Blog Tag: virtual tour photographer

Virtual Tour Photography Tips

When it comes to virtual tour photography, interior shots are some of the most important ones to get right so that your 360 virtual tour looks professional and clean. If you are just getting into virtual tour photography and are looking for some great tips for your upcoming virtual tour shoots, then this short but helpful article will help you out. Interior photography may at first sound easy, but can actually be quite challenging considering exposures and mixed lighting. Here are 10 tips for interior photography!

1. Try Different Perspectives – Taking multiple shots from different angles while focusing on the main aspects of a room will help you capture the best photos. You will also have a variety of images to choose from afterwards.

2. Use Correct Lighting – The goal is to make sure your photos are balanced with light and that there are no over or under-lit spots. Make good use of the natural light that is available inside, turn off lamps, play with shades, and test out the different types of lighting until you get a nice natural look in the shot. Natural and soft light is the best for interior photography and can usually be achieved during early morning or late afternoons.

3. Use A Wide Angle Lens – Using a wide angle lens for smaller rooms such as bathrooms can be very useful when trying to capture the entire setting.

4. Stage Your Shots – Make room in the area so that the photos look clean and organized. Less clutter will provide you with better professional looking photos. Rearrange accessories to focus on certain areas within the shot.  Got empty rooms?  Use www.virtualhousestaging.com

5. Keep Your Photos Straight – To prevent blur in your images, use a solid tripod and test out a timer to prevent any shaking and blurring. You want to make sure your photography is sharp and within focus.

6. Know Your Aperture – If you are shooting close-ups or focusing on certain objects in a space, it is very important to know how to use your aperture. The smaller your aperture number, the shallower your depth of field. The larger your aperture, the more in focus and sharp everything will be within the photo.

More about aperture here – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aperture

To become a professional virtual tour photographer, you will need to invest time into learning both the basics and advanced skills but the more you photograph, the better you will become. Keep testing out different methods and settings until you are familiar with your camera and the presets that work best for you and your photography. Have fun!

Team RTV

RTV, Inc
www.RealTourVision.com
Virtual Tour Software & Digital Marketing Training


Do you have what it takes to be a virtual tour photographer?

Are you looking to join a great virtual tour company while being in an exciting and upbeat industry? The virtual tour photography and real estate marketing business within RTV is full of great opportunities! We strive to be the best virtual tour software company and breed the highest caliber virtual tour photographers.  We prove that each year as we continue to grow and improve with the help of our customers.

With the professional assistance and guidance from RTV, you can become a well-established virtual tour provider in your area while starting a great career for yourself. This industry is not for every type of person but by looking over a few points below, you will be able to determine if becoming a virtual tour photographer is for you.

Have you had any previous photography experience? This is the most important question because a virtual tour requires professional photography in order to look good and impress clients. If you are a beginner with photography, this can also be a great way for you to gain experience and learn the skills needed to succeed within the virtual tour photography field.

360 degree panoramic photography is also a widely used format because this creates the full 360 virtual tour playback. Learning how to take these type of photos is a must and the team at RTV can assist you with finding your nodal point on your PanoHead and learning how to use the photo stitching software and camera advice.

Have you previously or do you currently run a small business? A virtual tour business is not just about the photography, but is also about managing clients and expenses, marketing, branding, and more. A business background can be a huge benefit when deciding to join RTV because you will have an upper hand when it comes to the competition in your area. If you have never ran a business, this can also be the perfect opportunity to learn how to do so. You will learn the entire business side of photography and real estate marketing by becoming a part of the fastest growing virtual tour company in this market.

Working full time may be a requirement, especially if things take off and your virtual tour business becomes successful right out of the gate.  Most RTV virtual tour providers however are able to work another job while getting the business off the ground during year one. Make sure that you have the time to dedicate or that you can manage a team to help you out.

Setting finances aside specifically for your new virtual tour business is also very important. Some investment will be required but the return is great and well worth it.

Are you a sociable and friendly type of person? RTV deals with both personal and business accounts and photographers must speak face to face with their clients. Sometimes this requires meeting up with a single property owner or even a large group of managers. It all depends on the job details. One thing to remember is that no matter what, you will always be handling business in person so you must be approachable and courteous. Making a great first impression is key and being comfortable around others will help you succeed.

These are some of the main topics to focus on and think about before starting up your own virtual tour business. Keep in mind that everyone has to start somewhere and we are dedicated to helping those who are experienced and new as well. The bigger the family at RTV, the better!

Get started today!
Start a virtual tour business
866-947-8687


Do pictures and Virtual Tours really matter?

My answer is YES.   When it comes to marketing Real Estate pictures DO matter…  But I sell Wisconsin Real Estate Photographic Services and Virtual Tours so you might suspect I might be just a little biased.

Is my opinion based on self interest or on facts?

Let’s look at some facts and see what your opinion will be based on those facts.

