There are many features in Panopedia you can use to make your 360 Panotours more interactive to viewers! Using these easy-to-use features, you can enhance your viewer's 360 experience, making them fall in love with the place before even stepping in there. Let us start with the various features available:Auto-rotateScene LoopingCall to ActionAmbient MusicScene NamingPhoto EnhancementFloorPlansSocial Sharing1. Auto-RotateHave you noticed that most 360 Panotours, the scenes are stationary? This is normal, but we added an auto-rotate feature to make it seem much more dynamic. When left on it's own, the scene moves slowly and steadily, making it seem like a video. Best enabled when your Panotour is displayed on a large screen, maybe at a storefront or a road show. Imagine if auto-rotate is not on, it will simply look like a nice but static image, not as eye catching as when it were on.When there is user interactivity, such as mouse clicking or dragging, the auto-rotate pauses and becomes active again after 5 seconds. To turn on auto-rotate, when creating or editing Panotours, toggle Auto-Rotate option to Enabled.2. Scene LoopingYou can further enhance your 360 Panotour on display, by enabling Scene Looping. Best used with Auto-Rotate, each scene will linger on the screen for a time determined by you, recommended to be 30 seconds. After this 30 seconds is up, it will automatically jump to the next scene. If at anytime there was interaction, like clicking or rotating the scene, this timer pauses for 5 seconds.This effect, when combined with Auto-Rotate, gives a dynamic video-like view to your Panotours! To enable Scene Looping, just toggle Looping to Yes and enter the Time on Scene in seconds. We recommend 30 seconds, but you can set it to be up to 300 seconds.3. Call to ActionA wildly popular feature, you can put in a headline with a brief description of the Panotour, and then enticing the viewer to call you straight from their phone! The Call-to-Action feature appears when you are creating the Panotour, and all you have to do is to enable it. Once it is enabled, you can enter your desired headlines and text. You can also choose from three button types, to call, email or a link to a different URL. For the call button type, viewers are able to call you straight from the Panotour.When creating your Call to Action, emphasize on the key selling points of your property. With the right words, you can compel them to take action by contacting you right away!4. Ambient MusicYou can have nice and relaxing background instrumental music added to your Panotours. Choose from 8 audio tracks providing ambient music when the Panotour loads, setting the mood of your viewers as they are viewing the property! Make your selection from exciting upbeat tunes to a relaxing mood, available when you are creating your Panotours.All the audio tracks we provide are fully licensed, and carefully chosen for you. You can also enable this feature for Panotours you created in the past as well. When choosing the tracks, you can listen to them to choose the ideal track to set the right atmosphere for your viewers!5. Scene NamingVery important when creating a Panotour, as it allows your viewers to navigate through your Panotour easily via the menu, even when you have hotspots created. Hotspots will also take these names, so make sure you don't skip this step!Naming your scenes is available right after you uploaded your 360 Photos. You can also reorder them as you wish, simply by dragging them with your mouse up and down.6. Photo EnhancementSometimes, you may have taken shots and realising after you have left, that the photos are not optimal? Of course, there's a chance that you can go back and take another, but most of the time that means hassle and time wasting. You can enhance your photos right in Panopedia, without even using Photoshop! Not just to correct errors, we have included tools for you to improve your image quality to give your 360 photos a much more vibrant look.Features include correction for lighting, for example if it is too dark indoors or too bright outdoors, enhancing colours of the photo to make it more vibrant and saturated. You can also correct the primary colours (Red, Green and Blue) to make it look more natural. Although most of the times, the auto settings in your camera works quite well, some basic enhancement can further improve the image!Photo enhancement is available after you have uploaded your 360 photos, and straight in your desktop browser or even your smartphone.7. FloorPlansInstead of the default Scene Menu, you can upload