On Maui, the Valley Isle, internet marketing is crucial to the success of all Realtors (r). Living on Maui presents challenges in the real estate market, and the Realtors on this small island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean know just how important it is to market their listings on the internet. They realize that virtual real estate tours are truly the 7/24 open house and the best way to show mainland buyers their properties.
Buyers on the mainland spend a lot of time researching properties so that they can utilize their time to the max while on Maui. Many of them choose their Realtor based on the information they have researched on the internet. And so it goes – the internet is an important marketing tool, especially to the Realtors on the remote islands of Hawaii.
At a recent meeting of Realtors, one of my clients came up to me and told me an interesting story. He said that he was holding an open house at his latest listing and in walked a couple from the mainland. He offered to show them the house, but they politely explained that they would just explore on their own. They proceeded to walk through the home, making comments like “down the hall is the master bedroom”, and “downstairs are the rest of the bedrooms.” My client was amazed that they knew so much about a home that they had never been in. He talked with them for a while after they had seen the home and they explained to him that they had seen the house on the internet, liked it, and noted that it was one that they didn’t want to miss while on Maui. Then they told him that they “liked his Virtual Tour.” He was amazed!
When he finished relating this story to me he told me that he felt like a “Virtual Realtor.” Even though he is a repeat client, with my photos and virtual tours on many of his listings, I think that this experience really made him understand the importance of a virtual tour. He now says that he doesn’t understand why any Realtor would list a home and not hire a professional to do the photos and virtual tour.
Oh – – – did the couple buy the home? No, but my client now has this couple as his clients. Another reason to hire a professional virtual tour company – excellent photos and virtual tours draw the attention of the buyers.
Thank you RTV for having the best virtual tour software. I am proud to be part of your family.
Images by Shirlee
Maui Virtual Tours
So who do you sell your virtual tours to: real estate agents and brokers? Who else? No one yet? Well, that’s not a surprise really. Most virtual tour businesses are focused on the residential real estate side of the business. But just think of all the other possibilities…
As BakerB Solutions branched into a totally different market place we discovered that there is a lot more opportunity to make larger dollar (or Euro) deals with other types of tours. Specifically, in Europe, residential real estate is a difficult target market. However, Hospitality, Travel, Shopping and other non-conventional tours are where the money is. The typical 360 virtual tour can range from 500EU to 1000EU (which is around $650 to $1350). But the sales cycle is also much different. In the European market we have had to create “Practice Tours” to “show” our prospective clients what they can expect. The sale is much more of an educational sale on the capability as virtual tours are not as pervasive in that market.
The upside is larger deals that can lead to nice revenue. In fact BakerB Solutions has secured one Q19 shopping mall as a client. We have also secured an Interspar super market. And now we are talking about doing all 14 of the Q19 shopping mall locations and doing all European Interspar grocery stores as the company expands into other countries such as Croatia. The implication is huge! How are we selling this? Well a shopping mall has many stores. And the manager responsible with filling all of the spaces doesn’t always have time to travel to Spain or France to meet with clients. So we can give them the opportunity to present all the spaces available in a virtual tour. We can even change the tour as spaces are consumed or open up, or for Holidays like Christmas, Easter or even Oktoberfest. Each time we redo a spin it only costs 100EU. And that is a lot less expensive than spending hours walking through malls figuring out that a space will not work for a prospective tenant.
Oh…and on a recent trip to Vienna, Austria, I met with a general manager of the Interspar grocery store. We talked about adding their weekly sales flyer to the virtual tour for as little as 35EU per week. This is a simple upload of a PDF to the tour as a “Brochure” link. Although we might need to look into other options there, but the idea is sound. Each mall represents great opportunity for recurring revenue if you think outside the box and how you can help to satisfy a need. And as a side benefit, we recommended that the store put something in their print flyer that directed people to the virtual tour for more information on specials and coupons. After all, it costs money to print and mail, but an online flyer can be as big as you want! So instead of spending $25,000 each week mailing something to 120,000 people, reduce the size of the mailing (not the quantity) and push people to the tour. The side benefit is that everyone will see what we are doing and other businesses start to think about how BakerB Solutions can help them too!
