Blog Tag: 360 home tour

The POWER of the Virtual Tour

This Blog is for Real Estate Agents who want to have the POWER of the Virtual Tour in their corner. [say the word POWER like Darth Vader].

What slump in Michigan? Mom [Carol Gillentine] and I are experiencing a huge upswing in sales here in SE Michigan. Why? Buyers are saying it’s because of our 360 Virtual Tours.

We had a Buyer of a home on Brittany St in Canton tell us she had never seen a more complimentary Virtual Tour. Why? Because WE had the power to go back 2 times to re-shoot 3 rooms [the Dining Room, the Living Room, and the Kitchen]. We had the POWER to get it right.

I’m not saying that any of our esteemed VT Vendors would not re-shoot a few rooms if asked.

But when a Real Estate Agent has the camera, the Stick, and the Base in her hands, then that Agent has the POWER to do it herself. I readily encourage Real Estate Agents to create and take the pictures for their own Virtual Tours.

Gena Giannuzzi
Real Estate Professional
Keller Williams Realty – Plymouth

Glass Half Full

I have been a fan of watching the news for many years now and am aware of how certain issues can be spun. There are many important issues being reported in the news lately, including one subject of interest to me; the housing market. It seems to me that we are only getting one side of the story.

Now I haven’t been accused of being a glass half full person by any means, but it occurred to me as I added my third new Realtor(R) client in a month, that maybe things aren’t as bad as the news is reporting.

I began to ask my clients how the market was. Much to the contrary of the national news reports, all but one real estate agent told me the market wasn’t what it was 3 years ago, but homes were selling and buyers were out there. The buyers were just a bit more particular about the properties they were buying. All of them said it is now a buyer’s market.

This buyers market should be considered an opportunity to sell our tours. We provide the first look most buyers will get at a property and with a buyer’s market; the property needs to make a great first impression, especially with a near record number of listings in many areas of the

One of my clients pointed out that the market they had 3-5 years ago was a booming market, not a normal market and a lot of Realtors got spoiled by the line of impatient buyers and full price plus offers. He explained that the market we are now in is a little slow, but is expected to grow steadily,this according to the NAR (National Association of Realtors).

Remember there are always two sides to every story and the housing market is no different. This is a great time to be a virtual tour provider with all of the homes on the market. Many real estate agents may have tight marketing budgets, but with a strong tour portfolio and a little salesmanship, you can take advantage of this buyer’s market.

Curt Richard
Launch Marketing

Extended Camera Warranties

RTV offers camera warranties for any camera purchased from Real Tour Vision for only $100. The warranty covers the camera for 3 years and the broken camera will either be repaired or replaced, no questions asked. So what are the pros and cons to getting an extended warranty?

• The warranty is cheap insurance at only a fraction of the cost of the camera.
• 3 years coverage no questions asked.
• If anything happens to your camera it is fixed or replace for only
hundred dollars instead of paying $400 plus for a new camera.

• If you don’t use the warranty your out your $100.

If you figure that you spent $400 or more on your camera and would spend about that much to replace the camera if it broke then a $100 warranty is a great deal for 3 years of coverage but how likely is it that you will need to have your camera fixed?

The shutters on a Canon Digital Rebel are rated for 50,000 cycles. This means that you should be able to take 50,000 pictures before you start having problems with the camera. For the standard consumer the average number of pictures taken a year is about 900 photos. At this rate we can see that the shutters on this camera will last the average consumer about 50 years. As Tour Builders we use our cameras much more heavily. It is our livelihood. If you factor that you shoot at least 4 pans (at 12 pictures per pan) and 10 stills per tour you are shooting 58 pictures per tour not including retakes and additional pictures. Now if you shoot only 4 tours per day for 5 days a week you are taking 1160 pictures. This is still not shooting any extra pictures for retakes. Now in 51 weeks, leaving you a week for vacation, you will have taken 59,160 pictures. At the Canon Digital Rebels duty cycle of 50,000 cycles there is a very good chance your camera may last you only a year. The Canon 20D has a duty cycle of 100,000 cycles which allows us a twice as many pictures and at the current rate of use we would reach the rated number of cycles in about a 1 year and 7 months. In light of this information I would recommend the warranty.

