Photography For Real Estate

Tips and techniques for real estate photography

Virtual Tours Using Real Tour Vision

Posted by larrylohrman on December 21, 2006


Last week I was talking to Dawn Shaffer a real estate photographer and virtual tour provider in the Vancouver, WA and Portland, OR area. Dawn is the second PFRE reader I’ve talked to that is happily using Real Tour Vision. Earlier this year Sharon Nymann, a Realtor in the Key Largo area, reported that she was successfully using Real Tour Vision tours to do her own tours since Key Largo has no tour providers.

Both Dawn and Sharon reported that they chose Real Tour Vision after extensive evaluations of all the alternatives for creating virtual tours. To me it appears that the distinctive feature of Real Tour Vision is that it’s a turn-key application that supplies software, some hardware and hosting that allows you to create your own virtual tours with 360 images. Other tour providers like tourfactory.com and visualtour.com provide hosting but users have to do stitching of 360 images and figure out how to shoot 360 images. RTV appears to help you through the whole process with hardware (You can use your existing camera) stitching software, hosting and support. Shooting and stitching 360 images can be intimidating if you are learning from scratch.

I’ve never used RTV myself but RTV appears to have all the essential components of creating professional looking tours. The 360 images that you create are cylindrical (image is projected as on a cylinder) in stead of spherical (image projected on a sphere) but that is not a big issue. 99% of real estate 360 images are done in cylindrical mode because spherical images take special equipment to shoot and special stitching software to create. If you are considering getting started with RTV be sure to talk to Dawn (allaboutvirtualtours.com ) she has been using RTV for 2 years and can give you tips on how to add virtual tours to your services as a RE photographer.

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4 Responses to “Virtual Tours Using Real Tour Vision”

  1. Larry, thank you for the mention.

    Real Tour Vision just introduced a new “tour window” which incorporates a lot of new features. Visit our gallery at http://www.allaboutvirtualtours.com/gallery.php and compare the difference that the new tour window makes. Larry’s sample is, of course, the nonbranded version, so it’s not really “apples and apples” to compare the tour on his blog with the branded version on the website gallery.

    I’d love to chat with anyone desiring to add a quality virtual tour to add to their product offering.

  2. Larry – good stuff.

    Like Dawn, I too provide 360 virtual tour services for Realtors (servicing the Nashville marketplace).

    As Dawn points out above – Real Tour Vision has just implemented a new “tour window” that allows for linkage to the Realtors “other listed properties” – which of course should likewise have a virtual tour associated with them.

    Furthermore, Real Tour Vision’s solution allows the viewer to click on icons within the tour that will allow them to navigate to other rooms within the tour. This is something that home-buyers, sellers, and Realtors are all excited about once they realize the benefits. Virtual tours (such as those offered by VisualTours, etc.) do not offer the viewer such a method to ascertain the layout of the property. Knowing what a room looks like without understanding how one room connects to another can greatly defeat the overall value of the virtual tour.

    Keep up the good posts!
    Jason

  3. Jason- I agree having hotspots that connect rooms is a nice feature. Having a floor plan is also a big help. As I recall Dawn has some floor plans on her tours. I always use an online floor plan if I can get my hands on a drawing to reduce.

  4. Larry,

    Agreed, floorplans go the extra mile for a visual of the propery layout and room dimensions.

    I’m currently working on a solution that will allow me to create floorplans in a reasonable amount of time, henceforth allowing me to price these at a very attractive level.

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