Realtor.com plans to expand its virtual tour offerings to support nearly all virtual image creation technologies, the company said today.

Beginning Nov. 30, real estate brokers and agents will be able to enhance listings on Realtor.com through an expanded, full-service hometour360(degree) program or the new PicturePath program.

Homestore, which operates the Realtor.com Web site, will convert its comprehensive hometour360(degree) product into a hosting and distribution tool powered by a choice of virtual image creation technologies. Homestore will continue to support IPIX’s virtual image solutions, but will now enable alternative imaging technologies to be used. At the same time, the current PicturePath product will transition to a link submission tool.

Access to Homestore’s hometour360(degree) program previously was only available to virtual tour service providers that agreed to acquire the hometour360(degree) Wizard software and keys needed to create IPIX 360-degree images. Under the new service, hometour360(degree) service providers will be able to purchase virtual image creation software from a variety of technology providers, including, but not limited to, IPIX. Participating hometour360(degree) service providers will be able to upload these images along with property information, flat photos and agent information to create the hometour360(degree) virtual tour. These tours will be disseminated across the Internet through the Virtual Tour Distribution Network (VTDN).

All other virtual tour service providers will be invited to join the PicturePath program. These providers will have increased flexibility to deliver their virtual tours, created with any technology and hosted themselves, to Realtor.com for listing enhancement for a nominal fee.

“We are very excited about the changes being made to Realtor.com’s virtual tour solutions,” said Allan Dalton, president of Realtor.com. “Consumers repeatedly stress their attraction to listings with enhancements like multiple photos and virtual tours.”

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