SPOTLIGHT TOUR OF THE WEEK 21

SPOTLIGHT TOUR OF THE WEEK 21

Stunning Hill Country Ranchette

Blanco, Texas

www.1555brushyridgetrail.com

The spring listing season is upon us and our team of photographers and production staff have been busy shooting homes and offering many new add-on services. These new services, available in select service areas, include: twilight, custom video, aerial, MatterPort and HDR.

This week’s SPOTLIGHT TOUR features many of those new services and comes from Twist Tours in Texas, our market owner for FloorPlanOnline in the Texas Hill Country. It showcases our brand new “Story” platform which is our single property website and is offered in four different type styles: Traditional, Estate, Cottage & Modern. The following tour is using the Estate design.

Amanda Terry from Twist provided the amazing HDR photography and MatterPort, while Marc Spillman did the aerial and video work for this tour.

The new Story feature is the most visually stunning and comprehensive method to present a detailed view of a listing’s architecture and character. I especially appreciate its user friendliness coupled with the ability to customize the style and the presentation. I found that it truly appeals to buyers as an interactive resource for information and Sellers as quality component of their marketing campaign.

Andi Eystad

Realtor, Anders Ranch Realty

If you are interested in listing your home or have questions, please contact:

Andi Eystad

Residential | Farm & Ranch Realtor

Anders Realty

302 Main St, Johnson City, TX 78636
THE STORY:  The ALL-In-ONE TOUR

THE STORY: The ALL-In-ONE TOUR

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

Lead Capture

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.

Virtual Reality Tours Can Help You Sell Your Listings

Virtual Reality Tours Can Help You Sell Your Listings

Looking for that competitive edge?  Check out VR.

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.

Aerial Photography & The Law

Aerial Photography & The Law

Know Before You Fly.

Aerial photos and video are great for real estate listings, but did you know YOU and the drone pilot can be fined up to $11,000 by the FAA for each illegal flight?

Now that the FAA rules around aerial photography for commercial purposes (including real estate listings) are fairly clear, it is extremely important to only work with FAA licensed pilots – either a pilot that holds a Section 333 exemption or a person that holds a Part 107 remote pilot certificate.

If you are using someone that does not hold one of these certificates, you could be subject to fines up to $11,000 per occurrence and possible jail time!

However, just having the right credentials does not mean you can fly.  There can be local restrictions, either imposed by the FAA airspace classifications, or even the city.  Read below for specific detail of the situation in Seattle, currently the fastest growing city in America. The same situation is likely very applicable to your area.

Seattle Airspace Example

To illustrate the complexity and reason you need someone that knows what they are doing, let’s look at Seattle. The Seattle area has many airports that carve up the airspace between class B, C, D and E.  Certain high value residential areas, like ALL of Mercer Island and all much of the Seattle-Lake Washington waterfront are actually restricted areas.  If you fly here without approval, or meeting the rules, you are flying illegally and subject to fine, or worse…if something goes wrong, you could be looking at potential jail time too!

If you are using someone that has no knowledge of these airspaces, that is your first clue.  So do a test and ask them about airspace and see what they say.  If they have no idea what the solid blue, dashed blue or other lines means in the picture above, you should not use that person. Or, even what the orange circle means and why it is strictly prohibited to fly there. It is not worth the risk to you and your business. As part of getting a Part 107 certificate, you learn about these airspaces and why it is important to pay attention to them.

So let’s look at a couple of specific areas that are prime candidates for aerial imagery.

Mercer Island is a very affluent area where the average home is over $1 million, since it is 10 minutes from downtown Seattle, yet it has it’s own village like community.  ALL of Mercer Island is in a Class D airspace, because the Renton airport, and a Boeing plant, are just south of the island. The second a drone takes off, you are in Class D airspace.  That means you need FAA approval to fly there in the first place – before you fly!  To get approval, the remote pilot in command must fill out a form with the FAA and wait for approval. They say it can take up to 90 days!  Obviously this does not work well for real estate photography.

