Virtual Tours - which one is the best and why?

By
Real Estate Agent with Realty Professionals, Inc.

We all are told that over 80% OF BUYERS are looking at homes on the internet.  Even here in rural Searcy, Arkansas that is a big deal for buyers.  I had a prospect in my office the other day and we were looking at homes on the MLS system which is internet based.  They were looking in the $60-80,000 price range and we ran across some of them that had virtual tours.  The wife got real excited and said "Wow, a virtual tour can we look at it?"  I proceeded and we viewed the houses together.  They LOVED it! (so did I because we were able to rule some of them out)

There are so many virtual tour products out there, what are some of the ones to consider?  There are some that take forever to look at, some that come up very fast and are just still photos and some that have a full 360 degree view.  Which ones do you feel is the best?  and what does it cost in your area?

I am located in Searcy, Arkansas and I sell new homes, existing homes, commercial, farms, land and also deal with rentals.  My market is in White County Arkansas which has a population of around 65,000 which includes cities like Bald Knob, Judsonia, Beebe, McRae, RoseBud and Romance.  I look forward to your suggestions!

Comments (13)

Darlene Wurth
Keller Williams Select Professionals - Rome, GA
Realtor/REOS

Larry- Good question.  When I first started working where I am now, I had a listing that had a virtual tour and that cost about $150.00 to do.  Now I can upload my own virtual tour, do e-tours, webcast, virtual magazine with all my listings on it and it also does call capture, all this for $15.95 a month, this is exclusive for all our offices across the US and Canada. 

I love it I can send unbranded virtual tour to the MLS sites and to Trulia, Realtor.com and many more.  I can do a branded tour to mail out to potential buyers,& other agents.  It really helps,  on our yard signs it has a call capture 800# and that really helps also.  Thanks for the post and I do recommend using virtual tours, it brings your listings higher up on the search engines. 

Feb 27, 2008 08:06 AM
JD & Lynda Donahue
Long & Foster, Realtors - Richmond, VA

Larry,

I use Visual Tour and I really like the freedom it provides you. All you need is a OK digital camera and some time to experiment and learn the system. It allows for stills and horizontal or vertical pans. You can adjust the speed and duration of each shot, choice of music and so much more. The more I use it the more I find it is capable of. My two personal favorites are  Victoria Way and Old Orchard Lane.  Victoria for the inside photos and Old Orchard for the exterior shots, (The links are in the text body) There is an initial fee and a monthly fee of $29.95. I do find that my clients want a tour of their home and it's a great way to secure a listing where there are more than one agent interviewed. Let me know if you have any questions, I'd be more than happy to help.  JD

Feb 27, 2008 08:54 AM
Hank Roeters
Platinum Partners Realtors - Darien, IL
I agree with JD about VisualTour.com. You do have a lot of freedom, and can go from mild to wild on the tours.The best thing is that the sellers like them too.
Feb 27, 2008 09:46 AM
Goomzee Corporation
Goomzee Corporation - Missoula, MT
www.goomzee.com
Realtour is another great provider of virtual tours.  Beside their visual tour capability, they provide websites, eflyers and a print creator for your listings.  This is a great place to get a lot of your marketing done.  They do a great job and the staff is helpful when needed!  Good luck!
Feb 27, 2008 10:04 AM
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR
What happened to the Egg?  Is it not working well?
Feb 28, 2008 01:12 PM
Derek Bauer's, www.DoorToDreams.com Door to Dreams Home Selling Team
Real Estate One - South Lyon, MI

Larry - the preferred Vendors in the VT arena for our company include:  Obeo Tours and CirclePix.  I really enjoy CirclePix, as they have a great back-end control panel allowing you to change names of photos, change listing information, etc.  I'd give them a try!  We have a good negotiated price with them and I think their regular price is $100 per tour?  Not sure though...

Feb 28, 2008 01:19 PM
Kathy McGraw
CELLing Realty - White Water, CA
Riverside County CA Real Estate
I saw many people on here were using Jeff Turner's Real Estate Shows, so that is what I bought.  I love it...very easy after the first one, and you can do as many as you want for about $100 for the year.  My clients like it a lot, and I like that it has a relatively easy learning curve and the hardest part is uploading your pictures and putting them in the order you want.....choices, choices :)
Feb 28, 2008 03:38 PM
Dick Betts
TOUCHSTONE REAL ESTATE - The Villages, FL
REALTOR® The Villages, Florida
Something interesting today, an agent said he put a VT on a low end property which lead to list for a $500,000.  Why the seller was so impressed with what he did for a lower priced property he could only imagine what he would do for his.
Feb 28, 2008 03:49 PM
Dick Betts
TOUCHSTONE REAL ESTATE - The Villages, FL
REALTOR® The Villages, Florida
You need to get over to my blog and read my latest blog and the comments.  Your ears should be on fire!
Mar 02, 2008 02:50 AM
Rick Tourgee
Robert Paul Properties, Inc. - Provincetown, MA
Provincetown and Cape Cod
I use visual tour and have the same positive feedback as JD.  I also like how your properties in Visual Tour are fed into some of the search engines!
Mar 02, 2008 03:14 AM
Martha Brown
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc., Annapolis MD 21403 - Annapolis, MD
Your Homes Around Annapolis Agent
I also use visual tour and find it easy (once you do the first one), inexpensive ($29.95 a month for unlimited amount of tours) and well received by Sellers and Buyers alike. I even do neighborhood tours for my area since the price is not by tour but by month. The possibilities are endless and once you have the photos you can be up and running in about an hour instead of days.
Mar 02, 2008 05:49 AM
Real Estate Guy in Madison, Wisconsin
Powered by: Real Broker LLC - Madison, WI
Real Estate Guy

I use Visual tour too.  It is very economical for unlimited tours.  It is reasonably easy to use, syndicates to many portals and can be linked to Realtor.com for $19.95 per listing. you take the pics, but I have given up on stitching photos on the lower end listings.

I am impressed by Obeo if you want to spend a bit more and have someone else take pics.

 

I just read homes and land magazine will provide a simple video tour for free if you advertise with them. 

Link to my visual tours  

Mar 05, 2008 02:09 PM
Nick Ruta
Whitehall, PA

I use Real Estate Shows. While fish-eyed lens views of the inside of the house can be nice, if you have any amount of technical skills, you should be using something like Real Estate Shows.  Take enough good quality pictures of your listing and you don't need to waste money on expensive Virtual Tours.  We use a company called Geocentric who will do in house requests, and I absolutely will not spend $100/tour for them.  The customer would have to demand it before I would even consider wasting the money.

Real Estate Shows actually allows you to use Youtube videos in the show now.  So?  So...all you do is now casually walk through the house with your video camera (usually digital camera have this feature), take the video, upload it to Youtube (remember, youtube accounts are FREE), and integrate it into your show!!!

Your biggest issue?  How steady is your hand?  :-)

 

Mar 06, 2008 01:33 AM