Blog Tag: 360 virtual tour

A New Way to Market….or is it?

Virtual tours have been utilized in the real estate industry for over 10 years now.  They allow the buyer to view a property in more detail than what a still photograph can offer.   Other industries are realizing the benefits to the consumer of this type of interactive digital marketing.  Internet marketing is growing at a phenomenal rate.  Companies realize they must have a web presence to compete in a competitive marketplace. 

Think about the last time you wanted to find a restaurant, purchase spa services or book a hotel.  Where was the first place you looked – the yellow pages, the newspaper – I am willing to bet it was the internet.  If everyone is going there to find what they need, if you have something people want to buy, it makes sense to be there. 

80% of internet shoppers say images are imperative when deciding to buy or use a company’s product or services. (2006 Pew Internet & American Life Study) In cyberspace, a site with an interactive virtual tour will receive 38% more views than a competitor’s site that is lacking media. (2006 Pew Internet & American Life Study).

A virtual tour allows the viewer to see what you have to offer from their desktop.  How about a custom made suit?  Our Dallas virtual tour company recently created a virtual tour for RW Furr Clothiers. Rex Furr has been making fine custom apparel since 1971 for executives and other successful professionals.  He will soon update his website to showcase his store.  He is miles ahead of his competition. 

If the business has visual appeal to the customer, a 360 virtual tour can help to market that product.  Think out of the box.  After starting Pro360 Virtual Tours four years ago, I could not wait to fine tune our product and start calling commercial businesses.  Since then we have added wineries, bed and breakfasts, vehicle transport trailers, golf courses, restaurants, hospitals, doctor offices and retail clothing stores to our list of customers. 

When I take the time to pick up the phone and call a business I think would be a great fit for a virtual tour, the response I hear most often is…”I never thought about that, but it sounds like a great idea”.  They may or may not have it in the budget today, but by planting the seeds we will reap the harvest.

Let’s plant those seeds now and get ready for RealTour Fusion!  Thanks RTV for thinking out of the box and giving us the best virtual tour software on the market. 

Now that your thinking cap is on… who are you going to call?

Dallas - Fort Worth Virtual Tour Company

Lisa and Michael Castro

Dallas – Fort Worth Virtual Tour Company
Local – 817-676-7176

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

Consistent Approach to Property Marketing

How property marketing was presented just a few years ago

Today the world of Real Estate marketing is radically different from just a few years ago.  Back then on-line 360 virtual tours  with a small set of pictures on a limited size screen was a marketing plan that could sell houses with diligent follow up from your neighborhood Realtor.

Internet property exposure has changed the process radically

Today bandwidth considerations are much more permissive enabling technologies that absorb the viewer into a more complete visualization of the home.  Virtual Tours use all types of marketing phrases for photography techniques, engaging technologies and delivery techniques. There are 360 degree panoramic images, Photoshop retouches, traffic reporting for your virtual tour, marketing plans, floor plans, video clips, HD and full screen delivery and HDR imaging just to name a few and 101 different other ways to present a home to home hunters on line.  The Realtors role has changed to being an expert advisor in the process of buying a home and an expert in negotiating the financial aspects of a home purchase.  Developing a compelling property marketing plan is a challenge to accomplish with all the other demands placed on a Realtor.

A lot of features but no real plan to build a complete property marketing plan

Many Realtors realize that virtual tours are a central piece to the marketing plan for a listing today but all too often virtual tours are just a set of images with modern bandwidth demanding features but no real delivery plan behind the images.  A Realtor should have a marketing strategy that ties all of their tools in to a cohesive system.  A marketing system that addresses the prospective buyer’s questions during the internet search,  at the point of interest and in casual meetings with interested prospective buyers or other Realtors is needed to create a consistent message about the listing that is easily identifiable no matter what Realtor is showing the property or what research is being done on the internet.  With statistical data being the constant factor the variables are the Realtors property description and the photography images available on line and in the virtual tour.  The message in these subjective elements of the plan need to be synchronized so complete marketing system can be a compelling orchestra of information.

A Complete Property Listing Marketing Plan

While we take care to discuss each element of a listing marketing plan below, the key fundamental of a successful system is cross-marketing.  Cross-marketing of programs ties all the different programs together and validates interest by reinforcing one marketing source with another.  People like to hear the same story from different sources, even if those sources originated from the same place!

During the Internet search

Just posting a virtual tour on the internet isn’t enough anymore.  Home hunters are looking at multiple sources of information that validate property credibility.  Sometimes when an outstanding listing is available it gets cross-marketed by other Realtors that want to increase their chances of selling the favorable property to their clients.  This is a good thing in some ways but can be confusing if the message about the property isn’t consistent.  The end result can be loss of potential buyer that couldn’t sort out the selling message of the Realtor and the selling message of the property images made available by the selling Realtor.
The best option is to launch a desk top internet marketing program that includes posting at the top internet home hunting sites.  Exposure Elements offers a comprehensive Exposure Engine to solve this challenge through controlled distribution.  The reasonable cost saves your nights and weekends from the drudgery of listing posting hell as well.  We post to 80+ sites for you and include cross marketing for all the marketing services you choose at the time you book the virtual tour.

