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Make Your Next Marketing Strategy Local
What does it mean to be a local real estate agent? By focusing on a targeted area, you become an expert in a specific geographic area. You regularly attend events and have your eyes and ears tuned into the pulse of the community. The relationship you have with a specific area is second nature and you know about all the new developments, where the best schools are located, the Walk Scores, and crime rates. To put it into perspective, you are the consumer's go-to when they need to find out who's who and the buzz in your area. When questions arise about planning, zoning, and environmental concerns or the selling price of the property down the street with a similar floor plan, you have the answers on the tip of your tongue. Honing in on a local area will make your brand stand out and get you recognized as the local expert. What are some secrets to becoming a local expert? Use virtual tours in your new real estate marketing plan It's no secret that consumers are using technology at a faster rate than ever before. Homebuyers are especially enamoured with searching online. According to NAR, 97% of them use the web in their quest for a new home. Sure, traditional and old-school marketing can add some nostalgia to your advertising, but it is time to embrace the digital age and focus on having an online presence. By incorporating real estate marketing tools like immersive 3D tours and interactive floor plans, you not only highlight the fit and flow of each property, but you highlight the fact that you are current with real estate technology. Be the agent the locals recognize as the tech-friendly marketing expert for all their real estate requirements. Following the leads and leading with followers You can lead by following. Follow the social channels of local businesses, including professional services, retail, recreational facilities, and builders and developers in the area. Take the lead by asking your followers questions on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to initiate conversation. Listen to the voices of the residents and use your time to engage with the community by sharing stories on your social channels, including virtual open houses, 3D tours, and market updates. Did you know you can guide a buyer through a property by sharing a link during a virtual showing? Social connections can drive leads from your apps directly to a potential sale. The importance of standing out in a highly competitive field There are plenty of intelligent real estate agents who know the rules and abide by the fundamentals of the industry standards. But you need to be more than the "standard" Realtor. Marketing tools from companies like iGUIDE® can make you stand out. How you present a property listing should inspire, entice, and engage the consumer. How can you accomplish this? Use real estate marketing tools to reel in the consumer and make a connection. Buyers and sellers want information including accurate measurements, property-specific details, and community amenities. By offering floor plans and easily navigated virtual tours in your digital marketing, you can tie it all together with your expert knowledge of the geographic region. Create your brand identity with niche marketing One of the best marketing tools for real estate agents is building your brand through consistent messaging. Leading real estate coach Tom Ferry suggests you master a specific niche as one of the marketing ideas to elevate your brand. Every listing is an opportunity for you to reach out to the public and show them the value of choosing an agent who can offer good advice, accurate information and present it all in a timely manner. Doing this builds trust and recognition in your brand. When focusing in a specific neighborhood, it is imperative to help the community identify you as the "expert" in the area. You will get recognized as an agent specializing in a specific geographic area when offering things like virtual tours and precise floor plans in your listings. With the proper branding and dedication to your targeted area, your name becomes synonymous with the "go-to" agent for both buyers and sellers in your niche market. Details matter Focus on a single demographic region to uncover and learn the intimate details about schools, parks, Walk Scores, and community happenings. Little details about a neighborhood matter to buyers, as much as the fit and flow of a property. When you guide a potential buyer through a virtual showing, you can have a conversation with them about what it would be like to live in the home. Highlighting property details makes it easier for a consumer to imagine how they will fit into their new home. Working in a niche market doesn't mean you can stray away from the environs periodically. After all, plenty of opportunities will arise while networking within your chosen locale. The key to your success is to use the best marketing tools for real estate agents to distinguish yourself from everyone else out there.
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4 Companies Compete in Matterport's Space Jam
Matterport recently held a competition among technology vendors who are developing software that extends the Matterport scan for real estate marketing. The Space Jam competition featured four companies who leverage the Matterport software development toolkit (SDK) to deliver additional features around a Matterport scan. Matterport, now a publicly traded company, continues its growth both domestically and internationally as the leader in property scanning. The company is trying to differentiate itself from virtual tours by adopting the term "digital twin." Matterport creates an exact digital replica. Before we jump into the companies who were in competition at Space Jam, you should know that Matterport itself added some great new editing tools. The first tool is Notes. It allows agents to leave notes in the room that provide additional information to the viewer. A measurement tool and a blur tool have also been added. Matterport Partner integrations Although only four companies were selected for the Space Jam, Matterport has over 100 partners. This adds a lot of value to the core Matterport digital twin and dollhouse offering. If you are investing in Matterport scans, be sure to look into the many applications that extend or enhance the value of that investment. Captur3d: Steven Kounnas – Winner of the Space Jam Captur3ed – pronounced "captured" – won the Space Jam. Many of these companies have similar functionality, but Captur3ed seemed to offer the best user experience. Captur3d creates an entire marketing suite for your Matterport tour: post-production editing, website, floorplan, location based audio and video—embed agent or voice overview of room. Virtually staged furniture, search engine optimization and meta data, photo retouching. This is a company that you definitely want to check out. Agent Relay: Dan Cattermole Agent Relay was the first presenter and probably in second place in Space Jam. The keynote of Agent Relay is the ability to co-view your Matterport scan with a client like a Zoom call. They have also layered a variety of lead conversion tools and analytic tools. Agents can show property remotely in an instant and the platform comes standard with a single property website. Treedis Treedis was similar to the others above, offering live video chat like Agent Relay and tours that are branded. Agents can virtually stage properties from a library of furniture and fixtures, and offer clients virtual showings. VRPM: Mike Merron VRPM has most of the features listed above. Overall, it seemed like this company specializes in providing excellent designers to do the virtual staging for you. Specifically, they showed many examples where they took a framed, empty spaced and brought it to life with multiple design concepts. This may be the best tool for commercial real estate or an empty house. Their superpower is in design.
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How to Improve Google Positioning by Promoting Yourself Locally with Virtual Tours
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14 Benefits of Virtual 360 Tours for Real Estate Sales and Marketing, Part 2
We're back this week with the second half of our list of the top benefits of virtual 360 tours for real estate (see Part 1 here). Below are the final seven key benefits of virtual tours in sales and marketing according to some of the best agents in the industry. 8. Better qualified buyers Attract more motivated, qualified buyers with a 24/7 open house. First of all, aren't you tired of tire kickers or next door neighbors coming to the open house and wasting your time? Secondly how many people can you run through an open house on the weekend? Virtual 360° tours allow everyone to have what they expect. The buyers can browse through hundreds of properties without leaving their home. Agents get only qualified buyers that have already seen the property and are ready for a final showing. How good is that? You can finally focus on negotiating the price with the right customers. According to Morris Short of REMAX Xtra, using a virtual 360° tour can get even 120 people doing a showing in one day! Can you beat that in any other way? Of course not—the times have changed and your life as an agent can be much easier. 9. Sell to anywhere in the world Sell properties from anywhere and to anyone in the world. International or interstate customers are buying properties in Sydney and New York without even flying there. Brandon Read, Ray White Cairns, Australia just confirms this as they sold a million dollar property using a virtual tour without the buyer flying in to Cairns. They only viewed the property using a virtual 360° tour. Even single agents creating virtual tours sell properties to interstate buyers. After COVID, remote work allows many people to leave expensive metro areas and follow their dream of living in a more affordable suburban or rural location. These buyers or tenants expect to see their options without having to travel. 10. Significantly shorter showings Agents can enjoy quicker showings as potential buyers have already seen the property online and all of its features. Agents using virtual reality tours to sell real estate are reporting that their time spent on showing houses has dramatically decreased as buyers have seen the properties beforehand. They have inspected every corner of the house, they have discussed it with their family and friends simply by sending them the link to the virtual tour. When they arrive, the kids run straight to their already chosen bedrooms. Everyone is happy as there is no unnecessary time wasted on either side. As mentioned previously, sellers don't have to leave the house for as long. 11. Save time on traveling Save your time on driving to open houses that nobody comes to. How many times have you driven to your Saturday open house for 20-30 minutes just to have nobody come to see your property? You could have been having drinks with your friends or watching your kids play football! If you pre-qualify buyers and they confirm their presence, you will save a lot of driving time. Agents that have been in the real estate industry for almost 20 years tell us they are tired of such exercises and would rather use virtual 360° tours to present the properties. Moreover, agents using VR tours report they do four instead of eight showings per week, thanks to virtual 360° tours. 12. Incredible convenience and transparency for buyers Allow buyers to revisit the property again and again without you having to accompany them. Buying a home is never a single person decision, and if one person came to see your property, they have to go back home and explain to their family how the property looks like and what is so exciting about it. The regular photos don't do it justice, but a virtual 360° tour delivers full transparency. 13. Easier quotes for renovations Allow buyers to discuss potential renovations to the property by showing 360° tours to their contractors. Buyers can consult the renovation specialists and get some idea on what can or can not be changed inside of a property, e.g., if the kitchen can be extended or if a small wall can be removed and how much such a renovation may cost. Moreover, a virtual 360° tour can be virtually renovated so that the buyers can have a preview of what it might look like. 14. Virtually transfer buyers to the property Present all properties you can't access to buyers in your office by using VR goggles. Each virtual tour can be viewed in a VR headset, which allows buyers to feel like they are really standing inside of the property. Agents like Jo Mooney have been sending cardboard VR goggles to potential buyers so they can just insert their mobile phone into them and immerse themselves in the space they are considering. That's how she successfully sells sight unseen! Learn how you can create unique virtual tours in under 15 minutes for less than $3. Book a free information call here. To view the original article, visit the Virtual Tours Creator blog.
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14 Benefits of Virtual 360 Tours for Real Estate Sales and Marketing, Part 1
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Trending Now: Smart Technology, Smart Marketing, Smart Realtors
Real estate technology in 2021 is giving you ways to shape your future. Whether you are focused primarily on residential or commercial property, you can't ignore the changing landscape of your industry. Now is your time to take advantage of proptech trends to boost your brand, increase buyer awareness, grow your leads, and keep those referrals coming. As threatening as the word sounds, technology is your friend and it can influence the way you do business and the way the consumer judges your competency. The popularity of smart devices, social media, and video streaming are reasons to take note and implement these tools into your real estate marketing plans. Get social Not a day goes by without someone discussing something happening on their social media feed. According to a recent NAR survey, social media is one of the most valuable proptech tools for real estate agents. With buyers and sellers checking out Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube regularly, these channels are places where you can share one of the best proptech trends 2021 has to offer: the virtual tour. You have been using 3D videos and virtual tours throughout the past several months to offer a way for the consumer to easily navigate a property. But now you can allow the user more control using interactive floor plans with 360° panoramic visuals. The best part is you can share it all on your social media channels, websites, or even host a live tour where you can interact in real-time with your clients. Added value Everyone wants an upgrade and, in real estate, there are ways to provide added value to your clients by giving them the benefit of an immersive floor plan with the accurate square footage of a property. Measurements are important especially when communicating value to the consumer. Complimenting a virtual tour with an interactive floor plan allows for seamless navigation throughout every space within the property. When using real estate technology in 2021, be sure to include advanced measurements to assist the buyer when making important decisions for renovations, insurance claims, or placement of furniture. BIG data One of the most useful proptech trends 2021 has to offer real estate agents is data. Bigger is better when it comes to analyzing all the important facts and figures in the industry. How does big data affect your day-to-day business? The consumer is looking for ways to compare and analyze potential homes to target their individual specifications. Big data allows you to provide insight into all the statistics you need to help the buyer on their journey. Everything from neighbourhood demographic information to walk scores, crime rates and the all-important selling and buying trends allow for better decisions based on analytics. Real estate agents can use analytics to track the success of marketing campaigns by using big data to compile user feedback, interest in a property, and the overall performance of every transaction. Easy to share with 5G Yes, big data is important but without the ability to share all that information you could be left waiting for long periods of time before you see results. Enter the power of 5G networks to support all the real estate technology in 2021. Transmission speed helps you get information to the consumer in a timely manner. 5G helps you connect all your virtual tours, interactive floor plans and communication tools quickly and less costly. High definition imagery, connection to cameras, virtual reality and massive data transmissions can happen instantly with the power of 5G. When you are looking to increase buyer awareness amongst millennials, their predecessors and successors, you need speed. Instant gratification is key when capturing the attention of a potential client. Lose the fear One of the biggest challenges facing real estate agents is the fear of proptech trends in 2021 and beyond. Let's face it, technology can be difficult to keep up with. But once you get past the fear of the changing landscape of the real estate industry you will embrace the trends and welcome newer and better innovative proptech. According to Realtor® Magazine, 84% of consumers want to see virtual tours of homes. Before the pandemic hit, you may not have considered using virtual tours as part of your marketing plan. But now immersive 3D tours and interactive floor plans with reliable square footage are the best way to market a property, increase leads, and get properties sold quickly. Technology gives you the ideal way to attract qualified buyers while providing a safe, unintrusive method of presenting a seller's home. Considering what is trending now and where real estate technology in 2021 has taken you. There is a whole lot more coming at you in the not-so-distant future. A reshaping of the real estate industry through proptech innovations is well underway, so if you want to stay in shape you need to be informed and embrace technology like your best friend.
