4 Viral Video Ideas For Realtors (That Make You Look Like A Hero To Your Local Community)
Most real estate agents—if they’re filming videos at all—obsess about their “brand.” They care about the production quality of the videos, using HD drone footage, fancy microphones, camera stabilizers, etc. They spend a lot of money making their videos look as Hollywood quality as possible, because of their “brand.”
But here’s the thing.
No one cares about your brand if you’re defining brand as “how fancy your videos are.”
What people do care about is the content of your videos.
The topic. The script.
The actual substance.
How helpful are your videos?
Are viewers actually learning something about your community? Are you educating people about the market dynamics in local neighborhoods, or are you just editing together a bunch of gorgeous drone footage clips?
Just because a video looks good doesn’t mean it’s interesting or helpful.
Ultimately it’s interesting and helpful videos that go viral, not super fancy videos filmed with expensive cameras and professional video producers.
Many agents who work with Platform Marketing have launched video campaigns that get 50,000+ views that were filmed on an iPhone.
It’s the wizard, not the wand.
The content and topic of your video is more important than how fancy your camera is.
Furthermore, it’s important to remember that listing videos only appeal to buyers that are looking to purchase right now.
In other words, you need more than just listing videos if you want to build a lasting local brand.
Listing videos are part of the video marketing recipe, but they’re not the only ingredient.
If someone is still in the “doing research” phase (maybe they’re not actually planning to make a move for another 4-6 months), you need other video content besides listing videos to keep them interested.
This is where our Platform retargeting video strategy comes in.
You must stay top of mind throughout the sales cycle (especially when your marketing is focused on cultivating “High Hanging Fruit”). Your retargeting strategy must include content about the neighborhoods and community. The best way to stay top of mind in a creative way is to highlight the community with retargeting ads that don’t feel like ads.
The more helpful your videos are, the more people will engage with them and share them.
When people share your videos, that’s when the potential to “go viral” is unleashed.
So, ask yourself, are my videos so interesting that people would share them online?
People are risking their social capital when they share your videos.
They’re implicitly endorsing the video! That means your retargeting videos better be interesting, funny, or useful.
And this has absolutely nothing to do with how expensive your camera is or how much you paid your video producer.
Sometimes different is better than better.
Fortunately, we’ve worked with hundreds of realtors over the years.
We’ve figured out a few video recipes that consistently go “viral” in a local community. You won’t necessarily get millions of views, but if your community only has 100,000 people in the specific areas you’re wanting to target—and your retargeting videos consistently get 20,000+ views apiece—it won’t be long before you become a micro celebrity in your town.
Combined with regular lead generation ads, this is the essence of the “Platform” strategy.
Here are 4 specific examples of viral video ideas that will make you look like a hero to your local community.
VIRAL VIDEO IDEA #1: The “Market Update” Video
The market update video is an extremely casual, easy video to produce.
You can film the video on your iPhone and you don’t need to spend a lot of time editing it.
It’s just a quick 60 second video where you brag about a local restaurant that you love, mention your favorite item on the menu (and whatever else you love about the place), and then at the very end of the video, briefly share a quick 10 second summary of what’s going on in the local real estate market. That’s it.
Assuming your “market update” video is about 60 seconds long, this means the first 50 seconds are you sharing about how much you love this restaurant, and only the final 10 seconds have anything to do with real estate.
In other words, this video should not feel like an ad.
It should feel like an endorsement of a local restaurant.
The reason it has the potential to go “viral” is that other people who love the restaurant will probably comment on your video, and even share the video! They want to help promote a local business, and your video gives them a tangible opportunity to do that.
This is why it’s so important that the video shouldn’t feel like an ad. No one shares ads. But they do share local videos that are interesting or valuable.
By regularly filming these quick market updates, you can stay top of mind with your database in a non-salesy way, and simultaneously develop a respected reputation in your town as being an advocate of the community.
We recommend that you film 12 market update videos every year.
So, once per month.
Pretty easy to remember!
We email them to your entire database (current clients, past clients, leads, etc).
This is why it can’t feel like an ad. This is crucial. If your database feels like you’re “marketing” to them, they’ll get annoyed with you and unsubscribe. However, if they feel like you’re sharing valuable videos with them that are actually interesting, they’ll look forward to getting your monthly market update videos. This makes all the difference.
When your database is seeing 12 of these videos a year, on top of all of your other retargeting video content, you can begin to see how powerful the “Platform” strategy is.
You’ll receive exponentially more warm referrals from your sphere, AND you’ll find it easier than ever to “convert” your new leads.
It’s all about providing value in your videos so people actually want to work with you!
VIRAL VIDEO IDEA #2: The “Top 5” Video
The easiest way for a video to go viral is to get as many shares as possible.
And the easiest way to ensure your video to gets shared is to inject some friendly “controversy” into the video.
A great way of generating friendly controversy is filming a video that ranks your top 5 favorite tacos (or top 5 favorite burgers, or pizza, or whatever item you prefer).
The reason that this video idea generates controversy is that people are typically very passionate and opinionated when it comes to their favorite taco joint or pizzeria. They will defend it online, and engage with other people who are doing the same thing. They will argue in the comments over who has the best tacos. They will argue about who is more authentic, uses fresher ingredients, has a more creative menu, etc.
