Archive for November, 2010

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ve all seen these strange little codes popping up everywhere. Don’t worry because your #1 source for Nova Scotia virtual tours Nancy Bain is here to help. Let me take five minutes of your time and give you the skinny on QR Codes. Recently we purchased a very cool software package we can’t wait to tell you about. No, not virtual tour software as we LOVE RTV! Expect more blogs on this subject.

What is a QR Code? – A QR Code is a matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code), readable by QR scanners, mobile phones with a camera, and smartphones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on white background. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QR_Code

The use of QR codes is exploding. QR codes have been big in Japan for years. Now they are going global. They connect the world of print to the world of e-media. They tap into the mobile culture and the youth market. They offer an immediate, trackable response mechanism for everything from marketing collateral to magazine advertisements to billboards.

How are QR codes used? – QR codes are 2d barcodes that act as a physical hyperlinks. Taking a picture of the QR code on your phone’s internet browser will jump to the page described by that QR code. So say you put the URL of your Facebook profile or website into the QR code creator, the QR code created will take people to that page when they take a picture of it on their mobile phone using a QR code reader.

How to generate a QR code – I used http://snap.vu/ It’s simple and it’s free. Plus, they save all your codes for you in different file formats. Simply type in your url address (you will have to provide an email address at this site) and click a button to generate your code. Presto! Congratulations, you have just created your own QR code that you can display anywhere! How about using it in your outgoing email signature?  How about helping your customers put these on listing signs? Incorporate them into your virtual tour business and show people that you’re ahead of the curve!

Where are QR codes used? QR codes are very flexible and can be used for more than just linking to a website or a virtual tour. They can be used to automatically send emails, SMS messages, upload someone’s full contact details into your phone’s address book and more. QR codes can link to text you have entered, a website URL, a social networking profile, a Google maps reference- anything you can think of!

What do you need? First a smart phone, then a QR Reader. To download a QR code reader to your phone, simply go to the page while in your mobile browser and click on the download button. From there follow the simple instructions and you’re done! Google have created an excellent application for the iPhone and the G1 that is perfect for reading QR codes (look up ZXing on the devices) Blackberrys can use http://www.mobile-barcodes.com/qr-code-software/blackberry/

Why are QR codes effective? QRcodes use the cellphone as the response mechanism. For this reason, they capture viewers’ interest at the very moment it is piqued. You don’t lose eyeballs by requiring people to manually input URLs or scribble them down onto a piece of paper that might get lost.

Who is using QR Codes? Many of today’s top brands are using QR codes. GMC, Ford, Google, Pepsi, Ralph Lauren, The Weather Channel, Best Buy, Chevrolet, Starbucks, Facebook, MacDonald’s and many more.  Your virtual tour company can do this too!

Below you will see the QR Code I have generated for my Nova Scotia Virtual Tour website. First, ensure that your smart phone has a QR Reader. (most newer phones will) If not, download one to your phone from the links above. Second, simply turn your phone to camera mode and hold it up to your monitor “capturing” the QR code in the window. This should generate a link for you to click. Anywhere you see these codes you can do the same thing. My Blackberry requires that I take a picture of the code while IPhones you simply scan the code in camera mode.

In my next blog I can’t wait to share with you how I plan to be using QR Codes for my virtual tour business. But in the meantime here’s a great idea for you: Use QR codes on your business cards! Your contacts can scan and save all your information when they scan your QR coded business cards!

Call Nancy to book your Nova Scotia virtual tour today. 1-877-745-TOUR or http://www.supernovastudios.ca

Supernova Studios
Phone 902-766-TOUR (8687)

Got Facebook questions? Ask me on my fan page:
http://facebook.com/NovaScotiaVirtualTours

Are we following each other on Twitter?
http://twitter.com/ns360tours

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Get the 50/50 while the getting is good!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

RTV, Inc 

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Dear RTV:

Regarding last night’s virtual tour webinar with co host Alan Fon from Corpus Christi virtual tours. It’s exactly what I have been saying all along – its working together with other virtual tour providers to become a stronger, more professional network of tour providers.

Even though our virtual tour company focuses mostly on very high end architectural photographers, what Alan presented last night is true for every level.  We have a virtual tour & photography sales pitch, and it has been successful, but I think when we give it the digital marketing story, it will become wildly successful – especially since we have our new salesperson up and running.

I think the best part of your presentation is taking all of the technology we offer as RTV virtual tour providers, organizing into a methodology of understanding it from the bottom up and finishing with the dazzle of the newest technology.

