Has anyone here sold virtual tour services to Real Estate Agents? How did it go?

by DaniMc
17 replies
I am about to start promoting virtual tours via direct mail to Realtors. I have the list, the sales letter is ready to go. I will start mailing next week.

My photographer will go to the house and take the pics. I will create a website and a very nice video for each home.

I am targeting upper level homes (at least $500k) so there is plenty of margin for me. I have seen other services like this, but all look cheap. I am providing high-class, very professional photos and videos on a very clean web layout.

Has anyone here attempted this?
#agents #estate #real #services #sold #tour #virtual
  • Profile picture of the author Rob28x
    I haven't but have been interested in trying it so I can't wait to see any feedback in this thread.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7027769].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Carl Fridsjö
    Actually sounds like a solid idea. I can imagine classic, solid, networking with realtors and developers could bring in huge business.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7027815].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author vndnbrgj
    Bump.... I wouldn't mind some feedback on this either.
    I was looking at doing it. You can get started for under $1,000.
    You can charge $100 to do a tour which should take half hour to a hour.
    I would then hire someone to do the pictures at $25/hour... using my equipment.

    When I inquired about this to a company that sells the software, and some equipment, they said that the winter is dead. They are really busy all summer long but winter is dead.
    Signature
    Life Begins At The End Of Your Comfort Zone
    - Neale Donald Wilson -
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7028028].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author DaniMc
      Originally Posted by vndnbrgj View Post

      Bump.... I wouldn't mind some feedback on this either.
      I was looking at doing it. You can get started for under $1,000.
      You can charge $100 to do a tour which should take half hour to a hour.
      I would then hire someone to do the pictures at $25/hour... using my equipment.

      When I inquired about this to a company that sells the software, and some equipment, they said that the winter is dead. They are really busy all summer long but winter is dead.
      Thank you very much for that info. I can see how winter could be more difficult in this business! That's fine though. If I can make it work this winter and get the kinks worked out...by summer I will be rocking.

      I am looking at charging $500-$700 for my tours. Each home gets a beautiful website, I have a photographer who works magic, and professional level video that blows away what most people are doing. I am shooting for the highest quality and the most expensive homes. I will be charging more than any other service in town.
      Signature
      Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7028213].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author vndnbrgj
        Originally Posted by Prevalent View Post

        That is good info. I can see how winter could be more difficult in this business! That's fine though. If I can make it work this winter and get the kinks worked out...by summer I will be rocking.

        I am looking at charging $500-$700 for my tours. Each home gets a beautiful website, I have a photographer who works magic, and professional level video that blows away what most people are doing. I am shooting for the highest quality and the most expensive homes. I will be charging more than any other service in town. That's just how I like to do things.
        I like that.
        Providing a done for you service for realtors and developers, like Carl said.
        Something else I was looking at in addition, was posting the listing on classified sites like Craigslist using sites like Postlet and adding a mobile site where they can text in/scan a QR code to take the virtual tour. Then the lead would automatically go to the realtor.

        In addition, creating a package for FSBO. Just because they don't want to pay a realtor, doesn't mean they don't want what's best for their home.

        Ok, and I like the part about being the highest priced service.
        Signature
        Life Begins At The End Of Your Comfort Zone
        - Neale Donald Wilson -
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7028248].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author DaniMc
          Originally Posted by vndnbrgj View Post

          I like that.
          Providing a done for you service for realtors and developers, like Carl said.
          Something else I was looking at in addition, was posting the listing on classified sites like Craigslist using sites like Postlet and adding a mobile site where they can text in/scan a QR code to take the virtual tour. Then the lead would automatically go to the realtor.

          In addition, creating a package for FSBO. Just because they don't want to pay a realtor, doesn't mean they don't want what's best for their home.

          Ok, and I like the part about being the highest priced service.
          Hey man thanks so much for that valuable input. I had never heard of Postlet and it looks like just the service I have been looking for to add in at the end of my sales pitch when I get them to hand over a check.

