I just saw this blog post on Linkedin, and thought it was an interesting, and applicable read, to what we are doing with helping to market real estate. It basically says a human has an attention span of 8 seconds, so if you can’t capture the user within that timeframe, they move on. You can read the full post here.
The post says to follow these rules for content marketing some parts copied verbatim):
1. Capture the attention quickly. In our case – the tour has to load quickly to display the content.
2. Content needs to be engaging (e.g. shareable) in the ecosystem it lives in. Eg We focus on floorplan content, something that buyers want to see as it shows how their family can live in a home.
3. Content needs to be authentic. For FPO, each house is different and unique.
4. Employees are your best ambassadors: with FPO, we run an employee-owned company and strive to provide helpful, US-based customer service.
5. It’s a marriage, not a one night stand. If your brand starts producing content for social media, its a commitment to your audience, not an experiment.
I relate this 8 second stat to tours out there today. Matterport has received a lot of press in the last year….yet from a user perspective, it can take 20 to 30 seconds, or more, for it to load. And then, the user has to point and click, spending valuable time, just to screen a property. Don’t get me wrong, it is cool technology, but is it the right technology to use as THE base marketing tool? I say no. Per independent research, buyers want to see #1 – Big Photos and #2 – FloorPlans. Videos, 360s, and everything else are ancillary. That is why we created our Full Screen HD Tour…to showcase a property with big large content and to let people quickly screen properties, to then take the next step.
We have long had a way to add a custom video to your tour, such as a YouTube or Vimeo video. Well, this same tool can be used to embed a Matterport 3D home scan into your tour. Just copy and paste the embed code provided by Matterport into the Custom Video section on Edit Details. We are working on some enhanced ways to embed content, including being able to change icons and multiple embeddable content options…so look for that soon. In the meantime, see this example tour.
or here is the embedded version, where you can embed your whole tour on a webpage or blog post, just like this, and easily provide all that great content on your own website! Just click Video to see the Matterport Tour.
Note, we drew the floor plan from the top view of the home scan. So, you can provide us the embed code and we can create the floorplan just from the scan. As a Subscriber, that is just $30, or if you create a self service tour, it is just $69 to clean up a plan, up to 10,000 sq ft! The photos were taken from screen shots of the tour as well, so that is why the quality is less and you can see the dots of the scan placement.
While at this time we do not officially provide the matter port Scan service, this at least allows you to embed it into the overall virtual tour and still use our platform for the print marketing (customizable brochures with the clean floor plan), tour distribution, YouTube Videos and even lead capture on the tours. Plus you are in complete control of when and where the virtual tour shows and what people can see, since your system has supported virtual tour functionality for the last 10 years!
We have made some great updates to the Full Screen HD Tour. Updates include:
Speed improvements. Tours loads within seconds
TRUE 1920×1080 p images. Other tour providers show smaller images which look fuzz on HD screens
Zoom On/Off. You can turn photo zoom off to see the whole image.
Works on iPad. We use the same viewer on the iPad. It looks great!
View the video to see a quick overview
To set-up a tour using the Full Screen Tour, just go to Manage Tours, then Edit Details for the listing, and select the Full Screen Tour at the top of the page. You can also set it as the default tour by going to Edit Profile and selecting the Full Screen Tour option.
Here is a great new article from RealtorMag about a study conducted by the WAV Group and Victor Lund that talks about how the portal sites like Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com are not driving traffic back to broker’s websites….and that YouTube is one of the top referring sites, thanks to Google. See the full post from the WAV Group here. He further states there should be a driving force to get virtual tours on every listing.
Google was also a top referrer, and that has important implications for virtual tours on YouTube because “Google displays YouTube results in the search results above the fold,” Lund writes. “That means that the video gets great SEO — usually better than the broker’s listing detail page. This is the driving force behind the strategy of publishing virtual tours on every company listing.”
Luckily, as a FloorPlanOnline customer, we generate a free YouTube video for each listing, and we can post it either to our YouTube channel or yours. Just set it up under your Linking Profile. The video is all automatic, based on your settings under the Edit Photo/Video tab. You can even add text or video clips. Some of the other guys charge you $20, and it is a manual process. Plus, we are working on a cool new video update this fall…so stay tuned for that update. A preview of what it might look like is in this post.