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7 Tips for Best Real Estate Listing Presentation Using 360 Tours
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Make Professional Virtual Tours with iPhone
Learn how to quickly and affordably create high-quality virtual tours with incredible visuals for real estate sales and property management using your iPhone. The VTC 360 set turns your iPhone into a 360° camera for real estate virtual tours, but you must be a Virtual Tours Creator account holder to be able to use the VTC 360 set. If you don't have one, sign up for free here. What Is Virtual Tours Creator Software? VTC is a 360° virtual tour software for real estate agents and property managers. It allows you to create and publish virtual reality tours within 15 minutes on mobile for as little as $5 per property. It includes interactive floorplans, info points, URL links, and a FREE VR tour. On top of that, its 360° photography training is completely FREE with any subscription, and it also offers free custom branding! Agents who use virtual tours get more qualified buyers before the buyers even come to the open house. Every buyer is able to make informed decisions on buying a home from the comfort of their own home where and when they want. You have an open house 24/7 available to anyone and anywhere. VR tour made using iPhone XR What is the VTC 360 set? The VTC 360 set is made of: A device to spin your phone while taking a perfect 360° top-to-bottom HDR panorama. Best quality 190º fisheye lens. The VTC fisheye lens has a special field of view and sharpness. Just clip the lens and make a full turn. A few images will be taken and stitched on your phone, no internet connection needed. The results are mind blowing. Free Virtual Tours Creator app that instantly produces 360º images and uploads them to your online account. The VTC 360 set will not work without the app. If you break the lens, you only need to buy a new lens, not the whole camera. If you upgrade your phone, you automatically upgrade your 360º capture system. Better than an all-in-one 360º camera at a fraction of its price. Delivers 8K 360° panoramas Designed for real estate photography Compatible with any standard tripod Compatible with all iPhone models: 8, 8 Plus, XS, XS Max, XR, 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max, iPhone X Free Virtual Tours Creator app that instantly produces 360º images Built-in HDR High Dynamic Range for great indoor capture What are the advantages of the VTC 360 set or lens 360° panorama? AEB: optimal exposure and brightness 8k quality 360° panorama Automatic 360° panorama stitching Perfectly assembled 360° panorama (no parallax issues) VR: panorama compatible with all types of 360° camera and virtual reality headsets for immersive tours What is the Virtual Tours Creator App? The first Virtual Tours Creator App will be released on the App Store for iPhones ONLY. Take perfect 360°, 8K, HDR panoramas. It is designed to revolutionize the price and speed of creating VR tours in sales and property management. No more struggle with transferring photos from the 360° camera to your phone and then to the cloud. When using the Virtual Tours Creator app, your photos are automatically uploaded to your VTC account in the cloud. You must have a VTC account to create your virtual tours. You can save time on uploading photos in the office. It all happens on the go while you are taking the property photos. You can reorganize your photos and create the final version of your virtual tour by adding hotspots and info points later when you finish shooting the houss in your VTC web account. Quality Comparison Tour made using iPhone XR VS.Tour made using Insta360 ONER Still Photos in Comparison Photos in order: VTC 360 set Insta360 OneR Zoom in Comparison Photos in order: VTC 360 set Insta360 OneR To view the original article, visit the Virtual Tours Creator blog.
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The Value of Virtual Tour Technology for Real Estate Agents in 2021
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How Virtual Tours Help Sell Real Estate Sight Unseen or without Face-to-Face meetings
The years 2020 and 2021 turned out to be a crazy time for anyone and even crazier for real estate industry. Face-to-face meeting restrictions and travel restrictions led to no open houses and no meetings with sellers or buyers. Many businesses could not quickly transform themselves into digitally capable operators and they went out of business or they took on some heavy losses and staff reductions. You made it, though! You either got lucky because of government support or because the market turned out super hot in the end—or you were simply ready for what the future is going to bring! However you did it, congratulations! You probably are one of the best in the industry and you have your online presence down pat. However, you still might be better as there is always room to learn and improve. We hope you are reading this to be the best of the best! How? See how the best agents in the industry manage to thrive during the pandemic and how they future-proof their business and marketing strategy: How virtual tours help sell real estate sight unseen or with no face-to face-meetings: Keep your staff and customers safe by avoiding face-to-face contact Win new managements and listings by offering virtual tours Present your properties in 360° and approve buyers or tenants online Have a open house 24/7 online on any device Pre-qualify buyers or tenants Create tours yourself without having to wait for anyone, for as little as $5 per property Virtual Tours Creator will teach you ONE-ON-ONE how to create 360° tours. We will hold your hand throughout the whole process. Rent or sell sight unseen, win more listings, and stand out from your competition. Book a FREE information call to learn more. To view the original article, visit the Virtual Tours Creator blog.
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Win More Listings and Sell More Real Estate with DIY 360 Virtual Tours
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5 Reasons Why Virtual Tours Are a Must for Your Marketing Plan
Until December 2019, you might have been one of the most successful agents in your area and had the best marketing campaigns ever. There was no need for any improvement -- or was there? Then COVID hit and the whole real estate industry had to change overnight. Due to social distancing, travel restrictions or fear of catching the bug, your open houses and weekend walkthroughs and in-person meetings with buyers or tenants finished forever. Thousands of agents and property managers were taken by surprise and couldn't sell or rent anything anymore. The business model you were running was gone forever. The only new way of making it all possible are 360° virtual tours that allow anyone to inspect the property wherever and whenever they want. When the pandemic hit, Virtual Tours Creator (VTC) was already in the top five international virtual tours providers and our current customers were calmly selling or renting sight unseen. They didn't have to change anything as they were ready. They had already digitized their offer. Imagine showing your customers a tour like this when your competition couldn't even leave their home! Here are five reasons why virtual tours are a must for your marketing plan in real estate this year: 1. 360° virtual tours make it safe for you, your team and your customers during the global pandemic For many agents—and, more importantly, for buyers—open houses are a waste of time spent traveling back and forth to properties that buyers are not really interested in. Virtual reality (VR) tours help save time for both parties and allow agents to get more qualified buyers. They eliminate face-to-face contact when presenting a home. Agents can conduct virtual inspections with customers on any device in the comfort of their own home without the need to travel. This brought safety to both parties in the face of 2020's global pandemic and allowed many businesses to thrive when a total lockdown was enforced. Our customers were selling properties sight unseen all across the world. Keep your staff and customers safe by avoiding face-to-face contact. 2. VR tours help your brand stand out in the digital world and win new listings! How many times do you ask yourself how to outrun your competition? 360° virtual tours make you stand out from the crowd—every landlord or seller will choose you rather than you competitor who offers the old-fashioned photos-only package. Having a virtual tour made can cost between $150-$600, and it may take up to seven days before the VR provider can turn up to create the tour. Not many agents have the budgets to use such technology at such cost, nor the time to wait for a photographer to turn up. Being able to offer a VR tour in the listing presentation is a huge advantage over any competitor. Moreover, being able to impress vendors and do the tour on-the-spot can, in many cases, win the listing for an agent. VTC allows the creation of 360° tours by an agent without the need to outsource it to expensive photographers with lengthy delivery times. Do not be dependent on anyone; create the tours yourself when and where you want. Did you know that, according to REA, listings with VR tours have 487% more engagement than the ones with only photos? This says it all! 3. 360° VR tours allow you to save time by pre-qualifying buyers and tenants There are many tenants on the market that often look only for opportunities and therefore are not really committed. You can weed them out by presenting the virtual tours of properties online before you plan an open house. That way, you won't have to worry about tire kickers and next door neighbours. During COVID, tenants tended to rent or even buy properties site unseen. 4. Tours allow you to have a 24/7 open house How many people can you run through an open house over the weekend? Twenty, 30 or 60 people? During COVID, you might have had zero. Our customers track their VR tour visits and will tell you that they had 400 people looking at the tour in three days—where else can you do that ? Agents get more qualified buyers before they even come to the open house. Every buyer is able to make informed decisions on buying a property from the comfort of their own home where and when they want. You can have an open house 24/7 available to anyone and anywhere. ONLY a virtual tour allows you to work when you are not working. Even better, clients can view it whenever they want without bothering you. 5. Virtual tours help your business restructure and give sales agents or property managers the time back to do what they should be doing in the first place No matter how you operate, prepping properties for advertisement can be time consuming. From when you first launch a new property, to finding the right buyer or tenant to work with, it is very common to be inundated with inquiries. A virtual tour can help you segregate the serious clients from the curious. What else can a virtual tour be used on? By using a 360° camera, you can cover every corner of a house and it should only take about 15 minutes to shoot—plus an additional five minutes to set up using Virtual Tours Creator's system. Here at Virtual Tours Creator, we will hold your hand in the process of learning how to take 360° photos and creating an interactive 360° virtual tour. We will teach you how to create perfect 360° tours in one day! You can also use virtual tours for: assisting sales agents with generating appraisals, assisting suppliers with quoting for repairs, as a tool in your entry and exit process. Keep in mind that these are just some of the benefits virtual touring can bring to your business. Virtual Tours Creator has made creating 360° virtual tours easy, fast and affordable. You can create a three-bedroom house 360° tour as fast as 15 minutes for as little as $2 per property. To learn more, visit virtualtourscreator.com.au. To view the original article, visit the Virtual Tours Creator blog.
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Real Estate 3D Virtual Tours vs. Videos: Which One Should You Use?
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6 Tools for Finding Your Right Virtual and In-person Mix
The pandemic forced many real estate agents "go virtual" when it came to showing properties and engaging with potential buyers and sellers. Even though agents and clients are beginning to meet in person again, the following virtual tools still make sense to help win over buyers and sellers. 1. Virtual Tours Virtual tours were gaining popularity pre-pandemic, and they've now become the primary "initial" way of viewing a home. Be sure to include versions that allow for 3D viewing and 360° movement – to enable prospects to view a property as if they were inside. 2. Aerial Drones Drone footage can give a bird's eye view of what it's like to live in a certain neighborhood and provides a more holistic view of an area, including features beyond the property. Does the nearby school create a street parking issue? What amenities are nearby? Et cetera. 3. Video Meetings Not every virtual solution needs to be super fancy. Holding a Zoom meeting or walking through a home and FaceTiming is still perfectly acceptable – and sometimes more convenient! We've all become experts at online meetings and viewings, and buyers will appreciate having you there, as they can make individual requests. Maybe they'll want you to point the camera out the window so they can see the view from the master bedroom, or maybe they'll ask you to count the number of steps it takes to walk from one side of the backyard to the other. Don't underestimate the power of this simple tool! 4. Virtual Open House In many areas, the market is so hot that homes are sold before the first open house. Live streaming an open house is a great idea, as it allows multiple buyers to tune in and you don't need to schedule individual appointments unless a buyer is really interested in the property. You can speak about the house beforehand, give a live tour, and take live questions as well. If you decide to host a virtual open house, just be sure to market it well in the days leading up to it. You want to make sure people know about it and have the link to the live stream far in advance! 5. Social Media How many times have you ignored a message that came through on Facebook or Instagram? Make sure you're active on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and be sure to write back immediately to anyone who is interested in using you as an agent. Otherwise, you'll lose out to someone who did answer the message. 6. HighNote If you're unfamiliar with HighNote, it's time to get familiar with it, because it can make your life so much easier and help win over buyers and sellers. Instead of sending an email with multiple attachments, HighNote's smart presentation platform embeds those attachments into a beautifully displayed presentation. Best of all, you then get real-time results telling you when the recipient opened the presentation and what they clicked on. You can then tailor follow-up communications based on their activity. Finding the right mix of digital and in-person interactions with prospects and clients is real estate's new normal. It's simply important to remember that how you connect is not as important as the strength of your connection!
