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AdviceMarketingRealtors

Marketing for Realtors??12845

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Member
Jacksonville, Florida
thereal360 private msg quote post Address this user
Can someone explain me how marketing for realtors works?

I mean someone hires a realtor to sell their house. How do they find someone to sell it to?
Sounds like a silly question, but i don't know.
When i bought my house i looked on zillow to buy one and told him i wanted to look at that one etc...
But how does it work as a seller? You list it and hope someone sees it on MLS or Zillow etc.

How does Facebook Marketing work? Paid adds?
How else do realtors sell their houses?

Thanks for your time
Alex
Post 1 IP   flag post
3D Renderings
AEC Elevation Drawings
Montreal, Québec
ArchimedStudio private msg quote post Address this user
80-20 rule applies to realtors too :

80% of realtors pay (the minimum possible) for photos (and maybe drone, virtual tour, and/or video if he just cashed a big commission and feels like spending). Then upload them on the system (MLS). Then they cross their fingers and eventually do the connection between a direct buyer or another agent and the seller.

20% of realtors invest in marketing for their listings, because they understand that marketing is what's important to sell THEIR SERVICES. They also pay for adds on other platforms/channels (FB, IG, Email, Mailing, etc...).

In the end, a well priced house will sell itself, but a realtor needs to sell his services, and guess what? What's the easiest thing to show a potential client? Yep! Photos, videos, virtual tours, etc...

Moral of the story : We really should be paid a lot more (how about 1% of the sale's price?! Ok, now I'm dreaming... )

Matt
Post 2 IP   flag post
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Member
Jacksonville, Florida
thereal360 private msg quote post Address this user
@ArchimedStudio
I get that you use Photos on MLS but can you use video or virtual tours as well? (I dont have access to MLS)

I am trying to see what a SINGLE Property website can be used for.
Because if the Realtor only uses MLS... how do Tours Ariel and Video help?

And if they DO additional Marketing...
"They also pay for adds on other platforms/channels (FB, IG, Email, Mailing, etc...)."

How would they do that?

FB... Where would they post that? On a own FB page? Paid FB Marketing?
Email... Who do they email?
Mail... Who would they mail?

This might all be VERY newbie questions... so please excuse me asking. lol

THANKS!
Post 3 IP   flag post
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Member
Lakewood, NJ
michaelr private msg quote post Address this user
I recently got a realty licence to better understand the market even thought I prefer to keep working on 360 tours and similar

what i find is that videos and virtual tours do help on the MLS, I can filter my searches to include RE that has virtual tours. but the term "virtual tours" has been so misused and exploited in RE 85% - 90%of the time its a video or scrolling pictures.
Post 4 IP   flag post
3D Renderings
AEC Elevation Drawings
Montreal, Québec
ArchimedStudio private msg quote post Address this user
I always refuse, and explain why, when a realtor asks me to do a video with scrolling pictures. It's deceiving, very annoying and gives false hope when a buyer clicks on the "virtual tour" or "video" link... The buyer expects to get additional info, but ends up with the same (usually bad - because WHO DOES THAT!!) photos with elevator music.

@thereal360 On our MLS (all MLS are different), there is only 1 link realtors can use, so they have to choose between a virtual tour or a video. If they do both, that's where a property website might be useful. I, as a buyer in Canada (maybe it's different in the US), do not care about property websites. I rather stay on MLS, get a quick outside link to a video or virtual tour, and get back to MLS to continue my research.
As for advertising, this is a very complex subject that I prefer to leave to the pros. But nowadays, if you post something on FB (espacially on a business page), almost nobody will see your post unless you pay to boost it. On IG, 1 every 3-4 post is now a paid ad. So if you want to be seen, you also have to pay.

Emails are sent to a mailing list that they gather over time thru multiple channels (you cannot send an email/ad campaign to someone without their approval anymore!)
Regular post mailing can be sent using a specific area (using zip codes).
Post 5 IP   flag post
homefinders3d private msg quote post Address this user
@thereal360I am a Realtor as well as a photographer. I also owned several retail stores and e-commerce sites for for over 20 years. The general rule of thumb for marketing expenses for a small retail store is 3-5% of annual revenue. National brands spend as much as 20-25% on their marketing. Real estate is different ball game. It's different because for a large chunk of the agents it is speculative spending. The agent has to spend their own money on marketing and if it doesn't sell for any reason, it becomes an unproductive expense. In my current market, an agent could sell a property with Polaroids for photos. I closed on a property recently where the home sold within 18 hours and the photos were taken with a cell phone - I was on the buyer side. Photos don't sell a home IMO, they give enough info to a potential buyer to consider visiting the property.

