Long Time Seattle Real Real Estate Photographer Expands To Video

December 15th, 2011

Dan Achatz, a long time Seattle real estate photographer has expanded into video. Yesterday Dan pointed out to me yesterday that he has a new website that focuses just on marketing real estate video.

I asked day what his perspective is on the market for real estate video in the Seattle area. Dan said:

It’s growing pretty quickly. The big problem is getting all the real estate web sites to point at the distribution site. All of the companies (Windermere, Coldwell Banker, John L Scott ….) can handle the embedded video. The MLS is more of an issue. It does not seem to be set up for it, so an agent is on their own when it comes to distribution, Coldwell Banker is not going to sweep in a Windermere video and visa versa. The best thing seems to be putting a QR code to the video right on the sign.

Dan is not the first to mention the difficulty of how to distribute video. This seems to be a common problem. And as my previous posts this week on listing my home in Snoqualmie Ridge there are only a handful of tours that allow video to be integrated.

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36 Responses to “Long Time Seattle Real Real Estate Photographer Expands To Video”

  • That seems so weird to me. Why won’t your MLS allow a link to a VIRTUAL TOUR (not an embedded video like, but just a link to an external tour?). I’ve never heard of an MLS not allowing that option. You should start a revolution and bring them into the 1990s!

  • As weird as it sounds to say, Fred, maybe we’re spoiled with our MLS out here. (Never thought I would utter those words…) It seems so logical for an MLS to provide a link to an external tour. Is this just a Seattle issue, or are there other MLS systems across the country not getting it? Based on Larry’s last paragraph this is a “common problem”. Seems weird to me, too.

  • I’m certainly no expert but that introductory video on My Seattle Real Estate Video is fabulous, IMHO.

  • We’re very close to releasing an integrated solution for this in TourBuzz. We are going to offer both branded and unbranded video hosting and it will be integrated into the core tour interface. Not only will you be able to use “tactical video clip” integrated in with stills and panos, there will also be a separate section for a 3-4 minute video tour. There will also be “embed” widgets so that the tour can be embedded on other sites as well.

    Several MLS’s are starting to offer a 2nd slot for a video link in addition to the virtual tour, but if your MLS doesn’t offer that then having an integrated hosting solution will be the way to go.

    I think that this will offer the best of both worlds for agents looking to add video to their real estate portfolio.


  • Just goes to show you. Real estate is “Location…Location…Location”!
    Photography is “Lighting…Lighting…Lighting”!!!
    Nice to see the 2 come together so nicely!!

  • That is a fantastic video. Keeps you riveted. What type of equipment are you using to shoot these videos? With DSLR’s having HD video now the move is compelling but I have not fully explored all that is needed. Sliders, external mics, etc… Once again great job!

  • The video is very nice, but sorry.. the website is awful!
    Dan, how much time did you spend on this site? It looks very unprofessional and to be honest like a 10 year old made it in about 10 min.
    Sorry to be brutally honest but with so many options out there, having a nice clean site that is SEO and mobile friendly and is a must.
    While it is mobile friendly, it is messed up in IE (still the most popular browser). You have ZERO content on the site with is needed for SEO.
    Im not a videographer but do dabble in real estate photography for my Wife (who is an agent). I am in web design and can tell you that your website is the first thing people see on the net and gives the first impression…you really need to spend some time on yours.
    Sometimes doing it yourself isnt the right way, especially if you dont have the skill or knowledge… after all isnt that what most of the videographers and photographers are telling the agents all the time?

  • Greg, Canon 5D MKII, various Canon Lenses, Glideshot Jib, Konova Slider, Daylight Temp Lighting.

    Dave, it’s retro :-), and it works well on iPHones, iPads, and Droids. That was my number two design consideration. Number one was that you could play any video full size instantly.

  • Once again Dan, your showing which direction to go in quality. Glad it ran perfectly on my mobile device, and I’m glad your website design gets out of the way so I can get to the video quickly.

  • I’ll have to make a few adjustments too it. I might have caught it if there was a Mac version of IE. Funny I thought HTML5 was HTML5. I had no idea that Microsoft played by different rules.

  • I think you turned those lamb shanks way too soon for my liking

  • Very nice, Dan! Loved the videos…but that is also the problem. Not the website design, but content. It essentially has 3 videos. The auto-runnibg on the home page, the one under videos (plural) menu and the one under agents (plural) menu. Granted the portfolio may be limited at this time, if you don’t have additional to publish as selectable thumbnails, you may want to change the menu to singular “video”. Also might want to consider adding bulk with a new text based page about video, benefits, rha.rha, building the buzz. Just a suggestion.

