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Real Estate Shows Embarks on Video

Real Estate Shows

Many of us use the services of Real Estate Shows where we bulk upload images of listings (or neighborhoods, etc), are able to add music and dynamic transitions between images, creating a beautiful show for buyers. We’ve even done a massive product review of the Real Estate Shows service.

Big News!

Today, Real Estate Shows announces that in addition to their many publishing and distribution options already built in and super easy to use, you can now convert your show into a video file that can be uploaded to video networks such at YouTube, Flickr, Photobucket, MySpace and more and current users (or those who sign up by January 1, 2009) won’t even incur any additional costs. Talk about a value added!

According to Real Estate Shows:

At launch, Real Estate Shows users will also be able to automatically upload their video to their own YouTube channel, to the, or both. Other automatic uploading options will be added in the near future. In addition, the MP4 file can be downloaded to your hard drive and used anywhere video is accepted, including desktop-based video editing applications like iMove and Adobe Premiere.


Sweet! This is really exciting because it was the missing piece- now your Real Estate Show will be found in even MORE places (and your sellers will thank you for the faster sale due to your super awesome marketing genius).

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Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.



  1. Barry Cunningham

    July 1, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    Ummm….been doing this..easy to do, no this something new?

  2. Benn Rosales

    July 1, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    Ever tried res, Barry?

  3. Barry Cunningham

    July 1, 2008 at 1:43 pm problem with the service at all..but been using the video to post from the beginning..this isn’t new

  4. Roger Theriault

    July 1, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    But is it “video” just because the pictures move around? That worked for Ken Burns because they didn’t have videographers during in the Civil War… but slideshows shouldn’t be called “video” just because they are rendered into a video format. It’s not that difficult or expensive to do a real video tour.

  5. Mike Mueller

    July 1, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    Awesome! I always thought that was a missing piece. Good for RES! And now that the .swf is being indexed this makes it all that much more important!

  6. Holly White

    July 1, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    Having just done the first two of many more video open houses to come, I can say that it really isn’t that difficult to do. You don’t need RES to do it, just a video camera, Windows Movie Maker (usually pre-loaded on most computers now) and a couple of hours.

  7. Benn Rosales

    July 1, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    Awesome, well, if you have assistants that do your backend work such as image collection and distribution of your listing content, this is really an extra two clicks and you’re on youtube as well. Besides save me 150 bucks a pop on virtual tours, RES does many things like provide you html to do your own single property website, flyers, and a bunch of other very cool things with just clicks. An entire listing can be launched in less than 5 minutes. We pay for and use this service and from a business perspective, it is absolutely worth every penny we pay.

    What is new is that you previously only had an image tour, but now with no other effort, the tour is converted to video and can be put anywhere.

    And dont get me started on how intuitive it is… res is one of the bar standards I compare any vendor who approaches me, and few even compare to how far Jeff has gone with this product.

  8. Lani Anglin-Rosales

    July 1, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    Holly, it’s true that you can do it on your own with only a few hours but that’s only if you have very few listings (and the patience to edit video). When you have tens or hundreds of listings, there is no such thing as “a couple of hours” on a single property video, even if your paid assistants are doing it you know? Just a few minutes gets RES done, we do use it in our business, especially after trying it ourselves and many hours of editing that still didn’t look as good as the RES shows. It also gives us a chance to feature the professional photography we focus our money on. It’s a win win in my book!

  9. Holly White

    July 1, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    Lani, you have a very valid point. It looks like they offer a top quality product and I’m sure it serves it’s purpose. It appears that what they are calling a “video” is still photos being panned in and out of to music though. What I am talking about is an actual video open house. No, what I am doing is not top cinema style quality, but being able to virtually walk through a house as if the viewer was walking though it themselves is something that has always intrigued me. I started playing around with my video camera and viola! before I knew it, I had a movie on my hands. I’ve had several people comment that they like this style of viewing (as “unprofessional” as it may be) much better than the “virtual tours” of photos and that they would be more likely to schedule a showing on a home that had a video tour than not. It works for me and as I hone my skills I think it will get even better. I’m just a small timer with a handful of listings though, when I get hundreds of listings I’m sure I’ll hire someone to do it.

  10. Barry Cunningham

    July 1, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    Roger I have seen your stuff and I love it.

    Lani it really doesn’t take as long as you say but hey..whatever is easier

  11. Holly White

    July 1, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    Roger I am so glad I went to your site! Awesome stuff!! I would be humbled if you would take a look at a single property site I just did for a client. It was my very first video, so please go easy on me, but any pointers you have is much appreciated. It’s a long video, about 9 minutes, but it’s nearly 9000 square feet and I could barely get it all in in that short of a time period and still do it justice. The site is and there is a link to the video open house there. Greatly appreciate your thoughts.

    PS – I am going to use some of your widgets for the new wordpress site I’m working on. Thanks! 😉

  12. Roger Theriault

    July 1, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    Holly, that’s a very good video. And waaay better than a slideshow! Quality was pretty good for YouTube. If you use the video player I use, wordTube, you can host files yourself, allow full-screen viewing, and get better quality without the annoying “badge”.

    You did pretty well, walking through a house with a camera tends to violate all of Hollywood’s rules and drive cameras with auto-focus and auto-exposure crazy. I’d change the music up instead of repeating it, if you can control the iris (exposure) try fixing that and up the exposure a bit; when you point towards a window everything darkens when you’re on auto, and it’s not always the best result. Pan a bit less, and slowly. Add some tripod shots (no zooming or panning) of the key features (trees in the breeze will set it apart from still photos). Use only two transitions: black fade or a cut. I use the Steadicam Merlin for my motion shots, it’s essential to reduce bounce and rocking motions, but pricy. Obviously, keep the lens zoomed back as wide as you can (consider a wider lens if available). But you did very, very well. Nice job!

  13. Erion Shehaj

    July 1, 2008 at 3:49 pm


    I understand you have to push your services, but $475 per listing?! Or $795 for the full package?

