Archive for August, 2007

I’ve had many businesses in my life time, but none that I’ve enjoyed more than making Virtual Tours, and what makes it more enjoyable is working with a GREAT company that is on top of everything. Their staff is always there when you need them with the best customer service you can find. Knowing that if you have an issue or a problem they will take the time to help you solve it quickly is very reassuring.

We are like a big family in Real Tour Vision. Virtual tour providers from all over the world are in constant communication with each other through the inside Real Tour Vision provider forum and inside there we share tips and tricks of the trade with each other to make sure we knock out the competition and stay ahead in the race. It’s just great!!

I believe this person in Indiana was very happy with what I said to him and very soon we will see him showing us his 360 virtual tours and leadership within our great network.

Thank You

Claudia Jaramillo
Perfect ImagesTreasure Coast Virtual Tours
www.360perfectimages.com
772-532-4860
info@360perfectimages.com

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Okay, so I’m sure some of you in major markets have had the question, “So how do you compare to CirclePix virtual tours?” Well, price IS certainly a factor, but take a look at this example and price suddenly no longer becomes part of the conversation.

What do I mean? Well, recently BakerB Solutions had a “summer shutdown” to let all of our people have a vacation. One of our clients hired CirclePix virtual tour photographer during this time. Upon the completion of shutdown, we received an order from them with the following in the comments section of the order: “VT done by CirclePix during shutdown – CirclePix Virtual Tour is no good! MUST HAVE it replaced with BakerB VT ASAP!”

After completing the “redo” of this property I discovered that, while the property is certainly a challenge to do a premium tour, the CirclePix tour lacked some basic elements of a good 360 tour (regardless of the subject). Here are just a few examples of what I found:

1) The broker’s name was not spelled correctly, they called it “Llewellyn Real Estate” when it is actually “Llewellyn Realtors”

2) The street name was spelled as “Briar Wood Terrace” when the actual street is “Briarwood Terrace”

3) The front shot highlights the dead tree stump in the front yard. It is fairly unavoidable, but look at the BakerB/RTV tour and you will see how the interface allows us to “crop” that portion of the image out.

4) Just take a look at the bathroom shots in the CirclePix virtual tour. Is that what you would expect after paying $120?

For more examples, do a side by side comparison for yourself, and you will see why our client demanded our virtual tour replace the the CirclePix tour.

**Note: Please note that while our tour was done on an overcast day after some rainfall (per the agent’s urgent request), we were still able to get “light” into the rooms by overexposing some shots. The CirclePix tour was done late in the day/early evening.

See the Baker B Virtual Tour Powered by Real Tour Vision HERE

See the CirclePix Virtual Tour HERE

YOU DECIDE!

Alex Saenger
BakerB Solutions
Interactive Virtual Tours
& Marketing Specialists
www.BakerB.com

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After my official “go live” date of 1 September 07, I will be using the Pay Per Click Advertising service offered through Rock Pointe Marketing to further improve my site’s visibility. And, of course, I will continue to contribute to this blog, which is having some amazing results so far! My goal is to have a Page Rank of at least a “3” and be on the first page of Google’s results inside of six months. Locally, I want to be THE go-to website for real estate listings and virtual tours in Oklahoma. As one of only two RTV Full Service providers in the entire state, ( and nearly no other competition) I think I’ve got a pretty good shot!

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For all my fellow REALTORS(r) – and specifically listing agents:

Interesting thing happened to me on my way to show some homes. As I perused our local MLS searching for listings to show my buyers, I came to the realization that 360 virtual tours actually do sell homes. Perhaps, I should qualify that – QUALITY virtual tours actually do sell homes (funky virtual tours and slide shows do a listing an injustice.

O.K, granted, I didn’t have quite the epiphany I describe above, since I must admit I have come to this realization before. Moreover, I understand, too, that once you know that I’m a real estate agent as well as a virtual tour provider you may think my positive view towards virtual tours a rather biased one. I’d need to stop you right there, though. Providing a virtual tour for each one of your listings is a no-brainer. When you look at the sheer numbers, and I swear it seems to go up a percentage point each month, there’s no disputing the fact that more buyers start their home search on-line than not. The actual figure was way past 70% at last glance. That’s a phenomenal amount of prospective buyers out there in cyberspace searching in earnest for their next home. I know this to be true since I work with buyers on a daily basis; they are extremely tech-savvy and ever searching.

