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Is The Use of 360 Images for Real Estate Marketing on The Decline?

January 2nd, 2012

My personal experience and my impression of the feedback I get from agents and professional real estate photographers suggests that the use of 360 tours is declining in general but there are hotspots of interest in 360s. It’s difficult to quantify this impression. So I wanted to do this poll and hear what readers experiences with 360s are.I shot 360s for 10 years as a agent and got started using 360s in the early 2000’s done by a company called bamboo.com which was eventually bought by realtor.com and renamed to iPix.com. Ron Rosen, a new blog reader, who is enthusiastic about 360s reminded me that the original iPix.com went bankrupt around 2003. The current iPix.com does 360 video- I believe this is a totally different company than the original one but I’m not sure.

When I shot 360s extensively I would discuss the media with all our sellers and buyers. Over time I found that roughly a third of them really didn’t like 360 images. Many clients claimed they didn’t like the feeling they got from the spinning image. Although, on balance the 360s I did were a big positive factor in attracting new listing customers. I think mostly because we were just doing something more than other agents at the time.

I still occasionally find people that are wildly enthusiastic about 360 images. And there are some geographic areas where photographers tell me they must be able to do 360s to compete.

I warn beginning real estate photographers to be careful because it takes much more time and equipment to create quality 360s than stills so it’s important to make sure they are getting paid for their investment when when the produce a 360 product.

In the end analysis, what is most important these days is that what ever media you use is instantly accessible by anyone that visits your site or tour. Historically, 360s have always had the problem that they need special viewer technology based on QuickTime, Java, Flash or more recently a special App to view the 360s. Special technology is the marketing kiss of death! Your work must be instantly accessible or viewers will move on to the next listing. A good example that instant accessibility from from all platforms is possible is tourbuzz.net tours. You can have stills, 360s and soon video on tourbuzz tours that are instantly accessible by any platform. Be careful though, not all tours can do this.

Update Jan 3: Whoa, look at Fred Light’s comment below. He says: “I just received a call about 30 minutes ago from the CEO of one of the largest virtual tour providers in the country, who does slideshows and panos. He’s looking to partner together to start incorporating video into their offerings as they are seeing a drop off in interest in panos, and more interest in doing video, especially for higher end properties.” Maybe the CEO reads this blog;)

Update Jan 9: This poll confirms my intuition about 360s or partial 360s. Yes, they are on the decline and currently only about 30% use them. And as comments indicate there are still people that are passionate about 360s. Thanks for everyone’s participation this is very informative.

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34 Responses to “Is The Use of 360 Images for Real Estate Marketing on The Decline?”

  • I seldom get asked for 360’s for resale properties, agents and vendors prefer a good set of stills.
    But, holiday rental properties love 360’s, in addition to the stills.

  • I work in Buffalo, NY and 360s are a must. If I did not shoot them, no one would even give me a second look.

  • I think the use of these tours is dependent on the market. In my area, I rarely see these used, for whatever reason. What seems to have taken over from the 360 panos are the “zooming slideshow” tours (aka “Visual Tour”, “Real Estate Shows”, “Imprev”, etc.). These programs are very inexpensive ($25/mo or so) and many brokerage firms actually provide them to agents at a reduced cost and oftentimes free. And we know how agents love FREE. And of course, the agents can upload their own photos they took with their own cameras and that keeps it free!

    As far as buyers are concerned, very few buyers I’ve ever spoken to have kind words for those tours. They generally despise them, as do I. People don’t view space by standing in one spot and spinning around in a circle like a top! It’s just not natural, and if a tour is not done well they’re also distorted and somewhat nauseating to watch.

    It was cutting edge technology in it’s time a decade ago, but that time is long gone – at least in my market area.

  • I think if done right they provide good context for learning about a property, and as such make for a good complement to stills of a room.

    From a business perspective, I think it’s critical for professional photographers to be able to differentiate their services from the “DIY alternative” and the equipment and expertise required to deliver a nice pano experience continues to be a solid differentiator that drives demand for professional photography services.

