MLS Bans Personal Promotion in Virtual Tours Elkhart County, Indiana

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Azure Tide Realty and Pamela Kemper Florida School of Real Estate

The clock is ticking for realtors in Elkhart, Indiana.  Our MLS system has banned personal promotion in our virtual tours.  The deadline to remove all promotion from virtual tours is April 11th.

I find this very frustrating but of course rules are rules so I will comply.

The idea is to be able to promote the property ONLY through the local mls.  Not the realtor.  But I am weighing heavily against removing my personal information from my virtual tours--and instead removing my tours from the mls.

Afterall, I could still link the tours to  I'm not convinced, with the way our mls is set up, that our buyers find the properties directly from the mls system.  So I could leave the promotion and attach the virtual tours to these online sources while also capturing possible leads.

I realize that the trade off is that the realtors won't see the tour as easily, but I'm not sure that would be a loss.  Plus I could always email the tour directly to realtos when I have an exceptional property to promote.

I would be interested in hearing others oppinions about this and the clock is ticking!



Comments (8)

Ron Parise - Cape Coral, FL
The virtural tour providor I have worked with provides two versions, one branded for the mls , and one not
Apr 08, 2008 03:08 PM
Kim Martinez
Advantage Homes - Santa Barbara, CA
Santa Barbara Real Estate Specialist
I agree with you!  Tours can be e-mailed...linked to so many other sources...Keep your face and contact numbers in there and just leave individual photos in your listings...Agents can caravan too!    Another solution for your MLS group is to allow agents who might be forwarding "links" for specific properties to omit the tour...I do that in our area...then a client won't go around me using data I sent to them :)    They can also make the virtual tours "private" so the consumers browsing through won't be able to see them...  t would be such an easy fix!  Good luck!
Apr 08, 2008 03:09 PM
Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

I think the reason MLS does that (and it is a strict rule in our area) is simply because when I send listing information to my clients, and they decide to click on Virtual Tour, they see your promotional information, and this is what agents do not want, and I can't blame them.

I am constantly sending information to clients, either by type of property, or by the area, or price, and I do not want to be a tour guide, send them the info, and then they call the listing agents directly.

For the same reason on MLS you chose the format in which you send the information to the customers, and I choose brochure format, which will show only me in the contact. That's why the Virtual Tour providers always offer unbranded version.

When you send your virtual tour to, it is not a problem. It is your listing, so either way they will call you.

Good luck

Apr 08, 2008 03:15 PM
Darrel Davis
Winter Garden, Florida - Winter Garden, FL
Southern Heritage Realty
Our board has long ago banned the use of private marketing in the virtual tours or listing photos. I know some people are not set up for this in other areas, but it is only fair to the agent who is sending a listing via email to their prospective buyer. InTouchHomeTours is one of many that offers dual links to tours, one with contact info and one without. It is two separate tours with contact data omitted on one link. If my contact info was found on a virtual tour I can be certain that the lead was not generated from anything but my own extra marketing, not my local MLS.
Apr 08, 2008 03:16 PM
Pamela Kemper
Azure Tide Realty and Pamela Kemper Florida School of Real Estate - Bradenton, FL
Pamela Kemper
That's exactly how it has worked in the past.  We have a Public View to print listings to keep the list agents information off and puts the buyers agents contact info on.  The virtual tour link is not included on this page.  I wish I had been part of the discussion that opted to remove it.  Now I'm left to deal with.  Thanks for your input.  Looking forward to more.  How many realtors really look at the virtual tours to pick a home to show?
Apr 08, 2008 03:16 PM
Bob Southard
Atlas Realty Service, LLC - Kennesaw, GA
e-Pro - Cobb,Cherokee,NorthFulton,Paulding,Bartow

I don't know how your mls works or what the common methods of getting info to buyers is in your area.

However, in general terms, if if you are putting your listings in the mls and offering for an agent to btrng a buyer as co op ( and that is how the mls works isn't it?) then there should be no personal promotion.

See my recent post

If a buyer agent is out there drumming up buyer business, emailing listing alerts, etc, they don't want the buyer to be confused about who to talk to.

Think about how a listing agent feels when another agent comes to "preview" a listing and they really don't have a buyer.  Hey its just personal promotion.. right?

Put your tours on the mls without the  personal branding and get them sold.

OK just my opinion anyway :-)


Apr 08, 2008 03:16 PM
Mark Hawley
Keller Williams Realty - Indio, CA

My virtual tour, like Ron's, have a branded and unbranded link.  I can see both sides of this, but it is much like putting pictures on the MLS with your name and sign on them.  It makes me not want to send the listing to a new or prospective client with whom I have not yet built rapport or trust with yet.

Apr 08, 2008 03:21 PM
Pamela Kemper
Azure Tide Realty and Pamela Kemper Florida School of Real Estate - Bradenton, FL
Pamela Kemper

I just checked out a couple of things.  1.  It looks like about 15% of my virtual tour views are generated directly form the mls.  2.  Although my virtual tour provider does allow me the option to remove my personal information, it is an either or.  Either its there or it isn't. 

I'm interested in learning more about the service that allows you to have both.

I do understand the point of the buyers agent not having to have personal info included.  I am a very strong buyers agent and am careful what views I print for this reason.  But I have had enough leads come from virtual tours that I hate to give that up.  But I think it is a good point that sites that link to my tours may carry my contact info to get around this issue.

 Thanks for your thoughts.  Looking forward to more.

Apr 08, 2008 03:30 PM