Nov 14th Update: We’ve released a new & improved version of our Craigslist template! Details here
WOW! is all I have to say about this.
Craigslist is now removing all externally-hosted images and most other formatting from your real estate posts.
That is, your beautiful posts created using various Craigslist templates like TourVista’s are now stripped naked and in most cases looking very ugly.
No images. No fancy styling. No well-designed layout.
Just plain text and some minor formatting like bold and italics. Excuse me while I barf.
Is this just an effort to blast us all back to 1995? I don’t think so. Craigslist has always gone the route of “less is more” with their design and overall user experience. Instead, it feels more like a way to manage the look of all posts for consistency in an effort to level the playing field for everyone.
No need to freak out…
While this does have most real estate marketers in a state of shock, it is actually good news. By removing all images and fancy styling and forcing all posts to be plain text, ANYTHING that we can do to make your text better than just plain text will help it stand out.
And that’s what we are working on right now — an updated Craigslist template that takes your property info from TourVista and generates “better than plain text” copy/paste code to help it POP on Craigslist.
Stay tuned… and let us know if you have any ideas!
Really want to make your home stand out from all the other ordinary real estate marketing websites? TourVista’s interactive floor plans let your viewers navigate themselves through your home. Combined with photos, interactive floor plans give viewers the information they are wanting from an online tour.
Interactive floor plans are especially helpful for out-of-area prospects because they may not have an opportunity to view the home in person before making a buying or renting decision. Put yourself in their shoes for a second:
You’re moving to a new city and looking for a home online. Sure, you will be visiting in a few weeks and have scheduled time with your local real estate agent to view a limited number of properties. Obviously, you want to only spend your limited time looking at homes that are a good fit for you. TourVista’s interactive floor plans provide huge value to you because you can learn so much more about a home than just viewing photos.
Your prospects have a limited amount of time when it comes to shopping for a home – there’s only so many homes a person can look at both online and in person. They have to discern which homes they can dedicate this time to…make sure they pick your home to look at online.
Many sellers and landlords make the mistake of providing too few or too little information, but this can increase the chance they’ll just skip right past these homes for fear they will be wasting their time and effort in an in-person trip. Unless this home is the least expensive in the best neighborhood – not providing enough quality pictures or video will lose you viewers and leads. These days all homes are online on this website or that one – so you will need every way you can to make a great first impression on a potential buyer/renter. Showcasing your home with TourVista gives you this edge.
Not only do interactive floor plans give you an edge online, but they also give you pre-qualified/screened customers when they schedule an in-person visit. They already have a good idea of what the home will offer them and if they are ready to take a trip there in person then you know they are interested! This will save you a lot of time in the long run.
Providing more information, like interactive floor plans, at the beginning of the home search process helps you reach out to more customers and gets them excited about your home! It also gives you hotter leads when they come visit the home in person.
So, how do you setup an interactive floor plan for your home?
It’s easy. Just create a virtual tour on TourVista, upload your photos and simple floor plan graphics and use our custom technology to “drag & drop” arrows onto your floor plan for each photo. It takes about 2 minutes to build your interactive floor plan (and it’s actually kinda fun!).
But what if I don’t already have a floor plan graphic? How do I make one?
We agree, this is the most time consuming part of creating your interactive floor plan. If you don’t already have a floor plan graphic, you’ll need to make one. Check out this tutorial which demonstrates building a floor plan using Photoshop. There are also a few websites that let you draw floor plans using your mouse. Or you can hire us and our graphic designers will turn your sketch or blueprint into a beautiful floor plan graphic that’s ready for an interactive floor plan.
A new addition to TourVista’s apartment websites are these local info icons that show over here on the side bar. The user is able to click on these icons and link out to the appropriate websites. And let me show you how, as the administrator, you can control which icons show and which links they go to.
