Transcript: WGAN-TV 74 Reasons Real Estate Agents Buy Virtual Tours14320
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|WGAN-TV Live at 5: 7 Reasons Real Estate Agents Buy Virtual Tours with REALTOR® Brandon Doyle (@DoyleRealtor) Brandon is Team Leader at Doyle Real Estate Team with RE/MAX Results in Maple, Grove, Minnesota. | Thursday, 18 February 2021
Transcript: WGAN-TV 74 Reasons Real Estate Agents Buy Virtual Tours
Transcript below ...
Please Note: the original title of the show was 7 Reasons Real Estate Agents Buy Virtual Tours.
(We actually discussed 74 reasons! Please see list below.)
New to virtual tours for residential real estate?
Why do real estate agents buy virtual tours?
We think we know, but do we really know?!
1. win more listing presentations?
2. win bigger premium listings?
3. have a competitive advantage for listing presentations?
4. be on par with other REALTORS?
5. sell homes faster?
6. reduce days on market?
7. sell homes for more money?
8. love technology?
9. help real estate photographers retire in Hawaii?
Let's ask a real estate agent whom has created virtual tours and now outsources virtual tours.
✓ WGAN-TV Live at 5: 74 Reasons Real Estate Agents Buy Virtual Tours
On WGAN-TV Live at 5 on Thursday, 18 February 2021, my guest was REALTOR® Brandon Doyle. Brandon is Team Leader at Doyle Real Estate Team with RE/MAX Results in Maple, Grove, Minnesota.
Brandon is also a frequent contributor to Inman and an early adopter of virtual tours. (Brandon - @DoyleRealtor - was among the first to join We Get Around Network in August 2014.) Brandon is also Co-Author of Mindset, Methods & Metrics; Author of Real Estate Marketing Playbook and Success Rate Marketing (Book Descriptions)
Brandon is also on the Board of Directors of Minnesota Realtors®.
About Brandon Doyle
Brandon Doyle is a real estate industry consultant, bestselling author, and a nationally recognized speaker.
He’s known for implementing cutting-edge technology like aerial photography, video, 3D tours and smart home technology into the day-to-day operations of real estate sales. He even conducted the world’s first virtual broker open using VR goggles.
In 2014, Doyle was nominated for the Inman Innovative Realtor of the Year and has been recognized as one of the most influential people in the industry according to Inman News. Success Rate Marketing: How Small Businesses Can Leverage KPIs and Stop Losing Money is his third book.
Brandon's Links: LinkedIn | Facebook | Doyle Real Estate Team | Success Rate Marketing | Inman | REALTOR Magazine | The Real Estate Tech Institute
List: 74 Reasons Why Real Estate Agents Buy Virtual Tours
by REALTOR® Brandon Doyle (@DoyleRealtor) Brandon is Team Leader at Doyle Real Estate Team with RE/MAX Results in Maple, Grove, Minnesota. From WGAN-TV Live at 5 on Thursday, 18 February 2021 (video above)
1. Differentiate the real estate agent (marketing yourself)
2. COVID: Fewer in person showing appointments available (due to social distancing)
3. Showcase properties
4. 1st showings are done online
5. Sell for more money
6. Sell faster
7. Many examples to show prospects
8. Save everyone time (if not the right property for the buyer): seller not leaving the house unnecessarily
9. Safe way for prospective buyer to tour the house
10. Sight-unseen offers
11. Enable the homeowner to share the virtual tour on their Facebook and with their friends
12. Steers the listing presentation conversation away from discounting commission
13. Steers the listing presentation conversation away from pricing the listing
14. Keep the higher commission (despite the competitors discounting their commission)
15. Prospects see our virtual tours (on our website, elsewhere) (even before our listing presentation)
16. In-bound leads
17. Synergy from using virtual tours on all listings; regardless of price
18. Advantage of putting your best foot forward every time
19. Use for Coming Soon window
20. Multiple offers happen sooner
21. Including virtual tours on every listing results in in-bound requests from home sellers
22. Consistent marketing for all listings. Prospective home sellers pick up on that!
23. Helps with repeat business
24. Helps with referral business
25. Streamlines the workflow to include a virtual tour in the same digital package for every listing
26. Helps with the heavy listing that the internet does to market a listing
27. Now I have a 24/7 Open House that gets syndicated to all the listing services
28. Virtual tours move the needle; easy to justify the cost
29. Invest in marketing the property; not the ego of the agent
30. Money spent on marketing the property is a good reflection on the agent’s brand
31. Win more listings
32. ½ of virtual tour investment is getting listings; ½ is marketing the property
33. Half our time is working on getting business. Virtual tours help generate more business.
34. Text this code to see the virtual tour.
35. Popcorn Effect: Sell one house in a neighborhood and more popup
36. Virtual tours are like an online digital resume.
37. Win bigger listings (average price point increases)
38. To get million dollar listings, you need to be dining virtual tours for your other, lower price-point listings.
39. Getting million dollar listings starts out with virtual tours for everyday listings.
40. Your fiduciary duty you your seller: you owe it to the seller to use virtual tours! As agents, we are obligated to use the best tools possible
41. “Digital resume” every time we sell a house.
42. Virtual tours are a no brainer
43. Missing out on future opportunities if you are not including a virtual tour
44. It’s too expensive not to do virtual tours
45. Virtual Tours helps you win business from other agents that feel that they are entitled to a listing.
46. WOW factor gets you more listing presentation opportunities and to win more listings.
47. Make it easy for home sellers to tell their friends about you (and your virtual tours).
48. Homeowners can share the virtual tour (before it goes live on MLS); which agents can not do.
49. Stats say houses sell for more money and faster if they have a virtual tour. The percent increase helps pay for the virtual tour.
50. Virtual tours help you get more than just family and friends’ listings
51. Virtual tours help buyers with that second look (after they have visited multiple listings)
52. Virtual tours help buyers with friends/family that are helping the buyer make a decision.
53. Virtual tours reduce the number of times the buy needs to keep visiting the property for measurements.
54. Virtual Tours can increase touch points with prospects; particularly when using other tools to automate.
55. Virtual Tours enable the real estate agent to be efficient with his/her time.
56. Virtual Tours help eliminate tire-kickers.
57. Virtual Tours help pre-qualify buyers for in-person showing.
58. Virtual Tours help the real estate get full-commission.
59. Virtual Tours help you justify your full-commission.
60. Virtual Tours help you also get the house seller as a house buyer; typically at a higher price point.
61. Virtual Tours help you get more referrals (from the home seller; from the home buyer and home buyer prospects.
62. Virtual Tours are a small portion of the marketing budget for a listing.
63. Virtual Tours help an agent not miss out on getting the listing; getting more leads and more referrals.
64. Are you winning 100 percent of your listing presentations? (Virtual Tours will help you win more listings!)
65. Are your listings as big as you would like? (Average sales price). Virtual Tours will help you get more.
66. Getting a higher average sales price is a huge value for real estate agents. Virtual Tour will help get there.
67. Did you lose a listing presentation in the last 60 days? Virtual Tours will help you win listings.
68. Would you like to have a higher average sales price? Virtual Tours will help you achieve this.
69. While the house will sell anyway, not statistically for as much money with a virtual tour.
70. While the house will sell anyway, how does that reflect on your brand (versus agents using virtual tours)?
71. While the house will sell anyway, you may not get as many referrals from the home seller, had you WOWed them by getting the most offers sooner and for more money.
