Tech Lessons

A CCIM shares why learning about video marketing is beneficial to business.

Learning how to use the newest technology tools, such as video-based marketing programs, can help commercial real estate professionals reach a wider variety of clients and markets. More importantly, just learning to apply the basic fundamentals may end up changing clients’ perceptions of your technical abilities. Commercial Investment Real Estate spoke with D. Scott Smith, CCIM, an instructor and commercial sales manager with Long & Foster Real Estate in Glen Burnie, Md., about his experiences with video marketing and why teaching commercial real estate professionals about video-based marketing is important.

CIRE: How do you use video-based marketing in your daily business routine?

Smith: I started using YouTube to market myself about a year ago. I use it as a way to offer teaser information for some of my education classes. I found that my audience received it much better than just reading a long description. They get an introduction to both the teacher and the class.

CIRE: If you were to teach a course on video-based marketing, what would it entail?

Smith: Teaching a course and attempting to mix in technology at the time is its own monster. First, I would go over the physical components, such as what cameras work best with what computers and operating systems. Then I would focus on the video-based software applications that are available and the advantages and disadvantages of each program. I also would discuss how to set up the equipment and programs so people can familiarize themselves with functions such as simple recording. Lastly, I would disucss the different channels for marketing your production: HTML, Web sites, e-mail campaigns, blogs, and link exchanges.

CIRE: Why not just use YouTube as a marketing tool since that has been successful for you?

Smith: I am familiar with several other video-based software programs. Some I have actually purchased while others are too expensive. Even after you have the production completed, you will still need a marketing medium to send it to. YouTube just happens to have all that inclusive while being free. It is also one of the top 10 most-viewed sites per day.

CIRE: Are just younger generations interested in learning about this? Can any age group benefit from this tool?

Smith: The fact that we are doing an interview on this subject is proof that the industry is changing technology-wise. There is a definite interest in the industry and a need in the marketplace for video marketing. Many of the younger generations of professionals already have begun to integrate video marketing and vlogs (video blogs) into their daily business routines.

However, I do feel that a generation gap exists. For example, I just hired a new office staff member who is only nine years younger than I am. Despite the narrow age difference, she makes me feel like I am 50 years behind in technology. As technology makes information more readily available and shared, all real estate professionals need to familiarize themselves with video marketing.

CIRE: Are you currently working on any other projects using YouTube besides planning to teach a how-to class?

Smith: Nothing really major at this time -- just normal property videos and some quick refreshers on debt coverage ratios. I also plan to send a video-based holiday greeting card from the Maryland and Washington, D.C., CCIM chapters.

CIRE: What can brokers and other professionals gain from learning to use video-based marketing?

Smith: Exposure, plain and simple. Do you want to be thought of as stale and old, or young and fresh? The psychology of video marketing is more impressive than many of the actual videos. A lot of the videos are really poor quality, but the fact that I am watching their videos on my laptop 1,000 miles away is monumental.

Stephanie Bell

“I went through the [recession in the] 1980s and purposely set out a market plan that would not have the boom-and-bust [nature] that comes with real estate cycles.” — Joe W. Milkes, CCIM, Milkes Realty Valuation, Dallas“We were anticipating a slowdown in the market and wanted to develop an avenue of business that would create a steady stream of income.” — Yvonne Jones, CCIM, CPM, Zifkin Realty Management LLC, Chicago“I help struggling companies rethink their business models, which includes determining the most profitable use of their real estate.” — Audie Cashion, CCIM, Alpha World Properties LLC, High Point, N.C.Stephanie Bell is associate editor of Commercial Investment Real Estate.