At the point of interest

While while the best virtual tours can drive flocks of interested potential buyers to your property it is impractical or just plain impossible to meet every interested party.   Most Realtors use the “property flyer” to solve this challenge. A printed sheet that varies from a 50 cent/sheet budget color copy to productions that can cost as much as $3.00 or more per flyer.  The added challenge is that the fliers can drain out of the flier box at a rate of 30-50 per week or more without leaving any clue to who was interested or taking the fliers.  There is no measurable return on this investment and no way to engage with an interested party.

At Exposure Elements we recommend that Realtors consider using an SMS mobile marketing tool that we offer to provide an accountable and a measurable alternative to the flier.  Our TxT2Look single property mobile website delivers images, a detailed property description, a realtor background and even a link to a mobile virtual tour or YouTube video.  This tool was developed to replace the old single property website that is still being used today by uninformed realtors.  Single property mobile websites get your listing on a home hunters phone providing that  valuable second look that can engage a buyer well after they have made the visit to the home and neighborhood.  It provides information to interested parties 24 hours a day and NEVER runs out.  It presents the information in a data format so it can be easily forwarded.  The service uses SMS text messaging to deliver initial data and to simplify access to the mobile internet.  SMS text messaging is found on 98 percent of the mobile phones in the US today and virtually every cell phone sold today supports SMS text messaging. An included reporting feature can give you the validation and valuable insight to visitor interest and as a silver lining, it will capture their mobile phone number for follow up.   If this home isn’t the right home for the mobile inquirer you may be able to help them find another home that will work for them.

In situations where Information on Demand is required

Anywhere and everywhere the listing Realtor goes they encounter potential home buyers that could be the buyer for their listing.  Usually the common response is to send the interested person home to view the property on the internet.  The problem here is twofold.  In today’s world of information access at your mobile phone anytime, people want information now and are becoming accustomed to getting it.  Being without an engaging tool to share your listing at the moment can potentially lose a buyer and most assuredly can cause you to lose the opportunity to get that interested persons ongoing communication.
Sending people home to see a property on the internet is a lost cause today as they likely forget and move on to another listing.  Sending them to a desk top website on their mobile phone is another lost cause that will only frustrate your potential home buyers.  The Exposure Elements Single Property Mobile Website solves these challenges and does it in an elegant and engaging way using SMS text messaging to access the mobile internet.

Validation of marketing efforts is imperative to a successful marketing plan

Quality images, single property mobile websites, a cohesive distribution strategy, virtual tours,  these are all elements of a marketing strategy that when put together correctly can drive home hunters to your listing BUT they are not worth much if you can’t prove that they are working!  Reporting mechanisms need to be in place to monitor the success of the strategy and understand what parts of the plan are driving the interest.  As I mentioned above, the single property mobile website has some very good reporting tools included in the service delivery but that isn’t enough.  Exposure Elements also offers a virtual tour reporting tool that provided weekly reports showing the number of visitors by day, which tour images are the most popular and how those people are getting pointed to the virtual tour.   With the ample amount of data proving that home shoppers want to see virtual tours it becomes a no brainer to point all your marketing efforts towards the virtual tour ultimately providing the validation or rejection of marketing sources and your property listing strategy.

Tying all the services together to create one cohesive and consistent marketing service

In review, the three components for a successful marketing plan are internet property marketing at real estate portal sites, internet property marketing at the point of interest and an internet property marketing tool that is easily accessible to a Realtor in his/her daily public activities.  Creating a unified approach using cross-marketing techniques that tie the images, the property description and the property statistics into one consistent message focusing on the same value points eliminates home hunter confusion and ultimately builds buyer confidence in the property.   Adding validation reporting that can be delivered to the seller increases seller confidence and validates the value of the marketing system by proving the marketing plans effectiveness.

Exposure Elements is a growing Silicon Valley Virtual Tour and SMS Mobile Marketing company wrapping these services together to create the first complete property exposure marketing company in Northern California.  We are committed to creating a better, more efficient method of marketing property that adds value to everyone in the selling process.  To order an Exposure Elements listing marketing program in the San Francisco Bay Area call us at 408-440-2278 or 408-431-0461.

Silicon Valley Virtual Tours
Order a virtual tour: 408-431-0461

text Stan to 43766 for contact info and text business card

Making Lemonade – The Turn Around

Hello RTV. We all know that every once in awhile we’re going to run into a realtor that gives us a hard time based on the price of our virtual tours.  These same people are probably selling million dollar homes and driving around in a 60K vehicle, but drive you nuts about a one to two hundred dollar marketing tool. What’s up with that?  Well remember folks, people buy based on EMOTION.  Let’s talk about a technique that Jim Blue uses to turn the tables on them.