    Next thing you know we’ll have agents hiring Pixar to do animated home shows for a mere half mil’ a house. I think tools have to be evaluated for what they offer as well as what they cost (in other words, their value). And as far as value is concerned, RES is hard to beat.

  14. Barry Cunningham

    July 1, 2008 at 4:09 pm

    One of the problems with agents..always trying to do things on the cheap. RES definitely works and for 125 per year, most agents will opt out for the cheaper option. So that’s what differentiation is.

    By the way, if you sell a $300,000 home and get a 3% commission or $9,000 then $495 is just a bit over 5% cost to you. Hardly breaking the bank for what it does..

  15. Holly White

    July 1, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    Roger, thank you so much!!! You’re advice is invaluable!! As I was reading everything, I thought, “makes total sense, why didn’t I think of that before!?” I may go out and re-shoot the video again, it’ll be worth the time I think, but for a first timer I thought I did pretty well. And thanks for the tip on the Steadicam Merlin, it looks like exactly what I need for the jitter. Thanks again!

  16. Erion Shehaj

    July 1, 2008 at 5:03 pm


    You are confusing “cheap” with “affordable”. Real Estate agents have a business to run, so your talk radio math doesn’t quite work in this case. Nice try though.

  17. Roger Theriault

    July 1, 2008 at 5:18 pm

    There are free slideshow viewers that will present a photo gallery with transitions, like the built-in one on Flickr. But at least the user can control it.

    Erion, I’m not “pushing” anything… I certainly can’t go far to video anything with gas at $4 a gallon. I actually provide all that to my own sellers as part of the service. It’s really not worth my time to do it for someone else for less… it’s not just time on site (that could be spent with my own customers) but editing, production, and paying for the equipment and software (and if I charge money it had better be professional). I’m just trying to encourage agents to use “real” video… better quality, and provides more value to the sellers. One-photo listings bug me (and most buyers), and I suppose a slideshow encourages agents to take a few more pics, and I’m not knocking RES as a product… but to me the full value is in providing as much as possible (at the highest possibly quality) to get buyers in to the home, and I’m afraid calling a slideshow a “video tour” is going to get people clicking away before you’re 30 seconds in to the video and possibly reflect poorly on the agent and the property. It’s all about managing expectations.

  18. Erion Shehaj

    July 1, 2008 at 5:30 pm


    I never questioned the legitimacy of the price of your product. I’m sure it costs what you charge to produce high quality video (with high priced equipment) and turn a profit at the same time. My point was that at the current price point, I’m not so sure that video delivers the same value per buck (so to speak) as RES. Real Estate Shows may not be video in the technical sense of the word, but they certainly come close to it in the experience that they deliver to the buyers looking for information on a home. I’m not so sure, that a buyer, after looking at a real estate show (or slideshow) says to himself: “That wasn’t exactly movie enough for me”. That’s not saying that looking at both products, one couldn’t tell the difference. But ultimately, I think a virtual tour a la Real Estate Shows, satisfies the buyer’s need for visual information about that house. And that’s what an agent’s priority should be.

  19. Matthew Rathbun

    July 1, 2008 at 6:38 pm

    I get tons of demos as Association staff. We get everyone pitching everything. I recall asking RES PRES if he’d like to do a tradeshow booth and he declined but offered to come speak. WOW! Someone who really wants to contribute to practitioners and not just take their money. The program is very well done and the people behind it are transparent and respectable.

    Have we seen other type of systems? Sure… but with Turner and the rest working on this program, it’s just gonna get better and better.

    It’s a great program at a great price for agents.

  20. Brad Coy

    July 1, 2008 at 7:19 pm

    Real Estate Shows are a GREAT solution. Having more flexibility with the tool by being able to convert files to Video format makes it even better.

    For anyone looking to try it out, I recommend trying out a free trial. The back end tracking information provided for each show is also very cool.

  21. Bill Lublin

    July 1, 2008 at 8:25 pm

    @Roger – You seem to offer a fine service, but it would strike me that it is a different service.We have hudnreds of listings at a time the cost of providing your service would be prohibitive forus – We sell inepxensive houses, and frankly a video would be overkill – We actually tried videoing property years ago, and the time and costinvolved made it impractical for us.

    I have not used RES, though I have spoken with Jeff a number of times and find him bright and knowledgable. I am hoping to have some time to discuss using the package for my company if we can meet in San Francisco, since it strikes me that we can take the photos we are already suing and do double duty with them whic is efficient in terms of labor cost as well as product cost.

    @Erion, I have to agree with you. Its not about cheap, its abou tbusiness. I fthe consimer will stay and watch a less expensive but quality product, I’m in. If the averag ereal estate company earns 10-15% profit in decent times from the brokerage business, then any new expense has to generate 10 times the cost to break even. With all due respect to Roger’s no doubt xcellent product, the numbers (for me just don;t make sense) and as far as having my agents do that work, frankly, if they are effective agents, they need to be speding their time working with clients insteadof working as a cut rate pixar technician.

  22. Paula Henry

    July 1, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    I have been a client of Real Estate Shows since almost the beginning. Jeff Turner is commited to bringing us a quality product which is easy to use, while continually updating the options offered. I have never had a client say they don’t like it. They love them! They love the stats! It is a powerful addition to my marketing and listing presentation!

  23. Barry Cunningham

    July 1, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    Wrion..I was correct…if you find $495 to be not affordable, I’d have to say you aren’t in business. No talk radio math needed…you said it, I didn’t. While RES is a good product and it is meritorius…Roger is right, it’s not video.

    Hey, I don’t have a problem with you not being able to afford $495. Do you tell your clients that? bad…you just did!!

  24. Matt Stigliano

    July 2, 2008 at 9:18 am

    As a musician (14 years in the music industry) and a guy who saw the internet revolution of music coming long before Lars Ulrich got mad about it, I’m curious to know what everyone’s thoughts on choice of music is all about. I still collect royalties from my work, so obviously I am a bit biased, but if you thought a song (let’s say a hit song currently on the radio) fit your video perfectly, would you use it? There’s no real performance rights society collection for real estate videos (I’m sure BMI, ASCAP, and others are watching it carefully though, they’re always looking for ways to collect a few cents) that I know of, but I was just curious to see what agents thought of it and what they would do and why they would justify what they would/wouldn’t do.

