Friday, 14 October 2016

Helpful Tips to Improve your Free Bronze Virtual Tours

Many of our new clients are unaware that a free bronze virtual tour is automatically generated when they send out an eflyer. A link to the tour is added to your elfyer which means it is in your best interest to take advantage of this valuable selling tool. You can make the most of this great offer using these simple tips to improve your tour.

Use Up to 60 Images

Realtour virtual tours offer 60 slots for images. Even if you just need 5 images for your eflyer, take advantage of showing off the whole property and upload as many images as you can to fill the slots. You can upload your images when creating your eflyer to save a step. All the images uploaded will automatically generate your tour.

You can upload up to 60 images while creating your elfyer to improve your free virtual tour.

Arrange the Images

Although your virtual tour and link are ready to go as soon as your images are uploaded, you want to ensure that your images are following a logical order. People should tour the home online,  the same way they would at an open house. To change the order of your images, go to Marketing Products and select Virtual Tours. Click edit and then go to Manage Photos and simply click and drag each image into the order you wish them to appear.

The Manage Photos tab allows you to arrange your images, upload images and also add captions. 

Add Music

Music is a small detail that makes viewing a tour a little less tedious. It helps set the pace and improves the level of enjoyment for viewers. It also take second to add. Just go to the Music Selector tab, click the music you wish to use and it is done. For your convenience you can listen to the samples before you choose.

Listen to music choices and make a selection to make your tour more appealing.

Upgrade for more Features

The bronze tour offers you a perfect little tour to view the rooms and property you are selling. However, if you want to add a few more details such as captions or a floor plan, you can choose to upgrade. To upgrade a tour go to Marketing Products and choose Virtual Tours. You can then click the Upgrade button for the tour in question and select the upgrade you wish to purchase.

Because the base fee for the tour is already included, you can upgrade very affordably with the following features:

Silver Upgrade: This upgrade provides you with the ability to also add captions to your tour. This will only cost $6. Captions are added on the Manage Photos tab. Just click the Add/Edit Caption link for each picture and enter your details. This is a great way to add descriptions to draw attention to features in the room as well as comment about upgrades. Other features include:
  • Floor Plan
  • Viewer Skins with color of your choice
  • Multiple Agent option
  • Lead Generation
  • SEO Optimization
  • Maximum Exposure
  • YouTube Video Link

Platinum Upgrade: The Platinum tour offers the same features as Silver tours, as well as the ability to upload a video to your tour. This upgrade is available for $20 Videos are added on the Manage Photos tab. You then click the Video tab and click Upload. You can also add 3D tours, clicking on the 3D tab. You will require special code from your photographer to add here.

Upgrade your tour for more features.

Adding and Removing Links

For whatever reason, some agents might want to remove the tour from their eflyer. You can do this by going to the Links tab when creating your eflyer and highlighting the tour title and link and deleting it. You can also add your own tours and up to three links to your eflyer instead of including your free virtual tour.

These tips will help you see better results for your eflyers and offer more information for buyers' agents to share with their clients.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Welcome Fall with Newsletters to your Clients

As the seasons change the market slows down and you have more time to think about new approaches to marketing. When listing season slows down, it is the time to get your ducks in a row and have a plan to keep in touch with clients. Here are a few great newsletters you can share with clients in October:

Fall Home D├ęcor Tips

Offer some fun tips for homeowners to cozy up their homes for the chillier months ahead. These tips offer, quick affordable ideas that can help homeowners make simple changes using accessories as well as tips for both the interior and exterior.

Fall Gardens: Lovely Projects

When the garden is looking a little worse for wear, these lovely garden projects can breathe new life into it. Tips for designing fall urns and window boxes as well as ideal flowers that blossom in the fall help keep the home looking colorful and cheerful. There are also tips for planting fruit trees in the fall.

Pool Care 101: Winter Prep

For those colder areas, this helpful newsletter offers important winter prep tips for new pool owners.

Fall Home Maintenance

This is perfect for new homeowners who might not know what needs to be done to prepare their home for the colder months. From cleaning out the eaves troughs to home safety tips and fireplaces, they will have a good overview of how to prepare their homes for the cooler months.

Home Comfort for Winter

This newsletter is filled with tips to keep your home warm from roof to basement when the temperature dips. A checklist provides you with helpful ideas to check each floor in the home for better energy efficiency and comfort.

Buying a Winter Home

If you live in a colder climate, offer inspiration and plant a seed with this newsletter about purchasing a winter home. These buying tips help those who are considering purchasing a home for “wintering” in warmer climes.

