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New, Inexpensive Video Opportunities Explode For Small Businesses (Including Hyperlapse)

If you haven’t tried out Instagram’s new Hyperlapse app (and your Facebook feed isn’t already full of your friends’ time lapse videos), stop reading this article, get the app, and try it out right now.

My first reaction to this app was that its ability to shoot a time lapse video from a mobile phone was really interesting, but its ability to stabilize video through its programming that constantly monitors the phone’s gyroscope was the really useful feature.  Steve Pacinelli at Tech Savvy agent beat me to it, but I think that most people will come to see this stabilization as significantly more useful for shooting real-time real estate/home tours than a time lapse.  The ability to use this stabilization in other functions will continue to make mobile video production more and more professional.

In the past few months I’ve seen more new video products created for small businesses and real estate agents than I’ve seen in years before.  Here are a few links that run the gamut from creating your own videos, to hosting them for video SEO purposes, and for displaying them in an attractive fashion on your website:

3rd Party Video Hosting

Video hosting services have been around for a while, but more are creating hosting pricing packages that are in reach of a real estate agent.  SproutVideo is one of those services that we’ve personally used and been impressed with.  The strategy behind using your own video hosting service is to maximize video SEO.  Submitting sitemaps to the search engines tells them your video resides on your own website, and points the traffic there.  There’s a lot of literature on this, but the simple takeaway is that when your YouTube video outranks your website in search results, 99% of the time people will watch your video on Youtube and then leave.  In many cases, “owning” your videos and keeping them on your website will result in better conversion of traffic, even if the total traffic numbers are lower.

Video Hosting and Display Channels

Tagible has created a platform for hosting your videos, but also displaying them as a channel that can be housed on your own website as opposed to on YouTube.  They’ve got a nice interface for uploading and adding content, and one of their biggest strengths is the tie-in to pre-made video libraries.  As an example, they created a channel for me that displays my team’s videos, and also pulls in real estate videos from 3rd party sources as well as branded videos like those from Coldwell Banker.  It’s a real kick-start for someone who doesn’t have a lot of video content yet, and it’s very attractive.

Rebranding of Video Libraries

What a lot of busy folks are looking for is simply a video library that’s ready for their customers to view, with their own contact information added to it.  I bumped into Bill Kerbox at Inman Connect in San Francisco, and his company is working on a product to do just that for agents.  They have a standard set of videos about the usual questions and topics that come up in conversation or prospecting for agents, and agents can have their own marketing/branding, contact info, and calls-to-action added to each video.  They’re displayed right on the agent’s website, so the traffic stays within the agent’s sphere.  This might not appeal to those looking to do unique local videos, but it’s certainly a fast way to start a potential contact-generation video campaign, and could be tied in to listing prospecting fairly easily.  Here’s an example from an agent in Southern California.

Building the All-In-One Mobile Video App:  WrapVideo

WrapVideo logo
I’ve been imagining what the perfect small business mobile video app would be for some time.  I started planning it out a couple of years ago, but as most entrepreneurs with real jobs on the side do, I never got around to finding someone to build it.

It would have the ability to blend photos, video clips, music, and audio like Videolicious. A real estate agent or small business would simply have an intro and outro image uploaded to their phone, and it would allow them to add video clips, and produce the video.

What didn’t exist until now, was the stabilization to make the video look somewhat professional.  I experimented with Luma in the past, but now that Hyperlapse has set the standard, the reality is here to integrate that stabilization into a Videolicious-style app.

Finally, the app would need an integrated video hosting service to maximize the video SEO.  With an integrated hosting service, the business person would shoot, edit, add music, voice it over, upload to hosting, and potentially even plunk the video down right on their website from the palm of their hand.  Imagine a sculpture artist, a furniture maker, or a real estate agent creating professional product videos on a regular basis for their website, with little hassle or time necessary.  It’s a content gold mine.

