Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

About the PicturePath® Program:

 

1.                   The PicturePath® Link Program was launched in November of 2004, replacing the old PicturePath Virtual Tour program (which is no longer supported by Homestore).

 

2.                   PicturePath® Virtual Tours must be presented in a REALTOR.com® compliant template which takes third party branding into consideration. Participants are required to provide a base URL in their contract to which all submissions must adhere.

 

3.                   A linking fee is charged to participating companies on a pay-per-use basis. Invoices are issued monthly.

 

4.                   Participants will not be charged for Tour links loaded to listings belonging to REALTOR.com® Showcase Listing Enhancement subscribers.

 

5.                   Participants will receive automatic discounted rates based on their monthly volume as per the PicturePath rate card. Annual commitments in order to receive discounts are no longer required.

 

6.                   Homestore does not distribute new PicturePath Tour links to Web sites other than REALTOR.com®.  Due to the variety of rules and regulations set forth by recipient Web sites, Homestore cannot be responsible for this distribution.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

   

I am not a current participant of the PicturePath® Program, how do I join the linking program?

If you are not a current participant of the PicturePath linking program, you will be able to join by signing the PicturePath Linking Agreement.   

Please contact our Virtual Tour Support Team at 877-353-4749 for more information

 

How do I ensure that my template is REALTOR.com® compliant?

During the brief implementation timeframe for new participants, you will be provided with information about the types of content not permitted on REALTOR.com®.  The PicturePath Linking Agreement requires that you provide a base URL to be used as part of every tour delivered to REALTOR.com®. This base URL will allow Homestore to perform random spot checks to ensure ongoing compliance.  Homestore reserves the right to withdraw virtual tours that do not adhere to the compliance rules and regulations. Orders removed for non-compliance will not be refunded.

 

 

Can I distribute my PicturePath® tour links to other distribution sites?

Due to the variety of rules and regulations set forth by recipient Web sites, Homestore will not distribute virtual tours that are not hosted by Homestore.  PicturePath virtual tours that are sent to REALTOR.com® will continue to benefit from Homestore’s traffic deals with large web portals, ensuring maximum exposure of your customer’s virtual tour links.

How will I be charged for this service?

Participating customers will be billed monthly based on the number of Non-Showcase Virtual Tours they submit through www.picturepath.com.  The rate card provides for a discounted price at various levels of volume.  All new non-showcase tour links submitted in a given month will be used to calculate the rate for that month’s invoice.  Tour deliveries will not be carried over from month to month.  Please contact picturepath@homestore.com for more information.

 

What is happening to the hometour360ş® program?

Homestore remains dedicated to running its hometour360° virtual tour program. Homestore will allow participating virtual tour companies to upload and create hometour360ş virtual tours powered by a variety of technologies. For more information please read the hometour360ş FAQs.

 

 

 

 Showcase Listing Enhancements - New Featured Tour™ Benefit

Frequently Asked Questions

 

General Product Questions

 

What is the Showcase Listing Enhancements New Featured Tour™ Benefit?

Currently, REALTOR.com® charges a per-upload or distribution fee for each tour link uploaded via the Picture Path GUI or AUI. With the launch of the new Featured Tour Benefit, you will NOT be charged the distribution fee for tour links loaded to properties with Showcase Listings Enhancements on REALTOR.com®.

 

How will REALTOR.com® market the Featured Tour™ Benefit to customers?

Free Distribution of Virtual Tours will be marketed as a new Showcase Listing Enhancements feature to all current and prospective REALTOR.com® Showcase Listing Enhancement customers.

 

How will the new “Featured Tour™ benefit” help my business?

With the added value of free distribution on tours links loaded to Showcase Listings on REALTOR.com®, we expect the demand for Virtual Tours to grow significantly.

 

Can Showcase Listing Enhancements subscribers create and load their own tours to their REALTOR.com® listings?

No. In order to take advantage of tour distribution on Showcase listings, Showcase Listing Enhancements customers will need to go through a REALTOR.com® authorized PicturePath Link or hometour360ş partner.

 

 

Pricing Questions

 

How will you determine whether a tour link is being loaded to a Showcase or Non-Showcase listing on REALTOR.com®?

Once an MLS ID (Listing Number) and Address have been submitted on an order, our system will access the listing on REALTOR.com® and will determine whether or not it is a Showcase listing.

 

  • If the listing is a Showcase listing, the appropriate Showcase Product code will be assigned to the order number within our systems, and you will not be billed for the tour link distribution on REALTOR.com®.

