Virtual Media/Tours: Which is best?

By
Real Estate Agent with Platinum Realty 1999090686

I've been considering changing from the virtual tour I have been using.  They are a local company and do great photography.  They also upload the tour to Realtor.com for me.  They are busy, and try to be accomodating, but it's sometimes a hassle to get the shot scheduled.  They are rather expensive, too.  Since I've purchased my new digital camera, the Kodak V705, I feel I can now shoot really nice pictures myself, set up my own virtual tours, and maybe save a little money on each listing.  A couple of the tours I have looked at are: 

www.CirclePix.com   This virtual tour site sends out photographers to shoot the listing.  Their Standard + Tour, which includes 5 virtual images and 12 still images, costs $99.99.  If you want to link the tour to Realtor.com, the cost is an additional $25.  The company I use beats this service.

www.visualtour.com  A number of Realtors in my office use this service, and the tours are very nice, with a good number of choices and features, like adding music to your tour.  You have to purchase the start-up kit for $199.95.  There is a monthly charge of $29.95.  For that, you do get unlimited tours.  You, the realtor, provide your own pictures.

www.buildatour.com  This is a nice site, with a nice viewing format.  The realtor uploads their own pictures.  I have not seen any tours on this site with left-to-right panning.  It's more like an image viewer with music.  The price is $9.95 per tour (up to 75 images) for 12 months of hosting on the site.  The realtor.com upload is $19.95.  That's $29.90 per listing for the tour.

www.realestateshows.com  I leaning towards this service.  Nice format, with panning, panoramic shots, and music.  Again, I get to provide my own pictures.  This site costs $125 a year for an unlimited number of tours.  The realtor.com link (optional) is $25.00 per listing.  Breaking the $125 down by 12 months, it comes to $10.42 per month.  If you only listed on property a month, that's $35.42 per listing (I am now paying $110 per listing). That's a reasonable price for a professional-looking tour. 

If anyone knows of any other virtual media tours that you could recommend, that would be great.

http://www.timtanzhomes.com

 

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Rainmaker
1,206,394
Jeff Turner
RealSatisfied - Santa Clarita, CA

Tim... thanks for including us on the list. As a member of ActiveRain, your cost is not $125... it is $99.95. That brings the cost per month to $8.33. :)  Renee Burrons wrote about the discount here: http://activerain.com/blogsview/75083/The-Real-Value-of  There is a link to where you can sign up for the discount there.

May 05, 2007 11:00 AM #1
Rainer
55,584
Peggy Edwards
Future Home Realty - Westchase, FL
REALTOR - Green Designation, e-PRO, Tampa Bay, FL
Tim:  Love the photo.  I highly recommend Real Estate Shows.  It is a bargain!
May 05, 2007 12:19 PM #2
Rainmaker
200,096
Frank D'Angelo
EXIT REALTY NEXUS Minneapolis & St. Paul MN - Coon Rapids, MN
Helping people is my business in Real Estate

Let me help you take the Real Estate shows one more step.  Tim, next time you're about to list, get yourself a domain of the actual home address parked on godaddy.com for 99cents.  Get a sign rider (approx. $20) with that domain name for example http://www.duerrcreekhomes.info/generate a real estate show that points to your web pages and multiple community pages etc. Now you've separated your listing from the rest in the neighborhood driving specific traffic to you.

Good luck!

Frank D'Angelo - Broker/SRS

May 05, 2007 12:40 PM #3
Rainmaker
160,630
Jay LaGace
RE/MAX Realty Team - Cape Coral, FL
Cape Coral / Lee County Real Estate - 239-443-8795

I also did the Real Estate Shows, its working out very nicely. Fantastic how you can see who is watching the show and where they come from.

 

Jeff, if you happen to read this again, I signed up, but was not offered the discount at the time. Can you do anything about that? If not, no big deal, as I said I love the way it works, and its well worth the $$$$.

May 05, 2007 12:40 PM #4
Rainmaker
339,812
Ann Cummings
RE/MAX Shoreline - NH and Maine - Portsmouth, NH
Portsmouth NH Real Estate Preferrable Agent

Hi Tim - I haven't tried any of the others, but have just started using Real Estate Shows, and LOVE it!!  The price is great, and you can use them for all kinds of things - area tours, home tours, AR fun posts, etc.  You name it, you can use it for that!

Ann

May 05, 2007 01:08 PM #5
Rainmaker
1,206,394
Jeff Turner
RealSatisfied - Santa Clarita, CA

Jay, it looks like you already paid, so I sent you an email with instructions. I'm going to post the discount in the sidebar of my blog so it's easier to find. In order for it to happen automatically, you have to sign up via that link.

 

May 05, 2007 07:20 PM #6
Rainmaker
289,385
Tim Tanz
Platinum Realty - Saint Louis, MO
St Louis Real Estate

Thanks for the responses and suggestions.  I just finished setting up my first virtual tour on www.realestateshows.com.  What a great format.  It was so easy to do, and the tour looked great.  I'm going to use this on every one of my listings.  Whata great idea for doing neighborhood tours and posting to Localism.  Thanks, Jeff, for creating such a terrific site!

May 06, 2007 04:26 PM #7
Rainer
146,936
Maureen Maureen
Orangeburg, NY

Tim - I'm not a realtor (home stager) but I just posted 2 tours for FSBO clients to realtor.com.  They were free because the listings were feature listings or something.  I don't know how much it cost to do a feature listing - I'm sure you can check it out.   It is great because you post the show to Realtor.com yourself.  My tours were up within 5 min.  Here is a link if you want to see one: Tour

I think the best part is that you can make a tour for every home.  This home is in the middle price range for the area and there are almost no other listings with feature tours.  I think it really makes the home stand out.  Even if the home is not perfect you can do the 30 sec tour. RES is a great thing! 