  25. Matthew Rathbun

    July 2, 2008 at 11:30 am

    Pixar Listing Videos… HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Erion, Barry is crafty and very good at cornering folks in conversations. He and everyone else knows that there are a lot of costs associated with being in the business, and not just those associated with marketing the listing. However, marketing a property is not inexpensive and agents need to go in, knowing that they are going to spend some coin. I’ve seen some very talented agents do their own video editing on a Mac or PC and it be just as effective.

    I like RES and I think the cost is outstanding for what you get. Video, Virtual Tour, RES,etc… all has a place in a marketing plan for a home.

    I somewhat agree with Barry that consumers should know what kind of marketing the agent is going to do, and if I don’t feel that a $500 video is a good return on investment than I will simply illustrate that for my clients – however, you need to be able to show other services that will generate the same responses.

    When almost all consumers search the internet from home in a their inquires, and only 47% of Americans have high-speed at home; video is not the end all be all of marketing. If the video doesn’t load and start playing in about six seconds; than you’ve lost them and the money you put into it.

    Know your market area. All the stats that are given nationally don’t mean a whole lot if your market area doesn’t match the demographic. My wife’s primary market county only has about 10% high speed internet availability. So, videos have to target relo folks, not locals how move in the same county, which is about 40% of the market.

  26. Roger Theriault

    July 2, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    Matt, good question… I use royalty free tracks from Digital Juice for my videos because they are NOT “hit” tunes, they are high quality vocal-less background tracks. I’m willing to pay for content. The music publishers don’t make it easy to pay for commercial music, if they did I might consider it but I won’t use anything I didn’t create myself or purchase the right to use.

    Bill, there’s a tradeoff between the time spent “selling” and the time spent doing marketing materials. Many agents with the volume hire assistants or staff or sub out what they need. I just happen to have the time, and ability, and that makes it effective to do it myself versus hire out. We all need to choose our set of services and how we accomplish what we promise our sellers. (I’m not suggesting video is necessary for every home… just saying don’t promise video and deliver something else.) I disagree with anyone who claims to have too many listings to actually service them “properly”… if you get to that point, you need to refer out or hire on. That’s my opinion… I’m sure a lot of agents will disagree with me. That’s really unfortunate. As for home sellers, instead of focusing on numbers like commission and market value they ought to spend a bit more time looking at what they are getting. I’m proud to have had sellers write unsolicited accolades because they though I had done a better job for them than any other agent had – that’s good value, and that’s what we should all strive for, the money will follow.

  27. Matt Stigliano

    July 2, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    Roger – I should have noted that the reason I asked was that I had seen a home video using a hit song. I myself found it a bit of a shock, but thought of how I constantly hear/read/think that a good real estate agent needs to educate their clients. Well the same goes for music really. I think the music industry as a whole really messed up by not coming clean and helping to educate the consumer on what goes into producing those hits and why it would be detrimental to the artist (of course, that business model has evolved slightly now, so its at least heading in a better direction, but still not enough of a new direction to change the industry as a whole) in the long run. I actually didn’t mind people taking the music for free, what bothered me were people’s justifications that I had to read as they were downloading my stuff with no compensation to me. I’ll be interested to hear what others say, but thanks for your answer!

  28. Ken Smith

    July 2, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    Will have to take a look at this service. Thanks for sharing.

  29. Erion Shehaj

    July 2, 2008 at 7:07 pm

    As for home sellers, instead of focusing on numbers like commission and market value they ought to spend a bit more time looking at what they are getting.


    I would have to respectfully disagree. In my opinion, sellers are (and should be) concerned with results as opposed to “what they’re getting”. After all this explains why the Redfins and the HelpUSells of this business haven’t been able to put the Russell Shaws out of business. Because, Russell will sell your house. Period! And as far as helping sell your house goes, I’m not sure that you get much further with an actual video rather than a real estate show. That was my contention all along.


    I have been reading some of the comment threads on previous post and I have come to the realization that I have spent time at the DMV that has been more productive than arguing with you.

  30. Roger Theriault

    July 2, 2008 at 8:30 pm

    Erion, you don’t need to agree. But results is exactly what I meant. You took my statement out of context simply to twist it and disagree with it. I don’t need to argue with you. My statement “what they are getting” wasn’t meant to describe a raft of useless bells and whistles that sound good. It meant choosing an agent who can deliver a sale, has a good reputation, knows what he is doing, is well respected by other agents, and delivers an ultimate selling price that’s above the area average with fewer headaches. That’s what I said the first time and I’ll say it again. You don’t need to offer video to do that… you need to work smart and do a better job than the competing properties, and that will vary from market to market, house to house. For some high-end sellers, it means a well-connected agent who knows people. But I’m tired of hearing sellers complain their previous agent “didn’t do anything”. And some agents don’t… do…. anything… lockbox (combo), 1 pic (if any), MLS, two lines “great home, good neighborhood, close to everything, too many upgrades to mention, must see” and it’s off to the next listing appointment? Not my style. Brings us all down, actually.

    As for home sellers, instead of focusing on numbers like commission and market value they ought to spend a bit more time looking at what they are getting. I’m proud to have had sellers write unsolicited accolades because they though I had done a better job for them than any other agent had – that’s good value, and that’s what we should all strive for, the money will follow

  31. Jonathan Dalton

    July 2, 2008 at 8:36 pm

    > Hey, I don’t have a problem with you not being able to afford $495. Do you tell your clients that? bad…you just did!!

    He didn’t actually say that, Barry. You should be above misquoting intentionally, my friend.

    Higher cost doesn’t always translate to increased effectiveness. Just look at for an example.

  32. Barry Cunningham

    July 2, 2008 at 9:03 pm

    C’mon Jonathan…seriously it’s getting really old with so many agents making statements on blogs and then saying that’s not what I said. Ok..I’m a moron, I don’t know what someone means when they say that “cheap and affordable are two different things. Geez…it’s not like I went to college or got my masters or have spent any sort of time interacting with people.

