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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
Women have been in the real estate game since the late 1800s. This long line of strong working women has seen it all, or at least a good part of the all when it comes to pay gaps, glass ceilings, "the good ol' boys club," and more. Women have succeeded in making the real estate industry one of the best professions to build a life from, but it has not been without trials and tribulations along the way. There are still a few obstacles that require close attention, diligent planning, and more than a second thought. Here's the good, the bad and the ugly, and "what to do about it now" situations that every female Realtor needs to pay attention to. How Safe Is It to Be a Woman Realtor? Back in the day, a cold call was exactly that—pick up the telephone and try to persuade the person on the other end to meet up to discuss the possibility of listing their property for sale. Showing up to tour an unfamiliar home was the only way to get a listing. Every lesson about not talking to or meeting up with strangers was tossed out the window at this point. The way to sign the deal was to arrange a time and arrive at the alien residence ready to measure up the place. Listing signed, good job, next order of business, an open house or two, and schedule showings with some anonymous callers. But what about safety? Technology, like 3D tours, virtual tours, and accurate floor plan tools, did not exist when many women began their real estate careers. It was and still can be a scary, often life-changing experience to encounter stranger after stranger just to earn a living. Fortunately, today there are better ways to pre-qualify a buyer and limit risks. So how do women real estate professionals protect themselves from the possibility of assaults while performing their duties? Start with a facelift. Only use professional headshots on business-related accounts like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other online media. You don't want to attract unnecessary attention, which does not drive business. Use the online platform for what it is designed for – real estate marketing and virtual tours. Share the Focus with a Real Estate Photographer Hiring someone to do your real estate photography can help prevent some risky situations. Square footage calculations, floor plans, and 360° tours can all be done during the photoshoot for your listing. Consumers get online access to all the specifications about a particular property without ever having to set foot in the home. Virtual open houses are a perfect way to showcase a home without having to sit in an empty space by yourself for the better part of the afternoon. Statistics show that sitting in an open house alone can be unsafe and often dangerous. Always consider safety in your working environment whenever possible. Work in teams, notify someone of your whereabouts, make sure your communication devices are sending/receiving correctly, and speak up if you feel uncomfortable in any situation. Given the challenging circumstances, you may ask yourself why women outnumber men when choosing real estate as a profession? The Glass Ceiling Is a Moonroof. If You Choose to Open It, The Sky's the Limit. According to NAR, women make up 67% of all Realtors, and the typical age is 54. That means there are about 1,300,000 women Realtors as of 2020. Why do women find the profession of Realtor so attractive? Perhaps the flexible schedule, high potential earnings, and the challenges of the industry are a big draw for them. Real estate careers offer opportunities to work alongside peers, both male and female, without having to struggle with the pay gap that many industries face today. Because the income is based on commissions, and commissions are determined by dedication to the profession, the only real competition is against yourself. The sky's the limit because, in real estate, the glass ceiling is actually an opening moonroof. When real estate courses were developed many years ago, everyone was taught how to create floor plans, add room dimensions, and use square footage calculations correctly. With current property tech tools like virtual tours, 3D tours, and some excellent real estate photography, it is much easier today. Armed with the most accurate measurement tools of the trade, being your own boss and sharing your experiences with other women leads to a fulfilling career individually, as well as collectively. Women have come a long way since 1910 when the first woman officially was permitted to join the National Association of Realtors. Today, there are some great organizations like the Women's Council of Realtors that champion women in the real estate profession. Female Realtors certainly have traversed some steep boundaries to get where they are today and have an equal playing field in real estate. Whether working in left field, right field, or center field, it's the collaboration, inspiration, and dedication that make all the difference. To view the original article, visit the iGuide blog.
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How to Create a Virtual Tour
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Tips for Launching a Virtual Open House
With social distancing guidelines and regulations set in place by local governments, one thing that has taken a hit in the real estate industry is showings. Showings allow potential buyers to view a home that they are interested in. While agents are unable to show homes in person, they do have another opportunity to show listings virtually. To better understand how to conduct a virtual open house and what tools you need, we recently had Sue Pinky Benson and Barbara Betts on our Secrets of Top Selling Agents webinar program. Benson and Betts, both notable Realtors in the industry, came together on a live panel to share ideas on how to conduct the best virtual tour.
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Real Estate Technology to the Rescue: iGUIDE Virtual Showing is a Free Tool to Assist with Physical Distancing
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Your Guide to Hosting Virtual Open Houses
Real estate agents have successfully been throwing open houses for decades, but virtual open houses are a different ball game. The freedom of the internet allows you to be more flexible and creative with your showing, which can lead to amazing results without inconveniencing your clients. It can be hard to know where exactly to start, though. So we have prepared some easy guidelines for you to follow. Who knows? With some practice, virtual open houses could become your new favorite marketing tactic.