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Time is of the Essence for First-Time Home Buyers and Fresh Listings
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A Review of the Zillow 3D App
Recently, one of HomeJab's real estate photographers had an eye-opening experience using the Zillow 3D app. The events that unfolded during the photographer's interactions with the app and Zillow's customer support team led to this review. From lack of content control to flaws with the 3D view, read on to determine whether or not the Zillow 3D app is best for your real estate business needs. Source Files Are Not Yours Last week, we held a photoshoot in Olympia, Wash., near Zillow's headquarters in Seattle. The photographer accidentally used the Zillow 3D app to capture 360° images instead of using the app that the customer requested. Upon realizing his mistake, the photographer contacted Zillow asking for the 360° files (these aren't saved to the camera when using Zillow's 3D app.) He wanted to use the files on another software platform. But Zillow denied his request, refusing to send him the source files. As a result, we had to reschedule the photoshoot, and the photographer then had to drive an extra 100 miles out of his way. Content Control Because Zillow feeds off of content to survive, they'll want to control it every time an agent uses their 3D app. Therefore, while using the Zillow 3D app, the real estate agent or photographer should know that there's a point of no return: Once files are sent to Zillow, whether accidentally or not, Zillow owns them. What's more, Zillow has primed their website to be the only place where content submitted to them can be viewed. As a real estate agent or photographer, surrendering control of your content can be detrimental to your business. For instance, to gain a better sense of the agent's listings portfolio, customers might want to browse the agent's transaction history, real estate photos, virtual tours, etc. If these are not readily available on the agent's website, the customer might want to browse elsewhere. 3D Flaws Allow us to point out that "Zillow 3D" is a misnomer. That's to say, there's no 3D view (whoops!). Indeed, no 3D models will see the light of day from Zillow's app. Instead, Zillow 3D organizes panoramic images into a "virtual tour." On a different note, Zillow's newest iBuyer platform, "Zillow Offers," is yet another service that claims ownership of your content. And by marketing directly to the consumer, Zillow Offers positions itself more like a competitor than a support system. That said, at HomeJab we agree that's there's nothing wrong with publishing the basic listing data on Zillow through MLS. But if buyers wish to access an agent's virtual tour, which is critical these days when time is money, then they should be able to access it on the listing agent's website. This is why it's crucial to keep exclusive control of your content rather than handing it over to Zillow 3D or other top competitors in the business. A Solution to the iBuyer Problem Despite these bad tidings, there's a practical solution to the Zillow 3D app and the larger iBuyer problem: You should use a platform of independent content creators where you, the real estate agent and business professional, keep exclusive ownership and control over your content. Out of the myriad virtual tour providers out there, many offer free software and hosting services (emphasis on the word "FREE"). At HomeJab, our customers hire (and trust) us to capture the images and produce a seamless 3D real estate tour. When all's said and done, every single file belongs to the listing agent. The agent can then download the individual source files and use them on any other software platform of their choosing. Not only that, but the agent can control where the tour is hosted and viewed, which, in turn, will maximize their leads! Last but not least, there's free lifetime hosting to boot! (Check out our FAQs section for more on our services.) Growing your business freely and exponentially while thwarting Big Tech's hostile takeover of the real estate industry means that you'll have to keep outwitting Zillow 3D and other iBuyer models that aren't keeping your best interests at heart. This might seem like a great feat to accomplish, but fret not — HomeJab's got you covered! To view the original article, visit the HomeJab blog.
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3 Problems and Solutions Trending in the New Housing Market
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3D Tour Videos Will Replace Still Photos in Property Search
A revolution is about to hit the real estate industry. We've reached an inflection point that will create a major change for property search websites. WAV Group expects that sites will feature 3D tours instead of still photos as the primary display in the next three to five years. 3D tours create digital scans of a property, and the best part is that you do not need to put on one of those goofy headsets to make you feel like you are walking around in the actual home. The experience provides a perspective that flipping through still photos will never provide, such as walking down a hallway. One of the greatest innovations in 3D tours is the combination of interior home scans with exterior drone footage. This gives the consumer the ability to walk out the door into the back yard (or front yard) and take a good look at the house and the neighborhood—or the ocean views, if you are l3D tours are made of 360° scans and create a virtual rey experience that is immeasurably better than still photos. Brokers and agents who get 3D tours on every property are going to jump out ahead of those that do not. Moreover, those that convert their websites to 3D tours first have a chance to beat the portals and regain market share from consumers. Rich Barton, CEO of Zillow Group, indicates that the 3D experience is going to be "the next big thing" in property marketing. But I feel they will struggle to take advantage of the trend. Zillow's problem is that they are not listing agents (at least not yet). Zillow tried to put out software for free to anyone to capture home scans on their phone, but the product is not anywhere close to the experience that you get from a Matterport, iGuide or Asteroom scan. If agents do not pay for these scans and send the content to Zillow Group, it will be difficult for them to take the lead as a portal. The best part of these 360° scans is the production of floor plans. Michael Vervena from iGuide says that the accuracy of these scans from equipment like the Ricoh Theta Z1 360° camera placed on the iGuide Planix base will capture room dimensions to an accuracy of 0.5% or greater. When you look at the research performed by the National Association of REALTORS®, consumers list photos as the No. 1 most important information along with property details and then floorplans at No. 3. Zillow research puts floor plans at the No. 2 most important information consumers seek. Another big advantage of 3D tours with floor plans is engagement. Consumers spend a lot more time on the site and are more likely to inquire about a listing. Moreover, lead quality goes way up. The home buyer starts with location, beds and baths. From there, the process is about taking properties off the list. It takes less time to tour a property using this new technology than it does to find your keys and hop in your car. Floor plans are also incredibly helpful at understanding if you will fit in with a specific house; people want to know if their furniture will fit. This is where virtual staging from BoxBrownie comes in handy. It also helps solve the other problem of showing the home seller's old-and-outdated furniture handed down from their step-grandmother. Some of the details that the industry has not worked out yet include cost of the tours, ownership of the data, and hosting fees. The cost of the tours has come down a significant amount. Compare the $3000 cost of a Matterport tour plus monthly hosting with iGuide's $299 tour tour and no hosting fee. In fact, iGuide even provides the agent with a downloadable version that can be played from their phone, computer, tablet or even sent via text. Asteroom is considered less expensive in comparison, but it is more of a DIY solution. Most of the tours today include the professional photographer, causing data ownership to be all over the board. For instance, Matterport and Asteroom claim ownership of the data. iGuide does not. As for the hosting fees – not a fan. I am sure that the vulture capitalists backing these startups want the recurring revenue from hosting, but it is really just an egregious tax on the Realtor. If MLSs want to do something great for their members, hosting these 3D scans is a future member benefit that would be adored by their customers. In addition to these 3D tours being pushed front and center on property search sites in the future, I believe that they will become the first engagement experience between an agent and a buyer. If you have not checked out Urban Immersive's experience of a home walkthrough or a Virtual Showing by iGuide, try it. The agent can literally meet the customer online and show the home, pointing out features and answering questions for the client's convenience. These are bold predictions; feel free to disagree. But if you want to take a moonshot in your business and grow market share through investing in developing a better experience for consumers, then this is definitely it. Here is a virtual showing sample from iGuide:
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Help Your Seller Enhance the Value of Their Home Before It Hits the MLS
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Hosting a Virtual Open House? Here's a Checklist
Vaccination is underway, but virtual tours are definitely here to stay. It may be months before travel restrictions and social distancing rules are relaxed throughout the United States, and in that time, virtual home tours are continuing to gain traction. Although they started as a safety precaution, buyers and sellers alike are realizing the benefits. Open houses have long been among the most effective ways to show off any home. They generate excitement and provide opportunities to meet qualified buyers. Virtual open houses have the potential to be just as effective. Plus, they have some advantages all their own: Since it means no travel, more people can attend a virtual open house. Sellers can hold more open house events without disrupting their lives. In many cases, attendees can go back and review open house footage. Buyers from out of town or out of state can be included more easily. Participants can ask questions and zoom in on key home features. Agents Open the Door to Success When They Master Virtual Open Houses The virtual open house has been an unexpected hit with agents, too. Giving a virtual tour draws on the skills you already have, but it also calls on you to grow and stretch. More agents are getting comfortable both in front of and behind the camera. This, in turn, equips them with more fluency in video marketing, one of the most powerful methods for promoting any practice. While there are a few different ways to set up a virtual open house, live streaming video has become more popular than video filmed ahead of time. While static video offers more control and a strong environment for practice, live streaming video is the gold standard thanks to its interactivity and personal touch. But how can you overcome the learning curve quickly? Use these tips to get it done the right way: Get Familiar with Your Hardware and Software You don't need a fancy camera to give a great virtual open house. However, you should know exactly how it works and how to get the most from it. Get plenty of practice with your camera and streaming software before you plan your first event. Stage the Home Before Your Tour Begins Yes, most of your favorite home staging techniques still apply. It's crucial to de-clutter, but no fresh-baked cookies are necessary! When staging, be sure lighting conditions in each room are ideal for your camera. This may sometimes mean bucking old wisdom — use a little less natural light to reduce glare. Experiment with Tripods While many real estate agents are comfortable carrying their phone, tablet, or video recorder from room to room, some feel that this provides an unsteady and incomplete picture. Try using a tripod to stabilize panoramic shots of each room. You can carry a lightweight one or set up inexpensive tripods in each room. Promote Your Virtual Open House Early Virtual events can feel less urgent than in-person ones. With that in mind, you want to leverage every tool at your disposal to begin promoting early. Start with the local MLS, but don't stop there. You can automate email messages and target social media updates to prospective event attendees. Make Time for Your Tour You should schedule at least as much time for your virtual open house as you would for a face-to-face event. Pencil in additional time to tour each room. Leave ample time to answer questions both during and after the tour, too. These conversations are crucial for building buyer enthusiasm. Use Your Tour Footage for Video Marketing Not everyone interested in a property necessarily has the time to go to your event. That's fine: through the magic of video editing and platforms like YouTube, you can make it all available to them. Use your real estate CRM to quickly send out a post-event email linking interested subscribers to the videos. Follow Up With Your Attendees While your no-shows review your video and get up to speed, be sure you reach out to those who had a chance to tune in live. Delta Media Group's Open House Connector is a great way to capture, centralize, and act on participant information. Find out what they loved about the home and keep the conversation going! Remember: You Are the Co-Star The home may be the star in your virtual open house, but you are the co-star. It may take a few tries before you are comfortable, but always strive to bring all of yourself to the presentation. Whether it's your winning sense of humor or your unbeatable market expertise, build relationships by bringing your unique energy. Promote, manage, and follow-up your virtual open houses with DeltaNET 6. RE Technology readers can try it 6 FREE for 30 days. To view the original article, visit the Delta Media Group blog.
