I just visited a website that announced that cold calling is dead. This self proclaimed sales guru promises that if I will read his book, then I will never have to make a cold call again. That I can "generate an endless supply of qualified leads" just by following his simple formula. Hallelujah! I hate cold calling so this sounds wonderful....except I've been in sales a long time and I've read enough books and articles just like his and I know that it's not quite that easy.
You may remember the commercial -- I'm not a doctor but I play one on TV. Or you may have seen the movie the Hangover where the character Stu tells people he's a Doctor only to have his friends remind him that he's a Dentist. Or perhaps you know someone with a Ph.D. who doesn't correct people when they assume that the Doctor in their name means M.D.
The same phenomenom happens with Photographers. We recently providing vacation rental photography for a new North Georgia cabin rental company. Not too long ago, this company hired a "professional photographer" to take pictures of their cabins for their website. The results were terrible!
"They" say that a picture is worth a thousand words and as national virtual tour photographers, we certainly agree. But what "they" may not know is that a picture PLUS words is priceless.
When W.B. Brawley company wanted to create a presentation to show their hospitality services, they chose Vision Quest Virtual Tours. We had photographed virtual tours for several hotels that had undergone renovation under the leadership of W.B. Brawley's Geoff Cipkala so the plan was to show before and after pictures of the hotels.
Our virtual tours are created a combination of 360 degree panoramas, high definition still images and optinoal video clips to provide a one click overview of the facilty we are representing but for W.B. Brawley to communicate their message, it was going to take more than pictures...
A few years ago, I wrote a blog about Funeral Home Virtual Tours. Little did I know when I wrote it but that blog has been the MOST READ BLOG entry I have ever written and the terms "Funeral Home Virtual Tours" is one of the most searched keywords of all our website hits. Every week, we get multiple hits from people searching the terms Funeral Home Virtual Tours.
It's kind of funny because as a whole, the funeral home industry has not really gotten on the wave of social media. Like any business, funeral homes must continue to grow and adapt to the current market and with our aging population being cared for by a younger generation, there is added pressure to change the marketing mindset in the funeral home industry.
Funeral home virtual tours are just one tool that can help a funeral home business to reach out and meet consumers where they are...
I was 43 years old when I got married so like many people in this modern age, I met my husband online. Prior to that, I had a lot of experience -- both good and bad -- with online dating. The basics of any dating site are the same - you enter your search criteria then it pulls up a list of matches that fit your criteria. You see a main picture with a headline and then if you are interested you click on that person's name to get more information. You quickly find that the same people show up every time you search and so you scan through the familiar faces until you see someone that piques your interest.
This is the exact same process that home buyers go through when they are looking for a house...
When Ted Wight of Dielmann Sotheby's International Realty got his most recent listing he knew that it was something special so he needed a special approach for this special listing. The Stark Mansion is one of the most fabulous homes in Missouri’s Little Dixie. It was built in 1869 by the Stark family who introduced many of today’s popular apple varieties like Golden Delicious. Situated on 86 acres in the rolling hills of Pike County, the mansion has been completely restored and renovated with a meticulous eye for detail.
In addition to the spectacular house the listing price includes most of the fine contents of this mansion- antique furniture, china, glassware, collectibles and more and the property features a lake, cropland, springs and a creek. Showing all of this would be impossible with just still pictures so Ted called Vision Quest Virtual Tours to help him showcase this amazing property.
In addition to the virtual tour, we also provided him with high definition still images to show the details of each area and room as well as this great picture of Ted to use for his blog and website plus we created a YouTube video of the virtual tour for additional exposure.
In addition to posting the tour to MLS,Ted posted the virtual tour on his website and his blog as well as on Vision Quest’s website, as well as Trulia, Hot Pads, Oodle, FrontDoor, Vast, Backpage, Zillow, Reachoo, OLX, Geebo and Trovit. We also submitted it to over 40 social bookmarking sites for additional Search Engine Optimization.
This is a one of a kind property so it deserved a one of a kind website so Ted asked us to create a single property website so that potential buyers could get all the information they need about the Stark Mansion.