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I Can't Quite Picture It: Why virtual staging has taken the real estate world by storm
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3 Ways to Make Open Houses One of Your Most Valuable Marketing Tools
Open houses have always been a powerful marketing tool, but they are evolving in new and exciting ways to help you succeed. Aaron Kardell, CEO of Homespotter, joined me on a Coffee Chat to share some simple, but powerful, insights about the best ways to take open houses to the next level. Here are three key takeaways: 1. Open House by Appointment Instead of pushing for a ton of people to attend your open house, focus on quality, not quantity. You can do this by setting specific 15 to 30 minute appointments for potential buyers after pre-qualifying them and understanding the seriousness of their interest in the property. Setting appointments allows you to spend quality time with each of the prospects, explaining all of the most positive features of the home and giving them the personal attention they need to answer their questions thoroughly. Spending time with each visitor also allows you to provide specific feedback to the seller to help improve curb appeal, remove clutter, gain pricing feedback, etc. 2. Capture Info on Virtual Open Houses by Replacing the "sign-in" sheet When scheduling a virtual open house, make sure the system you're using requires every visitor to register so you can capture them for follow-up afterwards. While Facebook Live is a nice format, for example, it is much more anonymous. Tools like GoToMeeting, Google Hangouts and others are better at capturing information for those that register and those that attend live. Tools like Spacio, for example, allow you to capture visitor information and then automatically load the information into CRM tools like Contactually and Follow-Up Boss so you can begin a dialogue with consumers you met at live or virtual open houses. 3. Promote Virtual Open Houses on Social Media Today, there are tools that make it easy for you to automatically post new listings online. These tools, like Boost from Homespotter, have expanded to allow you to promote live virtual open houses as well. You can promote virtual open houses on Facebook, Instagram and even Waze now. Just think how many people you can attract to a listing if you can use the power of social media to accomplish it! Also, virtual open houses will encourage consumers to look at more houses virtually and then narrow their requests for live showings only to those homes that are most interesting to them! It's a great way to save time and money for agents and their clients. Don't Miss These Upcoming Coffee Chats! Friday, June 5 What Are the Likely Effects of COVID-19 on the Rental Market? with Cameron Paine of Apartments.com 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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Simple, Proven Tips for Breaking through with Virtual Open Houses
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Selling a Property Online? Everything You Need to Know About Virtual Tours
3D tour, virtual tour, 3D virtual tour, virtual walkthrough. We constantly see photographers and real estate agents juggling these terms and applying them to different solutions and technologies. The real estate industry is embracing technology and now is the best time to try and clearly define these terms to avoid confusion. "The difference between virtual tour, virtual walkthrough, 3D tour, 24/7 open house virtual tour, digital twin, true 3D, 360 tour is clear as mud!" says Dan Smigrod, the founder of We Get Around Network, a popular portal connecting the 3D/360º community worldwide. "One of the challenges in our 'space' – yet another name for a 3D tour – is that even those in the industry cannot agree on what to call the various iterations. Ask 10 people to describe 'it' and you are likely to get 15 different descriptions," says Dan. However, technology companies like iGUIDE, Matterport, or Asteroom and their users typically draw a clear line between a slideshow or a video call and a real 3D tour. So, what is the difference between all these terms? Let's try to "clear the mud." What Is a Virtual Tour? Over the years, the term "virtual tour" has been gradually evolving and changing its meaning. Before the emergence of the aforementioned innovative solutions, a slideshow or a series of panoramic images was legitimately called a "virtual tour." However, nowadays, the meaning of this term is rapidly shifting towards something much more sophisticated and advanced. Interestingly enough, the same thing happened to the term "virtual reality," which used to be widely applied to the same 360° photographs. "Even before there was virtual reality, the International Virtual Reality Photography Association (IVRPA) used the term 'virtual reality' to describe 360º photos," says Dan Smigrod. Simply put, you cannot use panoramic images and call them "virtual reality" anymore if you want to be properly understood because the meaning has changed drastically. We are witnessing the same process for the words "virtual tour" and "virtual walkthrough." So let's take a look at the most up-to-date meaning of these terms. Virtual tour is a general term used for a variety of tools and solutions ranging from slideshows, photos, and websites to 3D tours and virtual reality experiences. We can see that this is rather an umbrella term that might have multiple meanings due to the meaning of the words "virtual" and "tour," which basically may encompass any representation of the property done with some sort of computer device. At the same time, 3D tour (or 3D virtual tour) is a series of 360° images, also called photospheres, panoramas, or panos, where a user can navigate from one 360° image to another. This is a more specific term used for platforms like iGUIDE, Matterport, or Asteroom. More can be read about this definition in the white paper, prepared by Alexander Likholyot, CEO of Planitar Inc., the maker of iGUIDE. Slideshows and Live Video Tours We all know somebody who takes still pictures, delivers them in the form of a slideshow and calls it a "virtual tour." We see a growing number of people, lately, using FaceTime or other video call apps to show a house to homebuyers live and call this process a "virtual walkthrough." So after discussing the most up-to-date sense of what "virtual tour" actually is, let's define some other solutions which might be labeled in this way. A slideshow is "a presentation of photographic slides projected on a surface or displayed on a screen one after another." This definition is taken from Merriam-Webster Dictionary and seems to be quite accurate. It can be added that, sometimes, these slides are shown one after another automatically. An example of a slideshow platform is Smilebox. Another solution that is widely used today is a live video stream (or live video tours) which means "to stream digital data (such as audio or video material) that is delivered continuously and is usually intended for immediate processing or playback," another W-M definition. Thus, whenever agents are using their smartphone apps like FaceTime, Skype, Whatsapp, etc. and are walking through the property showing the homebuyers the house and answering questions, they are doing a live video streaming or live video tour. The words and their meanings are in constant flux, especially if they are technology-related. 3D tours, slideshows, live video tours, and regular video are different solutions all of which can be rightfully called a "virtual tour." Even if the industry itself cannot agree on what each term means, using specific and consistent terminology when marketing to your own clients is a better approach for avoiding confusion, boosting efficiency and promoting your personal brand. To view the original article, visit the iGuide blog.
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5 Reasons to Safeguard Your Seller With Virtual Tours
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Jump into Digital Marketing Right Now to Fill that Buyer Funnel
As agents prepare to safely get back to business, BOOST from Property Panorama may be the best option to maximize efficiency, quality, conversion, and price When you think of Property Panorama, you think of virtual tours. This company has created more virtual tours for real estate properties than any other company for more than a decade. Their secret sauce is the relationship with multiple listing services, whereby every new or updated listing is automatically (or automagically) converted into a virtual tour and emailed to the agent. Agents pay small fees if they want fancier tours, but otherwise there is no fee to the agent.
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Video Tours: How to Have Confidence in Front of the Camera
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A Step-by-Step Guide to Using Homesnap Stories for Virtual Tours
Social distancing is still very much part of daily life. Yet, the need to keep your business running remains ever-present. Here's how Homesnap Stories can help you stay relevant with buyers and sellers. Homesnap Stories are an effective way to replicate the traditional, in-person open house experience. Using Homesnap Stories, agents can add a video tour of themselves walking throughout a property directly to their listing page on Homesnap, highlighting key amenities and allowing prospective buyers to see a property in a way that makes them feel at ease. With Homesnap Stories, you can add unique, engaging marketing content right to your active listings through the Homesnap Pro app. Add text, emojis, and even use augmented reality to create one-of-a-kind marketing content that you can also share on Facebook and Instagram. Homesnap Stories are ideal for getting across selling points about a property that are difficult to convey from photos alone. And because Homesnap Stories sit on your listing page until the property is off the market, accessible to anyone, there's no need to coordinate and record live stories from scratch anytime you have an interested client. Here's how you can add one to your listing: Find the "Add Story" button near the top of any of your active listings. Upload photos from your phone, or take new photos/video in real time, if you are able to. Add text to make your photo or video pop. Make sure to highlight the most important features. As buyers are unlikely to visit the property in person, it's imperative to be comprehensive in your approach. Overdoing it isn't much of a concern as of right now. Err on the side of showing more. Add emojis or real estate stickers to draw attention to important selling points. We have a custom set of real estate-themed stickers — in addition to traditional emojis — so you can easily call out big selling points. New roof? Walk-in closet? Make sure to highlight. Add 3D effects with augmented reality mode. Get creative and stand out by adding personalized 3D effects — like a for-sale or price drop — that become virtual objects in your Story. Add a voice-over or music Voice-over is an excellent tool to explain specific features, showcase your personality, or demonstrate your professionalism and expertise on camera. Music makes for a more inviting listing. Post your Story. When your Story is complete, hit the button to post and it'll appear right on your listing. If you want to share it on your own Facebook or Instagram Stories page, you can easily do that as well. After your Story is published, you can also see when your branded clients and connected agents have viewed your Story. It's a great way to follow up with clients who might be interested in your listing. We know times are difficult right now. We hope Homesnap Stories can make things just a little bit easier. To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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Pivot Traditional Showings and Open Houses to Virtual Experiences
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Real Estate: The Virtual Way
Say goodbye to "in-person" for a while, and hello to "through-the-screen." The times are unprecedented. We've never experienced anything like it before. None of us quite knows what to do or how to handle it. And these are precisely the types of situations that fuel innovation. Sure, webinars, video calls and virtual home tours are not new. What is new, however, is the seemingly overnight widespread industry use of these and many more online tools. The real estate sector has undertaken a profound shift. Perhaps for good.
