Is a FloorPlan worth a thousand pictures?

Is a FloorPlan worth a thousand pictures?

There was an interesting article published by RETechnology about the importance of floor plans for listings. See the article here.  In this article, they reference a Rightmove study out of the UK that indicated 20% of browsers would not even look at a property that did not have a floor plan, and the users ranked floor plans as more important than the listing photos and property info!  Wow.  Now, floor plans have been more prevalent in Europe, but the National Association of Realtors also does their own study each year of buyers and sellers, and guess what, floor plans were in the top 3 in terms of very helpful info, right behind photos and detailed property info.  See the NAR Study here.

As a FloorPlanOnline customer, you probably know this great info and present it as part of your listing presentation.  If not, take this as an opportunity to differentiate at the listing appointment to Wow your seller with how you will market their home.  After all, a seller was once a buyer, so what you present as to how you will attract buyers to the listing will just solidify your expertise regarding the right marketing strategy for the listing.  The seller will see the difference and likely select you!

Our tour platform is the most robust out there, hands down. First we are the only tour company in the US that owns their own 2D/3D floor plan tool.  This has great strategic importance for us, not only for tours, but for our HomeDiary platform as well. Our tours are also secure, which means you can not only embed the whole tour into a blog post or a website, like you see below, it helps us automatically convert the unbranded tour pulled from the MLS data feed to the branded tour on sites like Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, Redfin and even your company website and your personal one. Just configure your Brandkeepr settings under the profile.

Try this embedded tour – all content works, including on any mobile device.  Just start clicking!

Suggested action item for you.  Each time you have a listing, write a blog post describing the home, what is special about it or the location, and embed the tour into the page.  Then leverage social media channels to post the blog post link and get people coming to your site.  This is great content for Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram and more.

 

Secure Tours and your Branding on 95% of the internet is here

Secure Tours and your Branding on 95% of the internet is here

Secure Tours & Brandkeeper.

We have two great updates regarding our virtual tours that were released in the last week regarding SSL and Brandkeepr.  These two updates go hand in hand with each other:

  1. SSL Secure Tours.  Now, all tours are served using the SSL protocol, meaning they are served encrypted from end to end and the tour url uses https.  While there really isn’t any personal info on the tour that required the switch, to get our Brandkeepr functionality to work on most of the top real estate search sites, we had to update our tours because most of those sites are using https, so to get our Brandkeepr magic to work, our tours also have to be SSL secured. Your company site, and your personal website may also use SSL, so when properly configured, we can automatically convert the unbranded tour to the branded version on about 95% of the top 10 sites, and more! Plus, it makes embedding a tour, like the example below, work if your own site or blog is secure.
  2. New Tour Viewer. We released a new Tour Viewer design in addition to the Story format.  So if you like the more classic tour look that has your logo persistent and buttons for content items, the new Tour Viewer is for you.  All it takes is selecting the option and then selecting your start content, including a new “Dashboard” view (read more on that below). This new viewer, combined with the secure protocol change, means you can now embed our tour easily on your own website or a blog post using simple embed code, just like this example.  It is a full functioning tour, embedded into your own website.

Try this embedded tour – all content works, including on any mobile device.  Just start clicking!

Display Options for the Virtual Tour.

In order to embed a tour into a website page, all you need to use is our sample code like this (which is also shown on the Tour Links page within the marketing center for each tour):

<!–start –>
<iframe name=”tour” src=” https://www.floorplanonline.com/tour/184056/b  ” frameborder=”1″ width=”100%” height=”800″></iframe>
<!– end –>

Just change the tour ID (184056 in this example) to your tour ID and this code should work on most sites.  You can also change the width and height size, in pixels, which will set the maximum display (it is responsive so it will shrink on smaller devices).  If you would like to start with a particular content view, you can either change to the desired view under Edit Details, Content Display Options (see screen shot below), or you can click on the desired content button on the tour itself and then copy and paste the URL that has the content at the end.  For example, to start with the Floor Plan view, just use this as the embed url: https://www.floorplanonline.com/tour/184056/b/floorplan or to start with the video, use https://www.floorplanonline.com/tour/184056/b/walkthru.  These options give you ultimate flexibility on displaying your tour.

