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Old September 17th, 2006, 09:53 AM   #16
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http://www.wowvideotours.com/

Been doing real estate videos for about 3 years now. The hardest part is selling to the realtors, most who make good money but don't want to pay for anything.

A good place to start is with their customers. Show the customers what you can do and how it will help sell their home. The customer has a lot more pull with the realtor then we do. Most realtors have a hard time telling a seller that they won't spend $100 on a video when the seller is paying tens of thousands of dollars on commission.

You guys are spending too much time on the videos. I have the entire house filmed in 10-20 minutes, I shoot to a FS-4 so import time is minimal, and editing takes about 2 minutes, literally and then export about 3-4 minutes. Upload and link in the database maybe 5 minutes. So I have about 30 minutes into a video. I always shoot on Mondays for a real estate company here in town and this Monday there are 17 on the schedule. I do cut them a break for doing so many but regardless you can see it is worth my time.

Yea my videos might not win an award at a film festival but you have to remember who is watching the videos. To realtors and buyers and sellers they are the best thing ever, they don't notice the little things and don't care if the video is perfect.
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Old September 17th, 2006, 04:37 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Mike Teutsch
The point of this forum is to share information and experiances, how about posting some for all????

Mike
A bit of a dely in responding. My apologies. The initial subject of this thread indicated off-topic. I was simply responding in kind by asking for a private message which, I gather, is not allowed.
In any case, anyone could have asked me for info via PM.
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Old September 17th, 2006, 05:27 PM   #18
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So, to make my thoughts on this subject public:

I do photography rather than video for real estate work primarily because the file sizes of the finished product need to be very small for quick download. Not being familiar with the real estate industry, I took my cues from what agents told me they wanted.

"VR tours", i.e., "Virtual Reality Tours", is the catch phrase most agents understand. These can be either video or still images stitched together. Small file size for downloading was the most important feature as many potential customers are still on dial-up internet access.

Apparently advertising of properties for sale can not be considered sales expenses that can be deducted from the sale price at closing as can site survey expenses and necessary repairs. Advertising expenses are taken directly from the real estate agent's business bank account. In my area a VR Tour is not considered unless the property has a sale price of $450,000 or more and is over 1700 sq. ft. $200 to $300 is about the most any agent is willing to pay for this service. With rare exception, all of my work must be secured with a valid credit card.

I prepare a collection of VR Tours and one slide show for every job. I am on site for two hours on average. If business is brisk, I will try to schedule to to three shoots in one day and allow the next two days to produce the tours. Here, time is money. My rates are split between on site shooting (more expensive) and editing, plus a mileage rate.

I do not offer web hosting. I simply drop the finished projects in a web based collection site that the web master for the particular agency can access and up load. I figure the web master has a better knowledge on how to integrate my work and I don't have to learn how to use another application! There is usually a phone conversation with the agent's web master to straghten out any incongruities relating to getting my work on a website.

Be prepared to be called for a job at the very last minute. Be flexible.

If your work is going to be displayed on a MLS® listing site, be forwarned that MLS does not allow any advertising of any kind. You can not, therefore, display any kind of copyright notice on your images. This restriction is blatantly illegal. You need to determine in initial consultation how to deal with the issue of copyright protection. The individual agent's website is not subject to this restriction.

Selling the idea of either video or photography for real estate is a difficult one, because agents usually are not willing to spend quality consultation time. That is why they are mere agents and not owners of agencies. There are also a number of internet companies that sell hosting services at rock bottom rates. For a low monthly fee they send you a VR Tour application. The agent takes his/her own digital photos (with crappy cameras), produces a tour of their very own (which stink 99% of the time), upload them, and contentedly cluck about the neat (lousy looking) thing they just produced.

Virtually all of my work constitutes luxury home sites in a sellers market. When the market shifts to buyers I believe I will see more creative opportunities. I have had the opportunity to see a few interesting videos that focused upon metropolitan apartment complexes and office buildings which were rather good. I feel there is quite a market out there if one is willing to analyze the need and be willing to produce formula based products.

