Question Details

Gina In Denv…, Other/Just Looking in Denver, CO

Which is better, video, virtual tour, or just still pictures?

Asked by Gina In Denver, Denver, CO Fri Jul 27, 2007

We were told you could only hook either a virtual tour or a video to a listing, but not both.

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32
Patrick, et all... Here's slick and FREE program that presents video (broadcast syndication) on the web and place it anywhere - you can do videocasts or virtual tours, whatever. Did I mention that it's FREE?
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 30, 2007
I'm with Joseph on this one - excellent still photos seem to be the preference inasmuch as I can get a read on this with buyers. I've had clients mention that they have no desire to download yet another flash player, or don't want to sit through lengthy virtual tours.

Whether still photos, VT's or Videocasts, Brian is correct in that highlighting the neighborhood and lifestyle of the area is crucial. I have clients frequently referred to me from out of state and I've come to appreciate the value of rich photographic presentations.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 30, 2007
Still photos and good ad copy appeal to the widest audience. Some people have trouble using virtual tours or the patience to watch the entire video.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 29, 2007
So Renau, do you work for Realtor.com?
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 21, 2007
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Red Bank, NJ
MVP'08
Contact
We have received feedback from people that general lean towards the preference of multiple pictures. It seems that in today's business life, people do not want to wait very long for a virtual tour to load. They prefer to be able to quickly click through multiple pictures and either get more information on the listings they like or eliminate it from future consideration.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 29, 2007
Definitely both with great quality! The key to a really good virtual VIDEO tour is to tease the buyers and agents JUST enough to come see the home. It's important to also show the daily life a location offers in the tour, like local stores, streets, schools and attractions (to name a few). Too many times we focus ONLY on the house when the internet buyer (who oftentimes is out of town) wants to see more!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 29, 2007
Quality supercedes quantity. If one listing had poor quality video, tour and pictures compared to another that had great still photos, I would opt for the latter.

I believe your question about virtual tour or video only pertains to linking to Realtor.com. Realtor.com has a 'red spininng house' link and only one item can be linked there. You can still have both a virtual tour and a video to support your listing in other marketing vehicles.

Virtual tours that are distorted and have the fish-eye or fish-bowl look can cause more harm than good.

Look at the agents samples of videos, tours and photos and choose from there. If both the video and tour were high quality and you had to choose one, take the video. Quality still photos are extremely important.

Deborah Madey - Broker
Peninsula Realty Group, Inc.
(732) 530-7755
Deborah@PeninsulaFirst.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 28, 2007
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Red Bank, NJ
MVP'08
Contact
Gina
If a picture is worth a thousand words...what is a picture taken by a professional photographer, of a staged home, with edited with care, narration, music, etc, into a virtual tour?


Pricless.
Keith
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 27, 2007
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
MVP'08
Contact
It seems to me that this would be generally incorrect, you can have them all! And the more, the better! Who told you must choose just one? More info please...
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 27, 2007
Still pictures, definitely. I have yet to see a video tour (or worse yet, one of those fish-eye tours) that adds value over and above what I can get from stills, especially given how slow and bandwidth-intensive they are.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 27, 2007
Firstly, you should have a great set of professional photos. The home should be neat and lightly staged with clutter minimized. Photos are the first things buyers look at.

If you budget permits, splurge on some full screen virtual tours next. This allows the home buyers to better envision the layout of a space. Have you ever been surprised by how different the layout of the home is from what the photos depict?

Lastly, if you are selling a high end place, go the extra mile and get a narrated video that sells the home and the lifestyle that goes with.

Find a photographer that will do all three for in one fell swoop.

See and example of all three types of media here.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 5, 2013
High-quality still pictures (by a professional photographer if you can afford it) are the most versatile. Along with narration and transitions, they can be made into a slide show that plays like a video. They can also be used for print or web advertising.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 10, 2010
IMHO, either method is a good, so long as your video v-tour listing is seen by the audience you want to engage. The challenge is to drive traffic (views) to your video v-tour using relevant targeted "trigger" keywords so that when a buyer views your video v-tour, there is a instant connection to the buyer's needs and your video v-tour listing. The trick is to optimize your video in a way they get's your video shown to the right buyer when they search Google.

