Blog Tag: web sign rider

Are Your Listings Within Reach

So we’re all painfully aware of the major challenges facing the residential real estate market right now, with homes of every shape, size, color and price available for the (relatively few) serious buyers out there who are still looking to buy real estate.


One thing we know pretty conclusively these days is that most buyers no longer drive the neighborhoods (at least initially), read the classified ad sections in newspapers or flip through those glossy magazines available at the local supermarket. No, these days you will find the vast majority of buyers clicking their mouses (er, mice?) to locate their next home. No secret there. But given this common knowledge, it is still amazing to me the staggering numbers of agents who put forth little to no effort in creating any kind of compelling online presence for their listings. It seems like the number of listings that have either no photos or really bad ones, bland and boring home descriptions, no virtual tours or video tours, etc. outnumber the well-represented homes online 20 to 1. With sooo many homes on the market these days, your listing had better really speak to buyers when they do come across it, or they quickly and effortlessly move on to the next one with a click of their mouse.

I’ve decided to go with a shopping analogy here. Just a few short years ago when the demand for homes was high, homes on the market were not unlike a limited-supply specialty item sold at an exclusive retailer (recent items like the iPhone and the Wii come to mind). From time to time there is great demand for an item that is in limited supply, whether or not that scarcity is organic or engineered by the company through controlled production. But regardless of the reason for the high demand, people will react the same. They are willing to stand in line at the stores, pay premiums, get on waiting lists, etc. etc. Of course, they have to be able to pay for an item they buy, and the good old banking system in the USA made sure that buying these items was possible for almost anyone through easy credit. We’ll roll all of these lenders/banks/credit card companies into one aggregate person, and we’ll call him “Marvin Moneybags”.

So what happens when dozens of other companies come out with competing products and manufacture them in bulk, so that the supply easily outpaces demand causing prices to plummet, and consumers suddenly have dozens of choices? We’ll just imagine that instead of a few specialty retailers offering a limited supply of these high demand products to a long line of buyers, that now a huge warehouse store (we’ll call it “CostMart”) is full of these products and competing products of every shape, size, color and price, now stacked floor to ceiling. The line of buyers has disappeared because even though these items are much more affordable now, Marvin Moneybags has lent out all of his money and so much of it didn’t come back in (loans and credit card payments in default) that he can’t/won’t lend any more. Now there are just a few buyers who can buy, and maybe they wander through the door to see what’s available. They are overwhelmed with the sheer amount of products they see. Every shape, size, color, function, etc. they could ever imagine even having a need for is here. How do they choose just one? Well, for starters, they should be able to pick it up off of the shelf. Buyers are far more likely to buy if they can view it from every angle, touch it, try it, learn about everything it has to offer. Now remember that there are so many of these things for sale that they are stacked all of the way to the ceiling. Waaay up there on the top shelves are products that could be every bit as shiny, cool, functional and attractively priced as the products that can be easily taken off of the shelf to be examined. Now a buyer could go around the store and see if they can find a ladder in order to get up to those higher shelves, but with so many attractive products within arm’s reach, why would they bother?

So imagine your listings are products that are being offered for sale along with everyone else’s products at your local CostMart. Although your “products” are somewhat unique, you still are offering something that is stacked floor to ceiling in every aisle of this massive store. How are you going to sell your “products” when buyers have so many others to choose? Well, for starters, you can make sure your “products” are not up on those high shelves, only accessible by the few (if any) buyers who will take the trouble to go “find a ladder”.

While you cannot control which “products” buyers will take off of the shelf, you can make sure that yours are within arm’s reach, so a potential buyer can take it off of the shelf, look at it from every angle, learn about it, and “feel it” emotionally. So just how do you make sure of this when your buyer wants all of this without leaving their easy chair? Make sure you ALWAYS post lots of good pictures (preferably shot by a professional like myself), and at least one (if not all) of the following: a virtual tour, a video tour, and a single property website. This not only brings your “products” down within arm’s reach and eye-level, but also makes them scream out, “ooh pick ME, pick ME!!”.

