Virtual Tour Audio, To Add or Not to Add, That Is The Question

Real Estate Agent with Reece & Nichols

I was just browsing through some Newbie posts and stumbled upon Tony's post Virtual Tours - Music or NO Music? I was just amazed at all the controversy in the comments regarding the music added on virtual tours!  I've been creating and providing virtual tours for the past two and a half years and have always just added it as I thought that it was an added "bonus" that everyone just wanted.  I personally have always just cringed when hearing the music myself- I just attributed that to the fact that I create so many tours and after a while all the sound clips just start to sound the same- like some cheap adult movie background music, but still the same.  So, I just mute it- no big deal.  But to hear the comments and the mixed opinions, I wonder....  do people just close their browser as soon as the music starts?  Does the music really slow down loading the tours and opening the spins?  Would a voice narration be a better alternative or is that still a turn off?  And with the voice narration, do you still add the music too?  And if the audio is causing so many mixed emotions, just out of curiousity, what else do you want to see/add or NOT?  Ie:  still photo slideshows vs. true panoramic pictures vs. full 360 spins, floor plans, brochures, maps, area info, schools, panoriders, etc...


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Mike Jones
SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) - Tucson, AZ
Mike Jones NMLS 223495


Have you checked out Real Estate Shows?  It's fantastic, and SO cheap!  Check out my blog for some examples.  Nah.  I'll do the work.  LOL  Here's a gift of spring flowers for you:  Local Rag: Tucson Wildflowers Best in 30 Years!   Click twice when you get to the post.  Jeff Turner, president of RES, is an Active Rainer!

Mike in Tucson

Mar 26, 2008 05:16 PM #1
Ben Nunes ~ Photography & Virtual Tours
New Tour Era, Inc - Atlanta, GA
I think more importantly the question is, does it help the listing? I know most of the Realtor's I've talked to, they themselves almost ALWAYS hit the mute button, but their clients usually just let it play. As far as taking longer to load...if they are still on dial-up, I would say yes, it does. However since most of the people are NOT on dial-up, I think the load times are so insignificant it really just comes down to preference.
Mar 27, 2008 02:39 AM #2
Debra Higgins
Four Seasons Virtual Tours - Crown Point, IN
I think we need to go with what the clients like or want. As someone pointed out the other day, the broker he was speaking to thought virtual tours were of no use. When the broker realized the difference between his perceptions and the clients' desires, he changed his mind.
Mar 28, 2008 01:49 AM #3
Chris Grumley
Florida Eye Tours, LLC - Anna Maria, FL

Exactly Debra. Recent conversations with a Broker and an Agent led me to understand that what they wanted was totally different from the experience the end user wants. 

Karisma, it's your product so I think you should have a clear idea of what you think should be added to a virtual tour and music as a standard is not a bad thing. There is the audio off button and I do believe more people would want music as an addition because a tour without comes across, in my opinion, as being a little bit flat... I think voice is a nice addition, as long as it is a believable voice and the information is relevant... TGIF!


Chris Grumley
Florida Eye Tours, LLC
PO Box 69
Anna Maria
FL 34216

Call Chris on 941 219 2106
Call Erin on    941 545 3110

We did this!


Mar 28, 2008 03:44 AM #4
Lance Ziegler
Real Estate Virtual Tours - Bradenton, FL


I personally think audio is an integral part of the interactive experience. Anytime you create multiple rich media content, you essentially touch multiple senses, thus creating a lasting impression. The result? The consumer has retained more of the experience through multiple interaction. How we retain information:

What we read 10%

What we hear 20%

What we see 30%

What we see and hear 50%

Now, when we use a blend of audio and a virtual tour, we will retain 85% of our experience 3 hours later; and, here is the good part, 65% of that info is retained 3 days later.

So, for those of you that think you know what is best for your clients, maybe you should re-think the mechanics of human nature. Human nature strives on the touching of senses and that my friends is directly linked to how we learn and how we buy. So my thought on audio...........add it to every tour because that's what we want by human nature.

Mar 31, 2008 08:08 AM #5
Karisma Olson
Reece & Nichols - Kansas City, MO
OMG!  You guys are so right!  Thanks so much for the reminder- and the STATS!  Sometimes, I just need the kick in the pants reminder.  Hello?!  I think I remember that from one of those marketing classes I took a moon or two ago.....  It's never too late for a refresher!  Thanks again.
Mar 31, 2008 02:48 PM #6
Sandra Gibson
powerplaymmp - Allen, MI


I'm another one that needs the reminder of both the music/audio and stat reports. 

Just what we need, more reasons to get our viewers/customers involved in our tours to keep there longer.  The longer they stay at our tours, the more influence we can convey to them to make a purchase for our customers and for us.

Thanks, again for your help.

Sandra Gibson
Power Play Multi-Media Productions
South Central Michigan Virtual Tour Provider

Apr 01, 2008 04:48 AM #7
Acai Berry Select
Acai Berry Select - Downers Grove, IL

I agree. I would like add that as Realtors we should put ourselves in the buyers shoes and ask ourselves what would my online buyer think. I also believe online buyers want quality information that is interactive.


Peter Potylicki

Realtor/ DOwners Grove, IL


Apr 02, 2008 06:20 PM #8
Karisma Olson
Reece & Nichols - Kansas City, MO

That's what I love about AR!  All the interaction and 1001 professional opinions too boot! 

I do always try to put myself in the client shoes, but then who's shoes do you wear?  The buyers, the sellers, the Realtor- and in that case, the listing agent or the selling agents?  LOL!  I really just try to show the house in it's best light! Literally!  But seriously, the goal is to get it shown, get it out there and to get it SOLD!  So, I say, if there's music and you don't like it, then turn it off!  It's that easy!  Heck, if they don't want to see the brochure, they don't have to click on that link either, or the link to school and area information or the link for this that and the other....  but if they're not there- it's not an option for those that would like it.  All that aside, the stats speak for themselves and that I love!

Thanks again for all your comments and support!

Apr 03, 2008 04:06 PM #9
Gene Allen
Fathom Realty - Cary, NC
Realty Consultant for Cary Real Estate
I like music when I see tours as long as it is soothing and YELLING at me.
Apr 12, 2008 10:01 AM #10
Renard Johnson
Creative Realty Solutions, LLC - Waldorf, MD

I always add music and feel they can mute it if they don't want to hear it.   But I must admit, reading this post has me thinking a bit more from the other persons prespective.

Apr 14, 2008 04:53 AM #11
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