So, here’s the deal – with my market experiencing a buyer’s market, there is entirely too much inventory to focus my searches on listings with no pictures, let alone no 360 virtual tour. And interesting thing is, my buyers feel the same way. The fact is that houses with the most pictures will generate the most interest and will get the most showings while those listings that have no pictures will get placed at the very bottom of the “to see” list at warp speed.

Case in point – on a recent weekend, I showed 31 houses to a buyer who was only in town (from Japan, I kid you not) for an extended weekend. There was absolutely no interest on his part in seeing anything without pictures (and believe it or not, there were many). Imagine if your picture-less listing was on our list and, therefore, at the bottom of the 54 that met his search parameters. What’s the likelihood of him seeing your listing? You don’t think he would’ve found his dream home among the previous 53? (His better half was searching homes from Japan on the internet and directed us to physically see the home they actually closed on last month. BTW, I just happened to do the virtual tour on it! I didn’t tell them until settlement, though.)

All that to say, the buyers market that we are experiencing right now will absolutely separate the wheat from the chaff. It’s time for you to be the best listing agent you can be, pull out your bag of tricks, rev up your marketing, call your virtual tour provider, and get your listings sold. Spend the marketing dollars necessary to get your listings in front of all those web-browsing buyers, then experience the return on your investment many-fold.

Lanette Branch
Lanette Branch Virtual Tours

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So who do you sell your virtual tours to: real estate agents and brokers? Who else? No one yet? Well, that’s not a surprise really. Most virtual tour businesses are focused on the residential real estate side of the business. But just think of all the other possibilities…

As BakerB Solutions branched into a totally different market place we discovered that there is a lot more opportunity to make larger dollar (or Euro) deals with other types of tours. Specifically, in Europe, residential real estate is a difficult target market. However, Hospitality, Travel, Shopping and other non-conventional tours are where the money is. The typical 360 virtual tour can range from 500EU to 1000EU (which is around $650 to $1350). But the sales cycle is also much different. In the European market we have had to create “Practice Tours” to “show” our prospective clients what they can expect. The sale is much more of an educational sale on the capability as virtual tours are not as pervasive in that market.

The upside is larger deals that can lead to nice revenue. In fact BakerB Solutions has secured one Q19 shopping mall as a client. We have also secured an Interspar super market. And now we are talking about doing all 14 of the Q19 shopping mall locations and doing all European Interspar grocery stores as the company expands into other countries such as Croatia. The implication is huge! How are we selling this? Well a shopping mall has many stores. And the manager responsible with filling all of the spaces doesn’t always have time to travel to Spain or France to meet with clients. So we can give them the opportunity to present all the spaces available in a virtual tour. We can even change the tour as spaces are consumed or open up, or for Holidays like Christmas, Easter or even Oktoberfest. Each time we redo a spin it only costs 100EU. And that is a lot less expensive than spending hours walking through malls figuring out that a space will not work for a prospective tenant.

Oh…and on a recent trip to Vienna, Austria, I met with a general manager of the Interspar grocery store. We talked about adding their weekly sales flyer to the virtual tour for as little as 35EU per week. This is a simple upload of a PDF to the tour as a “Brochure” link. Although we might need to look into other options there, but the idea is sound. Each mall represents great opportunity for recurring revenue if you think outside the box and how you can help to satisfy a need. And as a side benefit, we recommended that the store put something in their print flyer that directed people to the virtual tour for more information on specials and coupons. After all, it costs money to print and mail, but an online flyer can be as big as you want! So instead of spending $25,000 each week mailing something to 120,000 people, reduce the size of the mailing (not the quantity) and push people to the tour. The side benefit is that everyone will see what we are doing and other businesses start to think about how BakerB Solutions can help them too!

As a result, we have put together an EU site for all of our prospects over seas. If you haven’t been to Europe, you might get a kick out of these tours and maybe even some ideas on how you might be able to bring in some extra deals. Just visit us at www.bakerb.eu and browse our sample tours! And be sure to send us your feedback at eu@bakerb.com!

Alex Saenger
Baker B Solutions
www.bakerb.com

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