Business Owner Area: Logging In and Getting Started

After you have the proper equipment, we will set up a MVL Business Owner account. Still need to get equipment? See here.

Use the Business Owner area to setup your contact information, generate business card designs and flyers, create a Test account…also use to create client Realtor accounts, add funds to order tours, upload tours, edit tours, upload custom client videos, request any new brokerage designs for Realtor’s company, etc.

URL to login: bo.myvisuallistings.com/index.php

You’ll receive this URL in an automated email as well as a username and password to complete the login.

Note: What email should you use?  You can either use your own business email if you have one, or we can set up a business email using @MyVisualListings.com (let us know).

Getting Started:

  1. Update your profile information
    1. After you login, click “Real Estate Virtual Tours” photoreal estate virtual tours login
    2. Scroll and click “My BO Profile”
    3. Click “Create My Profile”
    4. Add your work phone number and other info, Title can be: Virtual Tour Provider
    5. Note: All this information will be used on marketing materials
    6. Click “Save my Profile”
  2. Request Marketing Materials design
    1. After you login, scroll and click on “Marketing Center”
    2. For each marketing material, check off the box and click “Send me PDF File” – this will request designs for Business Card, Flyer and any other designs in the Marketing Center area
  3. Create a Test account for Test tours – This will be used to upload your free test tours that will be reviewed, not to be used for clients!
    1. Note: Before a test tour is uploaded, review the required shooting settings for panoramics and the panoramic upload process.
    2. After you login, scroll to “Real Estate Agents”
    3. Click on “Create Real Estate Agent”
    4. Fill out the fields. All you need is a first name (John), last name (Doe) and your email.
    5. Click “Create Member’s Account”
    6. Note: this is the Test agent you will use to upload all Test tours

These are the main steps to getting started in your MVL Business Owner area.  Please contact us first before you do test shoots so you understand the process and proper settings in order for the panoramic shots to be accepted for stitching.

Business Owner Area: Logging In and Getting Started is available on Real Estate Virtual Tours by My Visual Listings

Guidelines: Walking into a Property for Photography

When you first get to a property for photography, homeowners should have the home all set up for you right? NOT NECESSARILY! Unfortunately, the inconvenient truth is that homeowners need help with what will be potential eye sores in their real estate photography. Here is a list of helpful to-do’s when you enter a home for photography…

QUICK FACTS for home photography prep:

  • Turn on lights to front of house. It’s a nice glow for front shots.
  • Hide any large outdoor trash receptacles that would show in photos
  • Turn on all the lights, including side lamps (Fans OFF). Put the homeowners or Realtor to work and have them start while you photograph the front (even over the stove lights!)
  • Open blinds slats or open completely to see backyard or pool through living room (ask homeowners to help)
  • Hide obvious personal photos/frames
  • Hide shoes and jackets into a closet
  • If something looks cluttered, let the homeowners help you hide objects
  • No pool toys in the pool
  • No animals in photos!

KITCHEN –

  • Hide all trash cans…kitchen and bathroom
  • Removed all refrigerator magnets (looks cluttery!)
  • Remove cluttery kitchen such as a lot of small appliances on counters and hide Paper Towel Rolls!

BEDROOMS –

  • Make sure all the beds are made and pillows look neat (nothing strewn about)

BATHROOMS –

  • TOILET SEAT DOWN!
  • Hide trash cans
  • Hide toothbrushes (yuck!)

Our job isn’t to clean or stage a home, but at the same time, there is some effort we can do to make our products stand out other than how we shoot photography. That means being prudent with items in the list above and going above and beyond. Realtors look to us to encourage unknowing homeowners to move or hide objects that just don’t look appealing in real estate photos when potential buyers see their home.

A lot of the above list can be sent to the Realtors ahead of time in their Estimate for Services. They can relay a lot of the prep that can be done before you arrive. Inevitably, there will be homes that still need a little attention to detail.

Remember, if you miss something, it can always be edited out!  For example, some Realtors are particular about cracks in driveways – that they are distracting even if they are a part of the home. Still, you can remove or soften the looks of the cracks.

