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Tourbuzz Announces Tactical Video Tour At No Extra Cost

January 15th, 2012

On Friday Tourbuzz.net announced what they call “tactical” video on their tours. Tactical video is Clips are limited to 10MB (10-15 seconds) that you can upload just like still photos. As far as I can tell this is a completely a new concept to have short clips in a tour.

Here is an example of  a tour that demonstrates this new tactical video feature. I have to say the video is nicely integrated into the tour. You can use short clips just like stills and the tour just plays through the tour showing stills, panoramas or video clips.

However, as I told Paul and Allan at Tourbuzz, if I were putting together a tour what I want to do is put at least a 1:30 to 2:00 minute video as an introduction, probably at the beginning of the tour like a video introduction and then have the tour move into stills and or panoramas. I would happy to pay two or three times the the standard $12 tourbuzz price to be able to add a 1:00 to 2:00 video introduction!

I’d like to hear some reader feedback whether or not the concept of tactical video is something you think you like and can use.

 

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17 Responses to “Tourbuzz Announces Tactical Video Tour At No Extra Cost”

  • Good photos, but still a terrible design. Why can;t they make a simple interface without the clutter. This is better than a lot of them, but still not good.

  • We have a suite of several new design options coming out very soon. It’s essentially impossible to make a design that everyone likes, but we are the only company I know of that offers multiple choices for how the tour looks. We are using this to offer a choice that will hopefully please everyone.

    As for video, Larry that’s an interesting idea to simply have a 90-120s clip at the *front* of the tour, then move into the photos and panos. That is certainly something we will consider, rather than having a separate “tab” for long-form video.

  • I love companies who really listen to their clients and then actually do something about the feedback! This is a company I could get behind.

    That said, as a video provider this isn’t a product I would cater to for a lot of reasons but mostly because I don’t want to have to export a bunch of little clips nor would my clients 1) know how to download them or 2) have the time or computer bandwidth to download a bunch of video clips on top of photos.

    What I’d love to see is some type of tour that breaks the video element out completely and showcases it as its own feature. Maybe have two “bands” across the bottom, one for photo slideshow and the other for video? But, I know it’s not easy to design around the whims of everyone out there. 🙂

  • This announcement is great! I’ve been using Tourbuzz to host virtual tours for a couple of years and they have been very responsive to support questions and enhancement suggestions. I informed my clients yesterday of the new capabilities and the response has been very well received. I’ve got two shoots this week that would like me to include short videos with their tours.

  • I may take a little heat for this post but I’m going to throw it out here anyway. Apologies to everyone in advance.

    I’ve been using TourBuzz for about two years and cannot give enough credit to Alan and Paul for what they do. They’ve built a successful product by listening to the needs of their clients, and providing what we want. They also provide support as no one else can. In response to the comment above about clutter, there are several designs and they can all be customized.

    I think the tactical video is a superb idea. I have no interest in shooting full property videos because my market won’t support it. Tourbuzz does allow you to export the tour as a video slideshow at a low cost for those clients who want a video. I will be adding tactical videos to my tours due to the ease of production and the impact they can have on the property tour.

    Larry, I’ve been reading your blog for a couple of years and have found it to be a tremendous source of valuable information. I don’t claim to be a spectacular photographer, heck I only picked up a camera about 3+ years ago. (This is where I probably get myself in trouble!) It seems lately that your focus is more on videography than on photography, which is what drew me to your site. I miss this emphasis on photography. I understand that you are staying cutting edge and keeping us up on real estate marketing trends. I disagree with your idea of a 90-120 second into to the tour. I read your daily updates, as your site and your blog is the only one that I know of that pertains specifically to marketing real estate. One of the things that I do is spend an awful lot time talking to my clients about what they want from me. In addition, while I’m photographing homes I talk to the sellers (who in many cases are also buyers) about what they want and don’t want to see when they’re scouring the web looking for their next home. The message is always the same. Make it quick, make it impactful, make it beautiful. I don’t believe a 90-120 second intro will achieve this. My property tours are 1-3 minutes from start to finish. I’m actually hearing that 3 minutes on the high end may be too long. This is not an assault on Larry, just a different point of view with what works in my market.

