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Preview: Real Estate Video Tours | Real Estate Web Design & Marketing

Real Estate Video Tours | Real Estate Web Design & Marketing



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New Hampshire realtor uses video to showcase local communities & events

Fri, 05 Feb 2010 22:29:08 -0800

(image) Agent Applause, a terrific website which highlights creating or inspirational marketing ideas by Realtors throughout the country.  A great place to go for new ideas or "out of the box" marketing ideas for real estate!  Check it out at AgentApplause.com This week one of my clients, Rudy Mayer, was featured due to his use of video, not just with property tours (he does those for every listing), but also to highlight his market area and why someone might want to consider moving to the Southern New Hampshire area. As Agent Applause mentions, these videos are NOT selling real estate, and basically NOT selling the realtor!  In fact, the only mention of the Realtor is a logo in the corner and you wouldn't know it was done by an agent until the very end.  This "Slice of Life in New Hampshire" series is meant as a resource for new residents and buyers in the community, and as a way for the agent to showcase their knowledge of these communities. It does keep people on his site for a long time watching videos and learning about the area.  All of the videos are optimized for search engines, so they regularly pop up on Google searches. A perfect example of how these types of videos can generate business: A buyer was living in Los Angeles and searching for homes in Southern New Hampshire over the internet.  He found a nice home in the small town of Hollis, NH. When he went to find out about this small community, he came up short.  It's just a small town, no businesses per se, just a residential community.  BUT... he found this video on Rudy Mayer's website showing what Hollis was like. (embed) Guess who he chose to buy a house from?  (For over $1M by the way....) There are many, many ways of incorporating video into your real estate marketing.  Lack of creativity is really the only obstacle!



Why does Massachusetts (MLSPin) and New Hampshire (Innovia) MLS systems sabotage their own sales?

Tue, 17 Nov 2009 08:48:35 -0800

I guess I don't get it. I don't understand why on earth MLS systems go to great lengths to sabotage the sale of home, especially in this economy. INNOVIA/ New Hampshire: It's been proven for years that the quantity of photos and the quality of photos helps to sell homes.  Yet, Innovia offers only 12 photos.  Not only that, they're exactly 290 x 218 pixels, just a little bigger than a lousy postage stamp!  In addition, up until recently, descriptions were limited to a very small number of characters, forcing agents to abbreviate their brains out trying to fit everything in.  Of course, the result for the consumer was an intelligible mess of made up abbreviations!  Finally they got wise a few months ago and increased the size of the comment box.  Now how about those photos, Innovia? It's 2009!!! MLSPin/ Massachusetts: MLSPin at least offers 30 decent sized photos, but beginning in August, they now have REMOVED all descriptions of all properties... unless you register of course! This is absurd.  This is 2009, and this is a blatant attempt at a closed system once again.  And if they think buyers are SO STUPID as to fall for this game, they need to think again. People are very sensitive about giving out their email addresses and the resulting stream of spam.  It's 2009.  This is the age of transparency, yet MLSPin seems to want to take a few steps backward.  Maybe we should just remove the IDX from the web altogether and start printing up MLS Books so everyone will be FORCED to call an agent if they want information? The whole idea here (unless I'm mistaken) is to sell HOMES, not to put barriers up to keep that from happening.  I believe the MLS is supported by agents, yet I can't imagine most web savvy agents thinking that removing ALL descriptions helps them sell homes or helps their sellers get their homes sold. To make the online experience of buying a home less meaningful is doing a disservice to agents and to sellers, and hobbling the ability to sell a home in this market. I've always believed the real estate industry was about 10 years behind regarding technology.  This just proves I'm still right. I would strongly suggest agents in Massachusetts and New Hampshire let their feelings be known to THEIR MLS that this is not acceptable.  Information should be free and open to the public and every effort should be made to facilitate the sale of a home.



Share your knowledge and the secrets of your hometown!

Mon, 27 Jul 2009 09:16:37 -0700

When most buyers and sellers are searching online - especially early in their search - the last thing they are interested in is a house salesperson!What they are looking for is education, information, listings, and generally learning the process of home buying or selling as they casually sift through and absorb the seemingly endless amounts of information available online. If you want to learn about cities such as Boston or Chicago or any other major city, it's very easy to find plenty of that online. But if you're interested in a small, residential community or a small neighborhood in a major city, it can be very difficult to find out ANYTHING about these small communities. (generally it's a short paragraph that came from the Chamber of Commerce site that every Realtor lifted for their site!) One of the single best ways to make your website "sticky", to showcase a small neighborhood and it's quirky shops, neighborhoods and residents is to do a community video tour! Not only that, at the same time you are selling yourself... your knowledge of the community. Inotherwords, you're giving people what they want (information on the community) and at the same time, giving them an opportunity to meet and see you (what they don't want!). The shelf life of a community video is essentially - forever! Over time, building a library of community videos can provide a rich addition to your website, separate you from virtually all of your competitors and at the same time showcase you as the community "expert". It's a "win-win"! [...]



