Browsing the blog archives for January, 2007

Marketing Listings in Nepal

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Last week, Internet traffic slowed significantly between North America and Asia.  One of the major fibre optic cables that links the 2 continents had been severed.  Within 24 hours, intercontinental Internet traffic was flowing again but much slower, just 60% of the previous capacity.  I have been closely watching our logs to see if it has had any effect on our overseas web traffic.  I have not been able to notice a significant drop in our traffic, in fact it seems to be as robust as ever.  Maybe the Dalai Lama is looking for a home in West Vancouver because we just had our first video viewed in Nepal.

This might be of interest to readers of our blog.  Here is the full list of countries that visited our website in 2006 sorted by number of pages viewed:

United States
South Korea
Great Britain
Russian Federation
European Union
Hong Kong
United Arab Emirates
South Africa
Saudi Arabia
Puerto Rico
New Zealand
Czech Republic
Antigua and Barbuda
Costa Rica
Cayman Islands
Slovak Republic
Brunei Darussalam
Burkina Faso
Dominican Republic
Sri Lanka 

The Internet makes the world a much smaller place.  Our video tours allow realtors to reach out to an international audience and market their listings to the world! 


Watching Video Openhouse Tours on Apple iPhone

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News, Technology

Apple unveiled its new cellular phone, iPhone, to the world this week with great fanfare. Of course the functionality of the iPod is built in, but it also has some other interesting features as well. Anyone familiar with a Mac will know what a widget is. For those unfamiliar with Macs, a widget is a small application that can be run on any computer running OS X. Some common examples are clocks, calculators, stock reports and weather reports. There are countless examples of widgets available for free to the general public. The iPhone will be running OS X and therefore will allow the user to quickly customize their “device” with widgets that meet their needs.

Navigating the Internet on a portable device other than a laptop has in general, been a horrible experience for the user. The iPhone attempts to make web browsing on a small screen a much more user friendly experience. The iPhone has the safari web browser installed and attempts to duplicate the experience of sitting on front of a laptop or desktop computer. Even though the resolution of the iPhone is only 360 x 240, Safari allows the user to see the whole page and then by tapping the screen, zoom in to the content you want to view or read. It sounds similar to a “Snap” preview, a javascript plugin for Internet Explorer that allows browsers to mouseover a link and see a preview of the website before zooming in on a specific area.

The most impressive feature built in to the iPhone is its ability to connect to wireless networks. Connecting to the Internet on existing cell phones is slow and requires the user to pay for data transfers. The experience is both expensive and unfriendly. If the iPhone is truly going to be a web surfing/email device, they needed to break away from relying on the cellular network to provide the data transfers. With all the free wireless networks popping up around the city, surfing the Internet on your iPhone would similar to the experience of using your laptop, just a smaller screen. I wonder if it would be possible to install ip telephony software like skype or vonage to make free long distance calls? Hmmmm.

Are you going to be able to view Video Openhouse Tours on your iPhone? Yes, but not anytime soon. The iPhone isn’t available in the US until June and won’t be released in Europe for until next year. Unfortunately, there are no release dates for the iPhone in Canada.

Panoramic Tours Are Dead – RIP

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News, Technology

Thanks to Steve over at Ubertor for drawing my attention to a great blog at the Future Of Real Estate Marketing. The post is an overview of the Inman News’ Real Estate Connect Conference. The author leaves the readers with a few thoughts including his predictions for online video in the real estate industry under the heading, “Video Killed the Virtual Tour“. Essentially, he is forecasting that this is the year that video will make an impact on the industry. Costs and technological barriers have fallen, making the use of video more accessible than ever before. If 2006 was all about aggregating real estate data, then 2007 is about giving context to the data and “video does just that”.

Panoramic or 360 tours aren’t dead … yet. But they are an old technology that is quickly being replaced by a far superior medium for virtually showcasing any home to the online world!

