This month I am focusing on Real Estate and video tours of homes on the internet. More and more people are turning to online shopping for homes. Where it used to take hours searching for a home, now, because of Real Estate search sites this can be done in minutes. The site filters can help the user adjust the scope of their search, by prioritizing their desires with just a few clicks. At each filtered display they see a map of the area and can zoom in on a street view of the actual home. With a simple click they see the basic statistics, click again, and they’re on a virtual tour of the inside of the home.
Realtors have long known that touring a home with the potential client is key to a sale. It’s where they can direct the buyer’s attention to special features. Such as appliances that are energy efficient. Safety features for children or seniors. Upgraded smoke and gas detectors. Automated garage doors or security systems. Doorways that offer better access. Windows that offer spectacular views at certain times of the day or seasons of the year.
That is why Realtors are turning to Voice Over Artists to narrate their virtual tours. But the skill of narrating a virtual tour is what they are really buying. It’s that friendly casual voice which is not doing a sales pitch, but seems to know how to make the viewer feel like they are right there. Voice Over Artists know how disoriented a viewer can become on some tours. Because the person viewing a video doesn’t have the sensory advantage of the actual walk into a room, across the room, and over another threshold, they can lose track of the flow in a home.
It is the main task of the Voice Over Artist to always keep the client aware of the room’s relationship to other areas both inside and outside the home. For example, one might note how the windows make a room brighter and more open. But we would say, “The windows exposing the broad front yard and the open side yard make the room brighter and more open”. Or, hey, maybe the dining room not only has a sliding glass door, but it “opens to the patio looking to the west out over the rolling plains, offering a spectacular sunset!”
In addition to orienting the viewer, going from room to room, the Voice Over Artist gradually helps them build an overview picture in their mind of the layout. An overview can highlight areas they might normally miss. If, for example, the viewer is shown 2 rooms the same size, with the same features, next to each other from the same hallway. Boring right? But what if the narrator noted that the closet in one room is backed to the closet in the other room. Because of the sound dampening effect of the closets, it might be wonderful news to parents who hear complaints from their kids about how loud each other is in their rooms.
The Voice Over Artist can not only build an overview of the homes layout, they can stimulate dreams. Because Voice Over can help the viewer see the relationship of a room to other areas, we can help them see new potential in a home. Imagine this odd little sitting area off a master bedroom. And, say we pointed out that the wall was next to the hall on one side, the yard on another side and the kitchen on another side. Why would this be important? Because it could be a nursery, which could eventually be closed off from the master and a door installed to the hallway. Because it could become a bedroom, or den opening to a little side yard. Or, because, with the kitchen plumbing so close, the room could easily become a bathroom or laundry room.
Yes, video and 3-D are great. But, without the Voice Over Artist orienting the viewer and helping them build an overview of the home, the Realtor may have lost the sale. Or, worse, the Realtor and Seller might have lost a bidding war!