Archive for June, 2009

Need to call a new virtual tour customer and explain your property marketing services or products? Get a virtual tour lead from RTV and are you ready to make first contact? Here at Real Vision Studio a Detroit Virtual Tour Company in SouthEast Michigan, a full service virtual tour provider for RTV, we get and make numerous business/sales calls a day. Phone skills are critical for the success of our business, any business for that matter.

The telephone is the most important point of contact with your prospects and customers. Improving your phone skills with these tips can make a big difference in the level of your success and how quickly your business grows.

The telephone can be one of the most valuable as well as inexpensive resources available to you. These practical tips will help you with becoming more productive and profitable, whether you are making the call or your customer is calling you!

~Prepare yourself by getting mentally set for the task ahead and by having a purpose and an agenda ready.

~Follow your script, but be flexible. Don’t sound like you are reading.

~Create index cards (or cgeat sheets) with specific points that keep you on point. If it’s more natural for you to just strike up a conversation, then just do it!

~Keep it brief, and get to the point right away. Make sure you are clear concerning your reason for making the call.

~Be friendly but try not to get off topic.

~Be a good listener. That way you will be able to help your customer with making the right decision, hopefully about using your services or products.

~Avoid the hype. Show enthusiasm, but make sure it is sincere.

~Smile! Keep a smile on your face, your attitude can show through the phone.

~Understanding how your business works will help you feel more confident when talking to customers over the phone.

~Don’t get on the phone if you are in a bad mood.

~If someone is not interested, then don’t keep calling them. This will only make you look desperate, not to mention waste your time.

~Be aware of two things as you speak, what you say and how you say it. The sound and tone of your voice is just as important as what you are saying.

~Alway’s leave a message! Let your potential customers hear your voice and know that you are available.

~When leaving a message don’t speak too fast. Slow down so your message is not hard to understand.

~Say your name clearly. If it’s not common spell it, just make sure the caller understands your name.

~Slowly leave your phone number. Assume that the listener is writing it down, so make it easy! Repeat the number at the beginning and end of your message, if possible.

~Most importantly, if you don’t get an answer, leave the reason for your call. Why would they call you back if they don’t know what you want?

~People can be very impatient, so it is important to answer your phone by the third ring or make sure your voice mail is set to pick up by the third ring.

~Your answering machine greeting should make a good first impression. Be short and to the point and don’t drag it out. Leave clear instructions and what information they should leave. Such as their name, phone number and the best time to call them back.

~Check your messages often. A customer may be waiting on information to make a decision, and by taking to long returning their call they may choose someone else.

~Return all phone calls! This could be the most important thing that you do to build your business. Set a goal to return all calls within 2 hours.

~Avoid using a speaker phone. It will make the caller think that the call is not private and that you are not concentrating fully on them.

~Put together a list of answers to frequently asked questions (Virtual Tour Prices List, Tour Features, etc.) and post it by your phone.

~Decide what you will say if someone answers the phone other then the person you are calling. Should you leave a message with them or call back later?

~Don’t type or shuffle paper while you are talking, it can be distracting to the other party.

~If you must put the phone down for any reason, do so gently so you don’t startle your caller.

~Never chew food or anything else while talking on the phone.

~Cover your mouth and the receiver, if you have to cough or sneeze.

~Always speak directly into the receiver.

~Don’t hang up if you dial the wrong number, just explain yourself and verify the number to avoid repeating the call.

~Avoid any background noise such as TV, radio and computer beeps and clicks.

~Listen to how people talk and not just to what they are saying. You can learn how to connect with a person over the phone by reading “between the lines”.

~Be prepared. Have a list of calls that you need to make including the name, phone number and any other information that you may need.

~When you first begin using the phone rehearse in your mind what you are going to say. Once you do it enough, it will come naturally.

~Know what your schedule is before making any calls. That way you can set up any follow up appointments if necessary.

~Do not procrastinate. Get you calls done first thing in the morning. Putting them off may mean losing business.

~Make sure you are not hungry, cold or need to go to the bathroom before making any of your calls.

~Record whether you left a message, if you need to make a return call, who you talked to and what was said.

~Leave an email address as an alternative communication option. Many people will use email to get back to you rather than the telephone.

~Always enunciate clearly keeping the volume of your voice moderate. Speak slowly and clearly.

~Speak properly while sounding professional. Avoid using slang or jargon.

~Think before you speak! Offending potential customers will not encourage them to use your service or product.

~Never say “I don’t know”, instead say, “Let me find the answer for you”. This is a great way to set up a return call.

~Don’t do all the talking. Give the person on the other end of the line an opportunity to answer you, to ask questions, or to make comments. Never interrupt your customer.

~Remember the Number One Rule Of Selling Anything: Ask for the order. The reason most often given by people for not buying is, “No one asked me to.”

~Have fun! Remember that some will and some won’t, just keep at it!

Good phone etiquette is good for your virtual tour business. It can set you apart from your competition and it can actually get you the results you want much faster. Many customers are calling on an impulse. They have developed a sudden need and want that need filled. You have a great opportunity to bring additional revenue to your business. People buy where they feel comfortable and appreciated. Give them that feeling when they call. It’s just common courtesy.

Good luck out there!
Mike and Joy Thompson
Detroit Virtual Tours

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As most of you already know Jim and I are always working very hard to bring you better and better technology and improve your online image among your customers.

Our new TrueBlue imaging does just that. In fact it goes well beyond just having a home photographed and displayed online. Our new TrueBlue technology entices and plays directly to the imagination, sweeping online shoppers off their mouse pads while they are temporarily mesmerized by the sheer beauty and elegance of the colorful scenery.