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Video Tours: Buyer Tested, Social Distance Approved
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BoxBrownie Now Offering 360° Virtual Reality Tour Platform
BoxBrownie has been offering virtual staging and image enhancing services to the real estate industry for many years. Their services have become a mainstay in real estate marketing by properly enhancing the appeal of properties for sale. As 360° virtual reality tours like Matterport and the now defunct GeoCV emerged, BoxBrownie applied their services to enhancing those tours with their virtual staging and image enhancement. Now BoxBrownie plans to compile and host those tours too. BoxBrownie is now offering an assembly and hosting service that will take scans from 360° cameras like the Ricoh Theta V and Ricoh Z1 and turn them into beautiful 360° virtual reality tours. Here is a nice example of an empty house. If you or your owner/tenant has a late model smartphone, you can download an app called Google Street View (free). It creates a 360° panorama without requiring a 360° camera. That panorama can be loaded into the BoxBrownie 360° Virtual Tour Platform to create a tour. Here is a link to an iPhone 11 example. Another key component to these 360° tours is the floor plan, which can be ordered as an additional feature of the tour. We like the floor plans a lot because they act as a map that orientates you to navigating the home. I may be mistaken, but my takeaway from past discussion with BoxBrownie is that these floorplans are remarkably accurate to scale. At What Cost? For most homes, you can probably get away with their basic package. You upload 15 photos to BoxBrownie (think 15 rooms) and the price is $16 for them to develop the tour. Larger homes may need up to 25 scans or images, which they price at $24. Over 25, and you pay a few cents extra to have your tour built. Remember, the price for image enhancement—like balancing the color or whatever—is $4 per image. Virtual Staging to remove the ugly furniture and insert beautiful stuff is $64 per image. If you are creating virtual tours that you want to have hosted for years, like your office, they charge $12 for hosting that the first year, then it goes down to $8 per year thereafter. Some agents create goodwill in their business by creating tours for local businesses, art galleries, or other community and lifestyle features. #smartmarketing In this time of virtual everything, real estate agents are creatively finding ways to deliver the best possible digital presentation experience to market properties. BoxBrownie may have an offer worth looking into, especially for do-it-yourself agents who are not using professional photographers. BoxBrownie may be able to make your photography look like that of a pro.
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Real Estate Is Now Considered an Essential Service According to U.S. Government
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How Proptech Is Helping to Keep Businesses Going During the Coronavirus Outbreak
Whether we're commuting locally or traveling to a distant city, we collaborate on a global scale, primarily face-to-face. The Coronavirus, or COVID 19, has upended our connected world. Our common way of doing business has been fractured, and businesses are scrambling to find ways to protect its workers, continue to serve customers, and stay profitable.
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With 3D Tours, Properties Sell Up to 31% Faster and at a Higher Price
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Growing Your Business with Advanced Virtual Tours
The following is an excerpt from RE Technology's latest Success Guide: Today's advanced virtual tour solutions can drive engagement and word of mouth excitement that will make you, your buyers, and your sellers very happy. Here's how you can use them to your advantage. Branded and Unbranded Tours One of the greatest benefits of participating in multiple listing services is the distribution of your listing to every broker and MLS website in your market through the Internet Data Exchange, or IDX, program. Be sure to insert the unbranded tour link of all your listings into the correct field in your MLS. Regardless of the quality of the website, your beautiful virtual tour will make the best possible impression on homebuyers as they click through listing after listing. They are sure to stop and be as amazed by your marketing as they are by the house. Build Tours of Your Office and Affiliate Offices Your office is your lion's den. It is not only a place where you meet with customers, but also a place where you congregate with your team. Building a virtual tour of your offices will not only make your office webpages stand out, provide comfort to consumers, make your office social media and Google business pages look outstanding, but will make a great impression on other agents in the area who may be considering switching firms. A number of brokers and agents have told us that affiliates in mortgage, title, and insurance also love to build these tours for the same reason. Capture Community Tours Want to really impress the owner of a popular restaurant or store? They typically struggle with marketing as much as anyone. Take a look at their website or their Yelp page. You will be astounded by how much real estate marketing has evolved beyond the way that most companies market themselves. Consider offering a virtual tour to local businesses. They will not only remember you when they are planning a move, but they will offer referrals. Most of all, they will remember your branding and your strong call to action. Stage the Same Home in Different Styles Sometimes, even the most beautifully decorated home doesn't match the taste of the home buyer. My wife hates modern (chrome) and country (oak), but loves classical (mahogany and cherry). With today's virtual staging, you can get creative by developing the scans to suit a variety of palates. Another great idea is to convert a room into a nursery or convert a room that is currently a nursery into an office or a bedroom to show the flexibility of the space. Create a Look Book Take pride in the homes that you list and sell. Add a page to your website where you store the archive of all of the homes you have virtually staged. It becomes a great look book that you can use as a reference on listing presentations or for any other reason. It can be especially helpful when you want a catalog of designs to show. If you survey the marketplace you compete in, I expect that you will find that few, if any, brokerages, agents, or teams have deployed these advanced marketing ideas. A little effort on your behalf can have a dramatic impact on creating the differentiation that you need to attract customers. Best of all, your listings will sell faster. Download Success Guide: Advanced Virtual Tours to learn more about virtual tour trends, how to evaluate a virtual tour, and more.
