According to a recent 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.
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):
- Property Photos
- Detailed Property information
- Floor Plans
- Virtual Tours
- Recently Sold Home Data
You can see the complete report here (page 47): NAR Home Buyers & Sellers Generational Trends Report*
How can floor plans help you get more listings or sell homes faster?
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. They all regurgitate the same (often small sized) photos. Except our virtual tour. The virtual tour features HD sized photos that fill the screen, 2D and 3D floor plans, a 3D designer, 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.
View our video on how to Win the Silent Interview and get more listings by being differentiated online.
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 we automatically create 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. Like 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! 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. See page
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.
*Copyright ©201 “Home Buyers & Sellers Generational Trends Report 2017.” NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission. March 7, 2017, https://www.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/reports/2017/2017-home-buyer-and-seller-generational-trends-03-07-2017.pdf
We are very excited and honored to be part of a group of companies selected to REach® Real Estate accelerator’s class of 2016 by the National Association of REALTORS® (“NAR”), the largest trade association in North America. The REach® program is run by Second Century Ventures (“SCV”), the technology fund and strategic arm of NAR. The goal of the program is to help companies refine their product, strategy and process and to accelerate the exposure across the more than 1 million REALTORS® in the United States.
After a detailed selection process that included more than 200 company applications, HomeDiary, powered by FloorPlanOnline, was one of 8 companies chosen for bringing it’s 2D & 3D floor plan virtualization platform and digital recordkeeping tools to any home. You can read NAR’s press release here. Through the FloorPlanOnline platform, REALTORS® have been able to differentiate their listings and themselves by focusing on the top 2 things buyers want to see – big HD photos and interactive floor plans. Through a sponsored HomeDiary, REALTORS® will now be able to stay in touch with their clients in a relevant way for years to come as the homeowner manages their home.
“HomeDiary is bringing HGTV-like 3D tools to any homeowner, making it simpler to create a 2D and 3D floor plan for a room or a whole house,” said Alex Lange, operating partner of SCV. “We are excited to introduce HomeDiary to more than a million NAR members while providing the company with access to experts and influencers in the real estate industry to help accelerate their already-amazing toolsets.”
“Over the course of the next few months HomeDiary will be refining the go to market strategy and product options for the Closing Gift, a new product that will bring 3D floor plans to any newly purchased home,” said Kris Cone, CEO of FloorPlanOnline & HomeDiary. “Our focus is to make it easy and cost effective to get a 3D floor plan for any home, starting at free! We will also be leveraging our FloorPlanOnline infrastructure to be able to visit virtually any home throughout the US to create a floor plan, complete with our drag and drop RoomPlanner tool, as well as other tools to enable homeowners to document and manage their home.”
Homeowners can get started for free at HomeDiary.com. Options for REALTORS® will be coming soon, so stay tuned!
We wanted to share some exciting news with you about our recent deal with the Florida Association of Realtors and its 115,000 members. You can read the release here on Yahoo Finance.
The deal provides a general discount to members who subscribe to the FloorPlanOnline Subscription program. In addition, all subscribers get to use the new cool 2D and 3D floor plan tool with roomplanner for FREE! Now, any listing can have a 2D and 3D floor plan, and it will not cost an arm, or leg, to get it! For agents that have an appraisal sketch, marketing brochure or other draft floor plan sketch, they can upload the image as a background photo and use the system to scale and trace over the image to get an accurate, to scale floor plan in minutes (see our video tutorials for more). Plus, you can use our system to trace over a Matterport scan to do the same (we have a specific video on how to do that our our video tutorials page)
The benefit or redrawing any source floor plan is we create a clean 2D floor plan for viewing and print marketing, a 3D Floor Plan model that has top and first person views, and it includes the RoomPlanner tool that allows the buyer to ultimately save the floor plan and use it as a tool for when they move in!
We also offer full service in the South Florida area with HDR photography standard. See an example Full Service tour for the Florida market here.
We have a new opening for our growing Seattle market for a Photographer & FloorPlan Technician
Seattle/Bellevue Market Area
FloorPlanOnline is looking for a photographer & floor plan technician to be a part of our growing Seattle area team. FloorPlanOnline is the innovator of the Interactive FloorPlan and has been in business for 10 years now. This position offers several unique things compared to other virtual tour/photography companies, as follows:
- You are applying for a salaried, full-time employee position, not a contract gig. You will receive a base salary plus commission based on the volume of work you produce and your work experience.
- We focus on photography plus floor plans. Your skills are enhanced with floor plan tours that showcase the home in 2D and 3D.
- You will be part of the Seattle area team that will explore and invent new ways of doing things so you can help shape the future of our company!
- You will have an opportunity to grow into a market manager as we grow.
If you are interested in working with a growing and dynamic company and love real estate photography and HGTV-like floor plan visuals, our position is for you!
Position duties include:
- Visiting properties to take photos and map the base floor plan. You do a base edit of the content and upload materials to our production operation, who produces the actual tour.
- Visiting real estate offices to present at office meetings and introduce yourself and the FloorPlanOnline marketing program. Marketing materials and visuals will be provided.
- Account management and in field sales with real estate agents.
- Future recruitment and management of other area photographers
- Work with FloorPlanOnline corporate personnel to enhance and optimize the infield processes.
- Work with the FloorPlanOnline Sales Team on opportunities and leads.
Experience with photography for real estate and/or floor plan drawing, appraisal services, etc is a plus.
Experience with floor plan drafting is not necessary but highly desired.
Must pass a background check.
Must have a reliable car.
Having our own photography equipment is a plus
Willing to work between the hours of 8 am to 6 pm M-F, possibly some weekends as needed.
Base pay commensurate with experience.
To apply, please send your resume using the form below.
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.
Look for more to come in the next half of 2015!
Kris Cone, CEO/Co-Founder