Archive for February, 2014

As a virtual tour business, you’re out to beat the competition. There are plenty of other virtual tour providers out there competing for your customers—which means you have to worry about not only offering a great virtual tour service, but also fighting your competitors for market share. Wouldn’t your working life be easier if you were the only game in town?

Actually, it wouldn’t be. Competition is not only inevitable, it’s beneficial for your virtual tour business. Here are just a few reasons that competition is good for you as a virtual tour provider.

Competition increases visibility
There are many real estate agents and businesses who still aren’t aware that virtual tour companies exist. The more virtual tour providers there are, the higher visibility is raised for the industry.

Also, you shouldn’t expect the number of virtual tour providers to negatively impact your business when it comes to visibility. Most people won’t automatically choose the first company they find—instead, they’ll research virtual tour providers and will be able to find yours among them so be sure to keep on blogging!!!

Competition lets you charge more
This statement sounds like it goes against the grain of business logic, especially since one of the most popular strategies is offering a lower price than your competitors. However, competition brings you higher profits in a different way.  More virtual tour companies entering the market means that the industry is growing, and demand for your services is increasing. This kind of growth typically leads to an across-the-board, average industry increase for pricing—so you’ll be able to raise your prices along with your competitors, instead of against them.

Competition gives you networking opportunities
As a virtual tour provider, you are just one person (or a team of people). It’s impossible for you to go out and create virtual tours for every single business and property out there. What you’re looking for are customers in your attainable geographic area—and when you have an inquiry from someone with a property that’s many miles away, all you can do is turn them down.

Unless, of course, you’re networking with other virtual tour providers. Competition lets you create strategic business connections. You can work with other service companies to send them referrals you’re unable to handle, and in return they’ll send you referrals that are within your capacities.

Competition keeps you motivated
If you were the only virtual tour provider around, everyone who wanted a virtual tour would come to you. You would be guaranteed business, and you might even get overwhelmed. With a practical monopoly, you wouldn’t have to try very hard—and you certainly wouldn’t have to come up with new ideas and innovations to keep your business fresh.

Having competition helps to fuel your drive to provide a great virtual tour service. As a motivated provider, you have happy, repeat customers, a good reputation, and the benefit of word-of-mouth marketing.

That’s what competition can do for you!

Real Tour Vision
National Virtual Tour Service
www.realtourvision.com
Order a Virtual Tour – 866-947-8687

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 I hate being new at something.  I love learning new things but I hate that period between trying something new and being competent at it.

When I first saw the demonstration of Magic Plan at the RTV national convention, I was blown away and immediately saw the value of adding floor plans to our vacation rental virtual tours.  I was very enthusiastic until my husband informed me that his plate was full with photographing and building virtual tours and that if we were going to add floor plans, I was going to have to learn how to use the floor plan software.

Another RTV provider showed me how easy it was but I was intimidated and overwhelmed by the thought of learning something new.  I am NOT a detail person.  I am NOT a techie person.  I am NOT good at spacial orientation.  And like I said, I DON’T  like being new at something so I set the idea of offering floor plans on the back burner for almost a year.

One of our big clients called and asked if we could do floor plans for her 35 properties – I said no.  Then another of our big clients said they wanted to do floor plans for their 115 properties – I said maybe.  Then a huge client I have been trying to close for 5 years called and wanted to know if we could do floor plans for their 185 properties– and I said well of course we can and set out to figure out how to do floor plans.

The first one took me FOUR HOURS.  I could not figure out how the pieces fit together, I could not visualize how the doors and windows and plumbing fit.  The second one took me two hours but after about the third one, it all clicked.

In the past 30 days, we have done 76 floor plans so far!  For this client, we are doing mostly floor plans and still photography and on smaller condos or houses, I can get in and out of the house in not much longer than it takes Greg to shoot the stills. We just did a floor plan for a 12 bedroom house and I was finished in less than two hours even on that.

RTV provides us with the best virtual tour software available but just as importantly, they provide us with the tools and relationships we need to grow our Charleston virtual tour business.  I would never have known about Magic Plan without RTV forging a relationship with them.  Floor plans are certainly not going to replace what we are currently doing but they are an additional weapon in our arsenal that has allowed us to take our virtual tour business — and our income — to new levels.