Guidelines: Walking into a Property for Photography is courtesy of http://www.myvisuallistingsprovider.com

Uploading Panoramic Shots to MVL

When uploading a tour for a client that has panoramics, make sure you choose “360 Panoramic Scene” under Select Tour Package AND “Premium Skin” under Select Tour Skin. The system includes 4 panoramics to be stitched. If clients want more than four, select how many extra panoramics under Extra Pans dropdown.

My_Visual_Listings_-_Premium_Panoramic_Tours

The next page you select the Realtor and input the property information such as address, city, state…number of bedrooms and bathrooms…the property type and style. Check off “Set music as Random and skip the “Select Music” step.”

Now you can upload your still shots in the Stills folder. Must be in order.

For Panoramics, highlight the folder by clicking once, then select “New Folder” and fill out the label for the room. This is where you upload each set of panoramic shots by clicking on Add Files button and selecting your 11 photos of that one room.

Virtual_Tour_Panoramics

Here’s what one set of panoramic photos look like. Shot in manual mode, with manual flash, checking the exposure throughout each shot (no blown out windows). All photos are consecutive 11 shots (1 shot is an overlap). This would be added to the Living Room folder:

real estate professional photography_01 real estate professional photography_02 real estate professional photography_03 real estate professional photography_04 real estate professional photography_05 real estate professional photography_06 real estate professional photography_07 real estate professional photography_08 real estate professional photography_09 real estate professional photography_10 real estate professional photography_11

Once all the files are added to both the Stills and Panoramics folders, you can then click “Start Upload.” Make sure you verify that the upload has completed and nothing was stalled during upload.

Uploading Panoramic Shots to MVL is courtesy of http://myvisuallistingsprovider.com/

What skills are needed to becoming a successful entreprenuer

 

Becoming successfull takes many skills.  Skills that you have been picking up over the years whether you know it or not.  Here is a good list of traits that will seperate you from your competition this year.  Do you have all of these?

“The first skill is FOCUS: Understand there will be numerous things that need to be done on a daily basis so the key here is pinpoit specific tasks at specific times and get it done.

The second skill is RESILENCE: You can give up when things get tough. As an entrepreneur things will get cray cray but you have to keep moving forward.

The third skill is MANAGEMENT: As a successful business owner having the right people in place and knowing how to properly management will allow you to have a successful business.

The fourth skill is LONG TERM VISION: If your striving for real success in your business your not only planning for those short term goals but your able to map out a whole year ahead of time.

The fifth skill is SALESMANSHIP: Now this skills requires you to put yourself on the line. You must be able to sell YOU, INC. You must be able to get your vision across to others.

The sixth skill is SELF RELIANCE: This skills requires that you can depend on YOU.

The seventh skill is SELF REFLECTION: This skill  requires you to learn from your mistakes and move forward in the right direction.

The eighth skill is LEARNING: This last skill is simple….NEVER STOP LEARNING. You will find as your on this journey that you will be constantly learning something new everyday. Take it all in and implement the hell out of it.”

Source: shawneperryman.com

The blog post What skills are needed to becoming a successful entreprenuer is available on http://www.myvisuallistingsprovider.com

Using External Flashes

This video explains how to use two external flashes when shooting real estate photography. This is based on trying to achieve the least amount of post-shoot editing possible by properly lighting a room and adjusting the shutter with the flashes to expose for both the interior and exterior through windows.

Tips:

  1. Set Flashes to Manual
  2. Set your Exposure then use Flash power between 1/64 – 1/4 based on room size and desired brightness of room
  3. Don’t over flash the room, especially watch out for washing out detail with too much light (Always easier to brighten the shadows than to darken with post-shoot editing)
  4. Use one flash mounted on the camera, the other in your hand
  5. Watch out for shadows caused by the flashes (Ex: Ceiling fans, Angled walls, Decor). Try two different positions with the hand-held flash.\
  6. Windows: Under-expose the shot by increasing the shutter and using the flashes to properly expose the interior, while achieving the desired look of seeing objects through the window. Note: Increasing the shutter too much can have a negative effect on the warm look of the shot.
  7. Too fast a shutter (usually over 1/200) will not sync with the flash. If at 1/200 and it’s still not enough to get through the windows, may have to then adjust Aperture to get desired look through window.

