Archive for January, 2012

We accomplish most of our virtual tour sales with “cold-calling”. It has been said that things move slowly (like at a snail’s pace) in the South. Being “Yankees” (not to be confused with Damn Yankees), we were accustomed to moving at high speed in every aspect of our lives. What have we learned after living 3 years in the South? Sales take time!

Our longest time from start to finish was over a year. Sometimes, however, you need to just “start” the virtual tour and build upon it later. That’s what we can do for you at www.seeitsellstudios.com, your North East Mississippi Virtual Tour Provider

That was our experience at the gourmet restaurant “Park Heights” We are not yet finished with this virtual tour—it is a work in progress. To see what is now available go to:

http://rtvpix.com/RT-0266-ASI47D-01?h=500&w=700

First , we stopped in one day to drop off our card. Second, we sent an informal email with examples of our work as well as a narrative regarding the benefits a virtual tour offers a business. Third, we set up a meeting with the owner to demonstrate the 360 tour features. Finally, we began the virtual tour with some banquet room 360 scenes. We put in writing that we would be completing additional scenes as the areas of the restaurant were “staged”.

We will be doing some additional patio 360 scenes as well as their roof-top dining. This is a fantastic restaurant. If you are ever in Tupelo, MS., perhaps visiting Elvis’ birthplace, you simply must have a meal here.

Moral of this blog? Sales occur when you forge a relationship; they cannot be rushed.

NE Mississippi Virtual Tours

Hugh Jordan
16 Tadpole Lane
Corinth, MS. 38834
www.seeitsellstudios.com
Order a virtual tour today: 662-664-0965

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How property marketing was presented just a few years ago

Today the world of Real Estate marketing is radically different from just a few years ago.  Back then on-line 360 virtual tours  with a small set of pictures on a limited size screen was a marketing plan that could sell houses with diligent follow up from your neighborhood Realtor.

Internet property exposure has changed the process radically

Today bandwidth considerations are much more permissive enabling technologies that absorb the viewer into a more complete visualization of the home.  Virtual Tours use all types of marketing phrases for photography techniques, engaging technologies and delivery techniques. There are 360 degree panoramic images, Photoshop retouches, traffic reporting for your virtual tour, marketing plans, floor plans, video clips, HD and full screen delivery and HDR imaging just to name a few and 101 different other ways to present a home to home hunters on line.  The Realtors role has changed to being an expert advisor in the process of buying a home and an expert in negotiating the financial aspects of a home purchase.  Developing a compelling property marketing plan is a challenge to accomplish with all the other demands placed on a Realtor.

A lot of features but no real plan to build a complete property marketing plan

Many Realtors realize that virtual tours are a central piece to the marketing plan for a listing today but all too often virtual tours are just a set of images with modern bandwidth demanding features but no real delivery plan behind the images.  A Realtor should have a marketing strategy that ties all of their tools in to a cohesive system.  A marketing system that addresses the prospective buyer’s questions during the internet search,  at the point of interest and in casual meetings with interested prospective buyers or other Realtors is needed to create a consistent message about the listing that is easily identifiable no matter what Realtor is showing the property or what research is being done on the internet.  With statistical data being the constant factor the variables are the Realtors property description and the photography images available on line and in the virtual tour.  The message in these subjective elements of the plan need to be synchronized so complete marketing system can be a compelling orchestra of information.

A Complete Property Listing Marketing Plan

While we take care to discuss each element of a listing marketing plan below, the key fundamental of a successful system is cross-marketing.  Cross-marketing of programs ties all the different programs together and validates interest by reinforcing one marketing source with another.  People like to hear the same story from different sources, even if those sources originated from the same place!