In the upper left corner of this post is a graph known as a histogram… this one has red bars.  The resolution isn’t very good so you can’s see the numbers but what is shown is pretty dramatic.  This graph is from REALTOR.com and it shows the number of ‘hits’ a listing received over a nine week period begining in the middle of April 2008.

This isn’t some listing from some far away place in some market different from Southeastern Wisconsin.  This is a listing right here in the Milwaukee area entered into the Greater Milwaukee Area MLS.

The property was listed in the middle of April but the sellers really weren’t quite ready yet.  Even though the listing needed some cleaning and painting and staging, the sellers and the REALTOR… especially the REALTOR… rightly thought the best thing to do was to get the property to the spring market as soon as possible.  The sellers thought that the work would be finished in a week.  A couple of exterior pictures were taken, the property went into MLS and then uploaded to REALTOR.com.

Well, the interior cleaning, painting and staging streched from a week to three weeks.  In the first three weeks with just a couple of pictures in MLS and on REALTOR.com the listing generated around 50 hits per week as the graph above shows.  Not bad if you don’t know any better.

After the cleaning, painting and staging were completed I photographed the property, then uploaded the maximum number of images to MLS and REALTOR.com along with a large Virtual Tour.  The number of ‘hits’ jumped dramatically.

In the first week with the maximum number of photographs and a Virtual Tour, there were over 200 hits– four times as many ‘hits’ as with just a couple of photographs.  In the second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth week the number of ‘hits’ on the property by consumers was never less than 300 per week.  The more pictures… the more consumer interest.  The more consumer views the greater chance you’ll connect with the consumer who wants to buy the property.

Do pictures make a difference?  From the example… the facts above… the answer is yes.

Here’s another set of facts…

Below is another graph; this one summarizes the results of a study Point2 Technologies did in 2008 analyzing the effect of photographs and Virtual Tours on Real Estate Consumer behavior.

It’s plain to see that Listing Views, Consumer Interest and Prospects Generated increase with the number of Photographs.

Do pictures make a difference?  From this set of facts the answer is yes… again.

Just to be clear on what these facts DO say and what these facts DON’T say…  Your listing will get MORE activity; more meaningful activity as the number of pictures increases.  That fact is clear.  What these facts don’t say is that a poorly maintained, over priced listing will sell.

The sale of a listing is a partnership between the Seller and the Real Estate Agent.  The Seller provides the pricing… with guidance from the Real Estate Agent…and the Seller provides the condition of the property.  The Real Estate Agent provides the Marketing.

Have you ever had a beautiful listing priced to market and had little activity and an expiration in 90, 120 or even 180 days? The facts should tell you that you failed to get as much market exposure as you could have with MORE pictures.

Properties for sale– well over 100,000 active listings– entered by Real Estate Professionals into the Point2 Agent website network over the first quarter of 2008 were included in the Study. The Study covered economic regions across every U.S. state, every Canadian province and several other countries around the world.

The sample of listings was analyzed based on the number of photos that each listing included. The number of photos was then plotted against three key variables:

Views – how many times a listing was viewed online;

Interest – how many unique visitors interacted with a listing, such as going beyond the initial set of photos to view the listing’s virtual tour… and, 

Leads – the number of unique visitors who went on to contact the listing broker or agent.

So here’s the question again. Do pictures make a difference?  From this second example… the second set of facts above… the answer is yes again.  

But let’s be clear on what the facts DO say and what they DON’T say.

Will more photographs cause your poorly maintained overpriced listing to sell?  The answer is no.  But if you have a beautifully staged listing priced to market you WILL get more attention and your chances of selling that listing increase dramatically because of the increased exposure.

Mark Jay
Order a virtual Tour (414) 771-7713


The IMAGE – It’s Magic III

Everyone wants to produce beautiful photos and many times that requires a bit of photo editing to enhance their beauty. Join me, Ben Knorr, for It’s Magic 3 as we go through some different photo editing techniques that you can use to make your images look great. RTV providers please join us October 25, 2011 at 7pm Eastern for…It’s Magic 3. See you there! Register now in your TMS! 

See you there.
Ben Knorr
Virtual Tour Photography & Digital Marketing Training 

Like us like your best friend! http://www.facebook.com/RealTourVision


A Virtual Tour Emergency

No…This is NOT Nancy. ;0

 I remember when I started my Nova Scotia virtual tour business http://www.supernovastudios.ca a year ago some of the naive misconceptions I had about the business.

First, I thought my phone would ring off the wall, with very little effort on my behalf. I was a FIRM believer in my product, had teamed up with RTV the leader in virtual tour software and was sure everyone would be scrambling to buy my virtual tours. Not so much. Nova Scotians are behind the times, real estate agents are not used to investing any money into their properties and didn’t recognize the value of interactive media. Over 90% of agents don’t even have their own websites!! YEIKES

It took a lot of hard work on my part by first; taking the social ignition course offered through the RTV Inner Circle Marketing, then rewriting the course for Canadians and finally offering classes to local Realtors. Bit by bit they were seeing the light.

