Video and Real Estate Listings

July 20, 2006

This article also available in: Español and Portugues

Real estate video on the web has been the subject of many articles and blog posts over the years. If Robert Scoble (one of the web’s A-List bloggers and now VP at podtech.net) is to be believed, everyone will be running around with a HD camcorder and producing web video in the coming years. 

There has also been lots of talk about incorporating video into real estate listings. This video (also known as podcasts or podcasting due to its popularity on video iPods or vlogs)  Some real estate sites have begun to incorporate this approach with real estate videos – you can select individual properties and download the video that you want.

While great technology and really cool to boot, there seem to be some issues around adoption of real estate video in the marketplace that might limit the possibilities. Off the top of my head, I can think of the following:

Preparation: producing real estate video does require time, some basic additional equipment beyond the PC, and perhaps some additional software to prepare for a podcast; these basically represent more things that are not related to a real estate agent’s core competency, that an agent must prepare…the alternative is to outsource this preparation (to another amateur or professional).

Techniques: Real estate video requires some specialized techniques. To compare real estate video with regular online video really cant be done. Outside of professionally made podcasts, many amateur podcasts that are not about real estate are of simple subject matter. The fixed camera position variety (“talking heads” or tripod mounted cameras) is the most common for most general podcasts. The central focus of these general podcasts tends to be the content of the discussion rather the imagery itself. Most of the others are the products of aspiring film makers, have intentionally artistic imagery, or the quality of the video isn’t key to the concept of the podcast.

On the other hand, real estate video requires some form of movement or transition that does not make the viewer sick to watch. I’m not saying that the director needs to be from Hollywood or have expensive equipment…just that they’ll need to learn some basic panning, lens focal length, and transition techniques so that they can provide an informative experience during the real estate video about the entire house to the viewer.

Quality Issues:  I remember the early days of music videos and websites (there were only 2 hours of total videos when I got MTV in high school – no commercials either).  On the music side, it was perfectly fine for a band to have a crappy quality video or a huge company to have a crappy website.  At some point, however, an arms race of sorts started around quality, storyline and special effects. bands started complaining that the popularity of their music was no longer being driven ny the music but the videos.  The same sort of thing could happen in real estate video . Right now, poorly produced videos are fine because it is all new and cool. At some point, people might simply tire of the amateur video with the metaphoric production quality of a myspace.com site and migrate to large industry real estate players that are able to produce polished and compelling real estate video. 

International Issues: Everyone does not speak English. Like many sites, ForSaleByLocals(tm) is working on incorporating what is hopefully a unique implementation of real estate video. We are working on relationships with agencies and starting to gain access to lots of professionally produced real estate video. However, since we are internationally focused, we have a different problem than many real estate sites – most of the audio for the videos made available to us simply isnt in English.  We are working on an alternative here but still this is an issue. As pointed out by several people (including one of my favorite venture capital bloggers Rick Segal), the web isn’t “there yet” for podcasting internationally.  At ForSaleByLocals.com, we are working to help change this.  9/26 UPDATE:  We’ve posted some examples of translated property videos (https://forsalebylocals.wordpress.com/2006/09/25/video-translation-examples/)  1/06/07 Update: we have an an entire site with hundreds of translated real estate videos as well as interviews with prominent agents and bulders (see http://vidlisting.com )

I’m not saying that these issues won’t be overcome…just that real estate video online is a bit different than a video in a interview format. What are your thoughts around integrating video into real estate listings? 

See Part 2 Digg This Post

(Also check out our more hands-on oriented Non-Professional’s Guide To Making Online Real Estate Video)



  1. […] No digo que estas cuestiones no serán sobrepasadas…solo que el vídeo inmobiliario en línea es un poco diferente que un vídeo en un formato de entrevista. ¿Cuáles son sus pensamientos acerca de la integración de vídeo en listados inmobiliarios? This post is also in englishTony tony@casacomprar.com http://www.casacomprar.comDigg este artículo […]

  2. The problem with Pod casts and real estate is that if you don’t do a good job with the video, it creates video where the rooms either look too big or too small.