Marketing varies by agent, brokerage and location. But in general it works like this:

The listing/selling agent generates a lead through networking, referrals, farming and social media ads. Well established selling agents in a lot of cases work purely on referrals from their Sphere of Influence (SOI). Farming generally involves picking a geographical area and then they grow their clients by direct mailings, door knocking etc..

I believe quite a few Real Estate media Pros fail to realize how most agents actually market. In my area a lot of the marketing is done through social media using FB and Snapchat ads and posts. Direct mailings using post cards etc.. The fact that I see hundreds of posts that state that due to Covid-19 sellers need virtual tours more than ever, reinforces my belief. Open houses are rarely used by listing agents (seller agent). Open houses are usually held by buyers agents. The buyer agent does this for several reasons:
1. to hopefully sell the house
2. The main reason: to meet buyers that are not represented by an agent. They then cultivate these buyers into becoming their clients. This is how a lot of new agents get the cash flow started. If you go to most open houses, they will collect as much info about you as possible, including your contact info. The contact info is not generally shared with the listing agent.

One reason that listing agents don't hold the opens houses is sometimes due to state law and brokerage policies. I hold a Florida and an Alabama license. In these states if you sign a Single Agency brokerage contract with a seller, then you cannot also represent the buyer as it is illegal due to conflict of interest. In my case I have a Transition to Transaction broker clause which allows me to capture both ends of the deal. But not all states allow this. My point is that a listing agent may not feel there is a lot of value in a virtual tour for open houses.

The listing agent (seller side) secures a contract to list the property. They then fill in all the details on the MLS and add the photos, video links etc.. The MlS usually syndicates the listing info to different websites - this varies by MLS. One thing to remember is that the MLS is very powerful and controls a lot of what can be done in regards to marketing the property. The listing agent will usually send out email blasts to clients and other agents announcing the listing. In my area there are numerous private Facebook RE groups where agents share their listings. Listing properties in printed glossy magazines is less popular now. A lot of the Facebook ads use either photos or videos.

Some listing agents do just post it on the MLS and wait and others are more pro-active.

On the buyer side, the agent solicits the desires of the buyer and then searches the properties that match that criteria. The MLS is more than just a database. The MLS generates neighborhood reports, comparative market analysis reports (CMA - Property Value). an agent can draw a circle around a neighborhood and generate a mailing list of every property resident and owner in the area.

As a RE photographer/videographer/tourprovider there are numerous ways to create marketing products for the listing agent: virtual tours, photos, walk-through videos, agent intro videos, aerial shots, headshots, property summaries. As far as single property websites: my own opinion is that they are not very effective and most agents that I know don't seem to care about them. Most properties are found via Zillow, MLS/agents, social media.

Agents use FB ads, they post on their own page (FB has diluted this, by not sharing posts as much). Most brokerages/agents have their own CRM. In my case the CRM provides all the tools to create mailings. social media posts,FB ads, Google ads etc.. A lot of successful agents use their CRM to run drip campaigns. They email because its relatively inexpensive, easy to repeat and trackable.
Keep in mind a listing agent has two target customers: buyers and buyers agents. In my area quite a few Open Houses are Broker Open Houses and not open to the public - that should tell you something.

In my area Covid has created a shortage of properties - it literally means an agent can list a property and sell it within hours or days. Most see no benefit of a tour.

The golden rule of listing is: Price,Condition and Location. The most important criteria is price followed by condition. Both of these criteria can be modified. Your goal is to convince a listing agent that your media product will help convey the best of these criteria visually to the buyer. It also helps if you present yourself as being able to do something they can't.

My favorite saying when I owned retail stores was: " you hire people for two reasons: to do something you can't do, or to do something you don't want to do." I shot a MP tour for another agent at a $750,000 beachfront condo on the Gulf. His Pro photographer/videographer showed up as I was leaving to shoot a video for him. He was equipped with a smartphone and a gimbal. I wasn't offering video or photo services at the time, but I had a DSLR and a Black Magic camera on a Crane 3 Lab gimbal in my truck. My point being that the highly successful agent (just closed the largest deal in our brokerages history) could have done that himself. It was an agent intro video. I'm assuming they had a long standing relationship. But for the average agent, seeing a Pro using Pro equipment is good marketing.

I'm not an expert or a lawyer so take my post as random ramblings.
Post 6 IP   flag post
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Member
Jacksonville, Florida
thereal360 private msg quote post Address this user
@homefinders3d
Hey, thanks so much for your time!!!

I have to say i read it and read it again and read it like 5 times by now within the last 2 days.

