Frequently Asked Questions
We've taken the liberty of answering a few common questions to help eliminate any confusion. If you have a question that we didn't answer on this page, contact us at 715 858 0454.
What is a Virtual Tour?
According to Wikipedia, the phrase "virtual tour" is often used to describe a variety of video and photographic-based media offering "Panoramic" views of an existing location. However, the phrases "panoramic tour" and "virtual tour" have mostly been associated with virtual tours created using still cameras while "video tours" are full motion video. Unlike the virtual tour's static wrap-around feel, a video tour is a linear (not interactive) way of walking through a location. We can do both.
What can I do in my virtual tour?
Lots of things. For starters, you can add tons of features, like narration, music, sound FX, videos, floor plans and trail maps, buttons for text descriptions, close-up photos, drop down menus, interactive maps, and custom toolbars. You can also add links to your website, social media, welcome pages and text. Check out our facebook page for some awesome sample tours produced by people all over the world.
How can I promote my virtual tour?
You can promote your tours in many ways, from the standard social media methods like facebook and twitter, through Google or Facebook ads, and via email, electronic newsletters and even print. Depending on your objectives, you can also include a link form banner ads or embed the tour front and center inside your website. Check with your website provider to see if we can send you the code that will allow you to place the tour right where your potential customers will see it the most--on your company's website.
Will my tour playback on mobile devices?
Yes, all of our virtual tours are created in HTML which is mobile device-compliant.
What should I do to prepare for my Virtual Tour shoot?
Before the photographer arrives, please remove any clutter and excess furniture from your commercial business or residence. Our professional photographer will contact you to make sure we get there during the best light but make sure all lights are on, and all ceiling fans are turned off. For businesses, we'll most likely want to shoot when there aren't any customers. If an exterior panorama will be taken, please make sure your lawn is tidy, and all sidewalks are clear of leaves or snow.
How long does the Virtual Tour process take?
Most luxury real estate tours take about 2-3 hours to shoot, while commercial tours, because of their complexity and larger number of panoramas, usually take longer. Expect to spend anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes per panorama, and remember to leave some time for the still photos as well.
Publishing the tour can take as little as a few hours or up to several weeks, depending on the number of features--and how soon you need it. Customized individual tours might take a little longer to finish because they are generally more complex but can be turned around within a month in most cases. Highly customized and branded tours are a one-of-kind product and may take longer.
Will my Virtual Tour expire?
No. As long as your account stays up-to-date, we will continue to host your Virtual Tour as long as you'd like.
How do I know how many panoramas I will need for my Tour?
Each tour is unique to their business, and there is no standard number of panoramas required. If you are unsure as to how many panoramas you will need, contact us for a free consultation.
Is there a limit to the number of panoramas I can include?
No. We have had businesses that required only one simple panorama, and some as many as 30 or more. We will do whatever it takes to suit your individual tour needs. For mobile devices, we recommend no more than 10 panoramas per tour.
How can I put my tour on my website?
When the tour is completed, we will provide you with the link to embed your Virtual Tour on your commercial website. See our Home Page for an example.
Do I have to have a website?
No. If you don't have a website, you can simply email your clients the provided link to your Virtual Tour.
Can I place a floor plan on my Virtual Tour?
Yes. We allow the capability to add floor plans OR Trail Maps to help your viewer navigate your tour. Click here and hit the "show floor plan" button in the control bar for a sample.
Can I place a link with a company logo on my Virtual Tour?
Yes. We encourage businesses to add logos to their Virtual Tours to promote their company. Just send us the logo you would like to add, and we can place it on the tour for you. You can add any number of links.
Can I play music behind my tour?
Yes, music or voice narration can be played with your Virtual Tour to add to the multimedia experience.
How much does a Virtual Tour cost?
That's up to you! Pricing depends on the type and complexity that you need. Start by figuring out how many individual panoramas you need, and just how awesome you think you want it to be, then give us a call for a free estimate. We'll show you some samples, discuss options and get back to you with a specific quote. Chances are its less than you're paying now for still photography, and volume discounts are available.
The first three months of hosting are FREE, but then there is a nominal hosting fee--depending on the number of panoramas--with most tours ranging between $5/month - $10/month with 20% off if billed annually.
Can I host my tour on my own website or put them on a CD?
Yes. For a one time fee of $89, we can download any tour that you create and upload them to an FTP site or send them to you to host on your own website. But check with your web site administrator before contacting us since they may actually charge more to host your virtual tour. CD copies are no longer an option.
We will need to know the domain name where you will be hosting the tours before downloading. The downside? Once downloaded, we will not be able to make any updates or changes.
When & how do I pay for my tour?
Post House Virtual Tours can be invoiced to customers in good standing or billed in installments for new clients. We typically bill in 1/3 or 1/2 installments and can take credit cards on site or over the phone. Hosting fees can be billed monthly, quarterly or annually.
How do I know if my tour is working?
We can get very detailed statistics on your virtual tours, including how many times each page has been loaded, the number page views and even average time on each pano. We can also track geographic origin, browser used, operating system and other variables you're using Google Analytics for now.