After spending the better part of last year researching current sites that offer real estate marketing we firmed up our product design for Virtual Tour Club. It seemed like many of the sites were missing the boat giving agents a place to upload photos that had not been optimized to look their best. The sites that did offer retouching were weak in advice for agents in how to best use them on social media sites. None of them addressed webcasting or Live real estate broadcasting as a new type of affordable option to reach their social media friends in an impactful way. Most just offered a platform where agents could download their pictures and have a tour hosted for a year or two to play on the MLS.
Folks, with the technology that is out there… we should be way past that now. But the entire package needs to be treated along the way to make an online real estate listing look polished and seamless. Then it will truly STAND OUT in the crowd.
1. If an agent is taking their own pictures rather than using a professional photographer, then it is critical FIRST, to buy and learn a post production software to brighten, straighten, add contrast and detail, and color balance your pictures . This should happen before you list them on the MLS. If you don’t have the time or resources for that then hire a professional or use an inexpensive photo fixing service. Most of them are very reasonable and offer 24 hour service, such as ours at Virtual Tour Club.
2. If you are planning to combine online marketing elements for a complete listing package, there are services that offer workshops and training on everything from real estate photography and virtual tours, to broadcasting live listing commercials online. Locate a service that offers workshops and bring them into your agency during one of your agent meetings.
3. If you have not started using virtual tours, know that thousands of new agents are adding tours of their listings each month. Almost ALL online MLS and home search sites now have a “virtual media” component. Honestly, making a good virtual home tour is as difficult as any other professional home service. You should not have to deal with it. Find a full service virtual tour company and send them your pictures. That should be plenty to deal with. They should return a beautiful MLS compliant tour to you within a day.
4. The last component here is broadcasting. Brand new technology. Not even out-of-the-box yet. Buying streaming band width for live broadcasting is VERY VERY expensive. So, only big companies do it at this point. But resellers that specialize and create a real estate based platform are beginning to emerge. It is affordable and will totally make your listings come alive with LIVE announcements of the agent at their listing property, inviting viewers while showing a virtual tour and pictures of the home. It’s a live streaming property commercial that will “Seal The Deal” on any new listing appointment.
So in closing, when marketing online make sure to fix all your pictures, make a virtual tour, invest in new social media and online real estate marketing techniques, and get into broadcasting your open houses online.