Blog Tag: virtual tour company

The Entrepreneur Lifestyle

Yesterday in Charleston, SC, the weather was beautiful!  It was warm and sunny with a great breeze.  Our agenda for the day was pretty simple — sleep in, go for a walk on the beach, go kayaking, go bike riding on the beach, take a nap, go out to dinner.  And the best part of the day was after my nap when I got a call from a new virtual tour client who is probably going to book us for a really big job photographing even more vacation rental virtual tours!

Of course I documented all of that on Facebook which often leads my friends to say they envy our lifestyle.

What I DIDN’T document quite so thoroughly was that for the past 30 days, we have worked from 7 am to 11 pm every single day (with the exception of our weekly Sabbath day of rest).  This is not unusual for us but we have had a particularly big vacation rental photography job this past month that kept us busier than we’ve ever been in such a short time.  We have worked non-stop every day and woke up exhausted to do it all over again…day after day after day.  Honestly, I haven’t had time to check Facebook much less post about our busy days.

Such is the roller coaster life of a virtual tour provider and entrepreneur.  We both laughed out loud today when a Congressman talking about the minimum wage said someone who works 40 hours a week should be guaranteed to make a decent living.  If we only worked 40 hours a week, our business would close!  Sure there are days when we take off and enjoy ourselves and sure we get to choose our own hours but all that means is that we choose to work until 10 or 11 pm instead of getting up at 5 or 6 am to put in the 14 hour days that it took for us to get this job done.

Don’t get me wrong – I love our national virtual tour business and the trade off of being able to travel and see the country makes it worth the long hours. But if you are envying our entrepreneurial lifestyle as you look at my posts from yesterday, don’t forget that it is those busy days that make yesterday possible

Hotel Photography & Virtual Tours


Using Virtual Tours to Market Assisted Living Facilities

You know that your assisted living facility or nursing home is a great place for your residents to live—but does the rest of the world know? One of the best ways to showcase the qualities of your care facility is through professional assisted care photography and a high quality virtual tour.

A well-produced virtual tour is an excellent marketing tool for assisted living communities and senior homes. You’ll not only be able to let your website visitors experience your facility through stunning images and video, but you’ll also reach people who may not have found your website through other channels, such as YouTube.

The benefits of virtual tours and professional photography for assisted living facilities:

The decision to move to an assisted care community or nursing home is a major one for seniors and their families. Residents will be leaving their homes behind, and they’re looking for reassurance that your facility will be comfortable, inviting, and will meet their needs.

With a virtual tour, potential residents can view your nursing home or assisted living community from the comfort of their own homes. In addition, their families will be able to enjoy an interactive experience, and know that their loved ones will be in good hands with your facility.

What should your assisted living virtual tour include?

Of course, one of the most important areas that seniors and their families would like to view is your bedrooms or living suites. Professional photography within a virtual tour can highlight the best features of your residents’ private spaces where they’ll be most comfortable.

You should also include all of your facility’s community areas, such as the dining room or cafeteria, recreation areas, entertainment centers, and pools or other fitness areas. Be sure to show all of the amenities and conveniences that make your assisted living community or nursing home unique. With a series of 360-degree panoramas you can include your outdoor spaces and grounds as well.

A great virtual tour can use background music, text descriptions, and even audio commentary to enhance the presentation and make it a truly immerse experience for seniors and their families.

Want to showcase your senior facility and help potential residents discover all you have to offer? Contact RTV today to learn more about getting a high quality virtual tour for your assisted living facility or nursing home.

Jason LaVanture
VP / Founder
http://www.RealTourVision.com
Order a virtual tour today: 866-947-8687
Assisted Care Photography & Virtual Tours


Mistakes to Avoid When Creating Virtual Tours

Whether you’re creating real estate virtual tours to entice buyers to your properties, or putting together a virtual tour for your business that will boost your online marketing and bring more customers in, you want your facility or property to look great on any screen. That’s why it’s important to get your virtual tour right the first time.

Avoid these common mistakes in creating a virtual tour, so you’ll end up with a visually stunning finished product that showcases the best of your property, and attracts more buyers and customers.

Mistake #1: Using your phone’s camera
It’s true that smartphone cameras have come a long way in terms of image quality. However, taking a professional-looking shot with a smartphone is difficult, if not impossible, for a few reasons. Most smartphone cameras don’t have a zoom feature, and it’s tricky to hold the “camera” still and at the right angle.For best results, you should use a high quality digital camera, and accessories such as a tripod and a panoramic tripod head attachment.

Mistake #2: Photographing “as-is”
Even if your business or property is clean and tidy, it’s important to realize that the camera easily picks up on—and often magnifies—dirt, stains, and other imperfections. Prior to shooting your virtual tour, take things from clean to immaculate with a fresh scrub, dust, and stain removal.

Mistake #3: Using too much (or not enough) natural light
A little bit of natural light can make a room look stunning—but too much will distort or swallow your photos. Incandescent lighting for a virtual tour is ideal, but the harsh glare of florescent light makes for poorly colored, washed out images.