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3D Walk-throughs Aren't Just for Listings: Capture These 6 Local Spaces to Boost Engagement and Business Opportunity
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4 Things to Consider When Evaluating Advanced Virtual Tours
The following is an excerpt from RE Technology's latest Success Guide: Whenever you buy anything, the focus should be on value and not price. And when it comes to software for your real estate business, the best tool is the one that you love to use and the customer service that you get. These truths ring loudly when it comes to advanced virtual tours. Here are four things you should look for when considering a virtual tour provider.
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How 3D Tech Is Ensuring Accuracy and Transparency in the Transaction
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Tips for Taking Full Advantage of Matterport's Digital Twin Toolbox
Like never before, technology is evolving to offer a more transparent look inside what a business has to offer and to give those businesses greater insight into the audiences they aim to reach. There are a number of technologies and platforms designed to enhance this new age of client connections, so how do you best take advantage of all the technology that's available? In what's the most immersive customer experience, information from all these elements can be brought together in the form of 3D reality capture. But how does it work? What tools will allow this completely immersive, information experience? Aside from creating the 'digital twin' of your listing with Matterport, there are a number of tools available to take the virtual customer experience to the next level. Below are steps and insights into how to put the tools of this technology to use for the benefit of any business.
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Virtual Tours: The New Qualification Tool
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Sell That Listing Using Virtual Reality
It seems that there are always new ways to sell your client's home. It started with listing books, and then taking great photos of the home. Soon after, effective agents produced video tours of their listings. And now there is a new way to showcase your clients' listings: virtual reality. There are plenty of ways that using virtual reality can help you sell your client's home. Hopefully, after reading some of the helpful tips we have for you, you'll feel ready to use virtual reality in your real estate business.
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Is Your 3D Property Tour TRULY 3D?
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Efficiency in the Closing Process with 3D Tours
Taking a property listing from posting to closing can be a complicated process. Creating efficiencies in each step can be simple and is essential to completing it with consistent success Whether you're an agent or client, the process of listing a home and searching for one is a multi-stage effort. This is something we realize at The Kite Team as a part of the larger Keller Williams Infinity Group, and in our first post of this series we covered maximizing the client and agent connection where they meet in the first stage of closing a deal.
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3 Lazy Listing Tours to Stand Out as the Expert Agent
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Kendall Jenner's House in 3D: How virtual walkthroughs give A-list celebrities anonymity
How do celebrities move home so secretly? Let's face it, they don't sit up all night trawling home listing websites or hurriedly tidy their house ahead of a full day of viewings. So how do they go about moving house?
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23 Resources to Grow Your Multimedia Marketing Skills
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The Ways Virtual Tours Improve SEO Strategy
Your website is your showcase, it represents what you sell, it represents your agency, and ultimately it represents you. As a result, it's essential to have a well-positioned website to generate more traffic from search engines like Google and increase your chances of drawing in new customers. What is SEO? Search engine optimization is about improving your position in a search engine results page (SERP). Google is the dominant search engine, accounting for over 90% of searches processed globally. There are some regional exceptions; in China, Baidu holds 66% of the market, Google represents only 10%. Bing, Yahoo and Yandex are other minority share search engines, but when we talk about SEO, we usually refer to Google search results. Why is SEO important? To increase the number of visitors and therefore gain greater brand awareness, prospects and sales, you have to look at the ranking of your website in terms of relevant keywords. Your ranking is very important because the first three positions on Google receive more than 60% of clicks. If you are not the first page, then you will receive very little traffic to your site. Keywords Optimization First you need to identify the strategic keywords that you want to rank for in Google's SERP. How do you identify them? By choosing from those that are regularly typed by internet users (search volume). You can use search tools such as Google Keyword Planner for that insight. You need a Google Ads account, but signing up is free. Once you have found the search terms that your potential customers use, you can include them in the structure and content strategy of your website. How virtual tours can help you Adding these keywords analysis to your navigable Matterport space, for instance, will help Google understand that the content of your pages where it's displayed should be shown in searches for those terms. You can add the keywords in the title, add links in the template and add the address of that analysis, all of which can be tracked in Google. Content (on the site) is king Google loves "content", especially new content that visitors to your website will spend time interacting with and sharing. Google's algorithms take into account parameters such as bounce rate, time spent on the page and shares. The more content your website has, the better Google will rank your pages. Backlinks Backlinks are external websites that want to reference your site by linking to it in their own content, directing visitors to your page. The more backlinks you get from high quality or "authority" websites, the better. Google considers these backlinks another key element of its algorithm in ensuring it displays relevant pages from authoritative websites. Google uses your backlinks profile to create an authority score for your website, a measure that allows you to determine which websites have a high value and should be included in the search results. If many high-authority websites direct their visitors to your website (via backlinks), it is a vote of confidence in your content. MOZ has created the domain authority score that is now widely used by SEOs. You can find out more about this here and see your DA score for free using this tool. Wrapping Up SEO is much more than what we've discussed here, but this article should provide a quick overview of how virtual tours can help you in your SEO strategy. Improving ranking in Google is a long-term process but the quality of your website content will always be fundamental to attracting more visitors to your website and converting them to customers as they find you an interesting and valuable resource. To view the original article, visit the Matterport blog.
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11 Reasons Why Agents Can't Ignore Virtual Walkthrough Marketing Strategy
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Get the Advantages of 3D Virtual Tours Working for You
Imagine having the ability to walk through a property without taking off your shoes! That's the beauty of a 3D virtual tour. Everyone wants to get a feel for a home, but the process can be expensive and time consuming. Sifting through hundreds, if not thousands, of photos to determine if a property is ideal to show your clients takes up valuable time.
