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What Realtors Can Learn from Match.com

I was 43 when I got married and being a modern woman, I met my husband online.  Prior to that, I had a lot of experience — both good and bad — with online dating sites.  The basics of any dating site are the same – you enter your search criteria then it pulls up a list of matches that fit your criteria.  You see a picture with a headline and then if you are interested, you click to get more information and look at more pictures.  You quickly find that the same people show up every time you search and so you scan through the familiar faces until you see someone new that piques your interest.

I am sure that I missed meeting some great guys because their picture did not appeal to me but let’s face it, first impressions mean a lot. 

This is the exact same process that most home buyers go through when they are looking for a house. In 2012, 90% of home buyers surveyed said that they began their home search on the internet.  Real estate search sites allow the viewer to search by parameters such as price range, number of bedrooms, etc and then pulls up a list of houses with a brief description and a “profile picture”.  If something interests them, they can see more pictures, perhaps a virtual tour and read more information about the house.  Active home buyers tell us that they pore over these sites regularly but once they have seen a house’s information and pictures, they don’t look at it again unless it made their short list.

The problem with many Realtors is that they rush to put the house on the market without making an adequate investment in getting great pictures.  I spoke with a Quincy, IL Realtor this week who said he was going to list a house but if it didn’t sell in 45 days, he’d have us come take professional pictures and add a real estate virtual tour.  45 days from now, the buyers who would have considered his house are going to have moved on and will be looking for new listings.  The first impression has already been made!

We often have Realtors add a Quincy virtual tour of their listing if the house doesn’t sell quickly but the real estate virtual tour is a small link inside of the overall listing.  You simply MUST capture the attention of the buyer with the initial photos in order to get them to view the virtual tour!!  We believe the virtual tour is a fantastic closing tool.  It is the tool that often gets a house off the “short list” and onto the “gotta go see this one now” list.  That’s why we provide high definition, professional still images for every one of our virtual tours.

Take a look at these statistics about home buyers from the 2012 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers —

Actions taken as result of Internet home search:

Walked through a home viewed online: 62%
Found agent used to search/buy home: 32%
Drove by/viewed a home: 76%

The reason that 76% of people will drive by a house they saw on the internet is that they want to verify the information they have read.  They want to see if the listing accurately represents the home.  They want to learn more and based on that information, 62% actually schedule an appointment to see the house.  It’s the same reason that online daters meet first for coffee in a public place — sometimes things aren’t exactly as they were portrayed in that profile picture!

Having professional vacation rental photographs and a virtual tour will not sell your house but it has been proven to get people in the door who are interested in buying your house.  The rest is between you and your Realtor!

 


Thanks Goodness for RTV!

Dear RTV,

I was getting ready to do a fairly big job for my first real estate virtual tour sale. This broker had ten homes at one location and called me in to do my virtual tour sales pitch. I went in with confidence thinking that this would be a very easy sell with the new Fusion virtual tour software product we provide.

Soon into the meeting I sat down with the guy.  I was nervous a bit being that this was my first sales presentation. I told him that he was going to like what he was about to see.  At that point I brought up a demo of my 360 Interactive Virtual Tours. He began to watch and things were silent for a moment or two. The virtual tour presentation did not even play half-way through when he said, “you can turn it off”.  Oh oh!! Did I do something wrong I thought.  Suddenly to my relief and excitement a twinkle began in his eyes and a smile started to form on his face and he said, “I want it!”

What an easy sell. Boy, I sure made the right choice in joining the RTV family! Thanks for such an amazing virtual tour production and line of amazing property marketing tools to use. He will be using QR codes as well as YouTube to start.  I’m sure that I will go back later with more!

I love having something so powerful to offer to businesses and realtors! I can offer it at such a reasonable cost compared to print media advertising! Thanks again for RTV and all the great people that come along with it!!!!

Sincerely,

Cyndi Hamby

Aspire Media Solutions LLC
www.aspiremedia360.com
St Louis Virtual Tours
Order a virtual tour: 636-887-5115


Don’t Miss Our Show Tonight!

Make sure you don’t miss our webinar tonight at 7:00 PM Eastern.  Join Ben Knorr for the IMAGE 46 – Quiet On The Set!

When was the last time you watched a silent movie? I
dare say for most of you it has been a long time, if ever. Sound plays a
very important role in the video for your virtual tours. It helps to tell the story and bring the video to life.

Imagine watching a movie with a massive explosion tearing apart
buildings and throwing cars and debris thousands of feet in every
direction… completely silent. Picture watching Niagara Falls and its six
plus million cubic feet of water falling every minute without hearing
the thunderous rumble created by this massive amount of water beating
against the river below. Both of these video clips would be very
ineffective without the good use of audio.We’re seeing more and more of
you make great use of the full motion video capabilities that we’ve
built into Fusion so it’s only natural that we have a show on improving
upon the audio quality too!