 

Watch the Video Tutorial on Using Flashes in Real Estate Photography

The following post Using External Flashes is available on MVL Virtual Tour Photography

Auto Exposure Bracketing during Shoots

Use Auto-Bracketing on your Camera for High-Light Situations

The Problem: Over-exposed (blown-out) windows when the interior is properly exposed.

Two flashes and faster shutter are not enough to properly expose outside the windows (Ex: see the foliage). OR The sun is hitting your lens outside, making the front of the house improperly exposed for both the sky and the house. Instead of trying to get one poorly exposed shot, use bracketing to get three (3) different exposures (Normal, Dark and Bright) and blend them together in post-shoot editing.

How to get bracketed shots during the shoot:

 

Auto Exposure Bracketing during Shoots Find more on: Real Estate Virtual Tours by My Visual Listings

Set-Up the Nodal Ninja for Panoramics

Use the correct brass detent ring that allows for helpful ‘click-stops’ every 36 degrees (for a total of 10 shots to make 360 degrees around the room. Take an extra 11th shot for overlap). Still need to get a Nodal Ninja? See what to get here.

  1. Properly mount the NN to the Tripod thread (The NN Base has a second hole to insert some tripod’s metal bump to help secure NN)
  2. Camera is Vertical (Only time MVL shoots with the camera vertical)
  3. Flash points to ceiling (Rotate the flash)
  4. Ninja is level
  5. The vertical arm and horizontal arm on the Nodal Ninja (NN) are perpendicular to each other (at 90 degrees)
  6. Lens points to “crux” or the 90-degree bend of the Ninja
  7. Focus is manual set to infinity, 10mm wide angle zoom (cropped frame cameras)
  8. Set flash power based on room size (1/16 – 1/4)
  9. Expose manually for each shot
  10. Check each shot for good lighting and exposure. You can take more than one shot at each click-stop.
  11. Carefully rotate the camera COUNTER-CLOCKWISE, making sure the tripod pistol grip doesn’t accidentally add rotation)

FOR MORE HELP: Read the Nodal Ninja PDF Manual

The Nodal Ninja (NN) Camera Plate can remain on the camera at ALL TIMES. When shooting regular still shots on a tripod, just insert your tripod thread into the NN Camera Plate for mounting on the tripod for horizontal still shots. Then when you want to use the Ninja, just unscrew the tripod thread and mount the Camera Plate onto the Nodal Ninja’s horizontal bar.

Other Videos on Ninja Set-Up

Set-Up the Nodal Ninja for Panoramics was originally seen on MVL Virtual Tour Busines Blog

Are You Living Your Life or Someone Else’s?

This is a great article that has some simple but powerful advice: trust your instincts.  Lets make 2016 the best year ever for personal growth, business and happiness!

“My parents worked for decades at jobs they hated. They were miserable. It was painful to watch and even more painful to experience every day of my young life.

Naturally, I grew up knowing that, whatever I did for a living, it would have to be right for me. It would have to be fun and rewarding or I simply would not do it. That would not be negotiable.

Nobody had to tell me that. I learned that lesson the hard way, through first-hand experience. And staying true to that course has served me well. The career path I chose – every decision, every twisty turn, every step of the way – turned out to be perfect for me.

The question is, are you living your life that way – in a way that’s best for you and no one else – or are you following what others say you should do and how they say you should do it? In other words, are you living your life or someone else’s?

Every day you’re bombarded with unsolicited advice telling you how best to live your lives: How to succeed and how to fail. Which traits are good and which will come back to haunt you. Why you should be a morning person and take naps. How to behave, how to eat, how to sleep, how to be productive, how to be inspired, even how to be happy.

Since that can be overwhelming, I’m going to do you a big favor today. I’m going to lift a giant weight off your shoulders by telling you exactly which of that advice you should listen to and which of it you shouldn’t. That way, you never have to think about it again and can go about your life more focused and certain that you’re on the right track.

Ready? OK, here goes. Ignore all of it. And yes, I do mean all of it. The reason is simple. Your own experience, instincts, and common sense will inform all your important decisions. Granted, you will occasionally need advice from others who have more experience than you, but that’s not unsolicited advice. That’s advice you ask for.

Look, everyone who’s pushing unsolicited advice on you has a vested interest in you reading it, hearing it, or acting on it. One way or another, they all have skin in the game. In other words, their actions are driven by self-interest, not your interest. They do it to benefit themselves, not to benefit you. So you can’t trust it. And you can’t trust them.