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What Today's Buyers Are Looking for Online
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Don't Overlook These 4 Bonus Marketing Assets from Your 3D Property Tour
Have you noticed the following cube icon popping up everywhere lately? It started appearing on Realtor.com in 2017, and just this autumn, you may have noticed it on Homesnap, a property search app that's free to 900,000 Realtors nationwide through their MLS. It's the Matterport icon, and its appearance on a listing indicates that a 3D property tour is available. While 3D property tours are what Matterport is best known for, did you realize that this tool also offers a wealth of visual assets that you can use in your marketing? Here's a rundown of all that Matterport offers. 1. High-resolution Listing Photos Photographs are typically the very first thing most people see of your listing—and what draws them in or drives them away. If your listing photos are of poor quality, you risk turning off potential buyers. When your listing is scanned for a 3D property tour, Matterport also captures hundreds of high quality photographs. If you balked at "hundreds," don't worry. Matterport employs machine learning to automatically select the best photos for your listing in Matterport Instant Galleries. That means agents don't have to spend time collecting and curating photos—you have an MLS-ready gallery of photos once your 3D tour has been created. "[Instant Galleries] are great. We are using these for all our inside images," says Beth Riggs of Amanda Howard Real Estate, Sotheby’s International Realty. 2. Teaser Videos Want to cut through the noise of social media and capture the attention of local consumers? Try teaser videos or animated GIFs. Movement within GIFs and video stands out and draws the eye. Real estate professionals get automatic videos and GIFs with their Matterport 3D tours. You can share them on social media and in emails to drive greater interest in your listings. They're effective, too—a Matterport customer survey shows that 76 percent of respondents say they attract more home buyers on social media with Matterport 3D. 3. Virtual Reality Looking for a fresh way to 'wow' buyers? Let them tour listings via virtual reality. Not only does this position you as tech-savvy agent, it also potentially cuts down on in-person listing tours. Consumers who view listings via virtual reality are better able to narrow down which homes they'd like to see in person, saving agents time. Matterport 3D tours are automatically converted into virtual reality, and can be viewed via Google Cardboard, Daydream, Oculus, or Gear VR headsets. Keep headsets in your office to use with clients when selecting which properties to tour. Want to impress sellers? Take a VR headset to a listing presentation and show sellers a sample listing, mentioning that you'll do this for their home, as well. "Consumers get more discerning about their choices and sellers want to present their properties in the best light possible," says a representative from Greg Lynn Sotheby's. "Open houses are only a couple of hours a week, but when you have Matterport virtual reality, we can be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year." 4. Floor Plans Differentiate yourself from other agents by including floor plans in your marketing. This helps consumers better understand the layout of a home, and how their own furniture and belongings may fit. Matterport generates floor plans two business days after your 3D tour is created, using dimensional data captured during the scan. All you have to do is press 'Order' on the Matterport platform, and floor plans are automatically prepared for you. Live Examples of Matterport Marketing Assets Want to see what the visual collateral mentioned above looks like? Check out these two examples of homes that were captured with a Matterport camera, and the automated content that was created: http://sites.relahqdemo.com/1178carollane/?mls http://sites.relahqdemo.com/1234californiaway/?mls Visit Matterport.com to learn more.    
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Video Tour or Virtual Reality: Are Both Necessary?
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What Agents Need to Know about VR, AR, and MR
Real estate is a magnet for three new emerging technologies: Virtual Augmented Reality (VR) Augmented Reality (AR), and most recently, a hybrid being called Mixed Reality (MR). All of these technologies are either impacting – or have the potential to dramatically impact – the real estate industry. Let's take a look at what agents need to know about these exciting technologies. Please keep in mind that because it is new technology, it is possible that not all these are available throughout North America yet. First, let's define each technology and how they are different.
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4 Visual Extras to Give Your Property Marketing Plan a Boost
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Stand Out in Your Market and Win Listings for Less with All-in-one Marketing
Real estate agents - are you looking for new ways to differentiate yourself in 2018 and win listings for less? Top agents from RE/MAX, Keller Williams, Coldwell Banker, Century21, and more are flocking to all-in-one marketing services like Matterport that provide both traditional and cutting-edge marketing at affordable rates. With Matterport, real estate agents can get HDR photos, teaser videos, floor plans, 3D walkthroughs, and virtual reality from one fast, easy 3D scan. By getting traditional and cutting-edge marketing assets from the same one-stop shop, they are able to reduce their per-listing marketing expenses and offer stand-out marketing like virtual reality for all of their clients (and not just a select few). This is helping them attract more home sellers and buyers alike. Learn how it all works in Matterport's most recent webinar. In fact, according to a new survey from Coldwell Banker, 62 percent of U.S. consumers would be more likely to choose an agent that offers virtual reality property tours over an agent that does not. What's more, virtual reality tours can save you and your clients time on unnecessary showings. The survey found that 84 percent of prospective buyers would like to see video footage of a home, and 77 percent would like to be able to take a virtual reality tour before visiting a listing.
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The Low-Cost Way to Generate More Real Estate Leads
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Friday Freebie: 10-Step Guide to Using Virtual Reality to Win More Listings
Are you feeling the heat this summer from increased competition? You're not alone. According to a recent survey from Matterport, 86 percent of real estate professionals feel that competition is greater than ever. This can be attributed to a variety of factors, including low inventory, better marketing from competing agents, and seasonal slumps. If you're looking to beat the competition and thrive during low season, there's no better way to do it than by staying ahead of the technology curve. In fact, 91 percent of real estate professionals agree that technology is a highly effective way to stand out, and over three-quarters of agents say that they use or plan to soon use a trend that's on real estate's cutting edge—dynamic 3D tours and virtual reality. But knowing about a new technology is not the same as knowing how to leverage that technology for practical gains. That's why in this week's Friday Freebie, we're highlighting a guide that will show you 10 ways you can use 3D virtual tours to win more listings.
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Win the Listing with the Perfect 3D Tour Script
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How to Get Started with 3D Property Tours (and 3 Hidden Features to Try)
Want an easy way to almost double consumer interest in your online listings? Consider creating a 3D property tour! According to 3D tour provider Matterport, consumers are 95 percent more likely to call about listings with 3D tours, and are 300 percent more engaged. While these stats are impressive, they're not surprising. 3D property tours offer consumers an immersive experience that gives buyers a much more realistic sense of a home than still photos, videos, or traditional virtual tours. The experience is so powerful that some agents even report using 3D tours as an effective way to help remote buyers find a home. But once an agent or brokerage decides they want to create a 3D tour for their listings, how do they go about it? Is there complicated equipment or technology to worry about? Read on for the answers.