    I apologize Erion. You did’nt say you couldn’t afford the $495. I misunderstood what you were trying to say when you said “cheap is not the same as affordable”.

    What are we 3rd graders here? That’s one of the issues in the re blogosphere. Everything is a personal attack, everything is putting words in one’s mouth. How about just writing what you mean then and being direct when you make statements. Ok..I’ll Play along with this game…

    Hello Erion, I seem not to understand you, please explain in more detail what EXACTLY you meant when you said “You are confusing “cheap” with “affordable”. Real Estate agents have a business to run, so your talk radio math doesn’t quite work in this case.” It would really add to the conversation here for myself and guys like Jonathan. We seem to be at a place on some re blogs in regards to linguistics where it is not proper to read betwenn the lines so please do tell..what is it that you meant with that statement.

    It’s really..really getting old.

  33. Benn Rosales

    July 2, 2008 at 9:40 pm

    Overheard on Ag, “I’m a moron.” Barry Cunningham 😉

  34. Matthew Rathbun

    July 2, 2008 at 10:04 pm

    Deafening silence…

  35. Dan Connolly

    July 2, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    “Deafening silence”

    I wrote a response earlier and erased it, but maybe I should resurrect it.

    Barry, Since you are not an agent, your analysis of whether or not $495 for a video makes good business sense for a Realtor is nothing more than a uneducated guess. (I don’t think you would like people telling you how to run your biz) That analysis appeared to set Erion off, it must have seemed to him like a personal attack. Obviously Erion’s “talk radio math” and “nice try though” sarcastic comment set you off, you viewed it as a “personal attack” and the conversation disintegrated from there. So I agree it’s easy to view statements as personal attacks, many of them actually are! From my viewpoint you both were giving and getting.

    I find it entertaining to watch, like boxing or other blood sports. Since you seem to be in the ring quite a bit giving and getting, I really don’t understand your post #32 complaining about it.

  36. Jonathan Dalton

    July 2, 2008 at 11:25 pm

    > seriously it’s getting really old with so many agents making statements on blogs and then saying that’s not what I said.

    The key is to read that statement and take the meaning, Barry, not add the meaning that you want the statement to have. And you’ve used the same “I didn’t say that” argument with your 90% article once upon a time … several of us, myself included, read a statement where you had a question.

    Real estate marketing is full of expensive solutions, most of which aren’t worth the first two cents. If I can accomplish what I want for $129 a year (or less, since I can put together slide shows through the RE/MAX site and also Point-2-Agent), who is to say I’m wrong?

    On the idea of elliptical conversations, I think all of us would benefit if they disappeared.

  37. Brad Coy

    July 2, 2008 at 11:51 pm

    and…..BACK to the headline:

    “Real Estate Shows Embarks on Video” very cool! — Now with more options for distrubution 🙂

  38. Jay Thompson

    July 3, 2008 at 12:10 am

    Damn, just deleted my own comment. It’s just not worth it…

  39. Frank Jewett

    July 3, 2008 at 1:27 am

    This is going to kill the technophiles here, but I recently spoke to a broker who cancelled his virtual tour contract.


    Almost none of his agents were using it.

    Cost to agent and seller?


    No really, FREE. The broker was giving this away to his agents to help them be more successful.

    I wonder how many of those agents have since left for other offices crying about a lack of technical tools or support from their broker.

    $129… $495… whatever. Good luck! You’ll need it. Seriously.

  40. Rich Jacobson

    July 3, 2008 at 3:06 am

    Barry’s a moron? Say it isn’t true!….

  41. Erion Shehaj

    July 3, 2008 at 5:55 am

    It meant choosing an agent who can deliver a sale, has a good reputation, knows what he is doing, is well respected by other agents, and delivers an ultimate selling price that’s above the area average with fewer headaches. That’s what I said the first time and I’ll say it again. You don’t need to offer video to do that… you need to work smart and do a better job than the competing properties, and that will vary from market to market, house to house. For some high-end sellers, it means a well-connected agent who knows people. But I’m tired of hearing sellers complain their previous agent “didn’t do anything”. And some agents don’t… do…. anything… lockbox (combo), 1 pic (if any), MLS, two lines “great home, good neighborhood, close to everything, too many upgrades to mention, must see” and it’s off to the next listing appointment? Not my style. Brings us all down, actually.


    No arguments here 🙂

    @ Barry

    I was about to write a lengthy explanation but then I re read my previous comment.

  42. Barry Cunningham

    July 3, 2008 at 8:24 am

    Dan, you wrote “Barry, Since you are not an agent, your analysis of whether or not $495 for a video makes good business sense for a Realtor is nothing more than a uneducated guess. (I don’t think you would like people telling you how to run your biz”

    Can I state for the record..I AM IN THE REAL ESTATE BUSINESS once and for all. You don’t have to be a licensed real estate agent to buy and sell houses. Hate to break it to you Dan but it’s a real big world out there and there are some who make a great living buying and selling houses who do know a bit about real estate. My statement wasn’t an educated guess. It was based upon proven experience and the retrun on investment that I have received on my transactions.

    Our radio show is a marketing vehicle that is a component of our business. It is not our MAIN business. Real estate acquisitions and sales is our business and video and RES are both utilized.

    We use video for certain properties and RES on others. So we spend a LOT of money on equipment and infrastructure to run our business.

    I continually, sometimes painfully, re-invest in our business and it is necessary. Roger mentioned the Steadicam Merlin. It costs $800.00, saw how it looked in his video, ordered one right up…did not blink..slam dunk of a choice.

    My reference to Erion was that if $495 looked to be “not affordable”…why ? 3% of $300,000 is 9k.

    Seems to me like an absolute no-brainer. Surprised many of you did not feel the same. I KNOW that when I buy a house I am most assuredly going to sell it for a pretty good profit. Tools that allow me to sell the home and fit in my budget are to be looked at.

