Length of Video Tours: Does Time Matter?

Services for Real Estate Pros

Shorter is always better. Leave them wanting more. That’s the prevailing wisdom in video production. I agree to a degree. Too long and your audience will click off before the end. And your Google “view stats” and your SEO juice will take a hit.


What do you mean by Short?

But when we say short, does that mean a thirty second or five minute video? You’ve been to that “short” 90 minute movie. You know the one. The one where you’re looking at your watch just 15 minutes in. After 30 minutes, you’re gulping caffeine just to stay awake. An hour later, you’re bolting from the theater to do something more entertaining, like cleaning out your junk drawer. At the same time, you also remember that “long” three hour move. The one that’s so good, so engaging, you’re sad to see it end. Time is all relative.

A Captive Audience

Unlike quick 30 second TV commercials, video tours of listings are typically not for a general audience. Someone not interested in buying a home will find most listing videos pretty darn boring. (And this is coming from a real estate video producer). Fortunately, for me and my clients, the viewers we’re targeting are not the general public. They are searching for the home that’s the perfect fit for them.

The person clicking on the tour has taken action, pushing that all important play button. Maybe they love the photos, the neighborhood, the home’s style, the price range, etc. There’s a reason why they’re watching. I’ve found home buyers will watch the same video over and over again, sometimes 12 – 15 times and even if the video is 4-5 minutes long, they’ll watch every second, again and again.

Video Length Studies        

Here’s some of the latest research on video length. Studies show viewer retention for online video tends to drop off around the 90 second to 2 minute mark. At the same time, according to ReelSEO, the average length of the top 10 most shared videos, is 4 minutes 11 seconds. Skyworks Marketing found it depends on the focus of online content. Intro videos can be 30 seconds, while more detailed conent can go as high as 10 minutes in length. Generally, at HomeStar Video Tours we tend to target a 2 to 3 minute length for video tours, but again, that’s not set in stone, nor should it be.


It Depends...

So, how long should your listing’s video tour be? It depends on the videographer and the listing. Are you marketing a small 800 square foot apartment or an 8,000 square foot luxury estate? While you certainly don’t need to show (and shouldn’t!) every square foot of the larger estate, it will take a little longer to tell the story of the estate. And it depends on the videographer, because someone with sharp shooting and editing skills can make a 3 minute video more compelling than a 30 second video shot and edited by someone who is new to the craft.


The Question to Ask

What’s the most important factor in deciding length for your video tour? Ask yourself, how much time is needed to tell the story of the home. Once you’ve told its unique story, it’s time for the next (most important) step, share the video with the world.





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Comments (5)

Mark Loewenberg
KW of the Palm Beaches - Palm Beach Gardens, FL
KW 561-214-0370

totally agree.. less than 1 min is sweet spot, over 3 and you will leave them snoring!

Jul 16, 2014 12:13 PM
Kristin Hamilton CA REALTOR
Berkshire Hathaway California Realty - Beaumont, CA
(909) 557-6966- Specialize 55+ Communties Banning


I try to make them short as well because the viewer gets tired of watching just like Mark said. Once in a while I video tape a person singing and will make it entire length until 4 minutes max. Then it is over.

Jul 18, 2014 11:55 AM
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
HomeSmart - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

I would think that a 2-3 minute video would be enough information to show a potential buyer things about a particular home, while not getting too long that the potential buyer gets bored.

Sep 06, 2014 03:14 PM
Susan Harding, HomeStar Video Tours
Portland, OR
Showcasing You and Your Listings, 855-579-6284

Thanks for your comments Mark, Kristin and Troy! And yes, 2-3 min is usually the target length for home tours. 

Sep 08, 2014 08:05 AM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

The buyer for a Maine farm, 300 acres with all the buildings, waterfront, etc... two minutes is not going to do it justice when they are fifteen states away. They want long, you don't worry about their attention span prodding to wrap it up after two minute mark.

Oct 05, 2014 12:01 AM