Say your client has a property AND your client is a "motivated seller". If your property is located in Monrovia, CA then you would want target buyer's who are looking to buy a home from a "motivated seller" right?

Here's an examples of how this can be done:

Motivated Seller Monrovia - Google Search http://bit.ly/eu1Hna

In a soft market, we've seen a spike in money trigger keywords and target such keywords in most of the video virtual tours we create for our clients.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 10, 2010
Miguel: I agree! The 360 tour IS better because your video ISN'T a video! It's just STILL pictures being zoomed in and out on.... (for no reason, generally).

I'm still not quite sure why some people can't quite see the difference between a SLIDE show and VIDEO. If you paid $12 at a movie theatre and was given a bunch of still, zooming pictures to watch, I'm guessing you would demand your money back. You can tell the difference there...why do so many people (especially Realtors) have such a difficult time telling the difference between STILL PHOTOS and VIDEO???

Drives me crazy. See the sample below for what a REAL actual video looks like.

See the difference?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 7, 2010
Take a look at this virtual tour http://www.360designstudio.com/vt/700 it includes a virtual tour, video tour, and slideshow. View all three examples and let me know what you prefer? I personally like the 360 virtual tours the best for marketing purposes, you feel like you are actually inside the home, great preview of the property online.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 7, 2010
Local community video events show the flavor, the sizzle of the unique area you live in and a still with or without music does not do the event justice..for example..McGill's band of over 100 local musicians entertains every thursday in the Houlton Maine park..and you the broker need to be shooting, editing, posting these local community videos too...not just sticks and stones of homes. Where the home is is important to the viewer who has never been here and may never come because there is nothing on line to interest them, like a menu at a restaurant..give the 85% of folks that go on line to look for services, information, video something to "chew on" or some video to digest.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 18, 2009
Scrolled down thru the answers and my jaw dropped. To say stills are better, preferred is insane. With an enhanced realtor.com site, you can post 25 quality images..and you use not just images, but can have floorplan, feature rich close ups..not just outside home, rooms. As for video, at 30 "stills" or frames per second, you can not beat a well done walk around and thru a place with a narrated audio track. The video lets the viewer hear your voice, establish a relationship as you one on one talk to them, not read at them. The tour from room to room, the bird's singing in the backyard are way way more powerful to the five senses than a still zooming in and out with piano music slide show. The video shows you how the rooms go together, pans the back yard..all of it..not just a still chunk of it. The video stiches the place together and they get three benefits...property information, community area information you weave into dialogue and footage (the lake down the street with boat sailing by, the golf course shot with green flag waving in the wind so they know hey..this is video not a still) and you the agent get branded, known, as creative, innovation. Use stills and video but never never think stills are good enough, and better than video. Watch the video below as a for instance of a simple, no hollywood production with 40 millin dollars but it gets the view inside and around the outside right now. Just a still with no at the property sound or video flow can do that. It's like a single shot advertising rifle or a machine gun. Get on board video..we have over 330 just on youtube alone. You need to produce local community events too as the viewer may never have been here and is hungry for what the area is like. Show them. Shoot the video, edit and post post post!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 18, 2009
Thank you Jennifer,
I was making movies in minutes. It is so easy to use.
It is exactly what I needed. Thanks again.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 30, 2007
Mr.P, Other/Just Looking in Arizona
MVP'08
Lot of pictures, Good pictures use a wide angle lens.
I have been playing around ( all day all the time) with youtube video. It is more work, however the sellers like it.
I Hope that answers your Question.

Renau were on to ya. You stick out like a sore silhouette. Realtor.com this - Realtor .com that.