    On an empirical level it definitely varies very much by market. It’s an established part of pro packages in certain markets, and to my point above I think having it as a “must-have” in your market drives demand for your services. We continue to see a lot of strength in the pano portion of our product at TourBuzz and our great pano support is a big reason lots of people choose our platform.

    Beyond that, smartphone apps like Photosynth and Occipital 360 make DIY panos easy and fun, so I actually expect 360’s to become more prevalent in the future as more people are able to experiment with the format.

    Alan

  • We use 360’s as an upsell or way to get a little extra for each job. Personally I don’t like them, I think an interactive floor plan gives a far better idea of property layout (and is an even larger $$$ upsell). Looking at our tour stats when viewing 360’s numbers drop off dramatically, so much in fact that we now place them at the end of our slideshows. I figure if they stick around until the end of the tour… they’re going to stick around for the pans. This has resulted in viewers watching the tour longer. Before I don’t think they knew how to progress passed the 360 and simply stopped watching, this may have stopped them from seeing that special “IT” thing about the property that they may have fallen in love with.

    Personally I think the quality of our photos sell themselves and feel that 360’s are dated and in our market will only last another year or so. Small video clips mixed into the slide show has a far more dramatic impact… but I’m not sold on the solid video presentation the whole way through. I think the view has to have some control over the experience. Simply walking through the property or sitting and watching a narrated video separates the potential buyer from the process. This is fine for those that DON’T know how to use computers well… but for those that do, I think they want to be able to navigate the experience. Maybe it’s my ADD kicking in but I’d rather have control and see the property my way.

    So for us the best solution now is the slideshow mixed with video… on a floor plan… where the user can jump around room to room or if they aren’t tech savy… just sit back and watch. But I want them to have the option.

    Just my 2 cents
    Ryan

  • I have been shooting 360’s since 1996 and still find a great demand for them. 90% of our tours include panoramas and the traffic reports prove that they are still well received. Our client list reflects many, many repeat customers going back to 1996. I feel the main advantage of the 360 tours is the “stickiness” created by the interactive controls afforded the viewer and they can go back to any room easily and control the angle of view with their mouse.
    90% of people doing Real Estate photography either do not have the equipment or skills to produce quality 360’s or are vendors/photographers pushing a different technology such as video or “self service” slide shows. I do believe that video is a strong visual marketing tool for certain parts of a total marketing package such as “Agent Introductions” or “Neighborhood Tours” but lacks the interactivity that viewer appreciate when looking at the listing online. Also video is “linear”, meaning you generally have to view from the beginning to the end and cannot easily review a particular room without starting over. The “Ken Burns” effect slide shows are a poor substitute for real VT as they just display a “confined angle of view” in motion as opposed to allowing the viewer to look all around the room. The big push on this type of tours seems to come from vendors offering a more robust platform for Realtor’s that take their own photos or still photographers to easily package their work.

    Just my 2 cents – Happy New Year to all!
    Bill

  • I still offer 360’s but have gone from about 50% to 10% of clients wanting them. I also put them at the end of the tour now because viewers drop off.

  • I’m glad you posted this. I am thinking about buying the Manfrotto pan head this year and trying to include 360s as an upsell within my virtual tour package. With the tie-ins to the iPad that allow users to move the ipad to look around the room, I think it’s a pretty neat product. Just not sure I’m ready for the equipment cost and time to learn how to do pans!

    Do you all think that the iPad integration makes this a more viable product?

  • I’ve never used them and have no plans to start. In our Atlanta market, the “Egg” was the most commonly used device for the 360 capture and as a result, the images were almost always soft and poorly lit. In our market now, both in sales and rentals (where is work), standard photo slide shows (zoom/pan or straight on) are the gold standard.
    The real problem in our market is just that there are still way too many lousy photos from agents. It would not surprise me that we don’t see a ground breaking ethics case in the REALTOR or MLS arenas, that an agent is found in violation by using bad marketing photos on the listing. To me, this is just as if the agent is making a written or verbal statement about how bad the listing is and don’t bother looking at the house.

