Late last year, Jones Lang LaSalle beefed up its technology initiative by launching podcasts, technology that allows users to download audio and video files from the Internet to their computers, iPods, mobile phones or PDAs. It was a sign of change for the commercial real estate market, which has been slow to adopt increasingly popular web video.
That may be changing, partly through the efforts of younger employees who comfortably embed video on their MySpace and Facebook pages and partly through the launch of slick new applications that make video easier than ever to create.
Take Animoto, a web application that creates MTV-style videos with the click of a button. Users upload photos, select music and let Animoto automatically generates a unique video. It takes from a few minutes to a few hours for the video to be completed.
The founders of Animoto Productions have backgrounds in film and television. Many worked as producers for MTV, Comedy Central and ABC. But Animoto videos are not produced by humans, but by patent-pending Cinematic Artificial Intelligence developed to think like a human editor and director. “The resulting video is produced in a widescreen format, containing the visual energy of a music video and the emotional impact of a movie trailer,” the company boasts.Last month, Animoto released a commercial-use service called Animoto for Business, which creates videos for commercial purposes. Brad Jefferson, CEO & co-founder of Animoto, says the service levels the playing field. “Larger businesses typically outsource such video creation services for thousands of dollars per video, while smaller businesses settle for suboptimal videos or commonly go without,” he said, noting that Animoto for Business makes it easy and inexpensive for all businesses to create videos. The subscription service costs $99 per user for three months or $249 per user for one year.Before launching its commercial offering, Animoto partnered with ten companies across several industries to test the application. They include Herman Chan, an associate broker at Prudential California Realty in San Francisco who creates video tours of his listings. “In this changing real estate market, it’s critical to differentiate my properties for sale,” he says. Chan said he’s received positive response from both buyers and sellers, who “find it hard to forget a listing set to music and movement.”