We have literally hit a home run with this new release of technology and for now there will be no additional charge for the added service. Jim is busy perfecting the art for both inside and outside shots and we anticipate no additional fees for the service until sometime in 2010. In the meantime we are going to sit back and watch the compliments keep pouring in over the images. To see an online sample of the technology visit the link below.

See our TrueBlue Video on YouTube and give us your feedback!

Good luck out there everyone.

Jason LaVanture
Traverse Virtual Tours
Order a Virtual Tour: 877-941-8687

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Online social networking use among adults has more than quadrupled in the past four years according to a December 2008 survey from Pew Internet & American Life Project.

This is a huge jump in the amount of people taking advantage of these kind of sites. Approximately 35% of American adults use social networking. While this number is heavily skewed toward younger adults, the popularity of these kinds of sites cannot be ignored.

Social networking is an excellent way to get new business contacts as well as keep in touch with current clients. Social networking is a great opportunity for a business person to have a virtual ‘calling card’ available all the time to prospective clients.

A well planned Facebook page or Twitter account can help ‘sell’ you to the client and convince them to use you for their real estate needs. Since these accounts are free to use, though they do cost time to maintain, using social networking to advertise yourself can be very cost effective.

If you have not already I highly recommend that you sign up for our FREE online social networking, blogging, and search engine optimization course. Our course will help you setup what we feel are the most important sites, set up your profiles, build back links to your site and learn how to blog. Whether you decide to go it on your own or take our online course you should always be sure to include a nice photo of yourself. Make sure you use a current one, and add in your website and other contact information.

These social networking pages are like mini-advertisements for your business so always be professional and maintain yourself in a good light. This is a great way to show off your expertise in your field through blogs and posts about real estate, buying a new home, or even the general market conditions.

Prospective home buyers or sellers may see your profile through a “friend of a friend’s” profile and if you have impressed them with your knowledge and business savvy then you’ve got them interested in YOU with very little effort.

Thanks for your support!

Jason LaVanture and Jim Blue
BlueLaVa Tours
Order property marketing Tools Today!
231-877-941-TOUR (8687)

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What do buyers look for, or look out for when purchasing Traverse City real estate and the five county surrounding areas? This article is designed to help sellers evaluate the important aspects of selling a home and what potential buyers want.
The way you live in your house is not the way to sell your house. So, what makes a house a home for sale on the market, and one that soon has a “SOLD” sign out on the front lawn? And what aspects are important to look at because potential buyers will ask the question, “How much work are we going to need to do prior to moving in and beyond?” The appearance and cleanliness of the home are significant.
Always have your home in show ready condition. It is critical to be prepared so you have the least amount of stress when you get the call that an agent wants to show your home. Sellers need to know that today, buyers have high expectations. An updated home in excellent condition is critical to getting your home sold in the least amount of time and for top dollar. Buyers love updated kitchen and baths, new lighting fixtures and it is amazing how new paint and carpet can transform a home.
Here are some things a buyer will look for when dealing with the purchase of a home. The buyer will consider the following:
• Exactly what personal property is included in the sale? Lighting fixtures, drapes or blinds, refrigerators, and washers and dryers.
• Is the neighborhood quiet, friendly? Are the homes well kept?
• Are there any development plans that will affect the property?
• The inspection report – are there any substantial problems with the house?
• Real estate taxes – what are the current property taxes, and what impact will your purchase have on the taxes?
Another issue that raises concern regarding buyer appeal is that sellers often mistakenly think that viewing empty properties will give the buyers an accurate sense of the space available. On the contrary, sometimes it is more difficult to judge the size of a room without furniture and other objects as reference points. An empty room even allows buyers to focus on negative details instead of getting a sense of the overall space and the flow of each room to the next. Buyers need to ask themselves the question, “Can I see myself in this home?” Therefore, staging really helps buyers envision themselves in the space.
The idea of “staging” a home to make it look alluring to buyers has become popular during the last decade, as manifested by the proliferation of numerous home staging companies offering advice about how to make the house more attractive to buyers. Check out next’s month’s article about “Staging a Home.”
Finally, once your home is in perfect “SHOW” condition be sure to have your home professionally photographed with an interactive 360 virtual tour. Virtual tours that can be converted into video and distributed across many outlets will put more eyes on your home than ever before when it is in it’s best light.
When selling your home Julia Lilley and Linda Zajac will work with you to put your home is the best showing condition possible. Our goal is to create the Wow factor so that buyers can envision themselves in the home and want to put your Traverse City home or property under contract.
Century 21 Northland | Traverse City Real Estate

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Many virtual tour companies lately have been advertising a “PowerPoint” like slideshow as a virtual tour. The “Virtual Tour” tag line is powerful and many companies with inferior solutions are trying to cash in on it. We at and others belonging to the RTV network of providers use proprietary software and hardware to produce real virtual tours – a 360-degree panoramic moving picture of a room or location.

We are able to provide not only the high-resolution photos that the others supply; but we also deliver high quality moving panoramic spins that will be sure to impress your customers. We are all looking for the one thing that will seal the deal. There is nothing more impressive than a Realtor being able to “walk” their clients through a home in the manner in which it truly exists. Bonus benefits include not having to drive all over town to look at homes because of the inferior slideshow quality. Homebuyers can decide to look or not look at a home based on true to life images.

Wayne Frenck
Tampa Virtual Tours

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