technology from the principals of 1000watt.

Watch out here they come

WellcomeMat signed a big deal with Leading Real Estate Companies of the World this week. Companies within the network of about 550 brokerages each get a video channel for their website and some seed videos to begin to populate them. WellcomeMat gets its own “channel” where it can begin to connect its network of videographers to broker clients. This is a big win for all parties. As someone who has been banging the real estate video drum for years, I’m encouraged by this development. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I think this year will be a big one for real estate video. I’ll go out on a limb and speculate a bit, but here’s why I think we’ve finally arrived at a tipping point. The iPad. iPad usage has increased the demand for multimedia elements on the web. Video consumption is one of the big use cases for tablet devices. The form factor is perfect for this type of “lean-back” experience. Certainly, looking at my own use, I find myself actively seeking out video content when surfing on my iPad. Websites that lack that element feel flat and lifeless – much like the brochure-ware websites of years gone by. The market. As we bounce along the bottom of a rough real estate market, many buyers and sellers remain on the sidelines. While searching active listings is still the bread and butter of real estate websites, for a buyer who’s not actively “in the game” researching where their next purchase might take place is important. Neighborhood and community videos fill that void for many web consumers. And brokerages are finally starting to wake up to the opportunity. So where do we go from here? I think we’re going to see more and more brokerages begin to implement aggressive video strategies in 2012. Early leaders like Houlihan Lawrence have set the production bar high and others are now racing to catch up. This all points to… An acquisition of WellcomeMat. As Brian has noted, there is a war going on right now for talent in the real estate technology space. The big tech companies are also on a ravenous hunt for new products they can bring to brokers and agents. Move bought SocialBios, Zillow snapped up Diverse Solutions and MarketLeader bought Sharper Agent. A real estate-focused video platform might be something worth picking up too. As I noted above, online video is largely a blue ocean right now – for brokerages to serve up to consumers and for the tech players to support the brokerages in this effort. The WellcomeMat team has been around this space for long time and have built a very respected brand. And the Leading RE deal is a significant milestone on the road to more widespread adoption. This is going to look mighty attractive to the right buyer. Let’s check back in in another 12 months and see where we’re at. [Disclosure: Houlihan Lawrence and Move, Inc. are 1000watt clients]

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6 Responses to “Watch out here they come”

  1. David Pylyp says:

    Joel, spot on I think you are absolutely correct about video being needed to capture the fresh eyes that are hungry for content.

    That said; Toronto is firmly in the grips of a Sellers Market with a 1.1% Vacancy Factor Overall. An envious position maybe? I produce my own advertorials… http://youtu.be/9CK_T-drfrE and am pleased Feature Properties as by specialty or neighbourhood, I look forward to every opportunity to help the house SHINE and find a new family.

    To others that still deny the internet and video We cannot pull them along, we can merely start a trail and hope they follow!

    Really enjoyed meeting with you in Toronto last year!

    David Pylyp

  2. John Wake says:

    Joel, I’m a fanatic about the future of video online, I think it’s reached the tipping point, especially with 4G and especially for real estate… but I don’t see a play for an internet company to capitalize on it.

    YouTube dominates. You can make and edit your videos yourself. What’s missing? Nothing as far as I can tell except the experience and skill in creating and marketing videos online and that will come.

    A company could take a broader trend and try to customize it for real estate, a la, blogging and Active Rain, but I don’t see it.

    What’s missing?

  3. Christian Sterner says:

    Joel,

    Thanks very much for the kind words about the WellcomeMat brand: that means a lot coming from you.

    In regards to the Leading RE opportunity, we have to at least acknowledge that our deal is the result of bold/decisive leadership on the part of their team in doing what they feel is best for their network. They are an awesome team, we collectively know exactly how to scale high-quality video within their network, and WellcomeMat could not be happier to be the team chosen to help them make it happen!

    This is a huge win for all those with a passion for locally-focused, real estate video. Congrats to all of you.

  4. Arie Covrigaru says:

    With all due respect to the video technology and the technology that delivers video content on mobile devices, it will not change the fact that viewing a real estate properly as a video presentation is like listening to a music album on an old magnetic tape. It is serial and you have to wait to listen to the song you want.

    On the other hand, a well designed photo viewer is like listening to the same music album on a digital media player. You can go directly to the song you want, when you want to listen to it.

    Personally, I am partial to direct access when it comes to music or viewing a real estate property. I want to see the master bath before I see the patio. Video presentations are still weak on this point.

  5. Christian Sterner says:

    John…great comments! While YouTube dominates in terms of overall usage (and definitely on the user-generated content front, which most companies are glad to let YouTube own), they lack in many many regards, most blatantly in regards to the real estate context. The reality is that real estate content (of any type) is best consumed on sites positioned for real estate consumers. Just like Google never nailed real estate search, YouTube has not even scratched the surface in meeting the needs of those searching for real estate specific info. Search for anything real estate related in your area, and it is like a one way ticket into a infomercial/casino. Quality real estate videos are best viewed on websites that allow customers to take next steps and engage further in their quest to find a new place to call home.

    Arie…you are definitely on to something as well! Video chaptering is an absolute must for real estate video content. For fun, we showcased this tech on http://videochapters.com .