Video Openhouse Tours – Now Even More Affordable

News, Site Updates

Have you looked at the price list on our website?  You may have noticed that we have made our Video Openhouse Tours even more affordable than before.  The starting price of our videos is only $159!  Imagine having your real estate video tours for all your properties – the mansion in Point Grey, the townhome in Burnaby, the bachelor apartment downtown.  Our video tours are even more accessible. 

Are you a realtor and interested in trying out our services for the first time?  For just $129, you will receive the full suite of our services:

  • Streaming Video Openhouse Tour
  • Web-Otimized Photos for your website and the mls
  • High-Resolution Photo Gallery
  • The Companion Video Openhouse Tour DVD

Call us today to book your first tour, at (604) 732-7070.  We are looking forward to producing your first video!

Google Tools For Real Estate Professionals

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Helpful Tips, Real-Estate, Technology

I had a friend forward some interesting information about Google’s new Tools For Real Estate Professionals webpage.  It seems that Google has increased interest in the real estate industry.  And they have some very impressive statistics support their cause.  They claim that “over 56% of all Internet searches on ‘real estate’ and related terms are conducted on Google … and the majority of those searchers are actively looking for listings or referrals to brokers and agents.” 

By providing a suite of useful tools for professionals in the real estate industry, is Google attempting to bolster their listing service, Google Base?  That would seem to be the case.  Recently, Google Base upgraded their interface and created tools to easily publish real estate listings.  Posting a listing on Google Base also ensures that the property will be indexed by their search engine.  Google’s listing service is a great tool, but it is a distant second in comparison to the free listings leader, craigslist.

Most of you will already be familiar with the tools:

Google AdWords – Cost-per-click keyword advertising for effective local lead generation

Google Maps – High performance mapping experience

Google Earth – Harnesses the power of 3D satellite imagery

Local Business Center – Submit business listings easily

SketchUp – A powerful tool for creating, presenting, and modifying 3D models

The Tools for Real Estate Professionals webpage failed to mention their other free products such as Gmail, Google Calendar, Online Spreadsheets and Picassa (photo organization).  By providing easy to use tools, Google will be able to attract more real estate listings, and ultimately create a better search experience for anyone looking for real estate.  But can they catch craigslist?


Improved Video Openhouse Tours – Larger Video Size

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Flash Video, Site Updates

Have you seen our new larger size video tours?  The larger size was being tested in December and is officially ready for the New Year.  All our new clients will receive the new size format and we will be phasing in the larger size for our existing customers over the next few weeks.

Here are some examples:

Robin Cameron, 3430 Anne MacDonald Way – video

Jane Heathcote, 2806 West 14th Avenue – video

Ken Leong, 1636 Stephens Street – video

Elizabeth McQueen – 115 – 1228 Marinaside Crescent – video

Jacquie Darmanin, 5 – 15168 36th Avenue – video

We are committed to continually improving our products and providing prompt, professional service.   If you have any suggestions how we can make our products and services better, we would be interested in hearing from you.


Most Viewed Real Estate Videos – 2006


Here are the Top 5 Video Openhouse tours by number of views in 2006:

  1. 4716 Belmont Avenue – Andrew Hasman and Stephanie Corcoran 

    4716 Belmont Avenue

  2. 2054 West 15th Avenue – Doug Williams 

    2054 West 15th Avenue

  3. 201 – 1176 West 6th Avenue – Val Orchison

    201 - 1176 West 6th Avenue

  4. 12 Tamath Crescent – Andrew Hasman

    12 Tamath Crescent

  5. Bowser Beach House – Andrew Hasman

    Bowser Beach House


All of the videos listed above received well over 1000 unique views.  In all cases, the accompanying webpages for each video has been customized and branded to prominently display the realtors personal information, including name, phone number, email address, website and picture.  Our real estate videos promote listings AND agents.  Imagine your contact information and picture proudly displayed to over 1000+ unique viewers for the 2 minute duration of your video.  Still spending your advertising budget on newspaper ads?  Get a better return for your dollar by promoting yourself with Video Openhouse Tours!