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  #1  
Old 05-31-2003, 05:46 AM
pfolmsbee pfolmsbee is offline
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Angry Let's Protest to NAR!

Starting May 1st, the linking proceedure became very aggravating.

What is happening, of course, is that HomeStore wants to control the Virtual Tour market. Unfortunately, their cost is too high and the technology is inferior. I plan to remain with VisualTour, no matter how awkward it becomes. However, since NAR is supposed to represent all members, I believe we should protest this monopoly. HomeStore should allow us to post a tour without jumping through hoops.

One recommendation: As much as I want to give credit to VisualTour, I believe the scrolling banner should say "Virtual Tour", since that is what the public recognizes. Name recognition with lay people is of little value, anyway. The real benefit is having AGENTS realize which company is providing the superior product.

Paul Folmsbee
RE/MAX PARTNERS
Cary NC
pf@nc.rr.com
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  #2  
Old 05-31-2003, 08:54 AM
sjarrell sjarrell is offline
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>>One recommendation: As much as I want to give credit to VisualTour, I believe the scrolling banner should say "Virtual Tour", since that is what the public recognizes. Name recognition with lay people is of little value, anyway. The real benefit is having AGENTS realize which company is providing the superior product. <<

That's a good point. If you feel that your customers relate better with "virtual tour" than "VisualTour", by all means, use it. We're here to brand YOU, not the other way around. We only succeed if you succeed, so we want you to do whatever is possible to promote your branding!

Best regards,
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VisualTour.com
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  #3  
Old 09-22-2003, 06:15 PM
pfolmsbee pfolmsbee is offline
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Default Post Latest Update?

I got an E-mail from VisualTour a couple of weeks ago describing a new "fee-per-listing" method to put listings on REALTOR.COM®. Is that still valid? And has anyone tried it? Would like to hear a report......

-Paul-
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  #4  
Old 09-23-2003, 08:47 AM
sjarrell sjarrell is offline
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The option to link to Realtor.com via PicturePath is a "Permanent" option. Details can be found at www.VisualTour.com/Realtor.
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VisualTour.com
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  #5  
Old 02-18-2005, 09:31 AM
debbrown debbrown is offline
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Wink In Agreement

I am in total agreement with protesting ANY monopoly regarding posting visual tours on realtor.com. No one should be the ONE provider nor should we be overcharged if we use another vendor.

Realtor.com is EXTREMELY costly to join, particularly for the new agent. We pay dues to be a member of NAR and Realtor.com is supposed to be one of our tools. Allowing us to provide a SIMPLE LINK on Realtor.com (the same way we do in the MLS) for a visual tour that we've already paid for AND, more importantly, is stored on another server taking up NO Realtor.com server space should be allowed without cost. I cannot see how the current cost can be justified - either $21.95 per tour OR $500+ annually simply to place a link on a website. This "service" is an activity that should take less than 30 seconds to complete. Since we aren't paying for server space, it appears we are being charged outrageous amounts for less than a minute's work.

But... criticism is just criticism if a constructive solution cannot be offered. Therefore, I would suggest that NAR and Realtor.com create ONE FIELD where an agent can insert their own link on the realtor.com website (just like we can do with our name, email or other personal info).

Creating a monopoly for any visual tour company should not happen...AT ALL...EVER! If monopolies are to be created, even inadvertantly, related to visual tours we might want to ask ourselves what's next. Will we soon be creating a monopoly for a title company, mortgage broker or other service provider with the only alternative for choice being we will be double or overcharged for the service? This may not have been intention of NAR but it is certainly coming acrossed as the creation of a visual tour vendor monopoly that is affecting the real estate industry and the integrity of how we can do business. I'm all for protesting the prevention and/or creation of vendor or service provider monopolies! Let me know who to talk to!

Last edited by debbrown; 02-18-2005 at 09:42 AM.
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  #6  
Old 03-13-2005, 03:00 PM
Eric Woolhiser Eric Woolhiser is offline
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Location: Shirley, MA
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Thumbs up Two Fields

Actually there should be two fields for the solution.

We need all MLS dbs to adopt two special fields:
VTCOMP which will be a field for the MLS Member table, and
VTURL which will be a new field for each listing.

This is where the geekiness of my former life as a computer programmer shows through

The VTCOMP field should be a URL pointing to some place on the VT Company's server where the VT Company provides a branding file for the VT Company. The file would point to icons, logos, Company name, some trademarked phrase like Coke's "make it real" etc etc.... I'm not proposing a spec for that file, just brainstorming a bit.

We'll get back to VTCOMP in a moment.

VTURL field would then be a link to the property's tour, wherever it might be hosted.

This way, the REALTOR® creates the links when he creates the listing... and does it ONCE!

Then all sites importing the IDX data would also import the URL and link to it automatically. realtor.com if it so chose, could make the link to the VTURL an option that you pay for when you buy enhanced listing or thier other products.

Getting back to VTCOMP. This field should be a text string pointing to the branding file. This generic approach would allow every VT Company to compete equally, as no VT Company would have to contract with every blooming MLS board just to get a special radio button on the form where the REALTOR® creates the listing.

If the advantages are not obvious, here they are:
1) The ease of use and time savings for the REALTOR® only entering the URL once in one place.
2) The VT Companies would have a level playing field.
3) With ease of use, and reduced costs of Virtual Tours, more REALTORS® would use them... and this serves the public! (What a concept!) Imagine that relocation buyer on the other side of the country, or even the world being treated to the superiour visualtour.com® experince!

Of course, we all need to understand this idea so that we can pressure our MLS Boards and the local REALTOR® for som legal action to implement it.

