Saturday, April 19, 2014

Last Chance to Attend the RTV Virtual Tour Provider Convention!

It’s your last chance to attend the RTV Virtual Tour Software Convention here in beautiful
downtown Traverse City, Michigan NEXT WEEK!

We MUST submit our final attendee number to the Park Place Hotel by Monday 9:00 AM.
This weekend will be your very last chance to purchase your convention tickets.

Click the link below to visit our registration page, see the show schedule, and we’ll see you next week team.


Team RTV
Virtual Tour Software & Digital Marketing Training
Order a virtual tour - 866-947-8687

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Preparing for a virtual home tour

Over the past seven years our virtual tour and photography products have continued to get better and better. We can really show off a well prepared home. Our photos can be absolutely stunning and really attract attention from those who are interested in your property. Our virtual tour photographers specialize in advance real estate photography techniques and really do a great job of capturing the essence of a home.

We are often asked to provide a list of things that should be done prior to the photographer arriving to take your marketing photos and to construct photos for your virtual home tour. We appreciate our clients being proactive in readying a property for photos and have seen over time the huge difference between a prepared home vs. a home that was not properly readied prior to our photographer’s arrival. This video has some suggestions that if followed will result in much better marketing photos.

If you would like a PDF document that contains many of these preparation steps for yourself and your customers simply email

Call 512-255-3200 or 361-749-3200 to schedule your appointment today.



Alan Fon
Local - (361) 749-0901

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Professional Hotel Photography
When you are searching for a hotel room for your upcoming vacation, do you look at listings that include horrible images or none at all? The answer is, probably not. Photos are extremely important when it comes to online booking sales and reservations.

Over 65% of individuals are visual learners, so this means that having photographs within a website can make or break a sale. Why are images so important?

A recent study proved that 7% of US hotel guests stopped short of booking a reservation due to the lack of visual content. Visual content is what drives the travel industry and is crucial to running a successful business. This is where professional hotel photography and virtual tours come into play.

The virtual tour business is a key component to the success of the travel industry. Hotel owners desire fresh, high quality images to increase their revenue.

Here are some fun facts:
•    94% more views are attracted by content containing high quality images, than content without images.
•    Properties with more than 20 photos get 150% more engagement.
•    More than 50% of US online travel shoppers use professional photography.
•    75% of US hotel guests said that hotel photography is important and ranks within the top 3 features when doing initial research.

So the more that you hear about content being king, just remember that visual content makes this statement true. Provide your clients with high quality content and they will always come back for more!

Ready to enjoy increased online conversions and higher occupancy rates? Contact RTV today to learn more about getting professional hotel photography and virtual tours for your hotel. National & International Coverage guaranteed!

Team RTV

Virtual Tour Software & Professional Hotel Photography
Order a virtual tour: 866-947-8687

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Friday, April 11, 2014

Game of Drones

Radio-controlled drones are revolutionizing the video industry but with great new technology, there are new obstacles. A drone is used to define an autonomous aircraft but now the word is slang for anything without a human pilot on board.

In reality these line of sight quadcopters are simply RC helicopter aircraft. The FAA refers to these as an unmanned aerial system or UAS and has recently lost their battle to prevent us virtual tour photographers from using these to compliment a virtual tour business

Up until recently, drones have not been able to carry cameras due to the size and weight but with technology expanding, the options are becoming endless. It is now practical to have a low-cost platform to shoot video and photographs from.  High quality cameras can be easily mounted directly to RC Quadcopters. While full scale "Drones" have been used around the world for many purposes such as inspecting areas, surveillance, search and rescue, and military use, their smaller and innocent RC counterparts Quadcopters are now making a HUGE splash in the world of virtual tours.

Quadcopters are becoming quite popular within the photography industry and especially for virtual tour businesses who want to offer aerial services for a reasonable fee.

So is it legal to use a drone to shoot photographs and video?  You bet it is!!