          And the idea of FSBO...great! I can target these folks all day long.
          Signature
          Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7028273].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author PhilaPM
        Originally Posted by Prevalent View Post

        Thank you very much for that info. I can see how winter could be more difficult in this business! That's fine though. If I can make it work this winter and get the kinks worked out...by summer I will be rocking.

        I am looking at charging $500-$700 for my tours. Each home gets a beautiful website, I have a photographer who works magic, and professional level video that blows away what most people are doing. I am shooting for the highest quality and the most expensive homes. I will be charging more than any other service in town.
        You better be targeting multi-million dollar homes if you want to charge $500-700 for a virtual tour. I don't know any realtors who would fork over that kind of cash when they aren't even guaranteed the house will sell and they will get their commission. I was an agent for 8 years. I could have a professional photographer do pictures and a virtual tour for $150. This would also include syndication on Realtor.com and all te other real estate websites. I don't really see the value being a $500-700 service. Just my opinion.
        Signature
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7030724].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author DaniMc
          Originally Posted by PhilaPM View Post

          You better be targeting multi-million dollar homes if you want to charge $500-700 for a virtual tour. I don't know any realtors who would fork over that kind of cash when they aren't even guaranteed the house will sell and they will get their commission. I was an agent for 8 years. I could have a professional photographer do pictures and a virtual tour for $150. This would also include syndication on Realtor.com and all te other real estate websites. I don't really see the value being a $500-700 service. Just my opinion.
          Thanks, all input is appreciated.

          I can definitely see your point that they aren't guaranteed a sale.

          Let me throw this at you.

          I am selling this more as a way to impress your clients and cause them to rave about you to their friends and social network. I know there are plenty of photographers who do virtual tours for $100-$300. I have reviewed dozens of them. They are all using standard templates, which are available from several different services. And, most of these "photographers" are amateurs.

          So, I had an awesome template designed. My photographer is a real artist. Every picture he takes can make your jaw drop. My video template is beautiful. I hire professional voice talent.

          The point is not to sell the home. I don't necessarily think these tours will make a home sell much faster (maybe, maybe not). The point is for Realtors who care about having a top image, to elevate it even further by making their clients homes look fantastic and encouraging them to post it on Facebook and talk about them at work. This is a referral tool. This is an image upgrade tool. This tool is to stroke the ego of the Realtor and the customer and get people talking.

          That is how my sales letter is written. This type of thinking will appeal to the people who call me. The others wont call, and that is fine.

          Thoughts?
          Signature
          Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7030766].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Chris Beatty
    I actually run a local virtual tour company. One of my many hats ...... Kind of the same situation as you.... I have a photographer that actually goes out and does the sales side and obviously the photography. I do the back end work with putting together the VT's along with adding them to our portfolio site. We are in a pretty small city (Approximately 50K people) and in this market, it's a little tougher to sell a premium product like a "REAL VIRTUAL TOUR" ...... most realtors use a crappy slide show and call it a virtual tour. That being said, we are in our second year of business and this year we more than tripled the amount of tours we did in the first year. It's just a matter of getting out there and showing your product to some agents.

    My experience is that even a good Direct Mail Sales Letter does not work in this market.... It didn't here at least. Realtors are naturally networkers so get out there and network with them. Join your local Realtor Association, give away a few VT's to spread the word.

    Hope this helps a little!
    Signature
    How I Generated 217 INBOUND Phone Calls For My Marketing Agency <------- Scripts Are Included
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7028960].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author trinimu
    Hi Already tried that one using ASLG System and it helps my leads grow.
    Signature

    You can't live your life for other people. You've got to do what's right for you, even if it hurts some people you love. Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook
    real estate leads real estate leads algorithm

