Reach more renters with YouTube video

Apartment communities need to adopt a prospect-centric approach to the large and growing number of renters who are comfortable making site-unseen decisions based on video tours and researching a community online.

Renters value anonymity in the early stages of their apartment search. They search 24/7 on a variety of ILS sites, at YoChicago and at YouTube, the number two search engine after Google. They research apartment communities via Google Business Profiles, online reviews and visits to community websites and social media sites.

Renters want to see informative, narrated, high-res video tours of the exact floor plan layout and finish packages of apartments within their budget. They want the flexibility to watch those tours on their computer, their phone, their tablet or their TV. They want the ability to share the tours instantly and easily with spouses, roommates, family and other influencers.

A prospect-centric approach to video starts with providing renters what they want to see when and where they want to see it. It starts with an optimized YouTube channel populated with community-branded versions of YoChicago apartment walk-through and amenity videos.

Communities that adopt a prospect-centric approach to video reach more renters, see more site-unseen rentals, and will be on more prospects’ short list of sites to visit in person.

YoChicago’s YouTube channel program

YoChicago will create a custom YouTube channel (see sample) for your apartment community with branding elements you furnish, create and upload videos, optimize the channel and individual videos for search, organize the videos to maximize their impact and accessibility, promote your channel, and share best practices for promoting your channel and creating your own videos.

Community YouTube channel. Add branding elements furnished by community. Add a custom channel header. Add links to community website and social media sites. Optimize channel settings and set appropriate defaults for uploads. Create topical YouTube playlists (e.g., One-bedroom apartments, Amenities). Customize channel home page to feature videos, Playlists and Featured channels. Optimize all channel elements for search, ease of use and visual impact.

Apartment tour videos. Shoot narrated high-res continuous walk-throughs of typical layouts using a wide-angle lens and 3-axis gimbal stabilizer. Mention features not readily apparent to viewers, e.g., N/S/E/W exposure, ceiling height, proximity to elevators, room size, etc. The narration is factual and credibly promotional.

Edit videos for optimal lighting and color calibration. Enforce consistent branding standards.

Begin each video with a brief introduction to the community’s location. Include caption overlays with the range of the community’s offerings and the URL of its website. Optimize video title, keywords and description for YouTube search, browsing and suggested video features. Include a floor plan descriptor in the video title that corresponds to a layout on the community’s website. Create separate YoChicago and community-branded versions of the videos. Make videos available for community review prior to their being made public.

Upload video to YoChicago’s channel and the community channel. Link each YoChicago video to the community channel via a YouTube Card. End the video with a call to action and a link to the community’s website on an end screen that includes EHO and ADA logos. Add an eye-catching custom thumbnail to each video to attract renters. Add videos to topical YouTube Playlists. Make community-branded videos available at Dropbox for downloading and reuse.

Closed captions. YouTube automatically enables closed captions of the narration in nearly 100 different languages, and an English transcript.

Apartment photos. Some prospects prefer photos or want them in addition to the video tour. On request, at no additional charge, we shoot photos of units at the time of a video tour and make them available at Dropbox.

Amenities video. Shoot individual video clips of community amenities. Optimize video title, keywords and description for YouTube search, browsing and suggested video features. Upload to community channel and add to Playlist. Make files available at Dropbox for reuse.

Extended reach. Furnish instructions on showcasing videos at Google Business Profiles,, domu, Zumper, RENTCafé, community social media sites and the community website.

Best practices training. Furnish training materials outlining best practices for promoting a community’s YouTube channel and training leasing agents to use the channel to convert more leads.

Promotion at YoChicago. Promote the videos and the community channel at YoChicago’s popular neighborhood apartment lists and maps. Promote the community and its YouTube channel in four YoChicago posts. Promote community video tours at YoChicago’s Facebook page and Twitter feed. Feature the community channel at YoChicago’s YouTube channel.

YoChicago has been a YouTube channel partner for nearly 15 years. Since our launch, we’ve uploaded more than 5,000 videos to our YouTube channel and grown our subscriber base to more than 19,600. Our videos have been viewed more than 15.3 million times.

Pricing, terms

The channel program includes up to 15 apartment walk-through videos, amenities video clips and training materials. Promotion at YoChicago and its YouTube channel is included for a year.

The cost of the channel program is $4,000, payable in four monthly instalments of $1,000 each, or $3,600 if prepaid in full.

YoChicago retains editorial control over all content and ownership of copyrighted materials created by YoChicago. Considering the affordable cost of our videos, and the time involved in editing video, videos will be edited only to correct YoChicago errors.

YoChicago video and photography furnished to advertisers is licensed on a non-exclusive basis for an unlimited term and may be used by an advertiser and its successors for any purpose, including social media and the creation of derivative works. Photography and videos may not be made available to brokers / rental services for use in their advertising.

We reserve the right to reject or terminate any advertiser for any reason in our sole judgment.

Custom programs. Contact us for a custom quote if you would like a channel created featuring multiple scattered-site apartment buildings that aren’t large enough to warrant an individual channel.

For additional information, or a custom quote, contact Joe Zekas at 312-280-9780 x 100 or by email:

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