There you have it. My thoughts on the real estate photo video market as of today.
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Old September 17th, 2006, 05:44 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Barber
That sounds pretty much how I pictured things... shoot some pans of the main rooms, and some shots of the outdoors, edit it down to a few clips with some quick X-fade transitions, render/compress to QuickTime, and fini!

Is there anything i am missing from this equation?

Perhaps. Potential buyers want to explore the property they are considering to buy on their terms. A video presentation is controlled by you. I have chosen to use still photography because, in the world of VR photography, the viewer is in control. They can revisite a particular place as often as they when they want.
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Old September 17th, 2006, 06:08 PM   #20
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I agree with Waldemar selling photo or video is difficult. Although Virtual Tours (spinning) are smaller in size I haven't talked with anyone who has preferred the virtual tour over a video tour. America is so used to watching TV a video tour online mirrors television and I find that a visitor may watch houses they are not even interested in because the get addicted to watching the tours. In one case this happened to sell a house, it was an odd house, shaped like a barn. The buyers said they would of never looked at the house in real life but happened to look at it online and loved it.

I don't want to talk bad about virtual tours and every market is different but the video tours really have more of a wow factor. That is the name of the game when you are a realtor. With a buyer's market it is all about differentation, this is what sells houses. Also if someone wants to watch a particular section of a house they can easily skip back to that section.

Again this is what has worked for me in the past 3 years (approaching 700 tours total), all markets are different.
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Old September 18th, 2006, 02:37 PM   #21
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Here is a good software I found may be usefull.

http://www.amarasoftware.com/virtual-tour-property.htm
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Old April 9th, 2007, 11:17 AM   #22
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One thing with Real Estate videography is that you could conclude the tours with some footage of the community. Once you have some b-roll of a community, you could use it over and over.

Another plus is the ability to add royalty-free music. I realize that bandwidth is a problem for some folks, but if you are talking luxury Real Estate, most buyers would have it.

Someone posted elsewhere about how Realtors are egomaniacs. I don't know if that is the case, but if it is, it seems that the key would be to interview them on camera talking about the house. They get an ego stroke, and the buyer gets valuable information that you don't get via pictures.

Finally, time spent seems the biggest factor for success. I would want to do a minimum of three homes on an outing. Perhaps I could work that into the deal, as time on the road is a big cost.

Thoughts?
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Old April 9th, 2007, 03:13 PM   #23
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We are doing a large project for a local builder in which we will be doing photo and video for each of the 12 model homes they offer. The footage is then cut with interviews of them talking about that model and what not to give clients a chance to get more familiar with the house before making such a big purchase and only seeing it on paper.

Most of the videography is done with a steadicam so we can walk through the house and give an idea of the space. We opted out of doing much tripod work as smaller details will be covered on the photo side.

Here is a one of the first ones we completed as a proofing copy to give you an idea:

http://smcouples.com/pinewood/minivenetian.mov

Considering the time invoved in putting together a full DVD of model walk throughs as well as a large collection of photography, it turned out to be a huge project- which is still in progress. The great part about this is how much work we get to do on one project and with the same format

Patrick
www.still-motion.ca
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Old April 9th, 2007, 06:19 PM   #24
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Dana, community footage is a great idea, you would have to be careful not to make it too long as you don't want the videos to be that long.

Patrick the video looks good, very cinematic, I personally like the style but I'm not sure if my mother or someone older would appreciate the cinematic feel. The only thing I would say about the video is I don't feel as though I saw the entire house. When you walk in from the front door it looks as though there is a room to the left but it is never shown in the video. Also some of the shots are shown quite a few times, maybe some close ups of features like crown molding, six panel doors, or whatever features the house has may give buyers a better feel for the quality of the homes, and maybe throw a few more outside shots in the video.

Real estate videos can be a lot of work like Patricks or not so much work (what out company perfers to do) it all comes down to what the agent wants to spend on the video. I still feel they are leeps and bounds above pictures and virtual tours.

