After ten years of being a professional photographer and owning my own studio, I realized I was ready for a change. I wanted to continue using my degree in photography and my years of experience but I did not want to be tied to a brick and mortar type of business. I realized that virtual tours would be a great opportunity to do that but I also knew I didn’t want to recreate the wheel. I needed a partner who would allow me to do what I do best — take awesome photographs — and not have to spend all my time learning the virtual tour business.
After more than a year researching virtual tour software technology and about two dozen emails and phone calls with RTV, there was no doubt that they were the only choice for me. I am sure our salesperson had long given up on me by the time I placed my order but not once during that year did they give me anything other than complete attention when I called with my endless questions.
We began the virtual tour business while working a full time job but our first big break came from a chance meeting in the grocery store. My wife met the owners of a cabin rental agency in the area where we lived. They had been considering adding virtual tours and we explained that we were willing to give them a super low price if they would let us use them as our guinea pigs. We ended up doing over 40 virtual tours for this company in about six weeks while working my full time job.
With that many tours, we learned how awesome RTV technology really is…and at the same time, we earned back our initial investment in the virtual tour technology. Over the next few months in the virtual tour business, we made an effort to do something each day to learn more and build our business and quickly realized that it was time to make the move to doing virtual tours full time.
Since the beginning of 2011, we have replaced two full time incomes and shot over 100 virtual tours. Rather than focusing on real estate agents, we have focused on businesses. We have created a niche marketing virtual tours to healthcare, hospitality and education and have had the opportunity to photograph in 26 states in less than six months. Our initial cabin rental company was an opportunity for us to build our portfolio and learn the system so it did not matter that we charged such a low price. That volume in such a short time meant we got to truly test the limits of the RTV technology and perfect our system of shooting and building tours. What it also did was allow us to showcase our work and gave RTV an idea of what we have to offer. When another cabin rental agency in our area called RTV and asked for a photographer to do tours for their 30 cabins, Jacque Burke of RTV called, emailed, texted and sent messages to us on Facebook because she knew we were the perfect fit!
We sent samples of our work to the client and the next day began shooting for them. This time around, we shot all 30 tours in less than two weeks in between about 20 other shoots. For anyone considering the virtual tour business, there is no question that RTV is the partner you want beside you. The technology is just the beginning. The training is fantastic. Even though I have a degree in photography and have been a professional photographer for 12 years, I learn something new every single time I watch an RTV webinar. The technology has grown with us and is always on the cutting edge. We are confident that no one can beat the product we have to offer. Thanks RTV for helping us live our dream. We just love picking up all of the hotel photography jobs from you!