Virtual tour of properties
Don Anderson believes the future of real estate showings lies on the interwebs.
The 60-year old broker at Realty Executives has created a business called YouTours that creates detailed videos of properties for sale, providing prospective buyers and real estate agents a look before getting in their car.
“A picture is worth a thousand words, but video is worth more,” Anderson said. “I believe this is the way we’re going to be showing real estate.”
YouTours has been a project in the making for two years. He chose the name because he wanted it to be branded. The videos are hosted on YouTube.
It takes Anderson anywhere between two and four hours to create a YouTour video.
Using a handheld camera, Anderson shoots exterior and interior video of the home. Back at the office, he narrates details about the home for buyers interested in looking at the floor plan and ultimately deciding whether it meets their needs or not.
He said he has had several good success stories, but he cautions that a YouTour video is not going to sell a house for more than its worth. Sellers tend to think it will.
“I tell them exposure is what you need if you have something to sell. If the price is too high, the exposure is going to expose that,” he said.
The video will increase the odds that everyone interested will see the property and at the same time result in a full-price offer, he said.
Anderson considers each view a showing. People who have viewed the video may decide there’s no reason to physically go look at a property because “they’ve seen it.”
“Same thing happens in the real world. You’ve had all these showings; it’s indicative the price is too high,” he said.
Last month, Anderson held his first-ever virtual open house. Using the Web portal YouTube Social, Anderson can connect with people all across the globe for a viewing, allowing others to comment and chat in real time.
He expects to begin posting messages on Facebook, inviting people to come in and preview the properties. He’s in the process of building his Facebook friend base, including other real estate agents he hopes will use it, too.
Anderson already is using mobile to promote the website. People text the word VIDEO to 48696. Within 30 minutes, they’ll receive a link that directs them to the You-Tours page, where all currently published YouTour videos are posted by address.
There are more than 20 videos currently available to watch. Anderson hopes that one day most of the homes in the Knoxville MLS will have YouTours. He is also looking to do YouTours on entire subdivisions.
A video can cost between $600 to $900 depending on the home’s square footage. Anderson said his greatest interest has been in the for sale by owners, who can select various real estate services a la carte through his website sellingmenu.com.
“YouTour is really capable of exposing a property like no other medium,” he said. “We feel as these come into the market, sellers will come to expect this type of technology to market their property.”