Posted by larrylohrman on November 6, 2007
Ken Bui from Realivent.com and I were talking about a post I did recently over at geekestateblog.com on large image slide shows. As a result Ken showed me how he could turn my monoslideshow for into a more fully featured property site by using the free property site features that the Real Estate Marketing Platform has at realivent.com. Ken says, “..right now you can create 1 or 20 sites, they are still free. We are not sure yet if we will charge for them in the future…”
Property sites are a small part of the full service Realtor hosting features that realivant.com offers. I think anyone doing property sites should have a look at the services that realivant.com offers.
Posted in Propterty Sites | 3 Comments »
Posted by larrylohrman on August 31, 2007
I was googling around yesterday and ran across an interesting example of what I think is a state-of-the-art property site or tour. I think property sites and tours are morphing together into a single entity since it has become so inexpensive to purchase domain names these days. Why not get a domain name for a tour since it’s only a few bucks a year.
I want to point out a few points about these (i-Flyer) tours which are a product offered in the Seattle area by a company called Vistaestate. I did a post last March on an earlier version of this companies property site. At the time we had quite a discussion about the HDR only approach that this company uses so I won’t revisit that subject other than to say I think they do a good job of HDR and there only a few weird looking images.
I think this property site/tour has some significant features that are not unique but I keep seeing them over and over on tours I find appealing:
- The design is simple, elegant and straight forward.
- The navigation is clean and simple showing you thumbnails all the possible images and allows you to decide what to look at when instead of automatically marching through the photos and not allowing the viewer to control the slide show (I call this latter approach the Everett Fenton Gidley approach). Gidley’s contention is that it’s better to do everything for viewers. If they have to do anything they are likely to leave.
- The images are BIG. 800×600 or bigger. Big images can create more impact than small dinky ones. Small image tour and sites are a design left over from back in the days when bandwidth was a big issue. I just tested the effective speed of my Comcast connection and it’s usually around 6 megabits per second… so I want BIG images! Most real estate viewers are no different than I am.
- Notice that it looks like they are selling advertising to local companies… tasteful yes but still ads. Or maybe the business of a friend of the founder.
The images are by-in-large pretty good looking. There are some inconsistencies; the fourth image from the top has a serious converging vertical problem. This distracts from the otherwise very professional look of the images. A few of the image have the “dirty shadows” so characteristic of HDR images.
The last thing I want to rant about is the mixed use of portrait mode and landscape mode. I haven’t talked about this much but I’m becoming more and more annoyed by this phenomenon. I have nothing against portrait mode photos if used in an appropriate design that requires portrait mode, but I feel mixing them with landscape mode in a horizontal mode slide show frame is bad design. The horizontal images are displayed big and beautiful and the vertical ones are scrunched to fit the height of the horizontal frame. Yuck! The vertical mode photos are frequently vertical not because vertical is the only way to convey the image but because the photographer was oblivious to how the image was going to be used. I this particular slide show that has so many images I’d rather they just left out all the vertical images. Nothing would be lost and It would result in a much more pleasant viewing experience!
Posted in Propterty Sites, Virtual Tours | 13 Comments »