If anything was unclear, (and I expect a lot of it was) please ask me to clarify it.

eric@woolhiser.com
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  #7  
Old 03-15-2005, 12:21 AM
San Diego Real San Diego Real is offline
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Question

Wow when did all this happen?
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  #8  
Old 03-21-2005, 08:15 PM
Judycansell Judycansell is offline
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Default Squeezed!

I copied and pasted my visual tour link to my companies website and when prospects click on my link to the visual tour my company name is plastered all over my visual tours that I created. Do you know why that is happening?

Your computer programming experience is very helpful.

I wish someone would listen to you.

Judycansell.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Woolhiser
Actually there should be two fields for the solution.

We need all MLS dbs to adopt two special fields:
VTCOMP which will be a field for the MLS Member table, and
VTURL which will be a new field for each listing.

This is where the geekiness of my former life as a computer programmer shows through

The VTCOMP field should be a URL pointing to some place on the VT Company's server where the VT Company provides a branding file for the VT Company. The file would point to icons, logos, Company name, some trademarked phrase like Coke's "make it real" etc etc.... I'm not proposing a spec for that file, just brainstorming a bit.

We'll get back to VTCOMP in a moment.

VTURL field would then be a link to the property's tour, wherever it might be hosted.

This way, the REALTOR® creates the links when he creates the listing... and does it ONCE!

Then all sites importing the IDX data would also import the URL and link to it automatically. realtor.com if it so chose, could make the link to the VTURL an option that you pay for when you buy enhanced listing or thier other products.

Getting back to VTCOMP. This field should be a text string pointing to the branding file. This generic approach would allow every VT Company to compete equally, as no VT Company would have to contract with every blooming MLS board just to get a special radio button on the form where the REALTOR® creates the listing.

If the advantages are not obvious, here they are:
1) The ease of use and time savings for the REALTOR® only entering the URL once in one place.
2) The VT Companies would have a level playing field.
3) With ease of use, and reduced costs of Virtual Tours, more REALTORS® would use them... and this serves the public! (What a concept!) Imagine that relocation buyer on the other side of the country, or even the world being treated to the superiour visualtour.com® experince!

Of course, we all need to understand this idea so that we can pressure our MLS Boards and the local REALTOR® for som legal action to implement it.

If anything was unclear, (and I expect a lot of it was) please ask me to clarify it.

eric@woolhiser.com
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  #9  
Old 03-24-2005, 09:21 PM
Russell Shaw Russell Shaw is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 2
Default Let's Protest to NAR!

Quote:
Originally Posted by pfolmsbee
Starting May 1st, the linking proceedure became very aggravating.

What is happening, of course, is that HomeStore wants to control the Virtual Tour market. Unfortunately, their cost is too high and the technology is inferior. I plan to remain with VisualTour, no matter how awkward it becomes. However, since NAR is supposed to represent all members, I believe we should protest this monopoly. HomeStore should allow us to post a tour without jumping through hoops.

Paul Folmsbee
RE/MAX PARTNERS
Cary NC
pf@nc.rr.com
Here is a copy of an email I just sent to a member of the Executive Committee of NAR.


Mike,

The reason I am writing to you is twofold:

1. You are the only person I know at the top of NAR

2. I like you and hope you can point me in the right direction.

This is the statement for Realtor.com, “Realtor.com is the official Web site of the National Association of Realtors. The site, which is operated by Homestore, features more than 2 million Realtor-listed homes for sale and access to brokers and agents.”

As NAR has the purpose of helping its members become more successful and profitable in their business – it would seem, by extension, that some of the NAR viewpoint would also be the purpose of Homestore and Realtor.com. What I’ve observed is the exact opposite. Since Alan Dalton took over Realtor.com there has been an almost endless pattern of Realtor.com being a bully towards agents and brokers.

As an example, before Dalton I paid Realtor.com $500 a year. Then it went to (for the very same service) $2500 a year. Now he is eliminating the ability of agents to have a virtual tour linked from Realtor.com unless they pay $24.95 for THE LINK. This action alone would raise my costs $10,000 – 12,000 a year. And the tours would only be up for a few days to a week as our market is so fast.

I called Realtor.com and said that isn’t what I had been sold. I was first told – as it shows on the current edit screen for Realtor.com, “Please note, due to low demand, the Edit Other Info field will be sunset on March 31, 2005. Any entries made before March 31, 2005 will be grandfathered and will be displayed as long as the listing is active.”

When I called and said I use it and so do a lot of other people I was told that that it was a business decision. I said this would drastically increase costs for no additional benefit. The response, “It is a business decision”. I said I won’t participate and want to cancel my annual contract with them. The response to that was, “We have the right to change the site whenever we want” and “We don’t give refunds, you paid for an annual contract”. In short, “screw you”.

It is difficult to imagine how it is alright for an organization having the name REALTOR and being sanctioned by my Realtor organization treating Realtors this way. Here is what I found doing a quick search:

http://forums.visualtour.com/showthread.php?t=312

http://forums.visualtour.com/showthr...?p=980#post980

Here is the spin Dalton is putting on it: http://realtytimes.com/rtapages/2005...ewvtvision.htm

The people I’ve spoken to – brokers and virtual tour providers are just outraged.

So ….. who at NAR should I write to / talk to? What might be the best course of action to get Realtor.com to change these types of business practices?

I know you are busy and I don’t want to burden you with yet another job but didn’t know who else to ask. I appreciate your help.

Russell
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  #10  
Old 04-05-2005, 11:38 PM
MGatch MGatch is offline
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Default NAR Get in Gear

I am with you on the NAR looking out for ALL Realtors. You go get them! Michael Gatch, Hinesville/Richmond Hill Ga.
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