FloorPlans to help your viewers navigate through your Panotour. FloorPlans gives your viewers a layout of your property, and you can add points where they can click, to move to their desired scene.Uploading a FloorPlan is available after you have added Hotspots. After you have uploaded the FloorPlan, you can add link points by right-clicking on it, and selecting the right scene. While you are adding link points, There will be indicators to tell you how many of the scenes have added to the FloorPlan, so you won't make a mistake of adding a scene twice.The FloorPlans feature is only available to subscribers of select plans.8. Social SharingCreating a 360 Panotour means you want to get views, and to get views, one great way to do it is by sharing on Social Media and sending it to everyone who matters! Before we go further, start by setting your username. Why should we set our username? Because it shows up on your Panotour link when you send it to people. Instead of www.panopedia.com/joeydoe1293/panotours/0sjd21, you can have www.panopedia.com/joey/panotours/0sjd21, which though slightly shorter, is so much better.To set your username, go to Account, and choose a Username. Setting a username enables you to have new links for your Panotours, but your existing links are not affected at all. Meaning, those Panotours you have sent or embedded into websites will still show as normal.There are a few ways to share your Panotours. First, you can simply share the link to your Panotour via messenging apps such as Whatsapp, WeChat, Messenger, or SMS.To share on Social Media, you can also simply take your Panotour link paste it to whichever Social Media platform you use, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. You can also use the Social Share menu located at the bottom left of your Panotour, to instantly post it.When attempting to share on messaging apps, an image preview will popup. You can change this image easily when creating or editing your Panotour, by uploading one where it says Featured Image. By default, when this is not uploaded, your first scene is used.The best time to take your Featured Image is when you are doing your 360 photoshoot, either at the start or at the end of it, and simply use your smart phone's camera to take a view of where you think is the most attractive.ConclusionWe hope these features and more will help you make the most out of your 360 Panotours! We have more features coming soon, and we always want to hear more from you on what else you wish to see. Do let us know using our contact form here!
13th January 2021Read More
Why the change?Panoleh has been around for almost 3 years. Yes, it is that long! With your help and support, we have now expanded to markets beyond our shores of Singapore.To further facilitate our brand, and to expand your reach even further, we have decided to rename ourselves to Panopedia.Why Panopedia, you might ask. All thanks to you, we are the fastest growing and now one of the largest database of 360 Virtual Tours in the world! Of course, with such a large database at our disposal, we will be launching new features and even a new Panotour Builder that will help you showcase your portfolio better. After all, our vision has always been to expand your reach beyond our shores.What are the changes?Besides the change of the logo throughout the entire site, you will notice that the logos on emails such as this, are changed as well. Please also note that emails from us will now be from @Panopedia.com instead of @Panoleh.com. However, should you receive any email from @Panoleh.com, do contact your friendly account manager for verification, or you may just reply this message.URLs will also be changed from www.panoleh.com to www.panopedia.com. However, this URL change will not affect your embedded Panotours, as the Panoleh.com domain name still and always belong to us.Our social media pages will be merged soon, but I will send you an update once that happens.How will this affect me?The rebranding exercise was intended to be minimally disruptive, and hence your Panotours and subscriptions will not be affected in any way. However, should you encounter any errors arising, or any issues whatsoever, please inform your friendly account manager for rectification.Take notePanoleh and Panopedia are brand names wholly owned by Clover & Dime Pte Ltd., Singapore. Any and all related domains from other countries, are owned by Clover & Dime Pte Ltd, but may be under the management of our subsidiary offices in the relevant country.For verification, please contact us should you have any doubts.
