Video is Over-Rated

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Video has been the “new” thing now for while and some people are really into using video for blogging and for real estate tours. But not everything that is new is better.  I have not embraced using video in real estate sales or in blogging (vlogging), and here’s why…

The written (typed) word inherently allows you to go at your own pace– read fast or slow, re-read over and over- stare at and study, or speed-read at a very fast pace.

Moving video of something standing still (rooms in a home) accomplish nothing more than a still-shot photo does. Moving around a room with a video doesn’t really show you anything you wouldn’t see in a few photos.

Copy/paste. With a written blog I can copy certain text I want to share, and simply link back to the original. With a video I have to show the whole thing if I want to share it. With virtual tours I can share the photos I want and only the photos I want.

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Sometimes people don’t look as good as they write.  

More moving parts= more room for mistakes. I pay a professional to do my tours, but even if I were to do my own virtual tours, I could snap 200 photos and pick the best ones to show my listing. By doing a video, even if I get the lighting right and there are no annoying background noises and I can hold the camera steady, there is still the issue of shooting flattering angles and just as importantly, not shooting unflattering angles of the home, or me.

Difficult to keep your eyes on the ball. When I read a blog I am reading the message the author gives me. When I see a video I am just as interested in the quality of the shoot, the sound, what they are wearing, what they look like, where they are, what’s going on around them, etc. The message is in there, too, but it doesn’t have my full attention.

Movies are never as good as the book. When I read a book I get to know the characters in a different way. I read what they are thinking and feeling and get all the great details that are typically missed in the movie version. Books have my full attention (see above paragraph) on where the author takes me. Movies (videos) sometimes suffer the message for the show. When I watch a horror movie I’m thinking of what they used for the fake blood (chocolate, ketchup, red dye?) and not the plot.

Photos are easier. Much much easier for most people. As I mentioned before, there are lighting and sound issues, and having a steady hand, but I need to plan my steps and route and think about a bunch of little things that affect the shoot. With photos an agent can take them and then sort later for good ones. And if you mess up a little- photoshop.

Start and finish on my time. I can begin to write a post and then stop and finish later. I can snap photos of a house and then go to an appointment and edit through them later. With video you’ve pretty much got to do the whole thing at once.

I understand why some people like video. I like watching videos, too- just not for real estate.

BlueRoof on HouseHunters This Week

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Trisha, my wife and business partner will be featured on HGTV’s HouseHunters later this week. She’s the only Utah Realtor to ever be on the show, and most certainly the most beautiful to ever appear on network television.

The show is titled, “To Be or Not to B&B”

From the HGTV website, “In Salt Lake City, a young couple searches for a place to hang their hats and their shingle.”

Shows times are:

€     December 20, 2007 10:00 PM ET/PT
€     December 21, 2007 2:00 AM ET/PT
€     December 22, 2007 5:30 PM Mountain Time

Most “Vain” Cities in the Nation

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Those guys at Forbes, they really do know how to pick ’em. They just released their list of the Top Ten Most Vain cities in the country, based mostly on the number of plastic surgeons per capita. Apparently, over 11,000,000 cosmetic procedures were performed in the US in 2006, a 48% increase over the previous year.

From the article, “As the number of cosmetic procedures nationwide continues to surge, we looked at which cities have most embraced market demand for taut faces, lush lips and flat abs. There were predictable entries like New York, Miami and Los Angeles, but also surprising ones like Louisville, Ky., and Nashville, Tenn. Most shocking of all was the town that ranked first: Salt Lake City. ”

Yes, you read that correctly- the city at the top, rated as the “Most Vain” was my very own hometown of Salt Lake City.

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Forbes offers this disclaimer;

“Unexpected entries like Salt Lake City, Nashville and Louisville might rise to the top, given smaller populations and medical or university programs and centers that focus on plastic surgery. An influx of younger, more affluent residents into the smaller cities may also account for the rising number of plastic surgeons.”

This is something I’ve known for many years, actually, but growing up here, you learn to embrace the culture. And it’s actually very difficult to tell as there are so many beautiful women here. Of course my wife is the most beautiful woman in Salt Lake, and she’s all natural- go figure?

Point2 Agent Shaken Up- Good For Consumers and Agents

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I don’t know as much about Point2 Agent  as a company as many agents do, but I am a member and have used the system. It seems to me to be an entry-level type service with a template website given and then you pay for add-ons and additional services. One thing I do know is that the company, as far the real estate piece of what they do, is centered around template websites. I think it’s important for our industry to evolve and maybe it’s time to begin to step-up to a higher level of website than templates offer.

There are better options than templates.

For most agents, a template website is their only on-line presence- either a template or an “agent page” on their broker’s website. So consumer’s see all these template sites and it affirms to them that agents don’t know much about technology. Often the consumer ends up going to the better websites (clean user-interface, enjoyable search experience, etc) that they can find, and in most areas Zillow, Realtor.com and Trulia are the best they can find.

Problem with Trulia, Realtor.com and Zillow is they are not real estate companies- they are technology companies. They take agent information (listings) for the purpose of selling ads and leads to agents. Their purpose is not to help consumers find homes, it’s to sell ads or leads. Obviously that’s not the best business model for the consumers (or agents)?

Now Point2 Agent is getting all shaken up and people are talking about it. I don’t wish bad on them at all, in fact for many agents they have been the only a good solution, but I think this shake-up may a good thing in at least one way- maybe it will open some discussion about different and even better online solutions for agents.

Instead of creating well-designed websites that offer real value to the consumer, agents usually either get a cheap  template just to have a website or they pay a technology company (Trulia/Realtor.com/Zillow) for leads. I understand why- it’s a lot easier and much less expensive than it is to build a custom site. Custom websites can cost a lot. I spent well over six figures on BlueRoof.com, and it’s tough to pay that kind of money, especially if you have no experience converting online leads and have no idea what sort of return (if any) on your investment you’ll get. But help is on the way.

Point2 and other template sites serve their purpose, to be sure, but I think many agents who have a Point2 websites would like to have something better.

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In February there will something much better.

See it here:

https://blueroof.wordpress.com/2008/01/18/blueroof360-industry-best-realtor-websites-lead-and-client-management/