Blog Tag: virtual_tour

Turn up the Volume!

There have been a lot of changes in the last few years to our country, and to each of us individually. Myself, I received my real estate license, became a RTV provider, got married, and quit making virtual tours to move across country. During this time, I had the opportunity to look at a lot of houses trying to find one for my family. Having been both an RTV provider and a Realtor®, I was in the unique position of seeing marketing from both sides of the fence.

Because I had to find a house, or at least some good candidates before I moved, I found myself looking at houses on the Internet from 1500 miles away! I saw everything from ads that had 1-20 still pictures, slide shows, bad “virtual” tours, to excellent virtual tours. You know what happened to the homes that had one picture – they were dumped without even reading the description. Bad virtual tours made me angry, while good virtual tours were a delight. When I say “bad” virtual tours, I’m thinking of the many agents across the country who have begun using a do-it-yourself company (you know who they are).

The agent buys the software, pays a monthly fee, then makes as many tours as they want. Many brokers have even been persuaded to buy this program as an added benefit for their agents. This company has a very good product which is easy for the novice to use, but what the agent and broker forgot to figure in was the fact that it’s only as good as the photographer and the person stitching the tour. Consequently, the compiler either doesn’t receive good enough training (you hardly ever see a 360 tour), or they didn’t pay attention to training. So, their virtual tour is nothing more than a slide show.

In many cases the picture quality makes it a not so good slide show. Imagine my chagrin as I looked for houses, clicked on a virtual tour button, only to find a slide show showing the same 6 still pictures I just looked at, only now they’re moving in and out, or bouncing back and forth with music! As a home buyer, this made me angry more than anything. I felt like I’d been taken because I wasted my time waiting for the tour to load on my computer and got no added value.

Now that I’m semi-settled, I’m preparing to start my Montgomery virtual tour business. I plan to open my doors on October 25, 2009. The name of my new company will be www.iHomeEvents.com. I chose this name because I think of technology as living the future now. One day I was reading a very popular book about time travel. I thought when you’re many miles away, and you want to see a home immediately, you wish you could time travel.

I noted that when scientist speak of time travel, they use the word EVENT to mean a point in space-time; that is, a location in space at a specific moment of time. While technology can’t offer us time travel, as a RTV provider, I can offer my clients the ability to let their clients “time and place shift” to a specific home. They can walk through a property regardless of what continent they’re on, or what time it might be. In other words, a client can shift to anywhere in the world to see a virtual tour of a home at a certain point in time that they choose.

A smart agent will allow their client to view homes at their convenience – WHEN they want and WHERE they want. Technology now allows us to be able to look from most anywhere: at home, at the office, at the beach, in the mountains, on an airplane – anywhere we can take a smart phone or iPod – it’s the client’s choice! Therefore, I’ve used the “i” to represent technology, and then I go to work to create a “HomeEvent” for my clients.

A true, quality virtual tour is obviously the best way to showcase a home other than being there in person. If an agent really wants to sell, now is not the time to forget about marketing. According to Gary S. Shamis, CPA, managing director of Cleveland-based SS&G Financial Services and a member of The Advisory Board:

“. . . knowing that you will be losing revenue and business, aren’t you justified in reducing your marketing efforts? On the contrary – this is the time to “turn up the volume” and increase all aspects of your marketing.

“If you are the firm in your region to up the marketing ante, and your competition is hiding in a cave or under a rock, what could be better? Your firm is turning up the volume, and your competition is turning off the radio.” (See the rest of Gary’s article at http://www.webcpa.com/news/Turn-Volume-Marketing-51463-1.html)

We must help our clients understand that even though the economy is bad, turning up the volume and the quality, while others turn the radio off will not only help put them in the forefront now, but will start them at the top of the heap when the economy turns around. It will be their marketing through bad times that gets their names remembered by prospective clients when the good days return.

Jean Bryson
Montgomery Virtual Tours
iHomeEvents.com


It Takes Money to Make Money

The last thing on my mind when Real Estate on Nova Scotia’s South Shore (my magazine) lost 30% of it’s revenue last fall, was investing money. Anywhere.

In an economic climate where survival of small business is at stake, how should I plan my spending? We are in the middle of a recession, but as a business owner I have one step up on those that are employed by others… I am in control of my destiny. If I truly want to maintain a thriving business I needed to invest in my business. The saying “build it and they will come” is simply not true of business.

In business it is so important that you maintain a “leg up” on the competition. It surprises me that many people fail to grasp this concept. When you consider the revenue cost of losing customers, or the acquisition cost of replacing them, you can make a very strong return on investment case for the appropriate use of limited resources.

It was time to be proactive. And broaden the scope of the marketing services I offered my Realtors. As I considered that 84% of home buyers and 87% of first time buyers use the internet as an information resource during their search for a home (in the 25-44 age group this number jumped to 91%) I concluded, that a compelling use of virtual tour technology would keep visitors on their site, and would also keep them coming back.

I chose to invest and become a full service provider with RTV (Real Tour Vision). The largest full service virtual tour and property marketing network in the world. Simply put, they had the best virtual tour software, property marketing training and support.

