Blog Tag: virtual tour photographer

Virtual Tour Photography Challenges

As Pittsburgh Virtual Tour Photographer, there are always challenges when photographing a home for a virtual tour. There’s the tree that has branches hanging in front of your shot and you’re neither tall enough or short enough to shoot around it.  Or there is a clothes line in bright orange that drapes dramatically in front of your house, or the car parked just so you can see the edge of it in your camera lens.

Inside the house, if you’re lucky, the homeowners have removed all the soap containers and boxes of Kleenex, but what about that spare sock someone left under the bed that you just didn’t catch while you were doing the tour?  Adobe Photoshop is releasing it’s new CS5 version in April, 2010.  CS5 has a new tool called the Content Aware tool that basically is a very intelligent healing tool and cloning too combined.  Check out You Tube for a sneak peak video of the tool being used to erase the trees and the lampposts in a shot.  I look forward to the new release and incorporating the editing tool into my Virtual Tours.  With the addition of the new RTV Full Screen viewer, quick load times and quality photographs will greatly enhance the RTV product we offer to our Realtors. 

Mary Jane Salopek
Pittsburgh Virtual Tours
http://www.picatour.com


What Can You Tell me About RTV?

Dear Sharon,

I’m considering starting up a virtual tour business.  What can you tell me about RTV?

Thanks for your reply,

Randy

Hi Randy,

I started with RTV 3 years ago this spring.  I bought the 200 tour package because I knew I would use them eventually.  I was buying my second 200 tour package in about 8 months.  I think I’ve bought a couple more 200 pkgs since then, not sure how many exactly.  It’s a lot easier now because you don’t have to purchase that many to get the $10.00 rate.  In fact after you do 120 tours you don’t have to purchase tours in bundles at all.  As far as the virtual tours go they are very well received by realtors because they are THAT MUCH BETTER than the competition especially now with the HD Full-screen capability.

When I was looking for a company to go with, I went online looking for a quality product.  RTV had what I wanted and so much more.  I never expected their support to be so awesome!  Believe me, in the beginning I was calling “support” every day, several times a day for help.  I’m sure they thought I would never last but I was determined to learn the virtual tour system and do the type of quality virtual tours I knew I could.  The learning process took about 2 weeks.  

Probably what impresses me the most is their loyalty.  I can’t count the times that Jason LaVanture has turned away interested people who wanted to start RTV virtual tour providerships in my area.  Jason would even call me if the person was wanting to start a providership anywhere in Missouri or Arkansas to make sure it wouldn’t be infringing on my territory.  I think the “loyalty” issue is one of the things I most respect and appreciate about RTV.  I was a provider for another virtual tour company before RTV and they did not show me that kind of loyalty which is the reason I went “shopping” for another virtual tour company in the first place (and took all my Springfield virtual tours and clients with me!)

Getting started . . .
I started part-time basically.  I had one “big-hitter” realtor and was doing all of her virtual tours on her high-end listings.  Other agents would see her virtual tours and want tours just like “Ethel’s”.  It just built from there.  I now have several “big-hitters” and lots of “little-hitters” and full-time work during most of the year.  In fact, my husband also helps with the virtual tour photography and my daughter-in-law helps with the stitching.  It may start out a little slow, Randy, but it will snowball if you hang in there.

In my market here in southwest Missouri, I have to be competitive with my pricing.  I only charge $75 for a basic tour, so, after the $10 I pay RTV for the tour hosting, I net $65 per tour.  I’m doing roughly 10-15 per week, so netting $650 to $975 per week.  In your market, you may have no problem netting $90-100 per virtual tour (maybe more).  Our selling season slows down considerably from November–February, then it takes off again.  At that time I’m lucky to have 2 tours a week.  Just being honest.

Please feel free to call me later this week if you have any other questions.  I wouldn’t hesitate too long though.  You definitely want to grab your territory while its available.  Going with RTV was the best decision I could have ever made!

