September 26, 2018

Your listing’s “virtual tour” ain’t virtual nor is it a real tour

It’s no secret that most real estate agents seem to always be behind the times when it comes to technology.

If you don’t believe me, ask the real estate agent I tried to send a referral to last year whose response to me after asking for her email address was “oh I don’t do email, I don’t have time, just fax me the info.”

Fax.

F%$*!#@ fax.

It seems every few years there’s a new toy or new technology that is about 1-2 years old that the industry picks up as the latest and greatest thing.  It’s the big buzz word around offices and tour.  No one seems to understand it or why it can help, but they want it anyway.

So it isn’t a shock that so many real estate agents STILL think that taking the same 10 photos of a property they put in the MLS and have them move in different directions to really bad royalty-free music in a video is a fantastic and fancy virtual tour that will bring the buyers.

*rolls eyes*

Do you really expect THAT will entice a potential buyer to take a look at the home?  How does moving the same photos with fancy old school slogans like “welcoming foyer,” “open kitchen,” “cozy, neutral family room” entice a potential buyer to pick up the phone, drive to the house and take time to look at it?

Most people are savvy enough to realize it’s the same pictures you have up on the site.

Sure it’s cost effective.  There’s a service out there that is only $100 a year for unlimited virtual tours that look just like that.  I won’t name names since I don’t believe in that product in any way, shape or form.

More importantly, how much of a disservice is it to use ancient and cheesy tool to market a home?  If a seller is paying 6% or MORE for an agent to sell it, isn’t it pathetic that an agent can’t even give their client something they can be proud of?

Some agents out there get it.

Take Renee Fishman.

I had a great, productive conversation with Renee this week, who is an agent with Halsted Property in New York City.

Renee and her gang get it.

I mentioned to her my thoughts on virtual tours, and see said something that surprised me.  “I’m over virtual tours.  I’ve moved on.”  She told me to check out what she is doing video-wise.

Look at one great example…

7 East 14th Street produced by Halstead Property on WellcomeMat

People buy more than just that one single house.  They don’t buy just the walls, the foundation, the electrical system.  They buy the neighborhood, they buy the community.  They buy the people.  They buy the feeling that comes with their new hometown.  They buy what they can do on a Saturday afternoon.  They buy what they can walk out their door or drive down the street and do.

And Renee shows it so well.  So well done!

The days of doing business the old way are long gone.  It’s time for you to get with the times.

So how can YOU get started in making your properties stand out?

You don’t need a full blown production company with Sony HD cameras, producers and a host.  (albeit if you want to do that, call me… I want to talk to you!)

But here’s what you CAN do.

Right now, you can jump in your car and run to a local big box store.  For $150, you can pick up a Flip cam, a very easy to use all inclusive video recorder.  You can go to your listing, hit record and give me the same tour you would give a potential buyer right there on the spot.  Upload it on YouTube and put the URL with your listing in the MLS.

And just like that, you’re doing something that NO ONE ELSE in your market is doing.

Buyers are savvy.  They have so many options right now when they’re looking at houses.  How are you going to stand out?  How are you going to put the old sales tactics of years past away and build a relationship with a future buyer online?

Let me know.  I’d love to hear what you’re doing.

Onward!

Comments

  1. Becky Boomsma says:

    It’s so refreshing when agents apply some critical thinking to manage their businesses differently than “the pack”, offering their clients and consumers, in general, something impressive, different, and intriguing that’s of value – great information, delivered in a unique way. To employ ingenuity and creativity in their approach and presentation opens up a whole new world to the agent and the consumers, making that agent and feature more memorable. We need to get out of our comfort zones, eliminate the fear factor, limiting thinking, and develop fresh product and delivery of information in newly fashioned ways that will turn consumers heads and create conversations. Thanks, Patrick, for your perspectives and sharing!

  2. Becky Boomsma says:

    It’s so refreshing when agents apply some critical thinking to manage their businesses differently than “the pack”, offering their clients and consumers, in general, something impressive, different, and intriguing that’s of value – great information, delivered in a unique way. To employ ingenuity and creativity in their approach and presentation opens up a whole new world to the agent and the consumers, making that agent and feature more memorable. We need to get out of our comfort zones, eliminate the fear factor, limiting thinking, and develop fresh product and delivery of information in newly fashioned ways that will turn consumers heads and create conversations. Thanks, Patrick, for your perspectives and sharing!

  3. Thanks for the comments on my post! FYI they hire an out-of-house company to do their videos. Don’t remember the name, but they do many different series with their agents.

    it’s so easy for an agent to put this together themselves, too! It’s not difficult to grab a cam, do a quick tour and throw it up online. It may not have a full production value of something like this, but it’s still something unique and different.

  4. Thanks for the comments on my post! FYI they hire an out-of-house company to do their videos. Don’t remember the name, but they do many different series with their agents.

    it’s so easy for an agent to put this together themselves, too! It’s not difficult to grab a cam, do a quick tour and throw it up online. It may not have a full production value of something like this, but it’s still something unique and different.

  5. Jason Balaban says:

    Hi Becky – Great post! I’ve never been a fan of virtual tours. The Halstead video is well done and, although not “over-produced”, done professionally. They’ve employed some basics like lighting, graphics, a professional intro & outro that separate this from a home-made video. As an owner of a production company I’m biased! Also it’s great way for an agent to subtly promote themselves.

  6. Jason Balaban says:

    Hi Becky – Great post! I’ve never been a fan of virtual tours. The Halstead video is well done and, although not “over-produced”, done professionally. They’ve employed some basics like lighting, graphics, a professional intro & outro that separate this from a home-made video. As an owner of a production company I’m biased! Also it’s great way for an agent to subtly promote themselves.