17th July 2018Read More
This morning (21 April 17, 10am), a Panoleh subscriber (Mr Tan) was sharing with me how he utilize Virtual Tour which I think is very smart. Mr Tan is a Real Estate agent in Singapore who focus on resale market, he will have situations when he has a very nice unit in a good location that will have many enquiries to a point that he is not able to handle, he will also have situations when the unit is not nice and the location is unattractive that he will not receive much enquiries. For the former situation, Mr Tan will send the Virtual Tour to the interested buyers to view the house remotely and most of the time when any interested buyer asked to meet, the transaction will be closed. It is a very efficient process and very effective result that Mr Tan can better utilize his time on other priorities. As for the latter situation, Mr Tan will market the unit in property portal with Virtual Tour. Base on Mr Tan’s experience, he told me that he will receives about three times more enquiry calls when he marketed units using Virtual Tour compare to units he marketed without Virtual Tour. The marketing term for this is called “Improve Marketing through visualisation”, I have shared this in my past article. In this article, we will discuss about one of the impact Virtual Tours have on potential buyers, which is creating Lasting Impression.Why Lasting Impression is Important when Marketing a Property?Do you want to leave a lasting impression to your prospects on the property you are marketing? If yes, why? We humans generally make decisions by information through our senses transmitted to our brain. For Virtual Tour, it affects the sense of sight (ophthalmoception). We will not make decision to buy a property by the smell of it, by the sound of it (property don’t create sound), by the touch of it, by the taste of it. Therefore, the only way to impress a buyer or creating a lasting impression by their senses is by visualisation. When you make bookings for rooms for your vacation, after you have filtered the price and location, what is the decision factor to book which hotel/room to stay (assuming the review score is same)? Most of the time, the hotel/room which have nicer pictures will get your business. Putting this example into property marketing, it does the same, property buyers including myself have too many choices in the property portal even after filtering, most of the time, we will shortlist the listings that provide a lot of information and more importantly, nice images because it leaves me with good impression of the house and the effort of the agent. My definition of nice images doesn’t really means how nice the house look in those images, more importantly, the images needs to give me a good idea about the layout, the size, the height and the proportion of the property so that I can imagine how I want to renovate the house and what type of furniture I will get if I buy the house.The last thing any marketer want is a buyer see their advert and then forget about it the next moment, or worse, don’t bother to see the advert even when it is just right in front of the buyer’s sight. One of the main reason this happens is because the advert is not attractive enough and it couldn’t catch the eyes of the buyers. If a marketer couldn’t even give a good first impression to a buyer, they can forget about giving a lasting impression to the buyer. Therefore, impression is very important in any form of marketing. First impression attract your buyer’s attention to see your advert/posting/listing. Leaving a lasting impression to your buyer will make them keep coming back for new updates and also higher chance of them sharing the news with their friends. How to Create Lasting Impression?To create lasting impression, we must first know how to create a good first impression. Very seldom do we have situations when we do not have a good first impression on certain things and then it created a lasting impression on us. I remember going to a coffee shop with a friend last month and he ordered a plate of fried noodle. When the fried noodle was served, it give me quite a bad impression as it looked dried and burnt. However, my friend keep recommending me that I must try so I reluctantly took a small portion to try. The taste of the fried noodle was so fantastic that I ordered a second plate and the following week, I went back to that same coffee shop for the fried noodle. Now, I will go to that coffee shop once every week for the fried noodle. From this personal experience, we learn that lasting impression can be very powerful and it can be very “addictive”. The visual of the fried noodle failed to impress me but the taste of it did create a lasting impression. When marketing a property, like I have mentioned earlier, there is no way to impress a buyer’s senses other than visual. Since visualization is the only senses we can impress a buyer, first impression is therefore very important in order to have lasting impression. One of a very good way to impress buyers to your listing is to show good images, feature beautiful images, put a short yet eye capturing title to your listing. Like marketer, real estate agents will want their listings to be read and seen by the potential buyers instead of skipping it like a junk message. As a property looker, once we click into a listing, we will stay on a listing to see all the information and images provided repeatedly if they are comprehensive.Having Virtual Tour will be even more impressive because with it, potential buyers can relate the Virtual Tour with all the information provided in the listing. It gives us a more pleasure experience looking into the listing and we can visualise the house much easier even without physically being there. Feature good images and eye capturing title on your listing to create good first impression as a hook, provide Virtual Tour and comprehensive information to make that good impression lasting. Doing all the steps might not impress every single person who come across your listing but it will definitely generate far better result on creating lasting impression than putting minimum effort.