72. While the house will sell anyway, you are missing a key piece of your digital resume.
73. While the house will sell anyway, when you use virtual tours, you are making a digital marketing resume that says, “I am an agent that uses the best marketing possible to get the highest price possible.”
74. Virtual Tours help you avoid competing on price
Transcript (Video Above)
- Hi all. I'm Dan Smigrod Founder of the We Get Around Network Forum. Today is Thursday, February 18, 2021. And you're watching WGAN-TV Live at 5.
We have an awesome show for you: Seven Reasons Real Estate Agents buy Virtual Tours. And here to speak about that is Brandon Doyle.
- Hey, how's it going?
- Good to see you. Thanks for being on the show. Brandon is a REALTOR. Brandon is the team leader at Doyle Real Estate Team with RE/MAX Results in Maple Grove, Minnesota. Brandon is a frequent contributor to Inman and an early adopter of virtual tours, and is also co-author of "Mindset Methods and Metrics" and author of "Real Estate Marketing Playbook" and "Success Rate Marketing." Brandon, you sound like you've been very busy.
- Yeah, I've got a lot of things going on. So certainly, a big adopter of technology. As you can see behind me here, I've gotten a lot of smart home tech. Before that it was digital showings and dealing drones and all that. So I tried to keep on top of the trends.
- Yes, in fact, I know you're such an early adopter, because I started the We Get Around Network Forum in August 2014 and you joined the Forum that month.
So you've been involved with virtual tours certainly at least going back to 2014 when we first met through the Forum. Brandon, today's question, for real estate photographers that offer virtual tours, - or are thinking about offering virtual tours - why do real estate agents buy virtual tours?
- Yeah, that's a very loaded question. and there's a lot of different reasons why real estate agents are buying virtual tours. And, at this point, we've got COVID going on. So that's going to be a big driver. But if we think way back to when virtual tours first came about is really a point of differentiation. And so that was great for marketing yourself.
You can use it to showcase properties. But at the heart of things is that your first showings are done online. And that's where consumers are going to check on a property. So having a really good; a strong digital footprint is very important to maximizing your marketing efforts. Statistically, homes with digital showings do sell for more and sell faster, which is great.
But then also now as an agent that's been doing this for years, we have a catalog of properties that we've marketed in the past. And we can use those as examples when we go in for listing presentations, so that the homeowners can say, "Oh!, WOW! Yeah! I've seen that. That's like that Google Street View for the inside of your house. That's awesome and we want that." ...
- Well, there was a lot in that sentence. So how about we break it down and go a little bit slower? I'm going to be naive here and just say, "Well, why does COVID matter?" That was the first thing that you mentioned.
- Yep. So right now here in Minnesota, at least, we have an issue where we have very limited inventory, which I'm sure is true across the US if not the world. So the demand for the houses is huge. And as we list them, what we're running into is that there's more people trying to book showings, than there are time slots available. And so we're trying to do the social distancing, we're trying to not have overlapping showings. But we're running into scheduling issues.
And so by having a digital showing that has something -- the 3D walkthrough or like a floor plan -- buyers are able to better visualize what the property is going to be like ahead of time. And that way, they can either get more excited about the property, and they're pretty much sold before they get there.
Or, if there's a deal breaker, they're going to identify that right away, and you're saving everyone time. So the buyers aren't taking time to go look at a property that's not going to work for them. And then the sellers don't need to worry about leaving their house. And so and then for those that are very concerned right now, that may be more risk.
This is a very safe way to tour a house and see if it's okay that might be a good fit. So we're seeing, we've actually been seeing offers of sight unseen, that I've just been looking at the tours. So it's been a very great tool for that.
- And is sight unseen - is that because people live outside the area and that's the only way for them to see the house or do they actually live in town?
- They live in town, but just due to how quickly houses are selling, or their schedule, or just maybe they're risk-averse in that they don't want those overlapping showings, we're seeing that people are going that route. It's actually not too uncommon now so...
- Do you have an estimate of what percentage of your listings are sight unseen offers?
- So last weekend, we listed a house and we had, I think, seven offers and two of them had never been in the house. So we went with one of the offers that had been in it, but for other reasons. But it was interesting to see that there were people writing offers, but never actually seen it in person.
- Earlier in the show, you mentioned virtual tours as a differentiator I think you were talking about when you first got started with virtual tours, is that still true today? Do you find that virtual tours help differentiate your real estate brokerage?
- Yeah when we started, I was actually the first agent in the state to ever have a Matterport camera. Later on, we went and started just outsourcing that just because I believe in the benefit of a professional and respecting my time as well.
But yes, I would say that it's still a point of differentiation. It's something that's noteworthy, when sellers talk about it, and they share the home with their audience on Facebook. A lot of times, it's the first time someone's ever seen something like this.
And they're often blown away. And so that really just kind of sets the marketing bar for us, and positions us as a market leader in the space, and has for several years now. So it's 2021 and we started, I think, 2013, 2014, using the technology; so almost eight years now.
- So in terms of differentiation today, are you going on listing presentations, where there is more than one agent pitching to the homeowner?
- Yeah, a lot of times, we're in competition. And so it's nice to be able to compete based off of performance. and what you offer as far as marketing, and instead of defaulting back to, price or commission; so we can come in; and even if we're not the lowest price as far as commission goes, we often still do get the business just based on our track record, and the technology that we utilize.
So we bring an iPad with - and we just let them navigate on their own. A lot of times people have already been on our website, and they've seen that or they've seen our marketing elsewhere. And they think it's really cool.
I've had several people say that's part of the reason that they contacted us over other agents. Great tool. We use it for all of our listings, no matter what the price point is. That is an objection I hear for some agents, agents are notoriously cheap. And so what I'll hear is that, "Oh! I'll use that on my next million dollar listing" or my next whatever, or "I'll use that if it doesn't sell."
But our stance is to put our best foot forward every time and do great marketing. And just having that out the gate does wonders for our sellers, and attracts multiple offers, and we utilize that coming soon period.
I think that really helps as well, just because you've got such great marketing material out there where people are able to virtually navigate the space and it gets them excited, and then once they see it in person, they're ready to write an offer. Without having to go back.
- I asked you about differentiation, and I think I heard two interesting things. As a result of that. I was thinking, "Oh! Okay. You're using it to differentiate when you go on a listing presentation, but I also heard that you're getting inbound leads as a result of -- and it sounds like -- that's as a result of using virtual tours on every listing.
- Yeah, 100% is a result of that. So, once you have this listing, you put it out on the MLS, it goes out to all the different websites, all the other brokers' websites, all the portals, and people see that and they're smart enough to figure out who the listing agent is. So when it comes time to sell their property, they want to work with someone that's using all those tools. So we've definitely got an additional business from that.
- I've experienced exactly what you've said about "Oh! We'll use it on our next million dollar listing." Just yesterday, Wednesday February 17, 2021.
RE/MAX reported that USA median house sale prices are $285,000. That's up about 12% from a year ago, I'm hearing that you use virtual tours on every listing regardless of price point, but is $285,000 - is that enough of a price point in order to justify the agent doing photos, virtual tour, maybe other things like floor plans or video?
- Oh, certainly. So, I've actually used it on a Condo once it was $66,000. So price is irrelevant. It's about the impact that we're making on that person, because they're going to share that with their friends.
And then they see like, "Oh! WOW! Brandon spent that much effort, marketing this property, what can you do for us?" So just having that consistent level of service across the board - it would be weird if we had ... ... treated one customer differently.