 

  • If the listing is not a Showcase listing, a Non-Showcase product code will be assigned to the order number within our system, and you will be billed the full distribution cost for the Tour link.

 

I need to load the same tour link to 2 separate MLS IDs (Listing Numbers) – how will I be billed for this order?

The Showcase state is established for the Order by the “Showcase Status” of the Primary MLS ID (listing number) entered. You will be billed based on the ‘Showcase Status’ of the Primary MLS ID.

 

If an Agent does not have an active listing on REALTOR.com®, is there a way for me to determine whether the customer is a Showcase subscriber?

Functionality has been added to the PicturePath Web application that will allow you to check the Showcase Status of your customer (the Realtor).

 

The new “Check Showcase Status” screen will query on the Customer Name, MLS, and Public ID, and will return the current Showcase status (Showcase / Non Showcase) of the customer.

 

The primary purpose of the “Check Showcase Status” functionality is to allow you to verify the Showcase status of a customer, regardless of whether or not they have active listings on REALTOR.com®.

 

 

REALTOR.com® Distribution:

 

What happens if I try to load a tour link to a listing that is not on REALTOR.com®?

If the MLS ID (Listing Number) does not exist on REALTOR.com®, the order cannot be distributed to REALTOR.com®. You will receive an error message, and your order will be rejected.

 

If I try and load a tour link to a listing that is not on REALTOR.com®, will there be automatic repeated attempts to load the tour link to REALTOR.com®?

Automatic repeated attempts to distribute a tour link to REALTOR.com® (in the case that the listing was not live on REALTOR.com® at the time the tour was loaded via the GUI or AUI) will no longer be supported.

 

 

Credits & Cancellations:


One of my customers just became a Showcase Listing Enhancements subscriber. Will I be credited for tour links previously posted to their REALTOR.com® listings?

No. Tour links loaded to listings belonging to customers without the Showcase Listings Enhancements Product will not be credited if the customer later decides to subscribe to Showcase Listings Enhancements.

 

 

One of my customers just became a Showcase Listing Enhancements subscriber. When will the distribution fees be waived for their tour links loaded to REALTOR.com®?

The discount (Distribution Fees waived) will only be applied to tour links that are loaded after the customer subscribes to Showcase Listings Enhancements, and only to listings associated with an MLS ID tied to the Customers Showcase Listing Enhancements package.

 

The Showcase Listing Enhancements subscription for one of my customers has expired. What will happen to my customer’s Tours on REALTOR.com®?

Tour links uploaded to Showcase Listings are part of the “Showcase Listing Enhancements package.” Expiration of the Showcase Listings Enhancements subscription causes all listing enhancements, including the tour, to no longer be visible on REALTOR.com®.

 

The Showcase Listing Enhancements subscription for one of my customers expired, and their Tours were removed from REALTOR.com®. What will happen to the Tours if they decide to renew their Showcase subscription?

All tour links are stored on our servers. If at any time the Showcase subscriber decides to renew their Showcase Listings Enhancements subscription with REALTOR.com®, their tours will immediately be restored to their listings.

 

I have a customer whose Showcase Listing Enhancements subscription has expired. Will I be charged full price on the tours loaded to REALTOR.com® for this customer?

Yes. Any tour link loaded after the Showcase Listing Enhancements subscription has expired will be billed as a Non-Showcase listing, or FULL price.

 

 

Edits to Address Information and MLS IDs:

 

I have submitted an order with a valid MLS ID (Listing Number). Can I go back in and change the Address on this order?

No. Changes to Address information will no longer be allowed after a valid MLS ID (listing Number) has been entered / submitted on an order.

 

I have submitted an order with a valid MLS ID (Listing Number). Can I go back in and change the MLS ID on this order?

Changes to MLS ID’s will only be permitted when:

 

  • The address from the original order matches the address of the new MLS ID you are entering.
  • Showcase state of old and new MLS ID’s must match. In other words, you may not change the MLS ID on a Showcase order, to an MLS ID that is a non-showcase listing.

 

I have a special circumstance and must change the MLS ID / Address on an order that has already been submitted for REALTOR.com® distribution. I am unable to make these changes in the Picture Path web application. Who do I contact?

Our Virtual Tour Support Team can be contacted at 877-353-4749 for assistance if changes to the address and/or MLS ID must be made, and you are unable to do so within the Picture Path utility.

