Ubuildtours – An Inexpensive Alternative For DIY Tour Hosting

December 12th, 2007

Mike Martin, a real estate photographer that works out of Gig Harbor, WA pointed out to me that is a do-it-yourself tour hosting service that is very inexpensive ($5/tour). For $5 you get a lot: Flash or Java, Ken Burns panning, unlimited photos, cylindrical panoramas, all the usual links, down loadable files for CD or DVD. Actually these tours are a good value.

Now that I’m primarily a Mac user, I get really cranky when I have to turn on my old Windows machine and is one of those sites that makes me have to use windows as it only supports IE browsers to create tours or just see their site. Ubuildtours themselves can be accessed by any browser. If you are viewing ubuildtours with IE7 there is a nifty little resizing tool at the bottom right hand side that allows you to re-size the tours to much larger size. But if you are running any other browser the resizing feature isn’t there. This browser specific non-sense is in the finest MLS tradition… You can’t log-on to the NWMLS with anything but IE either.

As I told Mike, the only downside I see to ubuildtours (besides the IE thing) is the relatively small image size. The impact of large images (at least 800×600) is significant. Showing large images of a properties is the primary benefit of having a virtual tour these days because all the broker sites and have plenty of dazzle without virtual tours. A virtual tour, I think, needs to go to well beyond what all the real estate sites do and go for maximum impact and be special. Image size is almost the only effect you have left to dazzle people with these days.

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8 Responses to “Ubuildtours – An Inexpensive Alternative For DIY Tour Hosting”

  • […] larry placed an interesting blog post on Ubuildtours – An Inexpensive Alternative For DIY Tour HostingHere’s a brief overview […]

  • Hi Larry,

    We offer a similar ‘do-it-yourself’ service in Canada called and are currently trying to reach out to the freelance photographer community.

    Our hope is that photographers up here will use our product as an added value for their real estate clients.

    With this in mind, I was wondering if you (or your readers) would be interested in giving an assessment of UniqueHomeSites – from the perspective of the photographer?

    We offer unlimited still photo uploads, seamless YouTube and Google Video integration, and a panoramic viewer.

    If you (or your photographer readers) are interested in giving us feedback, you can register for a free account at:

    And, don’t worry about hurting our feelings with your comments…. sometimes its hard for us to see the forest because of all the trees. Plus, we want to make our product the best it can be for photographers.



    P.S. Your blog is a great resource for us… keep up the good work!

  • @William,
    Sure, I’ll look over your site and tours later today and do a review post on it soon. I’m sure we can give you feedback from a variety of diverse points of view.

  • IE only is a HUGE downside in my opinion.

  • According to David at, Mac compatibility and a high resolution tour are coming early next year. The resolution is going to quadruple.

  • I agree with Aaron. IE only is not a good idea, it’s a lousy browser! Being Mac friendly will be a big plus.

  • […] Martin pointed out that has done a major upgrade. Back in December I did a post on This new update has a bunch of […]

  • David’s Ubuid Tour is unquestionably one of the best tours, not just for the money….just one of the best tours. He now offers two styles of tours although the new large format tour missed the mark I think it’s fair to say he’ll go back and revisit it in the future.

    I don’t think it’s fair for William to say he offers a similar product when David get’s 5 bucks to host a tour and William appears to ask 69.00 for a tour.

    It is my hope that someone, maybe David, will make a tour that provides for a seamless flow between stills and true video, or just a picture path provider that drives their tours off of video as opposed to flash.

    I do think the day of the video camera is upon us!

    Steven Schafer

    Follow the link if you want to see what you can do with a Ubuid tour.

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