When photographing a room where incandescent lights are not available, take the shots on a sunny day, at a time when the sun is not shining directly through the windows. Leave any florescent lights off, and use blinds or curtains to adjust for the best amount of natural light.

Mistake #4: Not taking test photos
With a digital camera, it doesn’t cost anything to snap extra shots. Take several test photos of a room to see how it looks through the camera lens—including the lighting, potential grime, and furniture arrangement. Then make any necessary adjustments before taking the final pictures.

Mistake #5: Incorrect use of panoramic shots
While some 360 panoramas can bring a lot to a virtual tour, in some cases it’s better to stick with straight images. Smaller rooms can appear distorted and disproportionate in panoramic shots—save them for large rooms and exterior photographs.

Mistake #6: Creating an image-only virtual tour
One of the greatest advantages of a virtual tour is the ability to combine high quality images with other media, such as text descriptions, narration, music, and full motion HD video. An interactive, multi-media virtual tour will perform better with your prospective buyers or customers than an image-only presentation. Take advantage of additional tools and features to help your virtual tours truly stand out.

Mistake #7: Relying on DIY techniques or poor quality virtual tour software
Often, a low-quality virtual tour can do more harm than good. Potential customers or buyers may be turned off by grainy, poorly shot images and a “homemade” presentation. However, a quality virtual tour made with professional tools such as RTV FusionMax 3 or Fusion HD+ will help you market your properties or your business across multiple channels with stunning, interactive virtual tours.

Contact RTV today to learn more about our powerful virtual tour software and professional photography services so we can create one for you.

Sincerely,

Team RTV
Virtual Tour Software & Digital Marketing Training
Order a virtual tour – 866-947-8687


KISS Floor Plans – Keep it Simple Stupid!

I hate being new at something.  I love learning new things but I hate that period between trying something new and being competent at it.

When I first saw the demonstration of Magic Plan floor plan software at the RTV national convention, I was blown away and immediately saw the value of adding floor plans to our vacation rental virtual tours.  I was very enthusiastic until my husband informed me that his plate was full with photographing and building virtual tours and that if we were going to add floor plans, I was going to have to learn how to use the software.

Another RTV virtual tour provider showed me how easy it was but I was intimidated and overwhelmed by the thought of learning something new.  I am NOT a detail person.  I am NOT a techie person.  I am NOT good at spacial orientation.  And like I said, I DON’T  like being new at something so I set the idea of offering floor plans on the back burner for almost a year.

One of our big clients called and asked if we could do floor plans for her 35 properties – I said no.  Then another of our big clients said they wanted to do floor plans for their 115 properties – I said maybe.  Then a huge client I have been trying to close for 5 years called and wanted to know if we could do floor plans for their 185 properties– and I said well of course we can and set out to figure out how to do floor plans.

The first one took me FOUR HOURS.  I could not figure out how the pieces fit together, I could not visualize how the doors and windows and plumbing fit.  The second one took me two hours but after about the third one, it all clicked.

In the past 30 days, we have done 76 floor plans so far!  For this client, we are doing mostly floor plans and still photography and on smaller condos or houses, I can get in and out of the house in not much longer than it takes Greg to shoot the stills. We just did a floor plan for a 12 bedroom house and I was finished in less than two hours even on that.

RTV provides us with the best virtual tour software available but just as importantly, they provide us with the tools and relationships we need to grow our business.  I would never have known about Magic Plan without RTV forging a relationship with them.  Floor plans are certainly not going to replace what we are currently doing but they are an additional weapon in our arsenal that has allowed us to take our business — and our income — to new levels.

Order Professional Hotel Photography Today!


Use Virtual Tours to Attract Your Clients

How a Real Estate agent differentiates a property from their competition is based on presentation.   Yes, price and curb appeal matters.  Real Estate marketing is about using Virtual Tours to attract the client.   The Virtual Tour is to qualify the client.

Think about this – when you go to buy a new car you get a series of TV and media ads that position the car in the best light. Maybe you are spending $15-50K for that car. Notice the emotional uplift you get by being attracted to that car via great professional photography and the media presentation.

In Real Estate Marketing ,  the use of a virtual tour could use every feature option in the book just for the technology ‘s sake. The key marketing aspect becomes is this what the client wants to see to be attracted to the property.

One of my clients appreciates this type of marketing coaching.  Recently, Chad received a listing for a $1.7M home in San Mateo, CA.  The URL is www.6pinecrestterrace.com.   We discussed the client profile and began to frame the features that needed to be turned on and off within the virtual tour to help the prospect be comfortable.  Then we created only quality photography of key aspects of the home and not the entire place.

If it weren’t for the flexibility of our virtual tour software I could not be giving Realtors the consultations that I do.   The result is a rather simple presentation of a $1.7M home that is not over the top.  This attracts the client profile for the home that restored within the classic San Mateo Park area.   Simple is best many times.

Matt Swafford
San Mateo Virtual Tours
www.swaffordimaging.com
Order a virtual tour: 650-346-2752