Author: Sydney Klein


How to Use Real Estate Videos to Sell a Home, Not Just a House

Real estate marketing is heavily visual. Videos are a fantastic way to be a little more creative and informative than you can be with just the photos of the house. Listing walkthrough videos are excellent marketing pieces to have in your toolbox. However, sometimes it pays to add an additional step OUT of the toolbox. Here are a few ideas of how to be more helpful using real estate videos that will show off your listing and your commitment to serving your clients.

1.  Who are the people in your neighborhood? Think about not only showing the house but the businesses and public spaces that are accessible from your listing. Instead of just listing playgrounds close by – show a video (Tip: be sure there are no children in your videos that you do not have a release for). Is there a great walking trail or bike path? Show it off. Your potential buyers will get a better sense of the neighborhood and be more likely to tour the home.

2.  In this virtual age of pandemics and touring from home – here is another real estate video idea that is often missed… introduce yourself. Chat it up a little more. Talk about your experience, your dedication to client services and even go off track a little and talk about what you like in a home. Maybe give a little away about your track record. It’s ok to offer a few humble-brags.

3.  Go beyond parks and playgrounds and get real local. Camp out at the local coffee shop and speak with the owner and customers about what they love about the neighborhood. You can suggest that while they wait for the cable-person to set up the Wi-Fi, they may enjoy a local cup of joe and a chat while they get some work done.

4.  Is this your first sale? No? Then get some video from your past clients! Don’t ever overlook the power of a good client story or testimonial. Most testimonials are written out text on a website. Turn that content into a great real estate marketing video. Ask a few to record for you. There are several platforms like Tribute.co and VidDay that offer an easy way to have your clients record and allow for simple editing as well.

Going above and beyond doesn’t have to take a ton of time and effort but if you want to improve your real estate marketing videos, a few extra steps could really pay off for you. Use videos in your social media outreach, website, and especially email marketing. Your clients will appreciate your extra steps and dedication.


Choosing the Right Real Estate Virtual Tour

Studies have shown that the best marketing tactic for your listing is to incorporate a virtual tour. With the right real estate virtual tour, the road to successful sales is that much smoother. Often, we are asked how to choose the right real estate virtual tour for your listing. Here are some tips to know what is best for connecting with potential buyers.

• Does your listing have features that deserve a specific highlight that helps it stand out? A spectacular view from the deck? High vaulted ceilings? Whatever the highlight, the Interactive Floor Plan Tour + 360 Views is the right real estate virtual tour for you. This virtual tour provides the layout so you can see the whole property, but emphasis the best areas with the immersive component of a 3D Tour. Interactive Floor Plan Tours + 360 Views is the best combination of 3D, photos, and floor plans in one seamless product.

Using cutting-edge technology and HDR high-quality images, this unique product is sure to make a listing stand out. Many are familiar with our traditional, easy-to-use, Interactive Floor Plan Tours that embed photos to be displayed when hovering over labels and dots on the floor plan. The Interactive Floor Plan Tour + 360 Views takes it a step further in providing an immersive view. These tours include blue rotation icons embedded into the floor plan that when hovered over display a full 360 View of that room. The flexibility of this virtual tour is also an excellent choice for properties that might have a wide range in buyer demographics.

• The most immersive real estate virtual tour is the TruFusion 3D Tour. This option provides the feeling “like you’re there” and is the best property viewing experience of any 3D virtual tour. The TruFusion 3D Tour allows the potential buyer to explore the entire listing using Photo Slider Navigation, moving from room to room and floor to floor. This virtual tour provides a 3D view of each level of the home. While this tour does not come with a floor plan or photos of the property, it does include enhanced interior colors and clear views out the windows all with HDR quality. The TruFusion 3D Tour works well on iPhone, iPad, or touch screen/touchpads.

• TruPlace’s Interactive Floor Plan Tours display cleanly and easily on a shared screen. They allow the presenter to hover over embedded photos within each room, so they are perfect for Virtual Open Houses. The Interactive Floor Plan Tour is the right real estate virtual tour option to provide a potential buyer or client an easy way to navigate the listing. Unlike many 3D Virtual Tours which can be challenging to navigate, Interactive Floor Plan Tours are known for their ease of use and organization. The great thing about purchasing an Interactive Floor Plan Tour from TruPlace is that it comes with all the photos to showcase the property. There is no need to pay for or schedule a separate appointment. This interactive, user-driven experience of a property shows the layout of the floor plan and allows viewers to navigate at their own pace through each room.