One thing that Jim likes to do at a realtors office is ask these same people what other forms of advertising they’re doing.  Most of them will always point to print forms of advertising.  When they do Jim has an open door to show them how much money they are throwing away on these other forms of advertisement.  It’s simple math at this point.  Jim points out that classified ads cost A LOT on a per-day breakdown (like usually $100 for 3 days of local advertising), then he breaks it down to cost per day vs. cost per day for 365 days of internet worldwide exposure.  When he’s done with that part he pulls up a hit report for one of our elegant looking HD 360 virtual tours and shows the traffic report. When this is up on the screen Jim asks them how many showings the ad brought in and also points out how nice it is to send this hit report to the seller each week.  At this point the realtor begins thinking and scratching their head a bit.

Jim then goes back to the HD virtual tour and points out that 360 virtual tours can also work as excellent lead generators for realtors. “Wow honey look at what Joe Realtor did for the Smith’s house down the road! Look at how amazing these photos are! Maybe we should call up Joe” When is the last time you ever heard of someone looking at a classified ad and saying, “Wow! Now that’s an awesome marketing tool!”  Jim tells them that for the cost of one three day classified ad he can market their property on hundreds of websites until the listing has sold. With the help of our Exposure Engine of course!

Most of the time the turn-around comes when Jim asks them if their using any real estate books.  Many of them state that they are and admit to paying around $200-$500 per full color page ad.  Here is where you point out again that the virtual tour never expires, while the book will have a shelf-life of a month or so depending on publication and area.  NAR pointed out last year that nearly everyone is starting their search online so why on earth would you put the majority of your marketing efforts per home offline? You’ll find that if you show these realtors how they can use their marketing dollars MORE WISELY to appeal to more buyers in all phases of the active ‘shopping process’ you will turn these price gripers into good lifetime customers. After all…they just want to save precious marketing dollars!

Jim Blue & Jason LaVanture
Local – 231-946-1360
Toll Free – 877-941-TOUR (8687)

Traverse City Virtual Tour Company

Panorama Jacks Question Corner

Dear Jack,

I hope you are doing well.  I recently connected with several real estate offices that are sending me to do virtual tours on ALL of their listings!!!  However, I am having a potential (business destroying) issue… I am hoping you can help me quickly!

The pictures I take look good (I think), but then when my clients use the pictures in flyers, several are complaining that the pictures come out too dark.  This happened before, so I increased the lighting both during shooting and editing but I am still getting complaints!  Since this is a test with these new offices and they potentially could make or break me… I really need some help.

Here is some basic information:

Camera – Canon 50D with Tokina 12-24 Lens

I shoot my virtual tours in sRaw1+S (jpeg) at about 3267×2168 pixel raw and 2352×1568 pixel jpeg

I shoot in AV mode and adjust the image for the location and then edit in Canon Digital Photo Professional

I convert and save the images to jpg at 800×532 pixel for emailing to the agents.

I see this as a potential threat to my business if I can’t provide printable pictures for the agents and the word spreads. 

Best regards,


Dear Ron,

It seems like you are making a lot of extra work for yourself.  This work might be worth it if you were shooting expensive business virtual tours.  For a real estate tour you want to be quick, efficient, and provide a product that matches or slightly exceeds the price you are asking. 

First of all, I wouldn’t work with RAW until you have had time to experiment with it and figure out the exact processes you need to provide the results you are looking for.  RAW files are very large, and take extra work to process.  These files then need to be converted into JPEG images when you finish editing them.  The advantage to RAW is that the pictures are uncompressed and unformatted so that you can make true color and image edits.  For the type of virtual tours you are shooting JPEG format will work best for now.  Everything presented in the IMAGE webinars has been done using the JPEG format.  I have not promoted using RAW because it is more involved and not necessary designed for the typical virtual tour.

Secondly, I don’t suggest taking the time to do a custom white balance in every room.  Typically, I set my WB to the primary light source in the room and go from there.  I know that in our last IMAGE webinar Bryan Peterson shared with us that he leaves his WB on the cloudy setting most of the time.  The settings that you are using on your camera look great, keep them as is, but avoid shooting in RAW until you feel comfortable working with it. I would recommend that you watch the IMAGE webinar “It’s Magic 2”.  This webinar covers basic picture editing and illustrates numerous simple and quick techniques to get you on the right path.   
As always, it is important to provide a high quality product efficiently.  In the end the product you deliver needs to match what the customer purchased and paid for. When you have spare time, use it to improve your current photography skills and to experiment with more advanced techniques. On the job experimenting will often add unnecessary stress.  Do what you know and do it well.  Then in your spare time learn something new.  Practice the new skill until you are efficient at it and confident in your ability.  Then incorporate the new skill into your business.