By having a virtual tour, you are effectively demonstrating to your clients that you are not only at the top of your game, but you will serve them best by employing unique and “out of the box” solutions to meet their problems and most importantly, expectations and needs.

The competition is fierce, and so are you. Come out on top, every time – your clients don’t want to settle for less, why should you?

Virtual tours not only appeal to the local market, but to the international market as well. Increase your level of service, Supernova Studios virtual tours integrate easily into any website.

Order your Nova Scotia Virtual Tour Today.
www.supernovastudios.ca


How’s Your RTV Virtual Tour?

Dear RTV,

We recently purchased a virtual tour from Florida Eye Tours. Chris Grumley really did an outstanding job! He was able to capture the unique features of the property far better than any still photos could do. When he added the graphics and the music, the result was nothing short of spectacular! I don’t impress easily, but I was completely blown away by the virtual tour he produced. We got so many compliments on the virtual tour. Our rental inquiries have more than doubled. Thanks for having a great product. You have my highest recommendation.”

Best Regards,
Mike Fischer


Virtual Tour CD Marketing

Handing out a Flyer is great; but handing out a virtual tour on a disc that also contains that flyer and other promotional material can really make a positive impression. Like standard promotional material, these multimedia discs could be left on a counter at an open house or fill the brochure box of a real estate sign post. Experiment and come up an offering that works for you.

To get started, it is important to note that downloaded tours are representative of the Classic viewer only, and as such, Affiliate logos will not display properly. So, before starting to build the disc, be sure to remove any Affiliates attached to the tour. Then assuming the tour contains no Affiliates, is not a Practice Tour, and is published, follow the steps below.

1. View the tour using one of the public links from the tour’s Deliverables page. Tours viewed from inside TMS are not downloadable.

2. Click Share Tour>Download Tour and in the next window click “Click here to Download virtual tour to your computer”.

3. Downloaded tours will not be downloaded with any audio you may have added in TMS. However, if you wish to add audio to the downloaded tour, an Audio Wrapper is available to Inner Circle members only on the marketing Resources page and should be used at this point.

4. Using whatever program you prefer, burn the downloaded tour to disc.

5. A nice feature to add to the disc is to make the tour play automatically when inserted into a PC. To do this you will need to create an autorun file and burn it to the disc as well. Directions on how to make an autorun file can be found by clicking HERE. However, an easier way to do this and is to download and use a program called Autorun Max!

6. At this point you could add a flyer, a Power Point, and just about any other creative marketing materials you can think of. Using Autorun Max! can help you make professional autorun menus.

And that’s it! Of course if you want to get even more creative you could use business card CDs and interesting labels. You could even add Hot Spots to the tour that link to your company website or even other tours. How far you take it is up to you.


SuperNova Studios Now Offering Real Estate Virtual Tours

Supernova Studios Nova Scotia Virtual Tour Company Launched Today!

Blood, sweat, and yes…. tears (the blood was from a paper cut). Supernova Studios was launched to south shore, Nova Scotia clients today. 146 real estate agents received an email package this morning from a company they have known for the past 12 years as Taylor Design Inc.

Accustomed to a certain standard of excellence the package had to be perfect. I kept the introductory letter brief, attached a couple of flyers (one for the virtual tours and one for the RTV TxT Connect program) and pointed them to both of my websites: www.supernovastudios.ca and www.cellthishouse.ca

This was a strategic move. I want my customers in the habit of getting their questions answered at my website. This is why I spent hours developing it, AND it will allow me more time on the road shooting virtual tours.

I followed up a couple of hours later with a personal visit to each of the 16 brokerages. It was delivery day for the monthly magazine Real Estate on Nova Scotia’s South Shore which I produce for them. (ps – I had included 5 pages in the magazine advertising Supernova Studios, virtual tours & TxT Connect)

Other than my sexy new business cards I brought one thing. My cell phone. Real Estate professionals are busy. I knew I could only keep their attention for a few minutes.”Got a cell phone” I asked? “I want to show you something”. Every single one of them reached in their pocket.

“Okay. Let’s send a text message.” Most of them looked at me “deer in the headlights” look on their face. They didn’t know how. They are carrying smart phones and don’t know how to use them. Smiling I tell them that last year cell phones were not allowed in my daughter’s school. This year, recognizing that text messaging is the preferred means of communication amongst teens and adults between 40-50 (and it’s not going away) they relented to “the times”. It’s inevitable.

Using my cell phone I show them how to receive listing information just by entering two short codes. The “deer in the headlights” look changed to dollar signs in an instant. They “got” it.

Do NOT underestimate how a quick visit and hands on instruction can make a difference. This kind of technology is new to my clients. They need their (cell) hand held a little. You see; they want to “keep up” (that’s why they’re carrying those phones) they just may need you to show them how.

Virtual tour technology speaks for itself. The feature tour on my home page at supernovastudios has already received 110 truly unique visitors! If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a virtual tour is worth a million.

Book your Nova Scotia virtual tour today!
Supernova Studios
159 Alexandra Ave.
Bridgewater, NS B4V 1H6
Phone: 902-543-2185