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):

  1. Property Photos
  2. Detailed Property information
  3. Floor Plans
  4. Virtual Tours
  5. 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?

Floor plans can tie into a strategy for how to be seen throughout the web on places like Zillow, Realtor.com and the like.  By incorporating our content in smart ways, you can leverage those sites and the millions of people that go there every month, but ultimately get people coming to you and the virtual tour by marketing the fact you have floor plans tied to the listing, via the virtual tour (also highly ranked in terms of usefulness per the survey).  This about it. You upload photos to the MLS, and they go everywhere – The MLS, your and your company website, Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com and hundreds of other places.  What is there to differentiate your website from all of these others?  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. 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