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Delightful Job of Marketing a House Boat Property

Published: 12/10/2007
By: larry

Levi and I were just enjoying the delightful job of marketing that Rick Miner (a local Seattle Realtor who specializes in waterfront properties) after getting an e-mail flyer from Rick promoting an open house he's having this Sunday (10/14) at his house boat listing. I just had to pass this on. Rick is a Realtor that understands the power of strong photography and uses it well. He is another Realtor that uses large slide shows for property sites. He mixes in a little levity with his rubber ducky branding. Also, the brightness of all the images (this is not easy in Seattle!) provides a positive, up-beat feeling. If I were going to be in Seattle this weekend I'd go drop in just to congratulate Rick on his marketing job.Update: Aaron Leitz tells me he did the photography for Rick. Also, note that if you click on About Rick on his website that Rick is a former Hollywood Producer/Director... this explains his high visual standards!

12 comments on “Delightful Job of Marketing a House Boat Property”

  1. Ted,
    The slide show uses Java.

    Downside of Java is only 87% of buyers can see the slide show without doing a large/ugly Java download and, what is actually a bigger problem in the Seattle area is many potential buyers who are Microsoft employees refuse to load Java on their machines (because Sun, Microsoft's arch rival, invented and distributes Java). This is a good reason that Seattle area Realtors should never use Java.

  2. This is another example of how great photography wins over the fad of 360 degree turns. People need to get over their prejudices about who owns what. Java is a standard that can’t be ignored. This is a delightful slideshow. And the photography makes it so. It’s better than most so called “virtual tours” ever could be.

    PS. I just received a new “refurbished” laptop from Dell (a Windows XP Pro system). I had no problem installing Java (simple and quick).

  3. Michael,
    You have to project yourself into the role of a tour/slide show visitor. When you are looking through hundreds of homes you are expecting to click once and see something... if things don't work you move on! You have no interest in figuring out why it doesn't work, and where to go to download and install something to fix this Realtors marketing problem.

    It's not an issue of being simple and quick! When the tour or slide show doesn't work users typically don't even know what the problem is other than not pictured displayed. Typically nothing comes up and says "Java not installed... go to to and download and install a free copy of Java".

    The point is: if a Realtor's tour doesn't just WORK with one click their marketing $ are wasted. With java tours will not work at least 15% (my anecdotal data suggests this number is much higher). All Realtors have to do to improve this to number to 0.9% is use Flash. It's a no brainer!

  4. This isn't a Java slide show! it's a JavaScript one, and it's a completely different beast. Java is a full-blown environment created by Sun without any ties (except the consonance) with JavaScript, which is a small script language for web browsers created by Netscape. Every web browser since 1997 is compatible de facto, the compatibility is broader than flash. Except for the too large images, it should be OK for cell phones, corporation-crippled browser, anything. Loading is instantaneous.

    Even Flash is too much for such a simple thing as a slideshow. look at the source code of Rick's page, it's really easy to understand.

  5. Aaron's work is superb, magazine quality. I'm not really passionate about real estate itself (un comble!), but this is really drawing me, as I can say that I could live here, and this is what I want to hear from my clients as an agent. As it better have to at $2M for two bedrooms, ouch.

    (as a side note, the duck is cute and memorable, but could have a not so good image)

  6. Marc,
    I stand corrected. I didn't look at the source. Aaron said it was java and I didn't check that out. Absolutely, JavaScript is a different technology... I should have realized that it wasn't a Java slide show by how fast it loads. Java is much slower!

    Thanks for keeping me on the straight and narrow!

  7. Thanks for your comments on our slideshows at!

    I am the webmaster and also do extensive Photoshop corrections for all of Rick Miner's listings, and have been with for the last 11 years (the last 8 months as a contractor, since I moved to Los Angeles). I should say that Aaron Leitz is a fantastic photographer, and all of the Photoshop skills in the world can't make bad photos look good:)

    I did choose to use JavaScript for the short load time, since the purpose of having a unique URL ( for each of our luxury listings is to display large photos, giving our Buyers a more detailed view of the properties.

    Rick asked me to post another 2 urls for the Photography for Real Estate group: and

    These penthouse condos were purchased just a week (or so) after the listing was input, by the same Buyers. They intend to combine the two homes to make a mega-luxury condo! The Buyers actually found these properties online on their own (while working with another Buyer's Agent, who failed to show these condos) and specifically asked their agent for a showing...WoW!

    Thanks again for everyone's comments!

    Kelly Hachtel

  8. Is it possible to incorporate Ken Burns effects with this type of show and or is a good viewer or template available for us non tech types to work into a website?

  9. @Bob,
    This particular slide show you commented about is done with Javascript so no, Ken Burns effects are not possible. The benefit of using Javascript is speed... so fast you can't notice any load time or delay of any kind but complicated graphics effects like Ken Burns aren't possible.

    Many non-technical slide shows styles can be produced with Lightroom...


  10. It should be feasible, there is many examples for smooth JS slideshows with transition effects, but at this point the best option should be flash.

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