During the Internet search

Just posting a virtual tour on the internet isn’t enough anymore.  Home hunters are looking at multiple sources of information that validate property credibility.  Sometimes when an outstanding listing is available it gets cross-marketed by other Realtors that want to increase their chances of selling the favorable property to their clients.  This is a good thing in some ways but can be confusing if the message about the property isn’t consistent.  The end result can be loss of potential buyer that couldn’t sort out the selling message of the Realtor and the selling message of the property images made available by the selling Realtor.
The best option is to launch a desk top internet marketing program that includes posting at the top internet home hunting sites.  Exposure Elements offers a comprehensive Exposure Engine to solve this challenge through controlled distribution.  The reasonable cost saves your nights and weekends from the drudgery of listing posting hell as well.  We post to 80+ sites for you and include cross marketing for all the marketing services you choose at the time you book the virtual tour.

At the point of interest

While while the best virtual tours can drive flocks of interested potential buyers to your property it is impractical or just plain impossible to meet every interested party.   Most Realtors use the “property flyer” to solve this challenge. A printed sheet that varies from a 50 cent/sheet budget color copy to productions that can cost as much as $3.00 or more per flyer.  The added challenge is that the fliers can drain out of the flier box at a rate of 30-50 per week or more without leaving any clue to who was interested or taking the fliers.  There is no measurable return on this investment and no way to engage with an interested party.

At Exposure Elements we recommend that Realtors consider using an SMS mobile marketing tool that we offer to provide an accountable and a measurable alternative to the flier.  Our TxT2Look single property mobile website delivers images, a detailed property description, a realtor background and even a link to a mobile virtual tour or YouTube video.  This tool was developed to replace the old single property website that is still being used today by uninformed realtors.  Single property mobile websites get your listing on a home hunters phone providing that  valuable second look that can engage a buyer well after they have made the visit to the home and neighborhood.  It provides information to interested parties 24 hours a day and NEVER runs out.  It presents the information in a data format so it can be easily forwarded.  The service uses SMS text messaging to deliver initial data and to simplify access to the mobile internet.  SMS text messaging is found on 98 percent of the mobile phones in the US today and virtually every cell phone sold today supports SMS text messaging. An included reporting feature can give you the validation and valuable insight to visitor interest and as a silver lining, it will capture their mobile phone number for follow up.   If this home isn’t the right home for the mobile inquirer you may be able to help them find another home that will work for them.

In situations where Information on Demand is required

Anywhere and everywhere the listing Realtor goes they encounter potential home buyers that could be the buyer for their listing.  Usually the common response is to send the interested person home to view the property on the internet.  The problem here is twofold.  In today’s world of information access at your mobile phone anytime, people want information now and are becoming accustomed to getting it.  Being without an engaging tool to share your listing at the moment can potentially lose a buyer and most assuredly can cause you to lose the opportunity to get that interested persons ongoing communication.
Sending people home to see a property on the internet is a lost cause today as they likely forget and move on to another listing.  Sending them to a desk top website on their mobile phone is another lost cause that will only frustrate your potential home buyers.  The Exposure Elements Single Property Mobile Website solves these challenges and does it in an elegant and engaging way using SMS text messaging to access the mobile internet.

Validation of marketing efforts is imperative to a successful marketing plan

Quality images, single property mobile websites, a cohesive distribution strategy, virtual tours,  these are all elements of a marketing strategy that when put together correctly can drive home hunters to your listing BUT they are not worth much if you can’t prove that they are working!  Reporting mechanisms need to be in place to monitor the success of the strategy and understand what parts of the plan are driving the interest.  As I mentioned above, the single property mobile website has some very good reporting tools included in the service delivery but that isn’t enough.  Exposure Elements also offers a virtual tour reporting tool that provided weekly reports showing the number of visitors by day, which tour images are the most popular and how those people are getting pointed to the virtual tour.   With the ample amount of data proving that home shoppers want to see virtual tours it becomes a no brainer to point all your marketing efforts towards the virtual tour ultimately providing the validation or rejection of marketing sources and your property listing strategy.

