Once upon a time, streaming hours of video was what we did on a quiet night in. Now with movie theaters out of the question amid concerns about social distancing, many are taking to the small screen like never before.

What has all this got to do with real estate, you might ask? The answer is everything.

Consumer behavior throughout the COVID-19 crisis has shown dramatic change. The average household is now watching 8 extra video hours every week. Meanwhile in real estate: volume is down, inventory is dwindling, and bustling open houses are a distant memory.

As realtors, it is easy to wring our hands and blame the bear market. But this is really a matter of Darwinism: if you are unwilling to adapt – to look for growth opportunities in a downturn – then you are unlikely to survive.

Video in real estate has seen steady growth in recent years. By now we should be very familiar with listing videos and virtual tours. Some agents utilize the video formats on social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok. But very few are producing long-form video content as part of their marketing strategy.

Why? Because it’s hard. It is time-consuming. For many people it feels awkward and unnatural. And it can be perilously easy to miss the mark. But it is also worth it. And this is where I try to stay ahead of the curve.

Sure, I make the same cheesy home tour videos that everyone seems to love! But I also go beyond, vlogging on YouTube about everything from real estate to recipes. I collaborate with other realtors, hosting Q&A webcasts about how we work. And I employ a videographer to capture life behind the scenes for my docuseries Houston Hustle.

This might be doing more than what it takes to survive. But I don’t just want to survive; I want to thrive. And so should you.

Julia Wang was voted #1 Houston Realtor on Social Media. You can follow her on Instagram @juliawang_htx and catch her docuseries Houston Hustle on YouTube.