Star Trib: ‘YouTube is Coming Trend’

The most interesting thing to me about the lead story in today’s Star Tribune business section, “Increasing Numbers of Metro Realtors Turn to YouTube,” wasn’t the content, but the byline: the reporter is identified as “a University of Minnesota student reporter on assignment for the Star Tribune.”

Hmm . . I wonder if there’s any connection between using student reporters and the Star Tribune’s bankruptcy filing last month??

It reminds me a little bit of Calvin Griffith, the one-time Minnesota Twins owner, who was famous for his penny-pinching ways. To “leverage” his more expensive, marquee players, Griffith famously relied on Triple A players — more than a few who appeared to have been prematurely “promoted.”

In fact, the student reporter is a good writer, and found some knowledgeable sources for the story.

So is he right about YouTube’s growing role in real estate sales?

Virtual Tour vs. Home-made Video

I can’t speak for all Realtors, but I don’t use video’s on YouTube to market my listings — and have yet to personally encounter one who does.

Instead, I use something called a “virtual tour,” which uses streaming video to give prospective Buyers a 360 degree impression of the home for sale. While it lacks the narrative and “personal touch” that’s possible with YouTube, it also avoids the vertigo-inducing feeling you can get watching video shot with a shaky, hand-held camera.

Which is exactly the feeling I got watching the video of the Woodbury home that’s featured in the article.

Ultimately, the purpose of any online marketing isn’t to sell the home — it’s to generate showings, that is, get people in to see it.

What sells homes isn’t how appealing they look in online photos or in a YouTube video . . it’s how impressive they are once you’re inside.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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