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"Bringing Touch Back to Tech!"

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Bruce Fealk Photo
8/5/05 Interview with Bruce Fealk

Customer Grabbers
1474 Oakstone Drive
Rochester Hills, MI 48309

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Recent Additions to the Technology Arsenal

  1. Beyond email, web sites and banner ads, some new technologies are generating a lot of interest because of their WOW factor.
  2. Streaming video is an impressive alternative to a standard virtual tour; footage of you can appear at the beginning like a brief TV commercial.
  3. BlueStreamTM can be used to introduce yourself on your web site and give your site personality; users report an increase in form-fill rate up to 30%; foreground video is shot against a plain green (or blue) background; it plays against other things plugged into the background.
  4. A BlueStream presentation, courtesy of Customer Grabbers, allowed Jack Peckham to walk onto your monitor as you entered the Society’s online convention in February.
Costs for the New Technologies

  1. Cost is not prohibitive for streaming video; hosting accounts with CustomerGrabbers start at $195/month; although a TV-commercial-quality video can be used, a simple web-cam recording is sufficient.
  2. An agent can take a camcorder into a home, shoot a home tour and put music to it with very little technical skill; showing the agent walking through the home and commenting on its features is an effective approach.
  3. Besides the cost for taping the presentation, costs for BlueStream include a yearly license for $995 and a $5/thousand viewing fee; each video on your site requires an encoding process that runs $100 each.
  4. In relation to return-on-investment, BlueStream is worth using; most people generate more than one or two extra sales because the presentation sets them apart from their competition.
Overcoming Negative Issues

  1. Negative issues with downloading and attachments have undercut the popularity of streaming video, but the BlueStream product Fealk recommends overcomes these negatives.
  2. The direct-product version of BlueStream, which can run up to 30 seconds, does not require downloading and opening an attachment in order to deliver the presentation; the video can go right into an email or be accessed via a link that begins to play automatically.
  3. The longer product, which can run 3–5 minutes, does require the download of a small viewer; the shorter product is used more often—the WOW factor dissipates after 30 seconds anyway.
Video conferencing Capabilities

  1. Video conferencing using a videophone is an effective way to have two way conversations that build rapport with out-of-town clients.
  2. Video conferences can be handled with a combination of two-way video and two-way audio or with one-way video and two-way audio if there is a camera only at one end; most computers at least have a microphone.
  3. Sony has come out with a screen that has a web-cam built in; that feature is likely to become more common.
Technology and the Personal Touch

  1. All of these new tools are meant to put the high-touch aspect back into high-tech practices; agents get enhanced ability to develop relationships with the people who visit their web sites.
  2. One obstacle is the resistance of the public to hook up the latest tools like a video-cam or microphone; there should be a transitional move over the next 3–5 years toward adopting these communication technologies.
  3. Promising statistics support the transition; the Online Publishers Association says that 51% of Internet users view video online at least once amonth, 27% once a week, and 5% daily; 23% of the households viewing video have incomes above $100,000; 87% have broadband video at work,and 76% have broadband at home.
  4. In the near future, agents will send email messages with a link to schedule video conferences on videophones like they schedule phone calls now.
Agent Tools for Multimedia Marketing

  1. Get a web cam and become familiar with how it can be used to facilitate business by putting your face in front of prospects; the web cam is especially useful for out-of-state work.
  2. For interactive conversation, the Logitech Quick Cam Pro 4000 is a good web cam for about $100; to create streaming video, invest in a fairly inexpensive camcorder ($200–$400) — most have streaming capabilities.
  3. is a good resource for BlueStream technology; for streaming video, check out Fealk’s site — find real estate examples there of people using the technology for tours.
The Future for Multimedia Marketing

  1. Big players are starting to get into video on the web—e.g., MSNBCuses video stream for its news; television-type shows such as "Democracy Now!" are already available online.
  2. Agents who want to stay ahead of the curve and gain maximum benefit should be adopting streaming video in the next 3–6 months.
Contact Information for Bruce Fealk:

(v) 866-652-8781
(f) 413-235-4867

Real Estate Sites & Tools in this Briefing:

Customer Grabbers:
BlueStreamTM technology:
Basic web-cam: Logitech Quick Cam Pro 4000
Resource for streaming video:
"Democracy Now!":