26th April 2017Read More
Why virtual tour is a must have for rental agents?Ever thought you wasted too much time on unnecessary viewings and there’s a better way to gauge interest of your viewer? All these can be achieve while you save along petrol, parking and miscellaneous fee while getting a more potential interests from buyer with something as simple as a virtual tour? A virtual tour is an online tour that allows a user to experience and help user see the house as if they are there in person, that’s why its call virtual reality. Imaging being able to see the house and get a better feel of it all from a mobile phone even from thousands of miles away. http://bit.ly/2o0hsbVVirtual tour can be use to showcase properties that your expat or foreigner customers enquire about. With just a Whatsapp away, virtual tour can easily be shared and view on mobile or desktop devices at the convenience of their own home. Virtual tour besides impressing your expat viewer looking in from overseas can also value add by using it as evident for your tenant to keep a record of the condition of the house at the end of the rental lease in case dispute. It can also be use for tenanted properties especially when its hard to make time for everyone to meet at the same time . Typical experience a user goes through while looking for properties online.Virtual tour is not only about avoiding those traffics and narrowing in down potential viewings, a virtual tour has time and again proven to attract more views and gain more interests from buyer looking from properties online. Being a huge market place online and constantly overloaded with information when a buyer look for houses online. Typically this is what happens usually and buyer goes through. First, they are turned off by poor quality photos and lack of information about the listing of the house. Secondly, they also hate and dislike fake listings of houses that don’t exist or already sold but its still being advertised online. Now you know why a user can get really frustrated while looking for houses online. A virtual tour solves this by giving valuable sufficient information about a house. Now home buyers can view from the comfort of their own home and avoid all those unnecessary hassle and this creates a win win for agents and buyer. On agent’s end, theres no better feeling than to receive a potential call from a buyer who already liked the house and is ready to commit or find out more.How With a simple 360camera and a super easy to use virtual tour creator like Panoleh, creating your own virtual tour is now never easier than before. After taking images of the house with a 360camera, real estate agents like yourself only need to upload the images to Panoleh and start creating their virtual tour. It is meant to be as simple as it sounds. A more detail guide can be found here.
28th March 2017Read More
10 years ago, if I needed a Virtual Tour, I will definitely hire a photographer over doing it myself (DIY) for few very simple reasons. If I am to DIY a Virtual Tour, firstly, I will need to get a good DSLR (Digital Single-Lens Reflex) camera which will be very costly. Secondly, I will need a software to stitch all the photos into a panoramic image (360 image) which will spend about 10 minutes for every image. Thirdly, I will need another software to create a Virtual Tour with all the panoramic images which will take about an hour to 2 hours. Lastly, I will need to subscribe to a hosting service to host my Virtual Tour so that my viewer can see the Virtual Tour which I have created. In a nutshell, if I DIY a Virtual Tour 10 years ago, I will have to spend a lot of money on camera, software, hosting subscription and also a lot of time wasted. It make sense in this situation if I hire a photographer to do the Virtual Tour.However, as technology advance, all the above mentioned issues do not exist anymore. Today, we can easily find 360 cameras (cameras that can instantly take panoramic image) at different price range and different quality or even using smartphones (The quality might not be as good as the 360 cameras) to take panoramic pictures. This 360 cameras eliminate the issue of needing to get a DSLR camera and software for photo stitching helping users to save time and money. More importantly, there is also online software like www.panoleh.com which allow user to create a Virtual Tour in 5 to 10 minutes that help to host the Virtual Tour. We will explore on the pros and cons on hiring a Virtual Tour photographer and doing it by yourself. Hiring a Virtual Tour PhotographerFor people who know me, I was a Virtual Tour Photographer previously. My clients came from all sort of industries like education, interior design, real estate agents, real estate developers, tourism, etc. For different industries, they have different purpose for the use of Virtual Tour. For example, tourist attraction and schools takes Virtual Tour to show their potential patron/clients a glimpse of their facilities and what they can expect if they make a visit. Interior designers used Virtual Tour to help them showcase their beautiful work and serve as a very good testimonial for them to attract potential clients. Real Estate developers used Virtual Tour to show the layout of the units so that potential buyers can visualize better rather than only showing 2D layout. Real Estate agents used Virtual Tour to market the property to attract more potential buyers. Click here for articles to understand how Real Estate agents make use of Virtual Tour. At the later stage of my Virtual Tour Photographer career, the enquiries from education and tourism industries maintained, however, enquiries from real estate agents and developers (they make up 80% overall enquiries) dropped tremendously. Reason is because 360 cameras in the market is very affordable and online software like www.panoleh.com is very easy to use and affordable. The pros of hiring a Virtual Tour Photographer is that they will literally do everything for you and you can rest assure of the quality. Basically, they will help you to take high quality panoramic photos and then create the virtual tour. The cons of hiring a Virtual Tour Photographer is that they do not come cheap. Market