"Oh, well, you're not worthy of our marketing package. So we're going to cheap out here," it doesn't work like that. It's the same experience every time, which helps with the repeat and referral business, but it also makes it easy to streamline the process, because this is our standard. So this is just what we know to do.
Like, my assistant knows that, once we get that listing contract, we're going to get our stager out there. And then we're going to get the photographer out there that we're hiring every time no matter what. And, we know it's a two-day turnaround.
So we build that in, and that way we have all the assets ready to go on Thursday or Friday, depending when we want to go live, and we'll have that ready to go. So yeah, we've really just standardized it.
- I would imagine that -- helped me out with a listing for how much $60...
- $66,000 was the lowest we've done.
- Yeah, $66,000. I have to imagine for listing for $66,000 that you may not have generated sufficient fees to cover all the things you did for that property?
- Oh, no, I think we still worked out just fine. So typical commission around here is about 6%, and the listing agent keeps half.
So, anyway, at that price point, or the average price point, if you look at what the median is, it's still worthwhile. And to be honest, at this point, the internet is doing a lot of the heavy lifting as far as the listings go.
So just having that professional marketing, maybe utilizing a stager, if necessary, pricing accordingly. That's where all our service comes in. And then once it goes online, I mean, that's where all the marketing magic is happening.
It's getting syndicated out to all these websites. And I'm not paying anything extra for that. If you look 20 years ago, I would be taking out ads in the newspaper, and I'd be going out and putting open house signs; and sitting out there. Well, now I've got a 24/7 Open House, advertising every possible channel for free.
So I mean, it's easy to justify the cost there, because that's where that actually moves the needle. Whereas a lot of this other stuff that people tried to do, it has very little effect, it's mostly just ego driven. If you look at a lot of agents' ads, they're just about them and not other properties or what they can do for you.
It's the core number one stuff. So I just choose to spend my money on the properties. And I think that's a good reflection of our brand, and it helps us win more business.
- Well, wow! There's so many things that just came out of what you're describing. So how important is the choice of using -- I keep talking about virtual tours, but I understand you do a lot of digital marketing and virtual tours is a subset of that. But how much of this marketing is about selling the house or getting the listing?
- Yeah, it's pretty even split. Our job as agents is to market the property the best we can and that's I mean, that's what we're being hired for. But one of the side benefits is of course, that that marketing helps market us and that's the other half of our business.
We spend about half of our time finding business and the other half of the time actually working on the business. So it's nice that when you have listings because listings help generate more business. Whereas the buyers ... you can't advertise the buyer.
So, buyers don't generate more buyers typically but listings certainly generate buyer leads for sure. Which is really easy to do with a sign rider: text this code and get the 3D tour.
Those have been really successful for us. But then also, of course, more listings just because typically when one house sells, you see more in that same neighborhood kind of that popcorn effect.
And then it's just kind of an online digital resume. So right now, we've probably got 200 I'd say; at least 200 tours that we've done over the years that just ... exist out there, and, that's kind of our portfolio.
- So, ... I'm hearing win the listing presentation; which may be they are already pre-sold, because they've contacted you, and they see the marketing that you're doing? And then secondly ... when you do a presentation, you're bringing the iPad out. Showing them the tour. Let them experience it firsthand. Have you found over time that you're getting bigger listings? You're trading in the ecosystem?
- Yeah, definitely, our average price point over the years has gone up. And part of that is, of course, just appreciation naturally, but we have landed much larger homes.
We're starting to list homes in the million dollar range, which in our market is certainly luxury. Our average price point here is probably $300,000.
Or, in a metro of Minneapolis suburb. So the home prices here are pretty good in general, but anytime you get above $700,000 to a million, that's certainly considered luxury, and we're getting a lot more of those opportunities lately.
And it's a combination of the digital showings and all that we offer there; the aerial photography, all that comes together, but then also just having that history of having sold them. A lot of people ask, "How do I break into the luxury market?" And until you either have a friend that trusts you enough to give you that opportunity, or you have the experience that you've worked on those properties in the past, It's very difficult.
But once you're there, it's very easy to stay there because it's just kind of self perpetuating; similar to Google results.
- Do you have any sense of how important the virtual tours have been in terms of trading up to those 700,000 to million dollar listings?
- Yeah, I mean, there isn't a million dollar listing in our market that doesn't have a 360 showing, or a 360 tour on it at this point. And if they don't, it's because of privacy reasons. So it's kind of like the standard and it's a hoop that you would have had to jump through at some point.
- If you get those agents that say, once I get that listing, then I will do that, but it doesn't work, because the seller will have expected you to be doing that already. So you need to have examples in your portfolio to prove that you've done this and are familiar with the process.
- So if the agent says, as you said earlier, "I'll do the virtual tour when I get the million dollar listing." - What's broken about that, from your perspective?
- Yeah, so you can't really prove to the seller that you know what you are doing if you don't have any examples. You kind of have to have that track record. And so working your way up. And it starts with just your everyday listings.
So that's why I think it's important to just do it for every listing: period! Make it a part of your process, especially if you have a really good partner in your area.
Like for us, we have one company in particular that's very reliable, their our "go to" and when they're not available, I have a list of other providers in our area that I'll reach out to and see. But we know that we're getting that same level of service and we trust them. So it's been a great relationship.
- I'm going to ask you more about that later in the show. I wanted to get into a couple of statistics that you had mentioned right off the bat about virtual tours.
Helping sell a listing for a higher price and helping sell a listing, I want to say faster - and I did make a note from the Matterport website. It has a couple interesting statistics, listings with a 3D tour, and sells for more money 97% of listings.
Get the list closer to the list price and 93% which kind of translates to up to 9% higher sales price. So I want to kind of break this down: on this first statistic, up to 9%, higher sales price ... Has your experience been virtual tours and your digital marketing have helped contribute to the home seller getting more money for their home?
- Yeah. So about five years ago we statistically proved that in our own marketplace by pulling the entire database from the MLS and comparing, it was quite the task. I haven't gone through that process since then. But at the time, it was a very similar number.
They're part of that too, is that the nicer listings tend to get better marketing. So, but at the same time, they definitely were selling faster. And right now, I mean, in our market, if it doesn't sell in the first weekend, people start to ask what's wrong with it.
But five years ago, there was a longer average sales cycle, it was probably closer to 60 days and we're seeing properties that had digital showings of any sort or selling closer, like 30 days, say, cutting that time in half, which is certainly a huge value for your client.
And you're thinking about even holding cost alone. So there's a really great tool right there.
- I'm hearing two statistics at once. So and maybe they come together and they're together. One is home selling faster. So again Matterport on their blog, February 25, 2020 says depending on the market homes with a 3D tours sell up to 31%, faster, meaning fewer days on market.
And again, that other statistic about up to 9% higher sales price Matterport on their blog as essentially quoting the research lead Kelly Anderson, PhD candidate studying marketing at Jerry S. Rawls College of Business Administration.
Sounds like she did something similar to you, which was playing with all the MLS data and saying this is what the house listed for this is what it's sold for. And it had a tour or it didn't have the tour, and then to do the analysis of days on market and price sold.
Does that sound like something that you actually went through?
- That is exactly what we did? And yeah, our results were very similar in both regards, so.
- So great that you actually did that. So I'd love to challenge our listeners that it's just math, so if you have an opportunity to pull up MLS data and look at listings with a tour listing without a tour date sold, what was the listing price?
And how much did it actually sell for. And I think that would just be a great thing to take a look at. But that said, probably getting too much in the weeds here, Brandon. Even if the house sells; I'm going to break it down. If the house sells for up to 9% higher sales price, as a real estate agent; as a REALTOR.