My second largest misconception was that by purchasing an expensive DSLR camera (Canon Rebel EOS) I would magically become a professional photographer. Again… not so much. I read my manual – 3 times. I hired the local photographer to give me classes. I took online video tutorials, bought books from Chapters, but have never been happy with my photos. And, never relaxed while shooting the photos. One house I had to go back to 3 times. Another house the photos were all black and I had to lighten 200% in Photoshop. I had stitching error after stitching error and couldn’t wait until the day when I could outsource my photography.

One of my biggest accomplishments in the past year is the number one spot on Google for my keywords. Go ahead and search for Nova Scotia virtual tours. I started on page 7 and it took a year of blogging, keeping the content fresh on my site, paying attention to keyword density and MORE blogging to get there. Blood sweat and tears – but it’s a pretty powerful feeling to be able to control Google.

Last week I made my first 100% Search Engine sale because of that number one ranking on Google. Sotheby’s International out of Toronto called this small town Nova Scotia virtual tour provider http://www.supernovastudios.ca to shoot a tour an hour and 20 minutes from my office. I was ecstatic, proud, but nervous. They are a top notch professional company with amazing photos on their site.

And what a day I had. I organize the night before. Empty all photos off the camera, charge the battery, load the car, print out directions – everything is ready to go. So when I set up in their living room 10 minutes ahead of schedule, I was organized. Imagine my surprise though, when after 3 photos my camera died! That’s right! Deader than a nit! I broke out in a sweat, turned if off, turned it on, took out the battery, rubbed it – breathed on it, shook it – NOTHING! OMG!!!! Imagine my embarrassment to have to go to the home owner and tell them I can’t shoot their tour today.

Of course the first thing they asked me was, “Didn’t you bring a spare battery?????” “No” I said, “It’s not the battery, it had a full charge”. They were insistent the tour be shot that day, she had worked hard to clean the house, and I really wanted to accommodate her. So, back in the car I drive 45 mins to town to the ONLY camera shop in miles and buy a point and click!!! That’s right – this “professional” virtual tour photographer bought a point and click camera. (Nikon P7000) The photographer and store owner assured me he had never heard tell of a Canon Rebel just dying like that….

I had been speaking with Daniel McAllister (a fellow RTV provider and friend) about my photography woes just a week prior. He had sent me a link to one of his BEAUTIFUL virtual tours that he shot with a point and click. A seed had been planted and I had no idea just how quickly I would have the opportunity to make a decision that would be a complete game changer for me. As I was driving in to town, I knew…. there would not be another DSLR in my future.

Point and click in hand I leave for the 45 min drive back to the property and I realize – OMG my rotator is calibrated to the Canon? These pictures will NOT stitch. I put in an emergency call to RTV and had Jason, Torie AND Ben all working on my behalf. Ben dropped everything and talked me through calibrating the rotator on the spot. What was supposed to be a nice morning on the shore had become an all day affair.

With baited breath I downloaded the photos, opened them all in Photoshop and prepared to stitch. Praying, crossing my fingers, making promises to the Camera Gods. The photos looked good in Photoshop. I highlighted, removed shadows (by mid afternoon it was very overcast) but now it was the real test. Tour Builder…. And guess what? Yep – they didn’t stitch as perfectly as they do when properly calibrated.

I had held it together all day. Was so proud of the way I accommodated the vendors and maintained my professionalism. In fact we became friends, exchanged home phone numbers and are going to dinner together this weekend. But when the pictures didn’t stitch after a 9 hour day, this emotional girl was spilling tears on the keyboard. A quick glance at the clock and I realize RTV has gone home for the day. Plan B – my RTV family on Facebook!

I quickly write a status update (that only RTV providers can see) and ask for help. Daniel McAllister was immediately there offering for me to send my pictures and he would try to stitch. (Daniel – I have mad love for you baby, you rock my world. xo) As I’m sending the photos to Daniel I’m looking at them, they look odd to me. Aren’t they supposed to be on their side? I rotate them all in Photoshop and re-stitch, this time they stitch PERFECT! Duhhhh….

Check it out – http://rtvpix.com/RE-2536-JS8EB8-01  Not bad for the first time with my new camera and a calibrated rotator on the fly. But I couldn’t have done it by myself. Without the team at RTV headquarters, Daniel and the other RTV providers who were quick to come to my rescue on Facebook.

So, I guess my largest misconception about my virtual tour business was that I was in it alone. I’ve NEVER been alone at RTV from day one. I belong to a team. A family. That stop what they’re doing to be there for me. A team I can count on.

My little point and click is a game changer for the camera-phobic Nova Scotia virtual tour provider. The best in it’s class it offers amazing resolution, HD video, and all you have to do is POINT AND CLICK! hahahaha No more stitching errors, no more re-shoots, no more black photos. I’m lovin’ my point and click and I love RTV. Thanks guys! xo

To book your Nova Scotia virtual tour call 1-877-745-TOUR or visit our website at http://www.supernovastudios.ca

Have Facebook questions? Ask me on my fan page http://www.facebook.com/NovaScotiaVirtualTours