  • I initially started out shooting for Obeo and discovered that only about 5-10% of viewers took the time to watch the panoramas. Once I started shooting on my own I still offered the pans on the Tour Buzz platform but have always placed the 360’s at the end of the tour. Over time , demand for the panoramas have steadily decreased so I now shoot only 1 or 2 per month. Now that our MLS system can handle 18 photos, most of my clients prefer to have good quality stills rather than the panoramas. Tours with panoramas can be a good marketing tool for open plan homes but terrible for older homes with traditional floor plans. I’d say that most of my clients who ask for 360’s do so because their sellers asked for them, so it’s a good tool for signing up new sellers, but not particularly valuable as an effective sales tool.

  • The biggest difficulty I have with 360’s is…well…360. I do panoramic tours, but perhaps twice last year was any pano 360. Most panos are in the 90 to 200 range and I have to set that expectation when a person requests 360’s. Most homes can’t handle 360’s when setting the camera in the middle, vs a corner to corner sweep. That is also the achiles heel for the major players as their cylinder is based on 360 which then creates distortion and the “curved” walls. Where with Tourbuzz, it it is 127 degree sweep, you can set the cylinder to 127 and it corrects most distortion.

    I found that Realtors don’t use the tours (pano or slideshow format) even when free. My last firm contracted with Visual Tours and provided free as a DIY alternative. Even Visual Tour representatives and corporate trainers would come to staff meeting, training agents how, yet utilization was no greater than 5%. Likewise all agents in the area are eligible for a $2 single tour (or an enhanced $5/mo unlimited tours) though a special “member benefits” program with MLS and few use them. I find more demand, or expectation, from the homeowners which has given me some idead on how I market on the realestate side of my business. For example, just did a quick search on expired listing since Dec 30th to today and noow ethical for other Realtors to contact them. There were 360 expiration, of which 96 were priced over $250k. None of those has tours, an 5 only had 1 photo when 12 are allowed. Half of them had 10 or fewer photos. I see that as a prospecting opportunity – “Sorry your house didn’t sell after x# days with 3 photos and no tour. Talk to me about my marketing approach and experience the difference.” Hey, business is business, and if provided the opportunity…

    What I am see is a shift to video, including converting a slide show to video for posting on YouTube. I am having realtos ask me that…but of course don’t want to pay for it. I do have my first video shoot coming up this week! Should be interesting.

  • Panos are not popular in my market. I produce them occasionally upon request, which is not often. I use TourBuzz as a viewing platform for Ken Burns slideshows (which I refer to as a “Virtual Tour”). I am very pleased with TB & am looking forward to being able to insert video clips into my slideshows in the near future. The consensus among the many top producing brokers I serve is that most people won’t have the patience to sit through full video presentations. They do love the idea of short video clips in addition to stills, however.
    Alan & Paul (TB principles) are phenomenal!

  • We offer packages of stills and 360s in various ratios. I have one package of just stills alone which is seldom purchased. Nearly all requests include at least a few 360 panoramas. As of yet I’ve had no requests for video, but I anticipate that will change sometime in the future.

  • Oddly enough I just received a call about 30 minutes ago from the CEO of one of the largest virtual tour providers in the country, who does slideshows and panos. He’s looking to partner together to start incorporating video into their offerings as they are seeing a drop off in interest in panos, and more interest in doing video, especially for higher end properties.

    Interesting timing of THAT phone call…. we’ll see what happens!

  • Check out the panos created in 45 seconds on the iPhone 4S with the pixeet lens. http://www.pixeet.com

    http://www.pixeet.com/panorama/7CD84C6EDE91DE8C6177042456153A30?iv=V1

  • Interesting comments on the panos. I wonder if simply reducing the default duration of panos to the same as stills would improve things.

    From a statistics perspective, you have to realize that if a tour is on autoplay, and stills last 5 seconds but panos last 90, then of course in the stats it’s going to look like people don’t view as deep into tours with pans. I would love to similar stats for a tour with pans which have a 5-10s duration for pans (but of course the user still gets the benefit of interactivity with the pans as it pauses the autoplay timer). I bet that would have a huge impact on stats.

    I also really like the idea mentioned by Gary about partial pans. Doing a partial from the corner of a room gives a much better view and still gives you some of the greater context of the pano, I do think that’s a nice idea. I just looked in our system and presently about 20% of our panos are set up as partial pans. I have noticed over the years a lot of people using the partial pano features more regularly.