Tying all the services together to create one cohesive and consistent marketing service

In review, the three components for a successful marketing plan are internet property marketing at real estate portal sites, internet property marketing at the point of interest and an internet property marketing tool that is easily accessible to a Realtor in his/her daily public activities.  Creating a unified approach using cross-marketing techniques that tie the images, the property description and the property statistics into one consistent message focusing on the same value points eliminates home hunter confusion and ultimately builds buyer confidence in the property.   Adding validation reporting that can be delivered to the seller increases seller confidence and validates the value of the marketing system by proving the marketing plans effectiveness.

Exposure Elements is a growing Silicon Valley Virtual Tour and SMS Mobile Marketing company wrapping these services together to create the first complete property exposure marketing company in Northern California.  We are committed to creating a better, more efficient method of marketing property that adds value to everyone in the selling process.  To order an Exposure Elements listing marketing program in the San Francisco Bay Area call us at 408-440-2278 or 408-431-0461.

Silicon Valley Virtual Tours

www.exposureelements.com
Order a virtual tour: 408-431-0461

text Stan to 43766 for contact info and text business card

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I have been a virtual tour provider for several years. RTV is hands down the best virtual tour software company in the industry. RTV provides lighting fast support, online seminars that are fun and informative on various topics like marketing, photography techniques, business strategies, and the product the product is fantastic to boot.

The major draw for me is that they offer a system for businesses like myself that streamlines the entire tour process from shoot to production to hosting. They even send my customers weekly stats. As a provider with RTV they often send me leads and direct jobs through their 32 national partnerships they have under contract.

My company produces nearly a thousand virtual tours annually, and I could not do it as efficiently any other way. There are other virtual tour building software companies, hosting companies, panoramic stitching software companies, equipment companies, and it is possible to spend a lot of time and money putting together your own system that works.

But you won’t find a single system that works for you like RTV does. You won’t find a system built from the ground up specifically for Real Estate photography and business virtual tours. You really can’t do any better if your in the business and depend on quality AND quantity with a fast turnaround for your customers. Is there room for improvement in their system? Yes. They aren’t a huge corporation with an unlimited budget. But they listen to the needs of their customers, prioritize their upgrades, and always surprise me with new and improved services.  I can’t wait until the new RealTour Fusion system comes out any day now!!
MylesBW

Tally Tours Inc
Tallahassee Virtual Tours
www.TallyTours.com
Order a Virtual Tour (850) 491-3909

Myles produces all of the final products and virtual tours for Tally Tours.  He turns Aaron’s photos into virtual tours, photo tours, and digitally enhanced still photos.

Myles started Tally Tours in 2005. He is a professional photographer with a degree in Digital Media Production from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, NJ.

Myles worked in television and film production from 2002 – 2004.  His credits include working with Good Morning America, VH1, various national television commercials, and many large TV & film productions such as MTV’s Making the Band, The Jamie Kennedy Experiment, and M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village.

Myles began producing Virtual Tours and photography for real estate in Philadelphia before moving to Tallahassee with his girlfriend who has since completed her graduate degree in Classical Archeology from FSU.

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Interior photography can be tricky sometimes and sometimes the photos don’t come out quite like you or the client hopes.  I myself have been noticing some problems with photos coming in for Tour Track jobs.  It seems that lately people photographing interiors of model homes and hotels have been framing their pictures in a way that shows quite a bit of the ceiling, too much ceiling really.  While showing the ceiling may seem to give the feeling of a larger room, if it cuts off the furniture as a result it should not be done.  It may seem natural to walk right in and point and shoot, but stop, take a look, adjust your camera and then really scrutinize what you see through the view finder.  If all else feels, take your shot, then re frame it and take another from a lower perspective or angled so more bed/furniture shows than ceiling. 

