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When It comes to Real Estate Tours – Go Big or Go Home!

February 16th, 2011

Fred Depp of St Louis, MO sent me a link recently to his blog post that makes the case for providing a slide show or tour of some kind.

Fred’s argument is simple: when you upload images to MLS sites and they get syndicated to national and regional sites the images get mangled. There is no standard for aspect ratio or anything else so you will likely be surprised to see what your images look like after they get uploaded, downsized and passed around site to site. If you provide an agent with a slideshow or some kind of tour you have more control over what the images look like and you can insure the images are higher quality and have more impact.

Yep, I agree with Fred. The thing I would add to Fred’s argument is the size aspect. With images, size matters! On MLSs and sites that listings get syndicated to the images are typically smaller than you’d like. Let’s face it, big images have more impact than small ones. So a high quality large image get’s more attention than a small dinky one. This image size issue is why the full screen mode in both slide shows and video is so important. There’s nothing I like better on a tour or video than to have a full screen HD mode that I can click that will fill up my 16:9 27″ iMac screen. This is the ultimate test of a tour or video. How does it look at 27″. I think you should make sure your tours and video looks good BIG! Some tour sites appeared to still be concerned with bandwidth. I say go BIG or go home!

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7 Responses to “When It comes to Real Estate Tours – Go Big or Go Home!”

  • Another secret trick:

    Realtor.com ports over photos from the MLS. Here in New Hampshire, our MLS photos are 290 x 218 pixels… tiny! (Not to mention all of the quality is compressed out of them to conserve bandwidth).

    Realtor.com will accept (and display) 1024 x 682 pixels – a HUGE difference! (buyers have the option to “view full size” – which of course ends up being exactly the same as the tiny photo which ported over from the MLS!)

    I size photos for both MLS and the larger version for Realtor.com, and suggest the agents wait a day until the tiny, crummy photos are ported over. Then go into their account and DELETE all of the photos, and upload the larger, higher quality photos.

    Big difference. Huge.

  • Same issue with realtor.ca here in Canada. They just made the jump to an impressive 640×480 image on their site! The images I send to the agent are compressed to high heaven. Luckily, with each show I create I request a link up to the mls listing, activating a link from realtor.ca to my site where the better show is. Better images and a great source of backlinks – a win win!

  • Now that’s funny, these days I was just working on a Fullscreen Ken Burns slideshow!
    Here is a static example: http://www.immoshots.com/templates/default/slideshow-static.php

    This slideshow is made with SlideShowPro and ThumbGrid.
    For my tourpage I did everything with Javascript (jQuery) but with a link to the slideshow on a separate page.
    To blow visitors away with BIG images you need to use Flash, as it’s the only way to go full screen..

    Lemme know how that looks on your 27? iMac Larry.
    The images are Full HD resolution: 1920 x 1080

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  • @Anton- They look great. Nice job!

  • Larry, Thanks for the feature. Many of the comments about Peggy in Tampa would apply to me. My site needs to evolve and too many times I find myself working for minimum wage or worse with post edit. Fighting hard to push forward. I think bundling the tour with every shoot is smart and I’m working with one of my key brokers on those details first.

  • @Anton the pictures do look amazing, and I totally agree with everyone about going big or going home with photos. But instead of using tools like SlideShowPro and ThumbGrid, and having to mess around with JQuery, next time maybe you can try this: http://www.fullscreenphotos.com. It’s a new website that lets you easily create and share full screen photo slideshows.

    I’m a real estate agent and photographer in New York City and I built this full screen photo tool for exactly the reasons everyone’s pointed out above – most real estate sites compress our big, beautiful photos into tiny little images and it seemed there was no easy way around it, until now. Anyway I hope you check it out.

    And BTW Fred thanks for the great tip about Realtor.com.

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