Are most agents using Video tours?

If so, what program are you using to create the tour?  Are you doing walking tours or just video sideshows?
  • October 06 2010 - Staten Island
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Answers (23)

Profile picture for wetdawgs
As a potential buyer, be aware I hate video tours and if an agent choses them they should be aware than video tours should compliment the regular high quality photos, not be the primary medium.
  • October 06 2010
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wetdawgs:  Why do you "hate" [link removed by moderator]

Nobody uses video tours as a replacement for photos - only as additional information on the property.Video will never replace photos.  But they will/ should replace those horrible "spin around" tours with curved walls and the even more ridiculous "slideshows" of still photos that you just looked at.
  • October 06 2010
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Profile picture for the_country_hick
I also can not stand visual tours. When I have seen them they default into the tour using my bandwidth and cpu without permission. 

When the virtual tour goes around a room it only makes me dizzy. It gives no real perspective I can use. My eyes and the camera do not agree on reality it appears. Giving me 4 pictures (one of each wall in a room) would be better.

p.s. the automated slideshows are equally annoying. They slide the show without me asking or wanting them to. One site I have used to search for properties in the past had a link that showed all kinds of individual pictures. I could look at the thumbnails and CHOOSE what I wanted to see and what I wanted to use MY bandwidth in the process. 
  • October 06 2010
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Dan the Country Hick:

You're not speaking about a video tour... you're referring to the spin around video tours of ten years ago.  THIS is a video tour, and what this thread is about.  Video tours give buyers a view of the LAYOUT of the house, possibly the neighborhood or town and more.  And of course, if you don't WANT to view it... don't!  Nobody is forcing you to use your bandwidth or CPU!  

But video tours DO work in selling houses.  I see it every single day.
  • October 06 2010
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I use video tours as a listing enhancement only and not as replacement for photos. 
  • October 06 2010
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Profile picture for the_country_hick
2:04 turns and gives me vertigo. 2:56 to 3:30 is the same thing. Being blunt, that felt more like playing doom (1) than actually walking through a house to me. Somehow the moving around the corners throws me off balance. 

I am not talking about something I saw 10 years ago. I was referring to properties for sale I have looked at online this year. They all would serve me better by having simple pictures not in a slideshow. Some of the listing realtors sites have the video tour (or slideshow) start automatically by default. I found this out not wishing to.
  • October 06 2010
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Ah, HICK... to each his own.  That's why we have choices.  You clearly have motion issues.  Still pictures is all you should look at.  But most buyers like and appreciate video tours.
  • October 06 2010
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
Two buyers come in and contribute to the thread, both hate video tours as they are being done in 2010 (that's 100%, for those who aren't count).   Yet, the conclusion is "most buyers like video tours".

Well, I'll be.... that's not the way I was trained to do statistics during my Ivy League education.

Interesting, very interesting!

  • October 06 2010
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Well, speaking as the resident mathematician:

Sample size 2 is probably a bit low... confidence interval would be +/- 100%! need about 1000 to get to +/- 3%...

Participation bias: sample was chosen by participation, only the 2 buyers who chose to give opinions were heard from. Likewise, possible zillow bias. I'm not sure zillow readers reflect buyers in general in all statistically important characteristics for the study.

We should probably set up a randomly assigned study... or just drink and post more gooblydegook on here!
  • October 06 2010
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Look, nothing replaces an actual visit to the house.

Of course, what you don't want to do , as the realtor, is detract from the home in any way - so high end photos are the first line of defense.

As far as video tours - my company started offering them routinely for our listings a  number of years ago..........truthfully, I'd like to see a more advanced version, and I am sure they are working on that. Rght now we use a company called Obeo, but they are always coming out with new updates. it is still, however, the 4 panoramic circular views, but it does give a look at the neighborhood, rear yard and highlights 2 additional interior areas. can't see how this hurts anything.
 
Fred, I loved the video tour you provided, and was sorry to see that the company producing it  only works in Mass. & New Hamp. While I found it to be a bit too long at over 7 minutes, it was a wonderful, inviting tour of the home.

Bottom line.....multiple, high-end photos are a must - whether a buyer likes or doesn't like a virtual tour, I don't see it as hurting the home, as it is just one more peek inside.........and it's easy to skip it if you're not interested/.
  • October 06 2010
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Profile picture for Dawn daCosta Poe
We agree that most video tours are poorly done, but the power of video to evoke emotion is always superior to static photos. We would advocate using video for what it does best: tell a story about the home. Be creative. Ask neighbors why they like the community. Show community events.Show the golf course being groomed each morning. Show animated graphics on statistics about the area. Make it fun. U Tube participation demonstrates that video doesn't have to be perfect to get viewers: just interesting. And you can do it yourself with a Flip Video camera.
  • October 07 2010
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Profile picture for Dawn daCosta Poe

We would agree that most home tour videos are poorly done. But video is far superior for conveying emotion than static photos. It can be used more creatively to set the tone of the home, or of the community. Show the golf course being groomed in the morning. Show people getting exercise on the footpaths. Interview willing neighbors who talk about what it's like to live in the area...get creative and make it fun. That's the lesson of U-Tube.

  • October 07 2010
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In addition  to the "panned photo" tour that is syndicated  to
YouTube by our VT company, our team has recently begun compiling short (1 to 2 minute) videos to introduce towns and properties.  It is time consuming, and we haven't been doing it long enough to know if it's making a difference.  We're Mac based and use iMovie.  There's a learning curve to any new software, and iMovie is no exception, but the end result can be impressive.