How does that matter to you? As it relates to photographers, I mean, if a photographer comes in to a real estate agent and says, "Hey, homes with this kind of virtual tour sell for 9% higher sales price should the REALTOR care?"
- I mean, if your fiduciary duty is to your seller, you owe it to them to do everything you can to get the most amount of money.
So I would say that agents that aren't doing this are doing a disservice. And they should just get out of the business.
Let's be honest, they're not keeping up with the times they're not utilizing the tools. And to me it would be like, if we were in the '90s like the newspaper was the thing to do. And you were looking at different brokers.
And you ask your broker if he was going to he or she was going to place your listing in the newspaper or if they were going to do open houses and they just flat out said no they're not going to do that.
Or you wouldn't pay as much to work with that person because you're not getting the exposure. So I think it's absolutely no different.
As agents, we are obligated to use the best tools possible to get the most money for ourselves and statistically 3D tours, virtual tours in their nature, do achieve that goal.
And so hopefully at some point, we'll get to a point where every agent is doing it but unfortunately agents by nature are very cheap individuals. So we have to kind of overcome that.
- So I guess that begs the question to say given that the money comes out of the pocket of the agent that is doing the listing typically.
- In the United States at least; other parts of the world don't work that way.
- Different, but for the most part most of our audience yeah, we're in 139 countries with We Get Around Network Forum though I would say most of our Community is in the United States and Canada.
So maybe if I just asked you about some objections and say, "Okay, I am a real estate photographer" I don't know, I think you're going to say yes to everything. But I'm trying to understand how to overcome objections.
Objections our community hears that the house will sell anyway.
- Yeah. So that's the biggest one. And then I say that right now, especially, because let's be honest, you can throw some sample photos out there.
As long as you're reasonably close on price you're going to sell it. Are you going to get the most amount of money, possible? Absolutely not.
So you're doing a disservice to your client, and yourself, obviously, because if you get more money for the house, then you will too on commission bases; you're going to make more money.
And also, I just go back to the point of building a portfolio: our bad cell phone camera photos, like is that your brand? Is that your standard? If so, okay, but realize that and when the market shifts now, that is your brand, and no one's going to hire you.
Versus someone that's using professional marketing, professional photography, 3D tours, et cetera, that really sets a standard and people see that. We have a digital resume, every time we sell a house that goes on the internet, and everyone sees it.
Everyone knows you either marketing information professionally, or you cheaped out. And I sure as heck don't want to be known as the guy that cheaped out.
- Do the math for me because I'm stuck on the following because if I tell Or, someone says the house will sell anyway ... or maybe the case is the house is going to sell for more.
I think that's what you mentioned, the house will sell for more. and we just assume that what motivates a real estate agent, maybe not fair, is to say, "Money!" So what's the incremental additional money if the house; let me go back to my statistics for a sec... So that house sells for 9% higher sales price? So help me do the math?
- Yeah, you would make about $1,000 more as an agent.
- Okay, so thank you.
- So it would pay for itself. It would pay for itself, and in most cases plus some probably, and you would have that digital resume, and you'd be netting your sellers more money. So really, it's a no brainer.
- Okay, all right. ... for our real estate photographers, just say, REALTOR Brandon Doyle says no brainer: sign here.
Oh, but is the incremental difference that eventually falls to the real estate agent. I mean, let's say the house list for $300,000. And it doesn't sell for anymore. So if you buy a virtual tour from the photographer, it's actually costing you money.
You're not making any more; it's costing you more. So I think that's the essence of the house will sell anyway, why should I do? Why should I spend a penny more on marketing or on specifically-
- Not only marketing the property, you are marketing yourself, and you're missing out on future opportunities. So the future opportunity of that neighbor that you might have gotten a listing from is much higher. So that's another commission right there. Yeah, right now, our average commission here is about $10,000 per sale, so just say 10% of that goes towards marketing the property.
I mean, that's like peanuts. That is your job is to market the property. So you should have a reasonable amount of money set aside to do so. And there's no better way than with professional photography and tours.
Because, the internet again, is doing the heavy lifting and syndicating it out to all the websites for you. So you're getting your name and a property out there.
- It's too expensive.
- Yeah compared to that, so we got to let's go back to the opportunity cost. Sure, it's more than taking the photos yourself, but you're almost losing money by doing that because now you're not going to get that next sale.
So I would argue it's too expensive not to do this. I wouldn't tarnish my brand by having bad photos out there, because then that's going to affect my ability to get future business. So yeah, for me, I can't afford not to use digital showings for every listing no matter what.
And if my guy is not available, then I'm going to find somebody else that has the same offering or similar close enough at least.
- It's a relationship business. I don't need it to get the listing; I know the people. ... I spent my lifetime going to Rotary, and luncheons and social events, and I know people and they know me, and they know I'm a real estate agent. And when they're ready to sell their house they'll come to me. So it's a relationship business. Why should I be spending any extra money on virtual tours?
- Yeah, certainly. So I'm a young guy. And I've obviously adapted the technology. But a lot of the business I get is ... other agents feel they're entitled to, you're never entitled to any business. There's always somebody that's willing to work harder, do things differently.
So I think it's quite foolish when agents assume that they're going to get business, whether it's family or friends or someone they met in Rotary; you do need to build those relationships. But you do also need to use the best tools possible.
Otherwise, when they interview you versus another agent, that agent might have a point of differentiation. It might be enough to steal that business away; if you will. So by all means, they should adopt the technology and start using it and if it works really well.
That person is going to say, "WOW! Look at this awesome stuff that my agent did," and share it with more people versus "Oh, my agent did just kind of what I expected." There's no WOW factor there, and there's no real reason to talk about it the next day at the water cooler.
- I imagine you're doing both branded and unbranded, so you have the unbranded for your MLS, but you have a branded version you're sharing with your client, perhaps other agents. Do you find that the home seller is actually marketing you by telling; by sharing your digital assets with others?
- Yep. So what we do is when we get the showing back, we'll share it with a seller and say, "Is there anything in here that you want us to change or get some feedback, because it could be that we might have included something in there that they weren't proud of?"
Maybe they feel that a certain room is dirty or something, and that gives us the opportunity to fix it if necessary, but also gets them excited about the marketing.
And oftentimes, they're going to end up sharing that tour before it ever even goes live, which I can't do, because depending on how it is marketed, I may not be able to publicly market it ahead of time, but they certainly can.
And if it has my name attached to it, that's great. So yeah, we do both. And, obviously, through social media and stuff, we use our branded version and then through the MLS, we use the unbranded. But even on the unbranded version, people are linking it back to us because your average consumer is smart enough to figure out who the listing agent is. So they know even if like the other websites trying to hide it, they'll figure it out.
- I already got the listing, why should I spend the money on a virtual tour?
- It just for all the same reasons we've discussed, your fiduciary duty is to the seller. You need to get them the most money possible. And you want to use the best tools to do that. And then that, in turn, helps market you, which will give you more opportunities going forward.
- As a photographer, I think I might sound a bit threatening if I came in and said, "Hey it's your fiduciary responsibility to use virtual tours, because they will help increase the sales price on average by 9% and sell the house 31% faster." So you're either doing this or I'm taking you to jail. I mean, it sounds a bit threatening to kind of-
- Yeah, I mean, if you just word it as such, and say wouldn't you want to? Or if you were looking out for the best interest of your client, you just got to spin in a nice softer way. Sometimes I come off harsh, but I look at him ... that's just going to do it for all my listings.
