Blog Tag: virtual tour business

Forward Thinking and Staying Positive

Nova Scotia Virtual ToursGreetings fellow RTV providers and family. It’s been almost 10 weeks since you’ve heard from your Nova Scotia virtual tour provider, but I think of you often and know you’re “with me”.

I’d like to share a personal story with you. A story of hope, change and strength. I share this to motivate you, to inspire you and to remind you – to never give up.

10 weeks ago on Sunday night we had a house fire at our home. My right hand and leg were burned, trying to put the fire out. Most of you know, I prepare a monthly real estate magazine and my deadline to the printer was the following day. The printer was sympathetic and accommodating providing me with 5 extra days to submit my files. I finished my magazine in 3 days with one hand.

Thankfully, my daughter was not home at the time, but for the next 3 weeks she helped dress me, bathe me and sat by my side during numerous dressing changes. She has amazing strength.

Less than 4 weeks after the fire my fiance died suddenly and unexpectedly. Again I was at deadline time with my magazine. Again the printer accommodated offering extra time, which I did not take. Work was my solace, my comfort. I kept putting one foot in front of the other, concentrating on my responsibilities, refusing to let grief get the better of me.

My family and friends (including Jason) have been there offering support, comfort and understanding. A part of me would like to say “I couldn’t have got through this without them” but… in my heart I believe, that even if I had been completely alone – I could have. Strength is a choice I make every day.

We get to go home in a couple of weeks and there will be many changes. The house looks different, Shannon won’t be there and as uncomfortable as hotel living has been, I believe the reality will be inevitable once we finally step through those doors. I’m ready for that.

I spend my days (and half the night) working, and when I’m not, I’m reading/researching and considering new goals and ambitions.  I follow the RTV blog and the Facebook page, and although I don’t have high speed to enjoy the webinars I look so forward to all the exciting changes in virtual tour software available and coming with RTV.

When written in Chinese the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters – one represents danger and the other represents opportunity.

Remember RTV family, strength, perseverance and positive attitude is a CHOICE. No matter what happens – put one foot in front of the other, keep moving forward and look for the opportunities. 2012 is just around the corner and I have BIG plans, goals to accomplish and dreams to realize.

Nancy Bain

http://www.supernovastudios.ca/
Order a virtual tour: 902-298 0052


An RTV Testimonial

When I decided to launch my virtual tour photography business the first action I took was to look for a 360 tour company who could provide the technical and marketing support I knew I needed. I must say I did an excellent job in selecting RTV.

The support staff, especially Ben Knor has provided service far beyond my expectations; and I expect a lot!! Every question I posed was responded to in clearly, concisely, and in most instances in less than 24 hours. Ben’s patience with my never ending questions was incredible. RTV provides an abundance of technical and brilliant looking marketing materials and has an amazing support team that has been extremely helpful to me in improving my visibility and my photographic techniques.

There is not another virtual tour company out there that provides the kind of support I have been given. To say “I highly recommend RTV” seems like a gross understatement.

Ken
Furesz Media
Raleigh Virtual Tours
http://www.reality360phototours.com/

Order a virtual tour: 919-426-5556


White Mountain NH Virtual Tours are Back

SuiteView Virtual Tours is located in the beautiful White Mountains of New Hampshire and serves all of Northern New England (NH, ME, VT, and MA.)  We are a local virtual tour company with an understanding of the real estate market while still having the expertise of the largest Virtual Tour Provider in the world behind us…yes that’s you RTV! We are veteran owned and operated.  That means we are willing to go the extra mile for the customer.

SuiteView has recently re-started operation here in New Hampshire. We previously operated before as Total 360 view, but several military deployments put the virtual tour business on the back burner. We are experienced hobbyists who have taken our virtual tour photography seriously and have kept up on all the technology.   Now we are specializing in commercial and residential real estate photography in Northern New England.  With the assistance of the virtual tour software, hardware and the expertise of the technical staff at RTV we are at the cutting edge of virtual tour technology.  In addition, our experience shooting digital photography for over 10 years and our use of state-of-the-art photography software such as Photoshop, Lightroom, and our new “Secret Weapon” will enable us to provide our clients with the most professional virtual tours and still photography available.

We offer high definition virtual tours and beautiful high resolution still images enhanced to show off residential or commercial properties for real estate agents and brokers.  In addition, we are uniquely positioned to photograph businesses such as restaurants, hotels, resorts, hospitals for their web sites, brochures, etc.

Chris & Cathy St. Marie
SuiteView Virtual Tours
Littleton Virtual Tours
www.suiteviewvirtualtours.com
Order a virtual tour: 603-991-0713 
Text us 24/7 at 603-991-0713


Working From Home – Is this the best use of my time?

We travel coast to coast with our virtual tour business so we have developed a finely tuned system for living on the road. There is a strange phenomenon that we have noticed — when we are on the road, we get more work done, have more balance in our lives and make as much if not more money. When we are living out of suitcases and our car, we are forced to be methodical with our stuff and our time.