    I think that integrated video clip support will be very similar to partial pans with short durations as I see a lot of people doing what are essentially partial pans in video. I frankly think doing the same in a partial pan looks better due to better lighting, faster loading, and better quality so I am thinking there is really going to be something to partial pans with shorter durations.

  • i like the use of stills and panos…many older people don’t like the “spinner” if they have to click to look around they don’t, most agents like the aspect of you showing what the house should look like if they walked thru (without clicking a control or the next 360). some even distort the rooms so much it looks like a fish bowl, now you get into the aspect of potentially fluffing, you know the 8×10 room now appears to be twice as big, not good when the buyer gets there…some of the original 360’s are flash based and not viewable on smartphones or ipads and mac…so looking into the future i will continue to use what i have and fill the wider view need with stiched photos, it still give still gives more info and easier to shoot both stills and panos at the sme time…mixing it up keeps it fresh for the viewer. adding a short clip will be great, just don’t over do it or they will click away with their attention and our income.

  • I’m sure it’s the same people who have been “recruiting me” who have contacted Fred.

    Fred we should exchange emails and see what cards are been played here 🙂

    There’s 3 of the more popular ones that have reached out to me in the past 2 month so far looking to kinda partner up and step up their video game.

    You have to ask yourself is it worth it to YOU to partner up. Got to think they are reaching out to you for a reason? because your doing something they want or strive to offer. They all say you can still use your company name etc we put a photographers name in the corner but at the end of the day people recognize that video as one of the “tours company” product, no longer your independent company.

    Back to the topic no I don’t use 360 or have I ever I think I am too new to this. I see that as a dying breed and use it a lot of times to “mock” my competition in a presentation. Hard to compare that to HD video at the end of the day.

    Happy New Yr everybody!

  • I only do partial panoramas and a combination stills in my tours. I find that that 360 view is too distorted in most situations.

  • @alan
    you are right short pans are great and they are becoming more important to our work but that’s just because we need to meet the number ordered.

    As for video… there is not comparison. With video you can focus on a particular point of interest and then carry that over into another room or feature… with height and elevation adding the extra axis to your shoot that simply can’t be captured with a panorama. But Alan is right it is very difficult to make a short clip look as nice as a pan. It is very important to make sure that your lighting is on, especially if you plan on combining video and still. If it’s not bang on then the end product will look like a mixed batch of good and poor exposure.

    one thing is for sure, what ever we do… we have to be the BEST!!! if we don’t have the desire or the drive to learn and improve then someone else will eventually take our share of the pie. That said we can’t do everything, we at times even try to offer too much and it spreads us too thin or makes it difficult to offer equal service through all of our photographers.

    yes some are saying it’s the relationship with your client… and it is, until you can’t offer the “in demand service”… that very service that in the current market is being driven by the seller. Lately the majority of our NEW leads have come from home owners seeing our product and demanding from the agent that they get a similar product.

    Ryan

  • As a photographer/realtor, I quit shooting 360’s 5 years ago when one of my clients referred to the 360, not as a “Virltual” tour, but as a “Vertigo” tour. Then I began asking buyers what they thought about the 360 tour and several comments were, “Too long”, “Too Slow”, “It makes me dizzy”, etc. That was it. I quit. Has not hurt my sales one bit.

  • Larry, just to help clarify a point, my understanding of the iPix situation is as follows: the technology used by iPix was “invented” by Ford Oxaal. iPix filed Bankruptcy when Mr. Oxaal pursued the return of his “property”. The site is still iPix.com, however, the name of his company is Minds Eye View.

    As a Realtor that enjoys photographing my own listings, I will first say that I am far from a professional, but I think as far as Realtors go, I’m a pretty good photographer. I started using 360’s when I first started in Real Estate in 2003, but when iPix was down, so were my 360’s. That is until I found Tourwrist, in early 2011. I immediately purchased a white label App, Tour Homes 360, available on your iPhones and iPads. I invite you too download my App and judge for yourselves.

