Syndication Helps, but it's not Enough - You Need to Drive Visitors to Your Virtual Tours

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Wayzata Lakes Realty: Eric Kodner Sells Twin Cities Homes

The hottest new Virtual Tours boast about syndication and that's swell.  Syndication is fine, but you will find that you're going to have to contribute your own effort if you want to draw visitors to your virtual tours.

For example, TourFactory boasts about syndication to YouTube, Trulia, Zillow, Home Debut, Move,, Facebook, Virtual Tour Hotsheet, Oodle, Blinkx, Vast and Hotpads, among other sites.  This is an impressive list, but some of these sites just don't get all that much traffic.

TourFactory puts your virtual tour on YouTube for you, but the YouTube ownership is theirs, not yours.  You can't customize or optimize the YouTube posting beyond what appears on your virtual tour.  The SEO benefit goes mostly to TourFactory, not to you.

Home Debut is a site that serves as a portal for TourFactory's own tours.  Again, it's a nice portal, but not a great grabber on the Web.

TourFactory gives you "your own website", which is a portal for all your virtual tours in one place.  However to my knowledge, you can't customize the site's domain and you can't do anything to build SEO for the site that will benefit your company or you.

TourFactory lacks widgets (unlike RealBird) that would allow you to embed their nice-looking tours in, say, in your ActiveRain blog.  Again, that's too bad.  TourFactory would be wise to make that possible.

So, what can you do to get your virtual tours seen?

  • Link to your virtual tours on ActiveRain, Facebook, Twitter LinkedIn, Naymz, Google Buzz, anyplace else you can copy and paste a link to your tour.
  • You can upload your tour to Craigslist, which may be one of the best ways to get it in front of buyers on the Web (see the "Referring Web Pages" JPG below)
  • Presumably, you can burn a CD, DVD or otherwise capture your tour and then once you've captured the video you should be able to upload it here or to YouTube under your own account.  I haven't tried this yet, but I've read that it works.

Referring Web Pages - TourFactory report


Don't get me wrong, I like the look of these virtual tours.  I just believe that it should be much easier to link to them and give them the kind of visibility they deserve on the Web.

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Contact Broker Eric Kodner with Wayzata Lakes Realty about Minneapolis & Saint Paul area properties, including Lake Minnetonka, Edina and the Minneapolis City Lakes area (Lake Calhoun, Lake of the Isles, Lake Harriet). We also sell on the Saint Croix River and on Lake Superior, including Bayfield, Wisconsin and Madeline Island homes.  With sixteen years experience marketing and selling waterfront properties in Minnesota and Wisconsin, we know Lake Minnetonka and Madeline Island real estate.

Wayzata Lakes Realty LLC (Minnesota) and Madeline Island Realty LLC (Wisconsin)

Real Estate Brokerage licensed in Minnesota & Wisconsin

Phone or Text Message 612.670.2539  or

Wayzata Lakes Realty






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Stephen Sainte-Martin
Realty Direct Boston - Boston, MA

Loved the content.  Thanks for posting.


Sep 21, 2010 04:48 PM #1
Don Wixom
RE/MAX Advantage Nampa, ID - Nampa, ID
"Looking out for your next move..."tm

Eric, I agree! I have wondered about this, but have not had the time to experiment much. You have got my wheels turning now! Thanks!

Sep 21, 2010 04:50 PM #2
Marjorie & Doug McKay
RE/MAX Real Estate Advocates - Chestermere, AB
Calgary & Chestermere - 403-207-1776

Interesting.  I am trying out real bird.  It has a lot of great features.  I have used real estate shows for 3 years.  Real Bird has more features. 

I dislike others using my stuff to direct stuff to their website.

Sep 21, 2010 04:53 PM #3
Eric Kodner
Madeline Island Realty - La Pointe, WI
CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -

Stephen & Don - Thanks!  I found myself having to experiment in order to get some page views for these tours.


Sep 21, 2010 05:08 PM #4
Eric Kodner
Madeline Island Realty - La Pointe, WI
CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -

Chestermere Real Estate - I agree it's kind of tacky to charge an agent for your tour package and then hoard the SEO for some of the syndicated features they advertise.  I like RealBird too, but the TourFactory tours have a more upscale look.

Sep 21, 2010 05:10 PM #5
Chris Dugger
Real Estate Marketplace - Louisville KY - Louisville, KY
Louisville REALTOR

Eric ~ I'm glad I use VisualTour, not TourFactory. The syndication is similar, but the YouTube uploads to my personal channel. It's simple to burn CD's if you choose, however I just keep mine on my flash to use at listing presentations. I will certainly check out your recommendation...if I like it better, I'll be switching over in a hurry!

Sep 22, 2010 05:56 AM #6
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Eric Kodner

Wayzata Lakes Realty: Twin Cities, Madeline Island
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