Remember, your photography and virtual tour client is expecting you to be the creative eye.  They get their rooms ready but they are not doing so with the knowledge of how a room will photograph, that is your job.  So take a look around, check each shot when you take it.  Are you showing up in a reflected mirror?  If you’re using your on-board flash don’t shoot directly at a surface that will reflect (I see this a lot with wooden furniture and plants)-in fact just turn off the flash and try shooting that show on a tripod with a low shutter speed instead (try bracketing and combining exposures).  Make sure your aperture is set small so the room is in good focus, there is nothing worse than having an sharply focused object in the foreground and everything else blurry.  Open your eyes, is there a garbage can that should be moved, pillows crooked, can furniture be rearranged to make the space seem larger and more appealing?  Ask yourself all of these each time you enter a new space.

I found this article online and it offers some good tips on how to best shoot your interiors.  http://www.photocentric.net/real_estate_interiors.htm He has some great examples of images along with what is wrong with them and how they can be better.

Educating yourself on your trade is key.  In efforts to offer good feedback and advice to our virtual tour photographers, RTV has established a Photography Review Board (RTVPRB) consisting of a few reputable volunteer photographers from our system.  Now, when a client complains about a photo shoot, RTV uploads the images in question to a gallery of photos for the RTVPRB to go over and offer comments and tips.

It may seem easier just to send someone back out to try to fix their error or reassign it all together, but that does the photographer a disservice.  It takes away their opportunity to learn and grow in their art and it would be saying either, I don’t have the time to help you do better, or I don’t think you’re capable of doing better.  RTV wants to work with you to help you be the best you can be.  Because we believe in you and we know you are capable of doing amazing things.

Jacqueline Burke
Director of National Accounts
Virtual Tour Software & Hotel Photography
Toll Free 866-947-8687 ext 493
www.realtourvision.com
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This all started about about 34 years ago. At age 16 I was photographing weddings and already doing portrait photography. I had a love of photography that stemmed from my Grandfather. He was not a professional but he also had the same passion. I worked in Allen Brooks Studio in Westland, Michigan for many years as a portrait and, wedding  and commercial photographer. In the early 90’s I was burned out and decided to make a career change. I decided that I would work in the computer field and worked as the lead Technician for Michigan Mulitple Listing Service now known as MIRealSource. In 1997 I met the love of my life Joy and we were married in 1998. Joy also share my same passion for photography and computers. She graduated from Eastern Michigan University with degrees in business and computers. Joy was working for JC Penny as a manger and was not happy. I told Joy that we should start a web design company.  From there Web Wizard Creations we born.

Joy started the web design company in 1999 and that’s when things really started to change. Joy was working very hard and building the new business. In 2001 I decided that it was time for me to focus on our future and continue building our business. I left the MLS came to work with Joy.  To this day she always reminds me that I work for her (smile). When I was working at the MLS virtual tours where just staring to come out. I thought that they where pretty cool and would make a great marketing piece. I immediately know that I had a passion for virtual tours and as a professional photographer I knew the quality of the tours I was seeing was horrible. I started doing research and I found a virtual tour software company here in northern Michigan called Real Tour Vision (RTV) they had the process for doing virtual tours that I liked and they looked great. At that time we where doing web design for real estate agents and resorts, both of which could benefit from virtual tour technology. In 2001 Joy and I decided that we would make the investment and start offering virtual tours. Real Vision Studio, a Metro Detroit virtual tour company was born.

After a very short time the virtual tour company took off and we found we had made the right decision. We where shooting virtual tours all over Michigan and also traveling across the US for larger accounts. Also we discovered the benefits of being a part of the worlds largest virtual tour network that spans into 50 countries and with over 2000 photographers offering  360 tour technology. No matter where the job was located we had the network to get the job done.

Present day, we have two very unique companies to help anyone with online marketing. Web Wizard Creations  and Real Vision Studio. With our years of experience in photography, web design, and digital marketing we know how important online presence is and we help build stronger brands every day.

Remember that everything is all about perception. More people today use the Internet when making decisions that affect their life from buying a home to going on vacation, so make sure your web site has everything they need to make an educated decision about you!

Michael & Joyce Thompson
Real Vision Studio
Southeast Michigan Virtual Tours
www.RealVisionStudio.com
Order a virtual tour today: 734-727-2276

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