Blog Tag: 360 home 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


The FORMULA Episode 6 – Building a Tour Blog

Attention Formula Fans!! If you are at all interested in learning more about how to make your virtual tours gain even MORE natural google rank on agent name and address then tonight’s episode of The FORMULA is the show for you. We will be discussing how to easily create a blog for every virtual tour that you do and start building strong back links to your virtual tours. This evening at 7:00 Eastern we will be covering the following:

• Setting up a virtual tour blog directory
• Building back links to your tours by way of your new blog
• Establishing a subscription based feed to your blog to drive the general public there
• Adding new widgets to your blog

Hope to see you on the show. Sign up now in your TMS and have a great day!

Best regards,

Jason

PS> I will also be revealing a very cool new product on the show tonight called the Agent Gallery Website.

The FORMULA is RTV’s marketing show held twice each month!


Putting Your BEST Foot Forward

In today’s tough real estate market are you putting your best foot forward for your listings? Are you a commercial business that wants to utilize virtual tour technology to showcase your business on the web? What are some questions to ask when looking for a virtual tour provider?

1. Do they offer 360 degree panoramas? If you want to showcase your property, do you want to see it all or only part of the story. Pro 360 Virtual Tours and Photography we offer you full 360 Virtual Tours, still photographs and anywhere in between. That gives you the power to choose what to show and what to leave out instead of being limited by technology that will only give partial room views.

2. Does the photographer use a Professional SLR Camera? A professional camera lends itself to many more options when it comes to changing lighting and exposure than a simple point and shoot camera will allow. If you are paying for professional photography is that what you are getting?

For example, what do you see when you look out the windows of your latest virtual tour? Can you see the view? Just look at the views captured in the Residential Virtual Tour of this golf course home. Would it be the same if you saw a blurred out window instead of that view? What are you getting from your virtual tour provider?
3. Are you getting Full Room Views for your still photos? Our Dallas Fort Worth Real Estate customers are able to take advantage of the Wide Angle Lens we use at Pro 360 Virtual Tours.

4. Will your photographer take the time to Photoshop to optimize thier photography? Can you see the difference in the Before and After Photos? Look at the straight walls in the second view.

If you are going to showcase a property with a Virtual Tour, don’t you want to put your best foot forward? Call us at Pro 360 Virtual Tours and Photography the next time you need a virtual tour in the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex.
For more information about virtual tours visit this great Virtual Tour Blog.
Lisa Castro
Pro 360 Virtual Tours and Photography
Dallas – Fort Worth Virtual Tours
Order a Virtual Tour 817-676-7176

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


Localized Exposure For Your Virtual Tours

The Virtual Tour Website That Offers Some Interesting Benefits

In this article I’d like to share with you some information about my virtual tour company website Medallion Virtual Tours at www.Medallion360.com, including some key features that I think sets us apart from the average virtual tour site. I believe the most important feature of our site is how the “active” virtual tours and slide show presentations produced by Medallion Virtual Tours are linked and listed. We use a style similar to most real estate and vacation rental and lodging web sites. Using a familiar layout in design and navigation can quickly speed-up the learning curve for new visitors while moving them toward our virtual tour and slide show presentation links. Best of all, a click on a clients virtual tour link from our website will directly result in a www.Medallion360.com referral hit on that client’s Real Tour Vision (RTV) tour stats page.

I offer our “active” virtual tour listing as a FREE add-on service for our real estate, property management, vacation rental, restaurant and business clients. Our clients benefit in several ways, one from the added exposure and visitor traffic to their virtual tour links from our websites (www.Medallion360.com and www.CambriaVirtualTours.com) and two, from our top page position on Goggle, Yahoo and others. We even do some Google Adwords buys in key cities that we serve to help boost our exposure. It’s great to look over our tour traffic reports and see Medallion360.com or CambriaVirtualTours.com as one of the top referring URL’s listed on a client’s report. And let me tell you… the client does notice! That’s a win, win in my book.

You might wonder how much work is involved in maintaining a web page that lists all of your “active” tours or real estate listings. Tasks like keeping the data up-to-date and fresh can be challenging, especially if you have a large number of “active” virtual tours, real estate listings or vacation rentals. Here’s how I do it, and I’d be happy to set-up a similar system for your virtual tour, real estate or vacation rental company. The Medallion Virtual Tours website was developed using php and MySQL database. I’ve developed a number of similar sites for real estate firms and vacation rental companies across America. If you are an RTV provider, a real estate or property management firm, I’d be happy to set-up a dynamic site for your company. Imagine featuring your virtual tours, real estate listings or vacation rentals in a similar way. Best of all, the dynamic content management system (CMS) requires NO programming skills to maintain. All you need is an internet connection and a web browser. Updating your virtual tour or real estate data is accomplished by filling out a form. That’s it! For additional information check out my ActiveRain Blog or follow me on Twitter.

Bob Blandy
MEDALLION SERVICES
Central California Virtual Tours
www.Medallion360.com
Order a Virtual Tour or Dynamic Website (805)927-0161