By the time you get to mobile stuff, your audience is hooked.  Rather than saying this is what we offer and having no method to the madness or just guessing – your method is incredibly flexible and portable.  We will be designing a new presentation strongly based on yours. 

Thank you for all that you do!
Suzanne

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You’ve done all the research, you have the experience, you’ve even got a back-up plan, so why would you ask for advice? And why would someone offer you advice when you didn’t even ask for it?!

Just when I thought I could do something on my own and use my own “creative” mind, I am smacked back into reality by the hand of humbleness. When I got married, I didn’t think I would ever need counseling. When I began learning photography, I would be able to figure out the camera on my own… maybe read a few pages in the manual. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

To help me perfect my virtual tours that I shoot here in California, I recently finished reading a book by Bryan Peterson called Understanding Exposure. It is short, very easy reading, and extremely informational. I bought this book because my camera manual did not challenge me in any way whatsoever, and I was frustrated I was not getting pictures nearly as intense looking as other people. AND I was tired of trying to use Photoshop and adding ‘Vibrance’ to everything!

It opened up my eyes, and has practically converted me into the avid bookworm I am today. I can now strive to be one of California’s best Central Coast virtual tour providers! I’ve also taken a lot of criticism on designing my virtual tour company website and logo. I was determined to do it myself, creatively and technically since I had the experience and got my degree in digital media.

Why would I need help with a degree and so much background!? The answer: Because I would still be working on both if I didn’t finally seek help. And I couldn’t be happier with the results. I was way off track several times when either my wife or mentor told me “That’s no good.” “Change that.” “Why did you chose that picture?” I wasn’t happy at first about all the changes, but every time I listened, something great happened. It truly was a learning experience.  When you have a moment please check out my Central Coast virtual tour company website and let me know what you think.  I could not be more excited to be with RTV and part of the winning team!

Kyle Murphy
Owner / Virtual Tour Provider
KM360 Virtual Tours
SLO Virtual Tours – A Central Coast Virtual Tour Company
Order a Virtual Tour: 805.709.5577

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Just the other day I was in the virtual tour TMS and looking at my virtual tour numbers for the year. I like to look at my current year and compare to previous years. As of right now, I am about 38% above last year’s on total number of virtual tours shot from 2009. I thought wow!! How can that be? I thought for awhile trying to figure out why this year is going so much better than last, and came up with a few thoughts.

This year, RTV virtual tour software company launched the new High Definition virtual tours. I tried them out and after a little time of getting them mastered, I started marketing them to my customers. The HD virtual tours were a big hit right away. My customers were very impressed. When the tours look good, the agents look good to their sellers.  None of my competition can compare to the quality, and the crystal clear full screen feature.

A few months ago, RTV rolled out their new HD V-Slide. I thought it looked really nice, but after being a tour provider for 8 years, I was a little apprehensive. I am used to doing 360 panoramic tours, not still image photography.  RTV promised me that it would attract a crowd of people that I have not yet been able to reach before so I purchased the unlimited HD Slideshow package and put my trust in them.

I had to figure out how I could make money off of this product. I watched a few episodes of The FORMULA that talked about marketing the V-Slides.  I watched an episode of The IMAGE which talked about getting creative with the still image photography. And finally like the HD tours, I played with the new technology for awhile to make sure I had the process down before I launched the product in my market.

What happened was truly amazing. This new system and product had a zing for impressing people. In fact, over the last month I’ve easily recovered my tiny investment and had the pleasure of knocking the socks off of many new prospects. I am promoting my V-Slides at a slightly lower price than my Rehoboth Beach Virtual Tours.

Many agents have started placing orders for V-Slides on properties that they wouldn’t have ordered virtual tours on. Maybe the homes were low priced or not furnished. So my new V-Slides are nicely filling a void for my business and attracting agents that in the past did not want to use 360 tours.  Here’s a couple recent V-Slides:
http://rtvpix.com/slideshow/4335

http://rtvpix.com/slideshow/5251

Now is the time to take a look at your business for the current year. Compare to previous years. How does it compare?  Please comment on this blog and let us know.  RTV tell me that most providers are up over last year.  That’s fantastic! Are you using the new products to their full advantage of them? If not, start making a marketing plan to implement them in 2011. Between all the new developments that RTV has planned for next year and the improving economy, I can guarantee that you’ll be up next year.

Good luck everyone and have a GREAT HOLIDAY SEASON!!

Sincerely,

Graves Carey

Graves Carey
Rehoboth Beach Virtual Tours
360 Visions Virtual Tours
www.360visions.com
Order a virtual tour today: 302-236-9876

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