What you can trust is yourself: your experience, your gut, your thoughts, your feelings, and those you choose to ask for help. How your life turns out is entirely based on the choices you make. Those choices, those decisions, should always be in your hands. And that includes whom you choose to listen to when you need advice.

If that sounds a bit scary, let me set your mind at ease. You actually have a built-in system for that sort of thing. It’s a pretty effective system that’s evolved over millions of years. It’s where epiphanies, critical insights, and flashes of inspiration come from. It’s called your brain. And through a complex set of mechanisms, it’s always there to help you turn your own knowledge, experience, and instincts into answers that are right for you.

The problem is that too many of you are choosing not to use that built-in system. Instead of getting out and experiencing the world, listening to your feelings, and figuring things out for yourself, you’re letting others who are only out for themselves tell you how you should run your life. Frankly, that’s just nuts. Every decision you make that way is a bad decision.

Don’t get me wrong. Information can be good. Communication can be good. But there is such a thing as too much information and too much communication and we reached that point long ago. It’s become easier to search online for answers than to get out and experience and think things through. It’s easier to blog, post, or message than to sit quietly and listen to your feelings.

It’s become so much easier to simply Google it and follow the crowd than to actually experience, think, and feel for yourself. It’s just so easy.

Every day I see people make critical personal and business decisions based on what others tell them to do. Every day I see enormous amounts of content that contradicts what I’ve experienced, learned, and determined to be true. And every day I feel concern for every one of you who follows that nonsense instead of living your own life, as only you should.”

Source: www.entrepreneur.com

The following post Are You Living Your Life or Someone Else’s? was originally published to MVL Provider

How I Created A $350 Million Software Company Knowing Nothing About Software

When I read this it reminded me of some risks that I have taken in the past, that have paid off.  Its a motivating article about entrepreneurial spirit!  Please read on….

“I’ve always wanted to make a lot of money, have people pay a lot of attention to me and do a lot of exciting things. I just never knew how.

Many of my friends who are founders of their own companies tell me how they exhibited the entrepreneurial spirit as a kid — they sold candy out of their backpacks, had a landscaping business during the summer, etc. They createdvalue and learned the virtues of hard work early on.

But that wasn’t me. I created a horse-racing simulation game in Applesoft BASIC in Manhattan Beach Middle School’s computer classroom and ran a small gambling operation. I mean, who could blame me? The teachers left that class completely unattended during recess and lunch, as if they couldn’t fathom how any kid could get into trouble playing with those large calculating typewriters.

However, making a few dollars to buy an endless stream of Atari games and learning how to collect from the bigger 8th graders didn’t teach me anything about building a techcompany. By the time I decided to move to San Francisco, I was completely and totally clueless.

Just as bad was my sense of timing. By the time I entered the job market the dot-com bubble had burst, leaving scores of smart people unemployed and a wave of VC firms bust. A lot of people were leaving the Bay Area to go back to wherever they had come from, but I was too stupid to know anything about the logical decisions people made.

The discount brokerage firm where I clerked gave us all two weeks of training in how to execute online stock trades at one of their call centers in San Diego. That’s when I had my brilliant idea (except it didn’t turn out to be brilliant until I changed it a few times).

The call center manager who monitored our training was in his late twenties and had a smug grin on his face all day, every day. “This call center system I’m teaching you costs $30,000 a person,” he mentioned, several times. He smirked a lot and I despised him.

It struck me that if I could build cheaper call center software, I could make my own softwarecompany — and have revenge on The Smirker.

The stars must have been aligning for me because shortly thereafter, my college roommate, who I nicknamed “The Fro” (I give nicknames to everyone for whom I have a deep affection), called to tell me (brag) that the call center software startup he worked for had been acquired by Cisco.

He hadn’t made much as a late-stage employee, he admitted, but he had a taste for what could be, and encouraged me to fly to Boston to discuss creating our own startup. “After all,” he said, “you’re good at selling shit.”

I wasn’t sure that was a compliment, but I bought the plane ticket.

After a weekend of discussing dreams and man-feelings, we got each other excited enough to decide to quit our jobs the following Monday. I gave my two weeks notice.