    Alan and Paul, your pricing structure is fine. Some may pay 3 times your tour fee for that intro, but I wouldn’t. I suspect most of your clients wouldn’t either and would prefer to work the great options you already provide. Keep up the good work!

  • Without sounding like a cheerleader etc I did want to put my two cents in regarding TourBuzz and Alan. I was attracted to their product because it is high quality and easy to use. When I have run into questions regarding the use of the product Alan either answered the phone or called right back. This should be standard operating procedure but I live in Hawaii and the times he has responded were long after normal working hours. I didn’t expect him to call back my same day. I see nothing but good things in the future for TourBuzz.

    Mahalo to Larry for keeping all of us thinking.

    Ethan

  • I agree with Mark. First of all, I find TourBuzz to be perfect for me, and my clients seem to feel the same way. They have several designs, all of which can be modified. If you don’t like the way it looks, change it. On top of that, the customer service is superb. That’s rare to see these days.

    Secondly, if a buyer has to wait for a 1 – 2 minute video to download and play before they get to see photos of the home, they will be moving on to the next one. You have about 3 seconds to gain their attention. You better use that 3 seconds to show them something that’s going to keep them from moving on to the next listing.

    Lastly, I too am disappointed to find mostly posts here about video lately. I’m here daily and have learned a great deal. However, video is something that doesn’t interest me at this time. I realize a lot of people are embracing it, but I personally would like to see more posts about photography.

    Just my 2 cents.

  • Larry it is great to see the development of Hybrid Videos, not that the purists will agree, market feedback here is calling for a bridge product to help Agents see the benefits of video to their personal brand.
    the prediction is that we will become videographers who also supply still images rather than Photographers who provide the occasional video.
    The applications are mutually beneficial to a well constructed marketing campaign and are not mutually exclusive.
    They will be used together to improve the value to the viewer for long into the future.
    Congratulations to Tourbuzz for utilising Ken Burns effects on the stills in the interactive floorplan. Video clips are ideal to bidge transitions between rooms which stills cannot always convey
    PFRE is included in my daily diet and this is dessert

  • Martin,
    I tend to agree that at least for awhile, we will be seeing more of the hybrid videos. In addition to being a photographer, I’m also a realtor. Clients I have worked with have told me they prefer just photos, but several of the agents who use me for photos want virtual tours and video. The thing about a video is if the buyer wants to look at the kitchen again (or any room), they have to watch the entire video again. With photos, they just go to the photo. Sometimes I think we tend to embrace new technology because it’s new, not because it’s what the end client actual wants. I’ve watched several videos of properties, and many of them simply look like the Ken Burns affect applied to a photo or a partial panorama of a room. There is no doubt that video works well when selling lifestyle. I’m just a photo guy, I guess.

  • Thanks for everyone’s continued feedback. My purpose in doing this post is simply help Paul and Allan get feedback on their new feature. As with most things in life there isn’t a simple either or solution the best solutions are usually more complicated than that.

    @Mark- I’m sorry you feel you are going to “take heat” for expressing your opinion… everyone opinion is welcome here as long as it doesn’t involve personal attacks. Actually it appears more people agree with you that me on this subject… that’s great, I don’t expect everyone to agree with me.

    @Larry- I don’t know where you get the idea that it takes the buyer 1-2 minutes to download a video before it plays YT, Vimeo, and iPlayerHD videos all start playing essentially instantly. As far as too many post here on PFRE on video… I’ve been purposely working at a more balanced coverage of video in the last 3 months or so and my new upcoming magazine style blog template will allow those who are not interested in video to more easily ignore the subject.

  • Larry,
    Just to clarify, I know a video doesn’t take 1 – 2 minutes to download. I stated download and play. In your post you suggested a 1 – 2 minute video intro. My point is buyers aren’t interested in taking that much time.

  • I think we all just need to agree that different markets support and embrace different technologies. There really is no right or wrong, but I do think it’s important to look at what BUYERS think, not what photographers think! After all, that’s the most important perspective.

    Personally I like ONE page that has an option to view a full screen slideshow AND a full, HD video – both on the same page. That’s what I’ve been doing for 6 years and seems to cover all bases. If people don’t want to watch the video, that’s a choice, but they can see it’s available.. and vice versa. Seems to cover all bases that way…

  • @Fred- I just looked at your web site and don’t see a demo with the slideshow and video on one page. Do you have an example link available?

