RealEstate.com has become the latest real estate portal to load virtual tours of its agents’ listings to a dedicated YouTube channel.
The RealEstate.com YouTube page allows users to search by MLS number, address, city or Zip code. Each virtual tour video ends with the phone number of the appropriate Realtor.
Greg Hanson, senior vice president and general manager of RealEstate.com, said his company will be “happy to put up anyone else’s listings if they want. We’re different that way.”
The rationale is clear. Rather than driving consumers “to one or another interface, we’ll use what’s effective,” Hanson added. “Consumers are already there, because they like the YouTube experience so much. Ultimately, the traffic will come back to us.”
The virtual tour videos – which are short 30-scond slide shows – are created for RealEstate.com by CirclePix. Presumably, brokers could create more enhanced videos that would be uploaded by RealEstate.com.
The RealEstate.com channel is just getting started: only 1,223 videos have been uploaded so far with only 811 of those having been watched as of this morning. But there’s plenty of room for growth: RealEstate.com has access to 2.5 million MLS-based property listings.
The YouTube listings are free for now, with plans to charge in the future.
RealEstate.com has plenty of competition, some of which has been active on the video sharing site for much longer. For example, Weichert Realtors YouTube channel spotlights listings for 18,000 agents (although only 400 or so virtual tours are currently live).
Another real estate site on YouTube comes from a virtual tour provider, VHTStudios, which lists nearly 25,000 videos.
Century 21 also is on YouTube. When we checked, a professionally-produced amusing 2-minute video describing a house from within a clever “mystery” narrative was playing.
One thing RealEstate.com has going for it is a uniquely memorable URL: YouTube.com/realestate.