Believe that even if you do something stupid like quit your job without a clue, somehow you’re going to figure it out.

Then something odd happened. The Fro wouldn’t answer my calls all day that Monday. On Wednesday he finally called me and said sheepishly, “Brooo. You know what Bro? I decided that it’s not a good idea for me to quit my job right now. Seriously. I’m so sorry.”

I had $5,000 in my bank account, and I seriously thought of spending $1,000 of it just to fly back to Boston to punch him in the face. Instead, I hung up the phone and punched the wall. Maybe a few times.

Then I called him back and asked him, as calmly as I could, if he knew of anyone else at his newly acquired startup that might want to create a software company with me. I reminded him that I was good at selling shit. He introduced me to “Tooter,” who, it turned out, was heading my way to go snowboarding in Tahoe.

When we met at Heavenly Ski Resort I discovered an obviously brilliant guy who disliked corporate life and had an unbridled affection for activities that may not have been fully legal in the state of California. But hey, we all had issues.

He explained to me that he and The Fro had worked at a startup that created software for call centers, an ages-old industry they had revolutionized by adding a .com to the name of thecompany.

Because I was an entrepreneur (unemployed) now, I told him that we should just recreate that class of software, and he agreed. To his credit, and somewhat to my amazement, he sent an email to his boss and quit that night. A few weeks later he sold his house in Boston and bought a new one in the Bay Area.

But what made him such a risk taker and brilliant programmer also made him a supreme asshole at times. Knowing nothing about software companies, many of my questions were met with a question of his own, his favorite being, “Are you a fucking idiot?”

There were so many depressing nights alone that often I would watch my favorite movie, The Shawshank Redemption, over and over, mindlessly. Maybe seeing Andy Dufresne enduring so much shit made me feel better about my own situation.

Clearly, I needed help (therapy), so I asked my former boss at the discount brokerage firm if he knew of any angel investors.

Thankfully, he introduced me to his favorite day-trader client and explained to him that I was a promising entrepreneur and that Tooter was an amazing engineer, which he absolutely was. I explained to the investor as passionately as I could that I was going to build a successful software company or die trying, and that I was into self-preservation, so…

The day trader pointed to a picture of a small jet on his office wall and said, “I want you to help me buy this.” He then wrote us a check for $150,000 on the spot, and we were officially funded.

We then hired “The Machine” (Engineer #2) and I moved in with him into an apartment in the Twin Peaks neighborhood of San Francisco, mostly so I could harass him into programming day and night. And as my two engineers built a beta version of our call center software, I started dialing for dollars and calling call center owners with the pitch and promise of something cheaper.

After so many rejections, I wanted to reject myself.

After what must have been more than 2,000 cold calls, I finally reached a receptive voice on the other line. Joe owned a small but successful call center in Provo, Utah. He called my bluff and said that he knew we didn’t have anything solid yet, but he trusted we could get it built — but it had to be half the price I quoted him.

And that’s the early lesson I learned about entrepreneurship, or maybe it was a lesson in America itself. That after so many rejections, I wanted to reject myself, but then found someone who would mail me a check for $40,000, even during a recession, because they were risk-taking business owners themselves.

It made me realize that America was a magical place for entrepreneurs. Even the clueless ones.

With that $40,000 check we hired my former boss from the discount brokerage firm, hired a sales rep from the call center startup that had been acquired by Cisco and the five of us went to work in a small office in Walnut Creek.

We started shipping Dell machines with a Dialogic telephony board inside loaded with our call center software. It wasn’t sexy, but it sustained us enough to hire a few more people and start growing.

Then one day, for some odd reason, I had another epiphany.

Instead of building software to load on cheap servers to sell like everyone else, why not build one “mega-server” that we host ourselves and let people rent the functionality over the web?

My former boss told me, “No, that’s stupid, that’s killing the Golden Goose.”

The engineers told me, “No, that’s going to be a pain in the ass to build.” They sent me all sorts of studies from reputable analysts showing that “ASPs” (the buzzword before it was replaced by “SaaS”) was not a profitable business model after all.

I said, “Guys, what’s the alternative? You want to be the low-cost leader for the rest of your lives hustling these shit-boxes?” I pointed to the growing pile of Dell boxes accumulating in our small office.

