I am showing off my virtual tours at the home show in a booth curtesy of one of my customers. They needed something impressive to put on a plasma in there booth. I have done a number of virtual tours for this company and have a good relationship with them so they asked me if I would put something together (for promotional consideration.) Wink wink.
Anyway, one of the agents asked if I could show one of her virtual tours, I thought sure we had done the tour so I said sure. I went searching for the tour on the builders site and did not find it, she was unsure of the tour name so I asked her to email me the link. She asked how, and I told her she could just load the tour and press “share tour”. She said she could not find the share tour button or a way to email the tour.
A little later on the Realtor in question showed up at the show and directed me to where the tour link was located on her MLS listing. And again asked if I could show it on the big screen, I fouind the link and clicked on it. It became very aparent that it was NOT a REAL TOUR VISION TOUR.
When it finally loaded, it poped up next to one of our toursn right there on the 60 inch plasma for all the world to see. Our tour, big and beautiful, and fast, her tour (done by her friend) small, slow, no hotspots, no branding, nothing.
She soon asked me to take it down and ordered three more virtual tours from us.
Quality sells itself!
Time to raise my prices again?
“I’m here to take pictures, not clean your house.” That’s what I’d like to say sometimes when I show up to an appointment and the house is a mess. Some virtual tours take me twice as long as they should because I’m either moving stuff out of each shot (dirty dishes, laundry baskets, babies) or the sellers realize they need to clean as soon as I start taking pictures. Which in our world can sometimes mean inconsistent photos.
It’s happened more than once when I’ve arrived back from a tour shoot, stitched a panoramic, only to realize that the seller was moving stuff around behind me and the photos don’t quite match up. I’m always sure to keep a smile and positive attitude no matter what, and if the seller apologizes for their place being messy or because they see me moving stuff around, I always say that “it happens all the time”… which unfortunately is true (maybe it’s because I work in a town populated mostly by college students).
Then I remembered something… Something from my days as a Realtor. One of the hardest things to do as a Realtor can be to break the news to your seller that their home is dirty, and if they want to sell it, they need to clean it first. With this in mind, I came up with a solution to solve the Realtor’s dilemma and my own. I wrote an article and published it on my website titled “Prepare your home for a Virtual Tour” (click link to view the full text). My customers send this to their sellers prior to our appointment. My customer’s love this article because it gives them an out when the time comes to tell the seller to clean up. I love it because it speeds up my tour shoots not to mention makes them look a lot better. It’s also a great marketing tool for me as yet another reason to use virtual tours. Realtors get to use that article I wrote, the sellers expect to get a virtual tour a result, everyone is happy.
Feel free to take a look at that text and play around with your own ideas for your own website. If you republish the article on your own site, I would appreciate a link back to my site. In my summers off in college, my best friend and I would drive to the Outer Banks and clean vacation homes and in return the real estate company we worked for paid for us to stay in our own house on the beach for the summer (this program still exists if anyone is interested). I learned how to thoroughly clean a large home rather quickly, and I use some of those techniques in this article.
In early 2005 as the real estate market here in the Florida Keys started to slow, I could see I would have to brush up on my marketing skills and find better ways to expose my listings to potential buyers. With so many Florida Keys homes and condos sold as vacation homes, an online presence with great photos and virtual tours becomes essential. A few years earlier I was the first agent in our area to do virtual tours. I had tried the Fish-Eye Lens two-shot version but the results were not very good at all. Then the market got so hot, and properties were selling so fast, there was no real need to have tours. I could see the tide turning and I wanted to add virtual tours back to my listings so I started doing some research to find the best solution. After looking at a lot of low quality virtual tour software, I found Real Tour Vision.
Having taken some photography courses in college, and with over 30 years in the real estate business taking photos of houses, I decided to do the tours myself. My first RTV tour was of one of the highest priced homes in Key Largo. Shortly after submitting it, I received a call from a buyer who said his wife had seen a virtual tour on the Internet and she wanted him to take a look at the property while he was in the Keys. During the showing he called his wife at home and told her to look at the virtual tour again. They decided then and there to make an offer. They ended up buying the property. The wife never came to see it until closing. The selling price was $3.7 million!
Since then there have been other situations where a buyer’s partner or family member could not be present but the decision to go forward was based on the virtual tour. Many times in the course of showing one of my listings with an agent from another company, I hear the buyers talking about having seen the virtual tour on the Internet. It seems they find the listings and have their agent make the appointment which results in more showings which use event management software and sales for my sellers. I have a contract pending on a property which is scheduled to close later this month. The buyers have never been inside the house. Asking price almost $3 million.
In spite of our market being down almost 50% in the number of sales, and the inventory being up almost 50% in the number of listings, this has been my best year ever in real estate with over $12 million in sales so far – and it is only April.
Thank you Real Tour Vision for helping me take my career to a new level.
CENTURY 21 Prestige Realty
Virtual tour company customer service doesn’t have to be a dying art! In current times to remain competitive in the marketplace you need to provide superior customer service. This is not that hard to accomplish, here are a few of the things we do to keep our clients coming back:
– Provide 7/24 online ordering that secures all of the necessary information
– Contact them or their designated contact person to schedule the virtual tour ASAP
– Perform the photo shoot within 2 business days
– Guarantee online viewing within 24 hours
– Be prompt, professional attired, and courteous to the agent and/or homeowner
– Ask permission to turn on all of the lights and make sure the seems of the lamps are not visible, adjust the blinds, fluff the pillow and hide any unnecessary clutter. (This will make the clients feel confident about you, quality, and attention to details)
– When your done, turn off the lights and restore the blinds to their original position
If you have fun and enjoy your work, the clients will take notice and want to use your services time and again.
Have A Great Day!
In And Out Services
As a new provider in South Texas I started advertising and visiting the Realtors in person only to find out that most of them in this area didn’t want to virtual tours because of experiences with previous virtual companies. Some of the comments that I received are that “Virtual tours do not do the properties justice,” “Virtual Tours make the house warped” and other similar comments. Come to find out they had all been hit by another virtual tour company whose tours look “fish eyed” and not very clean at all.
The perception was created in this market that all virtual tours are alike. I’ve finally been able to get a Realtor to let me do a tour for her by offering it for free if she wasn’t 100% satisfied. Immediately after shooting I put one scene together so she could see it and she was so impressed she had me follow her to a second house to shoot it too! Real Tour Vision has a very high quality system that allows us to shoot top quality virtual tours!
Boerne Virtual Tours