I started creating narrated video tours of my listings over a decade ago. To provide a sense of how long ago that was, the first iPhone had not yet been introduced. I remember demonstrating how to create and edit video tours using a handheld video camera at a marketing session of the Jefferson County Association of Realtors (now part of the Denver Metro Association of Realtors). None of the Realtors in that meeting seized on the idea and even today I know of only two Realtors outside my brokerage who make a practice of shooting video tours of their listings. Why?
Video tours are an effective way of providing a “virtual” tour of a listing, allowing people anywhere in the world to join the listing agent on a narrated walk-through of his listing. Many buyers have “toured” my listings on the internet and submitted offers sight-unseen, which they probably would not have considered had they viewed still photos alone.
A key component in a video tour is the narration. It’s what allows the listing agent to note that a fireplace is wood-burning or that a countertop is Corian. Without narration, a video loses much of its value. With zooming and panning, video allows for a better depiction of views than still shots can provide. It allows you to pan upward to point out a skylight or Solatube or maybe a vaulted ceiling. Video, unlike still photos, can provide a sense of the flow of a floor plan, which is why it’s important to shoot each level in a single clip.
It’s unfortunate that the term “virtual tour” was introduced in reference to a slideshow of still photos, often accompanied by music instead of narration. Sometimes that slideshow is converted to an mp4 file, uploaded to YouTube and touted as a “video” tour. Not!!
The only “virtual tour,” in my mind, is a virtual video tour of the home — a tour in live action, not a collection of still photos, with or without captions.
It’s common for listing agents to receive calls from appraisers asking about the condition of their sold listing, which they want to use as a comp. I simply tell them to have a look at the virtual tour, where they can see entire house and hear a description of each room. They never need to call back with questions, because the video did, in fact, fully describe the home’s condition.
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