Since 1997 BakerB Solutions (www.bakerb.com) has been providing technology marketing and business consulting solutions to our clients. About 6 years ago (during the real estate boom, my wife and I decided to sell our house. We were originally going to use a trusted Realtor(R) when I decided to give selling our home a shot myself. I told the agent that if I couldn’t sell it with all of my marketing skills within two weeks, that the listing was hers.
That week I took a series of still photographs of our home and created a “mini” website for the house. This was before virtual tours were really overwhelming in our market. The first weekend the house was on the market I sold it for $20K more than the asking price. The buyer was from out of town and his cousin had come through right before the open house ended. He called his cousin and gave him the web address I put together. After looking at the pictures and description online, he flew in the next day and bought the house. At the same time, during the open house I picked up 4 new clients that were real estate agents. Overall the experience changed the face of the company and I didn’t even know it.
After working with my new found real estate clients assisting them with their marketing, I began to earn a solid reputation for results and new ideas that worked. I also watched what was happening in the industry and saw an encouraging trend regarding virtual tours. So much so that one of the TOP local brokers asked me to assist them with some technology marketing for their entire brokerage firm (over 100 people). One of the tasks on the agenda was to identify the best virtual tour software available.
With my 10 years of prior experience in the telecommunications industry as a geek, entrepreneur that grew a thought into a $14M start-up to be sold to Real Networks, I knew a thing or two about what he was looking for. At the end of my search I recommended Real Tour Vision and encouraged the broker to hire their own photographer and bring the capability in house. He decided he did not want to have the ongoing overhead of the human resource. On an impulse I offered to do it for him. We came to a mutual agreement at a price that competed with CirclePix (the least expensive virtual tour company in our market). The difference is that CirclePix offered a “Single Scoop” solution (to use an ice cream analogy), whereas I was offering a “Triple Scoop” for less.
After a year of offering that service I raised my rates to nearly double that of CirclePix, but maintained my client’s loyalty. What made this possible was delivering a high quality solution with unmatched customer service. We both knew going into the agreement that things would change as we went along because we were both discovering how this new venture would work. And at the end of the first year I not only raised my rates, but also added photographers to the business so I could “shift gears” (as mentioned in an earlier Blog). I stared marketing to other brokers and now am the only Interactive Virtual Tour Company that is part of the Long and Foster Home Service Connections program, along with serving many other large national to and small local brokers in our area.
The virtual tour business has enabled me to grow beyond offering websites and business consulting and has even introduced other facets of the business to those same real estate clients from before. But now instead of managing a couple hand full of clients, my repeat customer base is over 200 active agents! Who knew the power of the virtual tour could be so strong? Who knew that with outstanding customer service coupled with Real Tour Vision technology that such a thriving business could be elevated so quickly with so many HAPPY customers? I had no idea when I was selling my house that this would be the case. And I have Real Tour Vision to thank for enabling this rapid growth!
Interactive Virtual Tours
& Marketing Specialists