Greg and Paige Mitts
Charleston Virtual Tours
http://www.VisionQuestVirtualTours.com
Order a Charleston, SC virtual tour: 404-863-9769

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When you are searching for a hotel room for your upcoming vacation, do you look at listings that include horrible images or none at all? The answer is, probably not. Photos are extremely important when it comes to online booking sales and reservations.

Over 65% of individuals are visual learners, so this means that having professional hotel photography within a website can make or break a sale. Why are images so important? A recent study proved that 7% of US hotel guests stopped short of booking a reservation due to the lack of visual content.

Visual content is what drives the travel industry and is crucial to running a successful business. This is where professional hotel photography and virtual tours come into play. The virtual tour business is a key component to the success of the travel industry. Hotel owners desire fresh, high quality images to increase their revenue.

Here are some fun facts:
•    94% more views are attracted by content containing high quality images, than content without images.
•    Properties with more than 20 photos get 150% more engagement.
•    More than 50% of US online travel shoppers use professional photography.
•    75% of US hotel guests said that photography is important and ranks within the top 3 features when doing initial research.

So the more that you hear about content being king, just remember that visual content makes this statement true. Provide your clients with high quality content and they will always come back for for another stay!

RTV, Inc
Virtual Tour Software & Professional Hotel Photography
Order a virtual tour: 866-947-8687

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This month we wanted to give our virtual tour providers a well laid out marketing piece that packs a powerful punch with updated statistics for 2014.  Geared towards the real estate industry, our 2014 Fact Sheet is the PERFECT piece to print or email your virtual tour customers and customers to be. 

The marketing piece stresses the need for professional photography and backs it up with studies, market trends, and hard hitting facts.  This is a MUST piece to get out now before Spring hits.  We recommend that you also get some printed up too and use during your real estate office whistle stops.

Remember that when you stop marketing you’re leaving your company vulnerable to attack from your competitors.  Login to http://www.RockPointeMarketing.com right now to snag this powerful double sided flyer.

Go out there and knock it out of the park RTV!  See you all on our next talk show and of course at the 2014 RTV Virtual Tour Provider Convention!!

You’ll need to use Microsoft Publisher to customize the 2014 Fact Sheet and brand it to your company. 

Sincerely,

Team RTV

Real Tour Vision
National Virtual Tour Service
www.realtourvision.com
Order a Virtual Tour – 866-947-8687

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When it comes to professional photography, having a stable camera and a solid tripod is crucial if you want to produce the best photos. The cost of a tripod really depends on the name brand, features, and quality of material used. Technically you could go to Wal-Mart and purchase an inexpensive tripod for $30 but you are not going to get a professional product for that price and nor will you get professional looking virtual tour photography either.

So what should you look for when purchasing a tripod and is spending the extra money worth it? Let’s look! A recommended tripod is the Vanguard Tracker LT-28 series. This one can be purchased online for just a little over $100 and it is worth every penny. Built out of sturdy aluminum, this tripod can hold a lot of weight without causing you a backache due to heavy lifting.  Since it only weighs about 1lb, this is a great choice for traveling to different locations. Featuring a quick-flip leg lock and hexagon-shaped center column, the Tracker will be able to hold your heavier gear with ease.

A professional tripod must be able to adjust and be fine tuned so that you can take the perfect shots and setup those nice shooting angles. Even if you are looking to take photos low to the ground, you can adjust the tripod to three different angles. The Tracker LT-28 series has a SBH 100 ball one, which is one fluid-like ball head that rotates 360 degrees and allows fine tuning. The tripod itself also features tension adjustments for the legs, large foam grips, a patented premium magnesium die-cast canopy, and non-slip rubber feet. All of these great features create an unshakable foundation and will help you produce professional photos.

So when you are searching for your next piece of photography equipment, make sure that you have a stable tripod and that you pay attention to the fine details. You will be happy that you did and your virtual tours will look better than ever!

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

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