 

 

Changes to the Picture Path Web application

 

How do I determine whether a listing is a showcase or a non-showcase listing prior to submitting an order?

A new “Confirm Product Price” page has been added to the Picture Path utility. This page will display whenever an MLS ID is entered for the first time, and fees have not yet been assessed. The Confirm Product Price page will display the following information:

 

  • Product Description - (Showcase/Non-Showcase Listing)
  • Product Price – (As determined by each listing’s Showcase status). 

 

Product Price displayed will not reflect the discounted rates you receive based on your monthly volume, as per the PicturePath rate card.

 

The Additional Property Identifier value that I have imputed cannot be validated in the Picture Path Web application (ie: The primary MLS ID is on REALTOR.com®, however the Additional Property Identifier is not). Can I still proceed with the order?

When an Additional Property Identifier is entered and cannot be properly validated, you are given the option to correct the information entered or proceed without distribution of the Additional Property Identifier to REALTOR.com®.

 

How do I review the Showcase status of an order that has already been submitted to REALTOR.com®?

The “Showcase State” of an order displays on the “Order Search” results screen within the PicturePath Web application. In addition, when edits are made on existing orders, the “Showcase State” is displayed on the “Tour Data” screen.

 

 

Changes to the Automated Upload Interface (AUI)

 

How do I confirm whether an order I have submitted via the AUI will be billed as a Showcase or Non-Showcase order?

Additional responses have been added to the AUI response file, including the status of the submission and confirmation of all prices and products ordered.  Product Price displayed will not reflect the discounted rates you receive based on your monthly volume, as per the PicturePath rate card.

 

How do I determine whether a listing is a showcase or a non-showcase listing prior to submitting an order via the AUI?

Functionality is provided that allows validation of the pricing of each product associated with the new order or edit, including the impact of the characteristics of the listing (i.e.: Showcase / Non-Showcase).

 

 

When submitting a “MLS ID validation” (to determine Showcase / Non-Showcase status) via the AUI, what kind of message can I expect to see in the Response file?

The response received will be the same as would have been received if the order or edit had been submitted, with the following caveats:

 

  • If there will be both a MLS ID and Additional Property Identifier involved on any given order, they should be submitted at the same time to assure accurate validation of both listing numbers.

 

  • Since the order number is not used in the submission, this feature should not be used for adding the Additional Property Identifier, or pre-validating edits to the MLS ID or the Additional Property Identifier.

 

Can a Tour order be resubmitted to Realtor.com if the “Showcase State” (Showcase/Non-Showcase) of a listing has changed since the order was originally created?

Yes. An additional order can be generated via the AUI if the “Showcase State” (Showcase/Non-Showcase) of a Listing has changed since order was originally created.

 

For example:

 

An order is submitted via the AUI for a Showcase customer, and you are billed $0.00 for the order, due to the “Showcase” status.

 

A month later, the customer cancels their Showcase subscription, which results in the free tour or link being removed from their REALTOR.com® listing. In order to get the tour back on the listing, the order will need to be resubmitted via the AUI. As long as the Showcase State (Showcase/Non-Showcase) does not match the order already logged in our systems, the order will be allowed.

 

How do I remove a Link from a REALTOR.com® listing via the AUI?

Currently, in order to submit a new order or edit an existing one within the AUI, you must include a “destination code” for REALTOR.com®.


In order to remove a link from a REALTOR.com® listing, you will need to edit the order and remove the REALTOR.com® destination code, then re-submit the order via the AUI. This will result in the tour link being removed from REALTOR.com®

 

Does the new version of the AUI (v.5) have backwards compatibility?

While the current version of the AUI is designed to be “Backwards Compatible” with previous versions of the AUI / Bulk upload specification, it will be necessary to upgrade to the latest version of the specification in order to take advantage of the new features in this release.

 

  • Business Rules deployed in the new AUI version are enforced for all versions.

 

  • Edits of orders created in previous versions have special rules.

 

Further details on processing changes, including new business rules and special rules for existing orders, additional AUI responses, product pricing confirmation and warnings and error messages can be found in the updated PicturePath Automated Upload Interface Implementation Guide (v.5).

 

 

Changes to the Monthly Usage Report

 

How has the format of the Monthly Usage Report changed?

The format of the report has changed to include the Additional Property Identifier, Product Codes and Product Descriptions.

 

Has the content of the Monthly Usage Report changed?

Yes. The report now contains all products purchased including those required to support Showcase and Non Showcase Distribution to REALTOR.com®.