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The Importance of Property Information When the Market Is Frantic
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Virtual Showings and Open Houses: Before, During and After COVID-19
When the coronavirus hit, real estate faced a turning point. The pandemic created challenges for everyone--none of them particularly easy. In the real estate industry, old ways of doing business became outdated overnight. Just consider the average day: Until March, sales associates spent hours on face-to-face contact. A home showing was the centerpiece of most transactions. In those first weeks of shelter-in-place, millions of real estate experts came together to find new ways of doing things, knowing their professional community depended on it. Virtual showings and open houses are emblematic of that effort. They've become some of the most popular real estate marketing tools. Let's take a closer look at virtual showings and open houses and how this technology shapes the future of the real estate industry. Virtual Tours Were Gaining Steam Before COVID-19 Virtual tours were already becoming popular before they became a necessity. By using video, they allowed sales associates to overcome the limitations of still photos and showcase a home's "flow." As early as 2019, 46% of consumers in a National Association of REALTORS® survey said that virtual tours were beneficial when choosing a home. Virtual tour capabilities showed up in more and more listings in Q1 2020, and further research was being conducted on buyer sentiment. In April, 24% of consumers surveyed said they would be willing to buy a home without seeing it in person. What's more, 61% said a virtual tour was the most valuable feature for buying a house without visiting it. Technology has evolved, and best practices have become more apparent since then. Although new statistics are still pending, the odds are good that buyers and sellers alike are more comfortable with virtual tours than they used to be. After all, almost no one had heard of Zoom in 2018—now we all use it. Which leads to an important point. The Longer the Pandemic Lasts, the More Traction Virtual Showings Will Gain With the pandemic timeline growing murky, virtual showings look less like a "pivot" and more like "the new normal." Embracing them can create great opportunities for buyers, sellers, and sales associates. Just as buyers learned to look at home listings online––about 44% look online first, according to NAR––they will start looking for virtual tour options to answer their questions about what a home has to offer. Most Americans are counting on a vaccine to restore normalcy in the current year. But even so, it might be several months before it has been deployed to everyone who wants it. With that in mind, many buyers and sellers will continue to take precautions well into 2021. By that time, virtual tours could become a must-have––as indispensable to tomorrow's listings as photos are today. And once things are back to normal, they'll quickly lose all association with the pandemic, too. Master Virtual Showings and Virtual Open Houses If you haven't learned the ins and outs of virtual showings, it's not too late! One challenge sales associates face is sorting through the profusion of new video platforms, all claiming to offer real estate-friendly features. At Delta Media Group, DeltaNET™️ 6 CRM users can quickly set up and lead a virtual tour from any mobile device using our streamlined, centralized digital marketing platform. But no matter what platform you decide to use, some essentials remain the same. Learn Your Equipment Inside and Out Most sales associates will do their virtual open houses right from their smartphone or tablet. Today's mobile devices provide crisp video and clear audio comparable to any digital video camera—but take the time to get comfortable with your hardware and software. Since you'll spend most of the tour behind the camera, be sure you know exactly where the microphone is so you can be heard clearly. Likewise, learn how to save your video stream as a portable file you can send to buyers for later review. The more they think about a home, the better! And before you get started, clean off your lens and mute all incoming calls, alarms, and notifications. Prepare (and Yes, Stage!) the Property First You won't need fresh-baked cookies, but you should still put your home-staging skills to work! Almost every staging technique you've picked up along the way still applies in a virtual tour: Take advantage of natural light by opening up curtains and rolling up blinds Tidy up the rooms, removing clutter, and making the space easy to navigate Encourage sellers to remove half of the items in closets so they'll appear bigger Remove or downplay distracting furniture, art, or other decorative touches These steps are crucial since they can make the home more spacious and welcoming—traits that aren't always easy to capture on camera. But they also have the practical effect of helping you master the home's layout and review any stand-out features you want to highlight. Point Out What's Easy to Overlook in Still Photos The best virtual tours show not only the home but its whole context. Begin your tours outside with a brief overview of the neighborhood. Then, show the exterior before finally moving inside for the room-by-room guided tour. Your goal once inside is to give a strong sense of the home's layout. Schedule more time for your virtual tour than you think you'll need. This way, you can take your time, which will naturally set buyers at ease. Open the doors to closets, pantries, and utility rooms. Give your audience shots from plenty of different angles so they can imagine a life in this space! Move the camera slowly, lavishing attention on the fixtures, floors, and finishes. This is where preparation pays off: You should describe the home's unique features just as you would if buyers were there with you. Take Questions as You Go Another reason to take your time: Indulge buyers' curiosity! Questions show the buyers' imagination at work. The more answers you can offer, the more it will stoke their interest. If you can't answer a question at the moment, don't let it trip you up: You can always look into it and send a quick video for them to look at later. This way, your response becomes an extension of the tour experience––and you can recap with highlights of the property you know they enjoyed. Don't Get Stressed Out See virtual tours as a chance to have fun, learn more about buyers, and build rapport. Just as they would in a face-to-face showing, they'll take cues from the energy you bring in. There is a learning curve, but most people aren't looking for Hollywood videography as long as you're willing to focus on what they want to see. Running a virtual showing will be just as easy as doing a regular video call before you know it. Virtual open houses and showings have plenty of benefits that won't go away when COVID does. They're convenient, cut down on travel time, and encourage buyers to take action. Getting comfortable with these virtual events now is time well spent. They're here to stay, and your clients will thank you. Set up and lead virtual tours with DeltaNET 6. RE Technology readers can try it FREE for 30 days. To view the original article, visit the Delta Media Group blog.
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Realtor.com Adds More Immersive 3D Home Tour Experiences
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How to Stage a Great Virtual Home Showing
With the current state of the world, virtual home tours are increasing in popularity due to CDC social distancing recommendations. Selling and showing a home virtually is a great tool to use while the world is limiting face to face contact, and be more personal than what many expect when utilizing the right tools. Some benefits from virtually showing a home other than limiting the spread of COVID-19 are:
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Is Sight Unseen the Future of Selling Homes?
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[Best of 2020] Real Estate Is Now Considered an Essential Service According to U.S. Government
Here it is--our top article of the year! This article was originally published back in March and is the most read article of 2020. See #2 here, or read the full list of our Top 10 articles from 2020 here. On Saturday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) updated its list of essential services during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis and expressly included residential real estate. The order now includes residential and commercial real estate, including settlement services, as essential services. However, if a state, city or county has an order with a more restrictive standard regarding what qualifies as an essential service, or more restrictions on activities, those guidelines will still govern the activities of a licensee. Here's the official notification in you want to read it in full.
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Lost in Translation: A Realtor's Guide to Working with Remote Clients
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8 Secrets for Stand Out Virtual Showings
To stop the spread of COVID-19, the real estate industry is pivoting away from in-person events and embracing virtualization. But buying or renting is a big decision--how is a buyer or tenant supposed to choose the right home without stepping foot inside? Enter: virtual showings. Real estate agents are leading stand out virtual showings--either by FaceTiming their client or recording a comprehensive walk through--to keep real estate running as usual. Scroll down to see eight secrets of virtual showings for real estate agents.
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Nearly 8 in 10 Home Buyers are Taking More 3D Home Tours During the Pandemic, Citing Safety Concerns
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How to Sell Property 'Off the Plan' in 72 Hours... even if you've never done it before.
"We're selling circles around the other builders that are on the same street… both in terms of numbers and in dollars per transaction." The words of one very satisfied development marketing agent who used 3D renders to sell their builder's off-the-plan property, in less than 72 hours. When their online listing went live, it absolutely whomped similar developments on the same street in terms of views, Zillow saves, sale price, and the speed of sale. These other developments were using 2D black and white elevation images and half-finished build photos in their marketing, not holding a candle to the photo-realistic external renders, 360° internal renders and virtual tours used by this savvy agent. What exactly are renders? 3D renders are also known as architectural visualizations or real estate renderings. They are 3D visuals of building plans that virtually bring property designs to life. Property buyers are visual, which is why the display home has been a crucial sales tool for property developers and marketing agents in the past. To cement a sale you can't rely on a buyer's imagination to see what a property will look like beyond the plans. Renders showcase what a property will look like complete with photo-realistic furnishings, landscaping, lighting, façade, and room navigation. Like a display home, 360° render virtual tours allow buyers to walk through a home, but in this instance, they can do so from anywhere. They can integrate themselves into a property in their own space, at their own pace. Plus, using Additional Outputs in a virtual tour, buyers can toggle between different designs, colors, styles, and options. Here is an example of a 360° Render Virtual Tour: How can high quality renders benefit my real estate sales? As Solid Ground Home Builders and their marketing agent Charles Nitschke recently discovered, using renders to sell your property is a no-brainer. BoxBrownie.com's business expertise brought to renders has made them more affordable than before without compromising on quality. Plus, a quick turnaround means a quick to market strategy is available. Charged with selling a land and home package in Spokane, Wash., Nitschke ordered four internal 360° renders, and two static external renders to display the front and back elevations of the unbuilt home, plus a 3D floor plan with furnishings. This provided an affordable solution to "build” a quarter of the house, virtually giving the agent 90 percent of what they needed to go to market. They also received a virtual 360° tour link to embed and share on the listing—a speedier solution for display homes to allow potential buyers to walk through. With a two-week turnaround on the 3D renders, the online listings were up quickly and the builder had their first contract within 72 hours. To date, they have since contracted four more sales from their 3D render listing. Why should I use 360° renders? 3D renders provide a photo-realistic image of an unbuilt home, allowing you to market the intangible. By bringing the property to life with high quality imagery, BoxBrownie.com renders are an extra tool in your go-to-market strategy that are much more affordable than previously realised. Making the step up from static to 360° renders is a small increase pricewise, but a big step up for market interest. With complimentary 360° virtual tour creation and hosting thrown in, you'll be top of the class on MLS and listing sites who now offer a "search by virtual tour” filter. There is no need to create a 360° render of every room to take advantage of showcasing with a virtual tour. The use of 3D renders in development marketing is proving to be the most successful way to sell a property off the plan. If you want to learn more about BoxBrownie.com renders and how they can increase your property marketing capabilities, register here and our Expert Renders Team will be in touch. BoxBrownie.com is currently offering a free virtual staging edit (valued at $32) to every RE Technology member (new accounts only). This offer expires on November 30. Click here to claim your free virtual staging edit.
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How to Easily Share Matterport Videos on TikTok
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How to Create a Virtual House Tour
It's every real estate agent's dream--a property with a breathtaking view that absolutely blows the socks off your potential buyers. But what happens when you're creating a 360° virtual tour and all the spectacular window detail is blown out and not clear in the photos? In this tutorial, we will show you how to create a virtual tour without losing the window detail so you can showcase the property in the most accurate light possible. How to Set Up Your 360° Camera For this tutorial, we will be using the Ricoh Z1 and we will be taking bracketed shots to ensure we can capture the breathtaking outlook without losing both the internal and external focus. By using the bracketing technique, we will be capturing many different exposures which we can then blend together using our 360° Image Enhancement service. If you'd like to learn more about what bracketed images are, you can check out our previous blog here. In this case, we will be programming each bracket manually, and below is a list of the settings we will be using. Pair your 360° Ricoh Z1 camera with the Theta app, which is available on both the App Store and Google Play. Select the "cog" icon in the top right-hand corner Set the Shooting Method to "Multi Bracket" Set the Self-timer to "10sec" Set the File Format to "JPEG" Next, your image size should be set to "670x3360°" (or the highest number possible on your device). Please note, this can't be changed in multi-bracket mode. Once you have adjusted these settings, simply select "Done" in the top right-hand corner Then, click the "+" button to set your first bracket Set the Aperture to 5.6, Shutter Speed to 1/3200, ISO to 100 and WB to 5600K, then simply select "Done" You can then repeat steps 8 and 9 so you finish with seven brackets at the following shutter speeds Shutter Speeds: 1/3200 1/1250 1/640 1/320 1/160 1/50 1/13 Now each time you take a photo, it will shoot seven photos automatically at the different exposures that you have programmed here. It's important to note when taking your brackets, some of the images will likely be completely over-exposed. This is normal, and the reason for this is we have tried here to create a setting that will capture enough brackets when shooting in almost any environment. This includes a really bright sunny day right through to a dark basement. Unfortunately, the Ricoh Z1 doesn't use a light meter when bracketing, so it's up to us to try and guess the exposures that will allow us to capture the property in full detail. Shooting Brackets with Your 360° Camera Now that your camera is all set up and configured, it will automatically capture seven shots each time. Once you are ready to begin shooting, you simply need to select the shutter next to the camera and hide so you are not captured in the shot. The Wi-Fi range on the app may not be fantastic, so try to find a hiding spot not too far away from the camera itself when taking the shots. As the camera captures the images, be sure to check the results via the app on your phone to ensure all the spectacular detail outside the window is being captured. Don't panic if it takes you a few tries to get the exact settings required to shoot a property on your 360° camera. This is completely normal, and once you have the configuration correct, it's easy and fast. If possible, try and shoot the home at midday, which will ensure the sun is overhead rather than shining directly into the camera. This is even more important when capturing outdoor areas to limit solar flares on the camera lens. As with most real estate photography, always have the blinds open, turn all the internal lights on, keep the camera as close to eye level as possible, and ensure the home has been prepared properly prior to starting the shoot. If you'd like to learn more about preparing a property for the shoot, you can download our free Pre-Photography Checklist. It's always best to remove any unnecessary items from the room, but if this isn't possible, we offer Item Removal and Virtual Staging for 360° images. Conclusion Capturing professional 360° images doesn't have to be hard or time-consuming. By using these bracketing techniques, you can ensure your virtual tours stand out from the crowd and showcase the property in the best light every single time. BoxBrownie.com is currently offering a free virtual staging edit (valued at $32) to every RE Technology member (new accounts only). This offer expires on September 30. Click here to claim your free virtual staging edit. To view the original article, visit the BoxBrownie.com blog.
