Virtual Tours now Hugely Popular. We've Used them for Over a Decade

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Madeline Island Realty 50317-90

Virtual Tours, Skype, FaceTime and Live Streaming are suddenly becoming overwhelmingly popular in the age of COVID-19. These alternatives are rapidly replacing open houses as the public becomes increasingly aware of the need for social distancing.

These options are just a sample of ways to get around holding open houses in today's world. But some of us have been using them for quite some time now.

Our Wisconsin office began using Tour Factory virtual tours back in August of 2010. Within just three months, we sold nearly $2 Million in Madeline Island properties by building a marketing strategy around the use of these virtual tours.

At that time, we never dreamed that we'd be utilizing technology to allay the fears of sellers and buyers who fear entering an open house. Now, things have changed to such an extent that brokerages are scrambling to find marketing alternatives.

I'm not saying that the traditional open house is dead. But until the level of public panic subsides, these technologies make it considerably easier for real estate agents to adapt and survive.

 

 

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Tags:
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madeline island properties
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Rainmaker
163,640
Realtyna Inc
Realtyna - Newark, DE
Realtyna- MLS RETS Integration software & services

Hi Eric Kodner, thank you for this blog. You make a great point. If anything, the current circumstances are normalizing these strategies and technologies. Hard to see them going away even after the crisis subsides.

Mar 20, 2020 02:33 AM #1
Rainmaker
570,845
Eric Kodner
Madeline Island Realty - La Pointe, WI
CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -

Realtyna, thanks for the comment. I don't hear competitors scoffing and snickering about our use of virtual tours and walk-through videos anymore. That's a welcome change.

Mar 20, 2020 04:51 AM #2
Rainmaker
3,492,160
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Eric. Technology to the rescue or business as usual? If it works,it works. Enjoy your day!

Mar 20, 2020 05:13 AM #3
Rainmaker
570,845
Eric Kodner
Madeline Island Realty - La Pointe, WI
CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -

Wayne Martin Good morning. I used to tell clients that virtual tours are not a subsitute for an in-person showing. But in this day and age, they do a pretty good job of helping buyers to save time by narrowing down choices.

Mar 20, 2020 05:32 AM #4
Rainmaker
3,377,722
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Hello Eric... I've been using virtual tours as a marketing tool for 20 years. I've been a client of TourFactory longer than I can remember... was one of their first when they started up in Charlotte. Moved to them from Obeo when my photographer moved to TourFactory. I'm a bit gob-smacked how so many agents are suddenly "discovering" virtual tours...

Mar 20, 2020 05:42 AM #5
Rainmaker
570,845
Eric Kodner
Madeline Island Realty - La Pointe, WI
CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -

Hi Nina! My history in the virtual tour arena is much like yours. I had an EGG 360 set-up before TourFactory. It was a football-shaped toroidal lens that you'd set up on a tripod and it would shoot a 360-degree image of a room (or outdoors panorama). And before that, I had an iPix apparatus and lens that did much the same thing, but it was smaller and more compact. So my efforts to use virtual tours really goes back to probably 2005, maybe earlier.

Mar 20, 2020 09:41 AM #6
Rainmaker
570,845
Eric Kodner
Madeline Island Realty - La Pointe, WI
CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -

I just finished reading an online article about surviving compulsory social distancing by using Zoom and FaceTime to socialize. I was particularly drawn to a quote by a Stanford University professor, who commented, "Virtual is not the same, but I am convinced it's better than nothing". He's right, of course. We have the tools to reach out to our real estate clients and there's no excuse for not using those tools.

Mar 20, 2020 12:21 PM #7
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Rainmaker
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Eric Kodner

CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
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