Arguing vehemently with them for a month, I realized that on-demand software services weren’t profitable because everyone had just tried to take traditional client-server softwareand host it themselves.

Few others were thinking about multi-tenancy and Voice Over IP.

They hadn’t thought to build something that was truly multi-tenant, meaning building software that was solely designed to handle multiple clients and accounts as a service. That would be a critical advantage for us, if we could pull it off, as it was significantly less hardware to purchase and much easier to manage customer accounts.

But there was another problem. A handful of other startups in this space had collectively raised more than $100 million dollars, compared to our $150,000, and they were pulling ahead. Like, way ahead.

Then one day The Machine gave me a Voice Over IP telephony box to play with. We both loved gadgets and we just thought it was so cool to be able to make long distance calls for free over the Internet.

And that’s when my Eureka 2.0 moment hit me — our competitors had single-tenant solutions requiring massive amounts of hardware and operational support to service customers at scale, but they also had to double their customers’ long distance bills.

Because a SaaS call center product has to have three phone connections ongoing per each call center agent (versus the traditional two in an on-premise model), it ate into much of the cost savings a customer would experience moving to SaaS. A service based on Voice Over IP would give us another tremendous advantage in the marketplace, as customers could actually lower their phone bills.

Few others were thinking about multi-tenancy and Voice Over IP, but I was finally starting to buy clues. And I had the good fortune of Tooter, The Machine and my former boss eventually rallying around my vision with their considerable super powers. To this day, I’m so thankful for each of them.

That “fateful day” for me was at a Safeway grocery store (where I would often worry about my debit card bouncing) when The Machine called me on my BlackBerry.

“Dude, dude, dude. Guess where I’m calling from?” The Machine asked.

“Uh, our apartment?” I started reading the cover of People magazine in the checkout line. Brittany Spears was dating someone new.

“Yeah,” said The Machine excitedly, “but this is the first call I’m making from our Voice Over IP stack. Sounds fucking good, right?”

I dropped to my knees, literally floored. We faced so many obstacles still, I knew that, but at that moment, and for the first time ever, I felt supremely confident that we were going to crush it. The competitors, the doubters, everyone. We were going to destroy the industry, then reinvent it in our own image.

And that’s really how the curve in our hockey stick began. We finally figured out a way to deliver a product that was 10x better and 5x cheaper.

That Safeway Express Checkout line where I got our first Voice Over IP call reminded me of that scene in The Shawshank Redemption where the main character crawls through miles of sewage pipe before finally being able to break free.

Shortly afterwards, we officially launched (built a new website) “The Virtual Call Center” and our business kept growing at an increasingly rapid pace. Our competitors, most of whom had not replied to my previous emails asking if I could buy them lunch in the city, were suddenly stunned at how low our prices were.

We got a great office space that impressed everyone except my father .

Ironically, we did end up being the low-cost leader, something we could do because our intrinsic costs were so much lower. We got substantial VC funding from great firms who believed in us and, finally, a great office space that impressed everyone except my father — who kept asking me why I wasn’t a doctor yet.

The first year we had done $0 in revenues, the next year $900,000 and the next year $3 million. I led the company to $10 million in annually recurring revenues before I departed. The truth was, the company had become its own entity and didn’t need me anymore.

Today, the company I named Five9 is traded on the NASDAQ stock market and employs hundreds of Bay Area Californians, with an IPO that gave the company an opening day valuation of $350 million dollars. Whenever I call into a corporation’s call center that’s using my software, I can’t help but smile. Until I’m on hold for longer than two minutes.

I’m not sure if I have any sage advice for other entrepreneurs, but out of this experience I did learn one important truth. Namely, you don’t have to be an Ivy League graduate (I’m not) or have a lot of money (we didn’t). You just have to believe in yourself against all reasonable logic, as trite as that sounds.

Believe that even if you do something stupid like quit your job without a clue, somehow you’re going to figure it out. Believe that after enduring years of the prison-like toil entrepreneurial life can be, you will emerge from miles of sewage pipes to feel the rain wash the crap off your face.

And that you will disappear to a beach in Mexico with a bag full of money, meet up with your co-conspirators and have margaritas.

Source: Techcrunch.com

The following article How I Created A $350 Million Software Company Knowing Nothing About Software Find more on: http://www.myvisuallistingsprovider.com

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