So, when you log into your website, you’ll see a new section at the bottom left called Website Settings. Right now there’s one tab for local info. So, these will be which icons show. You can see, there’s six of them right here and they’re all showing as default. Click the drop down menu to hide any one of the icons you wish not to show. Then save changes. It’s that easy to determine which ones will show and which ones do not show. And then, if you also want to change the link, by default we have pre-populated a link for each icon. But, you can override that. To do so, click the drop down menu of the icon you’d like to change, and select Custom URL. Lower on the page with the corresponding icon name, there will be a space for you to type in the custom URL of your choice. Return to your website to test. Piece of cake!
If you’re selling a home where pets reside, keep in mind that your potential buyers might not share your same love of furry friends. And its important to not let little things like pet hair, litter odor, or anything get in the way of your sale! What can be done? I’d recommend two stages of clean up.
Stage 1: The Photos. This is more light clean up. Be sure your pets are out of the pictures, vacuum couches if pet hair is visible, and set aside any visible signs of pets such as toys, food trays, etc. Stage 2: The Open House. Now comes the deep cleaning. Make sure you thoroughly vacuum every inch of your home. Anyone with pet allergies will instantly be able to tell there’s a pet in your home. Remove any visible signs of pets, including the pets themselves. Clean all linens, sheets, etc., anything that could collect hair and dander. Rent or borrow an air filter a few days before buyers arrive to remove allergens from the air.
Simple tips like these can make a world of difference to your buyers. Don’t overlook the details, and you’ll be on your way to SOLD.
Is your home or apartment more cozy than the pictures convey? You have to think… Why are they buying the house? What are they looking for in the house? And do your pictures show the best possible image of your home to buyers? If you’re having trouble with your digital photos, MSN Real Estate has comprised a list of 6 tips for drawing in buyers through your photos online. This is especially applicable to anyone using Craigslist or the TourVista Craigslist templates.
Lighten up your subject – don’t take photos at night or try to use dramatic lighting. The clearer and the more professional looking, the better the photo.
More is better – take as many pictures as possible. The more you show, the more your buyer will feel better about wanting to see the house in person.
Get a clear shot – clean up your house or have it “staged” for the photos – clean area, no clutter, no trash outside, etc.
Go Pro – If you can’t seem to take great pictures on your own, consider using TourVista’s Professional Services.
Give it your best shot – borrow a friend’s camera or try to rent one from a local shop.
Edit – using Flickr or Photoshop to edit your photos can make a world of difference.
The onset of November is a simple, yet stern, reminder to us all of what’s to come. No matter what your state or climate, it’s important to prepare your home for the coming winter months. MSN Real Estate has compiled a list of the top 10 ways to winterize your home. Every one of these steps is a quick and easy DIY project that could save you THOU$AND$ in home repair. There’s also a professional services locator and other helpful hints. Don’t let mother nature catch you off guard. Take these simple steps now and prepare your home for the winter.
There’s no denying we live in a digital world. Even snail mail now tells you to go online for more research or information on a new product. If readership of the New York Times is now down 4.51%, how well do you think your local paper’s doing? According to The Real Estate Bloggers, Advertising in the newspapers does not make sense. Several major USA newspapers have lost readership in the past year, alone. Our digital age is turning the newspaper classifieds into a thing of the past. Don’t waste your money and effort advertising a real estate listing in the dying newspapers. Instead, utilize your best effort and effectively target your audience using TourVista.
When it comes to homes for rent, vacant apartments, and sublets, CraigsList.com is the #1 classifieds website for the 21st century market. It’s free, easy to use, and everyone has heard of it. In a recent conversation with a friend in NYC, she explained to me how she found her apartment by saying, “everyone here uses Craiglist.” But how do your buyers/renters sort between listings? How do you stand out among a sea of others? The answer is simple. Theseven simple rules to posting on Craigslist. Use these simple instructions while creating your TourVista Craigslist add for your real estate listing. The Tourvista Craigslist templates are easy to fill out, simple to view, and more professional looking than posting directly form Craigslist alone.