 

May 11, 2007 01:45 PM #8
Rainer
12,477
Eric Carlsen
The Scene Lab - New York, NY
Tim,
It looks like AR is paying off for you already, nice find!  Jeff's site gets rave review on a regular basis.
May 11, 2007 02:28 PM #9
Rainer
353,386
Bill Somerset
Re/Max Realty Group - Dover, NH
ABR, e-PRO - Realtor - NH Real Estate Agent
My company uses visual tour.  I love so far.  I am lucky enoough to have my company pick up the tab for this, many great features and easy to use.  In the past it was costing me $50 per listing for the same features!
May 11, 2007 03:07 PM #10
Rainer
68,094
Leigh Bates
Atlantic & Pacific Real Estate - Flower Mound, TX
The Trinity Group

I purchased Imprev.com before I found out about realestateshows.com. It was $299 for the year unlimited everything. It's more expensive, but you can do all your marketing here, Listed/Sold, Flyers, Web Commercials, Brochures, lots more - they have lots of templates to choose from and you can "brand" all your pieces the same.

Quite honestly I'm not sure that I will renew because realestateshows.com is much cheaper, but I have it for awhile, so who knows by the end of the year? Worth checking out though...

 

May 11, 2007 03:44 PM #11
Rainmaker
289,385
Tim Tanz
Platinum Realty - Saint Louis, MO
St Louis Real Estate

Maureen, Eric, Bill, Leigh - Thanks for the responses.  Have a great Mother's Day weekend!

 

May 12, 2007 08:29 AM #12
Rainer
10,513
Matthew Barens
Remax Universal Realty - Sheboygan, WI

Tim,

 I have to go with Realtourvision. I've used them for about a year and the tours are great. I hate the so called virtual tours that are just static pictures with a song and a description. I feel that a tour should allow you to do just that, tour the property. They have hot spots that allow you to literally walk through the property, inside and out. Have a look at some of the demos on their site. It takes a little longer to put the tours together, but I think they're worth it. I get a lot of compliments,

 

http://realtourvision.com/ 

May 12, 2007 03:28 PM #14
Anonymous
Anonymous

Tim, don't get me wrong but what you are refering here to is not a virtual tour at all. What's "tour" about a plain slideshow of still images with just some bacground sound and automatic zooming? It's just a video file technically made of still pictures. I know, it could still make a good impression but, once again, it is NOT a virtual tour.

When being "on the tour" one would expect a possibility of moving throughout the property rather than passively watching the show. The real virtual tour looks like something you can see at 3Dpano or 3Dtour.cz , for instance. All the bells and whistles featured by the providers you listed above can be included in the real virtual tours as well - sound, text, animations, automatic scenario. But it's the interactivity (manual panning/zooming and hotspots) what makes them so immersive and valuable.

Indeed, they are more expensive but they can still pay themselves off very quickly, especially in the realty market.

May 14, 2007 03:32 PM #15
Ambassador
1,366,564
Loreena and Michael Yeo
3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co. - Prosper, TX
Real Estate Agents
I use realestateshows.com. With what I am doing now, it serves my needs at that price point...

Also, I have headaches when I view Virtual Tours. But I know I'm one of the few people who probably has that trouble.
May 19, 2007 04:09 PM #17
Anonymous
Charles Pennington
May 20, 2007 03:50 PM #18
Rainer
22,584
Jane E. Haas
Jane Haas Photography - Davenport, FL
I use RealTourVision - they are real virtual tours - 360 degrees, NOT a slide show, however they also include a slideshow with the tour!
Here's an example of a RealTourVision virtual tour:  http://www.realtourvision.com/tour/RE/tour.view.new.php?utl=RE-0567-I551BG-01 
I shoot photos and virtual tours for many agents and companies in my area and charge $89.99 for 8 wide-angle photos and up to 5 tour scenes.  For agents with the enhanced realtor.com package, there is no charge to add a virtual tour.  Other agents - I pass on the fee that realtor.com charges me - $25.00.
May 22, 2007 01:05 PM #19
Rainer
4,922
eric manthey
Vid2r - Denver, CO
Try video!!!!....the impression you can create with video doesn't even exist w/ still images. Eventhough I run a video company, I will not plugg ourselves. Wether you do it yourself, or have others do it for you, it's time to make the change!!!
May 23, 2007 09:13 AM #20
Rainmaker
1,073,964
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!

Pro and cons of the "real virtual tour" VS the "photo side tour"  Here's the real deal....if the clients call you on either style and want to see the property which is best?  If you carry a lot of listings mine is best.  I pay nothing...it is part of my web hosting package.  You have the choice of uploading a "real" tour or use "photo" slide show set to music that moves the focus in and out giving the impression of the "real" tour.  I would rather take my own shots and upload them.  My thinking is: I can stage my shots, moving things as needed.

My web hosting is 49.95 a month...email, drip campaigns for both buyer and sellers, email forwarding as a text message and the list goes on...I do not own anything except my listing and the domain name.  I have IDX the works.  Having photos is the value. Every study has shown that photo listings are viewed first and non-photo listings may not be viewed at all!  I don't have time to schedule....I am there I get it done and move to the next listing.  If anyone wants the a link to the web hosting company to look at it let me know.  Prices just went up it used to be $39.00 a month.

Anyways what works best is the photos how you display them is up to you.  If the buyer likes what they see they will call, if they don't they won't.

May 23, 2007 09:51 AM #21
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