Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Virtual Tours vs. Multiple Photos

Which do online real estate tire kickers prefer? I've posed this question before, and according to a recent poll of 500 adults by Obeo, a residential real estate marketing company, photos are a must. More specifically, it was found that "94 percent of all women surveyed said photos of a home would be very helpful in their search for a home while nearly 70 percent said 360-degree panoramas would be very helpful." I'm not sure what the men had to say about the matter as that information wasn't given, but 94% is a pretty staggering number that speaks volumes.

I post this information because, IMHO, many agents and sellers waste money on virtual tours when people would rather scroll through 10 pictures and be done. So why did the women overwhelmingly want pictures over a virtual tour? Shockingly, I have an opinion on the matter. First, we must ask, "what is the purpose of a virtual tour or multiple photos?" To get your happy a** into the home, of course! I want that person scouring the internets for a home at 11:37pm to see one of my listings and say to themselves, "I want to see this home!" And then send me an email or call their Realtor up and say, "Meet me at this house tomorrow!" Multiple photos can accomplish this without a virtual tour - which may or may not take 30 seconds (about 7 hours in internet time) to load. Whereas, you can click through 10 photos in less than a minute and get a good "feel" for the home. And when you're sifting through 168 homes in East Dallas between $300 and $400K, who is going to wait for a tour to load?

And don't even get me started on bad photos. Or even worse, no photos.

Which do you prefer?



    A prospect has pictures in the MLS to view anyway.

    Adding a virtual tour gives them the sense of being there.

    The Real Question to ask is: If you found a house you thought you really wanted to see, that truly caught your interest, and that exact same house had two viewing options one had pictures only and the other had pictures and a virtual tour would you pass up the virtual tour? The answer would be emphatically NO!

    The virtual tour connects all the dots.

    Sure it takes more time then looking through A dozen pictures and less convenient...IF YOU'RE NOT INTERESTED IN THOSE HOMES. But when you find the one you want. You take that virtual tour and call your husband and email your kids and let your friends see it to get their opinion, not 15 pictures.

    I know, because that's exactly what my buyer and seller clients have told me.

    Virtual tours are priceless, just ask Google you fool.

  2. Ugh...please see my recent post in response to this stupidity. (March 1st)

  3. Jeff,

    Just found your blog and so far and am enjoying it very much. Definitely inspired me to take more risks with mine. Couldn't agree more about multiple pictures or picture slide show as compared to virtual tours. Virtual tours to me can also be very deceiving when it comes to size as well. Ill be sticking with pictures especially since NTREIS just started allowing us 25 on a listing.

    Forney Tx Real Estate