A Buyer’s Perspective on Virtual Tours
By Emily Williams, RET Content Coordinator
Posted by: RET Staff
There was a new home that met our criteria on the MLS last night. Our agent sent us a link to the property details page on the MLS consumer-facing website. On this property's details page was the URL (not an active link) for a virtual tour, which I checked out. And boy, was I disappointed! I simply sat for two minutes and watched the very same photos that had been in the MLS cycle through. Afterwards, I angrily closed the tab in my browser and said to my husband, "I want my two minutes back."
Benefits of Virtual Tours
When I came into the office this morning, I was complaining about my experience again. "What was the point of the virtual tour at all?" I asked.
Victor Lund, always the voice of reason, played the Devil's advocate for me. He explained that I was taking a very myopic view and that there are some benefits to virtual tours I haven't taken into consideration.
1. They make sellers happy. If you're an agent, your seller clients want to know that you're putting maximum effort into marketing their listing. This means doing more than just adding the property to the MLS and whatever third party property search portals you may syndicate to. A virtual tour will feel special to them. A single property website is another great way to do this.
2. They provide SEO value.
3. They display photos in a better format than the MLS slideshow. As you can see in the screenshot below, the photos in our MLS (even when expanded) are relatively small. They were larger and stood out better in the virtual tour format.