Promotional Videos and 3-D Tours?
Virtual tours gain popularity
Virtual tours and walk-through have gained popularity and with plenty of apps out there anyone can produce them; Zillow just released an app for recording tours of up to two minutes long. Berkshire Hathaway uses a third party app called Videolicious to product narrated slideshows on a mobile device.
The newest trend at the BHHS trade show last month was using 360 degree cameras to produce google street-style 3-D virtual tours. Three vendors were offering the exact same service relying upon Matterport! Unfortunately, integration with consumer-based real estate sites (zillow, realtor.com, trulia) and the CT MLS is essentially non-existent. To showcase these new technologies you need to drive traffic to personalized websites for each property. This is not easily accomplished when MLS guidelines don't allow for links in property descriptions.
Even if you ignore the difficulties in getting people to view your snazzy videos and 3-D tours, is it a justifiable expense? Will they help sell homes? Maybe... If people feel like they've seen enough of the property without stepping foot through the door, then you've failed by providing them too much information. Just enough information needs to be provided to pique enough interest that the buyer will see it in person because viewing a property in person is the only way to get a feel for the space and how it will be lived in. A nice home or property sells itself when it's priced right and staged well. Photos, videos, etc should be used to generate interest and create showings.
Don't get me wrong, 3-D tours have their place: in to-be-built homes. For production builders looking to repeat house plans, but without having a physical model of each type, a 3-D virtual tour is the closest thing you can get to being in a home in person. Since the real thing is impossible to show, you have to settle for the next-best-thing.
Where's the sweet spot?
So too much information is bad, but too little doesn't generate interest in the property. Where's the sweet spot? Use videos or tours to communicate things that can't be conveyed in text or photos. In the below video I needed to show that the lot is unique in its location and altitude, but more importantly its connection to a wider neighborhood community. More than half the video is not on the subject property but on external aspects that make a difference to a buyer. I put this together in half a day, but it's good enough to convey that this isn't your typical building lot or cul-de-sac subdivision, a story that still photos and a block of text couldn't tell you.
Then again, sometimes just making the client happy makes it worth the effort :)