Brand recognition is one of the elusive goals that all businesses strive for. The ability to bring into someone’s mind the image of a product or service by simply saying its name is a powerful marketing tour. Some brand names have become so synonymous with a product that the name is used to describe a product regardless of who makes it. When you have a runny nose, do you ask for a facial tissue or do you ask for a Kleenex®?
An organization that has beyond any doubt accomplished this goal is The National Association of Realtors® (NAR). Anyone looking to buy or sell a home will say they are working with a Realtor®. Rarely do they say they are working with a real estate agent. So what is the big deal with the word Realtor®?
The word has become such a part of our vocabulary that we forget that not all real estate agents are Realtors® and not all Realtors® are real estate agents. Confused? Here is the NAR definition of a Realtor®:”NAR is composed of REALTORS® who are involved in residential and commercial real estate as brokers, salespeople, property managers, appraisers, counselors and others engaged in all aspects of the real estate industry”. NAR is an organization that someone in the real estate profession can join.
So, what does this have to do with us? Many Real Tour Vision virtual tour providers are participating in public forums and blogs that we fully expect to have people from the real estate industry read. We all pride ourselves in delivering that extra little bit that will make us stand apart from all others. One extra little bit that takes very little effort would be the use of the word Realtor®
I rarely use Realtor®; I prefer real estate agent or real estate professional. When I first started as a mortgage broker, I had a few agents correct me about the use of Realtor®. Several went to great lengths to let me know they belonged to NAR, but were in fact real estate agents. Some agents will not care one way or the other how the word is used. Others are like I was. When a service provider came into the office, the first question was always “Are you a Realtor®”. I would say “Yep, I am also a real estate agent”. That would always slow them down.
The point I am trying to get across is simple. Set yourself apart from others by using the word Realtor® correctly. When you write something that potential clients are going to read, I know you carefully craft the sentences and check for misspelling. Why not go that little extra distance and write the word as it is registered? One last little bit. Try not to pronounce it “relitter”. Think about how RTV is pronounced. Real Tour said fast sounds a lot like Realtor®.
Times have changed; you knew it might come to this and hoped you would have retired before it was forced on you! Long-time Realtors are being asked to use our virtual tours as the flagship of their internet marketing…by their clients!
Fortunately, you don’t have to “do it yourself.” Surf MLS for a good chuckle by looking at the quality photos being posted. Would you put those on your own home? I doubt it. You’d call in a professional, because you want your home’s first impression to outshine the competition.
You don’t have to understand the internet. All you need to be able to do is place a listing on MLS and upload photos to it (or have someone do it for you ;). We do everything else.
We encourage Realtors to send our “tips” to clients prior to the shoot so that their home will have the best first impression, and the majority of homeowners “jump right in” to help.
Southeast Michigan – Real Vision Studio is becoming one of the major players in the Virtual Tour Market. When we decided to become tour providers in the SE Michigan market (Metro Detroit Area) we decided to use Real Tour Vision Technology, simply because it was and is the best! That’s what keeps our customers coming back and keeps making our Virtual Tour client database grow. As of today, we are photographing 35 – 50 Virtual Tours a week, every week and it keeps growing. The bottom line is when you can give a customer a quality product at a reasonable price, the rest just happens. Thank you RTV for giving us the tools to help make our virtual tour company grow and the ability to provide our customers with such a great product.
Real Vision Studio
What is the difference between a cookie-cutter virtual tour and one done by a Real Tour Vision full-service provider? I just read a very well-written blog by Stephanie Potter of www.shotyoulive.com and would like to offer a few thoughts.
We’ve done hundreds of virtual tours and realize how busy real estate professionals are. We’ve “been there” (bought and sold homes) and know that this is 1 of the most disorganized times of a person’s life.
We help by providing what I refer to as “virtual tour tips” prior to each appointment.
We recommend to Realtors, “even if you don’t use us, recommend that your listings follow a set of guidelines prior to taking photos.”
A few items from the list are as follows:
– clearing the refrigerator of magnets, photos, sports schedules
– putting garbage cans out of sight
– bathroom sinks (showers and bathtubs too) should be empty
Feel free to visit our website and click on the Tour Tips link at the bottom of the page.
After all, the camera will see what’s there…. and our job is to make you look like a million bucks!
As Real Tour Vision full-service providers, this is our company, our livelihood. Real estate professionals love it that we step up and “make the difficult requests.”
There are real estate videos on websites like YouTube that agents post for free and I just read in a Real Estate Newsletter that it’s being encouraged to post those videos. This could potentially be a major industry mistake! Not only do videos on youtube come off as very unprofessional they distract the home shopper from what they are doing. If you take that video and link it to your website and someone clicks it to see it, you’ve just sent that buyer down the road to another website with completely unrelated content.
Why in the world would it be encouraged to send buyers away to another site that doesn’t have anything to do with buying or selling homes? YouTube makes their income off advertising and advertising alone so one would think they are fairly adept at distracting ones attention. Attracting and encouraging people to look at ads and other videos is the sole purpose of their site.
Realtor.com and your website on the other hand should be focused on connecting potential buyers with other homes and keeping those buyers on your site. It’s up to the agent to keep the buyer enrolled in their services or their properties and not lose contact with that buyer. The only solution is for Realtor.com to host these videos which I see that they have recently starting doing this for free!! I am guessing they are offering this service to agents for the simple reasons as stated above. Keep clients on your website and make your site as sticky as possible. Don’t lose your connection with your prospect.
Virtual Ndustry “We build Virtual Tours”