As a result, we have put together an EU site for all of our prospects over seas. If you haven’t been to Europe, you might get a kick out of these tours and maybe even some ideas on how you might be able to bring in some extra deals. Just visit us at www.bakerb.eu and browse our sample tours! And be sure to send us your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Baker B Solutions
I’ve done presentations, fliers, cards, emails; all the advertising out there, but the best and more efficient advertising is word of mouth. Word of mouth has been Perfect Images best advertising campaign. And what makes this work?, Being always on top of the game. Working with a company that is always up-to-date with the latest virtual tour software and offer the best customer service out there. In the last couple of months Perfect Images has received over 10 new orders from customers that have heard about our company and the efficiency with what we work, and they have been all recommended by other Realtors. This is only possible with the support of a company like Real Tour Vision.
I am very excited about all the new services Real Tour Vision is offering to us virtual tour providers so that we in return can offer to our customers. We can now offer floor plans with our tours and with the new TMS system. We can now offer a much faster 360 virtual tour turnover time here in the Treasure Coast and much more is on the way. All of this combined gives the Real Tour Vision provider the very best in virtual tour technology at a faster pace than ever before.
We get a lot of compliments for our tours, but the best part of it is that we work with a company that is always there for us and is always improving its technology so we can be the number one virtual tour company!
Best decision I have ever made! Real Tour Vision thank you for your support.
Virtual Tours of the Treasure Coast
Today people are so busy that they don’t have time to do anything. Between job, volunteer, and home responsibilities, people have limited time to complete even the smallest of tasks. From bill management to real estate searches, everything they do is done online. In fact, the Real Estate profession is coming into its own when it comes to 360 virtual tours.
Marketing real estate is not an easy job, especially when people are trying to juggle personal and professional responsibilities in the shadow of having to move. Just ten years ago, the only ‘shopping’ options for those in the market for a new home were limited to a review of still pictures of houses with limited written descriptions, followed by actual visits to dozens of properties. Having an interactive virtual tour in your marketing strategy brings a whole new level to the industry.
Look at your local competition’s marketing strategy. Do they consistently offer virtual tours for all of their listings? If more real estate companies provided virtual tours of homes for sale, then they would increase their sales exponentially. The use of virtual tours not only helps potential buyers narrow down the homes they want to see but it also helps to free up the real estate agent’s time. Agents can use virtual tours not only as lead generators for future listings, but also to weed out people who are not interested in some homes that the agent may have otherwise spent time introducing them to in person. Potential buyers have 24 hour access to all of the agent’s listings and when they finally call the real estate agent, they have a list of the houses they want to see up close. Less showings? Yes. More productive time management? Definitely.
Treasure Coast Virtual Tours
Three years ago I signed up with Real Tour Vision with the idea of developing a web site featuring virtual tours of my favorite Southwestern Colorado ghost towns. I learned the virtual tour software and bought 30 virtual tour credits. Two weeks ago I completed my 28th ghost town virtual tour and sent an e-mail blast to my personal mailing list telling everyone that http://www.hauntedattimberline.com was complete. July brought the heaviest traffic to the site so far, with an average of 30 visitors a day and a total of nearly 8500 hits. August is off to an even stronger start.
At first I made the mistake of taking all the photos in my spins at a reduced pixel resolution. I figured I could get more spins on a single memory card and that the additional detail wouldn’t matter because the photos are reduced in size for the tours anyway. But I should have taken them all at the full 5 Megapixel capacity of my camera. I found that oftentimes, after I looked at the spins, I could create great still images just by stitching together a couple of the 12 images used to create a spin. At the reduced pixel rate I lost too much resolution for full-sized images. So somewhere around my 10th tour I got another large memory card and started shooting all the spins at full resolution. Some of my best stills have come from the spins.
Another mistake I made early on was doing too many spins. Just two or three great spins of the best ghost town remains have the greatest impact. There is plenty of detail in these deserted buildings and streets, and you don’t want a lot of icons interfering with the picture content. When you have such a wonderful “field” of data, there’s no point in trying to capture too much. Just capture the best.
At some of the ghost towns I also took video and created short “video tours” of mines, old houses and brief walks around town. You access most of these by clicking on an icon from within the virtual tour. Looking back, I should have spent time creating more of these. The virtual tour provides the “big picture” of the town, and the videos allow you to “zoom in” and really explore the details with a related technology (though you lose control of the navigation with a video). I haven’t tried using Flash video yet, but it looks like RTV now lets you combine a virtual tour with Flash video, which opens some interesting possibilities. Flash video provides a lot of resolution in a small amount of bandwidth.
So far I’ve only done a single virtual tour for a real estate client, but I haven’t pushed for lots of clients yet. I have a full time computer job that keeps me really busy. But I plan on ramping that business soon.
Timberline Virtual Tours