panorama software,virtual tour software
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Joined: 2005-04-21
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2008-03-05
#1

Finished With Realestate

First, no offense to you realtorjerry (or other realtor's here) but I just can not seem to find a happy medium doing real estate. I know that this topic along with "what to charge" has been beat to death here. However, I am looking for fellow pano makers to critique my latest work and give your feedback on what you would charge or pay for the service provided. If you look at my site (which is in the process of an overhaul) I offer tours starting at $125.00 for 4 (way to cheap, for a quality pano) However, I have problems with people wanting to even pay this minimal fee. So with all that said, I believe that I will be pursuing other lines of pano business.

If you have a minute or two I really would like some feedback on this latest project. I'll post the results of what I was paid after a few responses.

Latest Project For Review


Thanks guys,

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Joined: 2007-04-10
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2008-03-06
#2

Hi.

The latest project looks good.  I keep jumping in and out of the real estate market myself.  Being doing so for years.  Usually depends on how desperate I am.  

I've found in general when the real estate market is doing good they'll pay $150 for four tours in my area at the same location.  One realtor I have as a client will do $250.  With the market doing horrible right now though realtors have tightened up the purse strings and won't even pay $150 despite the quality being better then most out there in my area.

So I basically made the decision to set the price at $150 firm for four tours.  Usually only touch up the ceiling and floor.  If the realtor won't pay that I keep moving.  Not worth your time.

In contrast though.. I usually get between $150 - $250 per tour doing wedding chapels, hotels, limo interiors, etc..

In my experience if the Realtors aren't making money they in general won't come out of pocket to sell someones house.  Most just post still photos to realtor.com and consider it good.


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Joined: 2007-04-22
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2008-03-06
#3

No offense taken Pixelator. As our illustrious former leader Bill Clinton once said "I feel your pain". I have to deal with Realtors also.
The tour you posted seems to be of a new subdivision. Maybe you could contact the developer and shoot all the lots so they could post it on their website. Even if you charged 20/25 bucks a shot that could add up to a good paycheck and outdoor shots are so easy. Throw in tours of the amenities for free. Go after the builders, show them your product, have them tell their Realtor that they will require a tour. If they are doing a lot of homes in the same subdivision offer a free sample.
The tour you posted is very well done, my only objection is that it turns just a little slow to keep my attention and I like to have navigation buttons. What ever you got, they still got a bargain.


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Joined: 2008-03-01
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2008-03-07
#4

Here in on the West Coast of Florida there are VT photographers offering tours at $79 (5 or 6 tours + 6 or more stills). 4 a day would be $70K per year. 3 a day at $125 would be $90K per annum. Maybe more than anyone could do even if you could find the business.

I'm also a Realtor and I can tell you these are tough times with many Realtors getting out of the real estate business. So money is very tight. I am now looking to supplement my real estate earnings with some VT business. I doubt I could make a living doing either full time.

pixelator you asked for feedback on your posted tour. Forgive my comments because I have not as yet created even one Panoweaver tour and maybe a year from now when I know better what I'm talking about I can be more constructive. I have been a photographer for 30 years and sometimes that helps me see images, angles and composition. I think the problem you have with this tour is it lacks interest. Prehaps that's why realtor jerry thought it turned too slow! Technically it looks good but I don't think it is a good subject for a Panoweaver tour as the scenery is so similar for 360 degrees. I don't think it achieves the purpose  (persumably) of attempting to sell lots by making them look attractive. Having said that I don't know how anyone could make a lot look attractive! That's a tough thing to do. If the seller of the lots is happy then I guess that's all that matters. I hope you take my comments as well intentioned and just is my pathetic attempt to be constructive for you.

Chris


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Joined: 2005-05-03
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2008-03-08
#5

It is hard for me to be constructive, because I live in an other part of the world (Denmark) and I have never sold to realtors.

But the thing I missed most in your tour is a better skin. Yes the quality of the panoramas are important - but it is also important how they are presented. I would offer each individual realtor their own unique high quality skin developed be a pro graphic artist.

This way you would not only sell a virtual tour, you would help the realtor brand them self. And if you can help the realtor improve his image - you will also be able to charge more.

I also miss text areas exlpaining what I see.

Try and haev a look at Steve Vizmarks site and how they are targeting realtors. See it at http://www.vizmark.co.za/ 

They are succesfull - but they also have an whole other approach to doing tours.
They also present some of their tours in a virtual 3d brochure. A great idea to bring added value to the clients.

