Integrate Stills and Video For Great Real Estate Marketing

January 9th, 2012

Malia Campbell recently showed me this life style approach to real estate video that she shot for Troy Anderson a Seattle agent that is beginning to use video in his marketing.

This style of video takes more planning, fore thought to plan the story you want to tell but it can give far more feeling for the total neighborhood. I like how this video shows the Seattle skyline in the general area (this is what you may see going to work if you lived here) as well as the local coffee shop (essential part of Seattle life) and the local farmers market. While you don’t see every last room, you see two of the most important rooms, kitchen and living room in actual use by the current owners of the property. This video gives a great overall feel for what you would experience if you lived in this Georgetown neighborhood which is a huge factor to someone moving to this hip close-in Seattle neighborhood. Combine this video with a series of stills and you have great marketing! Great job Malia!

From previous discussions we’ve had here It’s clear that great marketing involves a mix of stills and video. It looks like Malia also shot a nice series of stills for Troy which he has on the listing site for this home. On this listing site Troy is forced to have the stills in a slideshow at the upper left of the page and hope that viewers will notice the video embedded in the page on the lower right side of the page. On my screen (27″ iMac) I have to scroll down to see that there is even a video down there. Because of this screen placement over half of the visitors to this page will probably not see the video. This video is such an important part of marketing this home that it needs to be up there with the photos in the upper left side of the page. Of coarse this is not in any way Troy’s fault. The slide show code on his site template just doesn’t support embedding of video in any place he wants it.

I believe the lack of ways to easily integrate video with stills on real estate sites is currently an  impediment to the widespread use of real estate video! Visitors don’t want to click a separate link or go to some other location on the page to see the video. You should be able to insert it anyplace in the slide show so it gives an integrated experience to the viewer. The people that coded the slide shows were just never charged with supporting video in an integrated way. Most brokers sites, regional and national sites (,,, etc.) have this exact same problem. They deal with stills but for video you have to click some other link or go some where else. Part of the issue is that 2 minutes of video is around 150 MB. But I believe this issue can be circumvented by just allowing slide shows to embed YouTube video so the real estate sites don’t have to host the video. My listing tour on shows how this is possible. The problem is you have to notice the video button on the tour and click it so the integration is not very smooth or elegant.

I know smooth, elegant integration is possible because tourfactory  has it. So does SlideshowPro. There may be other sites as well. There is really no reason that video can’t be a standard feature of real estate slide shows. I suggest that we start a movement to promote tighter integration of stills and video on all real estate sites. How about calling it Occupy real estate slide shows? We could camp out at the Zillow corporate headquarters at 2nd and Union in Seattle since it’s the biggest national site. Perhaps we should wait until July or August though. It’s too damn cold right now to live on the street in Seattle.

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10 Responses to “Integrate Stills and Video For Great Real Estate Marketing”

  • We will be releasing integrated video clips on our TourBuzz platform in the very, very near future. We have had a lot of excited feedback from customers who tested the technology and I think you’re right in that being able to integrate stills and video seamlessly will open up the doors to some innovative new tour techniques!

  • A well done video. Love the lifestyle approach.

    I’m also impressed with the video integration capability of TourFactory, which I didn’t know existed. Seriously though, I’ve been thinking about moving away from this product and just going right to video, which of course, can accommodate stills as well. Is there any clear benefit that you see to adding video to a tour platform, instead of just creating a straight out video?

  • Definitely liking the stylish video – gives me great ideas and I look forward to seeing more. With equipment in the mail, we’ll be offering videos soon as well. Out of curiosity, when you include on site audio are you using the on camera mic or do you use an external mic? I haven’t shot video for real estate before but plan on including agent interview style shows and just opted for a shotgun mic with a muff/boom. Being a bit of an audiophile this may be overkill but I didn’t really know which route to go and opted for the highest quality even though it may turn out to be impractical.

  • TourFactory does have a great platform for integrating stills, pans, and video clips all into the same tour. We also have a really great syndication package to help your video get even more exposure.

  • I like that Malia has used the outside to bring us into the home which many ought to consider. I have just uploaded one I shot not so long ago and made sure I included a load from outside. However, i’m based in Italy and believe it would certainly be a waste not to, especially since i’ll be attracting those from overseas!

  • Great photography is so important to marketing a home for sale. Loved the article. Thanks for sharing!

  • I agree with Susan about using the outside to bring the viewers inside. In this video Malia is presenting a lifestyle, not just a house. Excellent.

  • Great videography. I have never seen video marketing where it was selling the lifestyle of the home like this one does. I will integrate some of these ideas into our future listings.

  • Here’s another “lifestyle” type ad done by one of my Royal LePage colleagues in Regina, Canada. It’s worth looking at for anyone interested in this type of marketing.

  • Thanks Norm! Very nicely done.

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