Out of Box (some may say crazy) Idea

Idea For Creating a Memorable Experience

One area in social media I believe holds tangible and relatively immediate benefit is the creation of a virtual experience for potential capital investors. Industry experience suggests an excellent tactic to introduce your community to a potential investor is the familiarization tour (FAM tour). How useful would it be to be able to get the same value from a FAM tour without the cost?

Enter the concept of a virtual FAM tour. A virtual FAM tour would introduce your potential investor to your top properties/buildings and the assets of your community, but without the expense and delays in scheduling associated with a typical physical trip.

Virtual FAM Tour

Far-fetched? Not really. A virtual FAM tour can be as simple as a reapplying the proven real estate industry model that allows you to evaluate a house from your own computer.

The website Home Debuts is a great example of that technology in use. Even the federal government provides a virtual tour of the White House, albeit a static execution.

I appreciate this isn’t rocket science. But, I just saw a YouTube video entitled Athens Street Tour that helps introduce people to the community. It got me thinking again about the concept. I believe this is potentially a very effective way to showcase your buildings and shovel ready properties. Combine a video of your sites with some testimonials from local executives successfully building their business and a tour of your community’s assets to deliver a powerful overview of what you offer. Make the video available on YouTube and promote it aggressively to CEOs in your target industries and site selection consultants.

Buying YouTube views shouldn’t mean that you are putting your channel at risk for being banned or getting your views taken away. Don’t waste any time with the cheapest seller you can find because these won’t provide you with the quality you are looking for. While a lot of companies that sell YouTube comments will send irrelevant or simple comments, some companies allow you to customize comments or offer higher-quality “relevant” comments, on this website you’ll find exactly what you are looking for. High-quality providers will often post customized comments that are directly relevant to your content.

Existing Examples of Virtual City Tours

Here are some virtual city tours that, in my opinion, are pushing in the right direction. They demonstrate the potential for successfully applying this concept. None are strategically right on target, but think of them as proof the concept can actually be executed.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

New York City, New York

Ventura, California

Dubai City, UAE

If you Google “virtual city tours”, you will find a lot more examples. Most have a decided travel & tourism focus. But, collectively they demonstrate what is possible.

How To Consider Starting

My thinking would be to reach out to your local Travel & Tourism organization to determine what their experience, or thinking is regarding the use of virtual tours to showcase your community. It would be fantastic if the exercise could be a positive collaboration.

The second group I’d reach out to would be local creative Agencies. This is the kind of work they excel at and may be willing to support the effort on a pro bono basis (particularly if it presents an opportunity to put their Organization in a positive light with local CEOs).

The third group to consider asking for support is local real estate companies. They may be a great resource to help you with thinking through this type of project and getting the video work done.

And of course, the leaders of your private sector companies may be extremely helpful. Beyond funding, they can help you determine what information is key to include and whether you are presenting it in the most productive manner.


I am certain that some communities have leveraged this idea already. It would be great if we could collect as many examples as possible. If you know of any, please leave a comment and include a link to the community’s virtual tour website. I’d also appreciate your thoughts on the basic concept.  Is it an out-of-the-box idea or just a crazy one?

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