There are a lot of technology options out there these days at every budget (some even free) so why would you not use these things to market your listings? It’s also important to write a compelling description of the home that speaks to buyers and paints a vivid picture in their mind of what is unique and appealing about this home, but I’ll save the specifics of that for a future entry. For now, just make sure that your “products” and are readily available for the shoppers to “pluck off of the shelf” by giving them the compelling information and imagery they seek online, and you’ll have a much better chance of a buyer heading to the check-out lane with your “product” under their arm.

Lawrence McBride
Virtually There Media
A RealTour Vision provider
Las Vegas Virtual Tours
Order A Virtual Tour 702.421.9920

Stickin to it – Virtual Tour Marketing

BlueLaVaMedia producer of Traverse City Virtual Tours is proud to announce our Tour Sticker marketing blast which is the latest addition to our virtual tour marketing program. What is a tour sticker you say? You should ask Susan Hintz a Traverse City real estate agent about the tour sticker.

Back in the day tour stickers were SO popular that Susan would get in trouble if she forgot to leave one behind on the listing sign. In fact, back in early days, Real Tour Vision actually sold virtual tour stickers by the hundreds to virtual tour providers all over the world who then turned around and placed these little vinyl stickers onto the real estate yard signs of every home that received an interactive 360 virtual tour.

What happened to the tour sticker? Well that is a very good questions to ask indeed. First of all RTV stopped selling tour stickers because they were not branding the providers as much as they were RTV. When RTV stopped selling the stickers new virtual tour providers did not know of their existence. At that time we had no marketing department so the tour sticker simply disappeared from existence altogether only to be remembered by few. While the tour sticker has been lost in RTV past it has certainly not been forgotten and by golly Jim and I are fired up to bring it back!

Here is how the little virtual tour sticker worked back in the day and can still work for you and your virtual tour company today:

First you will want to download the new non branded virtual tour sticker from the RTV site that found here (or make your own):

Real Tour Vision Icons

As a side note there are some pretty nice images on that site that you can use for your virtual tour company like I have done here:

Traverse City Virtual Tour Linking

Next give Bill Modzel (or your favorite screen printer person) a call from Modzel Screen printing and design.

Traverse City Screen Printing

Just tell Bill that you would like the same virtual tour sticker printed out that Jason at BlueLaVaMedia had made and he will hook you up with a very sleek vinyl sticker that measures about five inches by five inches. The stickers do cost a bit to produce but you will have the honor of telling your customers that the stickers will not fade in the sun, bake on in the heat or flake off in the bitter winter cold. In fact the stickers easily peel off years after being in place without destroying the real estate listing sign.

Next you will want to announce to ALL of your real estate virtual tour customers that after completing each virtual tour you will be placing an attractive virtual tour sticker onto the listing sign. You will find that some real estate agents will want to place these stickers on themselves while others will be fine with you placing the sticker on yourself. Just use your best judgment and don’t cover up any letters or images!

To date Jim and I have yet to find a single customer that refused the placement of our sticker. Can you guess why this is the case? Of course you can!! It’s because virtual tours are a sense of great pride for home sellers AND the real estate agents who use them. The more tour stickers that start showing up all around your town…the more people start asking about using virtual tours to sell their homes faster. That my friends is secret of the tour sticker. It works great for you AND your customers. Now go get some and happy sticking to you all!

Jason LaVanture
Traverse City Virtual Tours
Order a Virtual Tour! 877-941-8687 (TOUR)

Heard about PanoRiders?

Of course you have! So if you are one of the few providers who have not started offering these fantastic add-on products to your list of offerings, you are missing out!

Missing out on what? ADDITIONAL REVENUE of course. This product simply sells itself. For a modest fee, your clients can add significant traffic to their virtual tour. And that benefits YOU as a provider. It shows the agent just how effectively your service can market their listing.

With the current housing situation in most of the country, most real estate agents are cutting back on their marketing expenses. But this means they have to invest more time to sell a property. Why not introduce them to the PanoRider with single property website? Demonstrate how these unique marketing tools can save them time and make them more money in the process.

Show them the statistics like these from an order from AT Virtual Tours in San Angelo, TX where about 1/3 of the traffic to this tour is from the sign! Show them that investing in your virtual tour services and PanoRider can dramatically increase their exposure in the marketplace without any additional investment of their time.