    Great conversation on this topic. I think video is important for everyone to *understand* as it will impact how you market and sell yourself even if you don’t use it. Like Fred says this will vary by market; we see some markets where floorplan attach rates are 30% and others where it’s basically nil and same spread with panos. I would expect similar results in other markets. Sometimes all it takes is one company that does a great job to establish a standard in a market, for instance I am sure Fred’s presence in his market has popularized video and driven demand for it. Other markets might stay photo-centric.

    Personally I think that interactive tours are better for homebuyers since they are quicker to get a sense of the property than sitting thru a video. When I search for homes in my area I basically cancel any video that pops up and look for a photo gallery or interactive slideshow as I know that I can look at pics way faster than having to sit thru a 1-2 minute video. I think this fact will keep photos as a core marketing feature *forever* no matter how good we all get at video.

    That said, if I am interested in a house, I will go back to the video since I want to see the “richer” presentation that I expect from the video with voiceover, neighborhood info, etc.

  • @ Larry – My fear of heat was based upon some negative feedback after I commented on another RE blog that video in fact was not sweeping the country and was not being demanded by all who were buying or selling a home. It’s refreshing to see others who see that the grass is just as green on this side of the fence.

    I think the key in any market is to listen to what the home sellers/buyers are telling you. They are the end user of our product, not the Realtors. Having sold real estate for a long time, I can tell you that Realtors will jump on “most” any bandwagon when they are told it will sell their listings. Time and time again marketers would appear at our sales meeting hyping the latest software, gadget, or crystal ball guaranteed to get them noticed and sell their homes. Now I one of them! (to a lesser extent, anyway.)

    I’ve been asked by Realtors if I can post their tours to YouTube. When I ask what they plan to do with the video, the response is usually the same. “I dunno. I just want it on YouTube because I’m told I should.” Well, who’s telling you? The home sellers/buyers? Your Broker? Read it in a blog? I’m met with blank stares when I tell them that YT only hosts the video and that unless they direct traffic to the video on YT that it may never get viewed. They don’t get it. The home sellers/buyers that I’m talking to tell me that all they want is for their home to look great! Videos can be flashy and impress, the seller and make them puff out their chest with pride, but are they more effective than well produced and displayed still photography for the average home? How can you track one’s decision to buy a home based upon a video vs. professional still photography? Are homes with video selling faster than homes that were simply marketed with professional photography? Or are Realtors just spending more money? If there’s proof to support that, I’m buying new rigs for my 5DMKII!

    The other thing we have to consider is the economy. I know conventional wisdom says that in tough economic times it’s more important then ever to market, market, market those homes. But with real estate boards across the country reporting down sales, we have to balance effectiveness of what we offer with affordability. Many Realtors have told me they’re tired of spending money on homes that aren’t selling regardless of how much money they spend to get them noticed. The flashy videos maybe necessary for the high end clientele but Joe the Plumber or Joe the Middle Manager just want effective.

  • Alan:

    This is what I use for my listings.

    http://bit.ly/witcsa

    This appears on all MLS listings on all websites as a “virtual tour” or “360 degree tour” like on Coldwell Banker here. (have to work on that terminology!)

  • One of the biggest things I like about this tactical video and Tourbuzz (aside from the support like others here have mentioned) is that I have the OPTION to use it! The right tool for the job is what I say. Some clients want full video, some want just still shots, and some will like tactical video. Combine the ability to use it with a format I can customize and a layout that will size to the window it’s being displayed in and it’s a great idea to me! I don’t like those tour layouts that give you a tiny little box in the middle of a screen that stays the same size regardless of my widescreen monitor. This is a big improvement. Looking forward to the new designs, too!

    Tim

  • I wanted to share the best use of tactical video we have seen so far. Frank Zrinsky of Motion City Media:

    http://tours.motioncitymedia.com/44495
    http://tours.motioncitymedia.com/46930
    http://tours.motioncitymedia.com/47350

    He shot B-roll of a community and was already able to use it on two listings.

    Paul

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