Pete Brand
Grand Rapids, MI

I am married to an incredible woman named Amanda and have five amazing children. I would consider myself an entrepreneur and absolutely love the challenge of building businesses. I also love the journey of personal development. I don't believe in drifting through life on auto-pilot. I believe we are presented each day with opportunities to improve and become better. I choose to embrace these opportunities and use the lessons I learn to become a better "me" and continuously strive to embrace each moment!

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How Real Estate Agents Can Provide On Demand Home Tours

By on April 6, 2011



Have you ever found yourself driving through a neighborhood that you’d love to live in and passed a house with a “FOR SALE” sign in the front yard?  If you’re like me I get a little excited when I see the little canister stuck to the sign because I know I can immediately get the information I am looking for!

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve pulled over, got out of the car, walked up to the sign and detached the cover on the end, only find out there are no more sheets left!  Uggggghhhh!  That’s so frustrating!

The other thing that drives me crazy is when, by some miracle, there is information inside but it just happens to be 6:00pm on a Sunday and there isn’t another open house scheduled for another 7 days!

I seriously doubt I am alone with experiencing these frustrations!  I also don’t think I am alone in seeing how these “non-buyer friendly” issues can be solved forever with a little extra work.

Yesterday I wrote about what every marketer needs to be aware of … Buyers don’t care about what a great company you work for, how wonderful you are on the golf course, or even how many homes you’ve sold in the last 12 months.

Your prospective buyers, and every person on the face of the earth for that matter, cares most about WHAT’S IN IT FOR THEM!

The day we begin to understand that fact,  is the day our businesses increase the amount of potential they can experience.  The day we take action to show our buyers that we truly care about them and want to cater our business to serve them, is the day things will change in a very positive way.

Today I’m going to  provide step-by-step instructions on how a real estate agent can provide on demand home tours. I believe that if you follow these steps, you’ll not only eliminate a great deal of frustration for the potential buyers looking at your client’s home, but you’ll also position yourself as an Agent who truly cares.

  1. The first thing you’ll want to do is go to a locally owned camera store, or Best Buy (if you must) and purchase an inexpensive video camera.  You can pick up a Flip HD camera for just a little over $100.  You don’t need a super expensive camera, just something that you can easily take video as you walk through the house you are selling.
  2. Go to and open up your own channel.  I would recommend taking the time to personalize the background and filling out as much information as possible about how you can help the visitor.  It’s best to have a consistent look across all your web properties, as well as your offline marketing materials.  You want to make sure when someone bumps into your name online, that they know it’s you.  You’ll also want to make sure it looks good so they know you pay attention to the details.
  3. Next you’ll want to do a walk through tour of your client’s home with your Flip cam in tow.  When you’re doing this, it’s best to explain the details just like you would if you were walking someone through in person.  You’ll want the visitor to feel as if you are right there with them as they are seeing every important detail of the house.  Don’t leave out any exterior features of the house that a buyer would find valuable, and also don’t forget any unique features of the property the home sits on.
  4. Most computers these days come bundled with video editing software that even the most novice of computer users can easily use.  I personally use Windows Movie Maker.  This program will allow you to easily edit the video you’ve shot, add some nice captions, and of course leave a very nice, clear, call to action providing information on how the visitor can get in touch with you.  You can also add some nice soft background music to the video to help set the mood and break up any awkward silence.
  5. Once you’re finished editing your video you can upload it to your YouTube channel.  When you are uploading it, make sure you use very descriptive text in the title and include the address, any special neighborhood that it’s in, and any characteristics that you feel someone searching for a home would be interested in.  You’ll also want to include a very robust, textual description of the home and property.  This will help to optimize your video, and increase the likelihood that someone searching for a property with those characteristics, will find your home!
  6. When you’re finished uploading your video you’ll need to click on the “Share” button beneath it and copy the URL of that specific video.
  7. The last step is to visit http:// .  Now you just need to paste the URL of the video you just uploaded into the URL box and click “Generate.”  This will generate a QR code.   If someone uses the camera feature in their smart phone it will read the QR code, and direct the person to the YouTube video.  If you post this QR code on the “FOR SALE” sign, those people passing by their dream home will have the ability to tour that house right now, and they won’t have to wait until their agent gets something scheduled, or until the next open house.

I understand this may sound confusing or highly technical, but I can assure you it’s not.  I believe this may add between 60 – 90 minutes up front to each home you list, but it will help save you a significant amount of time by weeding out the people who are truly not interested or qualified.

I am excited for the day this becomes common practice and we can all tour homes when we’d like to instead of having to wait.  After all, we’re the customer right?  Shouldn’t it be easy for us?  🙂

Have you used QR codes before?  What are other ways you’ve used technology to empower your “buyers?”


  1. Jeremy Mullens

    April 7, 2011

    Hey Pete,
    We couldn’t agree more – actually we have been trying to get people on board in the area with video tours. We are actually trying to educate people on the proper way to do a walk through tour and basic video editing to makes sure they are doing it correctly. Please don’t consider this spam, but we would like to point out that we are teaching a free class to Realtors in May who are interested in doing video for their homes – you can find more information at – space is limited. Education is the key to success – and we want Grand Rapids to be one of the most successful places to live and work. Great content Pete! Thank you for pointing people in the right direction!

  2. Pete Brand

    April 7, 2011

    I certainly don’t consider it spam Jeremy! I think it’s awesome that you’re willing to offer such great information to Realtors and to do it for free is awesome! Grand Rapids is, in my opinion, one of the greatest places to live and work. We are very fortunate and our awesome city is getting better every single day. 🙂

  3. Jeremy Mullens

    April 7, 2011

    Generosity is the gift that keeps on giving! Having this for free limits no body from coming. It’s all about building the community up.

    Cheers Pete!

  4. Tom Sykes

    April 27, 2011

    Thanks, Pete! Giving consumers options to get the information they want and getting it quickly is very important. We’ve just integrated one-click QR code functionality into our real estate agent back-office system so they can generate QR codes on the fly and do what they want with them.