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The new photography and visual marketing product is available now in Milwaukee, Atlanta, Dallas and Los Angeles and is the “first of two next-generation listing marketing products,” the company said in a Jan. 18 announcement sent to Inman. Tampa and Orlando agents can access it within a few days, according to the announcement.
Cynthia Taylor, vice president of product for ShowingTime+, said the product is aimed at reducing friction in the marketing efforts agents require to properly promote homes for sale.
“Listing Media Services cuts down on the time agents spend preparing a listing so they can focus on the high-touch, high-value work they do as a trusted adviser for their clients,” she said.
The software empowers agents to find and schedule local real estate photographers, as well as select from a series of related digital media packages to enhance the listing’s appeal. The list includes interactive and static floor plans, virtual walk-throughs and even aerial photos. Everything is handled through a single account interface, developed to keep all visual marketing assets in the same place for ongoing access, updates and sharing.
Floor plans and immersive tour content became an essential component to ShowingTime+’s arsenal after a 2021 “Consumer Housing Trends Report” revealed homeshoppers’ interest in being able to understand a home’s layout. Eighty-one percent of respondents said they are more likely to view a home if the listing includes a floor plan that they like, and over half (58 percent) are confident in making an offer on a home they toured virtually, without seeing it in person, the company said.
Listing Media Services automatically syndicates floor plans to Zillow, Redfin and select multiple listing services.
“The listing then receives specialized exposure and unique filters in search results on Zillow and Trulia and is featured in dedicated emails to shoppers,“ Zillow said.
The need for a clear focus on marketing is evident as the real estate economy remains static, whereas the so-called “pandemic market” allowed agents to seemingly line up potential buyers around the corner with merely a “coming soon” sign. Buyers have options today, and those listing agents making it easier for them to envision themselves in a seller’s home will have an advantage.
Zillow’s research shows that 70 percent of first-time homesellers now see their agent’s use of rich listing media as essential to bringing in a higher sale price.
Coming to select markets later in 2023 from ShowingTime+ is Listing Showcase, a product designed to highlight homes and agents’ brands on Zillow’s consumer search portal.
In part powering Listing Media Services was the company’s December 2022 acquisition of VRX Media, a visual marketing company for real estate that specialized in property image enhancement and facilitating aerial photography. The deal prompted Inman founder Brad Inman to pen a column about the industry’s knee-jerk habit of dismissing the seminal search app, especially after setbacks like Zillow Offers.
Granted, agent-facing creative products are a departure from Zillow’s longstanding place in the market. The home search innovator has made its plans to veer from solely offering paid-lead products widely known. Company President Susan Daimler told Inman in 2022 that while Premiere Agent remains near and dear to her heart, Zillow’s evolution into a super app for real estate has the most of her attention.
“We want to offer customers the right thing for them to do at the right time. For some customers, that’s going to be financing. For some customers, that’s going to be renting,” she told Inman. “For some customers, it’s going to be talking to an agent. For some customers, it’s going to be going on a tour.
“The super app is what allows us to put all of those entry points up to say, for the customer, what it is that you need to do at this moment we can help you with. And then when they open that door and walk through, we have all the other opportunities offering services for them to engage with as well.”
The ShowingTime+ technology suite also includes the legacy showing scheduling solution, ShowingTime and Bridge Interactive, as well as transaction management software, Dotloop.