Blog Tag: visual tour

How to Setup a Virtual Tour Feed

As an RTV provider one of our main goals is to keep up with our website’s content, but as we all know, we seldom make updates to its content unless we change or add a promotional item. Two days ago our company,Virtual Vista, made major structural and content changes. During this conversion, we decided to make the commitment to keep its content fresh, thus increasing traffic and improving search engine ranking.

As a result of this commitment we decided to use the Real Tour Vision’s Blogs to keep it fresh. While researching the best way to incorporate this feature into our website, we stumbled up on this web page (http://www.rss-specifications.com/displaying-rss-feeds.htm); this article is all about RSS Specifications.

The article explains the different ways and technologies we can use to accomplish this task. The easiest way to accomplish this is to use JavaScript, but this option would defeat our purpose. Why? Because search engines DO NOT actually “see” the content of the RSS Feed, thus the content of the feed within our website would not be indexed (bummer).

Another option was to use a PHP to display the RSS Feeds. The beauty of this option is that the content will be displayed as HTML and thus Search-Engine-Friendly! This is what we were looking for! But wait a minute; we really are not comfortable with PHP Scripting, so we kept on reading.

Finally, an ASP solution, just like the PHP one, but using ASP Scripting! Please don’t take us wrong, PHP is great, but we are ASP people since ASP was conceived.

We proceeded to download the FREE code from the website and after learning how it works, we decided to make some adjustments to suit our needs.

We made some small changes and converted the code to work as a function; this function accepts parameters and can restrict the output to display a specific number of blogs and whether we want to display just the titles or the entire content.

We just wanted to share this with you all, you can see a working sample by clicking the following links:

http://www.virtualvista.net (this shows the title feeds)

http://www.virtualvista.net/Virtual-Tour-Blogs.asp (Shows the full feed)

Keep in touch,

Ric Castro
Virtual Vista
West Chester Virtual Tours
610-429-0288
ricc[@]virtualvista.net


Open Office Space Portal

In today’s economy, many companies are downsizing their workforce, resulting in a growing inventory of unused commercial space. At the same time, a large number of entrepreneurs and small businesses are looking to reduce their overhead by re-negotiating their existing commercial leases, or finding new space altogether.

www.Openofficespace.com has launched an office space portal website to facilitate the interaction between companies burdened with carrying the cost of their unused office space and small businesses/entrepreneurs looking to streamline their expenses. A shared space is the perfect solution for a small business or entrepreneur looking to cut costs, while providing a revenue stream to a space holder when they can use it the most. This “win-win” relationship also helps landlords as it could prevent a tenant from having to give back a space altogether.

In just minutes, a space holder can post their open office space and property listing including: virtual tours, photos, property descriptions, maps, video, 2D/3D floor plans and even property brochures. Small businesses and entrepreneurs looking for cost effective retail, office, commercial or service space can easily search property listings by country, state, neighborhood or price. If a user does not find a “space” meeting their criteria, they can create an email alert which will automatically notify them if a property is listed that does.

RTV providers producing virtual tours for commercial properties can now add this free service to their arsenal as a way of helping to promote their clients office space and properties. In addition, RTV providers can build a free company profile on the site to promote their services to a captive audience of small businesses, entrepreneurs and real estate professionals.

Thanks RTV!
Open Office Space
www.Openofficespace.com


The Baker B Social V Tour

BakerB Solutions has unleashed yet another powerful property marketing tool that helps you stay competitive in an aggressive real estate market. In just one click, your virtual tour can be submitted to popular social bookmarking and networking sites such as:

* Digg
* Delicious
* Furl
* Facebook
* FriendFeed
* MySpace
* BackFlip
* LinkedIn
* Reddit
* Twitter
* StumbleUpon
* Technorati
* Mixx
* Bebo

Now you, your customers, and their friends can bookmark your DC virtual tours on these sites!! This is also a great competitive advantage for our Realtor clients. After all, who else but BalkerB Solutions and our Real Tour Vision network of providers provides this service so easily? The answer is no one! Our competitors don’t have this capapbility embedded in their tour functions. So hire BakerB Solutions to get your virtual tour done with our social networking utility built right in.

Want to see how it’s done? Just click here and get the details!

BakerB Solutions is the leading Virtual Tour Company in the Washington, DC Metro area covering Maryland (MD), Northern Virginia (NoVA) and Washington, DC. To order a virtual tour, call 301.424.8272

We would be happy to help and also show you how to leverage our social networking tool!

Alex Saenger
Baker B Solutions


What the Heck is SEO

Its no secret that the customer base for many businesses has moved online. This is especially true of the real estate market. The number of buyers shopping online has steadily increased yearly for several years. Now, that number has reached 87% according to the 2008 National Association of Realtors(R) Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, making an effective online marketing campaign essential if you want your business to continue to grow.

So, how do you get noticed on the world wide web?

One essential is SEO. Just what is SEO? Do I need one? Where do I get one? Is it easy to use? Does it come with instructions or , even better, a hotline? If you are one of the many who ask yourself questions like this, then read on…

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is essential if you want your website and online marketing to be found on the internet. It is based on a couple of things – one is what people search for on the web, the other is how relevant your information is to that search.

Here is how it works:

You are a real estate agent marketing your listings online. You are located in Shreveport, La. Your website should include information about real estate in your city, your listings, information on your local market and so on. When a home buyer sits down at their computer to learn more about what is available they will search for something like “homes for sale with virtual tours in Shreveport”. The results they will receive will include websites that have virtual tours of homes for sale in Shreveport. Whether or not your marketing will appear in the results depends on how relevant your content is to this search.

