An Unexpected Valentine’s Day Gift

by Jeff Turner on February 14, 2008

Five years ago today, the idea behind Real Estate Shows was born.

Five Year Valentine's Day AnniversaryIt wasn’t until two weeks ago, during a telephone interview with The Internet Marketing Center, that I recognized this milestone was approaching. When the interviewer asked me how Real Estate Shows got it’s start, I realized that the timing of our Valentine’s Day greeting templates was a wonderful coincidence. I’ve told my Valentine’s Day story many, many times, but I’ve never written about it. This seems like the right time.

What happens when you decide not to hire a videographer for your wedding?

You end up with no wedding video. I know that seems obvious. When my wife and I made the decision to only hire a photographer to shoot nothing but black and white photos, we thought it would be cool and artsy. In retrospect, it was just short sighted. As the years passed, what we really wanted was to be able to sit in front of a TV, cuddle up and watch our wedding video. But we didn’t have one.

What do you do when you have a lot of extra time on your hands?

If you’re me, you play on the computer – a lot. And that’s exactly what I did. I played with technology. During the months after I left my former company, I spent a lot of time researching and testing new software. I found an application (Mac only) that made the Ken Burns effect simpler to produce than iMovie and decided I’d use my newly found free time to make a Valentine’s Day present for my wife – a DVD Movie of our wedding. So, I scanned in all of our old black and white wedding photos, hundreds of them, and made a five part DVD of our ceremony.

What happens when you present a gift publicly and everyone in the room cries?

If you’re me, you enjoy the moment for about a minute and then a voice inside your head says, “hmm, why isn’t anyone using this technique to present houses online?” As I watched the different parts of the video on the TV screen and judged the people’s reactions, I realized that when you use the Ken Burns effect on inanimate objects, it feels alot like you’re watching something shot with a video camera.

I played around with the idea inside my head for several months before deciding that this might be worth pursuing. I didn’t register the domain name, RealEstateShows.com, until almost four months later, on June 3, 2003. It would be another 6 months of research and testing before any Shows, all hand made at the time, were presented to the first real estate group. After that first presentation, almost another year would pass before we felt we’d learned enough to fully define, simplify and automate the process online.

What happens when you really enjoy doing what you do for a living?

Time flies really fast. Five years have passed since that Valentine’s Day present was popped into the DVD player. In the three years since we automated the service online, over 30,000 real estate agents have set up accounts at Real Estate Shows. I’m proud of what our team has created.

What do you do to celebrate five years?

I decided to memorialize this day by sharing one of the segments from the DVD that began as a Valentine’s Day gift and ended as a business. Here it is.


The Inspiration Behind Real Estate Shows from reshows on Vimeo..

Thank you to everyone who has helped make the past five years enjoyable.

Jeff Turner, President of RealEstateShows.com

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