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looking to start up my own business12051

Selyah private msg quote post Address this user
I have spent 8 months researching software, cameras, scope, markets where I live, competition (virtually none), website design, goto market approaches. I have now decided this is what I want to do - starting part time, difficult time to start, but I can take the risk with little outlay.

However the more I look at various software packages, cameras, hosting, the harder it is to find the best of all worlds, they all seem to have their USP and downsides.

After some pretty slow responses and not exactly truthful discussions, I have discounted Matterport.
There are many reasons behind this, owning finished tours, costs of hosting, inability to have the tour offline, pricing and vat changes, the list go on - there is no getting away with the quality of the results, but as a small business concern are not a good fit for me.

I love the similar iGuide product, but the camera costs, no UK backup or service, and pricing structure per sqft for inside /outside spaces, (not really used in the UK) has put me off as the costs escalate massively.

The best option for all my needs so far, and by far the best customer service has been Metareal, their customer service and support is the best by a country mile. Again I hit the hosting issue and the inability to add video footage from drones, or create stills is a downside.

I have looked at Cupix and all the others, Kuula, pano2vr, etc. etc. types, they all have pros and cons, mainly pricing structures / hosting that won't work for me as a startup.

Eyespy360 seems like a very good fit, but I want more than one photo per room to stop the 'beam me forward scotty' effect, there may be a way around this, waiting on a response from Frederick how to get around this issue as some tours seem to deal with it and others not.

lastly there is 3DVista, which I really like and would go to in a heartbeat, pricing works for me as does offline ownership - but then I need to find and learn the hosting side, and weigh up the costs associated with that. (anyone able to help me with that I would be very grateful).

So I am left with Metareal, eyespy360 and 3dVista as the main contenders for my needs where I live, each suit a need, and maybe it will be best to use 2 of them for different needs? - but they all allow me to use the awesome Theta Z1.

So any sage advice for a startup without having the -why have you discounted Matterport- argument, would be really helpful, especially considering the 3 main packages I am considering, and hosting experience / options.

Cheers, martin.
Post 1 IP   flag post
WGAN Forum
Founder
Atlanta
DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
@Selyah

Thank you for joining WGAN, your analysis/back-story. I could imagine that there are many in the exact same boat: "which of 50+ 3D/360 cameras and 140+ 360/3d virtual tour platforms/software are right for me?"

Metareal Stage (has a special offer for WGAN Members)

I anticipate that WGAN-TV Live at 5 will be doing a 3DVista show by 30 June 2020.

Here are WGAN Forum discussions tagged: Metareal Stage | EyeSpy360 | 3DVista

Virtual Tour Pro Course by Ben Claremont has many great content regarding business development meets virtual tours. (To save 15%, Private Message me for a promo code)

You may find the WGAN-TV Training Academy helpful too.

--

For those just starting out, it's helpful to know:

1. Your professional background (LinkedIn?)
2. Your subject matter expertise
3. What field that you have trusted relationships to either buy virtual tours or refer you

Best,

Dan
Post 2 IP   flag post
Cubed private msg quote post Address this user
Any recommendations for someone new to photography and virtual tours? My background is IT and customer service. I've take several photos for GSV. I'm open to offer free services to get experience and build a book of business. Any other suggestions?
Post 3 IP   flag post
WGAN Forum
Founder
Atlanta
DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
@Cubed

Welcome to the WGAN Forum too.

Learning the technology – whatever camera/platform/software you choose - will be the easy part for you.

The hardest will be business development. That's why these two questions are essential to you:

1. Your subject matter expertise?
2. What field that you have trusted relationships to either buy virtual tours or refer you?

I recommend starting with a niche that you are both a subject matter expert and have trusted friends and colleagues that can either buy or refer you to buyers.

Dan
Post 4 IP   flag post
bryanhscott private msg quote post Address this user
@Selyah In regards to EyeSpy360: I am a subscriber and former Matterport MSP.

You can take more than one pano per room using EyeSpy360, but the effects to their floor plans is negative. It also cuts up the floor on their 3D model, because their AI treats each pano as a separate room, even though it isn’t, which is also not desirable.

If you intend to use a 3rd party for floor plans, then not really an issue, but their platform is not built to do what Matterport does easily, which is improve the “walk-through” effects you mentioned. This effect, in EyeSpy360, can be muted if you ALWAYS maintain line of sight between panos. It is also more pleasing to the viewer if you skew your angle of view shot towards a corner vs. in the center of room.