I am trying to figure out what that means for me now. lol
So you do all of those, even though you don't think photos etc don't sell the house.


In my area Covid has created a shortage of properties - it literally means an agent can list a property and sell it within hours or days. Most see no benefit of a tour.

so what does the mean to you? You dont do any / offer any? just photos?



This is confusing to me... are you sure you have the "sides" correct?

"Open houses are rarely used by listing agents (seller agent). Open houses are usually held by buyers agents. The buyer agent does this for several reasons:
1. to hopefully sell the house
2. The main reason: to meet buyers that are not represented by an agent. They then cultivate these buyers into becoming their clients. This is how a lot of new agents get the cash flow started. If you go to most open houses, they will collect as much info about you as possible, including your contact info. The contact info is not generally shared with the listing agent."


I feel this forum is not the most up to date... other forums seem to have the option to directly reply to parts of another message and post part of that message in a bubble like form...

It's hard to really show easy to what part of your post i reference...

Looking forward to your reply.
Post 7 IP   flag post
Photo
Sparc
Charleston, South Carolina
JonJ private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by thereal360
@homefinders3d
This is confusing to me... are you sure you have the "sides" correct?

"Open houses are rarely used by listing agents (seller agent). Open houses are usually held by buyers agents. The buyer agent does this for several reasons:
1. to hopefully sell the house
2. The main reason: to meet buyers that are not represented by an agent. They then cultivate these buyers into becoming their clients. This is how a lot of new agents get the cash flow started. If you go to most open houses, they will collect as much info about you as possible, including your contact info. The contact info is not generally shared with the listing agent."


The way that this reads can be a bit confusing, but I believe what @homefinders3d is saying is that open houses are not held by the listing agent (read as "they do not sit at the house during the open house". Rather they will have one of their fellow agents host the open house. The agent that sits at the open house is usually a buyers agent and is using the open house to, of course, sell the house where the open house is being held, but also to meet potential clients (unrepresented visitors to the open house) that they can work with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thereal360

I feel this forum is not the most up to date... other forums seem to have the option to directly reply to parts of another message and post part of that message in a bubble like form...

It's hard to really show easy to what part of your post i reference...

Looking forward to your reply.


If you push the bubble with the ellipsis (next to the persons name), you can quote the post that you want to respond to. I then delete the areas that I am not directly responding to.

Hope this helps!
Jon
Post 8 IP   flag post
homefinders3d private msg quote post Address this user
@thereal360I

I have the sides right LOL, I have both a Florida and an Alabama real estate license. Buyers agents hold most Open Houses. The only thing the listing agent does in most cases is provide the place and time, post the open house on Zillow and in the MLS and maybe provide some signs. If they are lucky and get someone to come into the home and like it enough to make an offer. If the buyer has an agent already the listing agent gets a sale and the agent that held the open house hopefully got the contact info from any other visitors that do not already have an agent. If the buyer doesn't have an agent, the buyers agent goal is to secure a representation contract with the buyer that allows them to present the offer on the buyers behalf. If this happens the the buyers agent receives the buyers side commission.

As a RE photographer/tour creator your potential client in most all cases is a Listing/Sellers agent. Most agents act as both listing and buyers agents in Florida, but not usually for the same properties. A sellers agent has a fiduciary responsibility to the seller - in other words they are required to advise the seller and do everything legally possible to protect the sellers interests at all times.

The buyers agent has similar responsibilities to the buyer. A seller of buyers agent signs a single agency contract with the buyer or seller. But, Florida (like a lot of states)does not allow "Dual Agency", which means an agent cannot sign a single agency contract with both the buyer and the seller - the agent cannot represent both sides of the deal (buyer and seller. The typical scenario is that listing agent "A" lists a property for Mr Jones, along comes Buyers Agent "B" representing Buyer Ms Smith. If the buyer Ms Smith wants to purchase the property she tells her agent what she wants to make an offer and her agents contacts the listing agent and negotiates the offer. If all works as planned the buyer has a new home, the seller has some cash and the the commission is shared between the two brokerages, who in turn share their cut with the appropriate agent. The listing agent purchases the marketing for the listing. Very few homes sell due to a open house. The majority of the people that show up to an open house are potential buyers that have not contacted a buyers agent yet. A buyer with an agent doesn't need to go to an open house, their agent can usually provide them a private viewing. There are exceptions to the rule. I see you live in Jacksonville. When I was going through a brokerage marketing class I was told: "no one buys a home at an open house". In 1995 in Argyle Jacksonville, I drove by an open house that had a log of Signage etc.. I stopped and took a look. It was a foreclosure and was less than 2 years old. I went back and got my wife and I bought it with a closed bid lol. But generally the listing agent does not hold their own open houses. Open houses are often held by new agents as a way to meet potential buyers. Again there are exceptions. I know a luxury home/condo agent that hosts all of her own open houses. I'll explain my perspective on marketing tours to agents below. But, it is just an opinion.