Audio can range from ambient sounds to spoken words. In every case good
quality audio makes the difference between video clips that exist and
video clips that captivate. In this webinar we are going to discuss how
to capture good quality audio.  These basics can then be easily applied
to your video clips as well as your Audio Pal and Voice Overs too!

There are many different audio solutions available to you. Tonight we are going
to discuss the different recording options and their proper application
depending on what you are trying to record.

Join me, Ben Knorr, as we walk through the world of sound and how to
capture great audio for virtual tours.

Register Now:
https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/710590914

Ben Knorr
Virtual Tour Software & Professional Hotel Photography
Order a virtual tour: 866-947-8687


Boost Your Hotel Distribution and Effectiveness

When it comes to online marketing, visibility is the key to success. This means you’ll want to have your Hotel Photography and virtual tour services appearing on as many channels as possible. Manual distribution takes countless hours, and you’ll never reach as many sites as you’d like to be listed on.

RTV has one of the best distribution services for your hotel, motel and hospitality virtual tours. With thousands of channels, automated distribution, and the ability to dispense video content in just the way customers are looking for, you’ll see a huge jump in visibility and views for your virtual tours.

Visual content distribution for every channel:
With RTV’s distribution your viewers will be able to see your rich media content right away, instead of clicking through links and pop-ups—which often results in frustration and a return to the search results to look for something else. With the help of our distribution partners RTV sends your panoramas and still images out quickly so viewers will see your spectacular virtual tours right away.

RTV is able to distribute your images to all major channels and thousands of real estate, travel, and content websites, including Google, Facebook, Flickr, Kayak, Orbitz, Expedia, Mapquest, YouTube, Priceline, Vent, HRS, Hotel Seeker, and many more!

Grow your virtual tour business with analytics:
The more you know about your customers’ searching and viewing habits, the more you’ll be able to adjust your campaigns to be even more effective. RTV is able to deliver plenty of analytical tools to help you tweak your content solutions and sell more virtual tours.

With RTV your content is displayed in exactly the way the viewer wants to see it. Viewers experience less frustration, and as a result, you’ll enjoy more views, more click-throughs, and an increased ROI.
Contact RTV today to learn more about using our distribution connections to distribute your hotel virtual tours, and look forward to a major increase in views—and revenue!

RTV, Inc
www.RealTourVision.com
Virtual Tour Software & Digital Marketing Training


First Impressions and Home Staging

“Did You Know?”

•    Most buyers form an opinion about a home within the first 7-10 seconds of arriving.
•    Over 90% of buyers look at homes they’ve found on the Internet. It is critical that your home makes a strong first impression online. Staging or virtual home staging will help you do just that.
•    A staged home will sell, on average, 17% higher than a home that is not staged. (US Housing and Urban Development)
•    Sellers who spent $500 on staging recovered over 343% of the cost when they sold their home. (Homegain.com)
•    It is estimated that only 10% of home buyers can visualize the potential of a home. That means 90% are not going to be able to look past dirt, clutter, and imperfections.
•    Staged homes spent 83% less time on the market than non-staged homes. (HomeGain.com)

I’m sure you have heard the saying, “first impressions are everything” but may have never thought too much of it. Now that you are in the virtual tour business, this is definitely true when you are trying to market any piece of real estate property. When your customers see a property for the first time, they need to be “WOWED!” This is both true in person and within your online virtual tours. Making sure that your properties are presented in the best way possible, is crucial and can easily make or break a sale.

Here’s an example :

The inside of the home was dirty, furniture was poorly organized, and it looked like a cluttered mess. All of these obviously are not good but sometimes can be overlooked when setting up a home for a photo shoot. Your photos are taken and the tour is now uploaded and viewable to everyone you show. Someone visits your online virtual tour for this home that is amazing and has the potential to sell quickly to the right person, but your introduction photo and the rest were a complete mess. What is the visitor’s first reaction? To leave the tour and not look at the other photos because they are not presentable. You have now lost a potential buyer.

That was just an example and may not even apply to you, but it DOES happen and some tours can look bad just because of poorly taken photos. So what can you do to make sure that your home property is prepped and ready for photography?

Let’s go through some of the staging tips :
– Remove personal items.
– Focus on the main areas and rooms such as bathrooms, bedrooms, living room ,dining room, kitchen, etc.
– Remove evidence of pets.
– Turn on all lights and create a warm atmosphere. Natural lighting is very important and shows up well in photos.
– Remove personal photographs.
– Clean and declutter the focus areas.
– Capture great shots of the exterior and surrounding areas. Focusing on nice landscaping is important and will give the house that extra “curb appeal”.

The whole goal is to have your property feel like home and to capture it in a positive light. Make sure your online visitors feel like they are actually stepping inside of the property so that they can feel the experience of a great 360 virtual tour. Your clients and everyone who views your virtual tours will be blown away. By following these tips and staying within your photography guidelines will help you create great virtual tours and have a more successful virtual tour business. Good luck and happy marketing!

Sincerely,

RTV, Inc
www.RealTourVision.com
Virtual Tour Software & Digital Marketing Training