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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
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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Cinematic Video: The Best Way to Differentiate Your Digital Media Strategy
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A Sneak Peek at the New RE/MAX Design Center Upgrade
We recently had the opportunity to preview the new RE/MAX Design Center from Imprev. The Design Center's "digital upgrade" debuts this week at the RE/MAX R4 Convention in Las Vegas. The upgrade makes the Design Center simpler to use. The topmost navigation bar lets agents easily access existing projects, the design gallery, marketing campaigns, and their client contacts. In the main navigation area, users can switch between recent designs or projects, favorite, featured, and those most popular among the agent community. Design Center's most notable expansion, however, is the addition of three new products made to appeal to today's mobile-centric home buyer.
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Marketing Listings: DIY or IOU?
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The Beginner's Guide to Editing Video with Windows Movie Maker
A recent joint study from NAR and Google shows that consumers are turning to video more than ever before during their home search. What kind of video are they searching for? According to the study, everything from virtual tours, customer testimonials, community information, and to learn more about hiring a real estate agent. So if you haven't been using video in your online marketing, there's no better time to start. No experience creating and editing video? Don't worry. You don't need fancy editing software. In fact, your Windows PC comes with everything a beginner needs. Windows Movie Maker is a basic, easy-to-understand video editing program that even the greenest rookie can use. That's why we're happy to introduce My Computer Works latest video tutorial,"Create Movies Easily with Windows Movie Maker." In it, you'll learn everything you need to know to start editing your property videos in under five minutes. If you're ready to integrate video into your marketing strategy, take a look at Leading Agent's Real Estate Video Idea of the Week series for inspiration. For advanced shooting and editing tips, check out Stephen Schweickart's collection of video tutorials. For everything else, see RE Technology's library of video and virtual tour articles. Click through to the next page to learn how to edit video with Windows Movie Maker.
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How to Use a Fade In/Out Transition in Your Property Videos
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A Buyer’s Perspective on Virtual Tours
There was a new home that met our criteria on the MLS last night. Our agent sent us a link to the property details page on the MLS consumer-facing website. On this property's details page was the URL (not an active link) for a virtual tour, which I checked out. And boy, was I disappointed! I simply sat for two minutes and watched the very same photos that had been in the MLS cycle through. Afterwards, I angrily closed the tab in my browser and said to my husband, "I want my two minutes back." Benefits of Virtual Tours When I came into the office this morning, I was complaining about my experience again. "What was the point of the virtual tour at all?" I asked. Victor Lund, always the voice of reason, played the Devil's advocate for me. He explained that I was taking a very myopic view and that there are some benefits to virtual tours I haven't taken into consideration. 1. They make sellers happy. If you're an agent, your seller clients want to know that you're putting maximum effort into marketing their listing. This means doing more than just adding the property to the MLS and whatever third party property search portals you may syndicate to. A virtual tour will feel special to them. A single property website is another great way to do this. 2. They provide SEO value. 3. They display photos in a better format than the MLS slideshow. As you can see in the screenshot below, the photos in our MLS (even when expanded) are relatively small. They were larger and stood out better in the virtual tour format.
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Product Review: ePropertySites Property Marketing Tools
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5 Simple Steps to Making the Best Real Estate Videos
Real estate professionals know how important video has become to the industry. There are millions of video tours on Youtube today and video blogs have become all the rage for top real estate pros. The problem with many real estate videos is that the quality can be poor. Just because you are taking an amateur video doesn't mean it has to look like an amateur video. Here are five simple steps to making great real estate videos with your smartphone: Step 1: Record Horizontally - Recording horizontally gives you a wider view. Conversely, when recording in a vertical position, you're only recording part of the image. This looks okay if the video is viewed from a smartphone, but since most real estate videos also make it to YouTube and other websites, vertically recorded videos do not present as well as horizontal views. Step 2: Tripod and Tripod Attachments - There's nothing worse than seeing a real estate video that is shaky or that moves around a lot. This can make people dizzy and it's a huge turn-off for viewers. There's a simple fix for this: use a tripod. Tripods are built for regular cameras, but there are low-cost adaptors available. Joby sells a great all-in-one tripod for smartphones called Gorillamobile for $40. There are other options for tripods, as well. For adaptor and brackets, photo retailer Adorama has a $10 product called the Heavy Duty L-Bracket that attaches to your tripod and holds your phone in place. Studio Neat Glif is available for $20, and does the same thing as Adorama's product. These sites also have iPad options. Other websites to check out are Amazon.com and HDhat.com.
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The Power of a Virtual Tour and 5 Simple Steps to Create One
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5 Tips for Better Video Tours
Last week, we worked with RentJuice to bring you some helpful hints for better real estate photos. This week, we’re bringing you 5 of their tips for video tours. Although RentJuice is the rental marketing expert, their tips are certainly helpful for those of us selling properties. For all of the tips, download their excellent whitepaper “The Essential Guide to Apartment Video Tours.”   1) Choose the right equipment. First of all, Smartphones are not proper equipment for video tours. Just to make this absolutely clear, I’d like to reiterate: do not use your Smartphone to film your video tour. Instead, RentJuice recommends: Choose a mid-level quality camera or higher. Choose a camera with HD. Choose a camera with built-in stabilization. Use a wide-angle lens. Use a microphone. Use a tripod.   2) Stage your property. Before you start filming your video tour, make sure the property is clean and tidy! This isn’t just removing a layer of dust or spills on the kitchen floor – it means organizing clutter. Although keeping furniture in a shot can help potential buyers/renters visualize themselves in the space, be sure that the furniture is tasteful, minimal, and strategically arranged.   3) Give a complete tour. First, get in front of the camera yourself so that people know whose voice they’re hearing. Then, continue with proper “flow” - beginning with the exterior of the house and moving to the interior. Move through the house in an organized way, filming all of the major rooms. Give priority to major areas like the kitchen, dining room, living room and master bedroom.   In their whitepaper, RentJuice has several other excellent tips for filming your tour – including where to hold the camera when walking through a hallway. For full details, download the whitepaper.
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5 Easy Ways to Integrate Video into Your Marketing Efforts
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Virtual Tours: Naughty or Nice?
Virtual tour providers and virtual tours are all exactly the same, or are they?  Does it matter if you use one that offers free virtual tours or one that charges a monthly subscription?  Does it  matter if the virtual tour company is brand new or may claim to have 100,000 users?   Does it matter who owns it or what the company philosophy is? It does depend on “why” you want a virtual tour in the first place. We are all being overwhelmed with choice these days, and real estate technology is no exception.  So, how do we choose which virtual tour provider to use?  Which virtual tour company or virtual tour service is naughty and which is nice?  Let’s take a closer look…
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Looking for Easy Ways to Get More Eyeballs on Your Listings?
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