In many companies, especially small businesses like our small hotel photography company
, the “sales and marketing department” is one and the same person. While I do wear both the sales and the marketing hats, marketing that doesn’t lead to sales really doesn’t help much in the long run. It’s easy for me to market our virtual tours because I believe in what we do. I’ve blogged a lot lately about how we found a company that allows us to do the things we love. But the bottom line is that if we weren’t able to make money doing these things, then our business would be nothing more than an expensive hobby
. Our venture would fail because we would have to find other incomes and not be able to devote ourselves to our customers.
In my last blog, I talked about having a vision for your business that was about more than just creating a stream of income and I believe that is essential to happiness in life. There is an great idea that if you find something you love, then the money will follow. If that were totally true, then I would be paid to eat watermelon and play with puppies all day. The real truth is is that a business that doesn’t make money will soon be out of business.n and play with puppies all day. The real truth is is that a business that doesn’t make money will soon be out of business.
As the sales and marketing department for our hotel photography company , I am responsible for identifying prospective clients to utilize our tours. Says Jon Spoelstra in his book, Outrageous Marketing, “The tough part of a sales call is not making the sale, it’s everything that leads up to it — making the appointment, juggling the schedule, preparing the material”. For me, there is a great deal of research that I do about my prospective customer before I ever introduce our company to them.
I was on a potential client’s website earlier this week learning as much as I could about their business before calling to see if they are interested in a healthcare photo shoot
. I noticed that they have links to virtual tours. I clicked on the link to view the tour but it took me to the GoDaddy website because the virtual tour company’s domain name was for sale.
It is possible that the tour this company had was made by someone with incredible passion. It could have had award winning photography and amazing features. But all that is really is a moot point because the company responsible for the tour is out of business and their tours have disappeared with them. I have to wonder if the healthcare company knows that their virtual tour links are really just GoDaddy advertisements. I’ll definitely be mentioning it!
One of the objections I hear from business owners occasionally is that they don’t need us to do their virtual tours
because they can do it themselves. We could have chosen do-it-yourself virtual tour software
but we chose RTV, Inc.
to be more than just our virtual tour software provider…we chose them to be our back office.
. services a network of thousands of virtual tour photographers who provide high definition, interactive virtual tours for more than 150,000 real estate agents and businesses all over the world. RTV, Inc. devotes their time to research and development of cutting edge technology and then provide that to us.
I have been an RTV provider in Delaware for over 8 years, and I have shot thousands of virtual tours with the Real Tour Vision system. RTV offers its providers great customer service. When I have a question or problem I just email or call in and I get a response quickly.
The other great thing about RTV is that they are constantly improving their software and system. This allows me to spend less time in the tour production process. They are also working on rolling out new features with their HD virtual tours and fullscreen V-Slide slideshows. These new features make it easier for me to sell tours to new customers, and to retain my existing customers. This alone makes RTV stand out and it is what makes them the leader in Virtual Tour technology.
Rehoboth Beach Virtual Tours
360 Visions Virtual Tours
Order a virtual tour today: 302-236-9876
Hello from the newbie folks, this is my first virtual tour blog as a tour provider with RTV.
I started my Port Moody virtual tour company this fall and I’m honored to do real estate photography, Virtual Tours in Vancouver, BC. This was quite a journey from the beginning, when the idea of combining my passion to photography and background in IT started transforming to a new business. Luckily for me, in RTV – provider of a killer all encompassing virtual tour company start up package, hosting and virtual tour software I found people who think the same way as I am and have already developed the product that works. And most importantly, they offered what I was missing – tools and techniques how to sell it. Their recorded RTV webinars are priceless and I did not see anything like this on other virtual tour provider websites. In return I would like to share some of my own mistakes and “tips and tricks” that I learned in the past as a photographer and in recent past as RTV provider. I hope my blog could be useful to people who just started in this field or looking into this opportunity and have a lot of questions.
So below some bits and pieces of what I’ve learned so far:
Virtual Tour Hardware -there is a HUGE difference in results of your work depending on type of lens that you use. Particularly when you are shooting for realtors, they need to show properties wide and open- something that you can’t do with regular lenses and they will hire you in many cases only because you can make even small and dark apartment look presentable on pictures. If you don’t have the camera yet and need to choose one, choose the combination that is already tested by RTV engineers and they have a lens file for your camera/ lens. This will significantly speed up the set up process in RTV.
Workflow – Always use laptop to check your pics after the shooting. I had an accident when I turned the autofocus off for one shot and forgot to switch it on afterwards, as a result all the following pics were out of focus. It took me hours to fix this tour in photoshop. When you shoot with wide lens, always check a viewfinder and find a position where your walls are straight, and parallel. Don’t use auto ISO settings, the camera may increase ISO to compensate for low light and you will get a noisy image. The most common choice – 200-400 for indoor and 100 outdoor.
Tough lightning- Shooting with aperture priority and flash disabled will give you an excellent results in room with even light, but will not work if you have bright background. For example, windows open on a sunny day. To resolve overexposed windows situation, try to use external flash or HDR photography. When you shoot HDR, make sure you set your EV points so you capture all spectrum of light, for example your darkest photo should not cut any of your shadows and brightest photo should preserve all highlights, use histogram on your camera to check it. There is a lot of excellent books available that can help you in the beginning, my favorites are “How to take photos that move houses” by Ed Wolkis and “Practical HDR” by David Nightingale.
And the most important what I’ve learned, -add a little art to your work, don’t make your pics dry and dull like a court evidence. Have fun!
Here is a recent virtual tour that I shot: http://rtvpix.com/RE-5061-EWTJGD-01
West Technolink– Vancouver Virtual Tours
Order a virtual tour: (877) 577-8687