• Shannon

Video didn’t kill squat

“Video killed the radio star,” bragged the 1979 Buggles song. That was, in fact, the first music video played on MTV, on August 1, 1981.

Yes, MTV is still around, but they rarely feature music videos and, ironically, they suffer “yearly ratings drops as high as 29%,” according to Wikipedia.

Meanwhile, radio continues humming along and “stars” such as Howard Stern, Rush Limbaugh and Ryan Seacrest are far from dead. Unless, of course, big corporations pay an average of $77 million a year to the dearly departed.

My first career was in music radio so I only have three words for MTV: “neener, neener, neener.”

Fast forward

“In five years, most of [Facebook] will be video,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in early November 2014. It’s been 4 years and 4 months and that has yet to come true.

Unless there is an explosion in video on FB by November, Zuckerberg’s prediction fails miserably.

In fact, he so far missed the mark that the company allegedly stooped to lying to advertisers about the platform’s reach with video ads.

What is it with all of the video cheerleaders? For nearly three decades they’ve been shoving video at us like our moms shoved peas. And, Facebook isn’t the only one to stoop to deceptive marketing stats.

The internet is littered with decade-old statistics about the effectiveness of real estate video that just don’t hold water today.

While Matterport virtual tours are killing it, real estate video is stagnant and, hopefully, dying.


There is little value for the consumer in a real estate video; offering only slightly more than the listing’s photos.

I mean, put yourself in a homebuyer’s shoes. You’re cruising around the internet, checking out agent websites for listings. One agent offers video tours, the other offers 3D virtual tours.

Hmmm, am I going to be at the mercy of a videographer who decides which aspects of the home I can see or should I go for the 3D tour that I control?”

Which is why NAR surveys of buyers show that they ignore videos but love virtual tours. And, once sellers catch on, having an impressive 3D tour front and center on your website can act as a listing prospect magnet.

But homes aren’t the only thing that should get your 3D love. Matthew Bushery over at Placester.com talks about the brilliant idea that We Are Home ATL came up with.

They also do tours of “the hottest spots around town— restaurants, theaters, parks, and so on … “ and then posts them on their Facebook page. Imagine the shares posts like this receive.

And I imagine the business owners are the first to share the posts.

Luxury home listings deserve virtual tours

If you list luxury real estate in the Los Angeles area, you’d better have a brilliant luxury tour package among your seller services. You have far too many other agents to compete against to offer a mere video tour.

The Altman Brothers, among the world’s top producing agents (according to the Wall Street Journal) discovered Matterport about three years ago. They believe in its power to set them apart from the crowd so much that they save the virtual tour sample for the end of their listing presentation.

Which do real estate consumers prefer?

We know from NAR studies that homebuyers rarely go to YouTube to look at listing videos. We have only anecdotal evidence at this point about how they feel about 3D virtual tours.

“On a recent tour that I did, I had 500 views within 48 hours with over 300 unique views which tells me multiple viewers came back a second or third time to see it,” says an agent at RISMedia.com.

“The home went pending in those 48 hours to a buyer that had saw [sic] the tour on my FB. So I not only won the listing by providing this service but also landed the buyer and multiple buyer and seller leads from the one tour post,” he concludes.

“Wish you could be in the room when I put a VR headset on a seller and tell them this is what we’ll do when we market your home,” says a RE/MAX agent, commenting on an article at PhotographyForRealEstate.net

You don’t need big bucks

“And you CAN get a 3D tour and photos for less than $250,” according to a professional photographer at photographyforrealestate. Matterport’s entry level program starts at $199, according to their Facebook ad.

While Matterport is the best known, there are other companies that provide 3D tours. There’s a DIY solution available for the smart phone with Zillow 3D Home™ and iStaging’s VR Maker.

If you choose to go this route, check out the tips at QuickenLoans.com.

I, for one, am happy to see the demise of video in real estate. Sure, it’ll never be completely dead, but the zombiefication (yeah, I made that one up) makes me very happy.

I don’t know for sure, but I am willing to wager that the agent who offers up an immersive experience, with interactive tours and floor plans via a 3D walkthrough, is the one who will win the listing.

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