Best regards

Morten


Best regards

Morten Andersen
- a newbie trying to improve
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Joined: 2005-04-21
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2008-03-11
#6
Thanks guys for the feedback

olyboy1994: thanks for taking time to speak with me directly. You really helped me out with the information provided.

realtorjerry: thank you for your comments, it means a great deal to hear nice things about my work from the guys that post here. There are some high end home builders working in that subdivision with out tours on their sites, thanks for the idea. As far as the navigation buttons go, I most of the time give people instruction on how I view tours. For me that is drag the tour where I want to look. I have found also with navigation buttons many times they just do not work for some reason.
Thanks again for the feedback.

peanut: those guys leaving their homes in the mornings and heading out to do virtual tours for $79.00 are the ones, in my opinion, killing us. Take a good look at the tours that they produce for $79.00. I am willing to bet the windows are blown and does not go a full 360. No way will I leave the house for less than $150.00, for the way that I was taught here on this forum by the best (Smooth 360Texas, Fitz, and others)how to produce high quality panos. As far as the lot I   made it look the best that I could. I wanted to shoot it early in the morning for better results but the realtor did not want to get up early. The pool area is another example on wanting to shoot early in the day along with being taught the right techniques. As you pan around to the club house the sitting areas with the fireplaces were so heavily shadowed you could not tell their was anything at all there. By using Smooths technique of saving the image + & - 2 stops while in RAW conversion, I was able to then process those in photomatix to get an hdr image that shows the fireplace. More work in the end but a better pano than those one shot lens's which brings our quality pano price down.
Thanks for the feedback and good luck to you.

Wide-Eyes:Thanks for your comments. Consider yourself lucky not having to deal with the realestate market Here if you are the listing and selling agent that makes for a %6 profit of the sell to you. The lot in which I done list for $285,000.00 usd, %6 in turn is a large amount of money made from that sell. However, to showcase it the realtor contacted me for 360 services. From the moment of saying hello to the end of the project it was one thing after the other. Just takes the fun out of going out to do some photography.

As far as branding the skin to the realtor this has to be done twice here in the states. What I mean by this is that the homes are listed in two separate websites, one on the realtors and the other is the mls. When posting to the mls you can not have any branding. No phone number, picture, address...no info regarding the realtor and contact info. With that said, more time at computer creating two skins = getting into profit margin.

I had a look at the link, nice looking site with a lot of info in the skin and tours. However, after leaving the site and going to check the currency comparison at XE.comit shows that I would be doing tours in the US for $50.00. All of the things that you have pointed out along with the 3D brochure are great ideas but just too much work for the bottom line dollar.

It has been some time since posting here with the busy task of being a new father. However, your tours have really come along. Congratulations! Thanks for the feedback.

Although it may seem as if I am complaining, I'm really not. I really just needed to hear some positive feedback and not to give up. This was just one of those jobs where if it could go wrong it would. All is well in the end. The realtor was extremely happy with the end product. Which was 4 tours and 2 stills for $1
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Joined: 2005-06-08
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2008-03-24
#7
Hmm. it seems the real estate market is a very difficult market to make any money in. But there's got to be a way to do it. Panos are most effective in that market. I have found that it takes me roughly 2 hours to shoot and build a 4 node tour with 6 stills. If I charged $100.00 that's $50.00/hr. that's not a terrible paycheck if you ask me (of course that doesn't include travel).

But . . .

I mostly shoot commercial real estate. That same amount of work can bring me almost 8 times the amount of money!

So . . .

I have to differentiate between my residential and commercial real estate somehow. I'm thinking about getting a one-shot lens for residential. That will cut down the quality and will make shooting and stitching faster (won't it?). It will also give me the opportunity to upsell to a higher (more expensive) option.

My goal is to shoot 4 - 6 commercial tours per month with the occasional residential tour. If I can do that, I think I can quit my day job.
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Joined: 2003-03-24
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2008-03-24
#8

pixelator,

 I am a realtor myself and  started doing my own tours in 1999 since the cost at the time was about $125 for a 4 scene tour. A complete Camera Kit (used Ipix) set me back $300 add in easypano software and I was making my own for under a $1000! It paid for itself in just a few tours. I've since made hundreds of tours and use them on every lisiting I have. I also do them for my buyers at home inspections (so they can show off their new home to friends and family) and provide them to the sellers at close for a memento.

As far as most of these $100 tours these days......they are CRAP!!! 

A true 360 degree tour properly photographed should bring at least $150 for the first 4 scenes and perhaps $25 for additional scenes. That is the going rate here in Northern Illinois. (And many of these are REALLY POOR QUALITY)

I would think your best sales tools would be samples of other/lesser tours. One look is all it should take to differentiate your superior product.

Perhaps you could partner with a realtor assocaition in your area and give a presentation on  "How to choose a virtual tour provider"

Best of luck,

David