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Joshua Jarvis, Real Estate Pro in Duluth, GA

Do Home Buyers Like Video Of Homes vs Photos?

Asked by Joshua Jarvis, Duluth, GA Tue Mar 3, 2009

Do buyers like videos of homes or on Real Estate topics? Furthermore does anyone have any videos that have actually generated interest in a home or at least produced a buyer for that home?

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As someone looking to buy right now I like to see lots of pictures, of the front, the back, the rooms, whatever you can take I want to see it. The virtual tours are nice too, and please be descriptive when listing, make sure your words are spelled correctly! DONT USE ALL CAPS EITHER! And when you take pictures of the rooms take it of the room NOT the furniture, I don't know how many pictures of bedrooms I have seen where all you can see is the bed. I don't care about the bed, I care about how big the room is compared to the bed. And don't take your pictures on a camera phone that really P's me off.
4 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 13, 2009
Joshua -
This is obviously a hot topic of what's to come - and preparing for what's to come is where it's at right now!
We just had this as a topic of discussion in a focus group meeting at our office and I think as with any listing a video is only relevant to the quality of the actual listing - and of course the video.

For a higher end home in great condition, a video - done well of course - would certainly be a way to generate interest or help one listing stand out over another. Especially as Deryk mentioned capturing someone overseas who will possibly see fewer homes in person and narrow more online than even the average buyer today. Obviously, there is the listing advantage of having the seller feel that you are better than the next guy.

My primary thought with video is that I think there have got to be diminishing returns at a certain point - great pictures create the need for a buyer to visit the property. I feel that a video could actually show a buyer too much about the property or misrepresent something where they can decide NOT to see the property based on the video.

At this time as a novelty, it may work well - you won't be competing with too many other listings with videos. With the advent of HD on youtube this may help as well.

It's my understanding that in our listing service you can make a video as one of your media links - but you can't list it in the public remarks - so I don't think it would be able to be visible to the average consumer via FMLS or IDX feeds anyway.

I also think that mobile technology is where it's at now - video may be even more difficult to standardize - and keep reasonable loading times - on various wireless devices and platforms.

Thanks for the excellent question! I hope more agents - local and out of state - will continue to contribute their thoughts.

3 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 4, 2009
Joshua, I use Virtual Tours on all my listings. I also use a lot of photos. Part of my website package includes converting photos to Virtual Tours. It's a Point2 site. You can get free virtual tours at . You just upload the photos into it. It's pretty cool. I like seeing Virtual Tours, but I would love to know what consumers think.
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2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 8, 2009
A challenge of video is that if done correctly it is a wonderful device to direct a message. But for most REALTORS, who don't understand video quality, pacing, music and other factors they usually end up with a presentation that is lack luster.

Not to say that it isn't getting better.

For this reason, at this time, I would recommend photos and slide shows of homes. These devices are easier for today's consumer to masticate and digest.

Work on become a really good photographer of home and tackle slide shows. After that, slowly merge into video.
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2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 3, 2009
Hey Josh,
We max out pics first and then we'll use to shoot a professional narrated video if we think that will enhance or add to the appeal of our marketing. Unfortunately this video tour company has become a victim of the economy in our area. If anyone knows of a good company that shoots true high end full motion video with narration please comment with contact info here.

. We actually did sell a home specifically from video on at least one occasion. Buyer was relocating from Great Britain...saw it on and according to their comments just "had to see it" . Once they saw it their comments were "it's exactly like what we saw in the video" and they made an offer and bought it.

In another case last year we were having trouble moving an older Wieland home. It had more upgrades and a lower price than anything in the S/D. After noticing many comments about how "dark' it seemed inside, and exhausting other options to lighten it up (removing curtains, higher wattage bulbs, making sure all lights were on for showings and window blinds open) we convinced the Seller to repaint ALL the dark trim (crown molding, doors and baseboard). We raised the price up 10k...painting only cost $3,900. As soon as we loaded the new pics and vid we had multiple offers and actually sold it for $23,500 over our lowest asking price. All three bidders commented on the pictures and before/after video as attracting them to the home immediately when they saw the "new" look.

We also secured at least 2 or 3 listings over the past couple of years from Sellers seeing our videos on other listings.

I have to agree with Hank and I will always have max pictures at the smallest possible file size and acceptable resolution for those lingering dial-up and slower access buyers. Laura also makes a great point of mentioning the quality and order of photos. We always put our best rooms and shots first and work our way down from there. Kitchens and family rooms are usually our first two shots after front elevation. Carol makes agood point too. What does the Seller want? We have definitely won listings with our video element in the marketing presentation....and higher end clients seem to expect it as the norm.

2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 3, 2009
The more savvy buyer will be drawn to the video (look shiny objects!) but you do have to take into account connection speeds. That would also hold true for pictures, but you have to at least have pictures - the maximum allowed by the site you are putting your listing on is also important.
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2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 3, 2009
The majority of my buyers like to see as many photos as possible accompanied by virtual tours (very prevalent up here in the NE). Whether is it, my personal website, or trulia, they always complain that there are not enough photos for them! The photos have to have good light, be clear of clutter, crisp and not blurry, and show off some of the homes nicest features first. This order presentation of photos is often overlooked as an important part of marketing our listings IMO. That presenation is what is going to grab that buyer to like the home enought to call you!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 3, 2009
I haven't seen any Buyers chime in with answers. What do you, the consumers think about this? We would all love to hear your opinions as well. this question in a forum where Buyers will catch it too and see if we can get a response or two. :)
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 4, 2009
We do both on a lot of our listings! Multiple pics and then visual tour! That way, we hope we reach more buyers! Take a look at our web site.
Donna Walters
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 3, 2009
I like pix - remember, there are still many areas on slow dial up and that video feed bogs them down. I also hear that some folks really hate vids unless they are very well produced. Pix are much more flexible in my opinion

1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 3, 2009
good question. . .I always feel that videos give TMI and buyers make decisions from the internet without seeing the house. I know you have to provide many pics but I'm selective about it.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 3, 2009
Hi Joshua,
I sold a home on Ebay by posting the beautiful photos and virtual tour. It wasn't auctioned, just promoted there. I got a call from the Buyer and sold it to him sight unseen. No one in the area was interested because of the location. i ended up renting it for the out of state seller as well. Mandy Loftis CRS, CSP, e-Pro GREEN
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 17, 2009
Joshua, this all depends on the Buyer. If you have a Buyer who is patient and doesn't mind sitting while the video downloads and doesn't mind if the speed of the video is too slow for them, then YES they want to see videos. If you have an impatient Buyer who wants to look at the photos and move on, then a video is a waste of money. Personally, I have not seen any difference in the days on the market of one vs the other. Usually the deciding factor will be what your Seller perceives to be better.

What do the rest of you think?
~Carol Wilson
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 3, 2009
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