rate in Singapore charge about $120 for 1 Virtual Tour with 5 scenes at a size of between 100 square metre (SQM) to 120 SQM of the property. Any extra scenes or bigger size of the property will have additional charges. If you are a real estate agent, you will also need to fix additional appointment with your client and the photographer to take the photo of the property. Depending on the budget and circumstances, if hiring a Virtual Tour Photographer is costly for you and/or you find it difficult to fix time for the photographer, you might want to DIY a Virtual Tour which we will be touching on the next session.DIY Virtual TourDo you browse website? Use smartphones? Use social Media? Utilise property portal (for real estate agents)? If your answer is NO TO ALL THE ABOVE, then do not waste your time reading on. Do you still remember how much time it took you to learn how to use a smartphone? How to create a social media account and post your activities? Creating a Virtual Tour on your own in www.panoleh.com is even easier, in fact it will become very easy after you have created 3 to 4 Virtual Tours on your own because it only takes 3 simple steps (Click here to understand how to create a Virtual Tour). Most people takes less than 10 minutes to create a Virtual Tour (It might take more time if you are creating a Virtual Tour with many scenes). I will need to spend about 3 to 4 minutes to create a Virtual Tour of a flat with 3 bedrooms of 8 scenes. Another advantage of creating your own Virtual Tour is that it helps you to save cost. In fact, creating an account in www.panoleh.com/register is free and you can create 1 Virtual Tour with maximum of 5 scenes with the free account. If you need to create more Virtual Tour, you can check out the price plan at www.panoleh.com/plans, 1 Virtual Tour with maximum of 25 scenes can be as low as $0.25. Other than saving cost, DIY a Virtual Tour also help you save the trouble of fixing extra appointments with your clients (if you are a Real Estate Agent) for the photographer to take the photo shoot. Which Should I Choose?Whether to hire a Virtual Tour Photographer or DIY a Virtual Tour depends very much on your budget and which industry you are creating the Virtual Tour for. For example, tourist attraction usually has bigger budget and has very big space that require many scenes for the Virtual Tour, it make sense for them to hire a professional Virtual Tour Photographer. For professions like real estate agents, every dollars and cents put into marketing will eat into their profit and the property they market is usually of a smaller scale compare to tourist attraction, it make more sense if they DIY a Virtual Tour on their own since it will help them to save money, time and also lesser hassle to fix extra appointments.
14th March 2017Read More
Difference between Virtual Tour and VideoEvery week, we conduct training to teach real estate agents on how to create their own virtual tour and one of the common question we face is that the trainees will mistaken Virtual Tour as Video. For example of some questions are, “Can we put the Virtual Tour into Youtube? What type of Video file is Virtual Tour on? Can we download the Virtual Tour Video? How big is the video file?” Very often, we have to spend time to explain the difference between Virtual Tour and Video. To this point, if you still think Virtual Tour is a Video, let me tell you that VIRTUAL TOUR IS NOT A VIDEO.So what exactly is Virtual Tour? In simple terms, Virtual Tour is a simulation of a location using multiple panoramic images (360 images). For better illustration, click here to see an example of virtual tour. As for Video, it is a visual media product which features moving images. Sounds complicated? Just on the TV now and you will know what I mean by video.If you have clicked on the link which I have shown as a virtual tour example, you will understand the difference between a virtual tour and a video. In a virtual tour you will only see still images while in a video it shows moving images. Now we have a better understanding of the difference between Virtual Tour and Video, we can go to identify in what circumstances it is better to use virtual tour or video to improve your marketing.Improve your marketing by Virtual TourBack in year 1994 when virtual tour was first introduced, it took days to create a virtual tour. As technology advance, virtual tour can be created on our own in less than 5 minutes. Not only is it easy to create, virtual tour can also be done at a very low cost unlike the past. For the convenience and low cost of creating a virtual tour, this is one of the best methods to capture potential buyer’s attention due to its impressive visual nature and its fun nature when navigating a virtual tour. In my last blog, I have stated how advancement of technology and education affect a buyer’s demand. Buyer today are less impulsive, they do much more research and comparisons before they buy. More importantly, they want to see detailed information. In property context, Virtual Tour is the “detailed information” which buyers today want to see because it shows every detail of the property visually. This will naturally attract eyeballs if you are marketing a property. What is the most important aspect in marketing? It is to attract as much attention as possible so that you can have more potential buyers. Whether it will be converted into sales will be depending on your sales technique and other unforeseen circumstances. If you are looking for new ways, low cost, time saving and yet high potential to attract many potential buyers, virtual tour is definitely a tool for you to do it. You may click here for a free account to create virtual tour. Improve marketing by VideoComparing to virtual tour, video should be better known to most of us. Video marketing is a very common and effective way of marketing, which is why till today we still see advertisement on TV. Video marketing is a very good way to get your message across to your potential customer and if you are creative enough, your video might even have the chance to go viral and get across to many potential customers. Other than getting messages across, it is also a way to stamp your own