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Women in Real Estate: From Tours to Detours to 3D Tours
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How to Create a Virtual Tour
They're increasingly popular and incredibly effective: virtual tours are changing the real estate landscape and the way potential buyers research properties. While there's no doubting their effectiveness, for many agents, the idea of creating a virtual tour can seem pretty daunting, time-consuming and expensive--but it doesn't have to be that way. Unsure of what we mean by virtual tour? Check out an example tour here. In this blog, we're going to walk you through how to create a virtual tour—from understanding which camera and tripod to buy to shooting the property, having the images edited and building the tour itself. And the best part? You don't have to be tech-savvy or spend a fortune on expensive equipment. So let's get started! Step 1: Which 360 Camera and Tripod to Buy While technology is constantly changing and new awesome products are continually being released, currently, we can't go past the Ricoh Theta Z1 camera for quality. If you're shopping on a budget or just want to dip your toe in the water, you could also try the Ricoh Theta V. When it comes to the tripod, we recommend the Neewer light stand, which will set you back just $40. This stand is sturdy and won't easily fall over unlike many more expensive monopods on the market today. We also use the Neewer ball-head attachment between the tripod and the 360° camera to make it easier to get the angle right when shooting on sloped surfaces. Step 2: Setting Up Your 360° Camera This step is going to vary depending on the camera you're using. However, there are some universal settings which we can get started with. The first step for all cameras will be to pair it with your smartphone using the dedicated app the camera comes with. Set your ISO to the lowest number possible. In the case of the Ricoh Theta Z1, this will be 100. Always avoid setting your ISO on high or leaving it on 'automatic' as this will likely produce a grainy image. As with the ISO, set your image size or resolution to the highest setting possible. Again, for the Ricoh, this is 6720 x 3360. Some cameras will give you the option to turn on the HDR function. This will make a massive difference to the detail and clarity of the shot. Step 3: How to Prepare the Property This might sound like a no-brainer, but it's amazing the difference these simple tricks can make to the final result. Always turn on all the lights, including the kitchen rangehood, and straighten the furniture and bed spreads. We recommend you open up all the doors, curtains and blinds to create a sense of space and flow in the shot. By removing any unnecessary clutter, you can help create a clean and inviting home. This can include things like bath mats, shampoo bottles and bins, etc. Less is always more when it comes to real estate photography. If you'd like to learn more about preparing a property to be shot, you can check out our FREE Pre-Photography Checklist. Step 4: How to Shoot a Property with a 360° Camera Now that the house is prepared, it's time to get to the fun part – shooting the property. We're all time-poor and efficiency is important, so to get started, place the camera in the center of the room making sure the tripod is sturdy. Hide out of frame and then use your phone to scan around the room and ensure the shot looks good and nothing is in the way. If you find the image is too bright or dark, simply adjust your exposure value accordingly so it looks good to the eye. Then press the shutter to take the photo. Important note: if you're new to 360° photography, just be aware the image looks stretched out compared to a conventional photo. This is completely normal. Once you've done the first room, repeat this process throughout the house. Be sure to capture key areas like the kitchen, bedrooms, bathrooms and outdoor areas, but also don't forget the hallways. This helps to create a consistent flow in the virtual tour. Depending on the property, this process should only take roughly 20 minutes. If you'd like to learn more about capturing window detail and how to use bracketing in your virtual tours, you can visit our previous blog here. Step 5: Getting Your Images Edited Having the 360° images edited is not essential in the creation of a virtual tour, but it is highly recommended. From just $4 an image, BoxBrownie.com's team of professional editors can green up the grass, replace the skies and remove any unnecessary items. As you can see below, editing makes a huge difference to the finished product and can help showcase your listing in the best possible light. To have your images edited, you simply have to log in to BoxBrownie.com and choose '360° Image Enhancement.' Then upload your images and submit your job. The images will be edited by our team of professional editors and sent back to you within 24 hours. It's that simple. Step 6: Building Your Virtual Tour Now this is where the magic happens, but don't worry—we will handle all the hard work for you. Log in to BoxBrownie.com and select '360° Virtual Tours.' Upload your images and be sure to name each image with the area that is captured, i.e., kitchen. You also have the option to upload the property's floorplan which can show in the final product in the bottom left corner. Once you've uploaded all your images, simply select 'Submit' and you're done. Within 24 hours of submitting, you'll receive a link to your very own and completely interactive virtual tour. Your potential buyers can click from hotspot to hotspot while also having the option to spin around and virtually inspect each room. If you've also uploaded a floorplan, you can select to view it from the tour or you can jump from room to room based on the thumbnail images. You can share the link anywhere from social media to your email and, of course, your MLS or property portal. Conclusion And there you have it. It really is as simple as that. As we've shown you in this blog, creating a professional virtual tour for your listing doesn't have to be an expensive, time consuming or difficult task. In case you missed it earlier, here's an example of a completed tour to give you a feel for how your own tour could look. If you've never created a virtual tour before, why not get started at BoxBrownie.com? Or if you have any questions, feel free to contact us at [email protected] BoxBrownie.com is currently offering a free virtual staging edit (worth $32) to every RE Technology member (new accounts only). This offer does expire on September 18, 2020. Click here to claim your free virtual staging edit. To view the original article, visit the BoxBrownie blog.
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Tips for Launching a Virtual Open House
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Real Estate Technology to the Rescue: iGUIDE Virtual Showing is a Free Tool to Assist with Physical Distancing
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, real estate has been considered essential in most areas. This has meant that real estate agents have had to adapt some of their regular practices to accommodate social distancing and less in-person contact. Technology has been a life-saver during these past few months where we have been encouraged to #stayhome – from work, from school and away from family and friends. Social media platform use has skyrocketed, video chatting software platforms have seen exponential growth, we are consuming more media and, at the very least, we are using text messaging and video chatting to keep in touch personally and professionally. On June 17, Planitar, maker of the iGUIDE, announced the release of a free feature called iGUIDE Virtual Showing to help those buying and selling homes stay safe in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The company is releasing a key partnership with floorplanner later next week, and virtual staging abilities were announced earlier this spring.   The company's iGUIDE technology already creates 3D tours of homes that buyers can tour virtually, without the risk of spreading germs. This new feature allows agents to guide homebuyers through the tour together as if they were conducting an in-person tour. This screen-sharing technology showcases the virtual tour smoothly, so there's no interruptions or confusion over which feature participants are discussing. Homebuyers will no longer have to choose between having the expert guidance of their agent and following safety protocols. Michael Vervena, VP of Sales and Marketing at iGUIDE, says this technology will help homebuyers move confidently in the homebuying process, and will also benefit real estate agents. "For a Realtor, showing a property means communicating the best and most relevant information about that property to prospective buyers or to other agents. iGUIDE Virtual Showing empowers Realtors to do that online. It connects people with the information they are looking for while maintaining the role and value of the Realtor to give guidance and advice," he said. Real estate agents can host the tour and invite their clients through text, email, or social media. In Ontario, iGUIDE can be imported directly into BrokerBay's online bookings through the MLS with participating brokerages. They can then guide the tour and talk to their client through a compatible voice client such as Zoom, Facebook, GoToMeeting or Google Meet. While the technology has obvious application during a pandemic, it has other uses as well. Home buyers have modified their wishlist for their next property purchase. With this guided virtual tour, those who can't easily visit the homes they intend to purchase in person can experience the home as if they are in it with their real estate agent before they make their final decision—COVID or no COVID. Provinces and states across North America are slowly re-opening (or closing again), so the only thing that is clear is that the future is uncertain. Regardless of what continues to unfold in the coming months, real estate has changed. Virtual showings are here to stay, along with many other key technologies that have helped us get through recent challenging circumstances and will help us get through whatever lies ahead. For more information, please visit goiguide.com/virtual-showing. To view the original article, visit the iGuide blog.
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Your Guide to Hosting Virtual Open Houses
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I Can't Quite Picture It: Why virtual staging has taken the real estate world by storm
We've all seen those HGTV show--the ones where the perky designers turn a total dump into a shiplap palace, complete with cozy furniture, crackling fire, and tray of cupcakes on the counter. Recently, thanks to some Realtor friends who shall remain nameless, I have learned a few things about how those shows really work. Spoiler alert – they don't get to keep the furniture. In fact, they don't get to keep anything other than the house itself. In real estate talk, those homes are staged, y'all. In the biz, staging means that furniture, art, rugs, and lamps have been added to make the empty house feel like a home. And you know what? It works. According to the National Association of REALTORS, 83% of buyers' agents say staging makes it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home. Not only that, but one-quarter of buyer's agents say that staging a home increases the dollar value offered between one and five percent, compared to other similar homes on the market that are not staged. The downside of staging is that it can be pricey, with costs ranging in the hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Not to mention, you have to move the actual furniture in and out. Ugh. (Anyone else remembering the couch moving episode from Friends? PIVOT!) But there is another option. Virtual staging has become a big business in recent years, and has grown from cheap cut-and-paste jobs to gorgeous, realistic renderings that are highly appealing to buyers. Take this property, for example. Before virtual staging: After virtual staging: Photos courtesy Tiffany Kjellander, Better Homes & Gardens Porchlight Properties Tiffany Kjellander, of New Jersey based Better Homes & Gardens Porchlight Properties, uses virtual staging whenever she lists a home. "Virtual staging is a big differentiator for me," she says. "It's an absolute must on every home I help to sell – no matter the price point. We've had clients even use virtual staging for foreclosures to help investors see the possible end result." According to Stacie Staub of West + Main homes in Denver, CO, "Virtual staging has made all of the difference for listings that we knew wouldn't stay on the market long enough to make traditional staging worth the time or investment. This technology has come such a long way since the days of amateurish furniture photoshopped on top of vacant rooms." And it's not just about marketing. Many buyers suffer from an acute lack of imagination when it comes to mentally moving into a home. Buyers are constantly asking, "Where will my furniture go and how will I use this room?" (Random fact: some people are actually unable to picture things in their heads. Aphantasia is a real thing!) "Virtual staging has had a huge impact on many of my listings, especially ones with really odd layouts," says Katie Clancy of The Cape House at William Raevis Real Estate. "When a buyer can't picture what to do with a space, the virtual staging solves the problem. Once the buyer can visualize the potential function of a space, they are one step closer to making it theirs." One of the biggest draws of virtual staging? The price. It runs a fraction of the cost of actual staging, and requires no actual lugging of couches or beds into or out of the home. "Organizing and staging a home with furnishings and accessories isn't always convenient or cost effective," Heather Elias, of LoCo Real Estate in Virginia says. "Virtual staging gives potential buyers a glimpse into how it would look with furniture and accessories, but without the time and financial investment of physically staging each space." As a cost effective and easy way to make a buyer feel at home, one thing is for sure – virtual staging is definitely here to stay. There is one small downside, however. Just like on those HGTV shows, you don't get to keep the furniture. To view the original article, visit the iGuide blog.