Trulia ? Where`s the bouncer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 29, 2007
Mr.P, Other/Just Looking in Arizona
MVP'08
Realtor.com has information on virtual tours at its Resource Center page.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 21, 2007
ALL of the above - use them all! Photos are NECESSARY (good photos, of course!) It's a quick way for buyers to determine if they're even remotely interested. A video tour is a great way, AFTER people have viewed the photos and have determined they are interested, to REALLY get an accurate view of the home and possibly the surrounding neighborhood. I think a combination of both is the best way to market a home (see example)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 18, 2007
In our experience, pictures, as long as they are accompanied by a "lightbox" or "thickbox" effect, are the best way to go. We tell this to our clients who ask us about virtual tours. However, video is an interesting idea - Given the accessibility of YouTube, latency issues, as well as bandwidth issues, are pretty much zero. Of course, in today's world of media design, unless you've got a Mac and are pretty good with Final Cut or at the very least iMovie/Garage Band, having custom videos can be expensive. Furthermore, a drop in quality will be detected quickly and suddenly you're cool media-hook will become kitch or worse.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 29, 2007
We have received tremendous feedback from video tours. There aren't any issues with memory or download time. The right music can go a long way in allowing users to EXPERIENCE the home rather than just look at pictures. I wouldn't recommend videos in lieu of photos however. I think a balance of both helps to ensure that you are keeping up with competitors without alienating any of your target market. (Full Disclosure: I am an officer with Real Estate Video Imaging Systems, Inc.)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 29, 2007
Hi again Brian,

Most of the outside sites that our listings are posted on, are set up on automatic feeds from the MLS. Our MLS is pretty top-notch and has partnered with most of the major sites. We have no way of altering them ourselves :( There are a handful that we manually submit to, but they are smaller, less known ones compared to our MLS partners.
Web Reference: http://MelissaBMancini.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 29, 2007
Melissa, Wow! That's rough. Most of my virtual video tours are viewed, however OUTSIDE of the MLS via several other media. I'd say more than 1/2 of my views come from outside the MLS actually. Do your rules allow those kind of things?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 29, 2007
Hi Brian,

That is a great idea! Unfortunatley, my MLS does not allow pictures other than the house and views from the house to be included in our virtual tours. I wish they did, as it I think it would be a great asset!
Web Reference: http://MelissaBMancini.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 29, 2007
Hi Gina,

I much prefer a virtual tour, slide show of still pictures. It will pan in and out, left to right; giving the feel of a video, but without using the memory of a video and taking forever to load. You can still have the bells and whistles like the music in the background and include descriptions of the home. There is so much inventory for us, as agents and our buyers to sift through, and this type of virtual tour accomplishes the same goal as a video, while saving time. http://intouchhometours.com/code%5Fre/


Melissa Mancini, Realtor, CBR, GRI
Web Reference: http://MelissaBMancini.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 29, 2007
Gina,

I still prefer a great virtual tour over a video. Video technology is not quite there yet for marketing homes.

I do both on my listings, but attach a virtual tour to Realtor.com and other sites and use the video on the Home's Personal website, blogs and other marketing efforts.

Irina
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 29, 2007
I'm not really sure the buyers would recognize a difference. I guess the virtural tour with the 360 degree view that allows the buyers to pick what they want to see is the most consumer friendly. Video probably just shows the highlights and may leave out important places.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 27, 2007
Bruce Lynn, Real Estate Pro in Coppell, TX
MVP'08
Contact
Everything is served up in a combo form nowadays - and there is a reason for it! The consumer asked for it. Lets be real - nothing happens in the market place, real estate or otherwise, that isn't a direct reflection on what the consumer has demanded.

BTW - I just went to a website that had ALL the amenities, video, virtual, still, & aerial stills. It was a grand layout for a grand home. Now this was a stand-alone web site so the capability was greater.

I don't know who advised you of the either/or scenario but it is quite easy to set up a stand alone website. Many realtors in the Atlanta Metro area do this.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 27, 2007
I use a combination of still pictures and a video. Homes and Land will do a 3 minute video that you can narrate. Personally I don't like virtual tours since there is so much dead time panning a room that may have very boring angles.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 27, 2007
I would recommend you have them all for your listing. Some people like the virtual tour, others like still pictures. The latest/greatest thing is to have your agent podcast your listing. Some virtual tour companies will have still pictures available as an option under the cover of a virtual tour. If your MLS doesn't allow both, that may be a way to get around that!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 27, 2007
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