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Virtual tours give the viewer a chance to look through a room, a hallway or an entire house without leaving the computer. They're easier to create than ever before, thanks to advances in virtual tour software and digital photography techniques. Because the services are in such demand, becoming a virtual tour maker can be a lucrative career field for someone with an interest in photography.
Create a Sample Virtual Tour
Purchase a digital camera. For the best pictures, you'll need a high-definition camera that captures pictures at least 2,000 pixels by 2,000 pixels. The majority of digital cameras can handle this resolution. Pick the camera that best fits your budget. If you're just getting started out, for example, you don't need to pick the latest digital single-lens reflex camera.
Purchase virtual tour software. As with your choice of camera, pick software that fits your budget. Some virtual tour programs, such as Vtility, allow you to create virtual tours for free as long as you allow the Vtility logo to appear as a watermark in your tour.
Take pictures of the location for the tour with your digital camera. The most important element to get right when taking the pictures is the lighting. Try to take the pictures during the day and with additional lighting, if needed. Follow the software instructions for photography needs. For example, you may need to overlap each photo by a certain percentage or number of feet in order for the virtual tour software to piece the images together.
Piece your sample virtual tour together according to the virtual tour software.
Promoting Your Tour Business
Create a website for your business. This can be as simple or as complex as you wish. You can choose to go to a website that offers a turnkey website solution, complete with a template and features such as a mailing list and contact form, or you can build your own website from a popular content management system, such as Drupal or WordPress.
Embed your virtual tour on your website. Doing this will depend on your website software and your virtual tour software. Some virtual tour packages will generate a Flash-based animation file, which you'll then need to upload to your website. Once on the website, embedded code on the Web page puts the virtual tour where you want it to appear.
Compile a list of businesses that you think might use your virtual tour services. The most obvious prospect: real estate businesses. Creating a virtual tour of a house or property up for sale or rent allows the real estate company to generate excitement and interest about the property without even having to show it. Start by looking in the phone book or an online directory for a list of prospective businesses in your area.
Market your business website to customers in your area. Marketing tactics can include phone calls, in-person visits, social media mentions or direct mailers.
The more virtual tours you have on your website, the more professional your business appears. Try to create separate tours for residential and business listings. Ask any virtual tour customers you contract with if you can include their tour in your portfolio.
- The more virtual tours you have on your website, the more professional your business appears. Try to create separate tours for residential and business listings. Ask any virtual tour customers you contract with if you can include their tour in your portfolio.
Nathan McGinty started writing in 1995. He has a Bachelor of Science in communications from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Arts in international journalism from City University, London. He has worked in the technology industry for more than 20 years, in positions ranging from tech support to marketing.