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3 Ways to Make Open Houses One of Your Most Valuable Marketing Tools
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Simple, Proven Tips for Breaking through with Virtual Open Houses
Virtual open houses are here to stay! They provide a great way for consumers to view a whole slew of houses before they decide which ones they would like to see in person. A virtual open house allows an agent to demonstrate their selling skills and highlight every strong feature of the property they are representing. And a virtual open houses even helps the environment and keeps homeowners and potential buyers safer—win, win all the way around! Patty McNease, VP of Marketing at Homes.com, shared some simple, but effective ways to make your virtual open houses the best they can be during a recent Coffee Chat. Here are three key takeaways to help you become an expert at virtual open houses: 1. Get high quality, yet affordable equipment Patty recommends investing in some core photography equipment that will make your life a whole lot easier: Tripod – They make it a lot easier to hold the camera steady and avoid the jumpiness you sometimes see in videos. She recommends the UBeesize Tripod S, available on Amazon for $21.99. Microphone – Patty also recommends a lavalier microphone you can attach to your clothing to keep your hands free, also available at Amazon here for $25.99. 2. Tips for better virtual tours Create a shot list Angles matter Start outside or at the home's best feature Natural viewpoints Lighting Time of day Lights on/off Stage furniture/objects Show off outside spaces Clean! Conform to MLS rules for branding 3. Tips for virtual open houses Test software before you go live or host a tour Practice (your route in the house, etc.) Create a story Prepare questions to answer about the home Dress the part Open all doors prior to starting Open the platform a minimum of five minutes before start time Start at the best feature OR on the outside of the house with the door open Walk slowly and talk clearly If on Facebook, use a public setting If possible, record the event Watch the full recording here: Don't Miss These Upcoming Coffee Chats! Monday, June 8 Learn all about the new Virtual Real Estate Certification with Verl Workman of Workman Success Systems Tuesday, June 9 Virtual Listing Presentations with the New Cloud CMA Live with Greg Robertson of W+R Studios Wednesday, June 10 How to Become a Listing Boss with Hoss Pratt Thursday, June 11 Communication: The 'OneKey' to a Successful Launch with Jim Speer of OneKey MLS Friday, June 12 The Shift: Leaning into Technology and Data to Market-Proof Your Business with Sheldon Rapoza of Market Leader If you would like us to sign you up for all upcoming coffee chats, email [email protected] and she will get you signed up. If you would like to get notifications every time a Coffee Chat recording is published, subscribe to our YouTube channel, RETechnologyInc. Then hit the bell next to the Subscribe button and receive notifications every time we publish new educational videos. Get Recordings of All Coffee Chats If you would like to binge watch all of the Coffee Chat recordings, click here. If you would like a FREE 3-month trial of RE Technology, go to retechnology.com, click Create Account and then use one of these coupon codes: COVID-19A COVID-19B COVID-19M
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Selling a Property Online? Everything You Need to Know About Virtual Tours
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5 Reasons to Safeguard Your Seller With Virtual Tours
Safety is not a trend, it's a necessity. Home sellers put an enormous amount of trust in you, their real estate agent, to ensure their property gets exposure to prospective buyers while providing safeguards against mishaps. Protecting your clients against safety concerns when implementing your real estate marketing plan is and always has been a top priority. Your clients value privacy, cleanliness, flexible schedules, and security. When considering your real estate marketing plan now and in the future, you need to re-consider how you provide your services while giving your seller a safety net. 1. Trust The seller trusts that when they take the leap to put their home for sale, their Realtor will provide their safety net. A substantial amount of trust is placed in the real estate agent to protect the seller and their belongings against potential theft, security breaches, and disruption of their lives. The process of physically showing properties and hosting regular open houses lends itself to many possible hazards. Sellers need to feel confident in how their property is presented and they want to minimize risk. 2. Restricted Access It is not always easy to restrict access to every person who enters a home and much more difficult to monitor access during an open house. People tend to scatter into different spaces within the home, unaccompanied and unrestrained. Theft can, and does, occur; a small-time thief, posing as a buyer, can make off with great grandma's wedding rings from the top dresser drawer. Out of sight does not always mean out of pocket. This type of incident can be reduced by using current technology. You can increase traffic to your listing as well as reduce risk by incorporating online virtual tours in place of an open house. 3. Germ Free It's not just petty theft that causes safety concerns. The likelihood of germs and viruses spreading to multiple surfaces increases with the volume of people entering a home. The current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic is one of the reasons you may want to re-think your real estate marketing plan. Health concerns are valid and you can provide a way to ease home owner's stress. How can you give your seller the confidence they desire and still get their home sold? Use tools available to you like high quality real estate photography and 3D tours. Allowing virtual access to a listing decreases foot traffic while increasing qualified leads. 4. Reasons to Sell While postponing listing their house may be an option for some sellers, the necessity to sell their home may be the top priority for others. External factors such as a loss of employment or entering a new phase of life with the need to downsize means the sale must go on. Help your client get comfortable with the listing process by giving them all the benefits of current technology, including 360° tours. The seller's journey can take a new road, definitely, one less traveled. Stop disrupting the weekends with open houses and start using a real estate marketing plan that works. What is the best way to limit the sheer volume of traffic in and out of a seller's property and still produce the desired results? Use an online platform to support the way buyers want to browse through a listing. 5. No Risky Business Give your seller the peace of mind they need by using virtual tours to market their home. Providing a 360° tour of a property gives everyone access 24 hours a day. Imagine, you get to host an open house without using signs, brochures, business cards, and without bothering the seller. When a property can be visited multiple times from a cell phone, laptop or computer, it's like offering insurance against the perils of home selling. By limiting the number of inconveniences caused by physical visits, you also limit risky behaviour. Aside from the convenience and safety benefits, using online real estate marketing reaches potential buyers quickly. More than 80% of buyers start their search for a home by using an app. So if you are not taking advantage of this technology, you are doing a disservice to your client and opening their doors too often to unnecessary risks. Some losses you can recover from through your local real estate association's insurance policies, but limiting your client's liability is a no-brainer. Take the leap into virtual tours for real estate marketing—the net is already here. To view the original article, visit the iGUIDE blog.
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Jump into Digital Marketing Right Now to Fill that Buyer Funnel
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Video Tours: How to Have Confidence in Front of the Camera
Video marketing has become a more vital tool for real estate sales associates than ever before, as the coronavirus disrupts how the real estate industry normally does business. But speaking on camera can also be intimidating, especially if you haven't done it before. Nobody handles video marketing flawlessly the first time they try, and that's okay! With the right tips and a bit of practice, your intelligence, integrity, and honesty will shine through for your audience to see.
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A Step-by-Step Guide to Using Homesnap Stories for Virtual Tours
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Pivot Traditional Showings and Open Houses to Virtual Experiences
We live in a different world, but that has not stopped buyers and sellers from wanting to engage with the real estate market. The economic realities of the COVID-19 crisis are giving some sellers reason to close the deal, and many buyers see "shelter in place" orders as motivation to find a home that they truly love. While coronavirus precautions have made it impossible to conduct business in the traditional way in many markets, innovative sales associates are pivoting to virtual showings and open houses to keep business moving.
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Real Estate: The Virtual Way
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Video Tours: Buyer Tested, Social Distance Approved
Listing photos are a great way to highlight the best and most important features of a home, but the showing is when buyers get a true feeling for whether or not they want to purchase a particular home. Showing a home is one of the most important steps in selling, but arranging a time when the house can be clean, the sellers can be out, and the buyers and their agent can view can be a handful. However, a lot of the logistics involved with showing your listings can be solved by creating a video tour. With a video tour, buyers and agents can get a good feel of a house without interrupting the homeowner or current renter. It also helps promote safe physical distance and reduces the opportunity to spread germs.
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BoxBrownie Now Offering 360° Virtual Reality Tour Platform
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Real Estate Is Now Considered an Essential Service According to U.S. Government
On Saturday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) updated its list of essential services during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis and expressly included residential real estate. The order now includes residential and commercial real estate, including settlement services, as essential services. However, if a state, city or county has an order with a more restrictive standard regarding what qualifies as an essential service, or more restrictions on activities, those guidelines will still govern the activities of a licensee. Here's the official notification in you want to read it in full.
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How Proptech Is Helping to Keep Businesses Going During the Coronavirus Outbreak
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With 3D Tours, Properties Sell Up to 31% Faster and at a Higher Price
For the past five years, agents and brokers worldwide have used the Matterport 3D virtual walkthrough to differentiate their real estate services and bring the concept of a 24/7 virtual open house into the mainstream. Now, preliminary results from two separate studies indicate that listings with a Matterport 3D virtual walkthrough sell for a higher price and can spend less time on market than homes listed using a traditional marketing package.
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Growing Your Business with Advanced Virtual Tours
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3D Walk-throughs Aren't Just for Listings: Capture These 6 Local Spaces to Boost Engagement and Business Opportunity
As a real estate professional, a meaningful connection to your community is vital to the success of your business. But we know you've heard the same advice on the subject over and over--host events, be a source of community information, volunteer, etc. Today, however, we're going to introduce you to a high-tech way to connect to your local market--and, bonus, it's sure to dazzle and engage consumers in your area. That strategy? Capturing community spaces in 3D walk-throughs. Not only does this help relocating buyers become more familiar (not to mention creating sight-unseen opportunities) with your community, but it also adds confidence and comfort to the home search through knowledge of local establishments, helping real estate consumers decide which neighborhood suits them best. "Increasingly, especially when we're talking about suburban redevelopment, you're not only choosing the house, you're choosing the neighborhood and the places that are part of that neighborhood," says Charles Nitschke, Chief Integration Officer, Sotheby's Tomlinson Group. Nitschke is part of a growing group of savvy real estate professionals around the country who are tapping into the power of Matterport's technology to capture three-dimensional models, or "digital twins," of various community establishments and businesses in their market areas. Here are examples of six local spaces you can capture in your community to boost consumer engagement, lead generation and awareness of your real estate brand. Schools So you've got school ratings, school district zoning, and other information on your real estate website. That's a great start, but you can take things to a whole other level by including 3D walk throughs of those schools where people can virtually experience and learn about the facility for themselves. Nitschke finds that this is especially useful for markets with colleges or universities. "[Institutions] are tremendously interested in being able to show off their space to attract students, to be able to walk the parents and students through the facility, to get comfortable with it before they start travelling to narrow down their final school selection." After scanning their first school, Nitschke's brokerage, Sotheby's Tomlinson Group, approached another. Next summer, they will scan Idaho College's athletic department and then scale out into dorms, classrooms, and eventually the whole college. The 3D scan will be available on the college's website and on their brokerage's site, said Nitschke. "It's a big part of becoming that digital mayor, becoming that tour guide for the community." Local art galleries Lisa Larkin is the designated broker for RE/MAX Select in Tucson, Ariz., and she has long understood the power of co-branding with influential local figures. For years, her team has worked with Diana Madaras, a high-profile local artist, to host client appreciation events at her gallery, license her art on their marketing materials, and more. When Larkin and her team discovered Matterport, they offered to scan a new gallery space she had just purchased so that she could put it on her website. It's now featured prominently on her site's front page. They put the scan on their website too, under a relocation tab where people new to Tucson could see different places and businesses around town. The result is mutually beneficial: real estate consumers learn of an important local artist, and art consumers learn about a local real estate company that's differentiating themselves through the use of innovative technology. Event and recreational spaces Microbreweries are a big trend across the country, and they tend to attract a savvy, upwardly mobile clientele—an ideal real estate customer. A new agent at Sotheby's Tomlinson Group captured a local brewery as a way to break into the market and to introduce himself to the owner of the brewery. That introduction led him to listing the owner's house when the owner decided it was time to downsize. Theaters, concert venues, gyms, and other similar spaces are also excellent candidates for 3D reality capture. These popular locations service what equates to a large audience every year, many of whom will visit their website where your Matterport scan is located. That means this untapped audience will have the chance to see your 3D digital twin on a consistent basis and the opportunity to learn about your real estate business. Places of worship Sotheby's Tomlinson Group parlayed their digital twins of local schools into an opportunity to scan a 60,000 sq. ft. mega church and its 60,000 sq. ft. athletic facility. Along with building awareness for their brand, the scan is also connecting their community to church-facilitated services that they may not have otherwise known existed, such as substance abuse and domestic violence programs. "If you were to walk into this large church, try to figure out where to go to find those services, to familiarize yourself with what's available, or even to get the process started, it would be an intimidating process to go down that road," says Nitschke. The digital twins of the church helps community members understand what's offered, where to go within the church, and how to reach out. The church is even leveraging Matterport "Mattertags," to embed digital media (in this case video) into their digital twins. Every week, they add their sermons in a Mattertag for people who missed the service or want to listen again. Your office While creating 3D digital twins of local spaces is a great form of passive marketing, let's not forget one very important space you should also capture—your office. "It's fantastic to send out to clients so that they know where they're going to be going, where they're going to be meeting and take some of the apprehension out of that process," says Nitschke. Unlike your office, the digital twin is available 24/7, and it can help current and potential clients feel more comfortable with your business. Sotheby's Tomlinson Group has also scanned their title company and has future plans to scan their mortgage vendor's office, too. "When the consumer is getting ready to go to closing day, they're able to navigate the building where the title company is so they know where to go from the parking garage to the title company, what the reception desk looks like, what the conference room that they're going to be signing in looks like. It just takes a lot of that stress out of an already stressful situation by being able to walk them through," says Nitschke. How Can I Get Started? We've talked about capturing some very big, important spaces in your community. If that seems intimidating, it isn't. Starting with local businesses you're already familiar with will streamline the partnering process, but creating the digital twin itself is really quite simple. It's a natural step in building relationships for an industry that relies on that ability. "I'm finding the more that we get involved in these community spaces that are incredibly important to how and why and where people choose to live, the relationships start to build on one another," says Nitschke. "Shooting this facility ends up leading to an introduction to somebody to shoot another facility, and so we're kind of growing very naturally through collecting these spaces." Once you've captured your first community space, be sure to put it on your website and promote it wherever you can. Lisa Larkin's brokerage, RE/MAX Select, has even created a website dedicated solely to 3D tours of local spaces, as well as a Facebook page for that website. An easily accessible collection of 3D digital twins of community spaces also helps real estate consumers get a better sense of what a neighborhood's all about—far better than traditional real estate tools and MLS data can. Traditional tools offer "no depth to what a community is all about, and this allows us to give them a much better idea of what the difference is between some of these neighborhoods," says Nitschke. For more in-depth information about capturing community spaces, including marketing strategies, check out our recent webinar here. And try Matterport yourself with your free Matterport account to get started with 3D differentiation.