But yeah, I mean, the numbers don't lie. It's not like the stats are made up, they pulled from the MLS is all public data it's just a fact. And you either are going to do that, and your seller is going to get the benefit or you're not.
And as we go forward and we see more adoption, it's really going to be a stand-out of which agents do ... I saw it started to really become noticeable about four years ago. I would say where there was a divide or I was like, okay, these agents have adopted the technology.
They're the ones that are getting listings. And these guys over here, yeah, they're still getting a couple listings, their family and friends. But they're not out there winning business left and right, like the rest of them are.
And you start to see that shift and like what percentage of their businesses listings versus buyers? Like there's a lot of books out there for real estate: listings are the way to go, they take up less time, you can have multiple listings at the same time. Whereas with buyers, you can only have so many buyers, because you can't be in two places at once.
What listings can you have? Have them out there, they're always advertising for you. So like right now listings are gold. And you want to use any tool you can to get those listings,
- I want potential buyers to see that house in person.
- Yeah, I would argue that they're still going to, but what the tour helps with is upfront beforehand to get them excited about the property, also to illuminate ones that might be a complete waste of time. And then the biggest area, I see that you are being a benefit for buyers, is that second look.
So instead of having the seller, leave the house and have the parents come in and look at the properties a second time or the buyers come back and try to get off the fence, they can digitally go: and they can share that with as many friends as they want and get their opinion.
And so we found a lot of times that that's been very helpful. And then they just they're more excited about it as well, because they can click around and say, "Oh, well, that's where I'm going to put my TV and this is what I'm going to do with that." And they've got their little printout of the floor plan so they can draw on it.
And I've seen all sorts of stuff like that. And we've even had requests where people wanted to get back in the property for some reason. And I would just direct them to the digital tour. And they say, "Oh! Okay that's all I needed." They didn't necessarily need to get into the property. So that's worked out really well.
- Do they go back to do measurements? Is it to see; to think about? -- Will their furniture fit? Other?
- Yeah, a lot of us, just measurements, colors things like that.
- Tours saved you from having to let people in-
- Yeah for things like that, because they can just do it themselves. and the other big factor was that family or friend approval.
So or if you're in but if you looked at a lot of different houses at the end of the day sometimes they kind of all run together, 10 houses in a row; "No that was the house on Main Street." "No, no, that was the one with the weird kitchen." With the showing; and you can just click back and be like, jog your memory.
"That's the house I was thinking of." So in that way, it's a nice resource as well so-
- You mentioned that I think at least on one occasion, you've had a home seller have concerns about privacy. Perhaps security? Could you talk about that and did you overcome that objection or did you accept that?
- Yeah, I mean, it's a legitimate concern with 3D tours where you can literally walk through the house and see what's there and what's not; how you could get in and out. And so we respect that. In those incidences, we can either eliminate the ability to jump from room to room. So having that same 3D tour, but not necessarily giving people the layout.
Another option is to just remove certain spheres from the presentation completely, remove certain photos, use ... An editing service to remove certain objects, if necessary. If there happens to be like a painting that's very valuable, you can just remove that digitally. There's a lot of things that we can do to overcome that. But for the people that are super-super concerned, is just respect their opinion and don't do it, which is fine I mean it is what it is.
- I think part of what I heard was I want people to come into the house fewer times, but I would say a number of our WGAN Forum Community Members have talked about that the agents really wanted to have the touchpoints - the interaction - because "Oh!
That might be somebody who came in to see the house with me. They didn't have an agent. Now they need an agent. Boom! I converted a lead to actually helping someone buy a home." So are you finding that you've reduced the number of touch points and-
- No we've actually increased it. And the way we're doing that is through our sign rider. So we have on the sign rider just as "text this number" it says text 3D or 360, or something like that to this number to get the tour. And it's less intrusive.
So if you're driving by, and you want information about housing, instead of just like going to Zillow, what they can do is text that number. And they don't feel as threatened as if they were to pick up the phone and call you, but now you have their phone number, and it'll actually start engaging with them automatically.
So the way I have it set up is people can text - and then the text "3D" it'll reply back and ask for the house number. That way, we don't have to create multiple different signs. We just have one sign, and then I just program it in the back-end. So it'll say 3D and then or they text 3D, then it asks them what the house number is. They put the house in that it kicks back the tour, it delays a little bit.
And after a while, it'll ask them very more questions that suggest that they call. And if they don't reply, then we can have it set up so that it can say. "Did you want to see the house in-person" and link directly to my Calendly account.
And that way, they can pick a time and I know that I'm available, put it in the request. But you can also drip additional information, marketing materials, disclosure statements, things like that, then it's automatically in a much less threatening format, via text.
And we found that those people are very responsive. And so we've gotten additional sales, where we've actually gotten both ends of the deal. Because we were just able to follow up with the person directly instead of them, calling their agent or going on some other website and being turned into a lead for someone else.
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There are leads at no cost to us. It's just a matter of following up. So that's worked out really well for us. And they're usually really impressed with the tool so-
- Yes and so I believe I'm hearing that there's two things happening there. One is the automation of the dialogue, the chatbot via text. But I suspect that people are now texting in and you see that they've actually texted a real question that you want to respond to so you have the benefit of both the automation and responding personally when it works.
- Yeah. So the company is actually called CallAction. There was a guy that runs it just absolutely brilliant. But this was an idea he came up with.
And then people in the mastermind group kind of tweaked it a little bit, and kind of had the link to the rider, which is actually just like supercheapsigns.com. So my total investment was probably like $40, and this whole thing, and then the time to set it up. So very, very minimal.
- Do you have his website?
- You have to have that figured out triggers are just keywords. So ... the sending that house number up is a keyword is what's triggering the response. And if they ever say "showing" then it triggers a different thing. and then I see that too. So I know that if it's important, I can just call them right away.
- You have the website offhand.
- Yeah, CallAction.co
- CallAction.co Okay, good I'm glad that I asked for that. Cool so you've actually used technology to increase touch points in a non threatening way, rather than perhaps saying, "Oh, I'd rather go meet somebody in the house." I've never met before that may or may not be interested in that property. I'm sort of being efficient with my time. That's kind of-
- Essentially having a 24/7 Open House. And, you're eliminating entire kickers. So I don't want to spend every Saturday, Sunday sitting in houses. I'd rather just have the open house be there. And then once ... if people are interested in pre-qualify themselves. At that point, I'll step in and offer to show the property.
- Virtual tours are too good.
- Too good is there such a thing?
- Yes, ... actually I've heard that as well. You can see everything. Now, I don't know why you can't see everything when you go see the house. But I guess that objection is well, I'd rather get them in the house to see certain qualities that they may not have focused on when they looked at the virtual tour. You've never heard that objection before a virtual tour may be too good.
- Yeah, so I mean, like you said, the people are going to see the house. So why would you hide that? just put it all out there: the good looks good- the bad looks bad: it-is-what-it-is kind of situation, the only instance where I kind of understand where the people are coming from is the privacy concerns. And in that instance I recommend just removing certain shots or blurring things out or using a digital editing service like BoxBrownie or something to just remove it completely
- Right, great guys.
- Sellers are reducing our commission. I have less dollars for marketing.
- Yeah, so with this is the tool to actually charge more, because you're offering more, it's just another feature. So comparing, okay, but did that agent do this and that? Okay, well that's how I can justify the commission that I'm asking.
