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How to Make DVD Slideshows For Home Sellers and Buyers

Published: 19/05/2010
By: larry

Home sellers and buyers love to get home tours on DVD. For many years I gave all our listing customers and buyers of our listings a copy of 360 tours of their home on a CD. The CD's I created were Windows only so the problem I ran into was that when we had a listing seller or buyer that was a Mac user they were out of luck. After a while I figured out that if I created slide shows with music on DVDs that anyone could play the DVD and they didn't even need a computer, they could just use their DVD player and large screen TV.

One could argue these days that even DVDs are becoming obsolete. Online tours are the most versatile form of media. However, there are still a lot of people out there that feel more comfortable  with a DVD than they do with a web browser. However, if you use large high-res images, DVD tours look great on flat screen TVs. So the DVD format is still a very popular format for buyer and seller gifts. DVD tours are not going to be big money makers for real estate photographers but most Realtors like them because they make a nice gifts for listing agents to give to sellers. They are not that difficult to make once you get the hang of creating them. Here are several ways to create them:

  1. Mac users can use iDVD that comes on your Mac. There are quite a few themes to choose from and putting the photos into iDVD is just drag-and-drop. You can even drag photos from Lightroom to iDVD. If you want to create a quality show with music, transitions, Ken Burns panning and all, start out in iMovie, build your slide show and then export to iDVD to create the DVD.
  2. Aperture 3 now has similar features as iMovie to create a slide show videos. You can then export to iDVD to burn the DVD.
  3. For Windows users ProShow Gold ($69 USD) appears to do the job. I've not used ProShow Gold but many readers tell me they like it.
  4. (in the US) is partnering with aVinci to produce themed DVD slide shows for $14.99 USD. It looks like a nice service but I've not tried it yet. Mainly because you have to be a PC user to download the software you use to prepare the photos for uploading.
  5. You can use Photoshop Elements to create the slide show and then export the slide show to Premier Elements to create the DVD.
  6. You can use Wondershare Movie Story to create and burn slide show videos onto DVDs.
  7. tours can be burned to DVD for $24.95 each or 5 for $39.95.

So, make you Realtor clients or your listing customers happy by presenting your images with a DVD slides show. Note that this is a better idea for Realtors than for real estate photographers because as a real estate photographer it's tough to recover your time investment.

9 comments on “How to Make DVD Slideshows For Home Sellers and Buyers”

  1. @Carol- Yes, if what you download to your desktop is video then you can put it on a DVD along with stills and other video. Just drag the video file and drop it into iDVD.

    What you have to be careful of is the quality of the video. The downloaded video may not be good quality HD video. Typically when you upload images for web tours the images are small because you want them to load fast. When creating DVDs you want images larger than you typically use for web tours. For good quality HD video you want to use 1920x1080 images... this is bigger than most people use for web tours.

  2. Many of our clients use the DVD tour to run on the living room TV during an open house. This puts something interesting on display and adds some motion and life to that room, while staying on message (showing the house).

    I also want to underscore the benefit of using the DVD as a closing gift. Landfills around the country are filled with refrigerator magnets and recipe cards with Realtor’s photos on them - but when an agent gives a DVD - it gets kept. A past home contains so many memories, most sellers can't bring themselves to throw away a DVD of a place they used to live - it would be like throwing away pictures of their kids. Since they keep it - they keep the agent's brand on their DVD shelf for years to come. This is important since the average American moves every 7 years.

    The DVD offering that we provide at TourFactory also includes a printable label for the DVD and a DVD case. This is a key part of the formula - it's how the agent's brand gets reinforced every time the seller shuffles through their DVD library. To that end, we include the agent’s name and photo on the spine of the DVD case label.

    As Larry mentioned, we do offer a fulfillment option for $24.95, where we produce and ship the DVD directly to the agent. But we also provide a do-it-yourself option for free, where we provide an ISO file that can be burned to a DVD from your computer, and the printable label templates for 4 different case sizes. The best part is, once the photos are uploaded into the TourFactory Marketing Engine, the DVD creation process is fully automated.

    Often, a new photographer that is working on building up a new market for us will burn these DVDs and hand-deliver them to their first customers. They wind up getting passed around the office, providing the perfect conversation lever to spread the word about a virtual tour offering in a brokerage.

    Yes. There are many hidden benefits to DVDs.

  3. ProShow Gold can create great slide shows for a lot of different output (web, DVD, .exe, etc). I used it years ago for portrait and wedding clients, then got away from it, and I've recently gone back to it. Highly customizable, and well worth it, in my opinion. It does lack in the actual DVD burn process though, as it will create errors when it tries to render and burn at the same time. A good solution is to render the slide show to an ISO file first, and then burn the ISO separately.

  4. Just curious...are most REP's giving dvd's as a bonus service or charging? I agree with Larry that it is hard to recoup the time it takes to put one together if looked at in dollar terms, but from an unknown benefit standpoint, it may pay to give away...again, just wondering. Thank you, Larry.

  5. @Joshua- thanks for bring up ProShow Gold... I should have mentioned it. Many have told me they like ProShow Gold.

    @DC- As agent's we provide DVDs as a service but you can do that if you are getting 3% of the selling price. There is no way a REP can just provide them for no extra cost... they are too labor intensive to create.

  6. Another alternative for Mac users that I did not see mentioned is "Fotomagico" by boinx software. It offers many ways to deliver your final slideshow. It also allows movies to be inserted in the slideshow along with narration and soundtrack. It will deliver to HD 720 or HD 1080 as well as standard definition, youtube, apple tv etc.. You can also import your photos from Aperture and the function of editing in Final Cut and import from Lightrooom is in Beta as of this post. I've enjoyed it so far and its pretty straightforward to use. Hope this helps.

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