To speed the process, we have applied for an exemption from the FAA for the specific purpose of real estate photography on Mercer Island and the Seattle-Lake Washington waterfront, so we are waiting to see if we get approved.  If we do, then we should be able to do aerial photography on a much more timely basis and this will be an advantage over other providers as we will be 100% legal!

However…there is more. The City of Seattle has its own rules, of course!

Real estate photography comes under the Film Office jurisdiction. In order to do any kind of photography or video legally in the Seattle city limits for a commercial purpose, you MUST hold a Section 333 exemption, you have to have a permit (3 day period to get that at a minimum and $25 fee) and you need to meet their other rules.  A couple of onerous ones being you have to notify all people in the neighborhood 72 hours in advance AND you can’t fly within 500 feet of any nonparticipant unless they are under cover of a structure.

How is this practically applied for a real estate shoot?  Not very easily…

Per discussions with city employees, they are actively looking at how the Part 107 certificate holders (what FloorPlanOnline people have in most cases) can provide services legally.  Let’s hope they are smarter about this than other things the city does…  Until then we are not flying within the Seattle City limits.  If you are using someone that does, and they do not hold a Sec. 333 exemption specific for the purpose of filming (which I highly doubt anyone in Seattle has given it is public info and only 3 people have an exemption in the whole area), then you are doing it illegally.  Buyer beware!

So what is the risk of just doing it, either using someone not licensed or without FAA approval? The FAA is now handing out fines, that can reach up to $11,000 for each occurrence.  One guy that did not receive monetary compensation, yet the FAA viewed as a commercial purpose, received a $55,000 fine for 5 different events he filmed.  If a drone pilot has to land and change batteries, that is 2 occurrences, even if it is the same property.  You can see how this could add up.

Plus, the City of Seattle has prosecuted a drone operator that had a drone crash and knock out a lady during a parade.  He was sentenced to 30 days in jail.   Finally, what if a drone went rogue, hit an airplane or car and caused a catastrophic event.  You and others would be sued big time, not to mention you would likely be put out of business.

How would the FAA or City of Seattle find your aerial photos?  All they have to do is look on Zillow and view the images.  You as the listing agent will be listed.  So it would not be difficult for them to pursue this easily just by viewing photos people post online.  If they come knocking and you do not have the proof of legally being able to fly, you face fines or more penalties.

The bottom line is not to scare you.  But it is to educate you to make the right business decision and hire the right people for the job.  It is not worth you saving $50 or $100 to hire a college kid or unlicensed drone operator. We do have licensed pilots in WA, NJ, NY, CT, and TX, and more to come down the road. But as you see, just because you hold a valid license does not mean you can fly in all areas.  So be smart and know before you fly and hire the right company for the job!

HomeDiary Claim Home

HomeDiary Claim Home

Introducing Claim Home, powered by HomeDiary

 

Now every buyer can claim their new home right from the FloorPlanOnline virtual tour.  With the click of a button, the buyer sends a request to you as the listing agent to approve giving a copy of the photos and floor plans (including the 3D Space planner) to the buyer in their own private HomeDiary account.  Now, that great content created on the “For Sale” side of the transaction can live on with the “For Living” side!  No other virtual tour platform has this capability because no one else has their 2016-10-04_1202own 3D floor plan tool that can do the amazing things the FloorPlanOnline tool can do!

Right now, the Claim Home feature is live on the Full Screen tour.  We will be working to add it on other tour versions.  If you want it on your tour now, simply go to Edit Details from the Manage Tours page and select the Full Screen tour option, then save at the bottom.  The Claim Home button will then show under tools as you see in the above screen shot.

Then just look for the approval request from the buyer.  You can also point out this feature to the buy side agent as a courtesy to them and their client.

We are currently working on some market research as part of our participation in the NAR REach program around HomeDiary options and integrations with some of the tools you already use, such as transaction management platforms, CRM systems and even some larger regional brokerages.  So stay tuned for some interesting things to come as we approach the National Association of Realtors’ annual convention.

Introducing Call2Action

Introducing Call2Action

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.  call2action_branded (13)

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.