I was talking to Shane McCarthy today. I worked with Shane at HomeSeekers.com and eNeighborhoods. For the past couple years he has worked at VisualTour. Shane is a very natural salesperson, and great in front of an audience (agents just love him). Shane also surfs ( he would want me to post that tid bit!)

The value proposition for VisualTour is this, for $29.95 per month an agent can create and host an unlimited number of virtual tours. These tours can remain online for as long as the agent/broker pays the monthly subscription fee. They claim to host over half the virtual tours in the country.

Great company, very focused on customer service. The problem?? It’s an agent based subscription service! And we all know what a grind that can be. How many agents stay and how many leave, etc. etc. etc.

Recently VisualTour has been running television commercials on national networks such as HGTV, DIY and Fine Living.

You can see one here. You can read about it here.

I haven’t seen any other commercials, but this one is hilarious! And it struck me how clever an idea this ad campaign really is, because it really hit all cylinders on a subscription based service such as VisualTour.

1. Be aggressive.
Market be damned, lets roll! See my previous post about this here. They have over half the virtual tour business and they see this market as a perfect way to go after ALL of it!

2. Innovate.
They have also created a simple search interface where consumers can search for properties that have virtual tours. Since they have over half the tours in the country , and tours of sold properties, their search inventory is decent.

3. Sell. Sell. Sell.
In my opinion the best way to solve agent retention problem in a subscription based business is agent acquisition. Agents will leave the business no matter how great your customer service department works. You’ve got to give your sales guys better ways/tools to acquire new business.

I can just see Shane up in front on an audience of agents. Here’s how I imagine it goes…

Shane:
Consumers love virtual tours.

We are the largest and best virtual tour company.

We just started a nation wide television campaign to help real estate agents out in this tough market.

Can you think of any other real estate vendor running television commercials?

Would you like to see one of our television commercials?

[Play television commercial]

Audience: Laughter

Shane:
We take Visa, Mastercard, and American Express. The line forms to the left.

Gnarly dude!

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