We could do exhaustive studies and statistical analysis of our site IDX search page visitors to find out how many are local versus non-local residents.  However, it’s more than safe to say that there are people using your IDX search page who have limited or no knowledge of how a certain neighborhood actually looks or the type of homes there.  Let’s take a look at how to enhance their experience so that they keep coming back to your site for their real estate searches.

Why Video?

According to the Youtube.com press page, here are their statistics about video views on the site:

  • More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month
  • Over 6 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube—that’s almost an hour for every person on Earth, and 50% more than last year
  • 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute
  • 70% of YouTube traffic comes from outside the US
  • YouTube is localized in 56 countries and across 61 languages
  • According to Nielsen, YouTube reaches more US adults ages 18-34 than any cable network
  • Millions of subscriptions happen each day, and the number of people subscribing has more than doubled since last year

It’s safe to say that people love video, and they’re viewing it on many different types of devices due to today’s availability of broadband access at home or on the go.  Your real estate searchers will appreciate a view of neighborhoods they’re searching for properties.

Make Neighborhood Videos

It would be a rare thing for a real estate professional these days not to have a device that will produce quality video for upload to Youtube.com.  Whether it’s a still camera that takes video or a smart phone, we’re probably carrying a device that’s up to the task.  The next time you’re checking a neighborhood, previewing a listing, or just driving around, do a short video of each neighborhood or subdivision with listings in your MLS.  It doesn’t have to be more than two to five minutes long, just long enough to give the viewer a good idea of the feel and look of the area.

How you upload to Youtube will depend on your device and software.  There are apps for iPhone and Android that will take care of this for you.  Or, if you’re using a camera, move the video to your hard drive and upload from there.  You want to upload the video with proper real estate and neighborhood keywords, but you’re not going to rely on Youtube searches for your viewers.

Embed the Video in a Post or Page

Create a new post or page in WordPress and get the embed code from your video at Youtube.

Video for Real Estate IDX

You use the Share function and Embed to get the code, but set your video size first to get the right size in the code.  Save the post or page, and make sure it’s functional.  In the next step you’ll need to copy the URL for the page from the top URL window bar, which will look something like:

http://yoursite.com/videos/thisneighborhood.com

You need this URL to use in the widget you’ll place next to the IDX search results you create for this neighborhood.

Place the Video Widget Next to the Search Results

You’ve created a search page with the listings in this neighborhood displayed.  You can learn how to do this in this post.  Go back to Youtube and copy the small image for the video to use in your widget:

Video for Real Estate IDX

Upload the image to your Media in WordPress:

Video for Real Estate IDX

 Create the Widget to Display on this Search Page:

Go to Appearance > Widgets and start a new Text Widget for the main sidebar.  Here’s an example of the HTML you can place there to display the small video image and link to the page/post with the embedded video:

Video for Real Estate IDX

1.  This is the link to the small image you uploaded, and you get that by going into your Media Library, finding the image, and copying it out.

Video for Real Estate IDX

2.  This is the URL we mentioned above that takes them to the neighborhood video page/post.  You copy that out of the URL bar at the top of the browser when you’re viewing the page/post.  Here’s how this widget would look:

Video for Real Estate IDX

There’s one last thing you have to do, which is to make sure that you only show this widget in the sidebar on the page where you display this neighborhood’s search results.  To do that, use the Dynamic Widgets plugin we explain here.