I received this testamonial from a buyer today:

Happy Easter Todd,

I feel that the video is amazing because it is used to help us see the inside & outide features way better than a mere picture would. It honestly has made me consider a few houses that I would have otherwise dismissed. It gives me a better idea of the layout of the house (& yard) than just looking at the staistics (room/Yard sizes) would do.

I definately feel it is a huge asset to the company to be able to see this. I feel also it saves the realtor from showing houses that would in no way fit a persons needs for a specific layout ( i.e. open areas, arrangement of bathroom demensions, etc). Also huge is the kitchens, pictures don't really do justice to understanding how the layout works.

Anyway,
Hope that helps,
God Bless,
Anita


Can't really say much more then that.
-Todd
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Old April 9th, 2007, 07:16 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Teutsch View Post
The point of this forum is to share information and experiances, how about posting some for all????

Mike
OK, Mike.

With respect to all, i had the impression the initial post was beyond the scope of this particular forum topic. Real Estate work is not event, nor is it wedding. That is whay I suggested the PM approach. I have to check the PM issue with my personal parameters within this site. I thought PM's were allowed.

In any case, video as a medium for selling real estate has quite a lot of opportunity and a lot of room for creativity ... provided you can do all you need to do at an attractive price. Anyone done legal work lately? Think attorneys are cheap? You don't know cheap until you have dealt with a real estate agent. So that has an immediate effect upon what you do creatively. In other words, define a production formula and stick to it. Allow 30% onsite time and the balance for editing. You can significantly shift this percentage balance once you learn the value of remotely fired flash and umbrellas...search "studio photography" for more info.

After that, biggest issue is exported file size on line. I recently picked up on a real estate video (which I watched on a whim) for a property in rural Maine. I picked it up on the IVRPA forum site ... http://ivrpa.org/forum/index.php .
Well done project. Started with an automobile driver's view of a country road accompanied by perky voice-over which dissolved into a front view of the property. A few pans (some kind of stabilizer used) and in the front door. A walkthrough of the home at widest angle setting (don't ever miss the master bedroom, bath, and kitchen!) followed by an overall impression of the home. A seven or so minute video at a downloaded frame size of 320x240. Total file size was 41 MB.

41MB!? Took me 25 min to download the video at a slow DSL connection. Took my agent way longer than tolerable with her T1 connection!

Nice work. Fun to do. A lot of work for a few hundred dollars. Video is the last media I would use for real estate sales.

Why?

Download file size is huge. Screen size is way too small. My VR Tours are minimally 640 x 480, and average 1.5 MB per tour. Fast loading is the key.

I exclusively use still cameras and Virtual Reality Panorama Stitching applications to make VR "movies", but that is only part of the picture. Simple slide shows at 640 x 480 have huge impact AND allow focus on details that VR apps can't do.

Brand identification with your client is very important. MLS doesn allow agent identification, but they don't make any reference to subltle references to agent logos. Great creative outlet, and intense satisfaction sidestepping absured MLS restrictions.

Output via QuickTime or Flash.

Leave the online interface of your work to your client's webmasters. Keeps brand identification consistent. One less thing for your to do.

Fees:

Hourly rate for on-site work.

Different hourly rate for editing and uploading.

ONsite. Get in and out as quickly as reasonable to maintain quality.

Editing. Devise a workflow and stick to it. Volume is key.

Special Features:

If you work on a Mac you can do damn near anything. The same may be true of PC's, but I am the last person to ask for an opinion. I own a PC. Hate it. Can't seem to do anything easily. Probably me, but honestly, I've got better tings to do with my time.

Starting your projects in PowerPoint or Apple's Keynote (way better for video) is a marvelous timesaver, because they both allow export to full quality video as well as other formats. Learn the apps, however, because you WILL find frustrating limitations! You will lose money on your first project, so take notes.

Export to CD, DVD, WEB, whatever! Just stay away from video!