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Six Ways 3D Property Tours Can Help You Sell More Homes
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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
If you've been to a real estate conference in the last few years, you've likely seen a demo or presentation on Matterport, the leading 3D home tour technology that allows buyers to virtually walk through any property from room to room (and beyond). While 3D home tours offer a significantly more immersive experience than virtual tours, plenty of agents have yet to integrate Matterport into their listing plans. But a recent study from realtor.com® shows that virtual tours are the #2 desired feature in their home search experience, second only to high-quality listing photos. If you're curious about how 3D home tours work, are received by buyers and sellers alike, and could change the frequency of in-person showings forever, read on for insights from two industry leaders whose firms are incorporating 3D showings as a "must-have" for seller clients. Attend this FREE webinar on June 2 to learn more: Powering Up Listings with 3D Virtual Walk-Throughs   Lisa Larkin Managing Partner, RE/MAX Excalibur, Tucson, Arizona Three offices across Arizona 28 certified luxury home marketing specialists Charles Nitschke Chief Marketing Officer, Tomlinson Real Estate, Spokane, Washington Three real estate brands representing the Tomlinson Group: 13 Coldwell Banker offices, two Sotheby's, two Century 21 How does a 3D tour differ from a virtual tour? In a virtual tour, you can pan from one side of the room to another to get a 360 degree view of any room. But you can't move from one room to the next, so your brain ends up piecing together the home's layout by paying attention to clues in each photo's background. In a 3D home tour, you can fully move from one room to the next, allowing you to understand the home's layout, the size of each room and how each level of the home relates to the others. With Matterport tours, you can also see alternative views, like the Floor Plan View (bird's eye) and Dollhouse view (see the full property, including all levels, with the facade of the home removed). Example of the Dollhouse View in a 3D tour from Matterport
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Get Ahead of the Virtual Reality Trend
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Learn to Convert 95% of Your Listing Appointments
Are you interested in elevating your marketing approach to win more listings and outsell the competition? Matterport's 3D tours and virtual reality walkthroughs are the key to engaging buyers and delighting sellers — while differentiating your services from the competition. Register for Matterport's webinar on Feb. 28 to learn how agents and brokers from RE/MAX, Century 21, Coldwell Banker, Sotheby's International Realty, and more, are using 3D and VR to win listings and outsell the competition. In a recent customer survey, 74 percent of real estate professionals agreed they win more listings, while 90 percent stated they have a stronger brand because of Matterport. It's true—real estate brokers and agents are seeing immediate results after using Matterport in their listing presentations and online marketing. Here's the proof: The Creig Northrop Team of Long and Foster Real Estate, the number one team in Maryland in transaction volume since 2006, improved their sales transactions by 10 percent after committing to use Matterport for all their listings. Cressy and Everett Real Estate, one of RealTrends' top 250 brokerages in the United States, receives an average of 10,000 visits monthly to Matterport 3D tours on their website. HomeVisit, a Matterport service partner, has seen a threefold increase in demand for 3D tours year-over-year. There's a reason brokers and agents are realizing such success: Home buyers are 65 percent more likely to email an agent and 95 percent more likely to call after seeing a property with Matterport 3D versus listings displayed only with pictures, according to realestate.com.au.
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Win More Listings and Outsell Your Competition
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InstaView Pioneers Structured Data in Virtual Tours
The nation's largest virtual tour company is empowering the half million agents it serves with the newest technology to reach consumers directly with visually-rich listing information and information about their businesses. InstaView 3.0, the newest release of Property Panorama's category-leading virtual tour platform, became the first virtual tour to publish listing data the form of new structured data in its tours and to distribute the visually rich packages to YouTube and syndicate them to realtor.com®, Facebook and Twitter. "By integrating rich listing data with lush visuals into a single package, InstaView 3.0 allows search engines and consumers to find what they are looking for in search results," said Property Panorama CEO Mike Barnett. InstaView 3.0 complies with RESO standards and Schema.org, a collaborative site sponsored by Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and Yandex. The technology also allows search engines like Google to render Agent Profiles, Office Profiles, Open Houses, and Property Detail summaries within search results, dramatically improving the search optimization of real estate listings. With structured data, agents can expand their "snippets"—the text that appears under or adjoining a search result on a major search engine like Google—to include graphics contact information, open houses and more. "Structured data makes it easier to find and deliver information and is driving more consumer engagement with our new InstaView tours. InstaView tours are already receiving six times more unique visitors than any other listing marketing tool," said Barnett.
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29 Resources to Help You Master Real Estate Video and Photography
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4 Ways to Use Virtual Reality for Real Estate
When you think of virtual reality, you probably think about games rather than real estate. But real estate is actually perfectly positioned for virtual reality, or VR for short—and visual marketing is the power tool of your marketing kit for real estate. Photos, videos, 3D models and floor plans are all ways to bring homes to buyers during the search phase. Before you can use VR to market your real estate business, you need the right VR content and the right hardware. Thankfully, VR options for real estate are readily available, and hardware is very affordable. The smart folks at Houselens recommend Matterport 3D models as your content source. They also have put together a very handy basic primer. Of course, you can always browse a reputable site such as C|Net for helpful reviews. 1. Use VR in Your Broker's Office This might be an obvious choice for a place to set up VR, but that's why many real estate agents would overlook it. Luxury brokerages started the trend, using high-end VR setups to help buyers tour luxury homes that were not open to regular showings (e.g., for privacy or security reasons). Now that affordable VR headsets are available, the average agent or brokerage can do the same for their buyers. You can even set aside a "showing room" dedicated to VR. Bring buyers in to preview homes that are not available for immediate showing, or to help them narrow down their list of choices.
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So You Got the Listing. Now What?
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Virtual Tour Provider Reveals Branding Makeover
The world of virtual tours just got a little bit prettier. On Friday, VirtualTourCafe launched version "3.0" of its platform, complete with a new logo, website, and product interface. As you can see in the side-by-side logo comparison, the new branding (on the right) is much stronger and more explicitly related to real estate than the old iteration: The website redesign is equally dramatic, but rather than show you screenshots, we'll direct you to the current site and then over to the Wayback Machine for comparison. Beyond the shiny new looks, the virtual tour provider also introduced a few new features, such as: The ability to add pictures, video clips, and panoramas Drag-and-drop interface that makes it easy to arrange the order of images Prominent access to easy "how to" tutorials Responsive design for your tour's "listing website" (see an example) Full-screen view of tours now available Automated property website themes, print flyers and custom flyers Video only tours created automatically
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iGuide Digitally Tells – and Sells – a Home’s Story
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How to Decide Which Property Tour Technology is Right for You
Every so often, new technology comes along that improves the way we do things, and unless you've been living under a rock, you probably noticed Instagram recently introduced Hyperlapse, a free smartphone app that is going to be a game changer for real estate professionals who use audiovisual tools to market their listings. Agents are typically at the mercy of expensive professional videographers hauling thousands of dollars' worth of equipment if they want a truly professional video tour of their listing. How quickly things are changing with the release of Hyperlapse, which greatly increases the quality of phone-based video technology; enables any smartphone-equipped agent to walk through the property they're listing; and produces a smooth and professional-looking walk-through video, regardless of experience. It leaves a lot of room for error (by smoothing out the shakiness), and even my 7-year-old niece could use it and still come out looking like Stephanie Spielberg. What's the secret sauce? Built in image stabilization technology. So, while an ordinary video captured on a smartphone or tablet might be shaky and jittery, Hyperlapse technology helps create a smooth, cinematic feel, rivaling video shot with expensive Steadicams or Glidecams, which usually require an experienced (and pricey) operator. The result is a much more professional-looking video that can be shared not only on places like Instagram, YouTube and Facebook, but also on an agent's website. In addition to saving time and money, the Hyperlapse app enables the agent to control the speed of the time-lapse feature and give viewers a sense of the home's floor plan and how all the rooms connect, in relation to the property photographs usually found on the listing detail page. It also allows the agent to quickly and efficiently focus on the flow of the listing's surrounding yard, neighborhood and community, without the need to do hours' worth of editing afterwards of all the separate shots obtained.
