Virtual Tours vs Video Tours and Real Estate Online Marketing

There’s Nothing Virtual about Video Tours: Online Marketing

Virtual Tours vs. Video Tours? Which is Better for Online Marketing Today!

It’s common to hear “video tours” and “virtual tours” lumped together in the same category, as if they’re the same thing. In reality, video tours and virtual tours are worlds apart in what they offer sellers, buyers and agents.

The virtual tour (as in virtual realty) used by agents today consist of still photos plugged into an automated software program. The result is a series of photos, panning and zooming, on occasion with a musical background. Virtual tours are easy to create and as such be inexpensive, but do they still offer agents advantages in real estate marketing? Do they sell the home faster?

Do they really work?

1. Viral Slideshows vs the Viral Videos

YouTube Video Marketing on iPhone

Videos are viral. Ever heard of the term “viral” applied to slideshows or virtual tours? Of course not. There is a reason you haven’t.

With the explosion of YouTube and online video, home shoppers and sellers expect more from their online experience. Viewers love to watch a story unfold, and a full motion, walk-through video tour tells each home’s story. A video tour showcases the best features of each property, with narration, graphics and music all connecting with buyers and sellers on an emotional level.

2. Social Sharing Love

Videos are social by nature. Just as you learned in kindergarten, it’s important to share – and now it's fun! And every marketer knows social media is all about sharing, whether it’s on twitter, facebook, pinterest etc. Unlike virtual tours, it’s a cinch to share video tours on social media or via email and they’re easily embedded into websites. After uploading a tour to your YouTube channel, a click of a button can put it on pinterest, and a simple copy and paste of the url will place it on Twitter, your Linkedin profile, and Facebook as well. No so with virtual tours.

3. Standing out from the Competition

Video Marketing Woman with Movie Clapper Slate

Videos stand out. At one time, virtual tours gave agents an advantage over those who offered photography alone. Virtual tours were new and different. Now, just about everyone has some sort of virtual tour for their listing.
A full motion, narrated, video tour lets agents show clients that they are using the latest technology to market their property to get maximum exposure. It’s all about enhancing your marketing strategy, to set yourself apart from the competition.

4. Give them What They Want

Video is all the rage. With high speed internet connections and advances in digital technology, viewers aren't begging to see slideshows online. Virtual tours are still two-dimensional, tend to be visually static and uninteresting, and can be frustrating for the viewer. All too often, virtual tours rehash the same photos that the user already viewed and that's that. As for the 360 degree tours, some clients complain they make them dizzy, even calling them the “vertigo tours” and avoid them entirely.

5. Call to Action

Real Estate Agent Touring Home with Young Couple

Video enables a call to action. Every author, script writer or movie producer will tell you that any story needs a great ending. Unlike virtual tours, a video tour offers the ending that every agent needs – a call to action! It answers the unasked question, “I’m interested…what should I do?”

Viewers need clear instructions on how to take the next step. A video tour’s ending narration combined with graphics will explain to the viewer exactly how to contact the agent for the next step… scheduling their own personal tour!

And on sharing, if you found this post helpful, I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter and Facebook. Thank you!

Susan Harding


  • Hi Susan, I share these views with you on the subject of Video vs Virtual Tours. Here is a post I wrote few weeks back.

    Here is a little bit more I have to say on this topic – Virtual tours and Panoramic views helped real estate industry a lot in 90s and even good part of last decade but truly they were just the alternatives to provide a ‘video type’ view to the end users when the technology and infrastructure was not advanced enough to support the kind of bandwidth needed to transmit videos over the internet in a seamless & user friendly way. We had videos in 90s too but it was ugly and thats why the alternatives worked great.
    With the technological advancements and the fact that video is by far the most preferred medium for end users to consume the content, there is no reason why real estate industry needs to rely on the ‘old’ style of doing things. I am surprised by the NAR statistics like less than 1% realtors are using videos and I go REALLY!!
    Ok, Video editing is hard and cannot be mastered in days but still..we need to get those numbers improved. That is why we created Tourzilla for agents to be able to create the video tours right from their smartphone in just one click 🙂

    Let me know if I can help you in anyway. BTW, loved your blog.

  • Hey Biren,

    Thanks for your comments and yes, it’s so amazing that only 1% of realtors are using video, yet most sellers say they’d prefer to list with an agent who markets their home with the coolest way possible – video!

    The agents that keep coming back for more video tours always tell me it helps them get more listings – they show people the tours and bam! they’ve got the listing. They’re ahead of the game, differentiating themselves from the competition.

    Good luck with your venture – and I look forward to reading more of your blogs!

  • Thanks for your comment Susan. I totally agree with you about agents who use video being ahead of the game.

    Thanks for the wishes and I look forward to chatting more with you in future 🙂

  • Hello There,

    I perform virtual tour voice narration for companies around the nation just like yours and I’d love to earn your virtual tour video voice over business by becoming your go to guy for professional voice overs.

    My fee for voice only virtual tour narration up to 3 minutes in length is only $39.99. Turnaround time is approximately 24 hours and is recorded in mp3 format emailed directly to you once completed. And in the event you have a minor edit to your voice over script, I’ll gladly re-record at no additional charge.

    Please feel free to view my voice over samples at or

    Looking forward to possibly partnering with you and your company.

    Best regards,

    Scott Perry

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