I know that this information is only based on the duty cycle of the shutters and there are many other things that can go wrong with a digital camera such as the LCD screen dying, the card slot stops working, etc. What I am trying to get us to think about is the fact that we use cameras at a much higher rate than most cameras are designed to handle. The warranties can help to greatly offset the cost of getting a new camera or getting your current camera fixed, due to the extra wear and tear they get from our high rate of use.

Ben Knorr
Real Tour Vision Lens Engineer
Real Tour Vision
Northern Michigan Virtual Tours

Virtual Tour Management System 2.0 Now Live

Nearly one year ago seven new engineers came through the doors of Real Tour Vision, looked under the hood to see what the future had in store for them. What they saw was a system built upon several servers, performing hundreds of operations, written in 1999 by eight previous engineers no longer on staff and in multiple programming languages. It would not be easy to condense the existing system down to one universal platform allowing for a more scalable environment for all future updates. With over 1000 active providers in 24 countries the task would not be easy to go from start to finish with minimal down time and disruptions for the existing network. The new team smiled and signed up for the challenge of a lifetime.

In August of 2006 they began to stride forward with confidence and coding agility Real Tour Vision had never seen before. The entire time with one common goal running through their mind; they would deliver each and every Real Tour Vision provider the very best in virtual tour technology at a faster pace than ever before once a new foundation was in place. Real Tour Vision would not only have the largest network, they would deliver the best technology.

To date the new Real Tour Vision engineering team has not only picked up the ball and began to run, they are stampeding towards the finish line with what will be single-handedly the biggest accomplishment in Real Tour Vision history; the delivery of TMS 2.0. TMS 2.0 is the framework from which all virtual tours are deployed from. It is the backbone of our architecture and it is where all virtual tour back office work takes place. Without a solid TMS, RTV would simply be another shelf product on the market unable to withstand any amount of volume ordering.

To date Real Tour Vision has the World’s largest active virtual tour photographer network and we stand together today to salute our new engineering team for the accomplishments they have made in their first year with us. A new virtual tour layout was first on their list to keep our virtual tours looking competitive in the marketplace. Next, the new Real Tour Vision corporate website was launched and to date it ranks higher than any other virtual tour software or virtual tour company website in the world. When Real Tour Vision decided that it was best to take our provider website development in house the new engineering team did not falter and had a brand new template based system up and running inside of 20 days. The integration of our new flash viewer now permits anyone and everyone to view our virtual tours worldwide. Accomplishment after accomplishment the Real Tour Vision system continues to grow and respond to the needs of the virtual tour providers all over the world.

From everyone at Real Tour Vision and the new engineering staff we would all like to thank you, our virtual tour providers and providers, for your patience and continued dedication and support throughout the programming of TMS 2.0. We hope that you all love the new interface as much as we do and we also hope you are ready for the battery of great and amazing updates that are still to come this year at Real Tour Vision.

Thank you!

Virtual Tours and Real Estate Marketing

Today people are so busy that they don’t have time to do anything. Between job, volunteer, and home responsibilities, people have limited time to complete even the smallest of tasks. From bill management to real estate searches, everything they do is done online. In fact, the Real Estate profession is coming into its own when it comes to 360 virtual tours.

Marketing real estate is not an easy job, especially when people are trying to juggle personal and professional responsibilities in the shadow of having to move. Just ten years ago, the only ‘shopping’ options for those in the market for a new home were limited to a review of still pictures of houses with limited written descriptions, followed by actual visits to dozens of properties. Having an interactive virtual tour in your marketing strategy brings a whole new level to the industry.

Look at your local competition’s marketing strategy. Do they consistently offer virtual tours for all of their listings? If more real estate companies provided virtual tours of homes for sale, then they would increase their sales exponentially. The use of virtual tours not only helps potential buyers narrow down the homes they want to see but it also helps to free up the real estate agent’s time. Agents can use virtual tours not only as lead generators for future listings, but also to weed out people who are not interested in some homes that the agent may have otherwise spent time introducing them to in person. Potential buyers have 24 hour access to all of the agent’s listings and when they finally call the real estate agent, they have a list of the houses they want to see up close. Less showings? Yes. More productive time management? Definitely.

Cheryl Waller
Treasure Coast Virtual Tours