Jim Gross of Virtual Tour Club

Jim Gross

Here is yet another reason to make sure that all of your properties have an online presence with great real estate pictures and virtual tours. We are at the beginning of a new phone based home search revolution.

It’s this simple – potential buyers drive by a listing and scan a barcode on the real estate sign or flyer with their phone.  This Microsoft Tag or QR Code will immediately take viewers to the site you point them to. It might be the MLS, Realtor.com or your website. Buyers can quickly take a virtual tour, see the property pictures and stats all before even walking into the home.

Agents may view this online ease differently. Some may prefer to have a client call them for a tour first. After all, they may become a client for another listing. Another view point is that only serious buyers will request a showing after all this online info. This however, is the way of the future. Young people want to check out the property and even the listing agent online before they make any contact. It’s important that each agent have a professionally produced online video bio that is available to buyers and sellers at the click of a button.

When someone takes a snapshot of your tag with the Microsoft Tag Reader, their mobile browser will take them to the site your tag points them to. The Microsoft Tag Reader works on Windows Mobile, iPhone, Symbian, Blackberry, Android and J2ME phones. View the comprehensive list of Supported Devices.

Microsoft Tag can be used virtually everywhere in the world. To get the Tag Reader visit http://gettag.mobi on your mobile phone browser.

Carousel Studios Microsoft Tag

The tag on this page points to our music studio website, Carousel Studios. We simply took out an ad in this wedding magazine and they established a tag for us so that when brides are reading the magazine they can scan our code and go immediately to our website on their phone.

One thing that is crucial to note here is that not all virtual tour platforms have made their flash based tours work on iPhones and iPads. Many of them won’t load on these devices. You don’t have to be an Apple fan or have a Mac to understand that in 2010 over 20 million iPads were sold… many to realtors. When we chose our virtual tour platform, one of the primary things we looked for was one that would play all of our tours on iPads and iPhones. Now it appears that home shopping on smart phones will dramatically climb over the next few years.

Keep in mind that buyers in their 20’s and 30’s have fast computers and completely understand current technology and social media. They even can buy their Starbucks coffee by scanning a QR code. For online searching it makes more sense to scan a code rather than to type in a URL. It’s rather humerous, because we all spent so much money buying a memorable domain address… and now we are moving towards just scanning a bar code which will take us to a site we may not even know the name of. Virtual tours are going to become amazingly easy to get to for properties.