“I’m here to take pictures, not clean your house.” That’s what I’d like to say sometimes when I show up to an appointment and the house is a mess. Some virtual tours take me twice as long as they should because I’m either moving stuff out of each shot (dirty dishes, laundry baskets, babies) or the sellers realize they need to clean as soon as I start taking pictures. Which in our world can sometimes mean inconsistent photos.
It’s happened more than once when I’ve arrived back from a tour shoot, stitched a panoramic, only to realize that the seller was moving stuff around behind me and the photos don’t quite match up. I’m always sure to keep a smile and positive attitude no matter what, and if the seller apologizes for their place being messy or because they see me moving stuff around, I always say that “it happens all the time”… which unfortunately is true (maybe it’s because I work in a town populated mostly by college students).
Then I remembered something… Something from my days as a Realtor. One of the hardest things to do as a Realtor can be to break the news to your seller that their home is dirty, and if they want to sell it, they need to clean it first. With this in mind, I came up with a solution to solve the Realtor’s dilemma and my own. I wrote an article and published it on my website titled “Prepare your home for a Virtual Tour” (click link to view the full text). My customers send this to their sellers prior to our appointment. My customer’s love this article because it gives them an out when the time comes to tell the seller to clean up. I love it because it speeds up my tour shoots not to mention makes them look a lot better. It’s also a great marketing tool for me as yet another reason to use virtual tours. Realtors get to use that article I wrote, the sellers expect to get a virtual tour a result, everyone is happy.
Feel free to take a look at that text and play around with your own ideas for your own website. If you republish the article on your own site, I would appreciate a link back to my site. In my summers off in college, my best friend and I would drive to the Outer Banks and clean vacation homes and in return the real estate company we worked for paid for us to stay in our own house on the beach for the summer (this program still exists if anyone is interested). I learned how to thoroughly clean a large home rather quickly, and I use some of those techniques in this article.