Google Search Results

Google Search Results

Viewers will look at those sites that appear on the first or maybe second page of the search results. Rarely do they view information found on page 10 of the results. Therefore, placing content on the web that is directly related to your business or product is essential to being found. But it is also essential to establish that information as being relevant to the topic. This is done many ways such as linking to other related information from your website, having other information linking back to you, visits to your website by interested people, etc.

SEO is a driving force in effective online marketing.

Creating a volume of relevant content on the web can be a time consuming effort; however, the effort is well worth it when you consider the market share available to be reached.

If your time is already spread thin, then you may want to consider hiring someone to help. Ark-La-Tex Virtual Tours has optimized all of our online marketing on behalf of our clients in order to help drive them to the top of the search results and to create related relevant content on the web. Contact us today to learn more.

Rebecca Bolda
Ark-La-Tex Virtual Tours
Shreveport Virtual Tours
www.TheVirtualTourPeople.com
Order a Virtual Tour (318) 572-1779


Are Your Listings Within Reach

So we’re all painfully aware of the major challenges facing the residential real estate market right now, with homes of every shape, size, color and price available for the (relatively few) serious buyers out there who are still looking to buy real estate.

Costmart

One thing we know pretty conclusively these days is that most buyers no longer drive the neighborhoods (at least initially), read the classified ad sections in newspapers or flip through those glossy magazines available at the local supermarket. No, these days you will find the vast majority of buyers clicking their mouses (er, mice?) to locate their next home. No secret there. But given this common knowledge, it is still amazing to me the staggering numbers of agents who put forth little to no effort in creating any kind of compelling online presence for their listings. It seems like the number of listings that have either no photos or really bad ones, bland and boring home descriptions, no virtual tours or video tours, etc. outnumber the well-represented homes online 20 to 1. With sooo many homes on the market these days, your listing had better really speak to buyers when they do come across it, or they quickly and effortlessly move on to the next one with a click of their mouse.

I’ve decided to go with a shopping analogy here. Just a few short years ago when the demand for homes was high, homes on the market were not unlike a limited-supply specialty item sold at an exclusive retailer (recent items like the iPhone and the Wii come to mind). From time to time there is great demand for an item that is in limited supply, whether or not that scarcity is organic or engineered by the company through controlled production. But regardless of the reason for the high demand, people will react the same. They are willing to stand in line at the stores, pay premiums, get on waiting lists, etc. etc. Of course, they have to be able to pay for an item they buy, and the good old banking system in the USA made sure that buying these items was possible for almost anyone through easy credit. We’ll roll all of these lenders/banks/credit card companies into one aggregate person, and we’ll call him “Marvin Moneybags”.

So what happens when dozens of other companies come out with competing products and manufacture them in bulk, so that the supply easily outpaces demand causing prices to plummet, and consumers suddenly have dozens of choices? We’ll just imagine that instead of a few specialty retailers offering a limited supply of these high demand products to a long line of buyers, that now a huge warehouse store (we’ll call it “CostMart”) is full of these products and competing products of every shape, size, color and price, now stacked floor to ceiling. The line of buyers has disappeared because even though these items are much more affordable now, Marvin Moneybags has lent out all of his money and so much of it didn’t come back in (loans and credit card payments in default) that he can’t/won’t lend any more. Now there are just a few buyers who can buy, and maybe they wander through the door to see what’s available. They are overwhelmed with the sheer amount of products they see. Every shape, size, color, function, etc. they could ever imagine even having a need for is here. How do they choose just one? Well, for starters, they should be able to pick it up off of the shelf. Buyers are far more likely to buy if they can view it from every angle, touch it, try it, learn about everything it has to offer. Now remember that there are so many of these things for sale that they are stacked all of the way to the ceiling. Waaay up there on the top shelves are products that could be every bit as shiny, cool, functional and attractively priced as the products that can be easily taken off of the shelf to be examined. Now a buyer could go around the store and see if they can find a ladder in order to get up to those higher shelves, but with so many attractive products within arm’s reach, why would they bother?

So imagine your listings are products that are being offered for sale along with everyone else’s products at your local CostMart. Although your “products” are somewhat unique, you still are offering something that is stacked floor to ceiling in every aisle of this massive store. How are you going to sell your “products” when buyers have so many others to choose? Well, for starters, you can make sure your “products” are not up on those high shelves, only accessible by the few (if any) buyers who will take the trouble to go “find a ladder”.

While you cannot control which “products” buyers will take off of the shelf, you can make sure that yours are within arm’s reach, so a potential buyer can take it off of the shelf, look at it from every angle, learn about it, and “feel it” emotionally. So just how do you make sure of this when your buyer wants all of this without leaving their easy chair? Make sure you ALWAYS post lots of good pictures (preferably shot by a professional like myself), and at least one (if not all) of the following: a virtual tour, a video tour, and a single property website. This not only brings your “products” down within arm’s reach and eye-level, but also makes them scream out, “ooh pick ME, pick ME!!”.

There are a lot of technology options out there these days at every budget (some even free) so why would you not use these things to market your listings? It’s also important to write a compelling description of the home that speaks to buyers and paints a vivid picture in their mind of what is unique and appealing about this home, but I’ll save the specifics of that for a future entry. For now, just make sure that your “products” and are readily available for the shoppers to “pluck off of the shelf” by giving them the compelling information and imagery they seek online, and you’ll have a much better chance of a buyer heading to the check-out lane with your “product” under their arm.

Lawrence McBride
Virtually There Media
A RealTour Vision provider
Las Vegas Virtual Tours
Order A Virtual Tour 702.421.9920