There are however many guidelines to flying an unmanned system but the basic rules are to never fly more than 400 feet above ground, do not fly close to airports, never fly near crowds of people, and never fly where you may cause damage to property. So basically, make the correct judgment calls and keep your Quadcopter within viewing distance.

Have fun out there RTV and you'll be able to get your RC Quadcopter at a discounted rate at our up and coming virtual tour provider convention.  See you there!

Real Tour Vision
National Virtual Tour Service
Order a Virtual Tour - 866-947-8687

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Non-Compete & Competition Comparison Chart

Spring has sprung and has a very special virtual tour company marketing piece that’s sure to put a bounce in your sales pitch. With the polar ice caps melting to the North (literally), and the grass greening up around the country, local business owners are sure to be ready for you to entice them with a Fusion virtual tour presentation.

Real estate professionals are listing and selling more inventory than we’ve seen in six to seven years.  The time for you to make your move is NOW, and we’ve got just what you need this month for your virtual tour marketing and photographer hiring needs.

First up we have a document that helps establish a visual comparison between you and your top competitor.  With this colorful and customizable one-page flyer you can confidently walk into any business (after just a few minutes of editing) and lay down the differences between you and your local competition.  This document comes pre-made for you as a comparison between your powerful Fusion virtual tours and a basic Google business virtual tour.  Customize it anyway you like and have fun handing it out!

Use the piece for real estate to distinguish between your services and those of anyone else in your market.  Feel free to add or remove rows  / columns as you see fit based on any special services that you offer that may not be listed on the document.

As a second piece, we’ve created for you a boiler plate NON-Compete form that you may use for your virtual tour company. The document was created by an attorney can now be found under the resources section in Here’s a great way for you to feel secure knowing that you’re not just training your future competition.  Make sure you take notice of the Payment section as this is very important in making the agreement legal and binding. 
Login now to snag these two pieces and have a great time out there marketing and hiring your next virtual tour coordinator / photographer for your virtual tour business.

Thanks for your continued support.


RTV Marketing

RTV, Inc
Hotel Photography
Order a Virtual Tour - 866-947-8687

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Monday, April 7, 2014

Calling All Virtual Tour Providers

Are you new to the RTV Virtual Tour Software system and eager to get started?  Do you feel a little limited by your handle on everything you need to do and skills you need to learn?  Perhaps you’re a seasoned veteran of the old RTV System 1.0 or 2.0 and just aren’t sure how to get back into the virtual tour business.  Either way we have the answer for you.

The RTV National Conference 2014 has an entire day dedicated to getting you up to speed on the powerful Fusion virtual tour system, the sales, and the virtual tour creation process.

Learn side by side with RTV's TOP VIRTUAL TOUR PROVIDERS and experts in the Fusion virtual tour system, virtual tour photography, and Sales. Come to the virtual tour provider and jump start your virtual tour business.

Those of you that have been with RTV for several years are encouraged to attend too.  There will be classes for everyone at every skill level. We promise that you'll learn learn advanced techniques and so much more.  We recently posted our new class schedule which you can find below.

What are you waiting for RTV?? See you there.


Team RTV

RTV, Inc
Hotel Photography
Order a Virtual Tour - 866-947-8687

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Tipping Point

Every self employed person or business owner needs to read the book The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. 
According to the listing on, "The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire."  It's that one big break that happens and suddenly your business is an overnight success...or so it seems

Since starting our national virtual tour business, my husband and I have always said that we were just one phone call away from changing everything.  We have had some amazing breaks but for the first five years of our business, we really had to hustle for every job we got.  Because we specialize in healthcare virtual tours and vacation rental virtual tours, we have been lucky enough for some of those jobs to be big ones but even with that, it's been all about the hustle.