Ideas Are A Dime A Dozen Without Hard Work and Development

While I thought the idea was genius two years ago, I made the mistake a lot of people probably make–thinking that I was the only one with this idea and not talking to enough people to see if it was worthwhile.  Finally, a serial startup guy told me that there are probably a dozen other people with the same idea and no motivation, so I just needed to get the idea out in the open, and see if there was really a need or a market for it (thanks Christopher Fryer).

I built a video pitch a year ago to express the value proposition and the pain point for online video.  Want to steal my idea?  Be my guest.  If you build it and I can use the app, I’ll be happy.  Interested in working on it with me?  I’m all ears–I can sell if you can build.


Someone out there is probably working on an app like this as we speak. If not, let’s just hope that it’s on its way soon, because I know a lot of business owners who would adopt video content immediately with this kind of access.

About Sam DeBord

Sam DeBord is a former management consultant and web developer who writes for for Inman News and REALTOR® Magazine. He is Managing Broker for Seattle Homes Group with Coldwell Banker Danforth, and 2016 President-Elect of Seattle King County REALTORS®. His team sells Seattle homes, condos, and Bellevue homes.

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  • Have you spoken to the guys at WellcomeMat before? Given your interest in video, you two should chat. Happy to intro you if not.

    • Good point, I should have included them, they have a nice “enablement platform” for video and a marketplace to connect with video producers and service providers. Christian wrote a nice piece constructively correcting my terminology on Inman re: video hosting. Smart guy.

  • Sam, the video I watched where you showcase one of your listings is excellent. How much time and money does it take to do something like that? How do you do it?

    We create videos and put them on YouTube and create a link from YouTube back to our Website. I am not sure which method is better, putting them on your own site or on YouTube.

    I went the YouTube method because I noticed videos in YouTube get indexed really fast and have a high priority by Google.

    We also had an agent in my area who ended up making a video for every single listing and linking each one back to his Website. He then started to show up in a lot of searches, so I assume he got a lot of SEO credit for all those videos linking to his site. The Board shut him down because he did not have permission to make a video for everyone’s listing, but my take on it was that linking videos from YouTube back to your Website can get you some SEO credit.

    Sam, you seem to lean towards NOT putting videos on YouTube and posting them on your own website, so any data or info you have on why you feel this way please let us know.

    • I love the story about the video listing bandit, Bryn. Great ingenuity, but missing the big picture. I think the links from Youtube are nofollow, so they can drive traffic but won’t give a significant SEO bump.

      The video we did for the Queen Anne house was somewhere between $500-$1,000. I hired that one out. We don’t do that often, but when it’s a high-end listing we can cover that expense.

      The YouTube question has people on both sides. Their results rank high and are good for brand recognition, etc. You can drive traffic with sitemaps and links. The theory on the other side is that when your on-site content is getting out-ranked by your video on YouTube, you’re effectively knocking your site down further in the rankings in exchange for a video viewer with a very low likelihood of ever clicking through to your site. Contact rates through YouTube for small companies are abysmal.

      It’s not for everyone, but I’d prefer to keep my content in-house as much as possible and strenthen my own platform. There’s some great stuff out there from Phil Nottingham at Distilled on this subject. I have a few videos on YouTube, but I probably won’t do much more unless things change.

      • You are right, I checked and the links are No Follow. Thanks for your thought regarding posting video, I will have to give it some more thought.

        Your professional video is excellent. 1000watt had a good blog post/warning this week for those that are going to try to do it themselves.

        • I saw that 1000watt post, and if you saw some of my older videos, I’m guilty. Just trying to upgrade for the future.

  • FlyerCo

    Another great service is – It also allows you to have lead capture built into the video.

  • Have you guys seen/used a nationwide service for producing high quality, cost effective agent videos? Ie videos that showcase the agent, not a home. The most interesting one I’ve found so far is

    • I like the look of it, Malcolm. I’ll have to check them out.

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