August 29, 2019
By RICOH Tours Team
Win the listing! That’s the first step for any real estate agent who builds a successful business. While a listing presentation can simply be a conversation with a homeowner, the best prepared and highest performing agents include the latest marketing tools to demonstrate their expertise, build confidence and win the listing. With a listing, you are essentially creating an image of you and your business to other potential clients. You are selling your unique brand. How you come across to your seller and, more importantly, to your buyers is critical. How do you make the best impression without spending a lot of money or time? Let’s look at some of the facts.
The majority of home buyers start their search online and, in terms of those surveyed, the value of website that feature virtual tours rank more useful than videos by over a 2 to 1 margin, consistent with Zillow results. Buyers want to get a sense of how a home really looks and feels, something beyond what they can experience with a conventional photograph. In another survey conducted by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) it states that homes marketed with virtual tours typically sell for more, and sell faster than homes marketed with conventional photographs.
If virtual tours sound like the way to go, they are. But hiring professionals to produce interactive virtual tours costs a significant chunk of change. For example, for a 3,000 square foot home you can expect to spend anywhere from $150 to $500—and double that if you plan to add videos to the listing. There is also the turn-around time factor, having to schedule, coordinate and wait for the results.
Another more budget-friendly, less time-consuming option is to do it yourself. By going the DIY route, you put yourself in the driver’s seat. Being in control means you save on the expense of hiring an expert and gives you the opportunity to broaden your skill set. Furthermore, knowing that virtual property tours are one of the most impactful areas in a real estate transaction, you’re armed with the knowledge that you’re making a significant investment in your future success.
There are several options when it comes to DIY. Some solutions produce video game-like virtual tour experiences but this generally comes with a hefty price tag. You can expect to spend several days learning how to use the equipment, and once at the property, expect to be there for several hours capturing and finishing the content.
You can also use your smartphone with an accessory. Unfortunately, professional quality 360° tours don’t come from using a smartphone accessory. You really need a high quality 360° camera for this. A good starting point is the Ricoh Theta V together with the Ricoh TM-1 monopod–a very affordable and simple-to-use option along with Ricoh’s end-to-end virtual tour platform– RICOH Tours. Besides being easy to use, RICOH Tours can capture and create a virtual tour of a 3,000 square foot home in less than 30 minutes. That’s an end-to-end virtual tour almost instantly.
So how do you go about making your 360°, interactive virtual tours unique? Read our tips below to make your tour stand out.
Buying a home is a big decision. In most cases there are several people involved in researching homes for sale and other legwork needed to make a sound decision. Sometimes it’s not possible for the buyers to be in the same location as where they want to live. For example, a buyer may want to look for homes in another state or someone’s partner or spouse may currently live in another state as they house hunt. The 360° imagery and interactive virtual tour accelerates the decision process for these types of buyers.
By qualifying the prospective buyer through this more immersive experience, when they do come to view the home, they are more likely to move forward and make a decision faster than if they hadn’t been so immersed in the home’s features. The seller also benefits by potentially getting a higher selling price and less time on the market.