    Yes, its true, to produce a 360 as I do for my listings on my App, it involves more work, time, equipment and software. However, unlike most Realtors, I feel simply providing a VT using what is known as the Ken Burns Effect is cheap and easy; and is cheating my clients. Just my personal opinion as a Realtor with a conscience.

    I just listed a property in my city. I was competing against two other Realtors. One is the top the agent in the city. The other was an agent working for the #2 Brokerage in the city. Why did I get the listing? I pulled out my iPad and showed the sellers a scene on my App. The wife was so impressed I got the listing; $298k.

    As a Realtor I will be the first to admit that Realtors are willing to spend a ton of money marketing themselves to get listings and buyer leads. But when it comes to spending to sell a listing; well they won’t do it.

    In my opinion, as photographers, its up to you to tell your Realtor clients what is best going to market and sell their property. And more importantly, what is going to set them apart from their competition.

    I guess you can argue; are the greatest most successful companies or people in the world those that created something to satisfy a want, or those that created something that CREATED a want. I suggest Steve Jobs CREATED a want.

    Here is an offer you can’t refuse; find a Realtor that has been invited to a listing appointment. Suggest to the Realtor to show a tour on my App to his perspective customers (the sellers). If it gets him/her the listing, you can shoot and post the tour on my App; NO CHARGE. What will you and the Realtor get:

    1) Tour on Tour Homes 360
    2) Tour on Tourwrist and Tourwrist.com
    3) One page Microsite
    4) Embedding Code to place the scenes on any website

    I should also mention that I recently shot a Condo in Miami for a Realtor friend. That Tour appeared on Tourwrist as a Featured Tour. As a result it was viewed over 16,000 times in the first week. I’ll be happy to send my stats report to anyone that wants to use it to sell a 360 Tour.

    I just placed an ad in the local city magazine and it says: If a picture paints a thousand words, shouldn’t you care what those words are? Sure, you can make a living shooting boring stills and watch them move back and forth, in and out, blah blah blah. Or you can add some excitement to your business and to your Realtors listings.

    If you’re interested in speaking with Photographers that believe in 360’s you can contact:

    Chase at Kangamarketing.com or Jeff Handley at Tourwrist.com

  • I should also add, that when speaking to Web Developers, I’m told visitors to Real Estate Websites will not sit and watch video’s. Especially when they can use their mouse to spin around a room in two seconds. With a full 360 Pano, potential buyers can see from floor to ceiling; every detail of the home.

  • I just spent nearly a grand upgrading my site to support panoramas that are viewable on all devices including ipads and iphones (previosly they were offered via flash only). Most of my clients just order stills, some hate panoramas, some always order panoramas. Obviously they offer an enhanced view of the room and help the viewer understand the layout better than stills (not moreso than video, but cheaper than video). I agree that their popularity is waining, however, the fact is some RE clients expect them and moreso some homeowners expect them. I chose to upgrade my site to support them on iproducts simply because I want to be able to offer everything my client wants, and so far that has worked out pretty well. =)

  • @Ron-I find it hard to believe that you honestly think people rather grab a mouse and spin the room….and to say you can see “every detail of the home” is just as far fetched. Standing in the middle of the room doesn’t get you any detail at all. Detail means up close and personal and you do not get that from panos.

    Whoever the web developers are you are speaking to they need to educate them self’s on video if they plan on been in work much longer. “you are told” people will not sit and watch videos….

    Every big firm around now is promoting video more then ever and basically telling their agents that it will be mandatory if you want to compete in the near future. Coldwell banker just released a video before the new yr plugging it too, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sQAi2tRn84&feature=share

    Sotheby’s biggest convention ever in Miami just recently went on and on about video and how they were launching the new youtube channel. A few weeks later a video of mine I did for one of their agents locally was featured on the front of The Wall Street Journal’s extra ordinary living page. Not sure exactly how many hits that page gets a day but I am sure it gets more views in a day then the 16,000 per week you mentioned regarding your 360 tour.

    In all honesty my marketing is the exact opposite of what you are saying. I use 360’s side by side with my video product to show people what the difference in quality is and outdated marketing tools.