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7041746].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author BarbaraP
    Virtual Tours in this huge market cost $170 and sound/look like a funeral. Real estate agents care only about listing and selling homes. They generally look to reduce their costs in selling each home so you're likely to face resistance at $500 - $700. PhilaPM speaks from experience. I have one real estate client - top producer - and she's reluctant to leave her "virtual tour" slideshow. To get in front of more agents, call the brokers and offer a free class on "how to use video to sell more listings." Explain how you're different and fill their need to use YouTube to get their listings seen by more buying prospects. Good luck!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7043277].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Mach1Marketing
    Right now I have a second meeting with 2 Realty companies selling these Tour videos with home cellers added in. My biggest points are instant leads (when they use the QR code) and 1st page rankings for the video via Youtube. These are the first two I approached so we'll see.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7043503].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author abbot
      Banned
      Real Estate agents can be a PITA. It depends on who you come across.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7043896].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author bosanci28
    Originally Posted by Prevalent View Post

    I am about to start promoting virtual tours via direct mail to Realtors. I have the list, the sales letter is ready to go. I will start mailing next week.

    My photographer will go to the house and take the pics. I will create a website and a very nice video for each home.

    I am targeting upper level homes (at least $500k) so there is plenty of margin for me. I have seen other services like this, but all look cheap. I am providing high-class, very professional photos and videos on a very clean web layout.

    Has anyone here attempted this?
    hi,
    is there a way if you can explain how this works? exactly...

    ,i understand that you need the photos,create the video,and also a website, now you say ,that you have the list,is that like mail list to all realtors within your area? ,and also sales letter is to send to whatever service you offer?

    the video created will that stay within your website? ,now how about the inside of the house pictures,how will you have access?

    i am just curios as i am starting a city local website for community and business ,and also a part of it will also include the real estate section where agents can come and submit their homes that have on the market of course for a fee.

    now,your idea sound really good for me also,my city has 60.000 people so maybe some how this will work here too! do you have a website ready? can you post a link? curios how it looks.

    anyway,i really appreciate any info,just new in all this ,learning every day new things.

    regards,
    misu
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7045061].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author midasman09
      Banned
      Dan....these guys have been doing this for awhile and their prices DO go up to $500. Nashua Video Tours

      Real estate video tour & photography price list for New Hampshire & Massachusetts

      Also....think about giving agents "another reason" for hiring you. Set up a "Homes For Sale Directory" of homes for sale listed by Area (if it's a large city) or by Town. Then, promote the Directory to get potential buyers to Click In to see YOUR Video Tours.

      I did this some yrs ago, for restaurants. I used a Video Editor called Photo Story. I made up 2 Sample videos from photos I took with a digital cam....Outside shots, Inside Shots, Plates of Food, Owner. Added some background music and annotations.

      Put the Videos on a DVD....bought a Portable DVD Player from WalMart ($89)....went to restaurants, showed the owners my 2 "Samples" and told them I'd make a Video of their restaurant at NO Obligation. I'd take some photos now, make a Video and come back and show them.

      If they liked the Video....they could buy it.

      I also had Up-Grades. Sold the videos for $350 to $750 and sold almost ALL that "gave me permission to take the photos".

      I then created a "monthly residual" program....a "Restaurant Directory" with restaurants listed by Town. And....the "Piece-de-resistante"..... something that "Forced" restaurant owners to buy;

      I made a Plastic Sign that sat on the Front Desk of 10 local Hotels. The sign had plates of Food and ...."Looking for a Place To Eat? Scan this Code! (I also included the URL to my Directry if they didn't have a Smart-Phone)

      They LOVED it!

      You could do the same thing. Along with a "Homes For Sale - OnLine" directory, you could provide a QR Code that brings up your Directory ON CELL PHONES!

      Agents could put the QR Code on their For Sale Signs and Flyers. Either offer this as an "Added FREE Service" or charge a monthly fee.

      You would be offering something NO one else can....Access to local Homes For Sale (via your Directory) via Cell Phones.

      And....when a house sells, just remove it from your Directory!

      Wow! I think I should give this a try, myself. One thing I learned about RE Agents (even in a market like Aspen, CO where homes go for HIGH prices) ....RE Agents are CHEAP! Mainly because they don't get paid until the house sells.