And all of these comments accelerate your video’s standing in the Facebook algorithm.
The comments means your video is more likely to rank higher and show up in people’s newsfeeds, for free!
When someone shares your video, this process repeats itself on steroids.
Facebook’s algorithm is optimized to notice videos that are getting shared, and then show those videos to more people…for free. The CPM of your retargeting ad gets lowered as Facebook’s way of saying “thank you” for creating interesting content that people were willing to share. The end result is that thousands (potentially) tens of thousands of people in your local community see your video for free. Talk about staying top of mind!
There is probably no better way to game the system to generate as many shares as possible than filming a Top 5 video.
The video script is pretty straightforward: rank your personal favorite top 5 tacos in your community. Obviously, go with locally owned choices (sorry, no Taco Bell).
You aren’t claiming that these are objectively the best, only that they’re your favorite.
People love to engage in the comments of these videos. They’ll say things like “how did you not include X place?” or “I can’t believe you ranked X place so high when Y place is clearly the best!” Soon other people reply to those comments, and then the original commenter replies back! Pretty soon you have dozens and eventually even hundreds of comments.
You’ve started a social media fire, and it takes on a life of its own!
Facebook loves this kind of friendly, local engagement, because after all, this is social media.
The cool part is that you can rinse and repeat this video concept with your top 5 favorite pizza, top 5 favorite cheeseburgers, top 5 favorite desserts, top 5 favorite brunch, etc. The possibilities are endless.
And it works every time, because human psychology doesn’t change.
We love to debate our favorites, and we want to defend them when other people disagree.
This is a perfect recipe for social media engagement.
Not to mention that the act of ranking your personal local favorites positions you as the local expert. This is a common theme amongst all these video ideas. It’s not enough to just go viral for its own sake, you want videos that strengthen your local brand to go viral!
Unless you’re willing to spend thousands of dollars promoting your video (most agents aren’t), the only way that your video will reach tens of thousands of people is if it gets organically shared.
This “top 5” video will accomplish that.
VIRAL VIDEO IDEA #3: The “Local Small Business Highlight” Video
People love to talk about our nation’s heroes.
Typically when we think of “public servants,” we think of firefighters, police officers, health care professionals, or those serving in the military. We throw parades for them and even give them homebuyer discounts and special mortgage programs. As a culture, we want to make sure that these people know that we appreciate them!
One group that’s often forgotten about is small business owners.
They are public servants too!
Small business owners take an enormous financial risk, without much financial upside.
The truth is that most local small business owners are not getting rich. They’re committed to reliably providing their services to the local community at a fair price (without any guarantee of a government pension or even minimum wage to protect them in bad years).
Most Americans can rely on social safety nets and minimum wage laws to protect them from a financial worst-case scenario. This is not true for small business owners. They serve our communities without any promise or guarantee of success. They’re often willing to lose money just because they’re committed to playing the long game and serving the community. Small business owners just keep on keeping on, hoping that “next year will be better.”
That’s a meaningful sacrifice that doesn’t get appreciated enough.
You can honor your community’s locally owned small businesses with a tribute video.
If done right, it can be incredibly emotionally powerful.
And when a video is emotionally powerful and taps into a sense of hometown pride, it will go viral.
His small business tribute video amassed over 50,000 views in the first month it went live!
America’s small towns wouldn’t have a sense of “community” without their small businesses.
It’s not the Wal-Marts and franchise restaurants that give a town its sense of identity.
It’s a community’s small businesses that define it.
So film a video that honors your area’s small businesses. You’re doing the right thing and building your brand at the same time.
VIRAL VIDEO IDEA #4: The “Hometown Pride” Video
People love to share things that confirm their biases.
If you’re a New York Yankees fan, you’ll share stories on Facebook that talk about why the Yankees are the best team in baseball…and this is their year to win the World Series.
If you’re a passionate liberal voter, you’ll share articles that support Democratic candidates and their ideas. If you’re a passionate conservative voter, you’ll share articles that support Republican candidates and their ideas.
People share content that confirms their own bias.
As humans, we can’t help it!
And so it follows that sometimes the best way to engineer a viral video is by creating content that gives people an opportunity to share their biases.
Appeal to your community’s sense of local, hometown pride with a “top 10” video.
What are the top 10 reasons why your city is awesome?
This video almost has 100,000 views, and it’s in a small town in rural Texas!
You’ll be amazed at how many people engage and share your video. Even other real estate agents will share it!
The trick is to highlight your area, but don’t talk about yourself. This is not an ad for you, it’s a video promoting your community. If done right, it should almost feel like the video was produced by your local chamber of commerce or economic development commission.
Promote your community in good faith, and they will promote you by sharing the video!
Select your top 10 favorite things to do in your hometown, and spend 5-10 seconds explaining each item. They could be anything from the sunsets to a local park to minor league baseball to a local favorite “hole in the wall” restaurant that’s been there for generations.
The top 10 things should feel nostalgic.
To ethically leverage the concept of “controversy” into your video (and help it go even more viral), use a confident title like “The Top 10 Reasons That _______ Is Better Than Your Hometown.”
This title provides powerful emotional ammunition for locals. They’ll want to share it, because sharing a video with that title gives them a fun opportunity to brag about their community.
You’re giving them the opportunity to virtue signal, and there is perhaps no more powerful of a motivation to share content on social media!