Haunted Halloween

And don’t forget about Halloween. There are several fun Halloween newsletters you can share including:
  • Creepy Interiors
  • Kids’ Party Ideas
  • Halloween Hosting
  • Halloween Safety
  • Get Ready for Halloween

A subscription to Realtour’s Ready to Send newsletters allows you to share limitless newsletters with your clients for an affordable way to keep in touch until listing season arrives in the spring.  This subscription is now available for a low monthly fee of just $19.99 for endless use and eblasts. 

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

The Two Best Ways to start a Realtour Campaign

There are two ways you can create a campaign using the Realtour system. The first is scheduling a photo shoot with one of our photographers and the second is to begin with an eflyer. By starting your campaigns off with the right first step you will save both time and money.

1. With a Photo Shoot 

We always recommend that our clients begin their campaigns with a photo shoot as nothing provides a better base for advertising a listing then professional images. As well, your photographer will upload your images, create your free virtual tour and you also receive limitless use of our print creator tool to create free post cards, flyers and brochures.

The beauty of using our photography services is that you will not only have stunning images to use in your marketing materials, but you also save time and money in the following ways:
  • Your photographer uploads your images for you and also prepares your virtual tour. You can then add music, captions and choose your branding colors.
  • You receive a free platinum tour, which is our premium tour complete with all of the bells and whistles you need.
  • You receive free use of our print creator to create print ready PDFs for your post cards, flyers and brochures.
  • Your photos are ready for use in our eflyers and print materials as well.
  • If you create your free print flyer, a copy is saved for use as an eflyer in our system.

Click here for instructions on how to get started.

2. With an Eflyer  

If you are not planning to use our photography services and have images ready to go, an eflyer is the best way to start your campaign. When you start with an eflyer you will automatically generate a free bronze tour and link which is added to your eflyer and you also automatically will create a free print flyer. You can also choose to create a free post card or brochure as well.

The benefits of starting your campaign with an eflyer are:
  • You can announce your listing and reach thousands of targeted buyers’ agents in the perfect area
  • You can upload all of your images to auto generate your free bronze tour and include the link with your eflyer for agents to view and share with their clients
  • Your print flyer will automatically be created and you can download the PDF to print and share at open houses or place in your For Sale sign flyer holder

Click here for instructions on how to get started.

What you need to know about Eflyers

If you wish to start a campaign using an eflyer or just create an eflyer in general, follow these steps:

Log onto your account and click the Eflyer icon on your dashboard.

You will be asked to fill in your listing details. Fill in all of the info and details as it will then auto populate on your template and also be saved when your virtual tour is auto created. Once the information is complete you will see the continue button appear. Click the button to arrive at the template library.

Take the time to look at the templates available and choose the one that best suits your needs. You can click preview to see a larger image of the template and then click select when you find the one you wish to use.

The blank template will appear on the right complete with your listing details and your contact information. On the left you will see the image box. First click the upload button in the image box to upload your images. For the best virtual tour experience for viewers, upload all of your images here. This will also make it easier to find the image that works best in your eflyer.

To add an image to your eflyer, click on the image you wish to use and drag them into the green image squares. To replace an image, just click on the new one and drag it over the existing one. If you wish to delete an image square, click the red X. To bring the image square back click the green check mark. To edit copy just click on the copy and the text editor will appear. You can add, change and delete copy as well as change the size and color.

Once you are satisfied with your elfyer, click continue to go to the proofing page. Here it is very important that you check every detail to ensure it is correct. You don’t want to send out an eflyer with a glaring mistake. Once it is gone, it cannot be retrieved! On this page you can also email the proof to your client or broker for approval.

Next click the Links tab and here you can add your subject line. You can also add up to three links and you will also see your virtual tour link is already there for you. If you do not wish to use the virtual tour link, highlight it and delete both the title and the link. To add a link just copy it from your browser and paste it into the link field. You can add any title you wish. You can also check the links are working and make sure your subject line works by clicking the Preview button. Once you are happy you can then click continue.

To send your eflyer you have three options: Use our mapblast tool to reach agents in the areas of your choice, upload or add your own contacts, or do both.

To send by mapblast, click the mapblast icon and you will see the map appear with your listing centred in the mapblast tool. This gives a good selection around the area. You can look at the amount of names covered in the area as well as the cost on the right of the map. If you are happy with this, you can click the continue button. If you wish to enlarge or shrink the area selected you can click the white circles on the box and drag them to change the size of the box. To move the area selected click the red box and drag it to the area you wish to select. You can also add a series of targets anywhere in the United States by clicking the “Add another target area button”. You will see a new box appear and you can move it by dragging it and you can also resize it. You can delete a target area by clicking the red X that appears on the target list. Once you are happy, click the continue button.

If you wish to add your own contacts click the contacts icon. You will see a white box appear at the top of the screen. The easiest way to create a list is to copy your email addresses and then paste them into the box. You can then name and save your list which will be saved in your account. Another option is to import or upload your list. Click the button you wish to use to upload your list or import your contacts. Lists can be deleted by clicking the red X and edited by clicking edit. Be certain that you have clicked the little box under send to in order to add any of your lists. You can create a list as small as a single name if you wish. The lists must contain email addresses only. Click continue when you are finished.

