Video Automation - Progress or Proof that Virtual Tours Won't Die?

By Christian A. Sterner
March 13, 2014

It’s no mystery that many real estate companies have fallen behind the video trend. We felt it happening since our beginning (in 2006): in packed rooms of people wanting to know about the new new tech things, the word “video” would inspire passion in a few and create blank stares in most. Yet, regardless of the adoption rate in our industry, video has stayed on the road to ever-presence.

There are so many real estate professionals taking on the monumental task of doing video well and doing amazing things with their filmmakers. But, for those that allowed themselves to fall behind, it is clear that the fear of being left in the dust is manifesting itself in a new trend: “video automation.”

Video automation--an oxymoron--is the act of creating a rich media presentation from the data and images found on listing details pages.

By virtue of being easy to create and inexpensive, animations are threatening to dilute all the progress being made by people doing real video the right way. Within a few months, consumers will be flooded with property animations that are called “videos” and--when they want to find real, full motion videos and short films--they won't be able to. Our questions are as follows:

Are robo videos innovative or merely the new virtual tour?

How will real videos be found amongst a sea of  Ken Burns slideshows and animations?

If consumers search for properties using text-based criteria and qualify properties using photos, why would they want to see a card trick version of the same content?

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