Blog Tag: 360 tour business

From Viewer to Customer

Including clear calls to action in your virtual tour:

“If you build it, they will come.” The famous line from the movie Field of Dreams seems like it should apply to 360 virtual tours, too—if you create a fantastic and compelling virtual tour, then visitors will show up to see it.

This is definitely true. But you want your viewers to do more than just watch the tour. You want them to act on what they’ve seen: book a stay in your hotel or resort, rent your vacation property, look into purchasing your homes for sale, or become a paying customer of your restaurant, museum, or other type of establishment.

Viewing your virtual tour helps to convince people that they have what you want—but don’t forget to include a way for your viewers to act on their convictions. Here are some tips for building calls to action into your tours.

Introducing: Your Business
Your business virtual tour should start out by informing viewers about you and your business, as well as whatever property you’ll be showing on the virtual tour. You can do this by listing your name, your company name, and your contact information at the start of the virtual tour, either as a caption or text overlay, or by recording a personal welcome message as a tour intro.

If you record a welcome video, keep it brief and to the point. Introduce yourself, offer a sentence or two about the property or business, and let viewers know how they can learn more (by contacting you!).

Leveraging Fusion’s AMAZING Hot Spots
Including hot spots in your virtual tour, such as identifying features in a virtual floor plan, is a great way to convey more information about your property. You can also embed hot spots at strategic points in your tour that contain pop-out contact information, with clickable email or website links, or click-to-call links for mobile tours.  Try linking directly to your facebook fan page at the end of your virtual tour or even allow users to click to book now or purchase!

Curtain call
Finally, be sure to feature your contact information at the end of your virtual tour. This information will remain on the screen once the tour is completed, making it easy for visitors who have just viewed your stunning imagery to take action immediately.

RTV, Inc – Hotel Photography
Virtual Tour Software & Digital Marketing Training
Order virtual tours:  866-947-8687

Tax Time & Virtual Tour Business

It’s been said that the IRS Tax code is about ten times bigger than the Bible but the difference is that the Tax Code doesn’t contain any good news.  In the Bible, Jesus said, “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.”  Many people dream of owning their own business but do not really have a plan for determining if that business is going to be viable.  In looking at a starting a virtual tour business, it’s important to look at long range profitability as well as short term viability. 

If you are considering starting a 360 tour business, look not only at the long term profitability but also the short term expenses involved in start up.  One of the big downfalls for small businesses is not being prepared for taxes at the end of the year.  Because we are self employed, we knew what our end of year income was on 12/31 and because Greg does such a great job as the CFO of our virtual tour business, I also knew exactly what our expenses were for the year.  Last week, I gathered all the information for our taxes and did a preliminary estimate of what our tax situation will be.

2011 was our first full year in the virtual tour business so we had no idea what we would owe in taxes therefore we did not send in quarterly estimated payments.  With much anticipation and a little apprehension, I calculated our taxes and realized that we are going to end up writing a pretty good check to Uncle Sam.  At first I was unhappy that we didn’t have enough write offs to offset more of the taxes but in retrospect, I am pretty excited.

Owing taxes means that we made a significant profit in our first full year running a virtual tour business.  We shot 350 virtual tours in 31 states last year so we have almost 39,000 BUSINESS miles that we can write off for the year.  At 51 or 55 cents a mile, that is a significant write off.  We are able to write off our phones, internet, meals, uniforms, advertising, supplies…if you own your own virtual tour business, you know that the list goes on.  Even after all of the deductions, we still owed a good bit.  As hard as it is to write a big check to the IRS, our hope is that we owe twice that much next year because as small business owners, we only pay taxes on our PROFIT!