      Which brings up a thought; what if you were to charge $250 per house, initially.....then, when it sells, charge another $500? 1/3rd in front and 2/3rds when it sells?

      Thanks for letting me "re-charge" my "Marketing Mind",

      Don Alm....long-time marketing/promo guy
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8138331].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author DaniMc
    Wow this came back from the dead.

    I gave this an honest go. Lessons learned from the campaign for anyone interested:

    1. As warned by several people in this thread - Realtors are very frugal people (not all - but many).

    2. I used two different callers and made calls myself. Made 30+ phone appointments - I'm not lying here - only ONE actually showed up for their time. Every excuse in the book was given! Dealing with Realtors is the only time I have ever seen this level of flakiness.

    3. I decided to try and pick some other angles so began meeting people servicing the niche. Had several meetings with other videographers, photographers, home inspectors, and mortgage brokers - they all had one thing in common: every Realtor client came through networking and referral. These people are notorious networkers.

    4. I'm not about to spend my time networking with Realtors to promote this one product line - so I axed it. I discovered this is one niche I am not particularly fond of working with. My other products require much less digging and searching - I can just make contact and make a sale.

    So - There you have it. I jumped in, spent several thousand dollars testing different things, and shut the campaign down. Perhaps there are people here who want to tackle the niche or is a good fit for you for some reason.

    For me - I prefer to work with business owners who have a solid, regular revenue stream. A large percentage of Realtors are scrounging around for the next deal, and it makes them notoriously frugal and flaky. Just my experience.

    I'm not blaming them for my campaign failing. As soon as I figured out what would be required to sell to these people, I realized it is not something I am willing to do. You can sell to them, but you have to be "out there" where they are networking with them. That is fine, but Realtors aren't typically in the same places I am operating. It would require me to make more adjustments than I am willing to make.
    Signature
    Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8138446].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author midasman09
      Banned
      Dan.....you tried selling Cadillacs in a Volkswagon Park!

      The 1st question entering your prospective RE Agents mind is; WHAT? What is THIS about? How can this HELP ME? WHO is this guy? What's he done b4? What's in it for me? HOW can HE help ME make money?

      In the mind of prospects is; "SO! He makes fancy videos! So what?"

      Remind me of....a few yrs ago (I think it was 1996 or 97) when the Internet was coming out and websites were starting to be talked about. I bought a domain called "WebSitesOnSPec.com"! I got a techie kid from the local community college (this was waaay b4 Fiverr) to make up 5, 4 page websites.....a nice Header and some "generic" content and "generic" phone nos and addreses.

      I bought some KeyWord domains. "PlumberRoseburg.com", "PestControlRoseburg.com", "RooferRoseburg.com" "ChiropractorRoseburg.com etc. Put the 4 page sites on the domains and uploaded.

      Then....instead of generic names, I put ACTUAL business names, including actual contact info.

      I then called each biz...told them I had created a website FOR THEM and they could take a look at it (NO Obligation) I would hold the site for them for the next 2 days. If I didn't hear from them by ____at 5pm.... I'd offer the site to a competitor".

      Well....I sold a LOT of sites!

      And....a few yrs ago, Jack Mize came out with "1-Page Sites" and I set up and sold some of them (Here's Jack's Sample Site to give you an idea....Houston Discount Roofing Contractors - Emergency Roof Repairs 713-242-1651)

      So....what I'm doing here is showing you how I "got the TRUST" of my prospects!"! There was no, "I wonder IF this guy can make a decent website for me?" and...."When would it be ready?"...etc

      It was ALREADY THERE....IN FRONT OF THEIR EYEBALLS!

      So....back to your thing; Why couldn't you make up 2 or 3 "Tours" on Spec?...with actual agent's info (including a Photo)?

      Sure....you are taking a chance they'll buy BUT....some WILL buy.

      The KEY thing here is....TRUST....in YOU and whether YOU can do a good job for them and make them some money.

      Thanks for reading,

      Don Alm......marketing guy

      I then
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8140417].message }}

Trending Topics