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Tough Economy Calls for More
Impactful Property Marketing
New Survey Shows Videos and Professional Photography
Increase Home's Perceived Value
Chicago, August 25, 2008 - A recent survey conducted jointly by VHT, Inc., and PropertyPreviews.com highlights the impact that videos and professional photography have on the perceived value of a property. According to the survey results, the use of a video in marketing a property increases the perceived value of a home by nearly six percent while professional photography increases the perceived value by nearly 13 percent. On a $500,000 home, this equates to an increase in perceived value of $30,000 and $60,000 respectively.

Additionally, when asked how likely they were to visit the homes marketed with professional photography, seven times as many respondents indicated that they were "very likely" to visit the home as compared to those who said they would visit a home which showed only property information.

"In this difficult housing environment, real estate professionals and home sellers need to do all they can to differentiate their property," said Brian Balduf, CEO of VHT. "While perceived value is not the same as what someone ultimately pays for a property, it sets the benchmark as to what this property is worth in a buyer's mind compared to other homes in the same neighborhood. First impressions often have a big impact on a buyers' decision making process on which homes to visit and how much to offer."

Professional photography and video creation services are readily available to real estate professional, with costs ranging from free to a few hundred dollars. The use of these services has increased significantly as evidenced by the number of real estate related videos on sites like YouTube.

"Professional photographs and videos are just as essential as a yard sign," said recent home seller Patricia Potocki of Palatine, IL. "The small investment made by my real estate agent was absolutely worth it and really set my home apart from other properties in the area."

"More than 84 percent of prospective home buyers start their search on the Internet, so the use of video to market a property is essential," said Jeff Harris, General Manager of PropertyPreviews.com. "Videos are free to create on PropertyPreviews.com so the return on investment is significant and home sellers should be demanding it."

The data also shows that individuals who viewed a video of a property felt the listing would be on the market for a shorter period of time when compared to similar homes.

Video is relatively new to real estate marketing, but with the pervasiveness of interactive real estate property platforms, including YouTube, Video on Demand TV and the iPhone, the demand for visual marketing has skyrocketed. According to a recent comScore Video Metrix survey, 74 percent of U.S. Internet users viewed videos online in the month of May 2008.

To capture the viewpoint of the typical prospective home buyer, the survey included responses from several hundred individuals, evenly distributed nationally among male and female, between the ages of 35 and 54 with more than $75,000 in household income.

The respondents were shown descriptions of homes, some of which also included a video and some professional photography. They were then asked about their perceived value of the home; how likely they were to visit a home; and how quickly they thought the property would sell. The survey methodology was designed by a graduate Research class at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Survey Results Summary:

• 320 respondents viewed homes in the $400,000-$600,000 range.

• Respondents that viewed listing information accompanied by professional photography valued the property at an average price of $460,735, an increase of 12.9 percent or $52,896 over the average perceived price of the description-only property, $407,839.

• Respondents viewing a video valued the home at an average price of $432,329, an increase of 6 percent or $24,490, over the average perceived price of the description-only property, $407,839.

• Survey respondents believed a home with professional photography was three times more likely to sell within the standard listing period than a home marketed with only descriptive information.

• When asked how likely they were to visit the homes listed with professional photography, seven times as many respondents indicated that they were "very likely" to visit the home as those who said they were “very likely” to visit a home with only descriptive information.

About VHT

VHT provides professional production, management and distribution of visual content - including photographs, video, multimedia tours and Video on Demand television spots - for more than $1.5 billion in properties for 3,500 clients and 75,000 individual marketers of real estate, hospitality, locations and destinations. VHT's production services include the creation of visual content by VHT's nationwide team of professional photographers and videographers as well as the award-winning editors and image specialists at VHT Studios. VHT's ImageWorks™ visual asset management services provide for the resizing, reformatting, repurposing, tracking and distribution of visual assets for use in all media.