Judging by what is posted online, videos are arguably one of the most challenging marketing tools for real estate agents. While many agents hire professionals, others think that a montage of MLS photos of a house, set to tinkling piano music, does the trick.

Video is a powerful marketing tool for real estate agents, but only if they use it effectivelyObviously, there is a wide range of opinion within the industry about the importance of video as a marketing method. Yet, there is little doubt that consumers demand the technology.

In fact, according to a study published at Mashable.com, 73 percent of homeowners say that the listing agent who promises to use video to market their homes are the agents who will most likely get their business. Conversely, only 12 percent of agents have YouTube accounts – the “top video research destination for home shoppers,” according to the National Association of Realtors®.

While not giving consumers what they want is a huge blunder, if you are using videos, experts agree that you need to do them right. The most obvious problems with so many real estate videos include starting the video with the agent in the frame, either introducing what’s to come or talking about himself. Viewers want to see the house, not the agent.

Other obvious turn-offs frequently found in real estate videos include:

  • Shaky videos.
  • Dark videos.
  • Boring videos.
  • Obviously homemade videos.

Let’s take a look at three not-so-obvious mistakes and how to avoid them.

Mistake 1: Not Optimizing Your Videos

Sure, the purpose of the video is to market your listing, but videos do double duty, according to Forrester Research. Videos are 50 times more likely to show up on the first page of Google search results than text pages, if they’re optimized. Why not leverage the power of YouTube to benefit your business while also promoting your client’s listing?

The Fix:

Mashable’s Nate Elliot suggests doing the following:

  • Use your keywords in the video’s title, tags and description when you upload it to YouTube.
  • After uploading the video to YouTube, embed it on your website. According to Elliot, Google considers “how many times a video is viewed, and any views embedded videos receive on your own site get added to the ‘views’ tally on YouTube.”
  • Create a video sitemap. Google walks you through the process in its webmaster tools.

Mistake 2: Overly Long Videos

It’s no secret that most people have short attention spans. YouTube statistics claim that the longest amount of time that people tend to watch a video is 3.5 minutes. Yet another study, by Visible Measures, says that if you don’t grab the viewer’s attention in the first 10 seconds, they’ll most likely move on.

The research further indicates that another 30 percent of viewers will be gone in 30 seconds, 45 percent will move on within the first minute, and almost 60 percent of your original audience will move on within two minutes.

Engagement at the beginning of the video is critical, and brevity overall will help retain viewers.

The Fix:

If you have a lot to say about a listing, consider breaking the content down into several short videos, such as a neighborhood video, exterior video and interior video.

Mistake 3: Sacrificing Quality to Save Money

Videographer services cost money, but perhaps not quite as much as you assume. A quick Internet search shows that the least expensive videographers in the country charge less than $200 for a basic video.

When you consider that, like every other type of marketing you use, your videos say a lot about your brand, it’s money well spent. Professional videos are far more effective than homemade, no matter how much you fancy yourself a decent videographer.

Then there is the money you think you’re saving by doing it yourself. A decent video may take hours to set up, shoot and edit. Since you’re in the real estate business and not the photography business, this is time taken from tasks that will actually make you money.

The Fix:

Do you need to go full-on Hollywood in your listing videos? As long as the content grabs the viewer’s attention upfront and keeps him engaged, a simple, professional video of the home is sufficient.