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Real Estate Marketing Is as Close as Your Mobile Phone
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Best Bang for Your Buck: Top 5 Types of Real Estate Videos on YouTube
The booming consumer appetite for YouTube videos brings myriad good news for real estate agents and brokerages, especially since it is the second most used search engine on the planet behind Google. But before you grab a camera and set up a tripod, let's talk about which type of video gives the best bang for your buck. Frankly, this is where many agents go astray. Some are under the impression that a homebuyer's top priority is to learn about an agent's experience or the history of their company. While "About Me" videos play a role in the overall decision of who to work with, there are three other video types that outrank them in the top 5, which are as follows: 1. Community/market-based videos - (86 percent of online house hunters watch videos to learn about a specific community.) Location. Location. Location. It's still the buyer's top priority. How's the local market? What's the area like? How does the school district rank among others in the state? Are there a variety of cultural activities available? Are shopping and restaurants within a short drive away? How about parks, recreation and public transportation? The list goes on. When you're the only company in your area providing this type of video, you jump to the head of the pack. 2. Listing videos - (70 percent of homebuyers watch video home tours.) Proper staging and quality photography help showcase the property to potential buyers. Use props like a stack of fresh towels by the pool or a glass of wine with a cheese board in the kitchen to tell the story of what it is like to live in the home. Add mapping and point out features that make this home unique. Using video builds excitement and anticipation because it engages through sight and sound. When animated graphics or moving images are combined with the human voice, our brains retain it much longer than text.
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Online Marketing 101
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Pictures Sell Houses
Initially, the title of this article was intended to be a question: "Do Pictures Sell Houses?" We made the change in title for emphasis, because nothing can be truer or more important for an agent's success. Technically, of course, it's the agent who sells the house. If that agent uses many attractive photos, the house sells faster. Taking Photos Is Easy The Internet is filled with resources for taking better real estate photos. Follow a few simple rules, and it should be relatively easy. Most of the articles you'll read offer tips to take great pictures without too much expensive gear, although most will advocate for a decent digital camera. Can you cut corners and use your smartphone or iPad? Sure, you can. But that's not to say that you should. Is it better to take mediocre photos than not include any at all? Absolutely! To save you time, I'm going to include a few of my favorite tips here: Reduce clutter for interior shots. Take photos during the golden hour (when the sun is close to the horizon) for exterior shots. For interior shots, close curtains and keep interior lights on to avoid glare and backlighting. (Unless, of course, the view from a certain window is exceptional.) Take as many shots as you can, from as many different angles as possible. With a digital camera, it doesn't cost any extra, and you're more likely to find some good photos. Use a wide-angle lens. Focus on areas that buyers care most about: the kitchen, the master bedroom, and the living room. But don't forget about features that make a specific home unique (i.e. beautiful landscaping, a pool, an elegant veranda, etc.).
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6 Marketing Tools to Build Your Business
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Product Review: VirtualTourCafe
There are a lot of real estate marketing solutions available to agents and brokers today. Some specialize in one thing, like websites, while others bundle multiple services together. No matter which products you choose, however, we can't overemphasize the importance of considering a virtual tour solution. Why? Because 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. If you're not leveraging video, you're missing out on crucial leads! (See our article 5 Reasons to Use a Virtual Tour to learn more.) Today, we're going to look at a solution that will help you capture those leads. VirtualTourCafe enables real estate professionals to create beautiful tours in under 15 minutes. The solution is easy to use and offers unique features that you won't find in other solutions. Highlights include: Easy sharing to social media and Craigslist 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 Broker, office, and association discount programs also available
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Friday Freebie: Home Zone Real Estate Marketing System
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5 Reasons to Use a Virtual Tour
In conversation with Tim Denbo of VirtualTourCafe, we asked a simple question: "Why should agents create a virtual tour for their listings?" Tim obliged with a compelling list of substantive reasons. After you've had a chance to check out our list, please comment below and tell us: Do you use virtual tours? Why/why not? Which solution do you use? If you're not using a virtual tour solution, here are five reasons you may want to reconsider. 1) Sellers expect it. Your sellers don't live in a cave; they've seen other online real estate listings, and they'll expect you to live up to the most compelling of these. Chances are, the listings they find most compelling will include a virtual tour (we'll talk about that in a moment). Now, we're not saying that you should simply bend to whatever your customer wishes. After all, many leaders caution against blind adherence to the old adage that "the customer is always right." You're the expert – you know what works and what doesn't. That being said, when the thing your client asks for has the potential to be helpful and is relatively inexpensive, it might be prudent to follow their wishes.
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Friday Freebie: VirtualTourCafe
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Product Review: ListingsUnlimited from 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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Product Review: ListingsUnlimited by Properties Online
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Cinematic Video: The Best Way to Differentiate Your Digital Media Strategy
The following piece was written by Brendan Carlisle, founder of a real estate film and media company in Los Angeles called Interior Pixels. I watched a few of his videos online and enjoyed the style of the videos his company creates. I asked him to provide some insight on the techniques he uses to create his high quality pieces. Even though I disagree (a little) with tip about cell phones, it's always good to get multiple perspectives on a topic and I respect his answer. Enjoy! As all of you know, video and film is not a new innovation in real estate. In fact, it has been linked for 80 years, ever since the founder of Coldwell Banker previews used real estate films to inspire celebrity buyers. His real estate films were cinematic productions. They premiered in lavish estates and were meant to captivate the audience and motivate them to buy the properties featured in the films. This era coincided with golden era of film, and it certainly represented the golden era of film as it relates to real estate. In recent history, video has served a practical, if not underutilized, purpose in real estate. Video and video tours have been an extension of photography, used to display the features of a property in a rather mechanical way. But this begs the question, why use video in the same fashion you use photography--isn't this a bit redundant? This thought was haunting me and it must have kept others up at night, because recently there has been a trend emerging that takes us back to the "Golden Age" of real estate videos. Real estate videos have begun to feature cinematic and emotionally resonant elements again.