The time constraints of traveling somehow help us to streamline our work flow. Think about it…there’s no laundry to do, no cleaning, no big cooking, no making the bed or taking out the trash. We have no DVR on the road so we are forced to watch what’s on TV or turn it off.  Is it any wonder that we are giving up our apartment in 4 months so that we can travel full time?

When we are at home, it’s a different story. We are night owls so we do much of our work late at night. We usually shut our computers off around 10 or 11 pm and watch a little TV (well either a little TV or four episodes of Law and Order Special Victims Unit from our DVR).   I will set up in the office and then run clean the kitchen real quick before I start making calls. Well that and throw in a load of laundry…and put dinner in the crock pot. I eventually get to the computer but before I open SalesForce and my work email, I check Facebook one more time…well that and research Active.com to see when the next triathlon is…and read a few articles about how to train for a marathon that I will probably never run. On and on it goes until it’s noon and everyone I want to talk to is at lunch.

The key question I have to ask myself every day is simple…Is what I am doing the best use of my time right now? Notice the question was not, is this important but is this the best use of this particular moment in time. In sales, not every moment in time has the same value.

Our apartment photography business is aimed at providing high quality 360º virtual tours for businesses. Business owners have a strange tendency to be available during business hours only so that means that my sweet spot for catching a decision maker is somewhere between 10:00 and 3:00. I may get a few people earlier but chances they are doing their morning running around just like me. I may get some people after 3:00 but I have found that late afternoons generally find people running around to finish before the end of the day. With a finite set of prime hours, I have to make sure that I am doing the activities during those hours that will yield the greatest results/income.

It would be awesome if our phones rang off the hook with people wanting to order virtual tours but for now anyway, I have to prospect for new business. As the sales and marketing person for a virtual tour company, those prime daytime hours are for two things…Phone Time and Face Time. I will blog later about maximizing face time but for now let’s look at phone time.

Phone Time

To maximize my phone time, I need to sit down the day before and create a checklist so that I can start immediately and stay on task during the day. I use SalesForce as my contact management system and wish I was better at putting everything in there ahead of time but I work better with an old fashioned checklist. I put my calls on a legal pad that I set by my desk and I check off the boxes as I complete the task. Whatever works for you is fine but having a to-do list is vital to getting things done for me.

To be most efficient, I put the business name, contact person, website and phone number of the person I am to call right on my checklist. Anytime I make a phone call to a business, I pull up their website so I can be looking at it while I talk to them. Creating the list the night before familiarizes me with their website and expedites the time it takes for me to navigate it the next day.  Again, working from Sales Force might be more efficient but I have to do what works best for me! 

There is so much that I can do outside of those prime hours so I keep a sticky note near my computer with the question, “Is what I’m doing right now the very best use of my time?” If I find myself really distracted, then I put a reminder in my computer to pop up every hour or two that asks that question. If I am really not seeing the results I want in my sales, then I will examine my time even deeper.

As with everything else, you can’t expect what you don’t inspect so I learned a great way to be accountable for my time. I print out a daily calendar with 30 minute intervals for my prime hours. I write down what I think I can and should accomplish during the day. I then set a timer to go off every 30 minutes and when it dings, I write down what I was doing during the previous 30 minute period. This really forces me to examine how I am using my time and identify the rabbit holes that distract me .

Instead of getting to the end of the day and wondering where the time went, a little planning and prioritizing the night before can really work wonders to your bottom line. Because after all, when you are a business owner, you aren’t paid for how much you do, you are paid for how much you sell.


The Glorified Business Card – Your Website?

How many times have you gone in a store and had a salesperson approach you with the same question, “May I help you?”  The standard answer is usually, “No thank you, I’m just looking” even if you are there for a specific reason.  Until we have decided that we want to do business with someone, we don’t want to be engaged or hounded by them.

As the internet has evolved, so have our expectations for websites.  Remember when people used to ask you if you HAD a website?    Now having a website is a given — if you have a phone number and a business card, you probably should have a website.  The internet has provided us a virtual mall where we can browse around and get a real understanding of our options before actually actually engaging the services of a particular business.

The problem is that many websites today are nothing more than a glorified business card.  The days of just putting pictures and text on your website and asking people to decipher your message are over.  We are so inundated with data that we no longer want to sift through pages of information to find out who you are and what you charge.  As I research prospective customers for our virtual tour business, I am amazed at how often I have to search multiple pages just to find the phone number for the facility much less the name of someone to talk to.  Now granted, I am on the website trying to get this information so that I can sell our virtual tour services to them but MOST people are on a company’s website as potential customers for THEIR services.

Whether we are talking about healthcare facilities or taking high end vacation rental photos or residential real estate, there is no shortage of competition for business in today’s market.  Most people use internet searches to create a “short list” of options to call later.  I know that’s what I do.  Once I have created a short list, I go back and review all the detailed information to help me further narrow down my choices.  Most of the time, I want a quick overview from the home page that answers my basic questions — who is this business, what do they do, what makes them special and who do I need to talk to if I am interested.

A virtual tour is a one click way to answer many of those questions.   If the information on the home page interests me, I will then go on to read the rest.  By providing an automatic overview of the program, home or business, the virtual tour allows the prospective customer a chance to walk around without a pesky salesman asking “Can I help you?”