I have heard great things about 3D Vista, but you have to sort out how to deal with hosting, whereas these “done for you platforms” handle all that for you.

I am becoming a fan of Nodalview. They have a number of features in their development pipeline that may make them rise to the top for me. You may want to give them a look as well.

Good luck to you!
Post 5 IP   flag post
MarkJohn private msg quote post Address this user
@Selyah

As you say maybe different software for different needs...horses for courses.
Personally I would be looking at lots of market research of needs... given the changing world in front of us...needs are changing.

Real estate would seem like an obvious choice to start ...given thats back functioning in England at least.

In my personal opinion virtual tour software with some form of integrated customer contact; like EyeSpy360 or Cloudpano (and Im sure many others) would be big draw for real estate agents at this time.


@bryanhscott

Re: EyeSpy360 and 2 panos per room dividing up the floorplan/3d model into 2 rooms incorrectly problem

Im just starting with EyeSpy360 today ...

Can I ask if this problem exists across the board to both their Tour as a Service offering (like the WGAN offer) and their DIY Pro plan as well (where you are doing things yourself) ?

Thanks

Mark
Post 6 IP   flag post
bryanhscott private msg quote post Address this user
@MarkJohn Can’t say for sure, but if they use same software to create the floor plans and 3D model in both instances, highly likely. Just the same, you may wish to confirm with their support group.
Post 7 IP   flag post
Selyah private msg quote post Address this user
Thanks Bryan, Scott.

I have had a further answer from Frederick on the more than one photo per room:

- "We still only recommend taking one photo per room, our software will only use one photo to create each space in your 3D model box, you can take 2 and this will just show the edge of one photo in the 3D model box and the beginning of the next."

So essentially you divide each room into 2 boxes and then use one photo per divided box, but that means you have to use the prof version and do all the editing yourself, happy with that.

- "You can certainly take more 360 photos if you wish, however we find most viewers don't want to click multiple times to simply move from one room to the next. We highly recommend leaving all doors open inside a property to make a smoother transition from room to room."

Which in reality with their software is always going to be the answer, as they are really a pano joining software company - where you jump from one pano to the next in steps, rather than a virtual tour company where you walk through the property as if you were there (Matterport, Metareal, iGuide).

I disagree that one photo per room is enough as it often doesn't give you a full perspective of a room from different corners, and often I look out of windows to see the view - something that's hard from one picture in the middle of the room.

They have updated however the dolls house view with more than one photo - so you could take one photo from close to a corner and then one closer towards the door, the smaller dark photo is the old software from their youtube channel, and yes it looks awful, and then a recent one after an upgrade where you can only see the divide in the rug and left wall, much better. Twice as much work as you have to create twice the amount of room as as there are

At £60 per month here in the UK for 50 live tours with all the interactive extras that's not too bad compared to the competition - my only hesitance is after real estate agents seeing the ultra smooth seamless matterport tours, the beam me around jumping from room to room seems very budget.

For me its a no, at that price point Cupix is much better and could be used for more than just real estate work, Metareal is smoother and lower cost, or self hosting via 3D vista is a far more appealing option.

Martin






Post 8 IP   flag post
MarkJohn private msg quote post Address this user
Hi Martin

Re Eyespy360 pricing youve mentioned above ...is that 50 live tours for £60 a month in the Pro version a special price?

Thanks
Post 9 IP   flag post
Expertise private msg quote post Address this user
Slow your roll.

Are you a skilled photographer?

Most people trying to make a steady living doing 360 stuff ONLY quickly find that it is a tough row to hoe.
Post 10 IP   flag post
Selyah private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Expertise
Slow your roll.

Are you a skilled photographer?

Most people trying to make a steady living doing 360 stuff ONLY quickly find that it is a tough row to hoe.


Not sure what you mean - slow your roll?

Where I live there are no 360 tour operators, no market for it presently in any commercial application, being on a small island any sales, rental, travel, holidaying is done at arms length, so I am in a unique situation where there is great benefit to introduce this as a technology and service.

I will be starting slowly part time and continuing to work as well.
Post 11 IP   flag post
Selyah private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJohn
Hi Martin

Re Eyespy360 pricing youve mentioned above ...is that 50 live tours for £60 a month in the Pro version a special price?

Thanks


I have muddled up the different software pricing, sorry, been looking at so many. Its £59 for 25 tours and £79 for 50 tours, I stand corrected.

if you go to the bottom of the normal pricing on their site, there is a small underlined link for pro (DIY) tours, this brings up another section showing the below, and by moving the slider it changes the volume breaks.