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4 Things to Consider When Evaluating Advanced Virtual Tours
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How 3D Tech Is Ensuring Accuracy and Transparency in the Transaction
A residential property was measured and photographed. The living room looked big enough to fit the new owner's suite of antique furniture. The staging photos certainly made it look like the right size. What's the worst that could happen? It's a story all to familiar to most and, as it turns out, a good deal can go wrong. Staging photos can give the impression of more space. Eyeballing a room's size (no surprise) isn't the most reliable system of measurement. Even legacy floor plans can prove to be suspect. There is no substitute for an accurate representation of the space itself, and physically being there has been the only way to get it—that is, until now.
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Tips for Taking Full Advantage of Matterport's Digital Twin Toolbox
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Virtual Tours: The New Qualification Tool
If you put 10 real estate agents in a room and asked them to swap their most interesting viewing stories, you could come back hours later to find them still trading tales and acting out anecdotes. For all the diverse colour and detail, however, there will be two common themes – the majority of the stories will be about negative, odd or downright rude viewings, and the agents will have spent large amounts of time away from their office in the process, accompanying people who have no intention to proceed.
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Sell That Listing Using Virtual Reality
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Is Your 3D Property Tour TRULY 3D?
Do you remember when virtual property tours were just glorified slide shows stitched together into two-minute YouTube videos? Digital property tours have grown up a lot since then. Now a high tech version, the 3D virtual tour, is dominating the space. However, like all exciting new technologies, the 3D tour has spawned a sea of copycats—and despite their claims, many are not actually 3D at all. Today, we're going to explore what makes a 3D tour actually 3D, and how real estate agents can tell the difference. Will the real 3D tour please stand up? First things first: what is a 3D virtual property tour? Well, a three-dimensional property tour lets real estate consumers remotely "walk through" a virtual model of a home. It's perhaps best described as "reality capture," as that's precisely what takes place, and the process brings any built environment directly to anyone, from anywhere, on any device. Viewers can navigate the space simply by clicking or tapping their screen; they can look up or down, as well as side to side, just as they would in real life. The transition from one point to the next within a tour is seamless. There are no visual distortions in a true 3D tour. So what differentiates a true 3D tour from imitators? It's all about the depth. Any virtual tour can capture two dimensions—height and width—but true three-dimensional tours also capture depth. Typically this is done via a specialized camera equipped with multiple lenses and infared that can sense, measure, and capture depth. However, in utilizing the spatial context of spaces already captured from around the world, Matterport has trained its AI-powered software to add depth to images captured with simple 360 cameras. The resolution and features vary depending on your camera but the experience remains. In other words, Matterport can create true 3D from 360. "Our technology has depth sensors that actually capture spaces with 3D depth perception and allows us to stitch it together into a true 3D walkthrough," says Mark Tepper, Vice President of Sales and Business Development at Matterport. Matterport is a pioneer and the leader in 3D tour technology. "Others call their tours '3D,' but they're not. They're a 360-degree panoramic photo that's stitched together with a non-3D walkthrough." Now that you know the difference between a real 3D tour and the stitched together panoramas that call themselves 3D, that begs the question—does it really matter? What 3D tours make possible One big difference between 3D tours and 360-degree tours is their verisimilitude, or how true to life they are—there's a reason it's known as "reality capture." When virtual property tours are true-to-life, consumers are more likely to substitute them for in-person tours. This offers real estate agents benefits like: Fewer disruptions to your seller, thanks to buyers being able to narrow down whether or not a home is right for them before requesting an in-person showing Out-of-area buyers are more likely to purchase a home with a 3D tour, as they can "tour" a property without physically being there, opening greater opportunity to "sight-unseen" sales Serious buyers are able to make a purchase decision without requesting multiple showings of the same property What to ask when evaluating 3D tours Now that you know the basics of what makes a virtual tour truly three-dimensional, we're going to leave you with a brief checklist you can use to evaluate vendors in the future. Use it to not only determine whether a tour is truly 3D, but also to determine if a tour offers other benefits for your business. Does this tour require capture by a specialized camera, or can you capture it on your phone? If your tour doesn't require a depth-sensing camera, it's probably not 3D. Does the tour offer smooth walkthroughs, or is the navigation rough or somewhat jarring? Rough transitions indicate a tour that's probably not 3D. Does the tour offer a "dollhouse" view of the property? Real 3D tours like Matterport will create a virtual model of an entire property that you can zoom into and out of. What other assets does the tour vendor offer? A single Matterport shoot gives agent a 3D property tour, a virtual reality tour, high-res listing photos, floorplans, and more. Where can I distribute my tour? Marketing is important, so look for tours with partnerships with major online property destinations. Matterport tours, for example, can be automatically distributed to Realtor.com, Homesnap, Homes.com, and beyond. They also offer animated teaser GIFs of your tour that you can easily share on social media and boost client engagement. Want to learn more about 3D virtual tours for real estate? Visit Matterport.com.
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Efficiency in the Closing Process with 3D Tours
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3 Lazy Listing Tours to Stand Out as the Expert Agent
As a listing expert, you know one of the ways you stand out amongst other listing agents is how you market and sell homes. You can use the method and technologies you use to market homes as a point of distinction in your market place. For example, if most people are just listing homes in the MLS, you can tell prospective sellers how you do things differently. Maybe you use Facebook Ads, or online videos, or Google to get prospective homes in front of buyers. Whatever combination of steps you use to market homes becomes your competitive advantage. And you can stand out in the marketplace when you communicate and share your competitive advantage and what makes you different. In our real estate practice, we use a lot of online video to stand out in our market. One of our favorite types of videos for marketing listings is what we call a "Lazy Listing Tour." In these videos, we simple show people one or more highlight features in a home. Why do we call them LAZY? Because we don't use expensive equipment or contractors to produce these videos. We typically use just our phones or our computer's webcam to create these videos. And even though they are easy and free to make, they get great engagement and results in our marketing. Let's take a look at three different examples of Lazy Listing Tours that you can use to stand out as a listing expert through the innovative marketing of real estate... Garry's Walking Tour In this video, Garry just used his phone's camera, his ear pods as the mic, and a selfie stick to hold his phone. Then he just walked and talked to give some insights into this home. After posting on Facebook, we created Facebook Ads to promote this video and got rewarded with tons of engagement. Facebook's algorithm favored this style of informal, yet interesting information. Wood from the Chicago Stock Exchange This is a short yet effective video. Chris just used his phone's camera and mic with a selfie stick. In this example, we're just showing one highlight feature of a home—in this case, the wood beams featured in the house. After posting on Facebook, we created an Facebook Ad to promote the video. We only spent a $1 a day on Facebook for a few days, but got thousands of videos and dozens of people clicking to get more information about this listing. Angelwilde Lazy Listing Tour For this example, Chris never left the comfort of his own home. Instead of physically going to the listing, we pulled up pictures of the home and talked about them while recording his screen and video on his laptop's webcam and a screen recording app. Tools like Wistia's Soapbox make it easy to create this type of screen sharing video. Now that you've seen how easy it is to make videos to market listings, all you need is the real estate. If you don't have a listing of your own you can use, we suggest asking your broker for help in getting a listing you can use for marketing purposes. Another option is to partner up with a listing agent with a listing to host an open house where you can market the open house and feature the home. To view the original article, visit the Paperless Agent blog.
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Kendall Jenner's House in 3D: How virtual walkthroughs give A-list celebrities anonymity
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23 Resources to Grow Your Multimedia Marketing Skills
June is Entrepreneurs' DIY Marketing Month--and who's more DIY when it comes to marketing than real estate agents? We'd be remiss if we let the month pass without acknowledging all the hard work you do to market your brand and your listings. After all, to keep up with today's marketing trends, you need to employ a host of multimedia skills--from graphic design to video creation to photography and beyond. To keep your knowledge fresh and your skills up-to-date, we've compiled this guide of 23 resources to help grow your mastery of multimedia marketing.
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The Ways Virtual Tours Improve SEO Strategy
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11 Reasons Why Agents Can't Ignore Virtual Walkthrough Marketing Strategy
More leads, higher closing prices and an engaging experience that keeps users on your website for longer – what's not to love about new marketing capabilities and portal-friendly 3D virtual walkthroughs? Here are 11 reasons why you should embrace this technology.
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Get the Advantages of 3D Virtual Tours Working for You
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What Today's Buyers Are Looking for Online
Whether you're a new agent or a seasoned pro, chances are you're always looking for that competitive edge over other local agents to score the hottest new listings in your area. From your (perfectly on-brand) listing presentation to your rock-solid knowledge of the latest neighbourhood sales, you've got the tools you need to nail the appointment. While those factors can certainly help sway a seller's decision and win you the handshake, one thing is certain: in today's market, sellers have a LOT of questions.
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Don't Overlook These 4 Bonus Marketing Assets from Your 3D Property Tour
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Video Tour or Virtual Reality: Are Both Necessary?
Virtual reality, augmented reality, 3D imaging, mixed reality – overwhelmed yet? These flourishing technologies are just getting started. Yes, even imagery and video are getting more advanced. If you think these things aren't going to start seeping into your role as a real estate agent, think again. They already have.
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What Agents Need to Know about VR, AR, and MR
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4 Visual Extras to Give Your Property Marketing Plan a Boost
Nearly 90 percent of overall consumers search online when buying a home. Today's consumers can use online tools to refine and narrow down their property choices. This makes the buying process quicker and more efficient for both buyers and their agent. This means agents must think beyond a few grainy photo snaps from a cell phone to market their listings. Marketing a home is about highlighting the best features of a property. If your property marketing plan needs a boost, think beyond the photos! Consider using these four visual extras to give your next property marketing plan a boost.
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Stand Out in Your Market and Win Listings for Less with All-in-one Marketing
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The Low-Cost Way to Generate More Real Estate Leads
Want to get more visual assets and reduce your marketing expenses? With Matterport's all-in-one media solution, real estate agents can generate everything they need to market a property online and offline from the same fast, easy system. From a single 3D shoot, agents can get hi-res photographs, 3D virtual tours, and 2D floor plans - and give buyers exactly what they're looking for. In a recent survey of home shoppers conducted by realtor.com, buyers listed high resolution photographs and 3D virtual tours as the top two things they're interested in seeing on an online listing. That's no surprise—a strong visual marketing strategy has long been crucial to selling listings faster and for more money. A 2015 study from Real Trends shows that agents who consistently use professional photography earn 100 percent more in average Gross Commission Income (GCI) than those who never use professional photography. This echoes Redfin's famous 2010 study, which found that listing photos shot with a DSLR camera (implying that they were likely taken by a pro photographer) sold for between $934 to over $16,000 more than listings that weren't. Today, advanced technology like Matterport is enabling Realtors to take their visual marketing strategy to the next level. In the amount of time it takes for a typical photoshoot, Matterport's Pro2 camera can scan an entire listing and offer the following:
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Friday Freebie: 10-Step Guide to Using Virtual Reality to Win More Listings
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Win the Listing with the Perfect 3D Tour Script
Today, we're excited to talk to you about what might be our favorite new technology to hit the market in years: 3D tours. What's a 3D tour? We're all familiar with virtual tours, which offer panoramic scans of listing interiors. But 3D tours, like those from Matterport, offer a fully immersive tour where buyers can look up, down or pan a full 360 degrees to see the entirety of a room... then walk from that room into another room, adjacent level, garage, backyard and more. Virtual tours answer, "What's behind that wall?" and they put an end to questions like, "Why doesn't the listing show the second bathroom?" (The answer, of course, is that it's decorated in a frog theme from 1979.)
