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.
Get your tour found on popular websites & Get More Leads!
Every paid tour or account includes some great FREE, built-in tour distribution options for your tours. These include YouTube video distribution, linking the tour and listing to Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com and more. We can also link the tour automatically to your local MLS, or if not available, you can always add your tour to the MLS by editing your listing and adding in the virtual tour link (check your MLS help desk for specific instructions). You can even import your flyer, floorplans and photos right into xpressdocs and get flyers or brochures mailed right to your door.
Plus, we are now the only tour company allowed to upload our automated walkthrough video (or custom video, if applicable) directly to your listing on Zillow. It comes complete with an intro/exist agent branding slide so your information can be the first thing users see when they look at the media associated with your listing! No other tour company has this capability to post automated slideshow videos. Let’s leverage this together.
To Get Started marketing your tour, make sure your profile includes the various websites where you want it distributed. Go to Edit Profile at the top when logged in, and select Edit Tour Linking & Distribution. Then check the box next to each website option. Please allow up to 48 hours from the time you publish the tour for linking to be completed, a little more time for the video to show up on Zillow, because it is currently a manual process on all ends for FloorPlanOnline and Zillow. To see where the tour is linked or to use the Facebook or Craigslist tools, go to Manage Tours when logged in, then click the Photos & Marketing Tools link to get to the Marketing Center. At the bottom you will see some options like this…
Note on Zillow & Trulia Linking. If your company or MLS distributes the tour to Zillow or Trulia, anything we do will not matter, as there is a hierarchy of tour distribution and these sites do not combine listing info from different sources. Therefore it is important to ensure your virtual tour link is included with that listing distribution from these other sources. Even if they pull in the unbranded tour, it is ok….because we now automatically convert it to the branded tour via our patent-pending BrandKeepr functionality. We suggest you visit the Edit My BrandKeeper Profile under Edit Profileand make sure your website, blog and your company website are listed. With BrandKeeper, we automatically convert the unbranded tour that might have been pulled in from the MLS into the branded tour on various websites. We automatically do this for websites like Zillow and Trulia and your website added in your profile. But you can add other sites too, like your company website. Just don’t enter a competitor site, as that can be a violation of MLS IDX rules.
We believe these new tools will get you more leads for your listings than anything else out there….so stay tuned! And that is why you should get your tours linked and updated now!
We just released the best way to get a buyer on the line, and then hook’em. The Call2Action PhotoTM!
Now, every newly published tour has a composite image of select content from the tour called the Call2Action Photo. It features the exclusive content like the floorplan image, a video screen shot and some other photos. It is designed to be used on sites like Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com (the 3 together make up over 70% of the real estate traffic) to leverage their massive monthly traffic to get more people coming to your virtual tour. Once they are there, use our event-based lead capture to communicate and seal the deal!
The Call2Action photo can be uploaded to Zillow and moved to say position #2 to let the viewer know there is cooler, better content on the virtual tour. Download the branded version right from the Marketing Center main page. We also have an unbranded version (that does not have the tour link but just calls out to click the virtual tour) that can be used on the MLS. This can then get swept to Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com, sites that typically include the virtual tour links via Listhub distribution.
Coming soon – We are also working on some updated tour posting solutions for Zillow and Craigslist…that can make the posting of the virtual tour either automatic, or as simple as a few steps. We can also upload the branded Call2Action photo right into your Zillow listing. We hope to launch this new feature within the next few weeks, so stay tuned!
PS. The Call2Action photo is live on all tours published as of September 19th. If you want it on an older tour, just go to Edit Tour, then Edit Photos/Video and hit the save button. The branded Call2Action photo should then show up as a button in the Marketing Center.
According to an NAR research survey*, buyers think floor plans are very useful as part of a website’s listing content. We of course have always been big believers that floor plans help sell homes and provide a vital piece of the marketing puzzle for listings. After all, photos show how the seller lives in the home. A floor plan shows how the buyer can live in it! Well, we worked with the National Association of Realtors’ research team to get floor plans included in their annual survey for home buyers and sellers. And the results are in:
55% of Buyers stated floor plans were VERY Helpful as part of a website’s content features. Anecdotally, over 80% view floor plans as useful or very useful.
