YouTube may not seem like a natural place for real estate practicioners – most people associate it with cute cat videos and America’s worst everything. However, a 2013 online Google study found that 51% of home shoppers used YouTube as a video research destination. Agent-related and finding an agent searches grew 46% year-over-year. (Source) YouTube is considered the second largest search engine in the world. (Source)
Created by Mushroom Networks
With YouTube being such a successful video marketing channel, perhaps it’s time you considered integrating YouTube into your real estate online business plan! To begin, you’ll need a YouTube channel. Here’s how you create one:
Step One: Create a Google Login
You’ll need a Google account to have a YouTube channel. Either you can create one at Google Accounts or directly on YouTube. Once you’ve created one, the next time you go to YouTube.com, you’ll be able to (and will be prompted to) login.
Step Two: Login to YouTube
You’ll know if you’re logged in to YouTube if you see something similar to this in the upper right-hand corner:
Step Three: Click on My Channel
Step Four: Customize Your Channel
Your identification photo will automatically import from the Google login you created in Step One (you DID add a professional photo, right?). You can add a cover photo, similar to the one on your Facebook profile, to the home page of your channel. You could choose from a hi-resolution community photograph, a favorite house you listed or your logo. Extra points if you include your contact information in your photo! (You can customize photos for free using online services like PicMonkey and Canva.)
You can also create or upload a quick “Welcome” video for unsubscribed visitors to your YouTube channel. Just follow the instructions that YouTube gives:
Some of the ways you can use the welcome video include introducing yourself, introducing people to the YouTube channel (e.g. features, location of videos) and inviting people to contact you.
You can edit the way your channel looks, including adding different sections on the home page, by hovering your mouse in the top right-hand corner of the cover photo. A pencil icon should appear. If you hover over that, choose the first option “Edit Links.”
Under the Edit Links page, you can create a channel description (remembers to use descriptive keywords!), connect your other social media accounts so an icon appears on your home page cover photo, control whether people see any video statistics for your channel (you can also control views on an individualized video-by-video basis) and select any Featured Channels (perhaps that of your brokerage?) to showcase on your YouTube channel. Once you’ve finished with your selections, you can click the blue “Done” in the upper right-hand corner near the top of the page.
When you’ve completed this, you’ll want to enable Browsing under Channel Navigation. To find that, hover your mouse directly below the lower right-hand corner of your Channel’s cover photo. You should see two options: Edit Channel Navigation and Channel Settings. Select the first.
Enabling the Browse view will create the ability to add sections to the home page of your YouTube channel. You can add videos from other people’s channels, or add in sections of videos of your own (e.g., sold listings, new listings, how to’s for buyers, how to’s for sellers). Just look for the plus sign next to the “Add Section” prompter on a button and follow instructions.
Step 5: Upload Your First Video!
Congratulations! It’s now time to upload your first video. YouTube has made it very easy to upload a video. All you have to do is click on the Upload button near the middle right-hand side of your YouTube page. Remember that if you choose to upload a video as “Unlisted,” it will only be seen by those who have the link, and if it’s uploaded as “Private,” it will not be seen by anyone but yourself.
Experiment! Have fun! And remember to use descriptive titles and complete descriptions of videos, including addresses of listings and categories for each video. You can see an example of a YouTube channel by visiting our YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/user/c21redwoodTV.