Obeo, Baby, where have you been all my life? Why should buyers stop at virtually moving in their furniture when they can virtually redecorate — inside and outside — as well?
We are too much misled, surely. Too much miscounseled, misdirected, misinformed. Too many of the people we turn to for advice on selling homes don’t actually sell homes themselves — never have — and, in consequence, too often, they are too much mistaken.
Consider that 2006 was to have been the Year of the Real Estate Video — except it wasn’t. Nor was 2007. And nor, neither, will be 2008. Video is useful for telling stories and for communicating personality. In expert hands it can be an incomparable tool for conveying arcane or abstract ideas. As a real estate marketing tool, it is at best a role-player — and most often — owing to crappy production values and even crappier pre-planning — it serves more as a detriment than a benefit to the marketing of a home.
Good photography, by contrast, is the real estate marketing tool of the millennium. Houses sit still, and what buyers want, more than anything, are scads of detail-rich images that also sit still — so they can examine, repeatedly, every last one of those details.
We will sometimes do video in a role-playing way for our listings, but the second most popular feature on our web sites, after the photographs, is the interactive floorplan. Buyers love to see exactly how their furniture is going to fit into the home — and the more they commit their minds to the home, the more committed they are to buying it. The scientific name for this intricate process is: Salesmanship.
For years now, we have dreamed of an even more fun, more engaging, more interactive tool to put on our sites: Virtual redecorating. Change the paint. Change the flooring. Change the cabinets and countertops. “You almost love this home, folks, and you haven’t even liked anything else. What can you do to make this place your own?” The name for this again? Oh, yes. Salesmanship.
And guess what? It’s here. Obeo, about whom I knew nothing until this morning, has solved the virtual tour problem in a way I not only don’t hate, but actually like. And they have given me virtual redecorating, which I absolutely love.
Here’s my very own kitchen, with almost all of the frou-frou, girly stuff gone:
This rocks, period. I like some things I look at, and I pretty much hate everything else. We’re getting Obeo. This is a category-killer product — even though the virtual tour category is already all but exclusively populated by the undead. Virtual redecorating will sell real estate — the repeated commitment of action upon the home becomes an active resolution to commit to the home — and that’s the only reason for bothering with any of this stuff.