At the beginning of 2013, I made a concerted effort to become more systemized in my marketing efforts.  I decided that I would work from an objective list rather than set specific goals.  Before I would set a goal to call 100 people a week but the challenge of our business is that if one of those calls said yes, then I was done calling and we were in the car to go shoot a regional hospital or hotel group and my To-Do list got set aside.  Last year, I set up an operating frame work that gives me daily objectives and weekly objectives.  Instead of waiting until I had an office day and trying to crank out cold calls, I set my minimum criteria to contact 5 new leads per week - one in each of our core disciplines -- and to touch one contact every day.  This could be an existing client or a lead that is in my pipeline.

By making my objective list manageable, I have been able to do almost all of it every day. The program I use to track my activities is called Opus Domini and the great thing about it is that certain tasks renew every day and certain tasks carry forward until I delete them.  This means that I wake up with a basically clean slate each day other than the important items that I didn't get to the day before.

I also became fanatical about using Sales Force instead of keeping handwritten notes.  At the end of the day, I transfer any hand written notes into SalesForce and throw away the pages that I wrote on.  This systematic, methodical approach has literally transformed our business.

Instead of managing Tasks in SalesForce, I now manage my Opportunity Pipeline and update it every day.  I am the world's worst about writing a task in SalesForce then forgetting to log into SalesForce so that when I do, I have 30 reminders.  Things get lost that way but when I am looking at the Opportunity Pipeline every day and seeing the dollar signs next to those opportunities, it helps me to prioritize my activities and create tasks that are appropriate and timely rather than simple busy work.

The amazing thing is that this approach has caused our business to explode!!  We were successful before but now our business runs like a well oiled machine and doesn't have the ups and downs that we used to experience.  We started 2014 with an opportunity pipeline that has 125% more pending and potential business than we made in 2013! We started the year with our biggest job of all time -- photographing 115 vacation rental virtual tours in Charleston, SC during January and February.  We have had one of our busiest months for real estate in Illinois despite the fact that they have had record snowfalls and the coldest winter in over 30 years.

Napolean Hill said ""When Riches begin to come they come so quickly and in such great abundance that one wonders where they have been hiding during all those lean years."  The key to getting to that tipping point for us was working diligently during the leaner years and trusting that the efforts would pay off.

Greg and Paige Mitts
Charleston Virtual Tours
Order a Charleston, SC virtual tour: 404-863-9769

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Monday, March 24, 2014

Exposure Elements Launches Aerial Photography Service

In this era of internet exposure today's home buyers and businesses want stimulating visuals that captivate their attention.   Our radio controlled RC Helicopters provide close range high definition aerial images at up to 14 megapixel granularity and should be easily able to print up to 8x10 images with excellent results.  We recently were able to shoot a 4 image panorama 60 feet off the ground and deliver an outstanding 11x17 image to our client.

Windy day? ... No problem!  Our quad copters are all GPS enabled.  When we get the shot we want we can focus on camera work and our quads just hover until we move to the next needed shot. 

Get your aerial shots while we are out shooting your listing for a virtual tour and we will save you a bundle of cash.  Aerial photography starts at just $100 when shot with a virtual tour.  Send us an email message at  Text message or phone us at 408-431-0461  to schedule your professional aerial photography and virtual tour.

Best Regards,
Call Now: 408-431-0461

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Friday, March 21, 2014

RoboTour Works For Us

RoboTour is a Huge time-saver for me! The crew always does their best and my scenes are stitched just the way I like them, with NO stitching errors! Everyone at RTV is great to work with and they always let me know if they have any questions about any particular 360 panorama.

While I don't use RoboTour all the time, I do find that it is extremely helpful when I have a large order or a very busy week and just don't have the time to stitch everything together.  RoboTour is like having a virtual assistant there ready to go all of the time!

How does it work? It's simple. I just upload the virtual tour photos and they take it from there. It leaves me free to do my invoicing, photo editing, and schedule more photography appointments. If you haven't used RoboTour yet, you should definitely give a try!  Thanks RTV.