Magnificent 8600 square foot Arts & Crafts style home on the Duxbury, Massachusetts waterfront

Thu, 28 May 2009 15:29:45 -0700

This magnificent cedar shingle Arts & Crafts style home offers the ultimate in every detail. With 8600 square feet on 3 levels, plus a roof deck, the innovative floor plan includes 5 fireplaces,a gourmet kitchen with high-end appliances, a four level elevator from the lower level to the rooftop deck, a wine cellar, sauna, cherry paneled library, 3 car carriage house and more. Professional landscaping and beautiful fieldstone walls and patios adorn the grounds. With commanding ocean views, this newly constructed masterpiece is a "Work of Art". Eddeston & Gill Relocation (embed)



Redefining Duxbury Massachusetts' traditional waterfront home

Thu, 28 May 2009 15:11:02 -0700

(embed) REDEFINING DUXBURY'S TRADITIONAL WATERFRONT HOME! Relaxed elegance & stunning waterviews from every room in the house, coupled with superior design & craftsmanship, embodies the essence of this magnificent home. What more could you want? 2 moorings, boathouse with roof deck, inground gunite pool, hot tub, 2 story fireplaced family room, with wetbar & 50' Plasma HDTV, music system, game room, finished lower level, superior kitchen, 3 room master bedroom suite, cental air & vac & so much more! Incorporated in 1637 and settled by the pilgrims, Duxbury, Massachusetts is a coastal community approximately 35 miles southeast of Boston. Although many historic and beautiful homes from Pilgrim times still exist, this home redefines the traditional Duxbury waterfront home. INFO: Vantage Point Realty Advisors



A majestic Massachusetts estate privately located on 5+ acres with spectacular views of the Atlantic

Thu, 28 May 2009 15:01:35 -0700

Onabank, a majestic estate privately located on 5+ acres with spectacular views of the Atlantic,Minots Light & Cohasset Harbor.Built in 1928 by Thomas Cabot this special home boasts one of the most panoramic water views along the East Coast. Dramatic living room, spacious dining room,lrg country kitchen, expansive mahogany deck and 3rd floor has a renovated great room w/bath & deck. The smell of salt air and the songs of the shore birds are constant reminders of the beauty of this seaside retreat. INFO: Frank Neer (781) 383-3375  FrankNeer.com (embed)



One of a kind, hilltop estate in Duxbury, Massachusetts

Thu, 28 May 2009 14:57:59 -0700

(embed) The Sobran Group - One of a kind, private, 3.19 acre, hill-top estate with rolling lawns and commanding water views. Luxurious charm with metropolitan flair. Completely refurbished and recently upgraded on an impressive scale in 2006. Particular care was taken to preserve period details blending state-of-the-art technical fittings and modern comforts in this spectacular "Smart Home" property. A rare opportunity to own one of Duxbury's classic and unique homes!



Incredible Cohasset, Massachusetts waterfront estate

Thu, 28 May 2009 14:54:47 -0700

Call Nancy Whelan (781) 248-7246 - One of the South Shore's finest waterfront estates. Gracious turn of the century 6,500 sf residence with sweeping views of Little Harbor and the Atlantic Ocean. Recent 2 year renovation with top architect/builder resulted in an architectural masterpiece of charm and refinement, while offering all the luxuries of today's lifestyle. Marble kitchen, paneled mahogany dining room, 6 bedrooms, 6 fireplaces, multiple terraces, 2 acres of manicured lawn, deep water dock, exquisite 1,500 sf Pool House. (embed)



The Multiple Listing Services don't have a clue.

Sat, 18 Apr 2009 10:01:43 -0700

FACT:Nearly 90% + of buyers begin their search on the internet.  That's a pretty large majority! (image) Yet, most MLS systems have a maximum number of photos they allow.  The size of the photos are not much bigger than a large postage stamp in many cases.  And to make matters worse, their systems compress all of the life and color out of those photos when they put them on their system. If that wasn't bad enough, they limit the number of characters in the description, which forces Realtors to get "creative" with their abbreviations and punctuation.  In most cases, those abbreviations are made up on the fly, giving 'regular people' absolutely no hope of understanding exactly what the heck they are talking about! So, lets see... almost all buyers start looking on the web, yet what they see are a limited number of muddy, sometimes unidentifiable photos with descriptions that sound like they're written in another language. Boy, I can't think of a bettter system than that! "Curb Appeal" of yesterday is "Web Appeal" today Your web presentation means everything.  Buyers are eliminating properties solely based on what they see on their computers.  It doesn't matter if you think it's right, wrong or unfair - it IS what buyers are doing. With a record number of properties on the market, and broadband connections and computers in every home why wouldn't you do that?  You can see photos of the exterior... then step right inside and look around and see the house!  Why wouldn't you make your decision based on what you see? Yet, the MLS seems to be stuck in the days of the old MLS books - offering poor quality and tiny photos and a brief description of the property.  Of course, back then you HAD to call a Realtor in order to have any clue as to what was on the market, right? Well, those days are long gone.  At least Realtor.com has it together when it comes to presentations.  You can put up to 25 LARGE photographs, plus a video or virtual tour on your listing.  But not with most MLS IDX systems! How to offer on the MLS what buyers want, even though you can't. Even though your MLS may be living in the stone age, there is a way around this:  A virtual tour. Of course, most Realtors use this virtual tour to link to a zooming slideshow of the bad photos that the buyer just looked at on the MLS!!!!! Exactly what is the point here?  You're offering NO additional information to the buyer, and I hardly think buyers are fooled into thinking that those photos are any different or better because now there's zooming and music! You're just offering the same information in a slightly new package. Done properly, with the click of the virtual tour link, you can present your buyer with a full screen presentation of large, beautiful, clear photos!  You can show a walk through video tour of the home.  ALL AVAILABLE ON YOUR LOCAL MLS. This is an example of what can be shown to buyers directly from your local MLS If you have a lot to say, a way around the short character limitation of the MLS descriptions is using a narrated video tour! You can give complete descriptions, and perhaps interesting tidbits, the history of the home, local amenities and more. This is also an example of what can be shown directly from the local MLS with narration Just because your local MLS is still living in the stone ages, if they offer a virtual tour link,you have the opportunity to provide a killer presentationthat will entice that buyer put YOUR listing on their short list to visit in person!



