A real estate virtual tour is a simulation of an existing property, typically composed of a sequence of videos and/or still images.
Approximately 18% of single family home listings in MLS Property Information Network (the largest MLS system in New England and the exclusive MLS system partner of Entry Only New England) have some sort of virtual tour associated with them.
For sale by owners (FSBOs) are welcome to submit a virtual tour with their flat fee MLS entry only listing, to be posted to the MLS, yet the virtual tour must be in compliance with MLS Property Information Network Rules & Regulations 1.0(e).
Essentially, 1.0(e) establishes that, similar to property photos, virtual tours cannot contain identifying contact information.
Every virtual tour submitted with a listing is reviewed by MLS Property Information Network front office personnel (not Entry Only New England) before being posted to the MLS. If a tour is not acceptable an email will be sent explaining why the tour was rejected so it can be remedied and resubmitted.
During the flat fee MLS entry only listing process, if a FSBO has a virtual tour, the URL at which the tour is hosted can be provided and will be submitted to MLS Property Information Network front office personnel for approval once the listing is published in the MLS (there’s no ability to submit a virtual tour for a “pre-approval” to MLS front office personnel).
The MLS does not accept virtual tours hosted on YouTube because it makes it possible for consumers to contact the listing agent directly and because YouTube sometimes contains questionable content under related media.
That being said if the virtual tour is hosted where there are no additional unrelated videos, there’s no ability to leave comments or contact information, the MLS could accept it. Dropbox, Box, or similar video hosting sites are appropriate so long as comments are disabled for the shared file.
There is no limit to the title of the video providing it does not include agent or office information. The property address can be displayed on virtual tours. Providing information about the property itself including open house data is allowed on the tours.
To add a virtual tour to your entry only MLS listing, simply submit a listing update request and select “Add Virtual Tour” as the “Update Request Type”.
Similarly, we introduced the ability for a FSBO to provide a property related website (URL) when listing or updating an entry only MLS listing for sale or rent. Providing a URL is optional, yet it can be any URL associated with a property, a website, a YouTube video, a sales landing page, etc. – this is different than a virtual tour as described above but can be a virtual tour. The MLS system does not publish or syndicate property related URLs, so this URL will be published here alongside the other contact information we make available in the process / system we’ve put in place to facilitate direct communication between FSBOs and interested parties. FSBOs can add a website (URL) to their listing during signup, or add/update the URL throughout the duration of a listing via our Listing Update Request Form – not every FSBO has a website or content online for their property, yet we encourage all FSBOs to take advantage of this feature as the URL is not subject to the same stringent requirements as, for instance, adding a virtual tour to your MLS listing, where no contact information, no YouTube videos, etc. are allowed. This website (URL) feature provides FSBOs a lot of flexibility to share their direct contact information and use the platforms of their choice to host their content however much or little there is.
To instantly add a website (URL) to your MLS listing today, submit a Listing Update Request Form of type “Website (URL)”.
Posted in: Working with Your Flat Fee MLS Listing