In fact, they were right behind photos and detailed property info (Exhibit 3-09). The top 5 items ranked for “Very Useful” (the highest choice possible):
How can floor plans help you get more listings or sell homes faster?
What is there to differentiate you and your listing on these websites from all of the other agents and listings? Nothing.
Think about it. The same photos are all pulled from the same source (the MLS), and while one site might display them a bit differently, there is nothing really different from the hundreds of sites that have your listing content. They all regurgitate the same (often small sized) photos. They also typically do not show your contact info, or if they do, you have 3 or 4 other agents competing with you, on your own listing.
The good news is our virtual tour can help! We help leave breadcrumbs back to you.
The virtual tour features HD sized photos that fill the screen, 2D and 3D floor plans, a 3D designer (our floor planning tool), the flyer with floor plans, a video and more. All of this can help differentiate you on the web that can help you get more buyers and sellers coming to you, because they can see a difference, and as the NAR research shows, they appreciate content that can help them make a better decision. After all, 62% of home buyers are under 52. They want digital content. They use the web to not only find homes (44% first went online to search for homes for sale and 51% found the home they bought on the Internet), but to find agents, or help validate their decision. We call this The Silent Interview – the way people are silently evaluating who they want to work with to help them either sell their home, or buy a new one, or both.
Another tip. We automatically create a Call2Action photo – a composite image that includes the floor plan and 4 photos with the text of the virtual tour link. We provide both a branded and unbranded version. The unbranded version can be included with most MLS systems as a listing photo. Since people will see the unbranded link, it complies with the MLS branding rules. But, you can login to Zillow and Realtor.com and replace that unbranded image with the branded one. This informs people viewing the listing that there is more content out there – go find it on the virtual tour! We strongly suggest AGAINST including images of the floor plans in the photo gallery – as that creates less of an incentive to click the tour link or type it in. The goal is to get the user to the branded tour, so YOU can have an opportunity to engage in lead capture. So leverage the fact a listing is on Zillow, just make sure you get the person coming to you, via the virtual tour.
There are also other creative ways to leverage the content we create for you. One of our customers in the Seattle area is not only leveraging the Call2Action photo on Zillow, but she is putting it right on the yard sign. She printed it out, laminated it, and stapled it to the sign, as you see here. A great idea! Saves paper, gives the browsers a link to the tour via the link or QR code, and teases them to go see more, including videos, floor plans and of course the 3D Designer.
Speaking of the 3D Designer. We are the only virtual tour company in the US with their own 3D floor plan tool. That gives us control and innovative options. With the click of a button, any potential buyer can open up their private version of the 3D Designer and experiment with changing flooring, wall colors or even seeing what an open concept might look like with the click of a few buttons. This tool brings those HGTV-like tools you see on TV, right to your listing. Plus, add our Enhanced 3D package to your floor plan to closely match what the house looks like, all virtually.
Finally, if someone buys the home, all of this great information can be claimed by the buyer via the virtual tour and the Claim Home button. This includes the listing photos and the 2D/3D FloorPlans and Designer! The seller can also claim the home and get a copy of the same content in their own private HomeDiary. No other tour platform has this capability. Look more at the NAR report. While the vast majority of people say they would use their agent again on another transaction, in reality, only 11% actually do. HomeDiary helps you stay connected over time.
Sellers and their agents.
So leverage all of this great information and features to win the listing appointment. Talk about it and incorporate screen shots into your listing presentation. Call it out on your flyer or at open houses, such as this home comes with a HomeDiary! This is a great way for you to differentiate yourself and your listings from the masses and get more and more people coming to you.
When you did into the data (Exhibit 7-1), the vast majority of sellers found their agent from referral first. I would advocate the web can be a referring source IF YOU differentiate yourself. That means you have to stand out. Doing the same thing everyone else is doing does not cut it. if you can stand out, chances are, you can be the ONE (in 72% of the time) agent people go with. Better yet, younger sellers (36 and under) go with one agent 82% of the time! And 55% of the time you can not only get the listing, but get the new home purchase too! However, while 85% of Sellers would use the agent again (or recommend the agent – Exhibit 7-10), in reality, only 25% used the same agent. So a huge drop off (this actually has gotten better compared to previous surveys). One of the main reasons is after one year, 70% of homeowners FORGOT their agent’s name. So, stay in touch and be relevant. Our free HomeDiary service can help – read how you can invite your clients for free.