    Dan..since you asked…I run my business by allocating 20% of every dollar earned to be spent towards marketing and infrastructure.

    If I make $30,000 on a deal, I know I have $6k to spend on further dominating my market and improving my infrastructure. Do you think it’s cheap to operate a radio show…condenser mics alone can cost upwards of $500-$1,000.

    If an agent isn’t sure they can sell a home, then why get involved with the listing? I only want to get involved in deals that pay me. I don’t need the practice whatsoever.

    In a slow market in florida we hope to move 5-10 deals this month. Accordingly I am constantly looking for ways to up my game. One of the reason I spend so much time with you lovely folks.

    (Jonathan even gave me an idea about Canadian buyers not too long ago)

    So…my question…or statement…to Erion was how could $495 be seen as unaffordable to one who had a listing that they stood to make several thousand dollars on?

    I may have posed the question incorrectly, but the question remains.

    If you stand to make 3-6% on the sale of a home, how can $495.00 be too much to spend?

    Resident Moron

  43. Dan Connolly

    July 3, 2008 at 9:16 am

    @Barry, Just for the record, I didn’t say you weren’t in the Real Estate Business, I said you were not an agent. $495 may or may not be too much, my point is that if someone told you how to market or run any part of your biz, I really think you would take offense.

    I also didn’t ask how much you spend, because I know you are a professional at what you do and you spend exactly the right amount. My point was that since you do not know all of the other expenses Erion has, your statement that he should spend X number of dollars on anything, is really not fair and could easily be taken as an insult.

    It’s about mutual respect.

  44. Ken Smith

    July 3, 2008 at 9:52 am

    “If you stand to make 3-6% on the sale of a home, how can $495.00 be too much to spend?”

    Because if only 20% of your listings sell (that’s higher then our market average currently) that would mean it is way to much.

    Using your fuzzy math that means the average agent would spend $2500 ($500/20%) per listing that sold just for one marketing concept. Even using your inflated 3%, $9000 average that is 28% ($2500/$9000) of the total commission without any other expenses. Lets not forget about the brokerage taking a cut off the top. We will be nice and call this 36% (what KW takes) which means the agent actually only sees $5,760 ($9000*64%) and the $2500 is now 43% ($2500/$5760) of each closed transaction.

    Your numbers look worse once we take into account that in the real world most markets haven’t seen 3% co-ops in some time and many markets the average sales price is much lower then $300k. Don’t forget about all the other expenses we have for each listing and to run the business in general. Not to mention I don’t work for free, need to put food on the table and make an above average income or why bother taking all these risks.

    This is a business and without running the numbers there is no way to make an educated decision. You need to know what you average commission is, what percentage of your listings actually sell, what your TOTAL marketing costs are per listing, what your soft costs average per transaction, how much profit you expect per listing, and then and only then can you make a financial decision. At $500 per listing this would not make sense for my business and I can say that for a fact. Not being cheap, just making a smart business decision.

  45. Jay Thompson

    July 3, 2008 at 10:03 am

    “If you stand to make 3-6% on the sale of a home, how can $495.00 be too much to spend?”

    Maybe it’s not. But just throwing money at it isn’t the right answer either. For me, it depends on where and how that $495 is spent.

    If spending $495 on marketing a listing were a guarantee that it would sell, of course I’d spend it. If (as is far more likely) it might sell the home, then it would be prudent to weight the pros and cons, estimate the probability that said spend would indeed sell the house and make a decision based on a time/cost/risk analysis as to whether that $495 was money well spent.

    “How can $495 be too much to spend?”

    If there is a very low probability that spending it does anything toward selling the property, it’s too much to spend. If there is zero probability that a marketing cost will sell a property, then 15 cents is too much to spend. And for the record, I’m not saying that a $495 video is a bad idea. Maybe it’s a brilliant no-brainer decision to spend that. And maybe, it’s a complete waste of time, money and effort. I think it depends on the property, the market, and the situation. And they are all different.

  46. Barry Cunningham

    July 3, 2008 at 10:10 am

    Ken..are you kjididng…”fuzzy math” , “inflated 3%”…”the real world most markets haven’t seen 3% co-ops”

    Ummm…if what you lament is correct…why are you in this business? And I mean that with all due respect..seriously.

    There is no “fuzzy math”. 3 percent is standard for most agents in this market (although I would not get involved in a deal for 3%), the 3% stated is nowhere near inflated (ask Ines).

    You are in the Chicago area are’nt you? Are you saying the median home price in the Chicago area is below $250,000 – $300,000 (not counting the hood obviously)

    What is more disconcerting is that you said that “only 20% of your listings sell”

    Whoa ..I mean whoa…and that’s ABOVE average? You guys have a much bigger problem if that’s the case.

    Like I said above, I don’t need the practice. Why in the world would you be in a business where 80% or more of the time you fail? (sorry you didn’t say the word fail…but I don’t know how else to explain it)

    I sell 100% of the properties we put on the market. I would rather be shining shoes than hitting 200.

    That’s possibly the reason I don’t comprehend things with some real estate agents.

    Are you telling me, seriously, that it is normal for most agents to whiff on over 80% of the listings that they take?

    You’d do better going all in at your local casino..maybe even better. I know it’s a bit off topic but can some of the other AG crew chime in on this one. 80% of listings fail??? No way…you’re really pulling my leg on this.

    Excuse my naivety but Bill Lublin, Daniel, Benn, Lani..someone tell me this ain’t so!

  47. Jennifer in Louisville

    July 3, 2008 at 10:22 am

    As far as spending $495 for a video on a property, it really would just depend for me. I deal with a lot of rural properties – where a lot of people do NOT even have high speed internet. So, me spending that money would probably not get much back in the way of actually getting the property sold (beyond a few people that may be wanting to move to a more rural locale from somewhere that currently has high speed internet). Its a nifty tool – but I’m not prepared to throw the entire tool chest at every single property I list. I’d rather grab the appropriate tools that I think will get a property to sell.

