Video on Realtor.com

I just read this morning in Innman News that Realtor.com will now be offering a new free video service to their showcase members. Showcase members will be allowed to upload a video clip to their listings which will now make three forms of media one can look at when shopping for a home. Still images, Virtual Tours, and Video Clips.

With over eight years in the industry you can imagine that I have heard the question many times, “Jason, will video take over or replace the virtual tour?” I have for many years now stood my ground on my response to this. It is my opinion that video clips will continue to augment and enhance the true virtual tour. True virtual tours will always remain as the solid foundation on which the other forms of media are delivered from. It is good to see that Joe Detuno, senior vice president of product development at Move Inc (Realtor.com) feels the same way.

At the end of the day Realtors will ALWAYS need a photographer at the home and home shoppers will always get excited about pictures they can move through and control. It’s the little video gamer in all of us I suppose. That little bit of interaction that connects us with our potentially new home. My old business partner Jeff used to say, “Video is great for things that move. Houses don’t move!” Well most of them don’t anyway. The Real Tour Vision virtual tour software has supported video clips for many years now and I have to say that it is rarely used on the house itself. We see clips of boats zipping along the water or deer strolling in a back yard but rarely do you see a clip of someone walking through the home. When you do see that that images are blurry and dark corners look like caves. Windows are always washed out and no matter how careful the photographer is, it never comes close to looking professional.

If you are interested in doing a little comparison on Video Vs Virtual try spending just a few moments in our blog as there are many articles on the two technologies in here. All said and done it is my firm belief that video will never actually REPLACE the virtual tour. I would love to hear your comments and additional thoughts on this.

Here is the full story about virtual tours from http://www.inman.com:

Many multiple listing services and listings aggregators that offer virtual tours, such as Realtor.com, already allow listing agents to provide links to videos instead. The videos are hosted by approved virtual tour vendors in Realtor.com’s Picture Path network.

But sometime in the next few months, Realtor.com plans to roll out a new feature that will let listing agents upload video directly to the site, said Joe Detuno, senior vice president of product development at parent company Move Inc.

“Some Realtors have already started using video using the Picture Path technology, which allows a URL to be uploaded to the site,” Detuno said. “We intend to have that be much more accessible from the consumer standpoint, so video is much more prominent on Realtor.com and in the listings.”

As it stands now, listing agents must choose between virtual tours or video at Realtor.com and other sites. But once the new video upload capabilities are in place, listing agents will be able to use still photos, virtual tours and video in the same listing, Detuno said.

As was the case when virtual tours were first introduced, direct video uploads will at first be available only to subscribers to Realtor.com’s Showcase listing enhancements, Detuno said.

Although video is “still in its infancy,” Detuno said he foresees the day when Realtors use all three visual aids — still photos, virtual tools and video — in their listings.

“I don’t see video replacing virtual tours and pictures, I see it augmenting them,” Detuno said. While more homes have the broadband Internet connections needed to view Web video than ever before, listings sites still serve mobile devices and other users without video capabilities.