Post 12 IP   flag post
Expertise private msg quote post Address this user
Slow your roll = tread carefully.

I've spent many, many years in sales... I know you're excited about the idea that there are no competitors. But as you said yourself... there is also no market. That means you need to first educate and then SELL people. A big job. And, in addition, you would have to show them what a 3D tour is, make them want it and then sell them on a semi-clunky product in EyeSpy360. At least with Matterport, you can just send them a link to a tour and maybe a Forbes article or something. It has pretty high name recognition.

There is a truism in business: the first person in a new thinng usually fails, it's the second person in who makes a killing, after the first guy educates everyone.

EyeSpy360 is a perfect example. They have been around apparently for 3 years or more. I never heard of them until a couple weeks ago. It took a global pandemic for them to get some traction. I just signed up to give it a try. I think I can sell the interactivity to our clients, but we've been doing this for 6 years and have hundreds of clients.

Are there real estate photographers on your island?
Post 13 IP   flag post
Selyah private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Expertise
Slow your roll = tread carefully.

I've spent many, many years in sales... I know you're excited about the idea that there are no competitors. But as you said yourself... there is also no market. That means you need to first educate and then SELL people. A big job. And, in addition, you would have to show them what a 3D tour is, make them want it and then sell them on a semi-clunky product in EyeSpy360. At least with Matterport, you can just send them a link to a tour and maybe a Forbes article or something. It has pretty high name recognition.

There is a truism in business: the first person in a new thinng usually fails, it's the second person in who makes a killing, after the first guy educates everyone.

EyeSpy360 is a perfect example. They have been around apparently for 3 years or more. I never heard of them until a couple weeks ago. It took a global pandemic for them to get some traction. I just signed up to give it a try. I think I can sell the interactivity to our clients, but we've been doing this for 6 years and have hundreds of clients.

Are there real estate photographers on your island?



Thanks for your advice.
just an overview on my background.

This has been nearly a year in planning, I am not overly excited, very measured, and asking for advice just on software and what other routes people have taken, not how to set up a business.

Yes I am new to 360 tours, but not to start up business, photography, IT. I was a national and international sales manager in the past, and have set up many new territory's as well as subcontracted and manged delivery partners. I have designed many GTM approaches, launched new products focused primarily in the software SaaS/ TaaS arena, both internationally and globally.

There have been a couple of people who have tried to introduce 360 tours on the Island, they have failed (after asking real estate contacts) because the products they have used are basic and the output poor, and pricing of £500+ for 8-12 photos, barely covering each room.

These were hobby photographers with little to no business capabilities, and the professional photographers I have spoken too, dont want to diversify and are happy to still with still images, weddings etc, and real estate agents just take photos with iphones or engage photographers from the mainland to come over for the upper market..

This is why I want to make sure which ever product I use, its looks high end, 'matterport style', but without having to use Matterport and its pricing / restrictive trade methodology.

There will be a place for other software for more basic services, Cupix will probably fill that need for me, but at the moment nothing beats Metareal for me, best of both worlds and service I have not seen from any other company.

Its almost a perfect storm for me, covid making me speed up its introduction, my 2 best friends run a marketing company and a photography / graphic design business here - so I am ideally suited with contacts and business out of the gate.
Post 14 IP   flag post
MarkJohn private msg quote post Address this user
@Selyah

Thanks for the clarification on the price...I thought maybe EyeSpy360 had offered you a special deal for a minute!

As I said before in my opinion real estate is your easiest entry point at this time...I live in Cardiff and thats certainly true here anyway. My brother owns a local independent chain... many agents just dont have the skills/time to do virtual tours.

If you were able to 'take on' a property either with /or instead of the agent i.e. measure up / maybe write the factual sales description / dslr photos / virtual tour or video walkthrough / Do a floorplan/3d model / and ideally do an EPC at the same time

you would be very useful to a lot of agents. They could outsource some or all of those elements to you.
You could also do Commercial in the same way.

(EPC = Energy Performance Certificate for a building ...compulsory when selling or renting for non EU readers)

Ok you would need to qualify as an EPC assessor (and maybe you couldnt do that right now) but you could do that later.

Maybe thats not the market you want to be in but its a market to start out in...and its not mutually exclusive with anything else you want to do. Im sure there are many of up market properties on the IOW to build a portfolio from on the way.