Each virtual tour is hosted on a branded and non-branded Single Property Website URL for MLS compliance. This website also has tabs offering more information about the property, including a map location, personalized lead capture form, and complimentary amenity photos of the surrounding community or subdivision.

Choosing the right tour can make a difference in many factors of the sale. TruPlace is available to help you find the right real estate virtual tour for your listings. We understand the client experience and are adept at matching that with the listing goals. Which virtual tour is right for you?


Top Tip for Impressive Real Estate Photography

Here is the tip: Hire a real estate photographer

The only tip a beginner or veteran real estate agent needs when it comes to photos for a property listing in real estate is to hire a professional real estate photographer.

A New Way of Selling

Real estate photography has never been more crucial to a property listing than is it right now.  Gone are the days of heavily attended open houses. Many people are still timid about venturing out. As the real estate industry moves toward a predominately digital experience, professional photos produced by a professional photographer are one of the most important selling pieces in the marketing toolbox.

Quality Matters

While smartphones are making leaps and bounds in technology, a professional real estate photographer is more experienced at creating the desired engagement and results. High resolution professional photos help you sell your listing faster and for $3,000- $11,000 more than homes with standard photos. It is proven that professional photographs outperform amateur photographs every time. Using today’s advanced DSLR cameras with larger sensors with more pixels, better controls, and interchangeable lenses easily outperform amateur photos.

It also takes an experienced professional to understand and know room angles, lighting, and highlight the spaces that appeal most to visitors. A real estate photographer has the experience necessary to know not only angles, but also ideal camera heights and lighting. The photographer will know which aperture priority to use depending on the amount of natural light in order to make the room look better. Things that an average person or other photographers may not be readily adept at catching.

After the Shoot

Post-production editing skills are a key part of the process that a real estate photographer will also possess. Enhancements can be made after the shoot to items such as the image on TVs, fires in fireplaces, and any other moving pieces that would not photograph very well. Most professionals will turn these elements off when shooting to prevent blur. However, using post-production technology, images can be added to TVs, fires can be added to fireplaces, pool water can be made a more inviting blue, the grass greener, and the sky can be transformed to sunny blue, even from a cloudy shooting day. While not appropriate for cosmetic enhancements that “fool” the viewer, this technology is very useful (and ethical) for enhancing things that come and go. It is important to note that professionals will also have a quick turn-around time for fully-edited images so that your listing process has no delays. TruPlace guarantees next-business-day turn-around on all photography packages and virtual tours. Less time waiting means more options!

If the overall goal is to entice a homebuyer and have your listing stand out with impressive real estate photography, then yes, a professional real estate photographer is a key to success.


3 Reasons Floor Plans Are Great Virtual Tours

The interactive floor plan tour addresses multiple issues with a single product. Whether searching for a home to buy or a vacation property to rent, the average shopper is searching dozens if not hundreds of listings – up to five a day. If you combine that with the fact that the brain can process images in less than 13 milliseconds, then the importance of providing clear, distinct visuals on a property becomes a top priority.

1. Move properties quicker.

Virtual tours are known to draw in offers faster and even allow for sight unseen purchases. When open houses were suspended in many states, real estate remained an essential service. When in-person schooling went all virtual, short term rentals and vacation properties reached capacity. When time is of the essence, information is critical.

Providing property information, such as that which is provided in the floor plan tour, can bring in offers faster, bring in higher offers and reduce time spent showing the property to buyers who are not a good fit. What makes the floor plan tour different from other tours is the ease of use in combination with the detailed visual information. No other tour product combines the size of the room with the photo of what the room looks like in one glance.

2. Increase shopper satisfaction ratings and reduce bad leads.

Time is of the essence for both real estate agents and reservation agents. If the viewer sees that the layout of the property will not work for them, that saves a ton of time for both the user and the agent. Quickly discovering what will not work is just as important as learning what will. The Interactive Floor Plan Tour is the easiest way to see where rooms and features are with relation to other areas of the property.

Several agents have told TruPlace that the floor plans have saved their clients time by weeding out properties that will not work for them. And reservation agents have reported a 30% reduction in guest questions by providing this information up front to potential guests.

3. Communicate a lot of information in a small amount of space.

The Mortgage Reports states that home buying selection happens mainly on two things:

  • Is this a good value
  • Will this work for me?

The second question gets answered using the Interactive Floor Plan Tour. An Interactive Floor Plan Tour communicates quickly and easily whether or not this property will work for the person viewing it.

These days, deciding to view a property in person is not taken lightly. Providing layout information in addition to the images informs the person viewing hundreds of properties of the details they need to know to make a decision.