For more information about this fantastic listing, visit www.StarkMansion.com or call Ted at (314) 607-5555.
When Solstice Residential Treatment Center opened their new facility near Asheville, NC they decided to take the best practices of their very successful Utah facility with them. One of those things they decided to duplicate for their new facility is an interactive virtual tour and of course, they chose Vision Quest Virtual Tours once again.
Take a look at their virtual tour --
This morning, I am inside writing this blog while my husband is outside in the rain and snow and mud photographing and videoing a huge farm equipment auction. We had to get up at 5:30 am to be here which was a feat in and of itself. Oh and it’s 34 degrees out there and Greg has 25 virtual tours he needs to build.
There are times when our work gets frustrating. There are clients who drive us crazy. There are things about being self employed and owning our own virtual tour business that are hard to deal with. There are days when I want to quit and go get a “real job”. Yesterday was one of those days for me -- today may be one of those days for my husband...I’ll ask him as soon as his teeth stop chattering.
What keeps us motivated at times like these is the realization that despite the ups and downs and the frustrations and the challenges, what we do makes a difference and allows us to live a fantastic life. Our company is called Vision Quest Virtual Tours because it is our VISION that keeps us focused on why we do what we do. Sometimes it is the vision alone that keeps us going.
The Trouble with YouTube
As more and more people are realizing the need to showcase their businesses with virtual tours, we have started seeing lots of YouTube videos on websites. YouTube is a great option for showing sneezing pandas and little British boys biting their brother’s fingers but maybe it should not be the first choice for showcasing your business.
Today I was watching a video introduction for a drug and alcohol recovery program. The video was posted to YouTube so when I was finished watching the video, I was given an array of other choices of videos to watch. This particular program has 6 videos so those were some of the 12 other suggestions that YouTube offered me...
The other six however included a video for a medication for premature ejaculation, a video titled “Tall Brazilian girl finds love”, and one called “the Ultimate Girls Fail Compilation” which apparently is very popular as it has 72 Million views (well 72 Million and One now because of course I watched it)!! The video I went to YouTube to watch only had 182 views so clearly Ultimate Girl’s Fail garnered more attention than the drug and alcohol treatment program.
There are some things that must be seen to be believed. A yacht is one of them!
For many people, the idea of buying a boat is a fantasy that is way out of reach but most of those people have never actually been aboard a motoryacht or sailboat. We recently photographed a virtual tour for a 48 foot motoryacht and had the joy of staying aboard for a few days and got a taste of living aboard a boat. We were hooked but never imagined that buying a boat was something that we could ever afford.
As we walked into the marina, we passed the office for Charleston Harbor Yacht Sales and on a whim, I picked up a flyer. What I saw shocked me -- liveaboard boats were available for anywhere from $25,000 to $250,000! In fact we learned that the boat we were staying on, the Blue Hour, was for sale for less than $200,000!! We had no idea what a boat of that caliber would cost and we were floored. So much so that we made an appointment with John Douglas of Charleston Harbor Yacht Sales to go look at boats the very next day. It's our plan to buy a boat within the next few years and live aboard when we are home in Charleston, SC.
I am sure that our experience was not unlike many people who drive past the marinas and see the sailboats and motor yachts but never would imagine that owning a boat is within reach. I am sure many people who hear the word "yacht" imagine Donald Trump or Mitt Romney cruising around the islands - not themselves living in a floating condo. I am also sure that many people have no idea how comfortable life on a boat can be and imagine that the cabins would be cramped, small and dank.
What better way to debunk those misbeliefs than with a virtual tour? We are able to photograph panoramic spins of the staterooms, salon, decks and bridges and take wide angle stills of heads, galleys and instruments to provide a one click overview that even the most uneducated person can appreciate. Still images do not do justice to small spaces like the interior of a boat but 360 degree panoramas certainly can.
If you are a yacht owner or broker trying to sell a boat, there's no better way to showcase your vessel. To understand the value of a yacht virtual tour, you just need to click on the link below then give us a call at Vision Quest Virtual Tours to schedule your own.
B & B On The Sea Virtual Tour -- http://tours.visionquestvirtualtours.com/36486