  • IMHO the videos are great, but I do agree with Dave about the website, you may think it is “retro”, but it comes across as clip art.


  • Great photography, Dan. Terrible use of video. Absolutely terrible.

    When are photographers going to learn that video needs to be more than a moving slide show? That consumers find this type of video annoying and shun them and, if they remember they agent at all, it’s in a negative light?

    Photographers who approach video in this fashion are retarding the adoption of genuine real estate video. They’re also degrading their very real value by setting themselves up to be price-benchmarked against the companies that produce this sort of junk video on an automated basis.

    As to distribution, there’s only one word anyone needs to know: YouTube. Failing to distribute real estate video via YouTube is videographic malpractice of the worst order.

    Educate your agents about the search engine and marketing and branding value of having their own branded YouTube channels and promoting them in their email signatures, on their websites and in all of their marketing materials. There are a ton of valuable URLs still up for grabs because 99.999999% of agents are too inept to realize their value.

  • …the agent…

  • Joe – got any links to RE video that you do like?

  • I like Dan’s video style, and I think the website is respectable, although it could be better.

    I looked at one of Joe Zekas’s videos and couldn’t even get through 20 seconds of it. Production quality is, in my opinion, amateurish. Hand-held and jerky; he zooms way out and the agent’s figure is lost in the immensity of the ultrawide view. Sound quality is poor. Sorry to be so blunt, but if Joe is going to dish it out, he better be able to back it up with something superior, and he can’t. Who cares if it has great SEO if it isn’t worth watching. Dan’s video is, in my opinion, less information than inspirational. It aims to to give a sense of the ambiance of the place, not to show every last inch of it. Dan’s ultrawide stills can provide plenty of information, and they have their own kind of appeal as well.

  • I like it, its elegant and has an artistic feel and i’m glad you got in those wonderful views:-). I personally would love to see even more in a property vid, ie the surrounding area, restaurants, clubs, shopping;-) etc. As for the site design, at least its clean, and i’m sure you will end up with a more professional looking one like your main site once you get going with the vids.

    And agree, having your own youtube channel would help too, its the 2nd biggest search engine after Google – as long as you tag your vids properly.

    Joe, i’m sure someone was shouting at me in one of your vids;-))).

  • I am not going to comment on Joe’s videos, they seem to work for him and he does alot of them. Im still confused as to why he feels the need to rip apart another, completely different, style of video that seems to absolutely be working for many photographers/videographers. The fact that Larry had Malia fly out to do this exact style of video shows that many agents DO like it.

    Dan is using IplayerHD, which is far superior in video quality than the default 360p of youtube. Joe also fails to realize that nobody watches his tiny videos, they instead click to watch over on youtube at a decent size.

    I think Joe missed the #1 rule of SEO…to keep visitors on YOUR site/domain.

    Youtube is great as a secondary video distribution site (for SEO), in addition to a quality primary video host. Throw every video on youtube with the information and a link pointing over to your site/domain and the main “quality” video…you cant beat that for link building.

    As a videographer you always want to show your videos in the best possible quality as every video is not only showing the house but also showcasing your work. And im sure agents want the house shown at the best possible quality.

  • Congrats Dan, I have been a fan of your work for sometime now as you know. But you have once again raised the bar with your intro video. Stunning images blended with the perfect suttle sound track. Masterpiece, how will you find the extra time to manage the extra work ?

  • David,

    The production quality of our videos is amateurish when viewed from the standpoint of a professional photographer or videographer. Very amateurish. Subpar. Etc.

    It’s not amateurish (I hope) from the only standpoint that matters – reaching an audience of potential buyers and giving them a sense of how the home flows and lives that they don’t get from stills or faux video or print.

    I’ve been doing consumer-focused real estate media for 25 years. We listen to what home buyers want and only secondarily to what real estate agents want. If real estate agents want the kind of video that makes photographers happy we refer them to someone else.

    You might not be able to watch our videos, but YouTube’s engagement metrics tell us that consumers watch them.

    Consumers tell us, loud and clear and often, that slide shows with music are unwatchable regardless of the quality of the photography. They’re angry when they’re promised video, click a link and don’t reach what they expect video to be. They’re irritated by narrated video that sounds like a scripted commercial, and tune it out quickly.

    The majority of real estate agents, sad to say, have yet to learn that you don’t sell homes by irritating your potential buyers.

