For all my fellow REALTORS(r) – and specifically listing agents:
Interesting thing happened to me on my way to show some homes. As I perused our local MLS searching for listings to show my buyers, I came to the realization that 360 virtual tours actually do sell homes. Perhaps, I should qualify that – QUALITY virtual tours actually do sell homes (funky virtual tours and slide shows do a listing an injustice.
O.K, granted, I didn’t have quite the epiphany I describe above, since I must admit I have come to this realization before. Moreover, I understand, too, that once you know that I’m a real estate agent as well as a virtual tour provider you may think my positive view towards virtual tours a rather biased one. I’d need to stop you right there, though. Providing a virtual tour for each one of your listings is a no-brainer. When you look at the sheer numbers, and I swear it seems to go up a percentage point each month, there’s no disputing the fact that more buyers start their home search on-line than not. The actual figure was way past 70% at last glance. That’s a phenomenal amount of prospective buyers out there in cyberspace searching in earnest for their next home. I know this to be true since I work with buyers on a daily basis; they are extremely tech-savvy and ever searching.
So, here’s the deal – with my market experiencing a buyer’s market, there is entirely too much inventory to focus my searches on listings with no pictures, let alone no 360 virtual tour. And interesting thing is, my buyers feel the same way. The fact is that houses with the most pictures will generate the most interest and will get the most showings while those listings that have no pictures will get placed at the very bottom of the “to see” list at warp speed.
Case in point – on a recent weekend, I showed 31 houses to a buyer who was only in town (from Japan, I kid you not) for an extended weekend. There was absolutely no interest on his part in seeing anything without pictures (and believe it or not, there were many). Imagine if your picture-less listing was on our list and, therefore, at the bottom of the 54 that met his search parameters. What’s the likelihood of him seeing your listing? You don’t think he would’ve found his dream home among the previous 53? (His better half was searching homes from Japan on the internet and directed us to physically see the home they actually closed on last month. BTW, I just happened to do the virtual tour on it! I didn’t tell them until settlement, though.)
All that to say, the buyers market that we are experiencing right now will absolutely separate the wheat from the chaff. It’s time for you to be the best listing agent you can be, pull out your bag of tricks, rev up your marketing, call your virtual tour provider, and get your listings sold. Spend the marketing dollars necessary to get your listings in front of all those web-browsing buyers, then experience the return on your investment many-fold.
Lanette Branch Virtual Tours