Note…you can also use both the Story or the Tour Viewer links on the same listing at the same time.  The default is what you set on Manage Tours, under the Tour Frame Type section at the very top, but both links work to display the tour in a specific format, as follows:

The Tour View – https://www.floorplanonline.com/tour/184056/  
The Story View – https://www.floorplanonline.com/story/184056/

The normal tour link, like https://www.floorplanonline.com/184056/ will open up the default selected view but these specific links override that, if you want to use them for a specific reason (like using the Story for MLS and distribution but using the Tour for embedding on your blog). Again, it provides extreme flexibility.

Note: our existing embedded tour content option on the Marketing Center is still coded for the old format, so please use the instructions here for embedding the new tour viewer on your website. An update will come in the future for the legacy option to provide even more flexibility, so if you only wanted to show the floor plan and the video on the embedded version, you could without disturbing the main virtual tour view.

How to configure BrandkeeprTM for maximum exposure.  

On sites like Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, Homes.com and Redfin, we can now recognize the user is coming from one of these sites when they click on the virtual tour, and we therefore automatically convert the unbranded tour pulled in from the MLS to the branded version, so YOUR brand shows on 95.5% of the top 10 real estate oriented websites.  The virtual tour is the ONLY content item for your listing that can lead people back to you on any number of sites.  Leverage this bread crumb trail!  It gives you more visibility that gets you more leads for free, just by people seeing the virtual tour on these sites!  We can also do this for your company website, your personal website or blog or any other site YOU put into the BrandkeeprTM configuration.

To configure and edit your BrandkeeprTM profile, go to Edit Profile and then elect the Edit My Brandkeepr profile.  From this page you can see what sites we automatically convert to the branded link, and you can add your own sites (we add your profile site by default), or turn off some if you do not want it branded for some reason.  This tool gives you lots of flexibility.  Note: do not put in your competitor websites as you could run afoul of the IDX rules that generally prohibit agent branding on content distributed from the MLS. It is ok on these major search portals, just don’t do it on your competitor’s websites…

The key to making all of this work is make sure to use the https link when you post the virtual tour. If you already have a tour linked, just change it in the mls – add the “s” at the end and it should get updated to other sites.  That is it!  going forward the links we provide you already has https in the link.

One final note.  Leverage the Call2Action photo to also get more people to visit the virtual tour.  Zillow does a good job of hiding the link below the fold (the user has to scroll), so get them to go to the tour that has all of this other great content, including floor plans, video, and more.  Learn more on Call2Action here.

Event-Based Lead Capture

NEW! Event-Based Lead Capture

Introducing our new, Event-based Lead Capture system for your tours. This Lead Capture system allows you to capture leads based on various visitor actions on the branded tour, such as after 4 camera icon clicks on the floor plan, or when someone tries to download the printable flyer. When combined with our Brandkeepr technology that automatically converts unbranded tours pulled from the MLS to the branded version, we can help you get more leads from sites like Zillow, Trulia, Yahoo, Realtor.com, and even your own company/personal website – basically get a lead on any website that allows agent branding! This is over 90% of the real estate oriented website traffic.  But you can only get the lead via the branded tour, and FloorPlanOnline (and our affiliates) is the only tour company that enabled this great functionality.

Best of all – It’s FREE. It is included as part of the standard tour price!



lead value

 

 

Set-up is Required. This new system is live on all accounts, but it is not ON by default. If you would like to enable lead capture on your tours, just login to your account, go to Edit Profile and then click on Edit Leads Profile. Click the toggle switch to turn it on and save. Note: if someone uses the Contact from on the tour, you will still get a “lead” for those messages, even if you have Lead Capture OFF.  

Exclusive Zillow & Trulia Functionality

Exclusive Zillow & Trulia Functionality

Your Brand on Your Listing

It may sound silly, but the fact is, your branding and contact info is NOT displayed on any virtual tour on Zillow (and other sites) by default

But it can be displayed if you use the FloorPlanOnline or HomeDiary PRO platform. 

Our patent-pending Brandkeepr process automatically converts the unbranded tour to branded on sites representing over 90% of the real estate-oriented website traffic.  The Zillow Group alone makes up almost 50%!  So be where the people are and get seen in more places

We automatically add you back, plus add a video too, for free!

