Very important, in my opinion. And most active MLS listings for properties up for sale that don’t have virtual tours are severely lacking in a market where it pays to be thorough.
Let’s be honest – the concept of a “virtual tour” is nothing new, and “virtual” might have seemed like a futuristic word twenty years ago, but now it should simply be expected.
There are some virtual tours, however, like the one below, that might be a bit to extreme. Watch the video, chuckle, shake your head, and then we’ll discuss…
Geez, this blog is getting pretty gangsta!
I didn’t mean for it to get like this, I swear.
Monday’s video about the upcoming movie “Pocket Listing” might have had some NSFW content, and even my wife said to me, “You just used the word ‘cocaine’ in your blog, twice, and joked that your average day involved consuming a lot of it. What if somebody was new to your blog, and didn’t get your insane sense of humour?”
Well, who knows. Maybe they’ll be more inclined to read…
So in today’s video, we see another example of somebody “making it rain” dollar bills, and while a lovely blonde lady lays on the kitchen counter while the gangster raps, it’s not quite as racy as Monday’s post.
This video, like it or hate it, is by an Australian real estate agent who is very successful, has gained notoriety for his unique marketing style by media outlets across his country, and who just released a book.
Again – like the video or not, I have to think that this video is better than no video, and unfortunately, most properties listed today don’t have any videos or virtual tours.
Now I’ll be honest – there are times when a virtual tour or video isn’t necessary.
I wouldn’t do a virtual tour or video for a property listed for lease.
And I probably wouldn’t do a virtual tour or a video for most vacant properties, since there’s very little you can show, and it might make the property look boring and incomplete.
But I also differentiate between a “virtual tour” and a “video,” as the latter has become more of a “film” about the property. I utilize both tools, depending on the property.
I’m being open and honest here, folks. And it’s not about the money.
If I had a 1-bed, 1-bath condo coming out for sale, I would do a virtual tour, but not a film. The reason is simple: the unit does not necessitate a 90-second film. What can you possibly say in a film for a 590 square foot unit?
Accuse me of playing favourites, if you want. But I reserve my property films (and ironically, that is the name of the company I use), for the larger properties, where there is more to show. And if I do say so, most Realtors don’t blow $1K on a film…
Consider a 4-bed, 4-bath house, measuring about 2,800 square feet, and now think about how many features of that home you want to highlight to the potential buyer. The MLS listing only gives you 20 photos (thank GOD that number came up from 9, and it only took a decade…), and only so much can be conveyed in those photos, and the 463 characters we get to write in the “Remarks For Clients” section of the listing.
A 1-bed, 1-bath condo? Sure, you can get the point across in 20 photos and 463 characters, but I still do a virtual tour for my listings, which adds more still shots that what is on MLS, and provides two 360-degree panoramas of the living space and usually the master bedroom and bath.
But a 4-bed, 4-bath house? It needs something more.
That video above might be really cheesy, but at least it shows the property.
That agent doesn’t always rap either. Here’s one that you might consider more tasteful:
So maybe he’s bad at lip-synching, but at least his videos showcase the house and the property.
Folks, let me be brutally honest here and spell it out for you in dollars: a professional virtual tour costs less than $200.
So who the hell would list a property in Toronto without spending that paltry sum? Who would list a property and take photos on their iPhone rather than pay $99 to get a professional with a $5,000 camera to take photos?
Having a virtual tour for a property listed for sale, in today’s market, is an absolute MUST, in my opinion.
And the most frustrating part is that it’s so damn simple. As an agent, you just make a phone call, and swipe your VISA. What’s the problem?
Well, I guess when we’re accustomed to logging on to MLS and seeing “PHOTO NOT AVAILABLE” for about 5% of all active condo listings, asking for every listing to have a virtual tour is probably a bit far-fetched.
As I said at the onset, there’s nothing fascinating, innovative, or ground-breaking about a “virtual” tour, since that word hasn’t sent shivers down our spines since Total Recall was a hit movie in theatres, and Bill Gates was telling us that one day, our TV would know what we wanted to watch.
So why doesn’t every MLS listing have one?