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“Bamboo is the New Granite” — A Contemporary Townhome in Downtown Palo Alto

Kevin Boer, Broker Owner, 3 Oceans Real Estate, Inc. ()

January 19th, 2007 · 12 Comments

Good friend and colleague Michael Hall, with the permission of his client, graciously allowedliving-room-wince.JPG me to use his new listing as a guinea pig for a series of video articles I intend to start doing about interesting local properties. For many properties, a good set of MLS pictures and a standard virtual tour give a good idea of what the property is about, but there are some that merit better treatment, and Michael’s listing at 498 Fulton, Palo Alto, is definitely one of them.

While Palo Alto has an endearing snobbishness all its own, some folks moving to this area from San Francisco or New York shudder at the thought of being in the ‘burbs. This place, however, would fit in well in many an upscale San Francisco or new York neighborhood, and as an added bonus, it’s only a block or two from the hubbub of Palo Alto’s University Avenue.

Listed at $1,650,000 and weighing in at just under 2000 square feet, with threekitchen-wince.JPG bedrooms and two-and-a-half bathrooms, the interior is sparse, sleak, and stylish, with curved walls, high ceilings, bright lights, and a spacious kitchen.

Ah yes, the kitchen…that brings me to the whole bamboo thing. While granite is still the biggest rage in kitchen decor, bamboo is definitely making inroads into high-end kitchens.

Take it away, Michael!

(Video hosted by Wellcomemat.com)

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12 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Norm Fisher // Jan 19, 2007 at 6:54 pm

    Great first effort. You’re really on to something here but I think you need to focus more on the property. We watched that dude talk for two minutes before he even moved. I’m no expert at this, haven’t even tried one, but think about this as a suggestion. Why not do a very short intro of the agent (who I am, who’s my brokerage) and then get right into the property. Turn your camera off between rooms. Point it in the room, turn it on, pan a bit and let the agent speak while you do that. Back on the agent at the end for a short extro (price, name, website).

  • 2 Kevin Boer, Three Oceans Real Estate // Jan 19, 2007 at 11:53 pm

    Norm, thanks for the advice. Video is a new medium for me, and I’m looking forward to doing more with it. You’re right that we should see more of the property.

  • 3 Norm Fisher // Jan 20, 2007 at 8:25 am

    Kevin, I should have metioned that the quality of your video seemed excellent. Crisp and stable for both video and audio. Do you mind if I ask what you’re shooting with?

  • 4 Kevin Boer, Three Oceans Real Estate // Jan 20, 2007 at 9:31 am

    I shot the video with a Canon PowerShot SD600 at 640X480, 30 fps. For my first upload attempt, I used MS Windows Media Encoder to shrink it to 320X240 and then uploaded it. The problem is Wellcomemat’s format is 400X300, so it was a bit grainy.

    Phil and Christian from Wellcomemat helped with my second attempt. They recommended a utility called Riva FLV encoder from rivax.de which I used to convert the original video to Flash format, 400X300, 15 fps. It chomped the original 300MB file down to 8MB, and when I uploaded that, its was pretty crisp.

    These were their instructions:

    Free Program: http://www.rivavx.com/index.php?encoder&L=3

    Allows you to convert video files to Flash video (FLV)


    Frames per second: 15
    Keyframes Interval: 30
    Audio quality: 48kbps

  • 5 Phil Thomas Di Giulio // Jan 20, 2007 at 10:20 am

    Solid feedback Norm! The team (WellcomeMat) is glad to hear you liked the quality of our video as it’s a big part of our service and focused a key difference between us and the YouTube’s of the world. Kevin, this being your first (of many) videos, is a good start. We’re finding (with time) our members’ videos improve from one to the next. As more agents and video pros enter the real estate video market, we’re interested to see how particular techniques and approaches evolve. Norm, feel free to post a comment/question in our Neighborhood forums. Our Video Pros are always looking to provide advice to aspiring videographers. If you have any other comments or suggestions, please let us know.

  • 6 Terry Smith // Jan 20, 2007 at 11:18 am

    Wow! Fantastic for a first go, I have been wondering what would be next after granite! Thanks for the wellcomemat lead, I will have to try them.

  • 7 Norm Fisher // Jan 20, 2007 at 6:48 pm

    Thanks Kevin, I’m pretty much out of touch with still image cameras that shoot video. I’m blown away that the SD600 can capture like that. Awesome.

    Thanks Phil. I sent you guys an email.

  • 8 Real Central VA - Tracking the Charlottesville and Central VA real estate market and more » Links for 1-21-2007 // Jan 22, 2007 at 4:20 am

    [...] Bamboo is the new Granite [...]

  • 9 Erik Hersman // Jan 22, 2007 at 1:21 pm

    Kevin, outstanding quality on that video, I’m really impressed. I’ve got to hand it to the WellcomeMat guys, it looks so much better than the YouTube and Google Videos that I see all the time.

    I really think this is the perfect way to utilize blogs for showing homes. Good information on the home, great visuals and a way to connect with the agent selling it. Keep up the good work!

  • 10 Altos Research Real Estate Insights // Jan 22, 2007 at 3:51 pm

    Video as Killer Real Estate Marketing Tool…

    Since today we’re on the topic of powerful real estate marketings tools I thought I’d point out Alain Pinel realtor Kevin Boer’s excellent post using video to show a property on his blog.Kevin’s video is hosted by WellcomeMat.com (Yes, that two …

  • 11 Xanax zoloft. // Mar 29, 2007 at 5:31 am

    Zoloft and xanax….

    Zoloft and xanax. Xanax zoloft….

  • 12 Collin County Real Estate // Sep 11, 2007 at 1:06 pm

    I will really need to start using on my site to display video of the homes. Pictures just cannot tell the whole story, especially these days in digital world.

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