  48. Erion Shehaj

    July 3, 2008 at 10:29 am

    (I couldn’t resist “Resident Moron”)…

    If there is a very low probability that spending it does anything toward selling the property, it’s too much to spend. If there is zero probability that a marketing cost will sell a property, then 15 cents is too much to spend

    Jay concentrated my Cafe Americano of an idea into a Quadruple Shot Espresso!


    So you can understand, let me give you a little bit of insight into the decision making process concerning expenditures in our brokerage. When we consider whether or not to take on an additional expense the questions that MUST be answered is the following:

    “How is this expenditure going to help in getting the home sold? How does this expenditure compare with other alternative options in getting the same job done?”

    I can understand that high quality video might work for certain types of homes. I will grant that for certain home high quality video might be the only way to go. But in the Houston Real Estate market, the average home price is about $150,000. And most importantly, when it comes to getting the job of providing prospective buyers with visual information about the home, Roger’s video product would not do a better job that RES for the homes that we sell. Just the same way that hiring a professional photographer would not do a better job at selling the home faster than if I purchased a wide angle lens camera and learned to take good quality photos.

    After all, with your “$495 argument”, an agent could put in a lockbox that featured an Intel dual core processor or build real estate signs with sterling silver frames or put Tablet PCs instead of fliers (all these ideas are trademarked by the way :-)) but it wouldn’t get the home sold faster.

    And that’s what drives my decision making when it comes to expenses.

  49. Bob

    July 3, 2008 at 10:32 am

    “I sell 100% of the properties we put on the market.”

    So do the banks. Doesn’t matter though, as both 20% and 100% are anomalies. Regardless, what I believe Ken is saying is that only 20% of the inventory is turning over at the moment. That isn’t the same as saying that agents only sell 20% of their listings. Besides, you are not an agent, so the comparisons you make don’t really matter. Your inventory is your own, acquired solely on the basis of its ability to flip.

    “3 percent is standard for most agents in this market”

    No it isn’t.

  50. Matthew Rathbun

    July 3, 2008 at 10:46 am

    It amazes me that a short blog post about a product can result in 50 comments…

    Folks, really…. Let’s spend this holiday weekend doing something other than bickering about Barry’s opinion. It’s pretty obvious that Barry likes to stir stuff up… that’s his thing and it does make a lot of us re-think why we do things. There is value in that, even if his delivery isn’t the best.

    However, I really think that most of you have far better things to do with family and buisness than keep feeding who are controversial just to be controversial.

    There is no requirements for anyone on here to answer to anyone on a blog about your business practice, and it’s really starting to feel that is what some are doing. It’s between you and your clients.

  51. Dan Connolly

    July 3, 2008 at 10:47 am

    My numbers are much higher than 20% closer to 80% that sell. Some take a year but eventually they sell. The ones that don’t have sellers that won’t reduce to the market price, and normally these get multiple offers at the true value, and the seller just isn’t really needing to sell. I don’t spend a lot of money marketing overpriced listings, I am upfront with the sellers about this.

  52. Ken Smith

    July 3, 2008 at 11:29 am

    Barry once again you are putting words in someones mouth.

    I used 20% as a number that happens to be higher then our market average (currently 18.6% of listings sell in our market). Our team does much better then that average, but was using an average to be fair to everyone. What my number is has nothing to do with your fuzzy math.

    So do you think Russell Shaw might know what he is doing? If so how about reading this quote from his recent post. (

    What is interesting (besides the utterly horrible long term downward trend of my major stats) is how “good and bad” we are doing compared to the market. For the past twelve months my percentage of of listings taken to those listings sold is 60.9% That is just awful, in the past 12 months we aren’t selling almost 40% of the listings taken. It is just awful and at the same time, a hell of lot better than almost everybody else here. Most agents in my market area are selling about 20% in that same time period. Not selling 80% of what was listed. Most of the better agents are running around 41 – 43% sold.

    No listing agent sells 100% of the homes they list, it is impossible. Again you are NOT IN OUR BUSINESS, but for some reason you can’t see the difference.

    Are you telling me, seriously, that it is normal for most agents to whiff on over 80% of the listings that they take?

    In the current market, yes. Even in our best market the average never was higher then around 50%.

    I don’t comprehend things with some real estate agents.

    No, Barry you don’t comprehend much about our business and why our business isn’t the same as yours.

    I am not going to argue on topics you know nothing about. That includes commission (national average is 5.1% last time the stats came out, even lower in my area) and just about anything related to being a real estate agent. If you have anything else to add then fine, otherwise you are acting like an authority on a topic you know nothing about and it gets really old having to see your asinine comments. When you stick to topics you know about you share some useful information, sadly you don’t stick to those topics.

  53. Barry Cunningham

    July 3, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    Hey Ken,

    So much for not making personal attacks. Just so you know which YOU can’t comprehend is I AM in the real estate business such as yours. While I personally am not licensed…don’t assume that I am not nvolved with a brokerage. You don’t have to be licensed to be a partner in an agency.

    3% IS the norm down here. And most assuredly I would not be in a business wherein 20% was the measured success rate. That my friend is truly asinine.

    I was taken aback by this, not out of ignorance but rather out of shock. I have seen some very..very impressive and smart people here and to find out that some exist on a 20% success standard is beyond anything I could possibly even comprehend.

    Matt, I am not looking to stir things up…I ask questions when I see things that don’t make sense and I am not willing to let things go if I don’t get an answer that makes sense.

    I keep getting accused of “putting words” in people’s mouths and it appears that many are not used to being challenged. Sorry…

    Bottom line is that I want more information, I want clarity, and I think it’s fine to question. You do notice..time and time again, it’s not me who resorts to name calling and insults …and herein on Ken’s comment it happens again.

    Hey, by now you should know I’m a big boy and the insults are like something thru a goose, but the emotion exhibited is quite telling. I think many consumers would agree.

    A 20% success rate by ANY measurement is failure. Is that controversial? My gues is that it sure is.

    The bigger question is how many consumers know that when a listing is taken, by an agent, who defends a seemingly sacrosanct commission, has only a 20% chance of selling their home. about transparency issues!