Michelle L. Duffy,

Cathal & Michelle Duffy
Order a Palm Coast Virtual Tour Now: 904-688-0372
Florida's Leading Virtual Tour Provider

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

IMAGE Webinar 52- Methods to Maximize Your Profit II

RTV WebinarsWe expect to see objects in photos appear as they would in real life.  When objects in photos appear as they do in real life, all is right with the world and we can breathe easy.

Join me, Ben Knorr for second IMAGE webinar in this series, Methods to Maximize Your Profit, as we talk about the importance of and how to quickly straighten your photos. Jim Blue, from BlueLava Media, will as join us and share the importance of straightening your photos as well as the methods he uses to make these edits quick.

As virtual tour photographers we make our living off of professional photography and virtual tours.  Like any business, when we sell our photography and virtual tours services, we need to make a profit.  I am sure that most of us would like to make as much profit as we can.  Well, don’t you?

In this IMAGE webinar series “Methods to Maximize Your Profit” we are going to focus on photography methods that directly affect your profit margins.  Whether you shoot quick turn virtual tours for a lower price or you shoot high end property virtual tours and business virtual tours, we will address many different photography methods that will enhance everyone’s profitability through this IMAGE webinar series.

Join me, Ben Knorr, your IMAGE webinar host and our special guest, Jim Blue, Tuesday, March 25, 2014 for the IMAGE 52– Methods to Maximize Your Profit. 

Sign up now in your TMS!

See you there RTV


Ben Knorr

RTV, Inc
Virtual Tour Software & Professional Apartment Photography

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Chicago Virtual Tours - XL Visions Story

Photography has been my passion since my teenage years. Over the years it has become my hobby, my job, my profession. During my college years I have spend many hours lost in the darkness of photo lab's darkroom... From developing film to printing, from black and white to color... eventually the transition came from film to digital.

photo taken with Nikon N60, kodak tri-x film, fall 2000
Over the years I photographed people, events, buildings and locations for work related purposes and my own satisfaction. Although, I have to admit that I always enjoyed photographing architecture and landscapes more than photographing events and people (nothing against people). I did not realize it until few years ago, it was when I came upon an idea to offer my own professional photography services. XL Visions was born - Exceptional Solutions for Real Estate and Business demands with Professional Photography, Fusion Virtual Tours and Innovative Marketing.

photo taken with Nikon N60, kodak tri-x film, fall 2000

I am very dedicated and passionate about my work, my photography, about the quality of the images. Maybe sometimes even too much. When one would think that smaller project, a less expensive, with less value in it would be treated and photographed as one. I still pay same amount of attention to detail, photograph it just like I would photograph a "castle" because I have respect and hold to the fact that something with no value to one could be a treasure to another. 

photo taken with Nikon D300, RAW format, fall 2013
Now, I am passionate about virtual tour photography and I believe in my skills, but I needed something to complete and support my services, my business. This is why I found and chose RTV - The Leaders in Virtual Tour Software, National Photography Services and amazing training services. RTV are the real deal!! Their support is simply phenomenal. A few years ago, when RTV released their new virtual tour system called Fusion I knew this was the tool, the missing link that I was looking for. 

main screen of Fusion Virtual Tour

A Fusion Virtual Tour is more than just a virtual tour. It's been build on over a decade of RTV's industry expertise. It is an amazing media presentation of HD photographs, panoramas, video and audio with many powerful and innovative marketing and sharing options. Together with the Fusion virtual tour software package and my photography services I bring you everything a real estate agent or business owner could ask for when it comes to marketing their listings and properties.

Today, I feel very proud and confident to be able to offer endless possibilities to help promote your real estate listing, property, hotel, country club, restaurant, school...
I think you get the picture now.

Tomasz Worek
XL Visions
Chicago Virtual Tours

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Monday, March 17, 2014

Campus Virtual Tours & Professional Photography
In order to improve your enrollment numbers, you need to interest more prospective students in your college or university. One great way to do this is with a high quality, interactive campus virtual tour.