Here's a sample:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nJUXieIqnc
  • October 07 2010
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Profile picture for sunnyview
I hate video tours too. They are a waste of time for someone like me who looks at more than a handful of listings a week. I tend to prefer photos and a floor plan because it allows me to get the info I need to make the decision whether to look at the house in person in a shorter time.

Maybe I would feel different if I looked at fewer listings or if the listing was in an area that was unfamiliar with (ranch/out of state/vacation house). Agent should use what ever tools that they think will best market their listings. I would be interested to know what type of feedback the buyers give about how the video tour figured into their decision to view the listing or buy.
  • October 07 2010
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
Okay, we are up to 3 for 3 of the real Zillow public!
  • October 07 2010
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What you have to understand is this:

1)  Video tours are the LAST thing people watch, not the first.  The first thing people do is search based on their criteria.  They quickly look at the photos and read the description.  If they don't care for what they see, the click NEXT.  If they LIKE what they see, they WILL look at a video.  They will scrutinize it in fact, many watching it more than once.  

2)  A true video walk through is THE closest thing to actually being there.  Period.  More than photos, more than slideshows, more than anything else.  CONSIDER IT A FIRST SHOWING.  If people like what they see and make an appointment to view in person, it's effectively a SECOND showing.

3.  I have numerous examples that I've been made aware of where people bought homes FROM THE VIDEO - they never visited in person. In fact, I have a client who is about ready to negotiate an offer an a $1M home with a seller from the midwest - strictly based on the video.  

4.  People don't want to waste time.  It's much simpler to spend 5 minutes watching a video than to drive a half hour or possible more to view in person.  Buyers don't like to waste time.

5.  Sellers don't like preparing their home for showings time and time again for someone to walk in and in a second realize it's "not for them".  Many people have kids, pets, toys, elders, etc. and it's a royal pain to move 'em on out and clean up everything for NON SERIOUS showings.  With homes on the market much longer periods of time, this gets tedious really fast.  Video tours mean much more qualified showings.

Video WORKS.  A few people on this thread may think otherwise, but I can prove to you a million times over why video is one of the best marketing tools out there today.  Here are just a few examples....
  • October 07 2010
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
Spoken like a true sales person!
  • October 07 2010
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Profile picture for sunnyview
I noticed that your testimonials are all from sellers. I was really more interested in what buyers think of the virtual tour. Obviously some people respond to them, but I suspect that a lot of people don't. That is why I think that it is important to have more than one marketing channel to hit the broadest possible audience.
  • October 07 2010
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Sunnyview:  Think about it.  Most sellers are ALSO buyers.  Unlike most of the people posting on this thread, I'm out talking with these people every single day.  So the views of the 'so called buyers" on this thread aren't representative of the majority of buyers. 

I'm not saying video is the ONLY thing that works for marketing, but if done correctly, it's a very viable and useful tool for marketing real estate.  So are professional photos, yet most agents still feel it's OK to put up ridiculously bad photos to market a house worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Kohler takes more care in marketing in a $200 toilet. Zappos.com takes professional photos of a $35 sandal.  Yet most Realtors find it acceptable to take photos of a home with a $200 point and shoot camera that they don't even know how to operate correctly.  It's pretty sad.

I do find it fascinating that many of the people in this thread a) seem to have no professional background or experience in what they are talking about and b) seem to having nothing but time on their hands to answer everyone's questions with some authority.  I mean 15,569 posts?  8363 posts?  I mean, really.  Who has time for this?

  • October 07 2010
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Profile picture for sunnyview
You are right when you say that most sellers are also buyers at some point. I definitely do not think that what I prefer represents buyers at large. That would be foolish. I do agree that agents should focus on the whole presentation of a property and dislike bad quality listing photos. In principal, we do not really disagree. My only point was that I had never had the opportunity to speak directly to a buyer that bought a house or decided to view one after seeing a video tour. I do not dispute that it happens, I am interested from a market research perspective what those buyers like about video tours and what motivates them to call for a showing after viewing one. 

I do have to take exception with one thing that you said. Assuming that people on Zillow have no professional background or experience in real estate is not a fair assumption. Many people that regularly contribute to this site without an Agent, Pro or Lender tag do work in the industry, but they choose for whatever reason not to use Zillow to market their services. Other posters do not, but are here because they enjoy discussing real estate. That is their prerogative and that diversity makes the site a more interesting place. As you said earlier in this thread, to each his own. I wish you continued success with your business.
  • October 07 2010
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Profile picture for hpvanc
I'll weigh in and give it 4th consumer perspective.  A house is an inanimate object.  Still pictures of the overall property from multiple angles, all 4 walls of the primary structure, and all 4 walls of each room, any auxiliary structures, accompanied by a floor plan would be my preference.  Absolutely do not create a video slide show from them, give me thumbnails and forward and back buttons, so I can scroll through them at my own pace, and easily go back and review the ones I want.

If I have those tools, if I like it, I can check out the neighborhood myself, then contact an agent and be very respectful of their time.  I real don't need the slick video and music using up bandwidth just to irritate me.
  • October 07 2010
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Video slide shows are usually what is being used by most brokers. Certain Listing Services do offer a video format for listings.
  • October 14 2010
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Our firm, Matrix Real Estate in Seattle, isn't generally using video tours, not the walk-thru or the 360-degree/pano kind. Mostly because we haven't found them to be that great in terms of selling tools.  The exception is when we have a listing with larger spaces that aren't adequetely conveyed in still images.
  • October 14 2010
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