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My Virtual Tour business is not taking off. What am I doing wrong?14873

DanRess private msg quote post Address this user
Hi There

I'm Dan and I'm from the UK.

3 months ago I've started my virtual tour business.

Reading on the benefits of virtual tours and their growing popularity I thought it'll be a good idea to venture into this particularly because there are a lot of estate agents in my area.

I've been doing photography and 360 videos for many years so I'm no stranger to 360 technology.

I have researched the market very well and was considering purchasing matterport subscription and matterport 2 camera but eventually settled on Metareal and Theta Z1 which I'm pleased with although metareal has its pros and cons...

I then built my own website with online payments and a client area with a very professional appearance.
The website has all the prices listed and very well described services.

I then set up my Facebook and google business account and paid both companies to advertise my company.
Email campaigning has also been deployed but no success there either...

I've been operating for about 2 months now and have had no calls, emails or queries regarding my services, NO INTEREST AT ALL even tho I've been calling all local estate agents, dropping flyers and in few cases offered a free trial, again, no interest!

I am clearly doing something wrong or the area where I live isn't simply ready yet for virtual tours and a lot of estate agents are still relying only on physical viewings.

I'd appreciate anyone who could give me some tips and maybe point out what I'm doing wrong..

How did you get your first clients?


Best Regards
Dan
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Nashville, Tennessee
PickChuck private msg quote post Address this user
I get all my clients by calling on them in person.

My best friend has the most awesome website for real estate photography I have ever seen. Good SEO etc. In 9 months has only gained 2 clients that way. He also gets most of his business by word of mouth or cold calling business.

Chuck
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LeroyMcGowan private msg quote post Address this user
Hi Dan,

Can you share the url for your website and a pic of your flyer?

I'm in the UK & am finding uptake ok although it has slackened off a bit since the new year.

Cheers

Lee
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DanRess private msg quote post Address this user
clickable text

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Chicago
rzphotoman private msg quote post Address this user
Don't know about your pricing since I'm from the US, but the main issue I see with your website is there are no examples of your work and when you click on some of the links, they take you to a WIX sales page.
It has no SEO value. I would ditch the WIX website and have an SEO pro build a website for you.

Also, 72 hours turnaround time in my market would be the kiss of death.
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Dunetop private msg quote post Address this user
I am new in the game also, but here are my two cents. I like your landing page. If possible, add just plain old real estate photography. Use emails to write to businesses on the second or third page of google search for their niche. Get them to page one. Find a problem they have and solve it for them. Customers, exposure, eyes on the item they are selling that the solution to the problem. I hope that helps.
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Nashville, Tennessee
PickChuck private msg quote post Address this user
I have to echo what Dunetop said about adding real estate photography. In my area the stills are still king, followed by the add on services like video walkthroughs, drone images and 360's.

I also do Google Business shoots. I find that actually calling on the retail businesses are the only thing that works for them for me. They are overwhelmed with emails and robo calls.

Hope it ramps up for you.

Chuck
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LeroyMcGowan private msg quote post Address this user
l also echo the above suggestions, especially the broken links...

l also think you need to ensure your business & site are GDPR compliant, especially as payments are processed via your site...

Not sure of the relevance of the 'cooking' in the kitchen as well...

Hope this helps!
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Expertise private msg quote post Address this user
Hi Dan.

You need to offer residential still photos and have 3D stuff as an add-on.
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trueview360s private msg quote post Address this user
We do it the other way around. We offer virtual tours and have still photography as an add on for both residential and Google. There are tons of real estate photographers and not quite as many virtual tour specialists. It differentiates us a bit.

Not that it is making much of a difference. It is very slow this year. We have transitioned away from residetial and into commercial and Google tours.
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dmcquade private msg quote post Address this user
Hey! I know the topic is a little old ... we did a couple of free shoots just to get something in our portfolio. I found the nicest house I could find in the area, called the realtor, and offered a free scan explaining that we were building our 3D business and needed the portfolio content. They were usually pretty excited. But, I recommend when you're picking the houses you pick empty or staged ones, if they're owner-occupied it's almost impossible to get access to the property.

I did originally think it was as easy as Build a website -> Get customers -> make money ... but it's all about relationships. I would reach out to realtors and local real estate photographers. There may be quite a few local real estate photographers excited to work with you if you plan to stick with the 360s and they plan to stick with the photography. That way they can offer the service and sub it out to you without worry that you'll poach their clients.

When it comes to talking to realtors ... you have to remember that they're constantly bombarded by hungry photographers wanting their business. I've found that at least here in the US I don't push my services ... I just give them a card and chat about how crazy the market is. I've joined a few local realtor events and when I told them I was a RE photographer they immediately shut down, "I already have a photographer, thanks!" So I start talking about wine, weather, the market, almost anything other than business ... and more often they'll ask for a card.

Something else I've been considering is going to local businesses that have time-sensitive inventory ... meaning that their inventory turns over. Think art galleries, consignment stores, used car dealerships, etc. Tell them if they aren't happy with the scan there's no charge ... and because it's a MatterPort you can just archive it. The best thing is that you can try to form a long-term relationship with these types of business to re-scan every week, month, quarter, etc.

But in the end ... you'll need to become a bit of a salesperson and start building relationships. It will grow exponentially ... but it's slow at the start. Be patient and be determined to get out there and scan ... eventually referrals will start to kick in and you'll be off to the races.
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WGAN
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DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
Episode 110-WGAN-TV How RKO Photography Grew to 7 Matterport Cameras + 1 Leica BLK360 with greater Birmingham, Alabama-based RKO Photography President Roger Owens (@rko1) and Vice President Kay Owens. | Thursday, 8 July 2021

Transcript: WGAN-TV How RKO Photography Grew to 7 Matterports/1 Leica BLK360
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Orchard Park, New York
GETMYVR private msg quote post Address this user
I'm about to do this myself. You need to map out your city and print off some flyers with your feature services and a price clearly displayed. Pick a starting point. Visit every single business and hand them your flyer and your business card and let them know that you will take care of them personally. Be prepared to shoot on the spot but I guarantee you'll get a bunch of follow-up calls and referrals.

I've been existing off referrals but I'm about to push the throttle to full and leave the no-wake zone!

Believe it or not we are all in sales, the greatest profession ever, but it's a contact sport. The real fortune is all in the follow-up after everything.

"So Mr Jones, I know you've reviewed the information I've handed you, virtual tours will greatly benefit your business and what a better partner than Google, I'll actually be in your area next Tuesday and have an opening at 10:00 a.m. or 2:00 p.m.. I'll need less than 15 minutes. Which will work best for you?"

Let's be honest everyone. We create the content that breeds success.
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Expertise private msg quote post Address this user
Here is the problem my friend... (dmcquade)

The number of people who thought it would be "as easy as Build a website -> Get customers -> make money" is off the charts.

The bad news is you got a very late start in this bidness. Six years ago there were 2 people doing R/E photos in our county. We were the 3rd. Now there are 25-30 I'd guess.

The good news is you seem to be in a large market.

I've noticed that many folks in large markets can be quite successful (and charge pretty high fees) without any great level of skill. I realize now that I am doing this all wrong. Our area is low density. Travel time eats us alive. And the competition here is ridiculous. Most of those 25+ competitors are fighting for their financial lives.

We are discussing hiring in Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville.
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