Your Real Estate Blog: Don’t Skip the Research

    I recently had an online conversation with an agent who stated that the use of real estate video for agents is the end-all, be-all, and he had the stats (from his own site) to prove it.

    My research on video for real estate says that videos addressed to homebuyers aren’t popular.

    In fact, when asked how they prefer to get their real estate information, buyers prefer website content (it came in first) and video came in last – behind open houses, according to your association’s research.

    So, who is right?

    Is it the guy who wrote a recent article, titled “Google Loves Video?” He’s pretty persuasive, citing studies that show “A video is 50 times more likely to appear on the first page of search results than a traditional web page.”

    Wait.

    That just doesn’t jibe with reality, at least not for all topics. See for yourself.

    Enter any real estate term that a buyer may use into Google. How many of the results are in video form?

    I find zero.

    The author also quoted an SEO Moz study as well, telling us that “Blog posts that include video content attract 3 times more inbound links than posts without video.”

    Thankfully, he linked to both studies so I could go take a look at them.

    Guess what?

    Both studies are from a decade ago. As you know, in the tech world, that’s a lifetime.

    So, why did he have to dig so far back to get stats that support the use of video over text?

    It turns out that he works for a video company, so he has an obvious agenda.

    Therefore, this is just a friendly reminder to be very careful that you check the source and dates while researching information that you hope to publish on your website.

    Step 1: To ensure you’re informed

    The very first thing to do when researching the veracity of statistics is to learn about the author. I instantly distrust what the author is saying when there could be an agenda behind it.

    Like when real estate agents warn readers not to sell their home without an agent. There isn’t anything wrong with that, per se, but ensure you have independent, unbiased sources to back up your claims. Avoid building even a shred of distrust with your audience.

    So, dig into the statistics – how old are they? Who did the study?

    In the case of the previously mentioned gentleman, recent statistics to prove his claims just don’t exist.

    Step 2: Check your assumptions

    It’s far too easy to blindly accept a statistic when it agrees with our assumptions. For instance, some of NAR’s highly touted stats about FSBOs are not only outdated but they’ve been debunked by university studies.

    A Stanford University Economics Department study, for instance, found “no evidence that the use of a broker leads to higher average selling prices. . .”

    Then there’s the study by the American Economic Review, a couple of years later, that showed that FSBOs who used FSBO websites made “at least as much for their homes” as did home sellers using an agent.

    If you find yourself agreeing with a statistic because it agrees with your assumptions, it’s time to dig deeper. Even if it hurts.

    Whether you’re reading a news story or an industry piece, RESEARCH is your best friend.

    And, when it comes to your real estate content, the only good research is recent. Your clients (and your reputation) depend on your information to be accurate.

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    Lisa Gray
    Lisa is an accomplished marketer with years of expertise in direct response marketing, digital marketing, data analytics and business development working with both B2C and B2B.