You will see a final count and cost once you have completed your target and mailing choices. If all seems well, click the continue button to pay. Just another warning: Once you pay your eflyer can go out as quickly as a few minutes depending on the cue waiting to be mailed. This means it is imperative you are completely 100% certain there are no errors in your eflyer.

What you need to know about Realtour Photo Shoots

Review this blog to learn everything you need to know about booking a photo shoot with one of our professional real estate photographers.

How to Book a Shoot:

Log onto your account.

Click the Photo Shoot icon on your dashboard.

You will be asked to fill in your listing details in order to a) Provide the address for the photographer and b) Provide the zip code for our system to find the photographers available in your area. You can choose to fill in all of the info and details at this time, or just provide the full address.

With the zip code and address our system will then show you the photographers in your area. You can look at their portfolios, review their pricing and services and also see their availability on their schedules.

Once you decide on the photographer you wish to schedule, click the date you wish to book.
You will arrive on the price list and menu of services. Review the services and click the dot to select the services you wish to book and click continue.

You will then be asked to enter some information to provide instructions to the photographers such as how they can access the home, will you be there, or will your client be at home, etc. Complete the info and then click add to cart to pay.

Please note that you have to pay to secure the date you have selected. Even if the booking is in your shopping cart, it will not reserve the date until it is paid.

Confirmation & Cancellations

You will then receive confirmation from your photographer who will contact you to set up a time on the date you have selected. To cancel or reschedule a photo shoot you must contact your photographer directly. 

Completed Photo Shoots

Once the shoot is complete your photographer will upload your images into the virtual tours in your account. To access your images or complete your virtual tour follow these steps:
Log onto your account and click the Virtual Tours icon. 

Find your listing and click edit to view the images and tour. 

To download the images you can click the Manage Photos tab and scroll down to the Download arrow. Select the size required and the images will download a zipped folder to your account. 

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

How to Avoid Losing Clients Due to Attrition

They say that on average a real estate agent will lose 20 percent of their clients due to attrition. When you allow yourself to fall out of touch with clients, you are potentially missing out on the 86 percent of clients who would use you again or refer you to others. All of these numbers add up to one thing: You cannot afford to lose touch with any of your past clients.

Staying Quiet

Being busy is often the reason agents lose touch with clients. However, remaining in contact should be a number one priority for you. You can look for ways to send auto messages via email, drip campaigns or a newsletter service, or just mark it in your calendar and make sure you do it. It can be as little as once a month, or even quarterly, but it has to be on a regular basis so that you are never out of touch for too long a period. Out of sight is out of mind.

No Budget

Many agents make the mistake of investing in the wrong marketing tactics and then wonder why they are not getting new clients. Keeping in mind that 86 percent is the average number of clients that are repeat business or referrals, focusing on remaining in contact with current clients is actually more important than investing in ads to attract new clients. You can invest as little as $50 per month to send out useful information via newsletters to maintain the clients you currently have and that will be more likely to refer you to friends and family.

Show your Value

One of the most effective ways to avoid attrition is to continue to show your value. This does not mean you have to keep knocking on the door, or calling them on the phone. It simply means that you should use your knowledge to keep your clients informed about what is happening in the real estate market in their area. A little newsletter that is emailed or mailed through snail mail is the easiest way to keep clients up to date on market trends and let them know how it effects them.

Many homeowners move into a home and don’t give its value a second thought. By providing them with a market overview monthly, you can remind them of the value of their home and let them know how much houses are selling for in their neighborhood. It not only provides incentive to consider selling, but also reminds them you are a local expert so they will consider referring you should someone they know be selling.

Be Folksy

It never hurts to be a little folksy with clients and share fun, useful information throughout the year. Whether it is tips for holiday shopping, recipes for barbecuing or gardening ideas, looking at the opportunity to provide engaging information that is perfect for homeowners is a non-invasive way to keep in touch.


Make sure you make a note of your clients’ birthdays if at all possible. It is always thoughtful to send out birthday wishes as it makes them feel special while reminding them you are around. You can even take note of other special dates you might be privy to such as kids’ birthdays or graduation dates, wedding anniversaries, etc. Then hit the important holidays with a personalized, hand written (or at least signed) card.

Personal Touch

You will learn a lot about your clients when you are working with them through the selling (or buying) process. Sharing information that is specific to their needs will not only appear thoughtful, but also provide them with information they can actually use. It also shows them that just because their house was sold, or their purchase is complete doesn’t mean you don’t still have their best interests at heart and want to help.