But in reality there certainly is downward pressure on commissions, that's not going away anytime soon. The reality is that the internet is doing the heavy lifting for us. And the demand for housing is higher than supply. So, I mean there's a lot of other things going on there, that agents are overcoming ... But it's just a business model.
So for us, I think it's worth it. I can very quickly do the math ... 3% of whatever the average sales prices, and I know what my actual cost is for the marketing, oh, it's probably around $900, all in for everything, on average for a house.
And so I can quickly say if it's worth my time or not, and in most cases it is. And so that's just kind of a choice that people need to make. And, in some cases too, if you're going to get the listing, you're also going to get them as a buyer.
And it's typically a higher price point. And it's an opportunity to get more referrals in the future, because you're adding someone to your database that hopefully is a very happy client.
So yeah, I just go back to it's an agent's business decision and it's their brand. So for me having a consistent brand that is ... ... an adopter of technology; does professional marketing for all of his listings no matter what; that is kind of who I am, and what I want people to think of us.
So for me, it's worth it. And in the grand scheme of things, it's a very small percentage. You think even if I'm spending $900, and I'm usually making $10,000, right there, that's already less than 10%. So that seems like a great deal.
- Photographers should charge more!
- Yeah, perhaps what's interesting, though, is the pricing schemes that I'm seeing is kind of a race to the bottom, which I think is foolish.
I think that the photographer's themselves should focus more on the service that they provide, and charge more money. And the biggest service that you can provide is that quick turnaround. And then also one thing I was thinking about last night before, I'm just kind of preparing for this is that photographers need that point of differentiation, too.
And so if you are a Matterport provider, which Matterport is a great system, I love it! I started with this whole thing.
That's great but you should mark it that you are doing like landing a splash page or whatever that has the photos and the tour and floor plan and some descriptions all in one; unbranded versus branded: whatever.
Use that as your piece not the tour itself. Because otherwise they're going to say, "Why am I paying you? I could go get Matterport from this guy, or I could just do it myself?" So you kind of lose that. Whereas if you have like this nice wrapper around it, and it's very professionally looking.
And then you have like a guarantee, like I guarantee in a 24 hour turnaround, or I will fix things. That's where you get that loyalty.
So if ... for me, I've got someone locally, and I'll use him every time because we've built this relationship over the years, and I know I can count on him. And I know that the photos are going to look good.
And then we're going to get in the amount of time that I said, but other people I see like, and in the groups, they'll just say, "Oh. I need a Matterport. I need someone to do a Matterport who can do the Matterport for the cheapest."
And ... well that's not a winning proposal. So yeah, really focusing on that differentiation there and the level of service to build those relationships with agents is huge.
- So a photographer needs to offer a single property website or a property website that aggregates nicely presents, the virtual tour; photos; video; text; aerial; floor plans; whatever digital assets the photographer and the real estate agent agree on. So both branded and unbranded.
- Correct that I mean that's one side of it too. And the other side is just that the service and some sort of guarantee.
- Guarantee and service may be a little bit hard to differentiate until somebody actually engages you-
- To look for your existing clients because they're with our guys, I just know that they're smart enough to put this toilet seat down.
And just little things... move things off the kitchen counter. I seem very critical, I guess, other agent stuff where it's like, your photographer wasn't smart enough to do that. You wouldn't just move something over?
That's a very poorly framed shot. Or, who in the world would not put the toilet seat down or shut the shower curtain? Just little things like that. I know that they're going to do it, but I don't necessarily know that then somebody else would if I just hired some guy that just has a Matterport camera.
Same with drones that's very easy to purchase a drone right now. But really, when you're looking at the photographers ... you want someone that's licensed, and bonded, that has that has the proper licensing.
And then also the editing. When you get into video, there's a huge difference between someone that just kind of flew their Phantom around the neighborhood, versus someone that took the time and learned how to edit and do the cuts and get the right shots, the right lighting.
And you can really tell when you look at the MLS: "On! All right you hired the cheapest. You got some kid in college who bought the $1,000 drone and there it goes" ... versus you hired a professional that had a background in lighting and editing. So the same is true for photography.
- You started to talk a little bit about price. So one of the objections that our Community hears is, "Your competitors offer virtual tours for less."
- Yeah, and a lot of times they're not available. Or they're not going to have the same turnaround time. So I always avoid competing on price. Compete on value, not price.
- Are there other tips that you have for photographers, when speaking to real estate agents?
- Yes, a lot of it, I just would say, what's the benefit to them? What are they going to gain by hiring you? And then building that relationship.
So a lot of agents I know will always use the same photographer, once they've got that business, and then they'll make the introductions to other people in their office as well, which is huge.
But I think getting your foot in the door, it can be very difficult. And figuring out what works and what doesn't work in marketing. As a real estate agent, I know that like everyone is always trying to sell me something no different when I was an author.
And I'm sure it's no different for the photographers themselves. I mean, I'm sure there's countless events that they could attend that may or may not actually do anything for them. As far as sponsorship goes. And I'm sure you could spend unlimited money on Google Adwords. And that may or may not work for you.
So really kind of what I tell any small business owner is to measure what you're doing in marketing. That way you kind of have a benchmark, and then the next year if you want to double your income or your double your sales, and you can ramp up in that area, and statistically, it should grow at that same rate.
So I just talked to so many business owners that just say, "Oh, I went to this event or I did this." And they don't know the exact they don't know the results. They just think "Oh, my businesses increased.
Therefore, XYZ must have work." It's like, well, are you tracking anything? The easy thing to do is just like a promo code that's different based on whatever the different lead sources or we use vanity phone numbers again through CallAction.
That way I know the person called me from Google or if they call me from Yelp. They called me from Zillow. Or website directly so on and so forth and signs. That way when I reinvest in marketing, I can say, "Okay, well this actually worked." I can tie this dollar amount to the sales, and the ROI is there.
So let's keep doing that. Or in some cases, I've realized, "Whoa, pump the brakes here. What are we doing spending money here? This was profitable before but now it's not profitable anymore. Let's shift the funds around." And I can also go back to ... they're print providers around here that are always trying to say that their stuff is so great. I can say, "Well here's where we tested it.
And here's how many leads we got. And here's our sales we got. So no, it's not worth that amount. Here's what it's worth to me. Can we work something out?" And then they either will or they won't? And you don't feel quite as bad for saying no. It's just business... if your marketing doesn't work for me. So why would I spend the money?
- Do you ever have times where you've called your photographer; called; texted; email, to book your photographer, and the house is sold before a photographer has actually showed up?
- Well, so we do our marketing; we schedule our marketing in advance before ever marketing the property.
So we won't run into that instance. I have seen that before, though, where someone half did the effort. They're taking a few photos from the camera, and then they listed it and the property sells, which is fine. But again, it goes back to that they're not putting their best foot forward, day one. And so I would argue to that person that they may have been able to get more offers or higher offers had they use professional photography.
It'd be like, going into a job interview, and have a messy hair; having a stain on your shirt or something, it sure you might get the job, but you would do a heck of a lot better if you took the time to do your hair, wear a suit and tie and put your best foot forward.
And so for us, we want to make sure we're doing that every single time. Right away, not after the fact. So you have one chance at making a first impression.
- For photographers what is it that we should know about a real estate agent about what motivates a real estate agent? In order to help get the agent to buy photos, video, virtual tours, painted rocks, whatever it might be - what matters to real estate agents?
- Yeah, unfortunately, real estate agents are extremely ego driven. It's just kind of a personality thing. They want to be the best.
