Have suggestions for products that you’d like to see reviewed by our real estate technology expert? Email Craig Rowe.Yaza is a video management and marketing mobile app.
Platforms: iOS Ideal for: All agents, teams and brokeragesTop selling points: Location-based video search Shares links not files Public or private viewing Metadata video items tags Easy share and accounting following Top concerns
Yaza is a quasi-social media tool that encourages users to search for categorized, location-based user video content on everything from local coffee shops to listings. It’s not specifically for real estate agents, but the overlap with the industry is clear.What you should know
I’ve been saying in this column for years that agents greatly overthink creating video. Video marketing is most effective when it’s authentic and consistent. It needs a human element, and that’s what this app is all about.
In most cases, general listing walk-throughs, quick slice-of-the-market takes and related real estate content are effective without heavy editing or a professional sheen. The point is to get yourself out there. Yaza does this well, in part because it heavily emphasizes geographic marketing.
Most unique to this app is its location verification.
By tying into your iPhone’s native GPS functionality, each video is authenticated to the listing’s location and time of recording. Every snippet is plotted automatically on Yaza’s map, providing agents and users with an easy way to hop from video tour to video tour.
The software doesn’t assemble every take at a specific listing into a single seamless video, as some virtual and video tour apps do. Users are encouraged to record short room-by-room tours instead of assembling them all into a long-form production, which takes time and delays outreach.
Mariana Pappalardo of Sotheby’s Golden Gate, a Yaza power user, finds it to be the ideal solution for quick, on-site listing promotion and brand building. She told me during our demo, joining at the request the app’s co-founder and CEO, Peter Sisson.
Yaza content isn’t stored on your device. Instead, it rests on its cloud servers. Agents can share videos via link instead of sending files, meaning they’re viewable everywhere a connection will allow.
Tour viewing controls are set to public by default, and the app will ask to access your contacts. Privacy controls can be set to limit who can see them.
When a link is sent to a phone via text, it will open in a mobile browser window that mimics a landing page.
The player overlays a map of its location, and directions are one tap away via the phone’s default map app.
Link recipients can choose to watch in their mobile browser or by downloading the app.
Yaza also allows for in-video metatagging, which entails the identification of items within the video, such as a bay window, Wolf range or built-in bookcase. This kind of metadata is growing in use but almost exclusively in still photos. It can help tremendously in SEO marketing and home search accuracy.
Agents who are also creating long-tail video content about their communities (hint) would be smart to encourage their sphere to install the app. In addition to listing videos, smart marketers will use Yaza to video blog and build channels about specific neighborhoods, streets and everything else that goes into making oneself a top local expert. Its tagging functions are ideal for these scenarios.
The video publish controls consist of a record button, adding search tags and confirming the location.
Posts can be shared directly to people you follow or who follow you (clients), and then once uploaded, shared in a Facebook post, web page, text or email.
All videos you create are saved under your Yaza profile, and you can see who has viewed them and when.
Also, when a video is deleted from your account, it’s deleted everywhere it’s been shared as well. Again, this is because videos are hosted on Yaza’s servers, not passed around as an individual file. This is a nice value-add in terms of long-term content management and brand control.
The mobile app also has chat functionality between users, a feature I’m not super sure is necessary, outside of specific, ad-hoc chats about a listing or video subject. Native texting might ultimately be easier.
Inspectors and appraisers would like using Yaza, as well, specifically because of the way it relies on a series of individual videos. Inspectors can capture and categorize items by tag, record time-stamped comments and place private links to each in their final report.
Yaza is somewhat like the mobile agent activity tracker myPlanit, in that it rests its content value on location. That’s why both work so well for real estate.
I do worry about Yaza’s ability to get itself out there.
It’s a sharp, easy app that has definite value. But it can’t rely on real estate agents alone to push its adoption, even when used to create and market video tours. The consumer will have to factor into its long-term success.
However, I’ll grant it that leeway because I like what I see so far. I believe that location-based lifestyle search is where real estate consumers are headed, and this overlaps well with that concept.
It should be noted that Yaza is a Delaware Public Benefit Corporation, meaning it’s more about a cause than profit.
Relative to that, Yaza’s founder has made the app free for all real estate agents throughout the duration of the coronavirus downturn.
Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe
Craig C. Rowe started in commercial real estate at the dawn of the dot-com boom, helping an array of commercial real estate companies fortify their online presence and analyze internal software decisions. He now helps agents with technology decisions and marketing through reviewing software and tech for Inman. He lives near Lake Tahoe in the northern Sierra Nevada of California.
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