I have been an RTV virtual tour provider for over 4 years now, and of course I have always believed in photography and virtual tours as a first-rate marketing tool for real estate agents (otherwise I wouldn’t be in this business). I can recite all of the positives and statistics of using virtual tours and professional photography to any potential client and why they should always be the cornerstone of a good online marketing campaign, but it wasn’t until I assumed the role of “home buyer” that I realized just how critical quality photos and a virtual tour is to home buyers. I currently live in Los Angeles, however I am looking at moving back to Colorado and have been looking at homes to buy in Highlands Ranch, a suburb of Denver.
Currently there are many homes on the market in that area (as there are in most areas), and we have many, many choices in our price range. Since we can’t exactly pop into an open house every weekend, we have spent hours online viewing homes, and I have to say it is more the exception than the rule when we come across a home that has lots of clear photos and a well-shot, easily navigable virtual tour (like an RTV tour) that gives us a true feeling of what the home offers inside and out. Most of the listings have one or a few very poor quality images and if they do have a ‘virtual tour” it is one of those dreadfully awful, glorified slide shows that really are just more aggravating than helpful to try and use. I groaned every time I clicked on a virtual tour link and one of these “junk tours” came up, often remarking to my girlfriend, “If I were the homeowner and the agent put THIS up to sell my home, I would want to fire them. ” Agents TRULY do themselves a great disservice by cutting corners and “cheaping out” with self-shot photos and low-quality “virtual tours”.
So now as serious buyers, we have a list of homes that we are interested in visiting when we travel to Colorado in a few weeks, and guess what? Every one of them was marketed online with quality photos and/or a high-end virtual tour. I don’t know if we’ll end up buying one of them, but at this point they are the only ones we are considering. There were several houses that COULD have made our list, but we passed them by because the photos were either terrible or non-existent and we just moved on to the next listing. Too bad for those agents, too bad for their clients. They saved a few hundred bucks by not hiring a pro photographer, but they lost out on a potential commission from a serious home buyer like myself.
Lawrence McBride, Owner
Virtually There Media
Los Angeles Virtual Tour Company
Order a virtual tour – 310.908.1151