Virtual Tour Company Testimonial written by:
Sharon Wasson
Springfield Virtual Tours


The FORMULA Works When You Follow it

I have already used one of the great tips from the webinar only 12 hours after hearing from the “experts”.  I had breakfast with a Realtor from Southby’s Russ Lyon Realty.  She is a top Scottsdale real estate agent and has been for over 10 years.  Testing out some of the theories discussed last night, we talked about what does Linda need most to further boost her closing percentages.  Guess what – she needed a personal assistant for the things she either doesn’t like to do (send email to prospective clients) – or things she doesn’t have the time to do(SEO, social networking, marketing). 

Next step was to pull up one of her listings on Google.  Well we googled the address and the MLS number.  Guess what, her website didn’t pull, nor did Google provide any reference to the listing with her name.  There were no Virtual Tours, Blogs or You tubes.  Instead, it was all competitors from Keeler Williams, Century 21 and other companies that had pulled her listing onto their websites as hot properties.  We then created a “pseudo tour” and exposure engine.  Posted it and low and behold when we checked a few hours later – her name was the third name down on the list.

When she left, I was an approved “Personal Assistant”.  I still didn’t get the virtual tour or photography business, but she agreed she liked my photographs and if the opportunity arose and she couldn’t get a Russ Lyon approved photographer, she would use our virtual tour photography services.  I wasn’t upset because I sold her on Txt Connect, a single property website and exposure engine for one of her listings.

In any case, my point is:  THE FORMULA works when you follow it.  THE IMAGE teaches and improves even professionals who need to hear the information they may not have heard in a long time.  JASON provides great service and his provider network is more than generous with sharing ideas and lending a helping hand. 

P.S.  Thank you Alan Fon for your help today. 

Virtual Tours


Lighting & Framing Photography Challenge

Virtual Tour Photography, taking pictures versus tech savvy training and experience, can be a perplexing challenge for a novice photographer and especially a virtual tour and real estate photographer, in the world today.

Once upon a time, in the not too distance past, I can remember when being a photographer meant heavy, expensive equipment not to mention the technical training involving the operation of this equipment. A special talent, passion and extensive training were basics in starting a career as a professional virtual tour photographer and of course a mentor never hurt.

Very few in my world had these opportunities, so the question of even thinking about setting the goal of being a professional photographer, were out of the question. With the advancement of time, new technologies have been developed and have presented new opportunities where we can quench these daunting obstacles.

The meaning of being a professional photographer once meant more than just taking pictures with a camera. One had to experience patience in waiting for the film to be developed in a dark room before they could view what was captured in their photographs. I use the word photography instead of pictures, because I feel skill is need to produce photographs and pictures/pics are quick, uncalculated impressions.

With the wonders of digital photography, now we experience instant gratification. Immediately we are able to realize what has just happened and can correct or adjust our actions. Time being the equivalent of money, these expensive processes are reduced to affordable applications, leaving us with more time and energies to apply creative techniques to satisfy the virtual tour customer.

In real estate, the product we are selling, be it a building or land, we need to remember that we only have a small amount of time to capture our client’s interest. It is paramount we represent the property in an inviting, cozy and appealing manner. The angle/framing of the photo is essential to entice the client/buyer into action, the actual sale of the property. If you show too much open spaces of nothing, a thought can be placed in the viewer of an empty, useless area.

The same goes with lighting, if it is darkly lit, your viewer will not be see the points of interest, All in all, we can only do so much with post shoot adjustments. If we lay down a fundamental understanding of lighting and framing of our subject, the finally photo will represent what we want it to. Stop by our website today to get the Southern Michigan virtual tour and property marketing services that you deserve!

Have a warm, safe and prosperous New Year RTV!

Sandra Gibson

Power Play Multi Media Productions
Web Design, Internet Marketing, Virtual Tours
Southern Michigan Virtual Tours
http://www.powerplaymmp.com
Order a Virtual Tour Now: 517-869-2707