In terms of market research have a look at the OnTheMarketweb portal. They have just introduced a filter to enable you to select only properties with 'online viewing' ... i.e. video or virtual tour

From a quick look the real estate agents Pittis are using Matterport and another Lancasters are using an own brand EyeSpy360 tour. Treat that as a positive and have a chat to them....

Regards

Mark
Post 15 IP   flag post
Metareal
Representative
Montreal, Canada
ysabelc private msg quote post Address this user
@Selyah This is Ysabel from Metareal. Thank you for saying we're the best option so far . We really appreciate it.

Just wanted to weigh in on your decision a bit more. You're definitely right, we still have a lot of features we need to add to Metareal Stage before it's perfect. But one thing I can promise you is that we're constantly working on doing exactly that.

If you look at our release notes, you'll see that we release a new update every few weeks. And it's never a small update either, where we just fix a minor bug or update some text. Nope, it's always a big release that truly improves our platform, and helps our users build faster and better tours. In fact, we just released an update last week, and we're already releasing a new one next week!

So while we may be lacking some features, like self-hosting, drone video footage, and stills, that's only for now. After a dozen updates or so, we'll have all those features and more. Because we're passionate about our product, and we want to make it the #1 3D virtual tour platform out there.

So really, this is the best time to sign up and join us. We plan our development roadmap based on the features our users are asking for. And the more demand for a certain feature, the higher the priority for it is. And the earlier you're with us, the more feedback you can give us, and the faster we can roll out updates to fit your needs.
Post 16 IP   flag post
Selyah private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by ysabelc
@Selyah This is Ysabel from Metareal. Thank you for saying we're the best option so far . We really appreciate it.

Just wanted to weigh in on your decision a bit more. You're definitely right, we still have a lot of features we need to add to Metareal Stage before it's perfect. But one thing I can promise you is that we're constantly working on doing exactly that.

If you look at our release notes, you'll see that we release a new update every few weeks. And it's never a small update either, where we just fix a minor bug or update some text. Nope, it's always a big release that truly improves our platform, and helps our users build faster and better tours. In fact, we just released an update last week, and we're already releasing a new one next week!

So while we may be lacking some features, like self-hosting, drone video footage, and stills, that's only for now. After a dozen updates or so, we'll have all those features and more. Because we're passionate about our product, and we want to make it the #1 3D virtual tour platform out there.

So really, this is the best time to sign up and join us. We plan our development roadmap based on the features our users are asking for. And the more demand for a certain feature, the higher the priority for it is. And the earlier you're with us, the more feedback you can give us, and the faster we can roll out updates to fit your needs.


Thanks Ysabel.
Its always going to depend on your market audience as to the feature set you want, as I discussed with Gareth, I could cover pretty much all potential bases I can think of with metareal alone, with just 3 core extra things, there are some minor nice to haves such as labels that could have photos inside them, URl to videos, as well as the text you have now, but the important ones for me are:

On your front page next to the VR / dollhouse / measuring buttons, a button that would link to a video url (drone or otherwise), this is a very simple thing for a company like you to achieve, and would level the playing field with many of your competitors. This would mean before the tour you could not only look at the dollhouse and floor plan, but also look at the outside surrounding area, something an internal tour / plan cant give you, this is very important as you are missing some of the most important selling points of a property outside.

Secondly, and I know you are looking at this, the ability to host off line and keep own own tours, one of the biggest bug bears most tour operators seem to have. I will likely have many clients that will want long term tours for their own website, hotels, restaurants, holiday home listings etc, the way you are set up now I would have to pay long term for that hosting via you, and cross charge an a annual amount to cover for this, 3Dvista of course allows you to do this either hosting yourself, or creating an offline file that plays from any source.

Lastly some kind of innovative way to show the outside space, maybe similar to the dollhouse view?
I have seen some tours that Gareth has sent me showing outside spaces really well, and I am guessing this is just linking each picture via a 'Virtual door', but being able to create outside rooms as well so the dollhouse view would connect up external garages, pool houses, gardens etc would be the cherry on the cake.

I will move to use Metareal as my primary but 3Dvista for specific longer term clients or tour with outside spaces, and move 100% across when you fill the gaps

Unfortunately my car was broken into last night and my brand new theta Z1 was stolen (lesson there for me), so my session today taking photos outside and moving inside to see the transition and modelling on 3dvista to Metareal comparison, will have to wait 2 weeks until another arrives unless I can find some panos from somewhere.
Post 17 IP   flag post
Metareal
Representative
Montreal, Canada
ysabelc private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Selyah
Unfortunately my car was broken into last night and my brand new theta Z1 was stolen (lesson there for me)


My condolences! They're so hard to get these days too.

