We have partnered with another company to host our Virtual Tours. For two years we were doing our own software and hosting the tours, but we could not concentrate on the development of new and better tours along with meeting our client’s needs. So we decided to outsource and let them do the upgrades, etc. We received great reviews from the tours as they are now, but our partner is about to release a few upgrades that will greatly increase the ability of the tours, including allowing video integrated into the tours, mobile viewing, along with a list of other great features.

The interface we use allows some flexibility in how we display the tour, so things like color, floor plans, adding links, can easily be done, and we usually come up with a specific look for each client. The new changes will allow even greater flexibility and additions.

As I look through the competition, I see more and more integrated into the tours, of which most needs to be stripped out when coming from MRIS or realtor.com since they do not allow branding. There are fancy books that turn pages, symphonic music, so-so printable brochures that never seem to print, and area information pulled from other places such as walkscore and school info.

I’ve always felt it was our job to display the photos the best we can, with branding as necessary for linking outside of listing services. I know the majority of our clients have spent a lot of money integrating this data into their own web site, so why duplicate it. We certainly do not want them bookmarking the photos vice the site it came from. And what if there is a conflict of information that we link to vs. the referring site? We certainly are NOT the experts.

I’d love to hear from you on what you think a virtual tour should be and why. It certainly would help us better meet the Client’s needs better. Feel free to reply to the is post or email me directly.

Thanks for reading.