brand, letting people know your existence and constantly remind them about you and how good you are. Video Marketing can be as good as it sounds, however, it is also very time consuming and costly. Personally, I do video on my own and I can share some experience with you. Creating a 3 minute video can take me up to 2 full days which include one full day of taking the video and another day doing the editing. For beginners, it might even take up to 5 days just on the editing of the video and another 2 to 3 days to take a video, ironically, it doesn’t guarantee you viewership after all the hard work because there are many creative video online. If DIY a video sounds troublesome and you still want a video for marketing, you can consider hiring a professional videographer. I cannot judge if it is cheap or not because I only hired a videographer once which is a friend of mine, after “friendship price” I was charged $500. If you think that DIY a video is troublesome and hiring a videographer is too expensive, video marketing might not be a suitable option for you. However, bear in mind that if your video go viral, your video can be reached to many people whom will convert to more enquiries and it will convert to more sales. Virtual Tour or Video?“Should I use virtual tour marketing or video marketing?” There is no right answer to this because it is all up to personal preference. However, with the ever increasing number of social network visitors and users, I will recommend to do both video marketing and virtual tour to increase your branding profile. For real estate agents, video marketing is good to have but virtual tour is a MUST HAVE. We foresee that virtual tour is the way how people in the future will view property in social media, property portal and websites. I always like to tell people “Be the one to set the trend. Don’t be the one who let the trend set you up”.
8th March 2017Read More
Last week, I met a friend for a drink and the topic of buying a place came up. She was planning to move out of her current rented place and buy a house with her boyfriend. Having scheduled 4 of her viewings with Agent A on 14 Feb 2017, curiously, I asked her, “of all dates, why 14 Feb? It is Valentine’s Day.” Immediately, she cancelled all the viewings.This scenario may sound familiar, and I am sure the thought of preventing these waste of time ever occurred.When you use Virtual Tours to market the properties you represent, the cost and time savings are significant. Viewers who have been through the virtual tour will be able to decide if it’s the property they seek. When they eventually call you, the interest is genuine and your chances of closing the deal are higher.In this article, let us explore how Virtual Tours can help you market properties in your portfolio, be they beautiful or unattractive ones.Why Beautiful Properties need Virtual Tour?Have you ever wondered who the first property agent to use photos to market properties was?When did every real estate agent started following suit?Most importantly, why do you use photos to market your property?The answer is obvious; photos produce results. This technique, “Improved Marketing through Visualisation,” takes advantage of the simple fact that, we humans are Visual Animals.We make decisions by what our sight provides. We are impressed by what we see. We turn our heads to look at beautiful things. If you have a beautiful property in your portfolio, why limit its potential? A beautiful property should be shown off, catching as many pairs of eyeballs as possible. Show it to potential buyers who can afford it, or even those who may not at the moment.Why, you ask. Because it gives them a dream, allowing them to walk through the property as though they are there and visualizing how it’s like to be actually there. People who are impressed will share it with their friends, they will tell their friends and colleagues, or even share it on social media. Hence, it makes a highly effective but yet cost-free marketing tool. As a result, you will get more calls from potential buyers, which is what you wanted in the first place.Why Unattractive Properties need Virtual Tour?Several years ago, I was looking for a home as a newlywed. My wife and I were looking for a 3 room HDB (Housing & Development Board) resale flat near the city. We browsed through various property portals, going through numerous listings. The first thing we did was to filter out those that had no images or insufficient details, even though it might have been in our desired locations. In the end, the ones we shortlisted had something in common - they had many photos and detailed descriptions.Why did my wife and I filtered out those listings initially? For the simple reason that we do not have the luxury of time to go for so many viewings. Also, I felt that the agent might be hiding something, hence the lack of confidence to provide sufficient photos and information. Yes, I may have possibly missed out on better units, though I believe that the agent who put in the effort, deserved the deal.Make a DifferenceThere are more than 100,000 listings in property portals. Even after filtering by area and other basic requirements, there are at least 50 to 100 listings to sift through to our dream home. So how do you make your listing stand out from the rest? Should you hide as much information as possible, because the property you are marketing is not attractive, and still hope for calls from potential prospects? Or do you put as much information as possible and be totally transparent, to attract potential buyers who are genuinely interested?The answer should be rather obvious by now. Virtual Tour is definitely one of the ways to attract these potential buyers to look into your listing. It is all about law of large numbers, when there are more people looking at your listings, the chances of conversion into a successful sale will be higher.With the advancement of technology and education, demand from buyers will be higher. Buyers will want more information, details and transparency before they commit to buy a product. Virtual Tour will be the future on how buyers view properties. It is your decision to set the trend first, or to follow the trend after.