You can even share a link to an interesting article or blog you think they might enjoy to connect to them. This can introduce them to fun websites that they can refer to again and again. They will be thankful you thought of them.

You can also share information about yourself. It should not get too personal, but if you have new skills, have changed brokers, won an award, etc. you can share this in an email with a little “think of me for your next sale or purchase” note.

Local Events

You can also keep up with local events and send out an email or newsletter about community celebrations, barbecues, concerts, new restaurant openings, etc. This shows them that you not only know the area, but that you are a member of the community and support local businesses.

Avoiding attrition is easy if you make the effort to remain on the best of terms with all of your clients. The only reason to cross a client off your contact list is if they ask you to!

Learn about Realtour's Ready to Send Newsletter service. 

Thursday, 25 August 2016

How to improve Sales using Generational Wants and Needs

There are many differences in the wants and needs of each generation during the home purchase process. By understanding these preferences you can focus on the right features during walk throughs and open houses based on a person’s age, as well as in the preparation of your real estate marketing materials.

The Study

An energy efficient home rates very highly for Baby Boomers. 
According to a national study conducted by the National Association of Home Builders, they found that there were some interesting differences, particularly between Baby Boomers and the rest of the age groups. The study, “Housing Preferences of the Boomer Generation: How They Compare to OtherHome Buyers”, dug deep, covering all aspects of a home from size to specific rooms and features. There was a list of 150 features covered and those involved in the study rated the features they wanted and those they did not want. Findings were based on 4,326 responses from home buyers in general and also based on the following generations:
  • Millennials (born 1980 or later)
  • Gen X’ers (born 1965-1979)
  • Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964)
  • Seniors (born 1945 or earlier)

Wants by Generation

It is all about age, and looking at the differences between the younger generations versus the older, it is clear wants change as people age. Here are some breakdowns of the most wanted home preferences by generation:
Millennials want more outdoor space.
  • Millennials: Millennials are the only generation to include a deck, a patio, and a front porch on their top 10 most wanted features. They are also the only group that want both a shower stall and tub in their master bathroom. Having a formal space for a dining room tied in 10th place with Energy Star® rated appliances, exterior lighting was second and a living room took third. The number one position for the most wanted for Millennials was a laundry room. They also listed ceiling fans and main floor hardwood to round off the list.
  • Gen X: Gen Xer’s shared Millennials number one desire for a laundry room. However, clearly Energy Star® features were far more important to them with Energy Star® rated appliances, whole home and windows all appearing at the top of the list with a space in second for exterior lighting. Another commonality with Millennials was a desire for hardwood on the main floor, ceiling fans and a living room. They came in second for wanting the most outdoor space, looking for both a patio and a front porch. Gen Xer’s were the only generation that did not show any preference for bathrooms on their most wanted lists.
  • Baby Boomers: A laundry room did not even make it to the list when it comes to Boomers. Instead their top three spaces were taken up by Energy Star® rated appliances, whole home and windows. They also added insulation higher than code stressing their desire to save on energy bills. As well, outdoor living dropped in favor with only one outdoor feature listed, a patio in 9th place. They shared a desire for a full bath on the main floor with seniors and rounding off their list was a laundry room, exterior lighting and hardwood on the main floor in 10th.
  • Seniors: For seniors, it was outdoor space that did not rank on their most wanted list. They
    Seniors want table space in the kitchen for eating.
    were also the only generation that did not mention hardwood flooring. They included kitchen features not mentioned by any of the other generations that included a double sink, as well as table space for eating. However they did share one thing in common with Millennials and Gen X which was a laundry room as their number one want. Coming in close second and third were Energy Star® rated appliances and whole home, with Energy Star® rated windows and insulation above required code further down the list in 9th and 10th place respectively. Their bathroom preference was main floor full bath and they also listed exterior lighting and ceiling fans to round off their list.  

Most Unwanted Features

There were many things that all generations added to their most unwanted lists albeit in varying priority:
  • Home elevator
  • Cork floors
  • Living in a golf course community
  • Wine cellar
  • Pet washing station

Millennials and Baby Boomers included laminate kitchen countertops, yet interestingly neither listed granite nor other higher quality counter tops on their top 10 most wanted lists. As well they both listed not wanting only a shower stall in the master bath.

Millennials were the only group that listed His and Her baths as an unwanted feature and Seniors were the only ones that listed baseball/soccer fields and a game room as unwanted. They were also the only group that did not list living in a high density community and dual toilets in master bath.
Last but not least, all but the Millennials listed Daycare Centre on their lists, with seniors rating it as their number one most unwanted. Elevator took first for the other three generations.

By understanding these wanted and unwanted features you can direct potential buyers to the features they most want and be prepared with some good answers and solutions when they object to features they don’t. As well you can use the commonalities to draw attention to high priority wants and downplay the most common undesirable features throughout your real estate marketing campaigns.