Blog Tag: visual tour

Getting it Right the First Time

Ok, so last week I had to call Jason to order some more virtual tour credits and must have caught him after hours or maybe at lunch as I got his voice mail. The funny thing is that he was so on top of returning the call that you could still hear my message going on in the background when he called me back. He might have a different version of the story- something about my forever long message breaking records for length and duration… but that’s just his version. :O)

Anyway, he just couldn’t help but to boost my ego bragging to me about how well things must be going in that I’m already in need of my second batch of tours in such a short amount of time. I just started my own virtual tour company a few months ago as a spin off from another side business I was doing creating the 360 tours for agents using a competing virtual tour company and paying a monthly hosting fee. Hence the reason I had to get into business for myself- to create a means to the end of the dreaded monthly fees, or at least one of them!

As a Realtor myself, I can relate to many of the issues and concerns agents have as well as to accentuate the features and selling points in the homes I shoot. Which is really what it all boils down to and has helped attribute to my success: living by the Golden Rule, to get it done yesterday or as close to it as humanly possible and then from those words spoken by my daddy growing up: “If you’re going to do something, do it right the first time.”

I always hated going back and doing it again so I always try to leave feedback for the listing agent regarding the condition of the home, the price, the neighborhood or anything else that stands out. It’s not brain surgery~ it’s marketing in the age of technology and I can’t wait to see all the great things that are still to come out this summer from RTV! I have a feeling great things are going to come that will really make waves for us all. I am very happy with my decision to use Real Tour Vision and doing it right the first time makes it all that much better!

Thanks RTV!

Karisma Olson
Reece & Nichols – Liberty

Achieving Realism Within a 360 Tour

Around, around we go and where we stop no one will know. That in affect is the art of virtual tours. Virtual tours make a flat presence to a global view showing no seams or breaks. The goal is to make a cohesive seamless presentation creating the true distinctiveness of the room or area. A very common misconception is that 360 virtual tours are created with video. Of course we know that you could spin a video camera around in a circle but you would never achieve the end result of one single printable high-res image that you can move throughout.

The “HOW” a tour is made is the key to achieving the goal of realism and intimacy. There are many who use a fisheye lens or a One-Shot Lens and while a 360 image is created the realism of the imagery is distorted. Real Tour Visions proprietary virtual tour software allows the photographer to create a stylish, unique 360 tour. The photographer can use settings capturing the depth of a room or area. Really the only thing missing are the smells since we can also add in sound to our virtual tours with a click of a button.

When you want to create a virtual tour, take the camera out of Auto and experiment with the depth and lighting settings. You will end with a formation of your vision in a Real Tour Vision.

Greg Daley
Daley Visual Development

The Virtual Teaser

About a year ago, I dropped off one of my cards to a real estate kiosk in our local mall and chatted with the agent there. This week, she called to order a tour of a $1,875,000 property with stunning views of the Columbian River.

See the 360 Virtual Tour here:

What makes this a unique story is the real estate agent’s philosophy. She feels it is best to show buyers just enough of the home to stir their interest. Our job as a virtual tour provider is to create real estate virtual tours based on the information the client gives us prior to the tour. If your virtual tour provider is unable to take the time to get to know you–and help you represent their property how they would like–perhaps it is best to call in a professional.

Dawn Shaffer
All About Virtual Tours

Credit Card Processing for Your Virtual Tour Company

Storing Credit Card Information can be Costly

“I started a new relationship with a Realtor and after we negotiated a deal for 360 virtual tours she wanted to give me her American Express credit card number over the phone. I thanked her for her trust; however, I declined to take it. I knew that if I stored it in my computer in any form or even wrote it down on a pad, I could be fined a half a million dollars.

Identity theft is at an all time high. There are a myriad of ways that the theft occurs, the highest reported theft comes from the restaurant industry, but they are not the least of the culprits. Credit card information can be taken from stolen credit card swiping machines, written down by waitresses, and the big one… hijacked via computer viruses and key loggers. In an effort to thwart would be thieves, the credit card industry has set forth steep fines that can be brought forth to any merchant that stores credit card information in any way unless extreme security measures are in place. That fine can be as much as $500,000.

There is a very easy solution that can protect all parties involved. I opened a PayPal account. After the virtual tour was done I simply emailed her an invoice from my PayPal account and she paid online. The fees are based on the amount of the transaction and there is no monthly fee. The nominal transaction fee more than makes up for the ease of doing business and saves the cost of envelopes and stamps for both parties. I did two more tours for her they were paid in the same way. Now, for my higher priced business virtual tours, I usually request a check, just to save the fee.

PayPal and other clearing houses like them, handle billions of dollars in transactions. They are held to the highest security and reporting standards. I was able to conclude my business and I have no idea what her credit card number is. It is not stored anywhere in any of my systems. She is protected and so is my virtual tour company”

Bonnie Roy

My competitor and his One Shot Lens

A year ago we received a call from a competitor, stating that he may be referring about 6 tours our way per year. It seems that some of his agents feel it necessary to be able to see out the windows, and with his One Shot Lens system that’s not possible.

Imagine that….calling us because you can see out the windows! Well, he’s right, of course. One-shot systems can be (grossly) compared to taking a photo of the moon: Half is daytime, half is nighttime. Windows are blown-out (overexposed) because the camera doesn’t know what to do. Our technology is known for its crystal-clear window shots, crucial when shooting the nearby Columbia River.

Those 6 referrals grew to well over 50 in a year and counting. The competitor has tried unsuccessfully to become a Real Tour Vision virtual tour provider in our town, turned down because we have the area saturated.

Check out the available technology, compare the differences, and then decide. We can help.

Dawn Shaffer
All About Virtual Tours