Realtor.com® recently announced that they are ending PicturePath, their tour syndication system, on Sept 30, 2018. Syndication to Realtor.com was one of our most popular features, so we want to help you understand what this change means for you and your customers.
It’s important to realize that PicturePath was not built in order to get virtual tour links onto Realtor.com. Rather, it was a way for Realtor.com to make money from agents by charging them to post the link to the virtual tour. Otherwise, the link would not be on Realtor.com at all, despite the fact that the link is in the data feed that Realtor.com gets from the MLS. The other big upside was that the agent could have the branded tour on Realtor.com, not just the unbranded tour. In 2017, Realtor.com made this service free for all agents, but still required the link be posted either by the agent or via PicturePath syndication.
So, how can you be sure to get branded tours onto Realtor.com going forward?
Fortunately there is a simple answer. Today, Realtor.com gets the virtual tour links from the MLS in the vast majority of cases. As long as the agent puts the link into the MLS, the tour will make it to Realtor.com. That link will of course be the unbranded link. However, we can detect inbound links from Realtor.com and automatically upgrade it to the branded tour. We have been doing this in Canada with Realtor.ca for years, and we now do this for Realtor.com as well. This will ensure that your customers will continue to receive the benefit of the branded experience they are used to without interruptions.
For agents in areas where the MLS doesn’t share the virtual tour links with realtor.com, the agents can add the links themselves via the Realsuite℠ dashboard on realtor.com.
We recommend you add a note to your delivery email templates [My Account > Email Templates] to remind agents to post the virtual tour links in their MLS to ensure they get the most exposure for their listings and personal brand.
If you have any questions, Realtor.com has provided contact information in the announcement.