Archive for July, 2013

“Did You Know?”

•    Most buyers form an opinion about a home within the first 7-10 seconds of arriving.
•    Over 90% of buyers look at homes they’ve found on the Internet. It is critical that your home makes a strong first impression online. Staging or virtual home staging will help you do just that.
•    A staged home will sell, on average, 17% higher than a home that is not staged. (US Housing and Urban Development)
•    Sellers who spent $500 on staging recovered over 343% of the cost when they sold their home. (Homegain.com)
•    It is estimated that only 10% of home buyers can visualize the potential of a home. That means 90% are not going to be able to look past dirt, clutter, and imperfections.
•    Staged homes spent 83% less time on the market than non-staged homes. (HomeGain.com)

I’m sure you have heard the saying, “first impressions are everything” but may have never thought too much of it. Now that you are in the virtual tour business, this is definitely true when you are trying to market any piece of real estate property. When your customers see a property for the first time, they need to be “WOWED!” This is both true in person and within your online virtual tours. Making sure that your properties are presented in the best way possible, is crucial and can easily make or break a sale.

Here’s an example :

The inside of the home was dirty, furniture was poorly organized, and it looked like a cluttered mess. All of these obviously are not good but sometimes can be overlooked when setting up a home for a photo shoot. Your photos are taken and the tour is now uploaded and viewable to everyone you show. Someone visits your online virtual tour for this home that is amazing and has the potential to sell quickly to the right person, but your introduction photo and the rest were a complete mess. What is the visitor’s first reaction? To leave the tour and not look at the other photos because they are not presentable. You have now lost a potential buyer.

That was just an example and may not even apply to you, but it DOES happen and some tours can look bad just because of poorly taken photos. So what can you do to make sure that your home property is prepped and ready for photography?

Let’s go through some of the staging tips :
– Remove personal items.
– Focus on the main areas and rooms such as bathrooms, bedrooms, living room ,dining room, kitchen, etc.
– Remove evidence of pets.
– Turn on all lights and create a warm atmosphere. Natural lighting is very important and shows up well in photos.
– Remove personal photographs.
– Clean and declutter the focus areas.
– Capture great shots of the exterior and surrounding areas. Focusing on nice landscaping is important and will give the house that extra “curb appeal”.

The whole goal is to have your property feel like home and to capture it in a positive light. Make sure your online visitors feel like they are actually stepping inside of the property so that they can feel the experience of a great 360 virtual tour. Your clients and everyone who views your virtual tours will be blown away. By following these tips and staying within your photography guidelines will help you create great virtual tours and have a more successful virtual tour business. Good luck and happy marketing!

Sincerely,

RTV, Inc
www.RealTourVision.com
Virtual Tour Software & Digital Marketing Training

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Got Virtual Tour Business Insurance??

As a virtual tour provider, you need to protect yourself and your business with General Liability Insurance.

What would happen if you accidentally knocked over an expensive Ming Dynasty Vase while setting up your camera and tripod? Are you aware that you would be held responsible and would need to pay for the damage?

What if the homeowner or sales agent that hired you to do a virtual tour made false accusations about you or your virtual tour business? Defense costs alone could cost you thousands of dollars.

You can not afford to be without liability insurance for your virtual tour business.

Furthermore, proof of insurance is a requirement prior to becoming eligible for work with certain national Tour Track accounts here at RTV. 

As an RTV virtual tour provider, a $1,000,000 General Liability Insurance policy is available to you for $300 per year. The policy is subject to a $500 property damage deductible and subject to all other policy terms and conditions.

RTV, Inc. has reached an agreement with C&M Insurance Services, Inc. so that C&M Insurance will provide general liability insurance policies to the entire RTV virtual tour provider. By leveraging the buying power of our HUGE network of professional photographer, C&M Insurance is able to offer this general liability policy at an unbeatable price.

NOTE: RTV, Inc. is not affiliated with C&M Insurance Services and is not affiliated with the sale of this insurance. RTV virtual tour providers will make their insurance purchases directly from C&M Insurance Services, Inc.