And so you're painting a scenario in which this tool allows them to one get more business because they're always looking for more business, generate more leads, what have you, but also differentiate from the other people in our office, because, you go to any office, there's 20 other agents there. So what makes them special?
And really focusing on that value proposition because their number one concern, I think, is that they're missing business. I did some consulting for a company out of North Carolina called First Analytics. They're a data analytics company.
And they were running different ads on Facebook. And what their product does is predictive analytics allows you to see who's most likely to move a product that had existed in the marketplace for quite a while. They had plenty of competitors.
But what the key thing they are able to do is identify listings that the agents had missed. So using their database they can say, "Okay, well John Smith actually listed their house and that agent wasn't aware of it."
And so they were running ads around this idea of missed opportunities. And those ads got the most clicks, and the most demos and signups by far, like 10X.
So it really plays into that agent's fear of missing out. So if you position this as a tool to get more listings, then agents are going to respond to that and say, "Oh! WOW! So and so we've got this extra business because they are using this tour or this product service," and you didn't get it and kind of keeping up with everyone else kind of scenario. It's sad but it works.
- Yes. To follow up on that: do these three questions matter to a real estate agent? Are you winning 100% of your listing presentations?
- Now that that's huge! So statistically, the batter's zone is like 90% ... So you're never going to win 100% and if you are it is because you're not going on enough presentations, and you're not doing enough business. But if you were ever like 80% or lower there is something wrong. ...
Whether it's positioning yourself in the market; price; presentation skills; something like that. And what I tell agents that are experiencing that is like it's a learning opportunity and be glad that you could identify that. And so you can focus in and do some more training around that area. But that is a very good observation.
- So if you can have a real estate agent tell you they're not winning 100% of the listings, and virtual tours may be ...
- Is the missing piece ... that would certainly move the needle and entice them enough to at least look at consider using it or claim to be using it.
I actually see that a lot that agents will, in their marketing say that they do this type of marketing or other things, they'll say they do video and stuff. And it's like, well, I know for a fact you don't look at your other listings and you don't but at least then if they're telling the seller that then they're now obligated to do so.
If I asked a real estate agent, "Are your listings as big as you would like?" Meaning premium listings - meaning are you getting more $750,000 to a million dollar listings instead of $350,000 to $500,000. If I asked that question, "Are you getting ... are you trading up to bigger listings?"
- Yeah, I think that's huge. Agents are always trying to raise their average sales price, because there's three different ways you can make more money in real estate. One is to sell more volume. Second is to charge more.
And third, of course, is to sell larger properties that sell for more. So that's actually the easiest way, because you're not having to sell anymore, and you're not having to try to raise your price. So that's a huge value proposition for agents.
And I think you're telling them that, yeah, these tours are going to help you win higher price listings is a big benefit to them.
- Should every agent know what their close rate is?
- What's that?
- Should should every agent know what percent of the listing presentations they're winning should that just-
- The good ones do, but the bad ones don't. It could be that they recently lost one. And that's top: fresh of mind. And it would motivate them more heavily.
By last week I didn't get a listing, I'm probably thinking, "What did I do wrong?" And it's a lot easier to say, "Oh! I know what it was. I didn't offer a virtual tour," than to say oh, "It was that my pricing sucked." "I'm a terrible presenter." Or, "I don't connect with humans."
So it's much better to be like, "Oh. Okay. It wasn't, because I didn't have this tool." "Oh. Yeah. That agent does have that. Okay, cool I should start doing that to be good."
- You mentioned the average sales price. Does every agent know what their average sales price is?
- They should, they probably don't. If they have HomeSnap. It's a handy tool you can look and see in real-time, which is fun to look at. And you can also look up other agents and kind of call it the dung detector.
- Okay, so you should be able to ask the agent, "Is your average sale price as high as you would like it to be?" And I would imagine- Unless they are already
- selling luxury homes, they are probably going to say, "No. It's not as high." Everybody wants to sell bigger houses.
- You really do want an agent who is going to say Would you like to have a higher- maybe a positive way to say it, "Would you like to have a higher average sales price?"
- Yes. All three of those are great leads; sources are like things are using your advertising or in your conversations that might move them towards the sale. I would caution you ... at some point the agents either: they're going to do it or they're not.
A lot of people will spend a lot of time wasting your time and if you're running to somebody that's trying to get a deal or whatever I just say no, move on.
They're not a good customer so it's okay; especially at conferences. ... If you have a booth, you might get some person that came along that sells like two houses a year, and they're going to spend so much of your time.
Like when I would sell books. I'd speak on stage and then I have my books in the back. And I get people that just drill me about everything about real estate and marketing this and that. And it's like, "It's in the book. You want to buy the book." I'll give away a little bit here and there. But like, at the end of the day like I got to sell some product.
- Is it reasonable for a photographer to ask how many houses do you sell- How many listings do you do a year?
- Yeah, I don't think that's offensive at all. I think that kind of helps gauge where they're at. You can follow it up and say you have a volume discount, if you prepay for 10 or 20. You'll get this deal or something. And then it's a benefit to them.
- I think where I was going, because you're talking about people, perhaps not being efficient with your time.
And maybe somebody who's a new real estate agent may have 1,001 questions for the photographer, the photographer is doing the education, but if the photographer asked the question up front, "How many listings are you doing a year?" that might help the photographer say , this is a good conversation to have. Or. Oh. Gosh. Two houses a year; this is a hobby business for them this is not what-
- Yeah I wouldn't waste too much time. So I guess it depends on the scenario, I think it's not inappropriate at all to ask, and I wouldn't take an agent out... I would be taking agents out to lunch, if they're not producing agents, I would really target those team leaders; people that you can tell ... they're doing a large volume of listings, and you're not currently using a similar provider.
But if you're at a conference, and they're lingering at your booth, and you've got other people, then it might be a polite time to give them a brochure and let them move along or if there's no one around, it's not always bad to have a couple people at your booth because it makes the booth look popular ;-)
- I guess were actually talking after COVID so-
- Yeah I mean, by this fall  we'll be back to doing in person events I'm sure.
- You heard it here first, Brandon Doyle on the record for fall 2021 worlds back to normal: back to normal,
- Well I didn't. I say we are back to normal, and am saying we have conferences. I'm on the planning committee for Minnesota we're doing it; we are doing it this fall. saying we have conferences.
- Second to last question for you. When things do return to normal, and gosh, I have so many questions. I'll make it my third to last question.
- When we are back to normal, and the broker says, "Yes. I'd be delighted to have you come present to my agents. Bring coffee. Bring doughnuts-
- Bring money.
- Sometimes money; "we charge for that!" Do you want to comment on- is that worth doing or not worth doing?
- Yeah. I would do a little research into what their agents are using currently. If you have a brand ambassador that's in their office, then by all means, do that, because that person is going to you to bring them up and have them do a testimonial for you right on the spot.
If you can tie it in with a very short term discount, say now through the end of this next week, we're going to give you 10% off, that way you can quantify if people are actually doing it.
I think the worst case you would do is come in and give a presentation; giveaway things of value. Food, what have you paid the broker, give out a discount code that's good forever. And then not really move the needle whatsoever.
So I would test the water first, depending on the price point, I guess and how many agents they have and what their agents sell a lot, because there are certainly brands out there that collect agents, and will tell you that we have 200 agents, but your average agent doesn't sell anything. Not really a big value; it could be worthwhile. I have represented a company in the past that was doing things like drone photography.
And one of the things I did was I went and spoke at offices and I would say that it did move the needle. But it helped that I was an agent myself and knew people in each office so I can use them as an example.