    If the rooms look too small on the video, then you won’t get a showing. If the rooms look big, then on their visit to the home – they’ll be dissapointed. Both of them will lead to “no sale”.

  3. Excellent point, Toby. Just like a film camera, different lenses, zooms, lighting, and other shooting techniques can provide completely different perspectives and perceptions of the same room or area. The result can be an incorrect expectation on the part of the buyer when done incorrectly. Thanks for stopping by and joining the conversation.

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  6. […] This post is also in english  […]

  7. Hi .. this is a brilliant find. Thanks for
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  8. This is great information, thank you! I am a REALTOR in Springfield, MO that has been doing video podcasts for 6 months now. Of course, I have stumbled my way thru it and I am starting to find my niche. Yes, my videos still need to be “tweaked” but my viewers seem to appreciate the content more than the quality of the video. Either way, I am looking for comments and suggestions of what I can do to improve. Go to http://www.getpaul.com and click on the information about my blogs and podcasts. I certainly appreciate any input you could give me. Thanks!

  9. Di you have any programs showing real estate for sale by owner? Thanks

  10. Ruth:

    we have over 155 videos (counting Spanish and Portuguese) up on our video site, http://vidlisting.com. FSBO video listings are accepted and we’ll even translate the listing into Spanish and Portuguese for you.

    Give me a call at 360-362-1032 and we can chat about the options.


  11. Video presentation of houses could be another branch of service in the real estate world. It takes more than a HD camera to make the house look good on video. There has to be a professional or at least experienced video creators with knowledge in real estate. Maybe someday someone will say their work title is “real estate videographer”.

  12. house buyer: excellent point!

  13. Video presentation of homes and communities is alive and well as a branch of service in the real estate world although you’re right the quality is usually lacking. Premier New Homes has combined the power of the internet and TV to bring our professional videos to potential home buyers in 3 markets so far – Phoenix, Las Vegas and Northern California. It definitely makes all the difference to have someone experienced in the shooting, editing and production of the videos. Check out the quality of our work at http://www.premiernewhomes.com

  14. thanx

  15. Lori: thanks for sharing

    video: thnks for stopping by.

  16. This is simply great. It is a great option to watch videos to select homes.

  17. would love u to see my videos and would like u to judge me

  18. panama real estate wow… its booming and booming everytime i came across sites like this. lets invite more buyers and sell panama properties

  19. Brillient. Many thanks for sharing. Even better as I am viewing this from ‘down under’ Video brings real estate to life

  20. […] STILL Isn’t The Magic Elixir Even With Videos Shown Inline As Universal Search Results Video And Real Estate Listings Real Estate Video […]

  21. Can you tell me best places to upload videos

  22. Its getting more popular to do this. I was thinking to base my marketing on this.

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  24. We are a brand new start up company doing Real Estate video tours in the Denver Colorado area. I have found through much research and many hours talking to many prospective clients. That you tour better be spot on or damm close or the agents themselves are not interested. I have found myself doing more education on the product then I have actually selling the product. I honestly have a been a bit surprised at how little response we have had with the demographics of Denver being such a young community. I think personally its just a matter of time before it really takes off. There are just so many advantage that a good Video tour gives a residential or commercial property that a still photo just cant do. Plus if you have a voice over or a agent doing an actual walk through that really helps. I think over time video will be a great tool for the industry.

  25. […] Our Real Estate Video Value Proposition The Real Estate Video Manifesto Real Estate Video Overview […]

  26. Thanks for writing this post. I just checked out an apartment for a friend and did the tour that she gave. I was recording the whole time, which intended to give him a feel for the property.

  27. I have found that most of my lead for luxury homes in Israel come from video I’ve either posted on my blog, http://luxuryhomesisrael.wordpress.com , on my website or in anyone of the video networks. Video is incredibly powerful for real estate professionals. Thank you for taking the time to write this wonderfully useful post.

    Yoram Indik
    Luxury Real Estate

  28. Just a quick update: We’ve redesigned our real estate video portal at vidlisting

  29. Great read, i have found that consumers buy real estate more if they can visually see the whole aspect of the property they are interested in, will save and share post.

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