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Terry's Blog

By Terry Hunter, MS Economics | Broker in Coto de Caza, CA

In an AGE of VIDEO, where are all the Virtual Tours?


I jokingly bet at 2:1 odds with my new prospective sellers (that is , 2 Starbucks Carmel Macchiatos to one) that when I look at the data for their neighborhood, fewer than 30% of their competitors will have a Virtual Tour.  I have never lost the bet, and, in some cases, there are ZERO competitors, and sometimes there have not been any competitors with Virtual Tours, not just then, but for months or even years!

Buyers, on the other hand, virtually demand photos (good photos being in short supply in the MLS, as well) and Virtual Tours.  In fact, these days, it is often BUYERS, and NOT agents who determine which homes they will look at.  So, the underexposed snapshots and lack of Virtual Tours so common in the MLS are really a disservice to BOTH buyers and sellers.

It's even worse than that, because some of the Virtual Tour companies have significant distribution to places where the listing might not otherwise go/be promoted.  In this case... no Virtual Tour = reduced promotion.

So, it blows me away that the promotion of assets costing hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars are handled so cavalierly, especially considering the significant marketing fees paid by home sellers to brokers. Even more incredibly, sometimes even multimillion dollar homes lack decent photos (and xeroxed black & white single page flyers with the former prices crossed-out, and replaced with new hand-written prices... in one case I saw a home in Newport Coast done this way for 3 price changes!  The last price?? Well, it was a mere $4,550,000!!)

Hopefully, the recent slow-down in the market will make apparent to sellers and listing brokers, alike, that these major assets deserve "high-heels & make-up" preparation, and images to match.
 
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