Track your emails with Gmail!

Mon, 30 Mar 2009 00:54:45 -0700

(image) Gmail has a little known tracking device built right in!  You can play "detective" in the hopes of tracking down the source of some of your spam! Have you ever started to receive a lot of junk mail and wanted to know what company was selling or distributing your email address to others? Do you do email blasts and want to make sure your mail list isn't being abused by a third party? It's easy with Gmail! When you send an email to someone that you may want to track, append that email address with a plus sign (+) and a description. Say you go to a trade show and register for services with Active Rain.  If your email address is JohnJones@gmail.com, give them an email address of JohnJones+ActiveRain@gmail.com You want to append your Gmail username with a plus symbol (+) and the tracking information. The email will go through as normal, but you will be able to see WHERE that email address was obtained from.  If you receive email from the Publisher's Clearing House addressed to JohnJones+ActiveRain@gmail.com, you know Active Rain sold or gave your email address to Ed McMahon! There are many benefits to using Gmail - this is just another one!



Send videos directly through email with previews!

Sat, 21 Mar 2009 09:19:05 -0700

Google rolled out enhancements to Gmail Wednesday, including the ability send a viewable and watchable YouTube video directly in email, without clicking through to the YouTube site. The preview functionality makes it possible for Gmail users to see photos from Yahoo's Flickr and Google's Picasa photo management services, in addition to playing back YouTube video clips. This could be a great marketing tool - easily send out a real estate video tour of your newest listing to potential buyers - email your video marketing report to your mailing list - there are a lot of possibilities here! Here is a quickie on how to set up this capability within your Gmail.  Of course this won't work if you're not using Gmail.  Just another reason to switch your email program.  Gmail is THE BEST email program - incredible spam filter, almost limitless storage, archival capabilities (I have literally 4 years of email stored on Gmail!).  Better yet, you can set up your gmail to send mail from YOUR DOMAIN (myname.com) instead of from Gmail - for free! (embed)



How smart New Hampshire realtors can blow away the competition!

Tue, 24 Feb 2009 22:55:26 -0800

For the past four years, in good times, in OK times, and now in difficult times, I have monitored the number of properties on the market that offer virtual tours (and I'm using that term very loosely). The ratio has been almost exactly the same, regardless of the economy and in spite of the fact that the number of properties on the market has exploded in the past year. Roughly 20% of all properties in Hillsborough Country have a virtual tour on the MLS system. Only 568 properties out of nearly 2,700 on the market. Numerous polls and studies done in recent years show that the quantity of photos, the quality of photos and the presence a virtual tour help make properties stand out, receive more views, and help get perspective buyers in the door. And yet, with a record number of homes on the market, only 1 in 5 have a virtual tour of any kind! And many have photos that are embarrasingly bad. To make matters worse, probably 500 of those virtual tours are just regurgitated photos that have been recycled from the MLS and put into an inexpensive program that now zooms in and out and in and out - set to music! The zooming is random, so oftentimes we're zooming in on the arm of a sofa (are you selling furniture or homes?). And of course, being small, low resolution, low quality photos in most cases, when you zoom in, the slideshow gets blurry. Does this offer a buyer anything of value? NO. In fact, you're insulting the buyer by forcing them to take extra time to download your "virtual tour", only to find the EXACT SAME information they just saw, only now it's ZOOMING! What is the point? Buy downloading a virtual tour, a buyer is expecting more information. More photos, more angles, larger photos, neighborhood photos... MORE than what they've already seen on the MLS! And most of these so called "virtual tours" are just giving them the same and wasting their time. More importantly, these slideshow programs are what they see time and time again when they find a listing that even offers a virtual tour. Same old, same old. Most even have the same (default) music in the background, and most offer absolutely nothing of additional value. How can your listing stand out among the rest? How can you stand out as a professional and as someone who understands how to properly market real estate? How can you make your listing engage the buyer so they pick up the phone and visit in person? How can you use high quality marketing to make you look like a professional? Virtually all buyers begin their search online. Your internet presentation is THE first thing buyers see. It's your 'curb appeal'. Pretend you're a buyer. Compare these three listings, all listed for over a million dollars. I'm sure all three properties are beautiful homes - in person. Based on what you see here, which would make YOU interested? Which home LOOKS like a million dollar home? Look at this listing with it's tiny 12 photos and no virtual tour. Look at this listing presentation and virtual tour Then look at this listing and it's presentation with professional photography and a narrated, full motion video tour? Which would you choose?
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Video doesn't just sell properties, it sells REALTORS