The first step to take advantage of this $1,000,000 General Liability Insurance Policy offer is to contact C&M Insurance Services, Inc. at 231-946-8300 and speak with Sandy.

  C&M Insurance Services, Inc. – (231) 946-8300
  Attn: RTV provider Program
  206 Munson Avenue
  Traverse City, MI 49686

Thanks for your continued support!

Sincerely,

Team RTV
www.RealTourVision.com
Professional Healthcare Photography & Virtual Tours
866-947-8687

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You already know that marketing your virtual tour business online can expose you to a broad audience of real estate companies and businesses across the country, or even around the world. But what are you doing to generate local attention?

No matter where you live, there are probably a number of local businesses in the area that would take advantage of your professional photography and virtual tour services, if they only knew about them. Here are three ways to increase visibility for your virtual tour business in your community, and bring in more new customers.

Get a Google+ business page:
Google Plus may not be the huge, instant success everyone thought it would be at first, but it has been quietly gaining ground over the past few years. Right now, it’s the third most popular social media network, ahead of Twitter at number four and behind only YouTube (also owned by Google) and mega-network Facebook. More importantly, Google+ is tied directly into the world’s biggest search engine, which not only holds the lion’s share of computer search traffic worldwide, but also dominates mobile searches with more than 90 percent of the market share. With a Google+ business page that’s optimized for local search keywords, more potential customers in  your area will be able to find you quickly, and contact you conveniently.  Take a moment and visit RTV’s Google Business Page.

Bring your virtual tour business on the go:
Whenever you’re out and about, whether you’re hitting the town or headed out for a conference, have a way to demonstrate what you do for any potential customers you meet. The best way to sell more virtual tours is to be able to show people the stunning, high-quality presentations you can develop for their business or properties. If you don’t already have one, you may want to consider investing in an iPad or other tablet device. You can show off virtual tours on a smartphone, but the smaller screen tends to limit the experience. A tablet gives you more screen real estate that’s still in a portable format. RTV’s HTML 5 Gyro Enabled virtual tours are WOW AMAZING!

Ask for referrals:
Many marketers overlook the power of asking customers for what they want. They may be afraid of being viewed as too pushy, or in some cases the idea might not have even crossed their mind. In any case, one of the easiest ways to get more local customers is to ask your existing customers.
Most people are happy to refer their friends and acquaintances to businesses, especially if they’re satisfied customers of yours. In any community, many small business owners tend to know and network with each other, so ask the people you’ve already worked with if they know anyone who might want their own virtual tour.

Take a few minutes to expand local visibility for your virtual tour business, and watch your customer base grow!

Sincerely,

RTV, Inc
www.RealTourVision.com
Virtual Tour Software & Digital Marketing Training

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You asked for it, and we delivered! With the all-new RTV RoboTour, you won’t have to spend hours stitching photographs after a long day of shooting — instead, relax and enjoy summer evenings with the family. RoboTour is a full-service photo stitching solution built right into your Fusion virtual tour software system! For just $10, we’ll download and stitch up to 10 of your panoramic images for you. Additional photos are just $1 each!

Most of our virtual tour providers spend countless hours processing images. With RoboTour, you can begin the virtual tour upload process and skip the stitching altogether. You’ll create your virtual tour in the Fusion system as usual, but when you get to the step where you would normally upload images, you’ll click on the “RoboTour” feature under the Additional Features section. After answering a few questions about your virtual tour, you can then upload all of your images. All still images will be posted immediately as usual. The panoramas will be sent to an RTV Production Manager, who will download, assemble, edit, and publish the images directly to the corresponding virtual tour. You’ll be notified when the images have been assembled and posted, so you can finalize the virtual tour production. It’s that easy!

We’re planning on offering this service with a 24-hour turnaround time, but we anticipate delivering the finished panoramas much quicker. To prepare for RoboTour orders, RTV has staffed three full-time Production Managers in our home office.