    I think you got lucky when you pulled out your ipad and got that listing , you are lucky that another agent did not have high end video to counter what you offered. It’s a visual world and side by side its like a lambo vs a honda….guess which is which. Tv/movies is the most expensive platform for media correct? Video in general. You still see stills on t.v, before movies in promos and features but do you ever ever ever see a 360 on T.V or a movie? NO not since 1992 when the odd travel channel would show some hotel lobby and even then far and few. Why, because its not visually appealing or realistic at all.

  • I would like to throw in my $.02 if you don’t mind. I have been a professional real estate photographer for about a year now. Originally I wanted to shoot just video tours, but that has obviously evolved into stills as well. I have never been a big fan of the 360 tours because they are not a “virtual” walk-through. To be honest, I am not a fan of a video tour that is 100% captured on a slider either. Neither tours are what I call a “virtual” tour. I want to walk through a home in the virtual world. If I can’t be there in person, then I want the next best thing. IMHO, a video walk-through tour of a home is the best way to capture the true feel of the home. You get a very nice room-to-room transition and a better sense of size.

    Here’s the thing. We all want the same end result. We help out the seller/realtor by providing photos and videos that “hopefully” drive buyers to the home. Is that correct? I can’t speak for everyone here, but I am damn proud of the work I do and I strive for nothing less than my absolute best EVERY job! I wish I could get feedback about all the homes I shoot. If buyers wanted 360 tours, then I would provide that. If they wanted all the pictures done in Crayola, I would do that as well. I can say this only about my own business. I ask everyone I meet what their preference is in regards to photos, walk-through tours and 360 panos. Pretty much everyone wants a few stills. However, not a single person I talked to, when comparing my walk-through tours and 360 panos, chose 360. Everyone wanted the walk-through tours.

    Creating professional photos and videos is a very time consuming business. Well, it is for me. Hehe. But you know what? I love it. I will bet that most of you love it as well. We love perfection. I will spend an extra few hours finishing a job if necessary. I will not hand in poor work at any cost! So…here is the big problem. Where do we draw the line on quality work and what we can charge people? I believe that this business is like any other successful venture. We as a community will create and grow this business. Times are changing. 360 tours are like a book. That’s where we started and that is all we had at one time, but now we make movies. Here is my analogy… Do you want to look at a photo album of your kids, or would like to see them playing in a live video?

    I would also like to make this last statement: Pick what ever method you like to capture real estate property. Be professional about your work at all times. Be proud of your efforts and strive to improve. I had no idea what to expect from this business when I started over a year ago but, I will tell you that this is a viable business for those willing to learn the profession and do amazing work. Don’t give your hard work away for cheap. My doctor isn’t cheap and neither is my lawyer. They sure as hell won’t give their services away at discount prices!

    Just my $.02

  • @Michael, I think the fact that Realtor.com has offered Video uploads for FREE since 2006,7 or 8 and we don’t see very many, if any, posted tells the story.

    Furthermore, the photographers at Tourwrist, me included, are having difficulty selling 360’s to Realtors because Realtors don’t want to spend more than $99.00. So instead, they take their little camera’s, take a few stills, load it into a slider, or whatever you want to call it, and for basically NOTHING they have a “Virtual Tour”. Now TourBuzz, which I happen to like, has introduced “Videos”. But there are in fact NOT video’s. They are instead the slider show posted on YouTube. My understanding is the the term Virtual Tour was born out of 360’s. Not from a still moving back and forth.

    Its obvious from your comments that you have yet to view my App or Tourwrist. I have. I have also shown them to others. I have shown Video’s to people and I’ve shown still photos. I assure you that the words and expressions I see and get when putting my iPad or iPhone in the hands of a buyer or seller don’t compare to sitting them down for a long, drawn out video. Its all about WOW. And Video’s are not WOW.

    I am a Real Estate Broker and somewhat of a Photographer. I’m confident I offer a much different perspective and an insight that many others can’t.

    But again, simply put, its all about the WOW factor. Present a Video of a home against a Tourwrist VT and the video will play in the background while the person spins in wow and amazement as they feel like they are standing in the room. I’ve seen this reaction time and time again. And HotSpots are on their way, which will allow viewers to “walk” through the home.