Tue, 24 Feb 2009 03:22:24 -0800

Many realtors who currently do not use video in their marketing oftentimes look at the use of video from only one perspective - can a real estate video tour help sell my listing? VIDEO HELPS SELL HOMES I think many people who do use video can attest that video helps sell homes. The correct price of course, is the biggest factor in determining what makes a home sell. But a good real estate video tour and good real estate photography help a buyer becoming engaged with your listing. The presentation on the internet is ultra important - and where most buyers begin eliminating properties from consideration. Contrary to what some people believe, a real estate video tour is the LAST thing a buyer views, not the first. Preliminary eliminations are made by searching on specific criteria, reading text descriptions and looking at photographs. But if a buyer likes what he sees - if the photographs are high quality, the viewer is now emotionally engaged in the property, and they will spend the time to watch a video... oftentimes more than once... and scrutinizing every nook and cranny. Video is the final qualifier. Video is what turns a viewer into a serious buyer. VIDEO HELPS SELL REALTORS Property videos, more than anything, sell the REALTOR as a professional and as someone who takes marketing a property seriously. It's the slam dunk way of literally getting every listing your are vying for. It sets you miles apart from literally all of your competitors who are doing the same marketing they've done for a decade... or more! VIDEO HELPS SELL COMMUNITIES However, there are many other very successful methods of using video in your marketing and branding, such as a community profile highlighting a town, or better yet, a neighborhood. Capturing a slice of what it's like to live in your local neighborhood helps brand you, the agent, as the 'neighborhood expert'. The funky corner store. The 100 year old farm stand that is a pillar of the community. The concerts in the park. The holiday event downtown. Sort of a "here is what I love about living in my town". Consider having short interviews with residents... possibly an older, lifelong resident and a new, young family that just relocated to the area. Why did THEY choose to move to your town? Why have they chosen to spend their entire lives in your town? Show off the types of housing in your neighborhood. Beacon Hill in Boston looks very, very different than Cedar Rapids, Iowa and very different than the Upper West Side of New York. What are the representative housing styles? Brownstones? Gated communities? Sprawling ranches? Triple deckers? Bungalows? Every neighborhood in every town looks different and is different! VIDEO HELPS SELL REALTORS I periodically see video agent profiles. Why an agent is so wonderful. Why they are professional. Why they are the one to choose. Why they 'work so hard for you'. How they look shuffling paper across the desk, talking on the phone and shaking hands with fake customers on the front stoop. YAWN. Trust me when I tell you, people don't care about YOU. They don't. That's why one of the biggest turnoffs on real estate websites is when you have your mug on the home page of your site! You're giving people exactly what they don't want! A house salesperson! Video testimonials? Powerful, powerful stuff. Why not briefly interview a satisfied client about how great you handled their transaction? It's obviously real and shows far more than pages of text testimonials that could very easily be made up or altered. Give web viewers what they DO want - they want what's in your head. Your knowledge, your expertise about the lifestyle and the neighborhood that they're thinking of investing in. If you give them what the[...]



How to upload your videos to Facebook

Sun, 15 Feb 2009 12:57:16 -0800

Facebook has been reviving more than long-lost friendships and reacquainting high school friends—it’s proving to be an incredibly valuable tool for REALTORS. It's the perfect medium to to promote yourself, pitch your newest listing and keep track of past and future clients. A little more than one month after announcing it had 150 million active users, and only four months since announcing 100 million users, Facebook just announced today that it has reaced 175 million active users! If Facebook were a country, it would be the eighth most populated country in the world, just ahead of Japan. To ignore statistic such as this in your marketing is just plain foolish! The most successful, aggressive agents in New England are now incorporating video into their marketing. Using video for property tours of new listings or video testimonials from satisifed clients, video is becoming more popular every day! Many clients are still a bit confused on how to upload their video tours and testimonials to their Facebook pages, so I've made a brief tutorial on exactly how you go about this. Once you upload your video to your Facebook page, that video will go out to all of your "friends" notifying them of your new listing! How cool is THAT type of marketing? (embed) ©2009 Nashua Video Tours We produce real estate video tours, agent profiles, community tours and video testimonials to REALTORS in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine.



Blah, Blah, Blah. Does anyone read REALTOR's testimonials?