22nd February 2017Read More
Ricoh has recently release a new camera to their 360 camera lineup after a year of anticipation. It is deem as a more budget friendly model with adequate specs to give it’s older brother the S model a run for it’s money. The Ricoh Theta SC is designed to make 360 photography more accessible with a simpler interface and a lower price point. For still images, users won't see much differences between the Theta SC and the Theta S. Both cameras uses the same pair of 12 megapixel sensors measuring at 1/2.3" and both use dual f/2 lenses. Internal software stitches the data from both sensors together to create simple 360 images. Both also share similar 8 GB of storage will keep up to 1600 images internally without an SD card. You can also always change the memory card inside by yourself but it might void the warranty so that is not really recommended. 1. Design Ricoh Theta SC has a candy bar design very much similar to the theta S except slightly bulkier in dimension. Its got a softer, powder coated metal finish and its sleek design is very practical. The camera’s layout is simple , allowing you to use with just one hand or it can be operated remotely by connecting to your smartphone. Its small form factor allows you to easily slip it into your jeans or inside your bag . It also has a number of colours to choose from and Ricoh’s fans would certainly be delighted that their prayers are heard because previously only black colour is available on the theta S. A glowing LED to indicate that it’s recording, a Wi-Fi light to let you know if wireless communication is on or off, and an indicator that differentiates between photo mode and video mode 2. Image QualityThe Theta SC is believe to share the same camera lens and capabilities with the theta S. With 14 megapixels and capturing image size up to 5376x2688 pixels. We have make a comparison of the photos in the below example and our conclusion is that both images looks almost identical. Images taken by the 2 cameras are sharp with little saturation thus giving it a vibrant look with little detail lost. The camera is best work during daytime and the night photography is also pretty decent due to it’s f2.0 aperture. It is still best images in the 360camera category that you can get below $1000.Below is a comparison of photos taken with both different camera. Ricoh Theta SRicoh Theta SCVideo QualityThe Theta SC only shoots in 720p instead of 1080p. Stretch that resolution around into a 360 view and video quality will be rather low when uploaded onto youtube or facebook. That footage is also recorded at a very choppy 15 fps and clips are limited to five minutes instead of 25 on the theta S. You’ll be able to store several hours of footage on the included 8GB of storage, but the individual video limit still remains. There is also no HDMI port, thus live streaming function is not possible. Theta SC sample videoConclusion 360 photography and virtual tour is definitely going to be the future of real estate marketing as the VR popularity continues into a new era. The Theta SC currently retailing at $488 and it is consider really affordable for the image quality it gives. It provides the same image quality as the theta S and that is sufficient enough to recommend this as the go to camera to get if you decided to start marketing your properties with virtual tour. Even though its video function is relatively sub-par , but usually its not really practical if you aren’t doing a lot of live streaming and video recording. This is no doubt our favourite camera in terms of value & quality walking into 2017.
