My goal is to show you the pros/advantages of each type of format when listing a home.
Here are the pros of all of them
Still photography: Still photos allow the buyer to quickly run through the highlights, helping them prequalify whether the home has the qualities needed in order to be considered. Still photos can be posted at a very high resolution and can be displayed impressively on a large format monitor. 72 dpi is the standard resolution (no need to upload anything higher because typical monitors can only show so many pixels per inch). Adding more pixels only increases the file size, ultimately slowing down load times. Professionals will use a wide-angled lens to show as much of the space as possible (similar to what we see with our peripheral vision). The photos can be used on all of the real estate websites, put into brochures (minimum of 300 dpi for clean, crisp printed pictures) and can be inserted into all forms of media (slide shows, virtual tours and videos).
Video: A terrific way to walk a buyer through a house. Videos can incorporate still photos (can zoom and pan images, simulating motion), motion video, allowing for zooming, panning, rolling, sweeping and forward/backward motion. You can incorporate music to create a specific mood and can also have narration incorporated into the walk-through tour. In real estate, video can be used for client testimonials, agent bios, town and home tours. Video is hands-free, allowing the buyer to sit back and enjoy the experience the videographer and director want to portray. Some tours we’ve witnessed are extremely simple. The videographer will use a DSLR camera with a stabilizer and walk through the house simply documenting what they’re seeing through the lens. It’s recommended that a path be laid out so that walking through the home makes sense. There are a few cut aways and dissolves, but overall, get’s the point across.
Another video we’ve seen utilizes still photos. By integrating music, a professional voice overlay, zooms and pans bringing the viewer’s attention to certain features within the photo. Different than a slide show that transitions between images with fades, etc., the video slide show is closer to looking like a video discussed above. Also remember that any video created, regardless of format can be uploaded to YouTube, Vimeo and a wide host of other video players.
We have seen that most realtors post their videos on YouTube. The YouTube link can be inserted into most real estate websites and Realtor.com. Because YouTube is owned by Google and most of the world uses Google as their primary search engine, the real estate videos are ranked fairly high and if programmed correctly, gets found at the top of many search queries. NOTE: Most home buyers do not go to YouTube to look for listings. They either visit a real estate website, go to a realtor’s website or simply go to Google and search on an address or community name to find homes in a particular area. If the address or community information is embedded correctly in the YouTube video, it will show up with the Google query.
Virtual Tour: A virtual tour is an interactive tour of a home/facility. Unlike a video that’s hands free, a virtual tour engages the user and offers them to watch a guided tour hands-free or allows them to interact with the experience. We’ve seen virtual tours that incorporate stills, panoramas (up to 360 degree sweeps) and video. Virtual tours are like video games. They are designed to engage the viewer in the experience. The viewer can jump randomly from image to image, drag the panorama left or right and with some tours, select floating symbols that take them to other locations in the tour. Some technologies also incorporate integrated floor plans into their virtual tours. Select an icon in the kitchen and have the kitchen image show up in the viewer.
Unlike still photography, both video and the panoramas found in virtual tours help the viewer understand adjacencies (relationships between rooms – how the spaces flow together). As discussed, the video is a hands-free, sit back and relax format while a virtual tour is an Inspection Tool, allowing the viewer to see what they want, when they want it. Also, similar to video technology, virtual tours can also include music and voice overs to their service. Because virtual tours are interactive, they cannot be directly uploaded to YouTube. Most virtual tour companies will offer to convert their tours into a video format and upload the tour to the realtor’s YouTube channel for a nominal fee.
So, when deciding what media platform you want to use, consider all the benefits of each individual format listed above. They all have strong positive results. Also remember that a great media presentation makes the world of difference when trying to convey what you’re trying to sell. Posting a clear and complete visual picture to the buyer will help draw them to your listing(s).
Michael Basch – President – Virtual Access Tours