Thu, 12 Feb 2009 13:40:48 -0800

With Aspen's challenging real estate, you need help from a professional you can trust. A helper who goes the extra mile. Peter Kelley is that Realtor. Below are excerpts from a few of the many thankful notes Peter has received from satisfied clients. (Complete copies available on request from qualified buyers and sellers.) "...Took a tour on your website of the Gant E-20 with great interest. You do a very professional job of presenting the place and, as I've committed to you, whenever I decide to sell my unit...it's yours. Save this e-mail and let the record show my unequivocal commitment! Thanks." WFH, New Jersey Dear Peter, "We truly appreciate all the hard work you put in to helping us locate, research and purchase our property. The exceptional personal service provided by you and your team certainly should be commended. You can definitely count on our recommendations for your services to our friends..." Sincerely, D.S., Snowmass, Colorado Which is more effective? (object) (embed) Most realtors have a page of testimonials on their website. Why not? It gives you credibility. That is, IF.... 1) A viewer is willing to slog through a laundry list of puff. 2) A viewer actually believes that John F. is a real person 3) A viewer actually believes that the endless praise was not just made up - I mean, it's not difficult! A video testimonial is extremely powerful. Two minutes of a quality testimonial from a real, live customer can say more than 10 pages of 'fluff' culled from surveys automatically sent out by your broker to elicit testimonials. A picture is worth a thousand words. A VIDEO? Priceless. Nashua Video Tours provides real estate property 'walk through' tours, testimonials, agent profiles and community profiles for Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Southern Coastal Maine.



Stowe, Vermont (Birch Hill) home for sale with breathtaking mountain views!

Wed, 11 Feb 2009 23:22:35 -0800

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND DETAILS, VISIT STOWHOME.COM Stowe Vermont is a major four season destination. Although most famous as a world class ski resort, Stowe's summer and fall seasons are also popular with residents and visitors alike. This graceful, sophisticated mountain home combines the always-on-vacation sensation of a playground getaway with opportunities abound through every window. Located off the Mountain Road , near the recreational path and only a few minutes from Stowe Village, this spectacular end-of-the road estate is situated on 7 acres of extraordinary landscaping and includes 4 ponds, expansive gardens, private forests, manicured irrigated lawns and an outdoor heated pool. With acres of land to play on, it is a wonderful and entertaining space for all ages. The Birch Hill Home is perhaps one of the finest in Vermont. Designed for the ultimate in entertaining at every age, this home has it all. Being situated at the end of the road insures privacy, but still near enough to neighbors to not feel isolated. Being situated facing Mt Mansfield, Spruce Peak and the famous Trapp Family Lodge insures breathtaking views at every turn. The 5,000 square feet of spacious, open, sunlit spaces allows one to enjoy country living at its finest. The large Great Room, with soaring cathedral ceilings, skylights, and a dramatic double sided fieldstone fireplace offers commanding views of Mt. Mansfield and the stunning valley vistas and snow covered trails. Even the most finicky chef will be thrilled with this gourmet hickory kitchen. Gorgeous South African Granite Fossil countertops set off by the requisite high end stainless steel appliances by Wolf, Miele and Viking will make preparing a delectable meal a joy. The hickory arch leads you to the open dining room where family traditions and cherished meals are yours to enjoy. When the weather is warm, entertaining easily extends out to a covered porch to further enjoy those magnificent views! The convenient first floor master bedroom and office is the epitome of luxury and privacy. From the cherry wood flooring to the exotic ceiling fan to the wall to wall windows showcasing Mt. Mansfield to the Mendola gas fireplace in the adjacent office - this space leaves you wanting nothing more. And here is the master bathroom you've always dreamed of... with an authentic sandstone sink, bamboo flooring, cork walls, and an Art Deco jacuzzi bath. The full ceramic steam shower offers dual shower heads - it's your very own spa. The light filled turret gleams like a jewel as the light reflects off the square window panes. The hospitality of this home extends to the bedrooms on the second level. During the summer months, you'll thoroughly enjoy the privacy of outdoor living with impeccable organically fertilized lawn and gardens kept lush and green by an irrigation system. Specimens include many varieties of mature flowering trees and shrubs including lilacs, rhododendrons, azaleas, roses, spring bulbs, evergreens and an in ground, heated swimming pool. This finished basement level was designed with entertainment in mind. It includes a bar made with South American zebra wood, wood paneled walls and ceiling, mendola gas fireplace, real stone surround and Italian ceramic floor tiles that create a warm, cozy atmosphere. An arch rustic wine cave door leads the way to a small wine cellar adjacent the bar. A laundry room, a half bath and a solid slate mahogany pool table are located in a separate room. [...]



Why "point and shoot' cameras are no good for real estate photography

Sun, 08 Feb 2009 23:31:36 -0800

The vast majority of realtors shoot their own listing photographs with digital "point and shoot" cameras. Although these new cameras can create some absolutely amazing photographs, with only two exceptions (the Canon G10 and Lumix DMC-LX3) point and shoot cameras do not offer enough of a wide angle lens to photograph a residential interior. As a result, most photographs on the MLS focus on objects or furniture, such as a sofa, a fireplace, a table, and in many cases, the corner of a room. Buyers are buying a home - not furniture! Yet, as you can see over and over again on the MLS, this is primarily what the buyer is offered in terms of photographs of the home. That is because "point and shoot" cameras can't capture the entire space due to the limitations of the lens. A recent study was done on the impact of visual marketing on the perceived value of a property. Respondents that saw a property marketed with professional photography viewed the home as being worth 12.9% more than similar homes without professional photography! When asked how likely they were to visit the homes the were viewing, respondents were 7 times more likely to visit the home with professional photography. Respondents also saw a property marketed with a video property tour viewed the home as having a 6% higher value than the description-only property! [Note: As of today, a brand new camera (Samsung WB500) was introduced that has a 24mm wide angle lens, 10x optical zoom and 10.2 megapixels for about $288. The G10 is a 28mm lens. The Lumix is also a 24mm lens.]
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Check out the full size comparisons with a 'point and shoot' camera. Protect your commission structure! See an example of how your property can be presented online AND on the MLS!



