Everyone likes to see hard facts when it comes to making big business decisions so let's begin by looking at some facts and figures for Instagram, Facebook and the use of online videos -


  • Facebook - 30 million people actively use Facebook in the UK and 45% of those users use it several times a day

  • 84% of Females use Facebook compared to 73% of males and it’s slightly more popular in urban areas than rural areas (80% vs 75%).

  • Facebook is most favoured by 23-37 year olds and less than 60% of 52-71 year olds are active users


  • Instagram has over 17 million users in the UK

  • 18-34 year olds account for 61% of the user base, with over 81% of online adults within the age group using the platform

  • Videos get 2 times the engagement compared to photos

  • Users on average spend 20 minutes per day on the app

Interesting Online Video Stats

Looking at these figures it is clear to see that estate agents could benefit hugely from marketing their properties on these two platforms through the use of property videos, firstly because the main users are of house buying age, between 2015 -2017 the average age of a first time buyer in the UK was 31 (source - gov.uk) and secondly because they lend themselves to video. The key to being successful at it lies in the type of videos that are used (check out my free estate agent video guide for more information).

Precision is key

I’ve spoken to estate agents and one of the issues they face is that video is perceived as being intrusive compared to very carefully selected photos. Naturally, I would disagree with this, indeed video can be intrusive but it doesn’t have to be if a bit of thought goes into the planning of the shoot and the deliverables are carefully vetted. On both Facebook and Instagram the shorter the video the better so in this blog I won’t be discussing the production of a 2 minute property walkthrough that leaves nothing uncovered but instead I will be looking at the idea of individual video clips that highlight something special about a property, whether it’s modern decor, period features or how natural light changes the look and feel of a room.

It’s all about movement

When a video appears in someone's feed whether it’s an ad, they follow the account that posted it or they follow a hashtag it is more likely to catch their attention because of the movement, this is why Instagram posts that are videos have 2 times the engagement compared to photos. Movement is such an important tool within a shot because it can illustrate the scale of something and it can guide the viewer's eyes to a certain area of the video, therefore highlighting what YOU want the viewer to focus on. Movement can also show the changing of time which could be particularly useful for a house with a stunning view or a carefully designed extension that maximises the use of natural light.

Don’t be too salesy

The beauty of this type of video production is that the final videos won’t look like adverts, social media users are a savvy bunch and as soon as they get a whiff of a direct sales video they will keep scrolling and your message will be lost.

Another perk is that you can also use hashtags that aren’t associated with selling a house, granted you will attract people who aren’t currently looking to buy or rent but you are paving the way for them to remember you, so when they are looking they will already be familiar with your brand and hopefully will be engaged with your social media channels because they are interested in period properties for example.

Free advice

As well as producing short clips of properties you have for sale or rent it’s also important to offer ‘free’ advice and to promote your local area. Let’s look at the idea of offering ‘free’ advice first. Buying a house is a stressful and long-winded process with multiple potholes that a first-time buyer will need to navigate carefully. A short series of FAQ videos will first and foremost help buyers but they can also help portray you as a business that can be trusted and who knows their stuff. It may seem a little counterintuitive but consumers are much more worried about their own challenges so if you can make their life that little bit easier they will thank you for it and that good deed will be lodged in their mind. One key video you could consider producing would be - ‘What questions you should ask an estate agent during a viewing’. Now, this video has the potential to remove any preconceived ideas someone might have about estate agents as this video is, in essence, telling a house hunter how to found out if a property has any issues.

Be an ambassador

Videos about the local area can also have a strong impact on your brand and how it is perceived. Single people, couples and families will always be looking to relocate around the country and if they see a short video highlighting what there is to do for kids in the local area or the best restaurants they will again associate the estate agent with trust and the next obvious step is for them to look at the properties you have listed in that area. This is another form of free content which will hopefully lead to a sale. The art of these videos is to make them short and snappy and if you can do it with only 1, 2 or 3 shots you will be on to a winner!

Share, share, share

There are a couple of options on how you can share these videos. You can either use Instagram and Facebook’s video ad platform or share them as standard posts. Video ads obviously come with a cost attached but they do allow the videos to be placed in front of anyone that meets the demographics you outlined when setting the ad up, regardless of if they ‘like’ or follow you. This is particularly powerful because with the right research you could be very specific about who you target. The other option requires you to build a large following or share content that is searchable. By searchable I mean that the content is of something that a user will be looking for because they are interested in it, Instagram and their hashtags can be extremely powerful for this.

Build an online presence

You might be thinking that none of this involves any direct selling and you would be right. When it comes to building an online presence for a brand it takes time to lay the foundations and to get people talking and thinking about you and then the day they are ready to buy a house you will have an advantage over the competition because they will remember you from all the past posts.

Will Beare is the owner of Echo Video based in Brighton, UK. He helps companies tell their story by using creative and engaging video content.