I have added a couple of new things to my Real Estate Photography Service over the past few months. Last year I changed the hosting service for my Virtual Tours, or as I prefer to call them, Visual Tours or Media Presentations. This was done in large part to the slow loading times of the previous tour hosting company I had been using and their lack of a suitable viewing experience for tours on mobile devices. Mobile devices are being used more and more to view property listings and this was an important feature for my business.
My first change since switching to a different hosting company is using Vimeo instead of YouTube for videos created from the still photographs you see in my regular tours, the kind most often seen on Computer screens or commonly referred to as the “Desktop” version. There is a major drawback in my opinion to using YouTube for hosting Real Estate Videos. My biggest concern was the “free” look of YouTube. It cost nothing to host a video on YouTube but as you know, nothing is really free. The price you pay is seeing ads pop up during playback. The second downside is that once the video ends you may or may not see another video play automatically. Even if a new video does not play, and no ad shows up at the beginning of the video, you are still presented with a choice of other videos to watch.
That choice of videos shown can be unrelated to your business and may even be inappropriate. You have no control over what is going to pop up. As a professional you want the focus of your presentation to be on you and your specific listing. The last thing you want when your video ends is your viewer having the option to go and watch something else. That does not happen with Vimeo if the account is a Pro or Business account on Vimeo. english bay photo uses a PRO account to ensure that only your video gets played and there is no external distractions. It provides a professional, minimal appearance for your listing. I do not know of something similar being offered by YouTube, as far as I know you can’t simply load a video and stay on that video and eliminate other stuff from showing up around it.
A Vimeo can be viewed several ways, You can simply send a link to someone to watch the video, or you can embed it in a webpage so the viewer does not leave your website to view it somewhere else. The downside with this, if there is one, is that it cannot be watched full screen and remain on your website. Your viewer has to watch it on Vimeo, but they are only going to see the video, and nothing else. When the video ends they have two options, replay it, or close the window and go back to the website they came from, in this case yours. You are in control.
There are a couple of options with a Vimeo, and one of them is the Privacy mode. Privacy will inhibit anyone from downloading your video and using it somewhere else if you so choose. You can however enable the download feature so it can only be viewed and downloaded. You can also restrict which web sites cab embed the video on them, so for example if you only want to have it show on your own website and your brokers website and no other web sites, that can be done. For some people this is an important issue so once again you have some level of control.
Hers is a link to a Vimeo I recently produced https://vimeo.com/user55727395/review/180695744/61b6f4a704
SINGLE PAGE PROPERTY WEBSITES
The second new feature I have now is the Single Page Property Website. Some realtors do not have their own website, for a few reasons. One of the reasons is they may be new to the business and have not yet set one up and rely on their brokerage website to promote their listing. Another common reason is the time it takes to maintain a web site, because if you do not maintain it, it fails to perform the task it was created for, promoting you and your listings. And some realtors “sell” far more than they “list”. If someone is really a “seller”, setting up a website may simply be too time consuming and cost prohibitive, and/or they don’t know how to set one up that will look professional and paying someone to do it can be a cost that does not make sense.
A Single Page Property Website gives a professional presentation to a property you are marketing. It is branded specifically to you and your listing. If you are relying on your company’s website to promote your property you will most likely be limited as to what they will show when you click on a link. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it simply shows that you do not have your own website to view a listing and are relying on the company to provide that service for you. A better solution is to show something that is specifically branded for you.
Here is an example of a Single Page property Website. It is simple in concept, easy for a viewer to view and offers the basic important features you want to show. And more importantly it is compatible across the three platforms for viewing – desktop, tablet and smartphone. In fact my pages are designed to display properly depending on what the viewer is using – the viewer see’s it the way it is supposed to be viewed, The page automatically determines whether to show the desktop of mobile version.
Here is an example of a Single Page Property Website. Click inside the box.
You will note that the page does not give the viewer an option to go somewhere else. They stay on your page until they close the window or go back to the previous page. Once again, keeping the focus on you and your property. You have controlled where they go when they exit, in this case back to the link that sent them to your page, most likely your company site. You can slo send the link to the page to anyone, knowing that the only thing they are going to view is what you want them to.
So what does all this mean, and why should you even care?
Well the answer is simple. Smartphones and tablets are increasingly being used by agents and buyers alike when searching for properties. Nothing is more frustrating than going to a web page and having it only show a display that has been designed to only be seen on a computer screen. The result, things are missing from the page, there is no sound, there may not be any movement in the slide show, there are several things that can and do go wrong.
These can be fixed of course and if your site is old and has not had a facelift to accommodate theses changes, you can have it changed. You will most likely have to pay to have it done and it might not happen right away.
So in wrapping up, I have two new options for my clients. Vimeo videos for your photos and a single page page property website, should you wish to include one or both in your next photo shoot. Contact me for pricing or watch for an update when PerfectHomePix.com gets a facelift in September.