109 Mack Hill Road, Amherst, New Hampshire Custom designed and built home for sale

Thu, 05 Feb 2009 03:02:01 -0800

We just produced this real estate video tour of one of the most beautiful homes I've ever seen in New Hampshire! Check out the video tour below or visit the website to see the large format photo gallery. (object) (embed) 109 Mack Hill Road, Amherst, NH MLS # 2758308 INFO: EquineHomes.com | Exceptional 2007 state-of-the-art custom designed and built - Geothermal on 6.2 acres - almost no maintenance - easy living without compromising impeccable attention to every detail. 4500 sq. ft. of unprecedented design. Three bedrooms, four baths, custom floors, imported light fixtures, Soaring ceilings with exposed scissor trusses, concrete counters w/recycled glass inlay. 1st floor Master Suite includes sauna and Victoria Albert soaking tub. Adjacent patio with hot tub. Unexpected angles, rich texture. Ideal horse property that includes almost three (3) acres of level dry land for the perfect pasture. Very private and pastoral - 45 minutes to Boston. For a personal tour, contact Gerri Bernstein (800) 859.2745 ext. 721 (image)



Sanibel Island, Florida :: Weekly Vacation Rental right on the beach!

Sat, 31 Jan 2009 02:18:52 -0800

For more information and a large format photo gallery, visit Shorewood2C.com If you are seeking a relaxing, tranquil vacation - this is your dream vacation getaway located in Sanibel Island, Florida. 12 miles long and 5 miles wide, it accessible from Fort Myers via the Sanibel Causeway, a 3 mile stretch which consists of three separate bridge spans and two man-made causeway islands located between the bridges. Located on Sanibel Island, Florida This beautifully updated Gulf-view condominium unit offers all the splendor of beach front living with all the comforts of home. A small, quiet complex, it features tennis courts in the front, as well as an uncrowded swimming pool. Of course, the crown jewel is the beach! Here in Sanibel, mother nature has created a masterpiece of soft white sand, soothing gulf breezes and abundant natural beauty. From relaxing, to walking, to fishing to shelling, the beach is top attraction here at Shorewood! Located on the third level, this spacious three bedroom, two bath condominium sleeps 6 people comfortably. The large granite topped kitchen provides everything you need if you don't want to take advantage of the island's wonderful restaurants - stove, oven, coffee maker, microwave, filtered water - it's all here! The combined living and dining room is anchored by the screened lanai, which overlooks the swimming pool and exquisite white sand beach of the Gulf of Mexico. It connects with an open balcony, directly off the master bedroom. There is no shortage of outdoor space for admiring this beautiful location. Drift off to sleep in the spacious master bedroom, featuring a king sized bed and large bathroom, featuring a double his/ hers sink. The furnishings throughout this home are very special: Many of the furniture pieces are made from retired Dhow sailing vessels from East Africa. All of the wood is at least 75 years old. Each piece is unique - they are handmade in Africa and all of the boats are used in some way. So, they are "green" as well as beautiful. Surely you will feel some of the character while you stay in this home. There is a piece above the pass-through to the kitchen that was carved from one piece of wood and is called "unity" - representing an entire village which is also from East Africa. On the sideboard is a picture on the sideboard of one of the Dhows. Enjoy expansive Gulf views from the living and dining rooms, kitchen and master bedroom. Four televisions are available - two are High Definition with HBO. Although the lure of the beach may want entice you to stay completely disconnected from work, for those who feel the need to be connected, wireless high speed internet access is available for your convenience. Additionally, there are two twin beds in one bedroom, as well as a queen and twin bed in the second bedroom - with it's own balcony. Sanibel Island, Florida 3 bedroom Gulf front condo for rent About Sanibel Island, Florida - The Sea Shell Capital! [...]



YouTube is the world's 2nd biggest search engine - ahead of Yahoo!

Sun, 18 Jan 2009 10:49:17 -0800

(image) According to the latest numbers from comScore released the other day, YouTube now leads Yahoo! as the world's second largest search engine! Of course, it's not the same as your typical search engine, as it indexes only videos. But it IS similar to search engines as now YouTube is offering "sponsored videos", something similar to and modeled after the well known Google AdWords. You can promote individual videos by purchasing keywords, setting a monthly budget or cap on charges, and determining your own 'cost per click'. YouTube even offers high definition, widescreen playback, so the muddy videos are history! (see below) Spending money for viewers to watch a video? A new concept, for sure. It will be interesting to see how it plays out. Google AdWords has obviously become a cash cow for Google's main search engine. For example, if you search on 'iPhone', several ads appear to the right with videos on the Invisible Shield iPhone protector, an iPhone application and a video ad for "Dexter" on Showtime. So, as all video sites have been searching for that ever elusive way to monetize the business, YouTube may resort to the old fashioned Google way: keyword search! There is an ongoing debate here on Active Rain as to whether it's a good or bad move to put your real estate videos on YouTube. I say, eyeballs are eyeballs. To dismiss the #2 search engine would just be plain foolish in this market! NashuaVideoTours.com is a provider of real estate video home tours, community tours and agent profiles for Massachusetts and New Hampshire (embed)



Have a video? Where do you upload it? Where do you find them? Just YouTube?

