AgentTechnology

How to decide which property tour technology is right for you

'Free + quality' with your camera phone sounds good, but what about really high-end 3-D?

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Every so often, new technology comes along that improves the way we do things, and unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably noticed Instagram recently introduced Hyperlapse, a free smartphone app that is going to be a game changer for real estate professionals who use audiovisual tools to market their listings.

Agents are typically at the mercy of expensive professional videographers hauling thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment if they want a truly professional video tour of their listing. How quickly things are changing with the release of Hyperlapse, which greatly increases the quality of phone-based video technology; enables any smartphone-equipped agent to walk through the property they’re listing; and produces a smooth and professional-looking walk-through video, regardless of experience. It leaves a lot of room for error (by smoothing out the shakiness), and even my 7-year-old niece could use it and still come out looking like Stephanie Spielberg.


Hyperlapse app

What’s the secret sauce? Built in image stabilization technology. So, while an ordinary video captured on a smartphone or tablet might be shaky and jittery, Hyperlapse technology helps create a smooth, cinematic feel, rivaling video shot with expensive Steadicams or Glidecams, which usually require an experienced (and pricey) operator. The result is a much more professional-looking video that can be shared not only on places like Instagram, YouTube and Facebook, but also on an agent’s website.

In addition to saving time and money, the Hyperlapse app enables the agent to control the speed of the time-lapse feature and give viewers a sense of the home’s floor plan and how all the rooms connect, in relation to the property photographs usually found on the listing detail page. It also allows the agent to quickly and efficiently focus on the flow of the listing’s surrounding yard, neighborhood and community, without the need to do hours’ worth of editing afterwards of all the separate shots obtained.

Typically, walk-through videos drag on and on with no end in site, and subsequently suffer from early viewer “abandonment.” The beauty of the Hyperlapse app is that it takes a lengthy and boring walk-through video that would typically rival “Gone With the Wind” and turns it into a condensed 60-second version of the same content that even my attention deficit disorder self would have the attention span to comprehend.

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“Free + quality” with your camera phone sounds good, but what about really high-end 3-D? Another virtual tour technology provider, Matterport, sells a sophisticated $4,500 camera and technology that lets buyers move through a listing at their own pace and view the property features or rooms in any order/angle, including a “dollhouse” cutaway view. I had the opportunity to speak on a panel with their team at Real Estate Connect in San Francisco this summer, and was very impressed by their technology and where they were going with it.

Hiring a professional videographer, using a free smartphone app or investing in a high-end 3-D camera are three distinctively different roads to take. When deciding which “property walk-through” video resource is right for you, always remember to consider your time, budget and ease of use.

Stephen Schweickart is the founder and CEO of VScreen, the nation’s leading video services company within the real estate industry.