A virtual tour of your campus can bring your campus experience to prospective students and their families. In addition to letting new students see what life is like at your university or college, virtual tours are also easy to share—so prospective enrollees can spread the excitement to friends and family who aren’t directly involved in their college process. 

The benefits of college and campus virtual tours:
While a virtual tour can’t serve as a substitute for a live in person tour, it can help students who are trying to decide which colleges to apply for decide on your school. Virtual tours are an economic way to get a feel for a college or university, so students can enjoy an interactive look at your campus without having to take extra time for a physical visit while they’re still applying to colleges.

Virtual tours are also an excellent way to show out-of-state and international students and their families your facilities, so they’ll be more comfortable knowing what you have to offer without the expense of an extra visit.

Finally, a campus virtual tour can help you keep alumni and donors informed about the latest campus improvements and growth at your college or university.

Do virtual tours work for colleges?

One of the big questions colleges and universities have regarding virtual tours is whether students actually use or care about these presentations. Recent research from Cappex, a college search website, shows they do: In a cross-section survey of students, the company found that 36% of college-bound students would “really like” to see a virtual tour, and 30% said that virtual tours were a “must have.”

The survey also found that colleges and universities using virtual tours have a real advantage, because only 21% of institutions polled by Cappex placed an emphasis on having quality virtual tours available.

What should your college virtual tour include?
Of course, any institution should offer a look at their student residential facilities and on-campus housing for a virtual tour. But a truly effective virtual tour should give prospective students a look at overall campus life.

In addition to residence halls and dorms, your virtual tour should also show a selection of classrooms and learning facilities, cafeterias, student centers, gyms, and any other facilities you offer that would add to the quality of student life.

Want to increase your enrollment numbers? Contact RTV to learn more about our high quality, interactive virtual tours for colleges and universities.

RTV, Inc
Virtual Tour Software & Campus Photography

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Virtual Tour Convention + Class List

If you have never attended the RTV virtual tour Convention, make this your year! Get in person training, meet other dealers, meet the staff, shop and chat with our vendors, and be part of all the excitement!

Our Momentum Convention will be a great time for everyone to get hands on training, socialize, and get to know our virtual tour company a little better. We will cover the ins and outs of virtual tour creation, professional photography, videography, and the components that are required to run a successful virtual tour business. While learning about RTV and meeting other professional photographers, you will also have time to enjoy dinners, drinks, festivities and get acquainted with several of our vendors that will be helping to sponsor this amazing once-a-year event.

April in Michigan is a great time to travel and we are thrilled to be having this event at the Park Place Hotel once again. Some of RTV very best virtual tour providers will be attending this year and there's always so much to learn.

Don't wait until the last minute to get your attendance tickets! Your ticket will cover all of your classes during the 4 day weekend with RTV at the Park Place Hotel. The Park Place Hotel is located in the heart of downtown Traverse City which is filled with great restaurants, shopping outlets, and entertainment. Each person attending classes will need to register as a convention attendee and your dinner ticket is included in that price. If you're bringing someone who will not be attending the classes but would like to come for the dinner you will want to purchase additional dinner tickets below. We have special room rates and rooms blocked out for attendees. There will also be an Awards Banquet after dinner on Saturday evening.