    Our primary YouTube channel, with more than 1,900 videos, is:

  • With all due respect, aren’t you guys getting tired of this debate? It’s completely pointless. You may as well substitute “walk through style” and “cinematic style” with Mac vs PC or Canon vs Nikon. It’s incredible to me that people honestly believe that one style is right for every marketing plan, for every market, for every viewer. It’s even more incredible to me that people are making arguments in terms of right and wrong. Just incredible…

  • I’m with Malia…..BORING

    I cant help but wonder why guys like Joe feel the need to rip others work, especially when the person is not even in their area! It seems like every other week there is some clown posting that their style is best and every other style is garbage either on this site or one of the many others.

    If you really feel your videos are the best Joe, stick with them….and good for you. What EXACTLY are you trying to accomplish here? Are you hoping to convince Dan to lower his PERSONAL standards, downgrade his equipment and start producing videos like yours?

    You have no idea what the market is like in his area, so you kinda make yourself look like a fool when you comment on what marketing should be used (video in this case)

    But…Joe, I do have to say Im not sure who ever told you that your videos are “giving them a sense of how the home flows and lives”?

    In the video titled “A Lake View studio model with character” You are panning and zooming individual rooms with some guy yelling at the audience……how exactly does that show the flow of a house/condo?

  • Chris,

    I admire Dan’s photography, and said so at the outset. I respect the talents of good photographers, and have hired and referred work to a number of them over the years.

    There’s only one room in the Lake View apartment. Sorry you missed that, but Chicago renters grasp it instantly from the word “studio” in the title. The video addresses a common objection to the type of building it’s located in, and points out some of the unit’s and the location’s comparative advantages in the market.

    Renters / buyers tell our clients the videos work by mentioning them in a positive fashion when initiating a relationship. We pay attention to consumer feedback – something that’s difficult to gain from the beautifully produced “videos” that hardly anyone watches.

  • This debate IS getting very, very old. I always thought the BIG debate should be to get people away from twirly, warped “virtual tours” and still photos zooming “slideshows” to real video. Now the debate is the STYLE of video?

    I think getting folks to starting to see the amazing benefits of using video in their marketing should be the main goal and objective here, not the style. Everyone has their own style and if that style doesn’t work for the agent for whatever reason, they won’t be using that videographer any more – it’s kind of that simple, isn’t it?

    Whether it’s walk throughs, sliders, lifestyle videos, naked men in black and white videos… or even just using a tripod and panning the room – I think we should all just be grateful that video finally getting some attention and some traction! Trust me, in 2005 I couldn’t get anyone to even TALK to me about video…. let alone concern themselves with the “style”! LOL

  • I still think you turned that lamb way too early

  • “We pay attention to consumer feedback – something that’s difficult to gain from the beautifully produced “videos” that hardly anyone watches.”

    I see no logic in this statement. You’re saying you can only pay attention to consumer feedback if you produce your style of video? Sorry, Joe but you’re losing more and more credibility with each post you write here.

  • Really nice work, Dan. The web design stays out of the way of the product and it looks just fine, I think. As to all the posits about how and how often and what and what if, well, we all get an opinion, and the most important one for me is the buyer. If the agent is happy and is getting the results they want, then the product is matched to the buyer. It is obvious to me that Dan used thoughtful care and professional skill in his choice of shots and in his execution and the result is very nice. Easy to watch. Great length. I strongly suspect that if agents want something different than was shown, they will talk about it and adjustments will be made. I mean not all of them cook and eat lamb, so right there is something to talk about. About the lamb, not sure about when to turn it, I rarely cook it and I cook it rarely, so could have been just right. Sure looked good. Thank you for showing this to us Dan.

  • At last……. the Grand Master of property video has spoken! Thank you Fred Light for chipping in. I aspire to reach your standards………. what you say is fine with me.

  • Malia,

    How do I lose credibility by your radical distortion of what I wrote?

  • Joe, give it up…you are becoming a bore.

  • okay the lamb is burning now – can someone turn it please ?

  • DAN, great start into video, I see from the demo video you have a slider & crane, nice use of both. There are different styles of video, seems to be the issue with the comments, do what your Realtor clients want, that is what will sell. No matter what the style, different for different parts of the country or the world, heavens just take a look at what Brett is doing down-under, but no one in the USA will pay the price of a true production, but there is plenty of room in between, keep em coming. NOTE: For MLS use a property address web site, one page, auto play embed the video, as most boards will now allow a URL address in the listing, just like a V-Tour, spot, is a easy work around. Cheers, Rusty

  • Liked it thought it set a sense of style and feeling for the home. Great work Dan…. !

    M. James

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