I think @DanSmigrod has some 360 panos available for WGAN members. You could PM him for some and use those for testing for now.

About your suggested features:

1. Labels that could have photos inside them, URl to videos, as well as the text you have now

- Already have this available actually, but only for Professional users and up. The Label tool lets you add text, images, and URLs to spots inside your tour. You can also use the SDK to expand Labels and add videos and even embed a website inside your tour.

2. A button that would link to a video url (drone or otherwise)

- Yep we're planning to add this soon. Definitely within this year's development roadmap.

3. The ability to host off line and keep own own tours

- Working hard on getting this added to Stage. Fairly complicated, both business-wise and code-wise, but definitely one of our high priorities.

4. Some kind of innovative way to show the outside space, maybe similar to the dollhouse view

- Yeah right now we're optimized for interiors + small exteriors, but we're working hard on changing that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Selyah
I will move to use Metareal as my primary but 3Dvista for specific longer term clients or tour with outside spaces, and move 100% across when you fill the gaps


You know just what to say to get us fired up 😂
Post 18 IP   flag post
Selyah private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by ysabelc
Quote:
Originally Posted by Selyah
Unfortunately my car was broken into last night and my brand new theta Z1 was stolen (lesson there for me)


My condolences! They're so hard to get these days too.

I think @DanSmigrod has some 360 panos available for WGAN members. You could PM him for some and use those for testing for now.

About your suggested features:

1. Labels that could have photos inside them, URl to videos, as well as the text you have now

- Already have this available actually, but only for Professional users and up. The Label tool lets you add text, images, and URLs to spots inside your tour. You can also use the SDK to expand Labels and add videos and even embed a website inside your tour.

2. A button that would link to a video url (drone or otherwise)

- Yep we're planning to add this soon. Definitely within this year's development roadmap.

3. The ability to host off line and keep own own tours

- Working hard on getting this added to Stage. Fairly complicated, both business-wise and code-wise, but definitely one of our high priorities.

4. Some kind of innovative way to show the outside space, maybe similar to the dollhouse view

- Yeah right now we're optimized for interiors + small exteriors, but we're working hard on changing that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Selyah
I will move to use Metareal as my primary but 3Dvista for specific longer term clients or tour with outside spaces, and move 100% across when you fill the gaps


You know just what to say to get us fired up 😂


Thanks Ysabelc, I sold my theta V 2 days ago after my Z1 arrived, and then stupidly left all my equipment in the car overnight for an early start, now I have nothing by a sense of stupidity and a 2 weeks wait for a new one to arrive.

Your points make great sense, I wasn't aware of the url video link capability in labels in the professional subscription, that solves another one of my major concerns, this should mean I can put a label by the fist picture outside the front door pointing to drone footage without sending them outside the tour? that would be very cool if it does and a great interim measure until you can add a button.

I am guessing there is no reason ()besides massive changes in steep terrain) taking lots of photos outside and just linking them via 'doors' to create and extended outdoor space?
Would I create a room for each pano and just not join these to the floor plan?

Thanks for taking the time and giving the support.

@DanSmigrod If you had a photo set you could share with me, especially with inside and outside shots, I would be very appreciative.

Martin
Post 19 IP   flag post
Metareal
Representative
Montreal, Canada
ysabelc private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Selyah
2 weeks wait for a new one to arrive.


Glad to hear you can get another one! The Theta Z1 is really one of the best 360 cameras out there right now, imo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Selyah
this should mean I can put a label by the fist picture outside the front door pointing to drone footage without sending them outside the tour?


Yep, you can do exactly that!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Selyah
I am guessing there is no reason (besides massive changes in steep terrain) taking lots of photos outside and just linking them via 'doors' to create and extended outdoor space?
Would I create a room for each pano and just not join these to the floor plan?


Yes that's sort of the way we're doing exteriors right now. Though instead of putting them in separate rooms, the better way is to still put related panos together in the same room (1 room for the backyard, 1 room for the lawn, etc.), making sure the room type is 'Ground plane' while you're drawing it, linking the panos together using the interactive alignment tool, and just adding doors back into the interior or other exterior "rooms". We're planning to do a tutorial for it soon, I'll post it to WGAN once it's available. But if you'd like a demo sooner, you could book another call with Gareth and he'll take you through all the steps for doing that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Selyah
Thanks for taking the time and giving the support.


You're very welcome
Post 20 IP   flag post
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