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What makes photos and virtual tours valuable in home listings

Online listings have changed the real estate landscape when they were first introduced. Largely, they helped eliminate time-wasting—it’s become much easier to cut out homes that don’t live up to expectations after viewing photos and virtual tours of the place. Eventually, successful tours will prompt a serious buyer to have in-person chats with the agent, which can then lead to a serious bid.

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Searching for property online is commonplace for buyers today.  We often forget that real estate started with newspapers, industry magazines, TV show listings, and phone calls. Online listings offer more upfront such as photos and virtual tours so buyers can make an informed decision. What happened between newspapers and the internet that made visuals so valuable?

Photographs

A photograph provides visual evidence pairing nicely with a descriptive listing.  Combined with the internet, the listings attract buyers all over the world who are reading the listing and thumbing through the photos.  Meanwhile, newspapers, magazines, and TV listings reach local buyers.  

What makes photographs valuable is it offers a different medium to experience a home listing. It complements text listings, yet it describes the home better than text.  Photos offer realistic expectations separating the luxurious from the lemons. Instead of driving to the destination and discovering a lemon, the lemon exposes itself without leaving the comforts of home or work. Furthermore, buyers will stay on the listing page with photographs longer than a listing page without photographs. RIS Media concurs that listings with photographs sell faster than listings without photos.  Eighty-seven percent of buyers believe photos are a top feature in listings.  Additionally, RIS Media states that listings with photographs will yield higher payouts than listings without photos, especially for homes above $200,000. 

Because of this revelation, listings without photos are unacceptable. In many cases, buyers don’t read the description until they thumb through the photos first. Conversely, the photo quality has elevated.  The days of photographs taken from a smartphone or disposable camera aren’t acceptable anymore. Photos viewed must be magazine-worthy shots done by a professional or a high-tech camera. Additionally, take at least 10 different photographs minimum of the home’s interior and exterior appearance. 

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Outside-only photos or inside-only photos tell buyers the seller is hiding something.

Online listings should have photos and descriptive copy as these increase the chances of someone buying a property. (Photo by DepositPhotos)

Virtual tours

Photographs grew into video tours of the house called virtual tours. It feels like a home showing, yet you never left the house.  Viewed in 2D or 3D on a computer, tablet, or phone, virtual tours are visual aids for how a home pieces together. Furthermore, it gives another reason for buyers to keep their attention span on the listing, lasting up to an hour. The 360-degree tour allows the buyers to view the home as a serious contender for bidding. This is due to the freedom to zoom in on details and zoom out to view the full picture. Buyers can move the video up and down to view the ceiling and flooring. It is a grounded aid to imagine the space with your belongings inside. With a virtual tour, an in-person showing’s purpose now must be confirming what the virtual tour showcased. 

Virtual tours aren’t just plain video recordings and photos. Narrations guide buyers through the tour. A voiceover narrator keeps buyers intrigued throughout the tour. The narrator reinforces the home’s basic description while acting like a tour guide highlighting the best features of the interior and exterior. Successful tours, like photos, lead the buyer to in-person chats with the agent. In closing, virtual tours replace an open house.

Online listings changed the real estate landscape. It’s easy to cut out homes that don’t live up to expectations after viewing photos and virtual tours. Favored listings will attract serious buyers with serious bids.  In return, all listings eliminate time-wasting and evasive buyers. In closing, without photos and virtual tours, don’t expect a bid or a sale. 

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(Featured image by DepositPhotos)

DISCLAIMER: This article expresses my own ideas and opinions. Any information I have shared are from sources that I believe to be reliable and accurate. I did not receive any financial compensation for writing this post, nor do I own any shares in any company I’ve mentioned. I encourage any reader to do their own diligent research first before making any investment decisions.

Tonya Jones Reynolds is a freelance writer specializing in real estate, marketing, and money articles for Born2Invest. Some past and present companies she writes for include Blogmutt, YouQueen, Blasting News, Reflect & Refresh, Inman News, Goals.com, and Textbroker. With 7+ years of experience as a freelance writer, she joined Born2Invest as a contributor to help readers make good decisions about their financial and professional lives.