RTV is the first national virtual tour company to offer this type of service to independent, private branded virtual tour photographers. Our new RoboTour solution will allow you to concentrate more on sales and marketing, without getting overloaded during the busy summer months.

Thank you for your continued support! Please watch for more innovative virtual tour software developments from RTV.

Sincerely,

RTV, Inc
www.RealTourVision.com
Virtual Tour Software & Digital Marketing Training

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How do I get more tour track jobs? I’m asked this question quite often in the hopes I’ll start doling out jobs like candy on Halloween.  I’m sent chocolate, which is great!   I’m frequently told I’m wearing a pretty dress, which I appreciate even though the last time I wore anything resembling a dress was probably at the RTV Virtual Tour Convention 2012 and I get the “Did I do something wrong?” emails.   So please let me quiet all your fears and quell your curiosity about this matter.

There are a few major things that you need to do to get Tour Track jobs.  Several of these are all within the realm of your control.  A few are in the hands of the Powers that Be.

Here is what you can do.

1.    Tour Track Set-up Area.  This area you will find in your Fusion virtual tour account manager (htttp://manage.realtourvision.com) under the Tour Track Tab.  Once you click on “Tour Track” if you look to the right side of that window you will see the set-up tab.  Fill out everything and anything there.  Be honest!!! Do not say you have a wide angle lens if you plan to buy one should you get a job requiring it.  Just buy one.  You’ll love it!  Same goes for the automatic trigger devise (the contraption that helps you do HDR).  If you want to say you have it, then just go ahead and buy it. 

2.    Your Gallery of work.  We need to see that you can successfully and skillfully shoot Panos and Still images.  Create a gallery of work or use an existing one and plug the link into your Tour Track Set Up area.  If you don’t have a gallery then create one using the Fusion system and we’ll give you back a credit.  Check out the one for BlueLaVaMedia http://tours.bluelavamedia.com/11425.  You can add a voice over introducing yourself, a video, whatever you think will sell you.  Think of this as making a commercial for yourself, not only do you get to make it for free (No Tour Credit is required because as managers we can see your active AND inactive productions) but you can put it on your site (Tour Credit Required) to advertise yourself to your clients.  You will need to include at least 10 still interior real estate or hotel photography, a few 360 panoramas and 2-3 shots of any portrait work if you happen to provide that service.

3.    Have you shot any virtual tours?  If our staff goes in to look for a virtual tour photographer in the vicinity of a new job and you have zero virtual tours in your account, they will not assign a job to you.  Your work must be verified.  If you don’t have a gallery virtual tour or active virtual tours then you will not get a job from one of our national accounts. Sorry.

4.    Photography skills.  Make sure your skills are up to par.  Don’t submit out of focus, overly dark, overly noisy or severely crooked photos.  If photography isn’t your background then take advantage of our learning series, ‘The IMAGE’ found inside of www.rockpointemarketing.com.  There are over fifty hours of training videos there on the subject of photography that will help you hone your skills.

5.    Responsiveness, openness and attitude.  Almost as important as being a good photographer is being a responsive photographer.  Calling the client within the requested time frame, following up and making notes in the system is all part of the role. Especially so is turning your photos in within a timely manner.  All these things will help out your overall Tour Track Score.  If you have a bad attitude on site or if you respond poorly to constructive feedback from us, this will 100% effect your ability to shoot jobs for us and thus lower your score that our management team sees before they send out jobs.  

6.    The Powers that Be will need to have some photo shoots in your area.  Things fluctuate.  You may have some Rock Star Tour Track years and some lean Tour Track years.  It all depends on where the jobs land.  If they aren’t landing near you then try going out and looking for them.  See if you have any of our National Accounts located in your area and approach them (but only if you’ve been approved to shoot for that account.  Check in with tourtrack@realtourvision.com and ask before you go on your sales call).

7.    Send Chocolate.  Enough said.

Jacqueline Burke
National Accounts Director
Real Tour Vision – Professional Healthcare Photography & Virtual Tours
231-932-1605

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