TourVista Blog: Winterize your home

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.





Halloween’s Real Estate Reminder

A few things to keep in mind this Halloween:

  1. If you have an empty home, don’t decorate unless you’re expecting guests
  2. Beware of potential vandalism in an empty home
  3. If you have a jack-o-lantern, especially if it’s lit by fire, check on it every time a new trick-or-treater comes to your door
  4. Lights in the house is an open invite for trick-or-treaters. If you run out of candy, turn the lights off
  5. There’s safety in numbers. So, go with a group, wear reflective materials, and use flashlights!

Here’s wishing your home and your family a Safe and Happy Halloween from all your friends at TourVista

Real Estate: News paper ads no longer worth your money

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.

Craigslist Guidelines

When it comes to homes for rent, vacant apartments, and sublets, 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. The seven 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.

Paying attention to buyer turnoffs

When you pay attention to the details of your real estate listing, your buyers will too. But when you don’t pay attention to the details, they may end up standing out in a bad way. A few quick care chores to your home such as: touch-up paining, cutting grass, doing the dishes, or hiding the old lawn furniture, can have a lasting impact on your buyers and the way they view your home – or themselves in the home. Don’t cheat yourself when it comes to the value and beauty of your real estate listing. Putting your best home forward will not only bring buyers in the door, but it will ultimately lead to a buyer who will stay (in the door). And this article:  Pay attention to buyer turnoffs in your home. will help you anticipate what your buyers are looking for from the moment they walk in.

TourVista’s suggestion: When it comes to your virtual tours and Craiglist adds, do your touch-ups before your photo shoot! Don’t take pictures of a leaking gutter, hole in the wall, or missing woodwork from a door. Take the time and a little extra money to always make sure you’re putting your best home forward. A little love = a buyer loving your listing.

Stay up to date on the housing market now has Large and Small widgets that allow you instant access to news and market forecasts. You can add it to your blog or website. Stay up to date on the housing market with the best information possible. To get their widget, visit  their website. And for more information visit, your #1 resource for everything in online real estate marketing.

Videos from YouTube no longer showing Related Videos

If you have a video of your listing, be sure to include it on your TourVista virtual tour.  Here’s how:

  1. Upgrade your virtual tour to Premium
  2. Upload your video to your YouTube account
  3. Copy the video ID from YouTube
  4. Paste the video ID into the Video section of your virtual tour

Now a Video tab will show on your virtual tour page & widgets that includes your video from YouTube.  

Plus, thanks to the suggestion from Phyllis R., the “Related Videos” from YouTube are no longer showing when your video finished playing on your virtual tour.  Not only is this a better experience for your viewers (no need to show them content that is not specifically about your property) but if your property is in an MLS you don’t have to worry about getting any fines.  Some MLS’s are very strict about what you can and cannot show about a property online.

Craigslist Made My Nice Photos All Blurry, Say What?

This post goes out to all the landlords and property managers out there.  Anyone who has a property for rent.  Hopefully you already know this… You’ve gotta put your ad on Craigslist.  

I don’t know the percentages but I’m guessing that 80%+ of prospective renters will use Craigslist exclusively in there search for a new home.  How do I know this?  Well, I’ve been renting out my condo in West Seattle each year for the past 4 years and every time I post the ad on Craigslist, I get a flood of emails from interested applicants.  I’ve never had to advertise my condo anywhere else.  

Looking Good On Craigslist is Essential

The bad news is that most other landlords & property managers also know about Craigslist.  In fact, it’s not uncommon for me to post my condo to Craigslist and within 20 minutes, it will already be on page 2 of the results in Seattle!  That’s crazy, I know.  So, your posting needs to look professional if it’s going to stand out.  This also goes for your photos — they’ve gotta look great.  Craigslist even has a search filter to skip ads that don’t include photos and I’m sure that many searchers use this — I mean, what good is an ad for an apartment or house if it doesn’t show any pictures?

You say: “So how come my awesome looking photos are all blurry once I upload them to Craigslist?”

I respond: “Because Craigslist shrinks your photos to fit their template and to load very fast.  This reduces their quality significantly and can often times result in blurry, messy looking photos.”

Check out this example from one of TourVista’s clients:

Original Photo Looks Great Craigslist Photo Looks Blurry
Original Photo Before Craigslist Screwed It Up  Craigslist Blurry Photo

There are the actual photos, no Photoshopping or anything like that.  Craigslist really nukes your original pix.

The good news is that you can still get your photos looking AMAZING on Craigslist! 

Just use TourVista’s Craigslist templates to create your ad and your photos will look so much better.  The trick is that when you use our Craigslist templates, you upload the photos to, not, and we don’t reduce the quality.  Your ads pull the photos from your account at and that’s how your photos maintain their original high quality.

‘Nuff said! Give TourVista a spin and try out our Craigslist templates.  They will save you time, make your ads look so much better, and give prospective tenants a great first impression of your property.  Click the image below to get started.

Setup a Free Tour and Craigslist Template

#21 – When Google Maps Fails… TourVista to the Rescue!

Google Maps is great and most of the time it works as expected.  But every once in a while, for whatever reason, it won’t map your property correctly.  This is annoying and ruins all of the effort you’ve put into creating your virtual tour on TourVista.  

Previously, you had to contact us and we would manually update your mapping.  As you know, TourVista is all about do-it-yourself solutions, so we’ve made some improvements to our tour management interface and now you can easily modify the mapping of your property as it shows on Google Maps!

Here’s a video tutorial from our founder Matt Cassarino explaining the deets:

#20 – Social Media Improvements to Our Blog

Social Media Icons from SharebarHey All,

We’ve given our real estate marketing blog some much needed love by adding a few cool social media improvements:

  1. Notice on the left the super cool social media share box.  This makes it a breeze to share a great blog post with your social network.  And check out what happens when you scroll the page down… how cool is that!  Thanks Sharebar for the great WordPress plugin.
  2. Next we added a list of Related Posts at the bottom of each post.  A great way to showcase useful and related content on our blog.
  3. In the Comments section there is checkbox for staying in the loop as comments are posted to a conversation — cool.
  4. And last but not least, at the bottom of each blog post we’ve included links to the next and previous posts for easy browsing.

Now, admittedly, none of the above is that impressive (well, the sharebar one is pretty slick), but the point is (a) that we are continually working to improve our website and blog, and (b) that there are some social media improvements in the works for your virtual tours at