One Bethesda Townhome - Two Virtual Tours...

"I believe the web is about expanding potential, and that begins with the exchange of ideas. It’s about communication. Far too many businesses and web “designers” use and provide it as a one-way device – void of exchange, hence denying communication and new ideas."  - SEO Knox

Hello all, Kevin Koitz here.  I wish I could take credit for the quote above.  Although I strongly believe in passing information forward to colleagues, clients, and anyone else interested for that matter, the words come from one of my friends, a Denver search engine optimization and online marketing specialist.

In the spirit of these words, however, I wanted to pop in and share some new media photo/video products that we (Gretchen & Penelope, and I) have incorporated into our marketing program.  If this post is already sounding self serving, that's a good thing because it's supposed to be.  Jokes and self promotion aside, I really wanted to use this platform to get some feedback on two virtual tour programs.  One is the current interactive floor plan/virtual tour program we currently use and the second is "the future" -- a walking video tour (think YouTube).

The foundation of any marketing program is the photography.  I can tinker around on the computer to make sure any of our listings gets seen all over the Internet; but in this world of "virtual real estate", the pictures need to be the best  possible representation of the property.  Otherwise, consumers, and even agents will go to "reject" the property and go on to the next house on the list.  I have found myself having to talk clients into seeing properties that have "bad" photos -- even when I can assure them that I've seen the actual home and that it's a showstopper. 

Bethesda Townhome Example

"Mouse On House Technology"

For this Downtown Bethesda townhome, we used an interactive floor plan virtual tour. (You can click on the icon to view).  We find that the photographers for this product are wonderful, it's a "light" (fast loading) program, and the ability  for full "2.0" interaction within the confines of a true floorplan has been a real hit.  Another important component is that this product can be "fed" to the MRIS (our regional MLS).  This means that you can go to almost any brokerages' website and this virtual tour will be visible.

"YouTube Style Video" (Press Play!) - Please Note There's Audio Also :-)

The next product is for the same Bethesda townhouse. In this "YouTube" culture, more and more real estate is going video.  The process was quite exciting.  We had a producer create the tour using a combination of tripods, "cranes", and handheld shots.  The value in this specific program is the ability to skip to different "chapters".   

The "rub" with video tours at the moment is they cannot be "fed" to MRIS.  They can, however, be syndicated on dozens of online video portals (like YouTube).  

So, what do you think?  If you had to chose just one of these products, based on the above examples alone, which one would it be? 

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