January 7th, 2007
While browsing through the listings in our office today I noticed that out of 60 listings that our office has only the listings my wife and I have have virtual tours. This was surprising. I decided to look at a wider sample so I spent some time on our local MLS service and did some searches in the area we do most of our business (area 540). This area is on Seattle’s eastside (East of Lake Washington) and includes the city’s of Issaquah, Sammamish, Snoqualmie.
Here’s what I found:
- Out of 445 active listings only 36 (8%) had virtual tours that agents paid for.
- In the $300,000 to $600,000 price range (132 listings) 7.5% had virtual tours.
- In the$600,000 to $1,000,000 price range (217 listings) 4.6% had virtual tours.
- In the $1,000,000 to $5,000,000 price range (96 listings) 16% had virtual tours.
- In the $1M to $5M range there is a huge mixture of types of tours services being used (13 different services for 16 virtual tours)
- In the lower price ranges there was less variety of tour vendors but no vendor really dominated.
I’m sure there are several messages in these numbers. But think the main question is “Why do only 8% of these listings use tours?”
One possible explanation of why tour useage is so low is that for the last several years the market in this area has been very brisk. Homes have been selling without much marketing. As a result most agents think they don’t have to do much to sell properties so they don’t.
I think another explanation of the low tour usage is that Realtors are not very impressed with what they get for the money. I think this is the reason that in the highest price range where more sellers expect and demand virtual tours Realtors are trying everything almost every Realtor that used a virtual tour in this price range used a different vendor. The only vendor that more than one Realtor used was tourfactory.com, Russell Productions (a local guy) and Circlepix. No one is making much money selling tours on the Eastside of Seattle!
I’m going to start asking Realtors why they don’t use virtual tours.