  54. Julie

    July 3, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    This is a great article. It’s nice seeing sites that make it easier and more time efficient for agents to be better at marketing properties =)

    @ Erion

    If you look at the listings that don’t “move” they are many times listed by an agent who puts up 1 – 2 photos, has no virtual media, enters generic information in the description field (Call this one home! Beautiful two story house, awaiting new owners!), and who works for a large office where the managerial/broker support is almost non-existent.

    If homeowners knew about the small percentage of agents who “work” this way, they should be outraged, as should the Listing Broker.


    No doubt there’s many agents out there who don’t care about staying up-to-date with new technology (or new to them, at least). It’s also amazing how many brokers are hands-off…If I was a broker and had the legal responsibility for some of the schmucks I see, I’d either be really embarrassed or erm…not smart.

  55. Ken Smith

    July 3, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    Barry we both agree 20% isn’t success, but it what we have to deal with on a daily basis. To be fair even someone who most consider one of the best admits he is only closing 60.9% of his listings.

    Just realized after rereading your comment that you didn’t actually put words in my mouth, but you made it look like I said I personally only close 20% by the way you quoted. Kind of like the sound bites on TV, you didn’t actually lie…you just edited the truth to make it more dramatic.

    Barry you are not listing homes for other clients, you are not driving buyers around everyday trying to find them the perfect home, you are not incurring the same expenses and overhead that we have, so no you are not in the same business. I wouldn’t care if you owned 50 Remax franchises, Flipped 5000 homes a year, and owned 10,000 rental units it wouldn’t mean you know anything about what the agents do on a day to day basis.

    I was a real estate investor before starting becoming an agent. Very little I did as an investor prepared me for what I now do as an agent on a day to day basis. Would be like saying a payroll clerk business understands a Financial Controller job just because they both do a form of accounting (both happen to be jobs I have held in the past). Not a chance and the odds are that neither of them could do the other persons job efficiently.

  56. Ken Smith

    July 3, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    Bob, actually 20% of listing taken vs listing sold is slightly above the average for our market over the past 12 months. It isn’t an anomaly other then it’s a bad market. There are more agents at or below the 20% number then above it.

  57. Barry Cunningham

    July 3, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    Hey Ken…you wrote “Barry you are not listing homes for other clients, you are not driving buyers around everyday trying to find them the perfect home”..please stop assuming..if you’d like to know please ask. Our communication can go much easier. Yes, I do list homes , yes I do drive buyers around, yes, these maybe properties we own or control but other than having a piecof paper…my daily activity is basically no different than an agent’s except we take much more risk and spend much more in marketing.

    You’re days as an investor are obviously different than mine. Why do you think you know so much about what I do on a day to day basis? I wear many hats. Your analogy, at least as it pertains to me, is invalid.

    If I chose to, I could be licensed tomorrow and my day would not change at all. My business , unlike that of many agents, encompasses BOTH sides of the aisle.

    I prospect, just the same as an agent (well maybe not..LOL), I list properties that we control, those that we don’t get listed conventionally, we market for buyers substantially, we work with inspectors, title companies, attorney’s, contractors and developers on a daily basis, we prospect and work with buyers from around the world on a daily basis, we run 3 highly traffic blogs, write nationally syndicated article, get invited to speak on radio shows and television shows, AND we have a radio show, and we close 100% of the properties we bring to market. Well Ken, maybe you are right, we are indeed not much like conventional agents but i have a real compelling question.

    If you were a successful real estate investor, why would you stop and become an agent and work in a market wherein only “18.6% of the listings sell”?

    My objective is to never go a day without learning more about the business. I learned something today I could never have imagined.

  58. Jay Thompson

    July 3, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    Not that it really matters, but I find it interesting…

    A baseball hitter that is successful just 30% of the time over his career will likely find himself inducted into the Hall of Fame.

    Cal Ripken, of the 3,000 hits club had a lifetime average of .276

    Babe Ruth made it to first base less than half the time he went to the plate

    Before anyone jumps all over me, I know you can’t compare baseball to real estate and both of the above made it to the Hall for many reasons.

    I just found it interesting.

  59. Jay Thompson

    July 3, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    Barry – this is just my opinion, take it for whatever you’d like. Flush it down the toilet for all I care.

    IMHO, your constant bashing and demeaning of real estate agents, and your continuous inflation of your superiority over us leads some to want to lash back. It’s fundamental human nature and really isn’t all the surprising.

    That you chose to consistently bash and demean agents on an agent-centric blog is most curious to me.

  60. Barry Cunningham

    July 3, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    Jay your opinion does matter and I am a big baseball fan.

    As i have stated, I am not looking to “bash or demean” agents. I look to highly successful people for insight. I ask probing questions becasue I want real answers..not rhetoric. I believed this site to be one that appreciated elevated conversation.

    I also believe AG to be far and above other sites that preach the real estate gospel. I for one as a believer like to hear my sermons in english rather than latin :)…that I am sure you understand.

    In every wak of my professional life I have had and have welcomed substantive discourse. Nothing I ask is meant to bash and demean. This thread began long ago about a product that I wholeheartedly support. RES.

    In fact we have had Jeff on our show and have used his product. When Roger brought up video it piqued my interest.

    Enrion mentioned that the cost may be more than some were willing to pay.

    I questioned that based upon a simple risk reward scenario and then it blew up. To the point where I was met with resistance and called asinine.

    No.until today, I did not know that the business model of conventional real estate agents was based upon a 20% success rate or less with the notable exception of a few top performers. Yes, we sell 100% of the properties we bring to market and I thought it odd that those who were only successful 20% of the time would find this business to be of their liking.

    So I asked deeper questions. For some reason, too many people do not want to accept that I am in the same business as they are. (as I stated above)

    To be it seems somewhat astounding that some reply as if they are on an island and that one needs a piece of paper to be valid in the discussion. This is wholly untrue and ignorant.

    I’m not demeaning agents, I am asking questions and I think valid ones at that. If asking questions about business (this is a business forum isn’t it?) is demeaning then yikes…why bother invite opinion unless it’s from the choir only?