Most property website pages have to convey a lot of information about the property on one page, knowing the viewer’s attention space is very short. The viewer will likely look at these details in this order:

  • Bedroom count
  • Location
  • Price
  • Photos

Knowing that viewers can filter by bedroom count, location and price, the most important element on that property’s page will be the visuals. Without much room to convince the view to look further, the Interactive Floor Plan Tour is the best use of this space.


Using Virtual Open Houses to Market Real Estate Listings

Adapting to Change

These are challenging times for everyone. New COVID-19 rules and restrictions limit person-to-person interactions, which we at TruPlace understand that this is an adjustment period for most agents. The health reasons are clear and the business implications are nerve-wracking. But there are practical things that can be done to serve our clients, just like there are practical ways to serve yours.

Health First

For starters, TruPlace is complying with CDC and WHO guidelines to monitor the recent travel and health of our photographers and the agents they might interact with. We are also making sure any relevant expenses, such as medical gloves or hand sanitizer, are covered. Our entire office headquarters in Germantown, MD has adjusted to the new normal of remote work.

Listing agents are facing a unique set of circumstances: they must sell their client’s home without inviting heavy foot traffic. Our clients are finding that 3D products are a safe way to market a home amid Coronavirus concerns. Specifically, TruPlace’s immersive visuals for buyers are a great way to experience the property without having to physically be there.

Work Smarter

The 3D Virtual Tour is the new Open House. It’s viewable from a web link sent by the agent to potential buyers. TruFusion 3D tours allow viewers to see details such as electrical outlet placements, back-splash patterns, and clear window views.

Floor Plan Tours with 360 Views show the viewer where they “are” inside the house based on area of the floor plan being clicked. The 360 view technology lets viewers turn in any direction and view that area closer up or further back by simply pinching the screen like they would with almost any online image.

TruPlace’s “Virtual Open Houses” enable potential buyers to explore every nook and cranny of a property from the safety of their own laptops or iPads. Our signature smart-touch layout tool with beautiful photos viewers love now has added 360 views in the rooms where details matters most, like kitchens and backyards. This solution can save on the cost of a full 3D virtual tour while still giving guests the quick, quality inside look they want.

These “user-controlled experiences” allow the buyer to move in and out of rooms, hallways, and stairs in addition to being able to spin around the room to see all the details.

For buyers looking to be guided through a property visually, TruPlace has Walkthru Videos that escort viewers to each room. These video products are available at varying lengths from 1-minute to 4-minutes long, regardless of property size.

The 3D tours, Walkthru Videos and Slideshow Videos designed by TruPlace provide the most comprehensive and realistic experience of a home’s layout, giving viewers a totally clear and immersive experience.

Stay Safe

The well being of our clients, employees, and neighbors are taking a front-row seat, driving our decision making, which seems to get tougher by the hour. We encourage everyone to stay safe and healthy.


How to Use Your Property Analytics

On every property link, TruPlace collects valuable information and organizes it into graphs and charts. In order to take advantage of this beneficial feature, you have to know where to find it and how to use it.

Where Is My Data?

Any current client of TruPlace can log into the Client Portal from home page of our website and access property analytics.
Select a property from your property list. Click on the sunset icon under the Images column. Once that property page loads, go to Property in the top navigation bar and click Analytics.
With each property, we provide data about the behaviors of the online audience interacting with this property page. This access is available for a full year.

What Data Is Available?

You not only get the data showing the sources of the online traffic, or where the traffic came from to view this property, but you can see trends showing which days of the week or times of day that property gets the most views.

How Can I Use It?

Social Media Marketing

You would be shocked at the differences in viewer behavior, based on a property location, price point and marketing efforts. Use the data to determine when to host a virtual open house or when to do a Facebook live event. For example, if the property gets most of its views on Fridays, see what time is most popular, then launch a Facebook live event about that property during that time.

Location Specific Marketing

The map feature is a client favorite. It shows you where the viewers are located when they look at the property online. Because the map is interactive, you can click on each number and drill down to see hyper-local data, even down to the to the street.

The map indicates high concentration clusters, not just locally, but nationally and globally. Property owners and managers can gain a better understanding of your marketing efforts and reach with this visual, as well. Use the zoom in/out to drill down closer or move out further to see the viewer locations.
You can show your sellers the on-line behavior of the buyers and this can help you to adjust or pivot the marketing plan for better results. For residential sales, it is also a smart way to target potential home sellers because if these viewers are looking at homes virtually, they may just be thinking about a move soon. For rentals, it helps lower the cost of pay per click ads when you can target a specific location, especially when you know they are already interested.