Mon, 05 Jan 2009 02:55:50 -0800

(image) There are hundreds....HUNDREDS of video websites where one can upload their real estate videos.  It's dizzying trying to keep track of all of them! Here is a recently compiled list of [supposedly] every video sharing site on the web for your reference. Of course, you must keep in mind that many do NOT allow any type of commercial videos or promotion (such as Blip.TV, Spike.com, Vimeo.com, etc). It's always best to slog through their Terms of Service just to make sure it's OK to upload, or you will most likely receive an email after your videos have been removed, informing you that your account has been cancelled! A list of video search engines has also been compiled. Keeping track of the new ones can be a headache, so this puts everything in one place... Bookmark it! There are a few which are real estate specific, and oddly enough NOT on this list, so I'm not sure how complete it maybe.  Those are WellcomeMat and Zipvo



Royalty Free music today keeps the lawyers away!

Sat, 03 Jan 2009 08:42:49 -0800

Although the issue of using copyrighted music has been brought up many times, I constantly see videos and slideshows (that have been turned into a video format) with well known, obviously copyrighted music uploaded to Active Rain, You Tube and many other sites.  Recently, Christmas music - everywhere! In fact, it seems sometimes it's the majority of videos that have obvious copyrighted music as a background soundtrack. YOU CANNOT DO THIS! Copyright issues online are being brought front and center recently, and if you think you won't get caught - think again! If you want music for a background for a virtual tour, a video or use on your website, it's simple to just Google "royalty free music".  There are plenty of companies that will sell you completely royalty free songs in any genre to accompany your tour.  Granted, many are expensive ($25++ per song), but you can use it repeatedly with no repurcussions whatsoever.  There are even some sites that offer free music, although most is a step above rollerskating music! To cheap?  To lazy?  YouTube now offers this service for free!  It's called "Audio Swap".  Just upload your video to YouTube.  Go into the 'edit your video" area, and there is a choice of "Audio Swap".  You can choose the length of your video and have YouTube automatically substitute your ILLEGAL music for something that is royalty free!  You can choose the genre or the artist. It will [permanently] replace the audio track with legal, royalty free music - just like that! [instructions] (image)



Property Video Tours - What do you shoot?

Wed, 31 Dec 2008 23:42:18 -0800

The purpose of a real estate video tour is to give prospective buyers a virtual tour of a property - as realistic as possible without actually being there. House shoppers can compare a variety of homes in just a few minutes, from the comfort of their home or office, helping them narrow their search for the perfect home. If they like what they see, they can set up a personal appointment with a realtor for a viewing. If they don't like a home, there is no point in taking the time to go see it in person. When searching for property online, a perspective buyer searches FIRST on amenities, details, price, etc. THEN they read the description. THEN they quickly peruse the photographs. If they like what they see, THEN they view a video tour. The video is the FINAL qualifier, not the first. Because of this, they are now seeking details. They want MORE information than what they've seen so far. Oftentimes, buyers will scrutinize a video in detail and watch it multiple times. This video is what will determine whether they set up an appointment to view the home in person - or move on to the next listing! Because of this, the quality of this video is imperative. What to Shoot Put yourself in the position of a perspective buyer and show the home in a way that showcases its most outstanding features. Obviously, the exterior and the way it is situated on the lot is a big factor. Buyers want to know if it's attractive. Does it have a garage? A large porch or deck? Does it sit on a hill or is it level? Can you see the neighbor's homes? How many trees are on the property and where are they located? Is there a view of the freeway in the backyard? You also need to look at the amenities: a spacious yard, a large two story foyer, master bedroom, hot tub, cathedral ceilings, walk-in closets, a dream kitchen, a three-car garage....? Lastly, there is the physical location. Is it close to a freeway, shopping center or a school? What is the neighborhood like? Are the houses close together or is there space between them? Are they set back from the street, or 10 feet from the curb? How is the town positioned in relationship to larger cities? The seacoast? Satellite imagery for your video is readily available and can help position the home within the community. As a realtor, you know buyers look for all of these things in a piece of real estate. You'll want your video tour to answer these questions. Begin with the Exterior Start by shooting the property with a wide, establishing shot. Position your video camera across the street from the home to get a nice wide shot. This establishing shot provides the buyer with a "first impression", as well as giving them a perspective as to the lot, the position of the home on the lot and the general lay of the land. To make the shot as flattering as possible, try shooting on a nice, sunny day. A grey, overcast day sets the scene for a horror movie, not a home tour. Remember that real estate is by its very nature three dimensional, and you are not taking still photos of the home. Homes have four sides, so it's always helpful to try and show all four sides of the home, which is easy to do. When you shoot your establishing wide shot, shoot from an angle to include two sides of the home as opposed to the flat front. Of course, the backyard is especially important, because it can't usually be seen from the street, yet they are almost like a room within the house because a family may want to spend a lot of their time [...]