  • Branded Tour – our patent-pending process re-brands the unbranded MLS tour to branded, automatically
  • Embedded Video – we add our automated slideshow video (or custom video) with your branding as an embedded video on the Zillow & Trulia listing page, automatically. 

Why is this important to you?  Just uploading photos to the MLS does not give YOU free advertising on sites like Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, Homes.com and more. 

A virtual tour can…if it has your branding. 

No other tour company can convert the unbranded tour to branded and have an automated video posted to your Zillow/Trulia listing, for free.  This strategy puts your brand on websites that represent over 90% of the real estate oriented website traffic and leaves “bread crumbs” back to you so people can find you easily and the great marketing you do for listings.

FloorPlanOnline and HomeDiary PRO can.  

 

This image shows an example of how the agent branding looks when a user clicks the video button on Zillow or Trulia.  With HomeDiary PRO, it can be automated from your data feed for all of your agents and listings too.

Enhancing your listing doesn’t have to be that hard

With the FloorPlanOnline platform and the HomeDiary PRO subscription, it can be done automatically for you.

I have used FloorPlanOnline for close to 10 years now, and they keep getting better. The new Story format showcases the amazing photos, aerials and floor plan content they create and helps make my client’s home, and me, look professional. It also positions the property for a fast sale. The HomeDiary integration is also cool, so the new buyer can claim the home and get a copy of the photos and 2D/3D floor plan copied into their private HomeDiary, compliments of me! Joel did an amazing job capturing the charm and space of this Mt Baker area Seattle home. Keep up the great work.

 

Rick Franz

Managing Broker, Windermere Real Estate

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Zillow Doubling your fees?  Fight Back with Call2Action

Zillow Doubling your fees? Fight Back with Call2Action

My mom, a realtor with ReeceNichols in Kansas City (www.Kansascitylifestyles.com), just made the decision to cancel her Zillow Premier agent membership because her fees went from $500 a month to $1240 a month for the same zip code! Wow, talk about the power of a monopoly!

If you are in the same boat, or if you want to just try to get more leads from places like Zillow, here is a step by step guide on how to fight back, and get more leads without giving up an arm and a leg.

Step 1. Upload the Call2Action photo to your MLS, and place it in photo spot #3.  Learn more about the Call2Action photo here

The Call2Action photo is a free composite image we create of the photos and the floorplan (or if photos only, just the photos).  You can download this photo by going to Manage Tours, then click on the Photos & Marketing Tools link under Tour Details.

The idea is this image is used it as a “teaser” to let the viewer know there is more exclusive content on the tour – just go find the tour link (which is usually below the main content on the portals) and see more!  It is NOT clickable…because it is an image, but it is used to highlight the floorplan and tour link.  The unbranded version is generic so it can be uploaded to the MLS and distributed along with the other photos…and the tour.  So for sites that show the tour link via IDX (like Redfin), at least people can view the virtual tour (and on certain sites we even convert the tour to branded automatically).  If a site does not pull in virtual tour links, then it lets that user know there is more content out there…and they will find it on other places like Zillow or Realtor.com, which can lead them back to YOU!  They may even just Google for the address, and if you have our Free YouTube video, then that typically comes up on page 1 of Google search….and it has the tour link there too!

Step 2. For Zillow, login as the agent (you can get a free Zillow account and claim your listings) and upload the Branded Call2Action photo to your listing, and delete the unbranded, if it got pulled in from the MLS.  Move the branded Call2Action photo to position #3 by clicking and dragging it to the right spot.  While you are there, you can add our tour link if it did not get distributed to Zillow.  Then Save at the bottom.  This is ALL FREE to do on Zillow.

This takes maybe 1-2 minutes to do…but it can benefit you tremendously!

See it on Zillow – Click here to check out one of Linda’s listing with the Call2Action photo in spot #3. 

Step 3. Other sites.  If you have access to other sites like Trulia you can do the same.  We also use a version of this Call2Action photo for our Craigslist ad poster (it has a /cl/ tracker in the link) and provide the marketing text in copy and paste fashion.  So if you post to Craigslist this is a great way to leverage this tool, for free.  See the Craigslist ad poster on the Marketing Center page as well.

If you really want to get fancy, you can use our embed code to embed the whole tour on your website, in a blog post, etc.  It works just like embedding a YouTube video.  Click here to read more on our embeddable content.

– Happy posting

Kris Cone