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Stills: The Most Effective Way to Shoot Video For Real Estate Tours

Published: 25/01/2008

I'm seeing more and more evidence that the Ken Burns style video is the most effective way to do video for real estate.

Sharon Nyman, a Realtor in Key Largo, FL, that shoots her own photos, told me that when she purchased a TV spot on, spotrunner sent a well known professional videographer down to Key Largo to shoot her video. But after the video was edited the Spotrunner producer decided to do the Ken Burns thing on Sharon's still photos. She said in the end everyone in the process agreed that the Ken Burns style presentation of her still photos made a better TV spot than the video that the professional had shot. (a large DIY tour provider) has adopted this approach. Their marketing copy says it all "Video on the Internet is taking off. It's a way of entertaining ourselves and is becoming a popular research tool for buyers. As high-speed Internet becomes more readily available, video has exploded onto the web as the next big opportunity that every real estate professional should take advantage of. Take a look below at how the Video Tour can give you the advantage."

Kevin over at tells me that their video Ken Burns style tour is quickly becoming their most popular tour. More popular than their 360VR offering. At Esitetours they use Imagematics Stillmotion Pro to create Flash video from a set of stills. Stillmotion Pro gives you the ability to precisely control the panning and sound track.

I hear from a lot of people that like the automatic video effects that you can create with the monoslideshow template for Lightroom. With monoslideshow you have some minimal control of the panning and you can add an audio track.

After getting some negative feedback from some readers about Imagematics Stillmotion I did a little googling to find another alternative for creating Ken Burns video from still and ran across Soundslides. I haven't tried it but it like it could be a good alternative. If anyone uses Soundslides please let us know how it works.

Larry Lohrman

13 comments on “Stills: The Most Effective Way to Shoot Video For Real Estate Tours”

  1. [...] Glenn Kelman article is brought to you using rss feeds.Here is a great article on the latest real estate buying and selling news.I’m seeing more and more evidence that the Ken Burns style video is the most effective way to do video for real estate. Sharon Nyman, a Realtor in Key Largo, FL, that shoots her own photos, told me that when she purchased a TV spot on … [...]

  2. Aren't Ken Burns slideshows still just PHOTOS? Zooming in and out of a photo doesn't make it more compelling than a still photo - does it? It still doesn't show the relationship between rooms like video. It's not really video - it's just a slideshow! Call it what it is!

  3. Paul- agreed! Video is video... panning is not video...

    I stll like a professionally done 360 panos better than video anyhow. Why do we want to sacrifice picture quality to see tree branches move?

  4. Stills are stills and full motion video is video.

    Creating a montage of still that move around is not video, and never will be.
    Personally, I think the moving stills technique is crap.
    There is no change is perspective as you approach an object... it just looks wrong.

    If you are going to shoot video, then you need to walk thru the house, just as you would in person... otherwise there is no point to it.

  5. Adam, you are right... A video is a video. But a ken/burns style "video" has the big advantage of being almost a video, cheaper.

    In the assumption that "something is better than nothing" and that a quality video budget will be the 20 times more expensive, 99% of the Realtors will pick up the "video"

    Considering many aspects, the "videos" are a great marketing instrument.

  6. Who the heck are people employing to make videos for them at 20x the price of a selection of stills? What is it with the world today? People are too quick to employ someone else to do what is ultimately their own job (and usually fairly easy) - If you are an agent, YOU should be recording that video, YOU should be adding audio to it, and YOU should be uploading it onto your site??

  7. Wow, some people take opinions very seriously! lol

    Ben, I think you may have missed a class in Making Money 101. Subcontracting to talented and reliable people can free realtors up to do their job, which is sell the house.

    Just an opinion.

    ; )

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