And I did really quickly learn not to create a promo code that lasts forever because then it becomes the expectation that we just we as this agent group get 10% off needs to be something like, book now; two weeks or something reasonable and you get this discount ... limited time offer or your first tour ... not ongoing forever.
- It occurred to me while we were talking. I was asking you as an agent, but I wonder from a broker's perspective is the advantage of doing virtual tours from a brokerage standpoint is that it's going to help attract more tech savvy agents that want to work for a brokerage that's-
- Yeah, I mean, there are brokers that might have a camera themselves that they use that as a way to incentivize agents or they might have a dedicated person. I think the best example I can think of is in Chicago, there's a firm that just; universally, if you're an agent there, you get a 360 tour for all your listings.
And so from their perspective, just kind of standardizing the quality of the listings that they put out there in their service offerings across all of their agents. And I think certainly that helps with recruiting as well, because that's one thing that they're taking off the agent's plate. And there's probably some agents, they're like "Well I want to use this particular photographer" ... but it is what it is,
I think, mostly the decision is going to come down to the agent. And if a broker is bringing you in, it's either because I think it's really cool. Or they're just, trying to come up with more topics. If they're doing weekly meetings, and they've run out of title and mortgage inspectors to bring coffee, they just need someone entirely possible or in some circumstances, they have that affiliate relationship, or they're really looking for kickbacks.
And I would avoid that unless you're exclusive. If you're the exclusive vendor of that broker, they're funneling a lot of business and sure maybe a small percentage would be appropriate but-
- The first time I heard that I fell over because they said, "Oh. Yes. You can pick the Friday, and it's going to cost you $500. And you bring coffee and you bring food. And you'll be on our preferred this/that/the other." I'm thinking well-
- How many other people? And the problem is how many other people are on that list?
- I'm just thinking like, okay I mean, there's two ways to look at this is either this is a revenue stream for the broker that has nothing to do with the agents that they're supposed to be helping, or is the brokerage looking for things that will help the agents succeed faster, that will help the brokerage succeed faster, as opposed to making yet another revenue stream someplace-
- Yeah unfortunately, for certain companies, it's a revenue stream. They are more notorious.
- I want to go back to just ... one objection that I asked you earlier and you've answered me it was a perfect answer. But if the objection just comes up so much that I just want to ask it again. Assume we haven't even discussed and give me your full effort in answering the question. And just to kind of that tee it up.
Today, Thursday, February 18, 2021. There are fewer houses than there are buyers, there's a shortage of supply. There's not enough listings. So when a house comes on the market, the objection the photographer hears, "The house will sell anyway."
- Yes, it will, but not for statistically not for as much money. And you have to think about the reflection of your brand. So not only are you trying to get the most money possible for your seller, who may refer you more in business, but also you are creating a portfolio that is advertising for you going forward indefinitely.
It's a digital resume. And do you want your digital resume to say, "I cheaped out" "I am an agent that took these bad photos on my cell phone" or, "I am an agent that uses the best marketing possible to get the highest price possible." And once the market shifts, you'll still have that to go back on.
- Thank you! Are there any questions that I haven't asked you during the show today about reasons real estate agents buy virtual tours that I should ask or that you wanted to share?
- Oh, no so I guess my advice for the providers would be to really get involved in the association because whatever your local association is, because that's where you're going to build relationships and you'll run into different opportunities, and then find out who your raving fans are. Whoever's ordering the most.
Take care of those people. And then ask them to introduce you to others. Because that's where you're going to get the best bang for your buck. Outside of that, I would just be really cognizant of where you're spending your money on marketing. Make sure that you're tracking everything you do, whether it's Google ads, or sponsorships, or print what have you.
So just to make sure that your marketing dollars are working for you and you're not just, throwing money down the drain. And then the last piece of advice is absolutely do not compete on price: compete on value.
Offer more. Come up with a guarantee of some sort. Whether it's, you'll re-edit the photos; or a turnaround time; or an availability, find out what you can do. And then you're going to become the person's go to provider. And I as an agent in the beginning had a camera myself, but I recognize the value of my time, and how it looks.
So it looks, if I was to win a listing for let's say a million dollars. And then I came out to the property, and it was me taking the photos, and it was me doing the 3D tour.
And me measuring. That doesn't make me look professional. It looks a lot more professional when I say, "Okay my stager is going to be here this day and then my photographer who will also do the 3D tour at the same time - is going to be here on this day.
That is a much better use of my time. And it makes me look way more professional in the eyes of the seller. So really positioning yourself as a provider, as that person in that adds value to that agent. There's always do it themselves; they want the cheapest price.
That's not the client you're looking for. Don't even waste your time on those people. Because they clearly don't understand the value of using a professional and the value of the system itself.
That's the type of person that's going to use it on their nice next listing, or they might do it or they're kicking the tires, and they're just like, trying to get information about you because they're going to go try to purchase a camera themselves or something like that.
So just don't waste your time with them. Hopefully all that was helpful.
- Yes. Awesome!
Just to follow up on asking for a referral. If you're a photographer who you love and adore. If your photographer came to you, and said, "Hey, Brandon, love doing business with you. Would you mind telling your friends?
Others either in the RE/MAX Results brokerage in Maple Grove, Minnesota or yet other agents." Should that photographer incentivize you in any way? Should they ... if that turns into business?
- Yeah, I've known ones in the past that have kind of created an affiliate program. And I think that's great. The person is probably going to use that link the first time. And you might get credit for the first one.
But it's not realistic to think that this is like an indefinite referral stream for that agent. I mean, that's not their job.
But if you're doing a well, good enough job, that agent should be willing to do some introductions. The other way you could position it as I happen to be in the area, or pop into their office and say, "Oh, hey, would you mind introducing me to so and so?
You can pick out some producers that are in the office that they might know," and say, hey, would you mind introducing me to Aaron down the hall?
I know he does sell quite a few homes? And isn't utilizing digital showings at all. Would you be willing to do that and they're going to say yes.
And that's going to be a much easier setup than just cold calling. So, but could you incentivize or just the random. - Hey, thanks for the intro. Here's $20 off or here's something I don't know that you necessarily need to go as far as the affiliate program itself.
I think when you get into that it kind of I don't know. I think it makes it a little less personal because you are looking at-
- Acknowledged to thank you, buy a gift of some sort to say.
- Yeah, I think that's-
- That's productive.
- That's certainly more appropriate. And the more specific you're able to get with your ask the better. "Can you introduce me to any agents," is a very vague ask whereas if you can you introduce me to John down the hall. I am going to be in your area, this date. That's a month you're going to get a lot better results that way.
- Okay. Awesome we started out the show - 7 Reasons Real Estate Agents Buy Virtual Tours.
I think by the time we get done transcribing the show and counting the number of reasons we may have to go back and edit the show to say 1,001 Reasons Real Estate Agents Buy Virtual Tours! So, this has just been awesome! Brandon, thank you for being on the show today.
- Yeah, thanks for having me. It's a lot of fun. We've been visiting with REALTOR Brandon Doyle. Brandon is Team Leader at Doyle Real Estate Team with RE/MAX Results in Maple Grove, Minnesota.
And also Board of Directors Member of the Minnesota REALTORS. For Brandon in Minnesota and I'm Dan in Georgia. Thanks for joining us for watching WGAN-TV Live at 5.
- Take care.
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|DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user|
I encourage you to watch this WGAN-TV Live at 5 show (above).
It will help you market to real estate agents despite homes selling faster than ever.
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