This study highlights the importance of a new tool we have been working on for the last month, called our Call2Action Photo. The goal of the Call2Action Photo is to get more users to the virtual tour, where lead capture and engagement can happen. The photo is a composite image of the floor plan, a video screen shot and several other images, with the virtual tour link prominently displayed and text that says Get Exclusive Content. So now, leverage the traffic on Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, Craigslist or other websites and create an incentive for people to get the exclusive content, like floor plans, on the virtual tour!
When you think about it, the virtual tour is the ONLY piece of content that can live on all of these websites (as well as your competitor sites) and drive traffic back to the listing. If your tour features floor plans, the #2 requested item from buyers, and if you do not upload the floor plans as images with other photos (we think this is very important not to do), then the only place people will be able to see the floorplans is via the tour. This creates an opportunity for the potential buyer to find your tour, and you!
Plus, we are also the only company that automatically converts your unbranded tour pulled in from the MLS to a branded one on sites like Zillow with our exclusive Brandkeepr technology. So when you combine:
The Virtual Tour distributed throughout the top websites, like Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, Craigslist and YouTube
Our Brandkeepr technology that converts unbranded to branded tours
Our Lead Capture tools that can engage a user after 4 clicks around the floor plan
And now our Call2Action photo
You get More Traffic, More Leads and More Results
But wait…it gets better! Introducing a new option for corporate accounts where we can actually rebrand our virtual tour link with your domain name. So, Zillow can actually drive traffic to the tour which is now considered your website! This means more visitors, more visits and more time on site, thanks to Zillow’s traffic! This custom tour rebranding can be easily done with a sub domain, like tours.kw.com/xxxxxx, or with a little work on the IT side, like kw.com/tours/xxxxxx where xxxxxx is our virtual tour ID. This feature is exclusive to corporate account customers. Please use the contact from below to discuss adding this feature to your account/sub accounts.
The bottom line, you need to provide something different than the same photos and text a user will find on Zillow, Realtor.com or your company website. The FloorPlanOnline virtual tour does that, with the clickable floor plans, the RoomPlanner tool, flyer and other marketing tools we provide exclusive to the listing. Buyers want to see floor plans….the virtual tour is the bait that will let you set the hook! Plus, we can embed it on your website and further keep the user engaged.
Introducing the new Full Screen Tour viewer! We recently released this real estate marketing update that showcases your tours in stunning HD content. The new viewer features huge photos – they fill the browser window on any computer and look amazing, even on the big Apple Cinema Display that is 2560 pixels wide! Plus all of the other content like the FloorPlan, RoomPlanner, Map fill the screen too. The video rests over the background image of the tour and plays within a window, but you can also pop that to full screen. Note, if you want a different background image for the video, just select a different photo as the first photo in the Photo view of the tour.
If you are tired of those virtual tours that only occupy a small part of your screen, this tour viewer is for you! We feature the content in a viewer window that is up to 75% larger than the other guys!
Works on iPad too! If you select the Full Screen Tour for your default viewer, we also use this on the iPad. As with other tours, everything works, except the RoomPlanner tool, which is still in Flash (note, we are working on some enhancements for that tool this fall). All other tours will continue to use the tabbed tour on the iPad.
If you would like to see a sample, just click here.
Full Screen Photos
If you want to change your tours to full screen, just create a new tour, select the Full Screen Tour option as you go through the steps, or if you want to change an existing tour, just login, go to Manage Tours and select the Edit Details link for the listing. Note. You may need to do this for each tour as you place it for now. We hope you enjoy this free tour enhancement!
We recently launched a new 2 page flyer template that has one large photo on the front and then the floorplans and more photos and text on the back (or if it is a photo tour it had more photos on the left hand side). Just select the template when you go to Edit Flyer, as shown below. Mouse over the color area and click to open the color palette that allows you to pick a color…or even enter a custom color code, so you can match it exactly to your branding.
You can show or hide various things like Price, the QR code or even the tour link. The flyer can also be uploaded or imported into xpressdocs right from your account, or you should be able to upload it to any other printing company to get professionally printed flyers.
To get started just login to your account and go to Manage Tours, then Edit Tour/Edit Flyer. Download a Sample Flyer