When PreviewFirst started the whole “turn your photos into video” revolution, the approach was unique and novel, and people loved it. It was late 2004, and virtual tours were still those 360° stomach turning, computer crashers. The concept of turning photos into video was a welcome change, and internet video was just beginning to gain momentum. YouTube didn’t even launch until a year after PreviewFirst. We were definitely onto something with the video trend. That was 8 years ago, and it’s time for another virtual tour revolution.
Today, video slideshows are as boring and frustrating for buyers and sellers, as the spin-around-in-circles tours were, in 2004. Video has lost it’s novelty – at least in regards to turning photos into video. A well produced video that shows things photos can’t, provides a lot value, and people love them! But when it comes to the photos, they want them quickly and they want to see them in full screen, and they don’t want to watch an entire video just to get to the back yard pictures.
The new virtual tour platform does 10 things really well.
- The HD Motion Picture Player: Instead of a small video slideshow that degrades the quality of photos, the new “Motion Picture Player” displays photos in HD, and in Full Screen.
- Navigation: The Motion Picture Player also lets the user navigate through the photos at their own pace. If they want to skip ahead, go back, or pause, they can.
- Load Time: Photos load much faster than video, providing a more reliable and consistent experience.
- Photo Tour: The new photo tour has much bigger photos and higher quality images.
- Video: Real Video is still cool! People love it, but only if it tells a story that pictures can’t. The new PreviewFirst virtual tours let you include both photos, and “real video”.
- Introduction Page: The new version is all about keeping the viewers attention and getting them to contact you. A good property description and information about yourself, is critical. The new introduction page is your best sales person. It promotes the home, and YOU. It’s the page everyone sees when your sellers post their tour on facebook and twitter, and when they show it to everyone in the office and in their family. The introductionpage is how your customers introduce you to the people they care about. They do this every time they show someone the virtual tour you made for them. Even if the virtual tour didn’t help you sell the home, the value it adds in terms of word-of-mouth advertising is staggering. Great sales people understand the value of the introduction.
- Agent Gallery Page: The new platform has a link to your gallery page, which shows all of your current listings, as well as all of your Sold listings. This sales tool doesn’t just introduce you to prospective buyers and sellers, it’s a web link you should provide in every email and at every presentation.
The Activity Map:This new feature is HUGE! The map shows a green pin for all of your current listings and a red pin for all of your sold listings. If you’re a top selling agent in town, this map will make that clear to your prospects. If you don’t have any listings because you’ve sold them all, this map shows your experience and track record. If there was just one reason to get a virtual tour of every listings, this is it.
- Instant Gratification: The new platform not only provides a better viewing experience for buyer and sellers, it also gives youmore control on the back end (virtual tour management). Need to add, delete, or rearrange your photos? Change the music? Add a “real video”? Any edits you make are automatically updated within 15 minutes. – Not 24 hours like the old tours.
Stats: The new statistics report for each tour shows the number of visits, unique visitors, and where they’re coming from. This is very useful information to show your sellers what kind of interest theirhome is garnering and if a price reduction is in their future.
These are just the Top Ten things we love about the new design. You can also integrate your gallery page with twitter and facebook. The “Share this tour” is very popular, too, and now buyers and sellers can find you and your tours from our home page; http://tours.previewfirst.com. The navigation is easy and modern, and most importantly, the feedback from customers, users, and even our competition has been fantastic.
If you have any question about how to make the most of your PreviewFirst account, please ask your question here, or contact us, anytime.
@ your service,
President & CEO