“Why are floor plans not used in real estate marketing?,” Joseph, a consumer from Florida asked in an article I recently stumbled upon at Realtor.com. “I’m in the market for my first home. I have been to a handful of showings finding room sizes not suitable to my lifestyle or a layout that I don’t like. This information is easily relayed in a floor plan drawing so why are they not used? It seems like a floor plan would allow me to see what the room sizes are and the overall home layout before a showing.”
The article was from 2011 and after reading it I searched specifically for more up to date posts. You may or may not be surprised that there was very little to be found, and some of the other responses to similar questions had an alarming ring to them.
“I’m a strong advocate of floor plans,” one consumer responded. “As a buyer, I have very strong opinions about what I want and don’t want, and a floor plan can save a lot of driving and looking. Many agents hate them because it cuts down the number of visits.” And we’ve heard similar excuses with regards to virtual tours even though clients are resoundingly saying they would choose an agent who creates VR tours over an agent who doesn’t!
Consumers Clearly Value Floor Plans
Despite the lack of writing on the topic of the importance of floor plans, the 2017 NAR Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report stated clearly that consumers find floor plans “very useful.” The top four most valuable website features were photos, detailed property information, floor plans and virtual tours.
So what was the answer to Joseph’s question? This was REALTOR® Lee Dworshak’s conclusion, “I think the primary reason floor plans are not included in the marketing materials of most homes is because they do not exist or cannot be found. It’s fairly expensive to have a plan drawn up and if the listing agent doesn’t deem it necessary it doesn’t get done.” As clear as it is that floor plans and VR tours are desired by consumers, it’s just as clear that agents and brokers are not delivering these features at scale.
Where I live in Santa Clarita, CA, the median price of a home is currently shown on Realtor.com as 540K with average days on market sitting at 70 days. Of the 781 existing homes on the market right now on Realtor.com, only 10 have VR Tours. So, while 84% of consumers want to see a VR tour prior to visiting a home, 98.63% of the homes for sale near me do not have one. It is harder to get to how many have floor plans, but my gut tells me the numbers are similar. Those listings that have them stand out. Clearly.
Times Have Changed
Perhaps there was a time when it was indeed “fairly expensive” to have a floor plan drawn up or costly to invest in time and equipment to do a VR tour. But now that immoviewer can create floor plans from the 360° images used to create your tours starting at just $25, you can have the third and fourth most valued website features easier, faster and less expensive than ever before. Let us show you how.