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A Sneak Peek at the New RE/MAX Design Center Upgrade
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Marketing Listings: DIY or IOU?
Guest contributor Erica Christoffer of REALTOR®Mag says: You've got a great new listing. Congratulations! But you know it's not enough to post it on the MLS and cross your fingers that it'll generate buyer interest. You need to get the word out through a marketing plan that will impress your clients and get the property sold. And whether it's mailing out listing flyers, using social media, or creating a video tour, you need to decide whether to do it yourself or go to an outside vendor for help. How do you decide between outsourced and DIY marketing? "It depends on what you're good at," says Daniel Webster Johnson, broker-associate with ­Resort Brokers Real Estate in Breckenridge, Colo. "Use your strengths." Johnson is all about doing what he's best at—­networking, writing, and Internet marketing. He outsources other marketing tasks, such as photography, video, and staging, which he used to handle with the occasional help of a full-time assistant. Last spring, he realized he no longer needed full-time help. Without it, he still made 2012 his most pro­ductive year since the beginning of the downturn. Finding the Right Professionals Fueling Johnson's success is his skill at building ­vendor relationships. He hosts monthly gatherings called "People We Trust," with other real estate professionals, mortgage brokers, contractors, and local business owners. The idea is to get to know one another's trusted associates and to generate mutual business.
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The Beginner's Guide to Editing Video with Windows Movie Maker
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How to Use a Fade In/Out Transition in Your Property Videos
Here's another great tip for all the DIY media geeks in our audience. VScreen's latest ReelRebel episode shows us how to create a fade-in/out transition. This simple video effect is exactly what it sounds like: transitioning the viewer from a black screen to the opening scene, or from the closing scene to black again. Because this transition is more pronounced than, say, a cross-dissolve, it should only be used to punctuate the beginning and end of your property videos. It can also be used, sparingly, for major scene changes, like transitioning from outside to inside shots. The video below shows us how to create fade effects in iMovie, Final Cut Pro, and Adobe Premiere. Use a different program? Let us know and we'll walk you through the steps!
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A Buyer’s Perspective on Virtual Tours
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Product Review: ePropertySites Property Marketing Tools
ePropertySites describes their goal in their mission statement: "Perfecting the art of property marketing online and on site." For this reason, we've focused this review on several of their tools focused on marketing individual properties. However, their robust array of products also helps real estate professionals with personal marketing and much more. There are a few key strategic objectives that agents and brokers can accomplish with ePropertySites: Building a property website before the listing presentation enhances your ability to secure the listing Leveraging your iPad to exude your technical expertise and marketing savvy Highlight your seller's property with a single listing website Enhance your search engine optimization effectiveness Convey far more information to the buyer than what is offered through IDX property search The Basics ePropertySites offers several different pricing plans for their services. Each of the tools we're going to discuss here is included in every plan. For a better understanding of options and pricing, visit ePropertySites.com. Step One: Earn the Listing Property marketing cannot begin until the seller selects you as their agent. For this reason, ePropertySites offers their Flipshows for listing presentations. These "flipshows" or "flip books" combine your custom images and text. ePropertySites offers an iPad-friendly version of their Flipshows, recognizing that the iPad has become a favorite listing presentation tool. You can check out an example of a listing presentation Flipshow here.
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5 Simple Steps to Making the Best Real Estate Videos
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The Power of a Virtual Tour and 5 Simple Steps to Create One
I recently read a blog post by a real estate agent who was speaking about his experience creating virtual tours for his overseas client. Because the client was unable to walk through potential homes, the virtual tour was instrumental in the eventual sale of a property. Without it, the client wouldn't have seen the home and would have likely never purchased it. And when you think about it, of course a virtual tour would help. Even local clients would appreciate virtual tours of homes so they can avoid spending time visiting places that will never work for their needs. Therefore, when I was searching through the MLS to research this commentary, I came across a virtual tour and was looking forward to "walking through" the advertised house. What I found, however, was not what I expected. Instead of a walkthrough of the home so I could see areas that were not included in the still photos, I found a slideshow of those same still photos, set to music. In other words? Not a virtual tour.
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5 Tips for Better Video Tours
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5 Easy Ways to Integrate Video into Your Marketing Efforts
Guest Contributor Veneeta Eason says: Real estate professionals know that success is, in part, driven by how well they can create a connection. One way to do that is to integrate video into your marketing campaign. With today’s technology, it is easier than ever to capture great video. What previously required a studio, a green screen and professional media equipment can now be done with a handheld video camera and a computer. More importantly, video has the ability to increase your business, build better relationships and amplify your credibility.  Here are five easy ways to integrate video into your marketing efforts:
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Virtual Tours: Naughty or Nice?
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Looking for Easy Ways to Get More Eyeballs on Your Listings?
Trying to send a listing? Looking for a way to get more people engaged in looking at the fine details of the property? Virtual tours are a great way to accomplish these goals. Virtual tours can be a great way to break through and get attention to the properties you are trying to sell while standing out from your competition. Virtual tours are a very popular tool for real estate consumers. They believe virtual tours can give them a much better feel for a home. Studies have proven that listings with virtual tours are viewed more often and for a longer period of time. Interestingly, though, studies have shown that only 2 to 5% listings include virtual tours currently. There’s a large opportunity to increase the attention to a listing by featuring virtual tours. So if virtual tours are so popular with consumers, why don’t more agents offer them? In interviews we’ve conducted with agents, they tell us they understand the marketing value of virtual tours, but they don’t have the time or budget to deploy these valuable tools. The common perception is that most virtual tour companies burden the agent with the heavy lifting of taking the photos, uploading them and then creating a time-consuming end product. Fortunately, there are several virtual tour companies that have recognized this concern and are finding ways to make it easier and more affordable to feature a virtual tour on every property.
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