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Announcing PFREtour.com Real Estate Photography Tours Beta Test

December 14th, 2009

For the last several years I’ve been ranting about various aspects of what makes an effective real estate photography tour. A few months ago I had the opportunity to partner with two experienced tour developers (Michael and Alfie LaPeter) to create tours that are designed for use by independent real estate photographers (PFREtour.com).  We are still in development but want to evolve this product with the input of real estate photographers. Here is an example of what PFRE tours currently look like.

Here is our current list of feature goals:

  1. Extra large photos presented in a clean design that emphasizes photography
  2. Tours run automatically if the viewer does nothing
  3. Viewers can take control of the tours if they choose
  4. Optional Ken Burns panning
  5. Visible on ALL platforms with NO downloads required
  6. Visible on the iPhone, Blackberry and Android mobile devices
  7. Simple clean design with maps, listing info and agent info that stay out of the way
  8. Inexpensive with price breaks for volume
  9. Photos uploadable from from Lightroom
  10. Photos can also be uploaded without Lightroom
  11. Branded and unbranded versions
  12. Syndication to major real estate sites

How is this product different than other real estate tours?
There are the features that make PFREtour’s different that other tours:

  1. PFREtours use Flash (Slideshow Pro) but will degrade to a javascript only tour for iPhones. With this technique you get all the benefits of Flash tours on browsers that are capable of Flash yet the tours still work for those viewers on an iPhone or other mobile device not capable of Flash.
  2. Uploading from Lightroom. We believe this will be a major benefit for real estate photographers.
  3. Anyone can make use of PFREtours, independent real estate photographers or real estate agents.

About The Beta Test
As of 8:30AM PST 12/15  we have sent out the initial 15 beta invitations. Thanks everyone for the great response! For those that didn’t get a beta invitation, we will be contacting  you for future opportunities. For those interested in PFREtour.com, go ahead an request an invitation and we will contact you in the future.

PFREtours has most (but not all) of the features on our feature goals list implemented. We feel we have enough of the features implemented to be useful to Realtors and real estate photographers so we’d like to start getting feedback from users. Beginning immediately we are starting a beta test of PFREtour.com. Here’s how the beta test will work:

  1. If you are interested in participating in the beta request a beta test invitation here.
  2. We will send out 15 invitations to participate in the beta.
  3. Those invited to participate in the beta test will receive 5 free tours.
  4. Beta test participants must also commit to giving us feedback.

We are looking forward to having you tryout this great new product and giving us feedback. For those of you that don’t get a beta test invitation please be patient, we will be opening up PFREtour.com for more customers as soon as practical.

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14 Responses to “Announcing PFREtour.com Real Estate Photography Tours Beta Test”

  • I am exactly working on something like this.
    Would love to see the backend and client admin sections!
    I signed up Larry. I want to get idee’s for mine and give lots of feedback on yours.
    Ciao

  • How about something for panoramic virtual tours?

  • Looks great Larry. I was working on something similar w/ SSP, but couldn’t figure a way to make it work w/ their licensing. Before you get in too deep, have you seen this?

    http://slideshowpro.net/legal/

    “The license DOES NOT permit the following: SWFs containing SlideShowPro for Flash may not be embedded in a template, desktop software application, content management system, and/or online web service in a manner where the SWF is replicated and used as a slideshow viewer for photos and/or videos contributed by more than one party.”

  • @Scott- Thanks for the heads up. We have a Slideshow Pro OEM license and have gotten Todd Dominey’s blessing that we are legal.

    @Joe- Perhaps in the future. I’ve shot 360s for many years but I’m not convinced they are as important as they once were. I’ve even had people tell me to stop talking about 360s on the blog. I realize that they are still popular in some locals… but they are not popular all over.

  • Really nice start. Will it have the option on not have the moving images? Im starting prefer large hd images that fade in and out smoothly and quickly. I’m a SSP user and just replicate my Dreamweaver file over and over again and make minor changes, like background color and agent info.. For this to be successful I think you are going to have to offer it at a great price so photogs will be tempted to use yours instead of building their own. Agencylogic may not have the best look for high end homes, like your flash based site with SSP, it still is an incredible value at $35 (purchased in bulk) for hosting 12mos., domain, and website. I think you are on to something great but price will be a big factor.

  • I should have done some reading first! Price is great. So domain will need to registered then pointed to your url? So 9 bucks for a site and roughly 10 bucks for a domain? Thats a great price especially if you incorporate syndication. Maybe you can get a domain deal going to skip this step?

  • The example looks good. I like being able to add text to real estate tours though. I have mine set up to add text to each photo. As the photo changes, new text appears. This way Realtors can write about the features of each photo.

  • Larry – Is there really the need for the full screen option?, it doesnt take the photos and make them full screen at all but rather just everything around it.

    The slideshow height and width are set the same as the fullscreen height and width, making it kinda pointless to offer the option of going fullscreen.

  • Larry,

    Great columns lately.

  • @Dylan- Yes, Slideshow Pro (the slide show software we are using) has many features that we have not exposed yet. Text display is one of them. Our goal is to use as many of the great features of SSP without having quite the complexity there is when you use it directly from lightroom.

    @Christian- We started using SSP fairly recently so there are features like full screen that right this minute aren’t completely integrated. Before we started using SSP we limited the upload image size. We are in the process of changing that right now. In the near future you’ll be able to upload larger (1600×1000) images so the full size image will be used for full screen and smaller images will be used for the smaller views. Some people love fullscreen and some never use it.

  • Good to hear larry, i do all of our slideshows with the 1600×1000 fullscreen option and actually upload photos 1728×1152 so they look awesome when the agent chooses fullscreen.

    Nice work by the way ( i forgot to say earlier)

  • Great looking system that you are setting up Larry! I noticed that the tours have agent info on them, which I am guessing is an optional feature (enter it if you want it, don’t enter it if you don’t want it). I’m newer to RE (been following the blog for about 8 mths though) but my first several agents have specifically asked for non-agent-branded tours because the MLS doesn’t allow branding. Is the branding restriction a regional thing, or are agents using the branded tours only on direct links from their own sites? If that’s the case, would it be possible for the PFREtour to generate two tours at one time (one branded for agent site, one not branded for MLS)? Love the blog! Thanks!

  • @Joshua- Yes. both branded and unbranded tours are currently generated for pfretour.com tours.

  • Sorry Larry, but I find it average with minimal features… Ok to showcase work but not competitive enough for Virtual Tours. Not sure why you think 360s are not useful… It is a perfect add-on for a complete tour of a home… better than video and much less time consuming. Also a great up-sell for photographers to make a bit more on every listing they do!

    I don’t use my own platform anymore, the platform I currently use also gives agents full login access with full marketing features such as free professional brochure creation tool, gallery access, web tracker, CD label and CD slideshow, branded/non branded, photo and flyer tour links…and much much more!!

    It’s hard to compete with companies that have spent 100k developing the perfect Virtual Tour platform…

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