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Asked by Doug Dekruyter, 49426 Wed Sep 24, 2008

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10
Alan May, Agent, Evanston, IL
Wed Sep 24, 2008
I make sure that my listings have both... at least 8 high quality professional photos, as well as the virtual tour.

Many search vehicles (such as Realtor.com) allow buyers to search by "show me only those listings with virtual tours", and I can't afford for my listings to be passed over on the single highest volume buyer-search website out there. It just ain't worth the risk.
3 votes
Sylvia Barry,…, Agent, Marin, CA
Sat Sep 27, 2008
Hi Doug:

It really depends on the property for me. Great quality pictures are a must for me; and I like to take my own picture because I consider my own pictures much nicer than some of the paid pictures i saw online from other Realtors. I know the property and i spent a lot of time, taking hundreds of pictures and picking the best ones to use - I photoshop theme also.

Then I pick the website and template that fit the property to display them - that;s on top of the MLS listings we all put. There are so many single property sites out there, I constantly search for the best property site to display the property.

There are sites where you can do them yourselves, whether it's virtual tour, slide shows, videos. Again, I do them according to the property.

I have luxury properties and I also have bread and butter properties. One method or several methods work for one but not another. If you know what you are doing, it does not have to cost a lot.

Just as properties are unique, my presentation for them are also unique.

Best,
Sylvia Barry
Marin Realtor
2 votes
Keith Bliss, Agent, Cary, NC
Fri Sep 26, 2008
Hi Doug, Virtual Tours are almost a standard for finding serious Buyers! I would recommend them for added exposure. With the pressure for more information, gas prices up and people have less time on their hands, Virtual Tours are necessary in today's market. In the future, expect to see VIDEO as the number one method of posting a property for sale. I recommend having a Virtual Tour service that offers branded verisons for your website and marketing and non-branded versions for your MLS system. It is also important to have a service that requires the user to REGISTER before seeing the VT, so you can get their information and have another lead capture tool.
Web Reference:  http://www.circlepix.com
1 vote
Ute Ferdig, Agent, Newcastle, CA
Thu Sep 25, 2008
Hello Doug. I personally prefer the slideshow style as I don't have the patience to look at more than 1 or 2 panoramics. Many VTs also make you dizzy when you watch the moving panorama photos. I only look at them when I want to get a better feel for the layout of a room or landscaping.

For marketing purposes, I'd choose a provider that allows me to do a slide show as well as panormas for little money. There are several relatively inexpensive providers out there and if you don't mind taking your own pictures, you can put together your own virtual tours for very little money. I would reserve the professionally prepared VTs and slide shows to the luxury homes that justify the expense. Below is a list of inexpensive, but good VT providers (in my opinion anyway). All you need is a digital camera. No software or special equipment required. You may want to consider investing in a tripod to take pictures suitable for panorama stitching.

http://www.visualtour.com ($29.95/month for unlimited VT and free posting to realtor.com with for those who have a showcase listing account).

http://www.intouchtours.com (less than $50 per tour and they'll do most of the work after you have uploaded the photos).

http://www.realestateshows.com ($125/year for unlimited VTs)

I hope this helps.
1 vote
Kathryn Gorh…, Agent, Emerald Isle, NC
Thu Sep 25, 2008
My market is the beach - Crystal Coast, NC - many of the "Virtual Tours" I am seeing here are really picture slide shows. Virtual Tours (actual video) are usually reserved for the high end properties. Although you will see both labeled Virtual Tours. I haven't heard buyers express a strong preference for either. Yet seeing is a must - no pictures is reason buyers give for eliminating properties. Hope this was helpful.
Kathryn Gorham - Green Key
Emerald Isle, NC
1 vote
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Wed Sep 24, 2008
For us the jury is still out....both buyers and sellers appreciate them, however from a personal perspective I find myself quickly viewing the still pictures and paying no attention to the virtual your.

From a sales perspective, I'm just not sure virtual tours are worth the money and effort.
1 vote
Real Estate…, Agent, STATEN ISLAND, NY
Wed Sep 24, 2008
I like both. in todaysmarket we need to use evrything that is avalable and everythng that will maximize exposure. we need to cater to everyone. It is a buyers market and we need to attract the buyer.
1 vote
Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Wed Sep 24, 2008
i like 6-10 good quality pictures, the virtual tours can bog down on some buyers olders computers, i do a mix of both but rely heavier on the pictures.
Web Reference:  http://www.ScottSellsNH.com
1 vote
VirtualTourC…, Other Pro, Pleasanton, CA
Wed Dec 16, 2009
Hi Doug,
As a Realtor and Virtual Tour Provider I want to add a couple of comments. First of all, it is wise of you to question every marketing and expense dollar you spend and to track the results. Keep spending where you see a return and stop spending on those that do not. Having said that, there are some marketing expenses you do that are for the benefit of the sellers, some for the buyers and some for yourself.

Virtual tours and professional photography are tools that can be used to both impress your sellers and drive buyers to your property. However, only if done right! Rather than rely on what I say or any others for that matter (and there are some great comments you received!), here are some facts to review (most recent study and should be higher today):

54% of home buyers who are searching for the next home on Realtor.com only view properties with featured tours or multiple images. (2007 NAR Survey)
On a typical day, more than six million people are taking virtual tours in cyberspace, up from roughly two million in 2004. (2007 Pew Internet & American Life Study)
In cyberspace, a listing with a virtual tour will receive 38% more views. (2007 Pew Internet & American Life Study)

For more information, read my recent blog titled "East Bay Virtual Tours - Worth the Money?" at http://www.EastBayVirtualTours.com

Thank you for the post and Happy Holidays!

Tim Denbo
Property Marketing Studios
925-549-0714
Tim@PMStudios360.com
http://www.PMStudios360.com
Web Reference:  http://www.PMStudios360.com
0 votes
Diane Smith, , 75418
Tue Feb 3, 2009
Virtual tours give visual impact to the marketing of a property. They can become heavy handed and more information than necessary. They can become distracting if not edited and presented properly. I find slide shows or visual still photos work as well to help generate interest, but virtual tours/photos/slides will not sell a home (as you know), but it will compliment a well priced home and generate interest. It's all part of marketing strategy to get your client's home presented and get buyers in the door! Then the offers can come!
0 votes
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