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Video tour tips for sellers & brokers: First, do no porn.

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Large real estate brokerages are known for having large marketing budgets. One of the attractions for the would-be seller is better-quality photos, staging, frequent open houses and newspaper ads, placement in glossy brochures, and, increasingly, video tours of the property.

But as the jury on StreetEasy.com recently noted, "a sloppily produced video is more detriment than asset. A badly shot video can actually make the space look worse--smaller, lower-ceiling'd, etc."

AOL's national real estate blog recently put three such videos to a critical test. The winner, a video for an Arizona home, had "the feel of a Sunday morning home showcase infomercial." The runner-up (above), featuring an actress portraying a trophy wife/potential buyer of a $12.5m California beach house, had the feeling of an impending porn flick.

If you or your broker are tempted to try this at home, here are some do's and don'ts gleaned from the occasionally scathing reviews on AOL:

  • Videos should be logically organized, short and to the point. Giving too much information (or too much exposure to the broker!) can actually backfire and encourage buyers not to take a closer look.
  • Use a wide-angled lens and hire someone--even a film school student--who  knows how to shoot video. Don't do it yourself.
  • Think of real estate porn as a figure of speech, not a casting requirement.
  • Leave the cigars in the box.

(AOL.com; StreetEasy.com)

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