Listing agents may not do open houses, but they do have to co-ordinate viewings for their listings. If it is an occupied home, the sellers may be uneasy with hordes of lookers coming through their property due to Covid. The selling point of a tour in this case, is that a tour can be used as a screening/qualifying tool for buyers. Like me you are in a military community, tours allow military families to view properties from abroad or from another state. It is not unheard of here for properties to be sold sight unseen. Luxury property agents do appreciate the use of Matterport in particular.

I generally sell tours to agents within my own brokerage, but even that is harder right now as there are several providers offering $75-$90 tours. It's not to say that there is no market, you just have to work harder for it or offer something other than price to differentiate yourself. Sellers agents seem to prefer a package deal that includes photos, a tour and maybe some drone shots. One guy I know offers photos for $75-$100 and a tour add-on for $25 and another for drone shots for an additional $25.

Take a look at what other companies in your area are offering. One advantage I have over some of the operators is that I can open a lock box in lower Alabama all the way to Panama City. That means the agent doesn't have to be present when I shoot their listing.

Here are some Jacksonville photo/tour rates:
https://www.brightspacemedia.com/pricing
Post 9 IP   flag post
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Member
Jacksonville, Florida
thereal360 private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by homefinders3d
@thereal360I

As a RE photographer/tour creator your potential client in most all cases is a Listing/Sellers agent. Most agents act as both listing and buyers agents in Florida, but not usually for the same properties. A sellers agent has a fiduciary responsibility to the seller - in other words they are required to advise the seller and do everything legally possible to protect the sellers interests at all times.


I believe when we recently considered to sell our house in Florida.
The buyer said he would lower his commission if he finds someone of his clients to buy it. I assume he would represent both, but you are saying that's not possible...?

@JonJ DId you see how i have done that lol.... Is there a option of that as well for PMs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by homefinders3d
@thereal360I
I generally sell tours to agents within my own brokerage, but even that is harder right now as there are several providers offering $75-$90 tours. It's not to say that there is no market, you just have to work harder for it or offer something other than price to differentiate yourself.

See that's where i get confused... On one said you say well because of covid it's much easier, but you also say it's much harder... lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by homefinders3d
@thereal360I
Sellers agents seem to prefer a package deal that includes photos, a tour and maybe some drone shots. One guy I know offers photos for $75-$100 and a tour add-on for $25 and another for drone shots for an additional $25.

But seriously... is that quality work? And if so, why would he work for so cheap? Is he just starting out?

Quote:
Originally Posted by homefinders3d
One advantage I have over some of the operators is that I can open a lock box in lower Alabama all the way to Panama City. That means the agent doesn't have to be present when I shoot their listing.


So usually that is the case... A Agent NEEDS to be present? Can they not just give you the code?
So that WOULD be an incentive to add a real estate license...


Quote:
Originally Posted by homefinders3d
Here are some Jacksonville photo/tour rates:
https://www.brightspacemedia.com/pricing


I made some research and trying to come up with a pricing plan.
Post 10 IP   flag post
homefinders3d private msg quote post Address this user
"I believe when we recently considered to sell our house in Florida.
The buyer said he would lower his commission if he finds someone of his clients to buy it. I assume he would represent both, but you are saying that's not possible...?"

Dual Agency is the term used when an agent represents both the buyer and the seller and has a fiduciary responsibility to both parties. Florida does not allow Dual Agency.

There is a way for a Florida agent to do this. An agent that has a Transactional Brokerage agreement with the seller can get both ends of the transaction - read: the listing agent gets his/her share of both the seller side and the buyer side. In Florida, we have a limited agency classification known as transaction broker. While it sounds like dual agency, it is not. In this capacity, the agent is working for the transaction, but he has not entered into a fiduciary relationship with either party. That means he is a neutral party between the two. The difference is that the Transactional agent is not there to get the best deal for either party, the agents responsibility is to the transaction with the goal of competing the transaction legally and smoothly. An agent that is or can transition to a Transaction Broker will can lower their rate as the brokerage is not sharing the commission with another brokerage.
Most sales in my marketplace do not occur like that. It's a little more complicated. The thing to remember is that listings are the gold standard for RE. Listings are easier for an angent to manage and they can successfully manage more sellers than they can buyers at one time. But, listings are harder to get and a lot of new agents lean towards being buyers agents to keep the cash flowing. I would suggest you go to a couple of open houses, let the agent know why you are there. As long as they are not super busy, most agents will answer your questions. Ask the agent if they are the listing agent. Hang around for a while and see how many prospects actually attend the open house - I think you will be surprised. Take a business card and add the agent to your prospect list, ask them for their business.
Post 11 IP   flag post
homefinders3d private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by thereal360
Quote:
Originally Posted by homefinders3d
@thereal360I


So usually that is the case... A Agent NEEDS to be present? Can they not just give you the code?
So that WOULD be an incentive to add a real estate license...

