A blog cannot deal with all aspects of a subject and is not intended to replace professional advice. It's purpose is to highlight information and identify areas of possible interest. Anyone wishing to discuss this blog or to make any comments or suggestions about this blog is invited to do so by either posting comments or emailing me directly.


An On-Line Floor Plan is Worth A 1000 Words

When I first bought my first home in Calgary some 15 years ago, real estate Agents relied on printed MLS® System catalogues which were printed every week and were the size of telephone books.


At that time, most Agents caravanned new listings each week and called potential Buyers when a property came on the market which could possibly fit their needs. Otherwise, consumers would have to wait for a newspaper advertisement or a for sale sign to go up in the neighbourhood. Then they would have to call the Seller’s Agent to see the home. The gatekeeper of the information was the real estate Agent. And every Agent worked for the Seller!


Today, things are different. Very different!


Firstly, Buyers are best served by contracting with their own Agent that works exclusively for them - the Buyer - prior to viewing homes.


Secondly, a real estate Agent's value is no longer in being the gatekeeper of information - it's in the interpretation of the information and raw data, their skills in marketing, their understanding of human behaviour, their skills in understanding contract and common law, their negotiation skills and their skills in managing the hundreds of details from contract to closing. (A topic for another blog post).


Thirdly, once a Seller's Agent hits "submit" in the MLS® System for their new listing it is sent out to hundreds of real estate websites. In the old days where it would take 7 to 10 days to get some exposure, most consumers know about the listing before many Agents do. Serious potential Buyers that have registered for emailed alerts are made aware of new listings instantaneously via their smart phones and SMS messages.


If you are selling a property, make sure that you preview and approve the content that your Listing Agent is putting into the MLS® System. I think to do your home justice, the photographs and virtual tours should be of professional quality and not just created from photos from a point-and-shoot camera (or worse still, from a camera-phone), poorly lit, distorted, and/or photos that have been poorly stitched together. Make sure that your Agent loads the maximum amount of pictures allowed by the MLS® System and they use full-size photos. Another important question to ask your Agent is where else the listings will be going and if the Agent highlights or features the listing anywhere other than just on the MLS® System.


Every year I look for something to offer my clients beyond the ordinary. With the Internet being such an important tool in real estate, my business plan for 2011 (beyond professional-quality photographs, and virtual tours which we added in 2007 and 2008) has been to include on-line floor plans for our full-service listings. We began including this - at no additional charge - for our clients in the summer of 2010 when we were crafting our business plan for 2011.


Research from the National Association of Realtors® shows that right after increasing the number of photographs in a listing, and on-line virtual tours (not just video slide shows with background music), consumers have been looking for on-line floor plans. A home's layout is one of the chief criteria that Buyers look at when viewing homes. By providing them on-line, potential buyers can visualize a home's layout, the traffic flow in a home, and where to place their furniture. When Buyers get to virtually placing their furniture in the home, you can be sure they have created an emotional attachment with your home (and their new home). The stronger the attachment, the more likely you are to get an offer from them.


Doesn’t your home deserve this added benefit?

Adapted from a blog post of: Jefferey Douglass, Broker/Owner of RealtyV2, real estate broker in San Diego.

Data is supplied by Pillar 9™ MLS® System. Pillar 9™ is the owner of the copyright in its MLS®System. Data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by Pillar 9™.
The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.