Originally published 12/5/09. Updated 4/24/10 to reflect current services to Arch City Homes sellers. Updated again 10/25/10 with newer videos.
Recently I started experimenting with using video to promote homes and condos for sale.
Virtual Tour Options:
A few years ago, tech savvy agents started adding 360° virtual tours to their listings. If you haven’t seen any of them, the basic concept is that a video camera is placed in the center of a room and slowly pans so you get a complete view of the room.
There were a couple of problems with these virtual tours. They were really expensive so agents only hired videographers to do the virtual tour on a couple of rooms. The rooms were often distorted, so it was hard to get a feel for the true size of the room. Though these virtual tours were a nice perk to have on a listing, the bottom line was that they didn’t sell more homes and most agents stopped using them because the cost wasn’t justified.
When you click on a listing today and see a link for a “Virtual Tour”, you will typically find a photo slide show with shifting pictures set to music. Until recently, I set up a simple slide show for each of my listings.
However, slide shows with shifting pictures don’t add any new information for a potential home buyer. And to be honest, they are pretty boring to watch.
In St. Louis, real estate agents are allowed to include up to 99 pictures in the MLS listing and add captions to each picture. So, other than some pretty music, these slide shows don’t add any value to the home sale listing.
Instead, I recently started spending some extra money so I can offer my clients production quality video that includes pictures, video and captions.
Video Tours to Market Homes for Sale:
For most properties, I also provide a live-action video tour. These videos give buyers some information that they can’t get from pictures and marketing remarks.
Video allows you to see the flow from one room to the next. Video can also let you see small details that would be overlooked in the regular pictures. I’m not going to upload a picture of a ceramic tile floor in a bathroom to one of my MLS listings, but I can easily capture the floor in a video.
Video also allows me to showcase the community.
I can include shots of nearby recreation, parks and shopping districts. MLS rules in St. Louis don’t allow us to include any pictures other than the home for sale or subdivision/complex amenities, so there is no way to SHOW a buyer what the shopping district looks like or the amazing park 2 blocks away.
My videos give buyers the information they need to get excited about a property. Buyers can get a feel for the floor plan and see important details such as walk-in closets and laundry rooms. Then I finish off with a quick overview of what they will find in their new community.
I’ve only shot a few of these videos, and I’m learning more about what to do and what NOT to do with each one. I know these videos shot with my Flip Video Camera are not polished shoots, but then again, I don’t think my clients want to pay a higher commission so that I can have a professional video created for their homes.
All I know is that if I was a buyer, I would happily live through a so-so video if it meant that I got more information about a property.
Check out my first few attempts at video tours. Check out some of our newer videos below that show off how we now market our homes for sale…including a video which showcases one of the communities which we split out of the main video to keep it from being too long.
If you were a buyer, would a video like this help you decide if you wanted to go see a home?