6th February 2017Read More
1. LightingLight and illumination are the basics of photography. The very word “photography” comes from two Greek words, phos meaning light, and graphis meaning drawing. Hence, photography can be described as “drawing with light”.If you ask me to name the most important thing in photography, I would say light. Without light, there is no illumination. In a room without illumination, everything is pitch black. You can’t see a thing. Taking a shot – assuming your camera allows you to – produces a solid black photograph. You switch on a lamp, and you send light across the room, and everything is illuminated. Now you can take a photograph and show something in the picture. You realize that your eye and the camera both needs light and illumination to work.Photography is about capturing light and recording it, whether on paper, or more frequently now, in a digital format. As a photographer, you can control the amount, intensity and duration of light required to create the picture. One advantage of using a 360 Camera is the ease of use. There isn't so much to take note of when position for your shot unlike traditional camera's concern about capturing the right lighting. The concern is only when under dim condition is where quality will be affected generally. So what you need to know most importantly is only 2 simple things when taking photo with a 360 Camera. Firstly, switch on all the lights in the room and pulling up all the curtains to allow as much sunlight as possible. This will be sufficient enough to get good quality shots with a 360 Camera.2. BalanceProfessional photographers usually toggle with the balance of the camera to frame the idea shot, expressing the feeling they wish to portray out of a photo. Even for the leisure photographer, do you remember the last time when you were taking different shots of your food or photo of yourself just trying to find the best photo that portrays the desired feel? The benefit of using a 360 Camera is you only need to remember to keep your 360 Camera straight up. Because of the nature of the surrounded image that 360 Camera produce, balance is not a significance issue, thus another plus point of why 360 Camera is a must have. 3. Above waist level This is very simple and straightforward. Always make sure your camera is taken above waist level, ensuring your image will give your user an eye-level point of view. Avoid placing camera on the floor or anywhere lower than the waist will provide a more professional looking result.4. Right camera settingsWith numerous camera settings available, for a beginner this can be both confusing and daunting. Manual exposure, aperture priority, ISO, shutter speed may all sound demanding for a normal user. Another reason why we highly recommend the Ricoh Theta cameras is because of it’s ease of use. Its like the Apple of all 360 Cameras with its user friendly settings and control. Users new to 360 photography need to know only one thing, and that is setting your camera setting on the phone’s app to HDR mode. Ricoh did a great job in creating simple settings like HDR mode for beginners so now anyone can take great photos. HDR stands for high dynamic range, and it essentially takes a series of images, each shot with a different exposure from darkest to lightest. This is currently only available for the Theta cameras. So if you are using a Theta camera, remember to set it to HDR mode before shooting. Another common problem of using a 360 Camera is shooting in fluorescent lighting. The lighting and illumination will look distorted in images. The solution to tackling such problems is changing your shutter speed to 1/50, or shooting it with auto mode may work as well. 5. StagingHome staging is the act of preparing a home for sale in the real estate marketplace. The goal of staging is to make a home appealing to the highest number of potential buyers, thereby selling a property more swiftly and for more money. Staging techniques focus on improving a property's appeal by transforming it into a welcoming, attractive product that anyone might want. People usually use arts, painting, accessories, lights, greenery and carpet to stage the home, to give potential buyers a more attractive first impression of the property.After understanding the importance of staging, there is only 2 main point that user should take note of when taking photo for their virtual tour. 1. Always make sure the home is kept tidy and presentable. Giving potential buyer a homey feeling or a visualisation that this is their future home, is vital in deciding if this is going to be their future home. A good first impression always count nevertheless. 2. Engaging a professional stager. Empty homes leaves an empty feel to some buyer after viewing it. You can’t really blame them as there will always be viewers with poorer imagination, so do consider it a worthy investment as a professional stager can transform an empty home into a dramatic one that everyone dream of owning. Leaving a deep impression of that home is vital so eventually it will help you to sell off your home quicker. Notice the significance difference in an empty and staged home? There's a reason why 80% of the population are not artistes because they have bad visualization. So its your job to show them and help them visualize a home they will live in the future. On the day they sign the option to purchase, you be glad to find all this worth the investment. There are many home furnishing company that provide home staging services . Look it up in google and you will find one easily.6. User experienceLast but not least, user experience is also another important thing to take note of when creating virtual tour. You should always try to place your camera at the middle of the room so your viewers can navigate easily. Also try to keep to a recommended minimal amount of images or scene in a virtual tour . Ever heard of too much of anything is no good. Same logic applies here as too much images can be confusing sometimes and that will leaves a bad impression to your prospective buyer. We recommend an average of 7 to 10 scene per virtual tour . For larger landed homes, try to keep it under 20. ConclusionWith this 6 basic tips, you are ready to start taking your panoramic photos for your virtual tour. Follow the guide here for a more detail step by step on how to do it.
6th February 2017Read More