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How to Get Started with 3D Property Tours (and 3 Hidden Features to Try)
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Six Ways 3D Property Tours Can Help You Sell More Homes
Luxury agents are turning to technology to help differentiate their listings and stand out from the competition. One of the up-and-coming tools that agents serving high-end markets are increasingly leveraging are Matterport 3D property tours. Far more advanced that the traditional 2D virtual tours that you're used to, Matterport 3D tours let prospects virtually "walk through" a three-dimensional representation of a home as if they were actually there. When broker Lisa Larkin saw her first Matterport 3D property tour, "I was absolutely blown away," she recalls. "I said, 'We've got to incorporate this into our business.'" She acquired a high-end listing shortly thereafter and created a 3D property tour for it. "We sold that house the day after we did the 3D. I don't know if that was just great luck, but I think that the owners felt a little bit of urgency because they knew that everybody could really see [the home] now without actually going there." Attend this FREE webinar on June 2 to learn more: Powering Up Listings with 3D Virtual Walk-Throughs 3D Property Tours: They're Not Just for Luxury Listings! While Larkin's introduction to Matterport was because of luxury listings, she quickly realized that the 3D tours would work well for all price ranges. Her firm, RE/MAX Excalibur in Tucson, Ariz., now uses Matterport 3D tours on all listings priced at $200,000 and up.
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Are 3D tours really going to change the game? Two listing experts on how Matterport maximizes convenience for buyers and sellers alike
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Get Ahead of the Virtual Reality Trend
If you keep up with industry news at all, you already know the buzz about virtual reality has only gotten louder. This year, major outlets—including Inman, Fortune, and the LA Times, among others—report that virtual reality is one of 2017's major real estate technology trends. This isn't based on some proverbial "fake news" sources—76 percent of real estate agents surveyed plan to include virtual reality in their marketing outreach this year, according to a recent poll by industry leader Matterport. As a case in point, Matterport adds 25,000 new virtual reality experiences to their fast-expanding library each month from leading real estate firms like RE/MAX, Coldwell Banker, Sotheby's International Realty, and more. Register for Matterport's webinar (Feb. 28) to learn how VR can help you win listings and crush your 2017 sales goals. Gregg Lynn, one of the top Realtors in the country, according to the Wall Street Journal, uses Matterport to create an always-open house. "Open houses are only a couple of hours a week," said Lynn, "but when you have Matterport virtual reality, we can be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year." But you don't have to work at a blue chip firm to access leading edge virtual reality technology. Matterport's virtual walkthrough solution is now widely available via the most popular and widespread platforms, including iPhone and Android devices, and is viewable with Samsung Gear VR and Google Cardboard. In fact, the company recently partnered with Google to bring their real estate VR solution to Google Chrome via WebVR, bringing Matterport's library of VR experiences to Google's Daydream headset.
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Learn to Convert 95% of Your Listing Appointments
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Win More Listings and Outsell Your Competition
Tuesday, February 28, 2017 at 11:00 AM PST The real estate business is changing, and it's more important than ever to understand the new tools and techniques available to savvy real estate professionals today. Do you want to be recognized as one of the most tech-forward, marketing savvy businesses in your market? Attend our live webinar to learn why Matterport is the future of property presentation and how you can get in on the ground floor of the growing 3D movement in real estate. Webinar agenda: Live Matterport Demo Overview of how Matterport has helped agents and brokers from Sotheby's International Realty, Coldwell Banker, RE/MAX, Keller Williams, and more win more listings and grow their businessThe best way to implement Matterport at your business A brief history of Matterport and 3D technology The future of Matterport and virtual reality Matterport Q & A Register now!
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InstaView Pioneers Structured Data in Virtual Tours
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29 Resources to Help You Master Real Estate Video and Photography
For years, articles about real estate photography have consistently been among the best performing articles on our site. But in 2016, a strange thing happened--articles about real estate videos began to dominate. It's not just typical YouTube videos, either. In 2016, the rise of new technology like Facebook Live, augmented reality, and virtual reality changed the landscape of real estate multimedia. To help our readers get a grasp on all the new trends shaping the current media landscape, we've rounded up our best articles on real estate video, photography, and graphic design from 2016 here. Crash Course in Real Estate Video If you want a quick way to build your video production skill set, consider the following four articles your syllabus for Real Estate Video 101. Your first reading is The Beginner's Guide to Video Marketing for Real Estate to get grounded in the basics of real estate videography. Next, put theory into action with this series of progressively more challenging assignments. Once you're finished, you'll have created your first video, and learned the basics of new technologies like Snapchat and Hyperlapse: Video Challenge for Beginners: How to get started with easy, free video tools Intermediate Video Challenge: How to get ahead using video Advanced Video Challenge: Livestreaming, buying new tools and crushing Snapchat
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4 Ways to Use Virtual Reality for Real Estate
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So You Got the Listing. Now What?
Jason Walters is a Keller Williams agent in Ventura County, California. He's also an active Lab Coat Agent, sharing his insights and experience freely and in a fun way. We want to share his post with some tech tips on how to get it SOLD! Staging This, to me, is one of the most important things. Don't have the budget for staging? How about VIRTUAL STAGING? Some people don't like it, but I'd rather have virtual than empty in most cases. Make sure you include the before and after photos. Here are some companies to choose from. Virtual Staging Solutions PadStyler Virtual Home Staging from Real Tour Vision Virtual Staging, LLC Virtually Staging Properties VisualStager Virtual Tours Please, please, please, no more slideshows with corny music! These days, it's all about virtual reality 360° walkthroughs. Some feel that it will bring fewer showings, but it definitely depends on the property. Here are a couple options for you: Matterport VPiX
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Virtual Tour Provider Reveals Branding Makeover
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iGuide Digitally Tells – and Sells – a Home’s Story
Visionary tool creates listing in the blink of an "i" The Internet has completely transformed how we decide what to buy. According to a recent study published by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), 92% of home buyers are using the internet to look for a home. And with so much information available to prospective buyers, it is important for REALTORS® to deliver the information that is important to buyers. The NAR study shows that today's home buyers are visual. They document their lives on Instagram, fantasize about home renovations on Pinterest, and surf social media day and night. Rarely more than 3 feet from their digital devices, today's consumer believes that instant access is no longer a luxury, it is the standard. Real estate agents must deliver listing information in ways that match today's modern consumer expectations. iGuide, a ground-breaking digital product developed by Kitchener, Ontario-based Planitar, meets today's buyer expectations. This online virtual tour tool for digital house hunters presents 3-dimensional views integrated with floor plans and room measurements, using enhanced 360°-navigation. The data-driven innovation from Planitar has raised the bar on how real estate technology can engage today's buyers. It delivers listing data that enables the agent to focus on a high-touch client experience and sell more homes.
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How to Decide Which Property Tour Technology is Right for You
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Real Estate Marketing Is as Close as Your Mobile Phone
If you're a real estate agent working today and you have not incorporated video into your marketing mix, you are missing a critical component of building your business. Attention spans are getting shorter and the digital house-hunter would prefer to watch a video of a listing rather than scroll through a page full of text and photos Research shows video marketing is six times more effective than traditional print or online advertising. As well as home video tours, consumers are searching for videos that can help them in their home buying process. From research on communities and schools to establishing a connection with what brokerage they should work with, video marketing has now become a de facto requirement for real estate agents. And technology companies are keeping pace with the emerging popularity of video, developing apps that are making it easier for an agent to not only create listing videos but let them tell their own story. Ezflix, an app developed by RealBiz Media Group, is aimed at helping agents and brokers utilize video marketing. The ezflix app gives real estate agents the ability to create, capture, edit and publish video in a matter of minutes, directly from their mobile phone. Ezflix allows agents to access all their MLS listing photos, arrange them in sequence, shoot and add new photos or live video, add voiceovers and publish to their favorite sites.
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Best Bang for Your Buck: Top 5 Types of Real Estate Videos on YouTube
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Online Marketing 101
The phrase "online marketing" is as broad as it gets. It's a term that encompasses a cornucopia of tactics, products, services, and strategies. But don't make the mistake of assuming that this makes it a throw-away category. In fact, the very depth and breadth of online marketing is what makes it so very challenging for agents and for the vendors providing solutions to assist them. In the world of real estate, what does online marketing entail? Common services include: Social media Email marketing Banner advertising Single property and agent websites In truth, if a marketing activity involves the Internet, it can fall under the umbrella of "online marketing." Sound confusing or overwhelming? Here are a few quick reads to help you learn more: Social Networking vs. Marketing 6 Marketing Tools to Build Your Business 4 Lead Generation Sources: Which Should You Budget For?
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Pictures Sell Houses
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6 Marketing Tools to Build Your Business
Your marketing efforts serve two masters: you and your sellers. Let's discuss the latter first. Marketing each seller's property helps you to move it more quickly and for more money. Pretty obvious, right? Then there's the other side of marketing, the marketing you do to increase your client base. That's what we're here to discuss today. We collaborated with VirtualTourCafe (www.VirtualTourCafe.com) to bring you these ideas for marketing tools to build your business (and often sell your listings at the same time). Twofers Sometimes you find a tool or strategy that provides a twofer – helps you sell a property and helps build your business. Let's look at a few of those first. 1) QR Codes: When you place a QR code on your sign rider or other marketing collateral, you aren't just offering more information about that property. You are also providing a valuable link to your website. Oftentimes, the prospective buyer may browse past the property details and learn more about you. Of course, this is more likely if you have an effective website, which is yet another reason to make sure your online presence is as strong as possible. 2) Single Property Websites: A slick single property website isn't just for mansions and large estates – it's for every single one of your listings. Showing that each of your properties is a superstar doesn't just help move the listing more quickly, it also shows your professionalism and commitment to your clients. It says, "No matter what the listing price may be, I treat each and every one of my listings as a top priority."
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Product Review: VirtualTourCafe
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Friday Freebie: Home Zone Real Estate Marketing System
There are a lot of things you can do to market your listings online. The problem? Sometimes there's too much. Too many marketing tools to choose from, and none that work together in a way that simplifies your life. If you're overwhelmed by all the choices available to you, consider a single integrated marketing solution, like this week's Friday Freebie! Free 30-day trial of the Home Zone Real Estate Marketing System The Home Zone Real Estate Marketing System is an all-in-one marketing solution that lets you consolidate all your online marketing efforts in one place. The platform is fully mobile compatible and is available to agents, teams and offices. Here's a look at some of the features that work together to create cohesive marketing campaigns for your listings: Narrated tours and property videos Listing and mobile agent websites Text/QR code lead generation and capture Statistics and seller reports Social networking National syndication Print materials Social networking and more! To sign-up for a free 30-day trial, call Home Zone at (888) 882-1259.
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5 Reasons to Use a Virtual Tour
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Friday Freebie: VirtualTourCafe
Nine out of 10 consumers turn to the web during their home search process. But did you know that video sites like YouTube are among the top online destinations for buyers? In fact, 70 percent of those who use video during their search do so to tour the inside of homes. Virtual tours are one of the easiest ways to capture this audience. If you're not already leveraging them in your marketing--well, we've got the perfect Friday Freebie for you! 30-Day Free Trial of VirtualTourCafe VirtualTourCafe offers branded virtual tours and property flyers that can be created in under 15 minutes. Busy agents can quickly make branded, high-definition tours that can be shared on social media, uploaded to YouTube, or embedded on websites. Highlights include: Easy sharing to social media Automated syndication to search engines, real estate portals, and classified ads sites Drag and drop image gallery 28 templates and over 50 background music options to choose from Image editor that lets you control brightness, contrast, transitions, and more Add floor plans and 360-degree panoramas Easy-fill property information screen for fast input Optimized for mobile devices including Android, iPad and iPhone Virtual tour CD or DVD Automated weekly hit reports And much more... Visit VirtualTourCafe's website to get started!
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Product Review: ListingsUnlimited from Properties Online
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Product Review: ListingsUnlimited by Properties Online
Single property websites are one of the best tools for marketing your listings. Whereas your personal agent website is all about you and the services you offer, single property websites serve as an exhaustive source of information on a single listing. Not only is it good for your main site's SEO, but because it's a website solely dedicated to marketing their property, it's a potent way to impress sellers--and even win listings. Today, we're taking a look at a single property website solution that's very potent. ListingsUnlimited from Properties Online is more than just a website provider--it's a full-on marketing suite that makes attracting buyers a breeze. Getting Started Your single property website is home base for all your marketing activities for a listing, so we'll begin by taking a look at the process of creating a website within ListingsUnlimited. The driving idea behind ListingsUnlimited is that creating a website should be simple. By removing the need to know code or do any heavy technical lifting, ListingsUnlimited frees you up to spend more time marketing your listings. This emphasis on ease of use is reflected in the Control Panel. Everything is laid out and categorized clearly with icons that make it simple to find what you're looking for.
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