In summary, we provide a lot of content, tools and ways to differentiate yourself. It takes a little bit of time, but your will reap the rewards with more listings and more buy-side opportunities.
The STORY: The ONE tour that combines any kind of listing content into a site that gets distributed through the web so you can leverage your free marketing opportunity on Zillow, Realtor.com & Trulia!
The Story is a new, easy-to-use single property website that makes your listing, and you look amazing. It’s FLASH free & mobile friendly, so those 60% of viewers using their mobile device still can see the great content created for your listing, including interactive floor plans. Featuring YOUR branding & flexible for ALL content types. Welcome to the Story.
HERE’S HOW IT WORKS
You can select the Story option under “Tour Frame Type.” Then select the theme you want.
The STORY has 4 Themes
All the content buyers want to see
Get more leads by differentiating yourself and your listings online with amazing listing content. See a sample – click to view our Demo House listing
Photo Grid with Full Screen Images
2D & 3D Floor Plans
Claim Home to HomeDiary for Buyer
3D plan with improved room planner coming soon
Embed Matterport, YouTube, Vimeo
Join the conversation. Let us know what you think by commenting using your Facebook account.
What is VR? It is an artificial, computer-generated environment that you experience as if you were inside the image, or in this case the home. Put on a virtual reality headset and you can go on a tour of a home without ever setting foot inside the door, not only making house hunting more efficient, but also helping to reduce stress in a relocation situation. As far as the selling process with VR, distance doesn’t matter. You can offer the same experience to a client in the United States and a client in Hong Kong, 24 hours a day.
One problem that has plagued real estate agents for decades is that an empty home is a difficult sell. Without furniture and all of the other little touches that turn a house into a home it can be very difficult for a potential buyer to imagine themselves living in a particular property. With technology, the virtual solution solves this dilemma and ‘staging’ a home, just got less expensive and easier than lugging in actual pieces of furniture to fill a home when it’s open for inspection. FloorPlanOnline’s 3D floor plan solution allows anyone to drag and drop furniture onto a “clean slate” floor plan model and virtually stage it with furniture. Better yet, they can virtually change wall colors, flooring, or even experiment with removing a wall to see what an open concept might look like. Click a button and see it in 3D from the top, or go all in with immersive First Person view. Our 3D plan enhances some of the other cool 3D tours like Matterport, which show all of the sellers’s stuff in the property, as well by converting any Matterport tour into a 3D model that allows you or the owner to do anything, all virtually and in real time.
But is this really what consumers want? According to Coldwell Banker’s 2018 Smart Home Marketplace survey (download PDF here), the answer is YES! Th CB study reveals insights on how smart home tech and VR (Virtual Reality) are set to benefit consumers in a myriad of ways. Their survey included responses from 3,000 adults revealing that:
77% of homebuyers would like virtual reality tours before seeing the listing in person.
84% agree they would love to see video footage of homes before visiting
Another 68% would like to use technology to see how their current furniture would actually look in a new home.
Further, 62% of Americans said they would be more apt to go with a real estate agent, that offered VR Tours over an agent who did not.
Click Here to view an example 3D Space Planner, standard with all FloorPlanOnline Tours and HomeDiary users.
When it comes to Smart Home products that could make or break a sale, the table below shows a percentage of Americans who already own, or plan to purchase, Smart Home products.
The following Smart Home Products were picked by respondents to be the most important pre-install in a listing:
Smart Thermostat – 77%
Smart Fire Detector – 75%
Smart Cardon Monodie Detector – 70%
Smart Camera – 66%
Smart Lock – 63%
Smart Lighting System – 63%
While some of the changes expected to hit real estate technology may be a decade out to be fully felt, the movement is taking steps forward every day. Virtual Reality has proven its worth and it won’t be long before it transforms the property-buying experience for home buyers all over the world.
FloorPlanOnline’s HomeDiary PRO service is the perfect online tool to help showcase your listings, and well as provide a unique homeowner management tool to all of your clients for one low annual fee. With HomeDiary PRO, you can provide an HGTV-like 3D floor plan tool to all of your clients to they can Dream, Manage and Do more with their home. To learn more visit HomeDiary PRO. Existing FloorPlanOnline customers, please contact sales for special options.