    I should mention that I am not stating all this in hopes of changing your minds and posting tours on my App. My business is doing fine. I just think that anything short of a 360 is cheating and should not be called a Virtual Tour and certainly shouldn’t be called a Video. I purchased the App from Tourwrist to get the advantage over other Realtors that just post stills.

    Oh, I should say this as well. A few months ago I contacted the owner of a $6m Ocean Front home. I scheduled an appointment for 10:30am. I went to the house at 7:00am, set up my tripod, rotator and camera. Shot the pics. Came home to stitch the scene. I returned at 10:30 and placed my iPad in the hands of the wife. Standing in her kitchen, she spun around viewing the front of her home like she’s never seen it before. Do that with a Video or stills…….

    Its the WOW factor.

  • I wanted to check some facts, so I visited On Location, Coldwell Bankers YouTube Channel. I searched a few different cities, New York, Los Angeles, Boston and areas of Florida. Very few videos and the videos that were posted had very few views. I searched a condo in Hollywood, Fla. There were three videos of units in the building; 5, 15 and 16 views over the course of 3 months.

    Photographers are hired to shoot a home. Rarely if ever do you see the hits/views of your work on Realtor.com, the MLS, etc… As a Broker I do.

  • Diff strokes for diff folks in the end of the day Ron. I shoot high end luxury homes and these agents would not be taken serious if they were skimping out and doing 360 tours….

    My videos have been featured on the wall street journal and fox news recently….dont see your 360 tours on there, maybe 5 yrs ago but not any more

    lol at video stats from 2006 etc, who was shooting video then? and high quality HD? Be realistic too 2006 people barely had to market to sell why would they.

    And its all good you believe in your product as do I but video owns the web not 360 tours and comparing them again is a lambo vs a honda all day long….

    I did check out your platform and I was with a broker who has close to 30M in listing right now and we had a good laugh.

    I think I will do a little video clip for this blog real time with some agents who only focus on luxury homes and get the legit feed back from the clients mouth.

    Still can not believe you really think grabbing a mouse and spinning a room is what people want lol it just reminds me of the 90’s been on a car website and been able to spin it….

  • Michael, I can only look at the numbers and I just don’t see the numbers (views) on Real Estate Videos. Yes, in general, Video’s are huge on the Net. There is no denying that. But not when it comes to Real Estate.

    If you re-read my post, my point was not to look at the video’s back in 2006; instead I stated that Realtor.com began offering the ability to post videos for FREE; whereas VT’s were still costing money for agents to post on Realtor.com. My point therefore was, that Video’s, by anyone’s definition, and of ANY quality, have NOT been accepted by Realtor’s, in general. Why? Because it costs too much. That is NOT a slight on you. It is however, on Realtor’s, as they are NOT willing to spend the money to market their listings.

    I think its great that you are doing well, with Video, however, shooting high end luxury homes, while lucrative, is small slice of the pie.

    Your mention, again, of using a mouse, suggests to me that you’re sitting at a desktop or laptop to view the tours. Yes, this is boring and old. The world of 360’s have changed, and they have evolved.

    As it would be foolish to for a videographer that once used the original Sony Handcam, to denounce Video’s based on that technology, (vs. today’s DSLR video, etc…), so is it to dismiss VT’s using today’s technology.

    As a Broker in South Florida, I can only look at what I see here. And I don’t see Video’s. You referenced Coldwell Banker. Well, I looked at their Youtube page, and NO one is looking at it. And I would suggest those that do, do not and are NOT sitting to view the entire video. No one has the time. Especially with the level of inventories. Too much to see equates to no time to sit and watch a Video. Today’s world, we are moving too fast.

    You continue shooting Video’s, and I’ll continue shooting 360’s. And when I stop getting the response I get when showing my App on an iPad, I’ll look for something else to market my listings.

  • I want to say to ALL photographers that do video tours or are thinking of doing videos tours. Video tours ARE viable! I just finished 2011 with a great year. I have NEVER had a bad comment about my videos and as a matter of fact, I have had many requests from buyers asking me for a copy of the video tour. Still think people don’t like videos? I have a video that has over 1000 views. The home is 3M. Tough selling 3M dollar properties in today’s market but people are watching. Are people watching the entire video? I cant confirm that everyone is but I’ll bet they want to see a 3M dollar home of that quality. But guess what, when someone has 400k to spend on a house and they can view them online and not run around with a realtor wasting everyone’s time and money, they ARE watching videos.