OH YEAH, I ALMOST FORGOT. ALWAYS STAMP YOUR VIDEO EXPORT (VIRTUAL TOURS, TECHNICALLY SPEAKING, ARE MOVIES) WITH THE MLS NUMBER. IT EXPIRES WITHIN SIX MONTHS. Real Estate Agents think because they paid for one listing they can get your work re-listed for free. A new listing for the same property requires a new MLS number. Don't sell yourself short.
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Old April 9th, 2007, 07:34 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd Kivimaki View Post
Patrick the video looks good, very cinematic, I personally like the style but I'm not sure if my mother or someone older would appreciate the cinematic feel. The only thing I would say about the video is I don't feel as though I saw the entire house. When you walk in from the front door it looks as though there is a room to the left but it is never shown in the video. Also some of the shots are shown quite a few times, maybe some close ups of features like crown molding, six panel doors, or whatever features the house has may give buyers a better feel for the quality of the homes, and maybe throw a few more outside shots in the video.
-Todd
I know what you mean about bringing in some other details as well as your other comments. The builder want this to entice and give them a sneak peak, but then they wanted their sales staff to do the rest. We will be doing some digital albums with more detail shots as well so they did not want them in the video. We did many different formats and ideas and in the end, this is the style they thought would work with everything else they have in place, so I just have 11 more to do now.

Patrick
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Old April 9th, 2007, 08:17 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd Kivimaki View Post
http://www.wowvideotours.com/

Been doing real estate videos for about 3 years now. The hardest part is selling to the realtors, most who make good money but don't want to pay for anything.

A good place to start is with their customers. Show the customers what you can do and how it will help sell their home. The customer has a lot more pull with the realtor then we do. Most realtors have a hard time telling a seller that they won't spend $100 on a video when the seller is paying tens of thousands of dollars on commission.
Sorry, but I'm lost on how you start with the customers. Do you just call people who are selling their home via a realtor and pitch them the video, allowing them to go back to the realtor and request it from him?
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Old April 10th, 2007, 04:42 AM   #28
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Waldemor, that's a good point about the size of video. That makes me rethink audio; cutting audio would reduce the size *plus* it would take less time to produce *plus* music sucks on the web *plus* dealing with music copyrights is a hassle. I've sufficiently convinced myself.

I'm not convinced that video is a bad idea. My FX1 gives amazing footage in beautiful widescreen that I know would kick all over any still camera applications. The 'wow' factor of an Extreme Makeover walkthrough is powerful, and Realtors want to offer that.

I'm also thinking about offering still shots to accompany the video. That way I'm offering more to the client, and the web surfer will have something to look at if there is any significant load time. They can also take a closer look at certain parts of the house, which video would not allow.

Travis, it may be possible to find a list of For Sale By Owner homes to which you could make a pitch. I'm thinking, however, that Realty trade shows might be a better use of time. If I go into this, I don't want to mess around trying to find people who might want to sell their home. I want to find Realtors who will take me to several houses at a time and give them a consistant, nice product.
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Old April 10th, 2007, 09:20 PM   #29
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Travis, basically yes, you need the sellers to want a video. They are basically the only ones who can tell the realtor to do something. But your not going to have to do this for ever video, once it catches on it should be habit that the realtors call you to have a video done.

Dana from a business standpoint I would want to convince you not to do video (or anyone else) and not to use music because I know that is the way the market is going, and don't want anyone else offering what we offer. But if I were giving advise I would tell you that videos of homes work, and work great with music. The music is going to make a minimal difference. If you create a video watch it once with music and again on mute and see what is more pleasing to watch. Duty free music is fairly cheap and easy to come by. Plus does anyone really think that virtual tours are cutting edge, they are outdated and cheesy and don't give a buyer perspective of the property.

Video is the way the internet experience is moving towards, if not why would these huge network TV stations offer their episodes on the web for viewing. Also look at YouTube and my space both are filled with video and some of the top websites on the internet.
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Old April 10th, 2007, 11:02 PM   #30
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Thanks Todd...I'm a ways from Ohio! ;o)
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