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Creating Slide Shows on DVDs for Sellers and Buyers

July 19th, 2009

For many years I created little mini CDs with the tour of homes we listed on them for the buyers and sellers. Most sellers loved to get a copy of the virtual tour we used to sell their home as a keepsake of their home and occasionally buyers would ask for a copy as well. One seller even asked for a copy for each of his 4 kids. Because I used to do 360 tours for every home we sold I would just copy the HTML and files for the tour on to the CD and put an auto-start program on the CD that would bring up the tour in the browser. This worked fine for PC home sellers but the Mac home sellers were left out.

Several years ago a reader, Jim D’Heam over at www.dvd-tour.com, pointed out that it made much more sense to create a DVD slide show. The DVD format would work on any computer plus any DVD player. Jim used to create DVD slide shows for $19.95 for real estate agents but apparently doesn’t any more.

I think the DVD format is still the best format for buyer and seller gifts if you produce them. These are not big money makers but they make a really nice gifts for listing agents to give to sellers. They are not that difficult to make. Here are several ways to create them:

  1. For Mac users use iDVD that comes on your Mac. There are quite a few themes to choose from and putting the photo into iDVD is just drag-and-drop. You can even drag photos from Lightroom to iDVD.
  2. For Windows users ProShow Gold ($69 USD) appears to do the job. I’ve not used ProShow Gold but many readers tell me they like it.
  3. I just noticed recently that costco.com is partnering with aVinci to produce themed DVD slide shows for $14.99 USD. It looks like a nice service but I’ve not tried it yet. Mainly because you have to be a PC user to download the software you use to prepare the photos for uploading.

Is anyone providing DVDs of your photo shoot for seller gifts? What other software and services are you using?

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12 Responses to “Creating Slide Shows on DVDs for Sellers and Buyers”

  • I do them pretty regularly – just made 3 yesterday in fact – one for the seller, two for each of their kids (so they could have a keepsake of the home they group up in).

    I put the video and the stills on it as a slideshow. It’s branded for the agent with their logo, etc. I have a bulk DVD printer which burns and prints labels right on top – also with the agent’s logo and a photo of the house.

    For new clients, I often will make one at no charge for the agent so they can use it in their marketing at a listing presentation. Obviously if they use my photos and videos to market THEIR services … and they GET the listing (which they almost always do!) …. they’re now sort of obligated to use me!

  • I always make dvd’s of my listings from i-dvd. I use them to display on a TV at open houses for back ground music and slideshows of the homes. I also give my client a copy when we close on the property. I use the Dymo disc painter to print onto printable glossy dvd disc’s then put them in personalized metal cases. It is fun as well as the clients love them. I also give a digital copy of my past projects on one and give it out when I go on a listing appointment.

  • I looked into doing this some time ago using iDVD, however looking on the net for ways to do it, I found that lots of people reported that the quality of your images that you put onto the DVD using iDVD are not good. Is this true ?

  • I’ve been doing the DVDs for a couple of years now – I use Photoshop Elements to create the slideshow and export it to Premiere Elements to create the DVD. I use the printable DVDs and imprint them with a picture of the house and contact information.

    The nice thing about doing the DVDs instead of the CDs I used to do is that many families have DVD players in their vehicles. I like to think they pop in the DVD of the house as they’re driving away … but I’m guessing this rarely happens 🙂

  • “…the quality of your images that you put onto the DVD using iDVD are not good. Is this true ?”

    My experience is that it’s dependent on the size of the images you use to create the DVD. Large screen TVs like 1080×720 sized images. If you use that size or greater to create the DVD it look much better than smaller files.

  • I use iDvd, but I upload full quality, high resolution images and they look great – even on a big TV.

  • The quality of the photos is dependent on what you use. A few years ago the quality was not as good as it is now, thank goodness they have improved a lot of stuff. I end up making a presentation in I-Movie so I can add all little extras, then I bring that into I-DVD. Although I think the quality with the photos is better in the dvd app than creating it in I-Movie

  • Hello, what is everyone using to “print” a label or how are you printing on the DVD? What are you printing on the case? Just to see if someone will share a few more details on how to start this process, thank you

  • @Russell – I use DiskLabel (http://www.smileonmymac.com/DiscLabel/index.html) which prints round labels for CD/DVDs and/or labels for DVD covers (like movies come in). Stick-on labels look cool but are a bad idea since they can come off and mess up DVD players… and this will not endear you to clients!

    A much better approach if you do many of DVDs is to get a HP CD drive that prints right on the DVD… this is a much safer approach. see: http://www.hp.com/united-states/consumer/digital_photography/print_better_photos/tips/labels.html

  • @Russel – I use printable DVDs and print on them using an Epson Stylus R220. I’m reluctant to use stick-on labels because I’ve heard a few horror stories about labels that gummed up someone’s DVD player – I don’t want to be responsible for that!

    I’ve also used Lightscribe in the past, but it didn’t print in color and the results were only so-so.

  • For anyone that builds a TourFactory virtual tour, we actually provide a ISO image file that you can burn directly onto the DVD.

    When the DVD is played on a DVD player (computer not required) the presentation can auto-play, or you can use the remote to navigate the photos of the home. We even include custom label templates that include the front shot of the home for the DVD face as well as the cover. The best part is – it’s fully automatic… when you create the virtual tour, you are also simultaneously creating the Video Tour and a DVD tour.

    We launched this feature in November 2008.

  • Great article! I also use Wondershare Movie Story to make photo slideshow and directly burn slideshow videos, matched with songs, to DVD for TV playback.

    http://www.ourpix.com/downloads/dvd-slide-show.html?page=125

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