Q: “Denise, I have a seller couple who will have their listing ready to go in the next two weeks. This is fantastic. However, they are insisting that I create one of those 3D walkthroughs that they have seen online. Not only is it not cheap to do this, because of the kind of market we are in and what I expect will be the buyer for that home, I just don’t see that it will be necessary or effective. Am I behind the times and should buck up or is this really an extra that is nice and shiny but ultimately won’t help me sell homes?”
A: This is an excellent question because there is always that new thing that sellers want, but it is questionable as to whether it helps sell the home or not. For example, a few years ago, having a listing advertised in one of the real estate magazines was one of these contentious issues. It isn’t cheap to do, in that case, the listing may have already sold by the time the magazine came out, and real estate agents everywhere were wondering whether that was an effective advertising medium. However, did you know that according to the National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers 2016, 12% of buyers still utilized a Home Book or magazine as an information source?
Let’s take a closer look at these national numbers from the Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. We know that most buyers are searching for homes on the internet. In fact, 95% of buyers are using the web. In terms of the usefulness of the different ways the listing is portrayed online, we know that photography is important (89% of buyers indicated this was very useful), 85% of buyers found that the details were very useful, 55% found that floorplans were very useful, and 50% found that virtual tours were very useful. Although 3D plans were not mentioned specifically in the study, these features are closest to that type of information.
Based on that information, I would say that 3D Tours are something that buyers would find very useful. However, you are really wondering if it is worth the time and expense if the house is probably going to sell quickly anyway.
I actually think this is a great time to review your listing and marketing process to determine if this is something you want to do as part of your business model, not necessarily in response to what a seller wants you to do. I want you to imagine the market isn’t as fast as it has been and there are more sellers in the market than there are homes buyers want to buy. Or are you in a market where buyers may be coming from far away and that extra in-depth look inside a home may help a buyer determine if this is somewhere they could live? Imagine you are also showcasing your listing process for sellers at a listing presentation. Would including a 3D tour give you an edge? Are there other things you are spending listing dollars on that aren’t as effective anymore? Do you expect to spend a percentage of your future commission dollars on listing the home? What is that percentage and are you staying within that?
You asked a great question and it is one that will take some thinking time on your end to answer. This will give you an opportunity to review your process, perhaps remove the things that are not as effective and channel your time and resources towards things that are and will give you an edge.