    @Ron, if using your 360 app is working for you, then that’s awesome. Stick with it!

    To all the rest of you, if you are planning to shoot video tours, I suggest you purchase good equipment, edit the videos properly and make them smooth, settle for no less than amazing, and you WILL have a business that WILL make you money. Good luck and let’s continue to work together. I believe this business will thrive over the next 5 years. Welcome to the world on online real estate video tours.

    @Larry, I just want to say you have a great site and your doing an excellent job!

  • Have to agree with Russ. In 2011, I shot over 500 video tours of home. I have never, EVER had a complaint or even a negative comment about my videos. EVER. In fact, 75% are thrilled to pieces, 24.999% are “jump in the air, do a little dance, sing a happy song and kiss me” ecstatic! I may have issues with a very, very few people, and those can be fixed in a few hours and they’re happy campers as well. I never imagined a business where EVERY customer is beyond happy and EVERY customer adores you. My clients even refer me to their competitors! Trust me, that doesn’t happen often when you’re dealing with the public!

    What is a constant comment from sellers is how much they dislike spin around tours – it is almost universal among people that I talk to (and I talk to sellers every single day about what I do). So when Ron mentions that people don’t like video for real estate, I have a hard time comprehending who he’s talking to as it’s just the opposite for me! Sellers love it – it’s the best listing tool out there today!

    As far as Tour Wrist, I was made aware of that APP at the Inman Real Estate Connect conference a couple of years ago. I downloaded, looked at a few things, thought it was cool, but gimmicky, and it seemed like an updated version of outdated technology to me. I never used it again, and deleted it about 3 months later.

    To put ANY marketing campaign on a proprietary format (like an iPhone or Ipad app) seems like a bad choice for me. Why would you only want owners of those devices AND only those who know and who choose to download the application to be able to view your listing? Trust me, I love my iPhone and iPads, but it’s still a narrow market. My videos are viewable on EVERY smart phone and EVERY computer on the planet at any time.

  • Fred, I understand what you’re saying. However, I never said “people don’t like video for real estate”.

    What I said, is that people tend not to want to sit through an entire video. Very different.

    I actually just watched a video, posted on today’s post, and thought it was very creative and unique. But sadly, MOST video’s are not of this quality.

    People that say “I don’t like spinning”, I suggest are looking at the technology that warps and distorts the scene. Just about every, OTHER, 360 I see posted to my local MLS, simply take a series of flat images, joined together and move around the room. The stitching is horrible and often reveals the seams. They also have limited field of views; maybe a few degrees above and below the Horizon.

    Also, the tours posted to Tourwrist, or my App, are NOT restricted to iPhones and iPads. They can be viewed on any desktop and any smartphone. The full and best experience is ONLY available on the iPhone and iPad. But I guess limiting yourself to the number ONE device in the world, was a poor decision. I’ll have to rethink that.

    I also find it interesting that while looking at taking a cruise in the spring, I visited the website for the Oasis and Allure of the Seas. The two largest passenger ships in the world. The home page has a promo Video. But to view various rooms throughout the ship, viewers have two choices; stills and 360’s. I wonder why Royal Caribbean has chosen an outdated format to market their multi-million dollar investments. Oh sorry, just googled it, $1.4B for each ship. Who wants to volunteer to call Royal Caribbean and break the news to them; you’re going to fail if you continue to use 360’s to market your ships.

    So far all I hear are quotes and opinions on outdated, old and cheap offerings of 360’s. iPix was the first to offer 360’s on the Internet and they are still here in 2012. Its not going away. Nor is Video. If I had my choice, I would prefer to watch a 360, have full control of what I’m viewing, and full control of the time I invest in viewing. All things out of my control watching a video.

    Have a good night,

  • I would say with the new 360 degree cameras hitting the market… and integration of 360 images/videos in both Facebook AND YouTube, that the use of 360 is probably going to be on the rise if anything.

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