    I’m not lauding ay superiority whatsoever. I know what works for me and just as you share things based upon your experience, I share what works based upon mine. Is mine more important, absolutely not. Is my experience, well also absolutely not.

    I’ll leave the soapbox of declaring myself oz to someone else we know…but in the essence of transparency I think it’s odd that what normally ends up happning is the emotional implosion of those questioned rather than engaging in true discourse.

    I am not looking for controversy..I am looking for answers. I am beginning to think that as soon as I comment people get on the defensive. That is truly unfortunate.

    I am highly inquisitive and it does not matter whether I am on BHB, Fark, Huffington, Kos or anywhere, I am going to ask questions and seek out answers. Do you realize it is only on real estate websites that people respond like they do here. Most sites encourage and revel in spirited discourse and dissenting opinions are encouraged.

    Funny thing is, I don’t necessarily have a dissenting opinion here, I just ask questions that most seem to be uncomfortable with.

    No jay, my intention is not to bash or demean. My sole intention is to elevate discourse beyond the inane AR type discussion and to see what makes this business tick.

    Finding out that it is accepted that 20% is a benchmark is astounding to me. Shocking. Was asking and Bringing it to light wrong?

    Was asking someone why they felt $495 to be unaffordable wrong? Actually at this point I’ve learned another thing.

    I actually agree with Erion. If I only looked to close 20% of my lisitngs I’d be hesitant to spend any additional money on them myself.

    But then again, that’s what caused this imbroglio…why would anyone be in a business wherein the costs of truly marketig a property can only be recouped on 20% of their transactions.

    Not demeaning or bashing…just learning.

  61. Bob

    July 3, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    Why is it that you are able to sell 100% when no one else can? What is different? The listings, the business model, the agents? What?

    What percentage are sold because of RES or video?

  62. Barry Cunningham

    July 3, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    Thanks Bob,

    I only take on deals that I am quite sure I can sell. Not demenaing anyone when I ask, why would I want to be involved with a property I know can’t sell. Like I said ealier. I don’t ned the practice. If I get involved with a deal, I know I can sell it.

    Maybe it’s the financial forensics we do, maybe the regression analysis, maybe it’s a databse of buyers and agents who are looking for deals an knwo we deliver. We sell retail and wholesale deals. banks call us, homeowners find us, agents bring us deals and buyers…we spend a ton on marketing, spend a lot on PR and have buyers around the world looking for deals.

    We have sold homes from $39k to over $1.5M most in less than 5 days even in this market.

    I don’t I know we are not unique. We know people across the Country moving 10-20 deals per month consistently..many in hours, some sight unseen..

    We cheat..we use RES in teasers and video in the full package. We utilize the flip video camera as well as the large dvc.

    We run commercials on TV, we own our own email server, obviously we have our radio show and 3 blogs..and we have a lot of fun.

    I wouldn’t do this if it were’nt fun. Last weeke we had a guy read our blog, email 3 times, fly over, go out on a rdie along on 2 dyas, and he bought a $350,000 home to rent out. We also found him a tenant from our other marketing.

    It works,

  63. Ken Smith

    July 3, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    Well if you are doing all those thing you describe then I will just say I stand corrected you do many of the same things we do. Not what I had gathered from past comments you have made (I read way more then I comment).

    Barry you did it again, I said “I was a real estate investor before starting ….”

    You then turn that into “If you were a successful real estate investor, why would you stop and become an agent and work in a market wherein only “18.6% of the listings sell”?”

    I never said I was successful at being an investor. (just had to point it out)

    Actually I found that being a full time real estate investor wasn’t for me, while I made money it was not enjoyable. To be successful in my book you need to make money while enjoying what you do, so at the time I wasn’t successful IMO. To enjoy real estate investing I needed to step back and make it not be the source of my income. To this day I still am an investor, just now it isn’t the only thing putting food on my table so I can enjoy it.

    Why would I “become an agent and work in a market wherein only “18.6% of the listings sell”?” Well I didn’t, that is a current stat. When I started 8 years ago the market was better then it is today. If I was new there is no way I would attempt to break into real estate based on todays market. At least not on a full time basis where feeding my family depended on my income.

    and yet again….”To the point where I was met with resistance and called asinine.”
    Never called you asinine, said “it gets really old having to see your asinine comments.”
    There is a big difference between calling someone asinine and saying some of their actions are asinine.

    “I am beginning to think that as soon as I comment people get on the defensive. That is truly unfortunate.”
    Track records of past issues you have caused may have led to this being the case. Once an impression has been formed it is hard to overcome that.

    “Finding out that it is accepted that 20% is a benchmark is astounding to me.”
    Not truly acceptable, but it just happens to be our current market. For example an agent friend of mine deals with short sales and many times they find a buyer, but the bank won’t agree to a sale. He doesn’t get a sale and his ratio is well below the average in his market do to this. Is it his fault…not really, he just happens to be willing to deal with a market segment/niche (short sale homes) that at best sees 10% of listings close in his market. Doesn’t make him a bad agent, but he knows going into every listing what the real chances of success are and makes the seller sign a form stating that he has disclosed this fact. Can give plenty more example like these, but think you get the point.

    Then we have the “I sell if I get my price” homeowners that like testing the market. I don’t take these listings, but many agents are so desperate that they figure that having a listing is better then nothing. IMO that is actually completely incorrect as each listings costs you money, would rather do nothing then spend money listing homes that will never sell.

  64. Frank Jewett

    July 3, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    Julie, one of the agents asked the broker what was in it for him, the broker. He suggested that the broker had to be getting a kickback. How exactly do you get a kickback on something when neither the client nor the agent pays anything? Subliminal ads in the virtual (drink Guinness today) tour?

  65. Rich Jacobson

    July 3, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    Barry: Hey, man. I just picked up a new scanner for $160. Does that count?

  66. Barry Cunningham

    July 3, 2008 at 9:06 pm

    Hey rich…only if your buying homes in da hood!

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