The worst year in real estate ever.... or the best year?

Tue, 30 Dec 2008 14:37:10 -0800

Not being a real estate agent myself, I don't have actual, first hand experience in the local real estate market (Massachusetts/ New Hampshire).  My information comes to me in casual conversations with my customers as I am doing their real estate video tours.  Much of my NEWS on the market comes to me via the box that runs constantly in front of me as I'm editing video, relaying the 'doom and gloom' economy.  Oftentimes, I want to shut it off because it doesn't "feel" nearly as bad as the television news talking heads portray it. I keep looking up to make sure the sky is not falling....However, I also feel it would be slightly irresponsible to live in this world and not have a clue what is going on!  On TV and in the newspapers, the world is imploding. I keep looking for the bread line, but I only see lines at Panera Bread!I see stores who expanded too rapidly closing their doors, but I see plenty of lines of people purchasing goods at other stores.The pundits keep telling me that real estate sales are down.  Way down... they keep falling.... down... further... it's not the end... it's not even NEAR the end....  prices are down.. they are falling, more... more, worst in history... and will fall even more next year.....  I do realize that isolated areas like Phoenix, Florida, parts of California, etc. are definitely in bad shape - there is no question about that.  But they also saw crazy housing appreciation during the boom years!  It's no wonder they're paying the price today.I also realize the northeast is probably in a better position than many parts of the country.But this is what I hear -  this is reality -  just in the past couple of weeks in talking with my clients: I met one yesterday who told me he is having his best year EVER in 10 years, and expects 2009 to be better. He's been in business for a decade. He's focusing his business on foreclosures. His business rocks! Another one of my clients also is having his best year ever and is the highest grossing real estate team in his entire market. He focuses on high end luxury properties in Cohasset, MA. I had lunch with another client today who has had a "bad year" this year (only $4M, about half of last year), but already has almost $4.5 in closings in place for early 2009! He works with very few foreclosures - avoids them like the plague. A client I shot a video for today said 2008 was also her best year in the business so far. A client a shot two videos for last week told me she has more business right now than she can handle - she sold one listing I filmed two days later - just a few days before Christmas. It was hardly even on the market. We had just had two feet of snow! (I filmed it as it was snowing!) A client had a listing we filmed on Tuesday a few weeks ago, had a broker open house on Thursday (50 people attended) and 3 offers over the weekend, all at nearly full price. Another client of mine, only in business for a couple of years, is the at the top of his market already!  He closed three properties very recently, all within 98 or 99% of asking price - all within days of going on the market. A client in Lexington MA just recently sold her $2.1M house in 50 days.  Not bad in this market at the end of the year and in that price range! Active Rainer Kathleen Buckley just sold a house in Hopkinton MA in only 26 days.... Of course, I like to think 1) I only deal with the best of the best of the best .... and 2) they're selling hom[...]



Video + Google = Eyeballs

Tue, 30 Dec 2008 05:55:00 -0800

I've posted several times in the past about Google’s universal search initiative and the promise that it has for website video SEO. In addition to YouTube videos being shown in Google search with thumbnail, other video sites are successfully showing thumbnails in the SERPs as well including Metacafe,Videojug and others. Often times, our videos appear on page one WITH thumbnails - and in some cases, more than once!It's a fact that on a page with all text, the eye gravitates towards images, and right now, the ONLY images on the entire page are generally thumbnails for videos!I am pleased to tell you that it is possible, if done properly - and we do it with all of our New Hampshire and Massachusetts real estate video tours!In the examples below, our video ranks #1 for the #1 search term for foxboro, massachusetts apartment rentals.Three thumbnails appear... .one as THE NUMBER ONE entry, and two at the top of page two! And that doesn't count the several OTHER times that videos appear on those two pages without thumbnails!And, best of all, these videos are nearly TWO YEARS OLD!The TOP real estate website in the world is NOT realtor.com. It's NOT Trulia. It's NOT Re/MAX. IT'S GOOGLE!(image) Using real estate video in your marketing is THE best way to get maximum exposure for your listing and maximum exposure FOR YOU. Video is one still the best marketing technique that can set you apart from literally ALL of your competition! And, oddly enough, it does help sell homes!(image) (image) ______________________________Nashua Video Tours has provided high definition real estate video tours of homes and communities in New England for nearly 4 years. We have been featured on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric and National Public Radio (NPR). We will be featured in an upcoming story and video interview on real estate video tours in the May 2009 issue of VideoMaker, as well as a new book published by McGraw Hill on "How to Make Money with YouTube" which will be published in April.I will also be speaking at the upcoming Digital Video Summit at Real Estate Connect in New York City on Wednesday, January 7, 10:15 am – 11:00 am on "How to get video cheap — from do it yourself to consumer-pro to low-end production".If you're there...stop by and say hello!(image)