If you don’t have a sample PanoRider yet, now is the time to get one! Just add an additional sign with your next order to save on shipping. So what are you waiting for? It is your virtual tour business, so get busy and show your clients what you’ve got…show them your PanoRider and start generating MORE REVENUE for you and your clients!!

Real Tour Vision
National Virtual Tour Company
Order a single property website with Panorider today, Call 866-947-8687!

Two RTV providers Join Forces

Extended Virtual Tour Service Coverage for Real Estate One® Agents in Michigan!

RTV today announced a strategic alliance between two highly successful Michigan service providers. Real Vision Studio , provider of Metro Detroit virtual tours and BlueLaVaMedia, offering Traverse City virtual tours, have aligned to offer Real Estate One® (REO) agents new powerful listing tools and extended virtual tour service coverage in Metro Detroit and Northern Michigan. Both companies utilize the RTV virtual tour software and property marketing technology services used by thousands of virtual tour providers and real estate agents worldwide.

The back-end real estate listing system that REO agents use to publish listings to the MLS features an integrated ordering page (created by preferred virtual tour provider Real Vision Studio) which allows agents to order a full service virtual tour at the same time they enter their listings. Until recently, only REO agents from the Metro Detroit area have been able to place orders for virtual tours from this system. This new strategic alliance between two Michigan virtual tour companies allows agents in both Metro Detroit and Northern Michigan to place orders for full service virtual tours using the same system they have always used for entering listings into MLS.

“It just made sense for us to partner with BlueLaVaMedia to service the two largest Real Estate One markets in Michigan. Home sellers and real estate agents, now more than ever, need access to sophisticated property marketing technologies and that’s been our offering since we opened our doors in 2002” said Mike Thompson of Real Vision Studio.

BlueLaVaMedia also announced their all new ‘PanoRider™ Custom Round’ which is a panoramic sign rider made specifically for the signature REO round yard signs. The PanoRider is a powerful marketing tool that has proven to convert foot traffic of a real estate yard sign into significant increases in online traffic. These eye-catching marketing tools feature a panoramic scene from the within the home which is printed on the PanoRider in full color and displayed above the REO round yard sign. The sign prominently displays a custom single property website address (utilizing the physical property address) which points directly to the online virtual tour and property listing information. This remarkable tool drastically saves home shoppers time and turns conventional foot traffic into highly targeted and qualified online leads for REO agents.

All services are already available on the back end of the REO real estate listing system in the Metro Detroit and Traverse City regions. Samples of the PanoRider™ Custom Round and virtual tours can be requested from either company by visiting their websites below or emailing them directly.
Northern Michigan Virtual Tours
Metro Detroit Virtual Tours

Virtual Tour House Hunting From Iraq

About 10 days ago Claire Crawford from Keller Williams (a regular client of ours) called to place an order for yet another BakerB Solutions Interactive Virtual Tour ( She ordered her team’s usual services, including a basic virtual tour, submission of the tour to the MLS/MRIS and, music and photos for marketing. While BakerB Solutions provides services for property brochures and postcard mailers, Claire uses our photos to create her own brochures and postcards and does a great job!

The virtual tour order was for a nice single family 2-level home in Germantown, Maryland with an updated kitchen. We went out and met John Lee and the owner at the property to do the photo shoot the next day. After posting the tour online

John added the link to his team’s website

So far, nothing unusual right? Well, this is where the story gets interesting. Claire was contacted by an agent 2-days ago who was putting in an offer for the property on behalf of her out of town clients. The husband is currently stationed in IRAQ and the wife is still in Mississippi. They were home shopping the only way they could…by using the Internet!

As it turns out, they viewed The Crawford and Lee website and saw the home, our photos and the BakerB Solutions Interactive Virtual tour. Claire just called me to let me know that contract is now ratified even though the buyers haven’t even set foot in the house!

This particular example illustrates the power of online marketing. Many Realtors in our area are struggling with the current market conditions. But those like the Crawford and Lee team who understand the power of Internet marketing are leading the Realtors in Germantown Maryland, showing how a house, even in this market, can get sold for a fair price if it is marketed well!

BakerB Solutions
Interactive Virtual Tours & Marketing Specialists
Germantown Virtual Tours
Order a virtual tour today! 301.424.8272