Blog Tag: 360 panorama

Efficiencies of a Virtual Tour

Virtual tours are probably the most underused form of advertising for Real Estate today.  I know of no other media that gives as much information on homes for sale. One of the things that we do is to educate our realtors the benefits of virtual tours and when we get a sale we have them provide us with as much of the MLS information. This is the most important area for home buyer’s in their search for their home.  The information on square footage, the address, the price, school district, the year built, number of bedrooms, baths, lot size and more are all great pieces of MLS data to show on your virtual home tour. If you’re not asking for this information to accompany your virtual tour you’re missing out!  Be sure to incorporate that into your sale.  RTV is telling me that the new system will have a LOT more room for MLS data and pertinent information so we’re very excited to see the Fusion program.  Hurry RTV Hurry!!

The other thing we like to mention to our prospects and current clients is the sheer amount of savings one gets over the course of the life of a virtual tour. We just had a customer come over to us from another virtual tour company and he always uses virtual tours.  He told us that on average he saves a half to full tank of gas every time he orders a virtual tour. Now that’s savings! It makes sense too. Wouldn’t it make sense to show the virtual tour first to eliminate unnecessary visits? Time is another area that you will save; look at how long it takes to drive around showing homes for sale that maybe the buyer does not like. If you estimate the cost by the hour, the virtual tours pay for itself in the first week hands down!

Finally we like to educate our customers on the savings they will experience on their advertising. It is expensive to advertise in print today, and with the low return on the cost of print, it only makes sense to advertise homes for sale with a virtual tour. So what are you waiting for everyone! Start training your customers and prospects like we do on the efficiencies of a virtual tour. Good luck out there! 

Ed Marksberry
Website coming real soon!
Order a virtual tour today: 866-947-8687

A Few Virtual Tour Photo Tips

I have done a few virtual tours now and figured out a few tricks that improve the quality of the tour with my equipment. Believe it or not, I use my old Nikon Coolpix for shooting our real estate virtual tours. It has the advantage of a somewhat wide-angle lens and decent quality pictures.We find the RTV rotator and virtual tour software system pretty easy to use and a perfect fit for shooting indoor and outdoor panoramas with much more accuracy than our previous hand held system.
The first few virtual tours I took the camera at eye level. It turned out that I often had a lot of the ceiling in the pictures and many indoor shots had the furniture cut off at the bottom. Now I only extend the tripod to just above my belt. This gives a great balance between floor and ceiling in most of the shots. 
When I first started making these virtual tours with RTV I did not want to try to over think the process so I just used the automatic camera setting. It produced good results but sometimes you could see too much of the flash reflection on glossy surfaces and uneven light distribution throughout the room. Now I turn on all the lights in a room and shoot with natural lighting. I set the camera to automatic with the flash turned off. When you do this, make sure you use your tripod!! It is important is to use all light sources. I open the curtains and turn all lights on. In very dark settings I use two cheap painters lights I place behind furniture so that they give off some indirect light. The advantage with the natural light is that the white balance of the camera gives me an even color spectrum. Walls show more of their natural paint color. With the auto setting some of the pictures in an inside panorama will be taken without a flash and some will require the flash to get those perfect window shots. Doing this generates a series of pictures with different color temperatures but that’s OK because the RTV software does a pretty good job adjusting the brightness and color automatically. 
I have also found the 360 panoramas taken without a flash produce a more natural looking and more seamless pan. All in all, I am producing nicer virtual tours than all of my competitors and I am in total control of how I present my real estate listings. As a Realtor I like this control and it helps me in marketing all my properties with nice virtual tours for reasonable cost. A HUGE thanks to the entire team over there at RTV for making and maintaining such a great virtual tour platform that is easy to work with.  We’re looking forward to the new system!!
Malte Strauss
Southern Realty Enterprises, Inc.
Broker – Realtor

Longwood, FL