Register here -

Here's the Virtual Tour Convention Class Lineup -

Intro to Fusion – RTV Support Staff
Intro to Tour Track – RTV Tour Track
Photography I – Ben Knorr and Brett Weaver
Beyond Exposures: Bracketing and Lighting –Ben Knorr and Brett Weaver
Intro to Sales and Marketing – Jason LaVanture
Guerrilla Marketing
Branding Yourself

Intro to Light Room – Donna Big
Advanced Fusion Management – RTV Support Staff
Into to PTGui – RTV support Staff
HDR Photography with SNS Software – Jim Blue and Glen Farrell
Intro to Videography –Tony Gaffarri and JC Cherubini

Advanced Marketing –Jason LaVanture, Paige Mitts, Lisa Castro
Social Networking
Contact Management
Email Marketing
Presentations, Cold Calling and Small Group activities
Advanced Videography –JC and Tony Ghaffari
Advanced Light Room – Donna Bigg

Ask the Expert- Jason LaVanture hosts a Town Hall style Q&A with Allison Schuetzle, Jonathan Leuthe Lisa Freeman Castro Paige LeFevre Mitts James Hoback Ken McCasland

RC Quad-Coptor and Elevated shots (may change depending on weather) –Jason LaVanture
Wrap up – What’s next for RTV

See you there RTV!

Real Tour Vision
Hotel Photography
Order a Virtual Tour - 866-947-8687

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Marketing Your Virtual Tour Business Offline

Marketing your virtual tour business is important if you want to have access to new customers and increase your sales. Previously I talked about the online marketing methods which involved social media, blogging, and other techniques.

This post will cover the offline "real world" methods in marketing your virtual tour business and how you can become a locally recognized name. There are so many ways to market your virtual tour business without using the Internet and most of these are either inexpensive or FREE! Let's get started!

First, having a workspace is very important when running your virtual tour company and marketing in the offline world. This workspace can be from home but you will always have an advantage if you physically have an office location that customers can visit to talk about business. Positioning yourself among real estate offices, housing services, and photography stores can be a great benefit to you and can increase the amount of customers that visit you. Find a solid location that can be utilized in the most professional manner.

Create your marketing materials to hand out to potential customers. Marketing materials can include business cards, flyers, brochures, sample DVDs, and anything that can grab someone's attention and show them what your business is all about. Don't forget to include starting prices, benefits of using virtual tours, why your business is unique, and why customers want to deal with specifically you.

Most of these materials can be printed at local print shops for a reasonable price or you can purchase them online if you are willing to wait for shipping time. Remember that dealing with bulk orders can provide you with great discounts to make the price more reasonable.  Find lots of ready to go materials for your virtual tour business back in your account. Come and go from there as you please month to month.

Build a professional virtual tour sample tour to present to your customers. Having this sample tour is crucial because it will show your camera work, video skills, and features that you offer when building virtual tours. This sample tour can be used for in person presentations in your office, sent via e-mail, burnt to a DVD or CD, or presented anywhere using a laptop. So no matter where your customers are, they can see your work and be amazed!  Think of Fusion as a advanced power point system.  Here's an example for you -

Research your local market and see what your virtual tour competition is up to. By learning how your competition is conducting business, you can learn the ups and downs to see which methods of marketing are most successful. Remember that mistakes are never bad because they are a learning experience that will help you and your business grow and become more stable.

Looking for unique ways to market your virtual tour & photography business? Check out the following ideas and see which ones spark your interest.

•    Talk about your business. Tell all of the local businesses or potential clients about your virtual tour business.
•    Connect and network with other virtual tour businesses.
•    Advertise in free local magazines and newspapers.
•    Advertise using billboards or other types of signs.
•    Be unique and offer coupons/special deals. Include these with your business cards and other marketing materials. Great for first time customers!
•    Ask local businesses if you can leave your business cards there.
•    Advertise in the Yellow pages.
•    Try to get on local radio stations to talk about your virtual tour business.
•    Schedule local meetings about the benefits of virtual tours and how they increase real estate sales.
•    Use your car to advertise by purchasing custom decals or magnets.
•    Direct mail campaigns are great once you have a mailing list of potential customers. Sending out your business information is inexpensive and the return profit pays for all expenses.

Now you should have more than plenty of ideas and can confident in marketing your virtual tour business. Happy marketing!

Real Tour Vision
Hotel Photography
Order a Virtual Tour - 866-947-8687

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