Not necessarily, but it helps. Most of our lock boxes are electronic and you have to have a phone app that opens them with Bluetooth. It is unlikely that an agent would give you a code to combo box.
Quote:
Originally Posted by homefinders3d
Here are some Jacksonville photo/tour rates:
https://www.brightspacemedia.com/pricing


I made some research and trying to come up with a pricing plan.
Post 12 IP   flag post
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Member
Orchard Park, New York
GETMYVR private msg quote post Address this user
I'm going to be offering agents to do an open house 7 days a week. Not everybody is available on Saturday or Sunday. Not all buyers are located in the same city that they're buying in. Relocation is a big part of real estate. So how can you best show someone a property when they either can't make it down on the weekend or they're out of town? Virtual open houses.

this is still the most misunderstood aspect of real estate marketing, yet I think is one of the greatest opportunities in front of us.

the biggest issue that real estate agents have are these independent real estate websites that don't really work for them as well as they should.

I think we're going to see a bunch of new Superstar real estate websites pop up in the future that will include virtual touring of houses, on demand, with or without an agent.
Post 13 IP   flag post
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Jacksonville, Florida
thereal360 private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by GETMYVR
the biggest issue that real estate agents have are these independent real estate websites that don't really work for them as well as they should.


please explain
Post 14 IP   flag post
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Orchard Park, New York
GETMYVR private msg quote post Address this user
So what I have done for several listings is punching the address into Google, and normally you'd get an output of several pages of real estate websites where the listing is included.

I then dive into each independent website, and look to see how the images are being displayed and I look to see if there are any links to the virtual tours, and where those virtual tour buttons are in proximity to once you land on the page.

I'll probably eventually develop a ranking system for these websites, and right now the website with the highest score is realtor.com because they not only post a link for the 3D tour but they also have a link with a VT in it for virtual tour. We take advantage of those two links with different virtual tour versions.

I think real estate agents are still in the learning mode, obviously most real estate agents aren't doing virtual tours and most real estate agents aren't using professional photographers.

I just feel that we are at such a great place right now.
Post 15 IP   flag post
homefinders3d private msg quote post Address this user
@GETMYVR how are you taking advantage of those links on Realtor.com? Are you saying that you provide two different tour links to the agent so that the agent can add them to the fields on Realtor.com?
Post 16 IP   flag post
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Orchard Park, New York
GETMYVR private msg quote post Address this user
@homefinders3d Correct. I'm in Western New York and the MLS let you have four spots for virtual tours, although I only use three and in the future I'll do the drone video too.

keep in mind a lot of the agents are posting slideshows as virtual tours across the country.

Here are my options.

Unbranded virtual tour
Branded virtual tour
Drone video
Unbranded 3D virtual tour

So as an example for a property I recently finished shooting, The unbranded 3D virtual tour is always going to be the actual matterport URL with &ts=1 for auto play (all my doors have video highlight reels). I believe this is what allows the 3D tour icon on realtor.com to show up.

For the unbranded virtual tour I use my microsite for my customers. https://repix360.com/902lebrunrd/player

The branded version for the agent is the same URL minus the player
https://repix360.com/902lebrunrd/

This allows everybody to see the MP tour, photos and other tours such as Zillow. In the future when I start playing around with Asteroom, etc and some other 3D software I'll also include those links in the player.

And most other sites that don't have two virtual tour icons, when they click on virtual tour they go to my tour player indicated above.

This is for now.

PS. Many agents have a secretary or someone in the office enter links into the MLS listing. Many shortcuts can be taken, so I would recommend if anyone has a chance to actually get inside your local MLS dashboard with another agent to see all the available link opportunities that'll help you formulate your various types of tours and services.
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homefinders3d private msg quote post Address this user
@GETMYVR thanks I just wanted to be sure I was following correctly. Looks like you are in Buffalo. Last time I was there was to visit my grandmother, Christmas 67’.
Post 18 IP   flag post
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