Frequently Asked Questions...
What is a Virtual Tour?
A virtual tour is a digital simulation of a physical space. It allows users to interact with the virtual space in a self-guided non-determined sequence.
A photosphere (or spin) is composed of multiple still images and software to project an immersive interactive environment. Multiple spins are linked together to allow movement through the space.
How is a virtual tour different from a video?
Many people think that because of the motion effect, a virtual tour is a video walk-through. With video the user’s experience is predetermined. They must follow the sequence of the video.
With a virtual tour, the experience is self-guided. A user may select all 360 to look and may move in one of multiple directions. They have the ability to zoom in and/ or stay with a particular view for as long as they wish.
Additionally, VTs offer greater optimization benefits compared to a video.
Virtual tours have additional interactive opportunities. (see Custom Tours)
Why do I need a tour? I have so many photos already?
We all know that images are an important part of marketing and advertising. Images are static and only provide one perspective. Tours on the other hand are immersive and interactive. They allow the user to self-guide and experience your space.
Virtual Tours provides a host of benefits beyond still imagery, such as view time, deeper understanding, familiarity, as well as optimization. There is great benefit in having both a Virtual Tour and great imagery.
A picture is worth 1000 words.
A video is worth a story.
And a tour is an experience!
What businesses and industries benefit from Virtual Tours?
Various businesses and industries can reap the benefits of Virtual Tours. These immersive experiences are particularly advantageous for real estate agencies, hotels and hospitality, restaurants, retail stores, event venues, educational institutions, healthcare facilities, and cultural attractions. Essentially, any business that wants to showcase its space or offerings to potential customers in a engaging and interactive way can benefit from integrating Virtual Tours into their marketing strategy.
How are you affiliated with Google? / What is Google Trusted Photographer?
I do not work for Google. I am an Independent Google Steet View Photographer in the Google Trusted Photographer Program. Try saying that 3 times fast.
To become a Trusted photographer I had to submit over 50 images and meet Google’s image and tour requirements.
What is the cost and how do you base your prices?
Google trusted photographers are independent business owners and prices as well as pricing methods vary greatly from one photographer or agency to another. Pricing can depend on a number of variables such as time in business, equipment, niche, location, size of the agency, overhead, and other factors.
Generally, as with FCM, VT photography is value rather than commodity-based pricing. This means that prices are set per industry based on the expected returned value to a given industry. This is why we have distinct price lists for Retail, Automotive, Hospitality, and Real Estate.
FCM Pricing method – FCM invoices are based on the quantity of work done, i.e. the number of Spins (nodes, photospheres…) captured, rather than overall square footage. There are a number of factors that affect the quantity of spins needed such as the size of the overall space, visibility, and the layout. Charging per spin allows for partial tours to be created.
As the size of the space and package increases, the cost per spin goes down.
FCM does offer custom pricing for businesses with multiple locations. Ask about our volume and large tour pricing.
FCM offers subscription and one-time fee pricing models.
What is the difference between the subscription model and the one-time fee?
Our subscription model is quite unique in the industry. Our tours come bundled with business management software that allows you to collect reviews, create a database of your customers, and manage messaging from multiple platforms all in one place. Not only that but we provide our customers with analytics of their tour on our proprietary Tour Dashboard page. This lets you evaluate how your tour is performing.
With the subscription model, you can refresh your tour annually so your virtual space is more accurately representative of your physical space. For those who want more frequent updates of their virtual tour, you can schedule additional captures anytime for an affordable capture fee. Subscription models are for a 1-year term and are billed monthly, quarterly, and annually.
For businesses whose spaces do not change frequently the One-time fee may be the better option. In this case, the tour is yours. FCM will never take it down. You can leave it up as long as the tour suits you. The cost is greater up front, but long term may cost less than our subscription model.
The one-time fee model comes with a trial of our business software and 1 year of the tour dashboard.
Are virtual tour compatible with mobile devices such as the iPad?
Virtual tours use web-based coding such as HTML to render the environment and are therefore compatible with any current web device from personal computers to mobile devices and even some Smart TV’s
Can't I do this myself?
In one word yes. But why would you?
There are low-cost capture options such as apps you can install on your smartphone, but these options produce poor results (see link)
You could purchase a specialized 360 camera. You would then have to learn how to use the camera and the software. While you can use the bundled software you will achieve better results with third-party software.
Even if you have a DSLR, you will need specialized panoramic equipment and software to process the images before uploading to Google.
There is a learning curve to using the equipment and software. You will need to shoot within Google’s Street View guidelines. While the process of uploading and linking tour images on Google is not significantly difficult it can be a challenge.
If you are an avid DIYer then go for it!
If you need things to be more simple call me.
As a Google trusted Photographer not only do I have the equipment and software to produce high-quality GSV tours, but also have received Google’s approval that I am in compliance with their guidelines. From start to finish I will have your tour up in 5 business days or less. This is a hands-off done-for-you service. Unless your tour is quite large you will pay less than the cost of equipment, and software, you will spend less time, and have less headache.
Let me do what I do best, so you can do what you do best!
What is the process?
Schedule a consult
- Fit assessment
- Needs/goals analysis
Book tour & Pay Capture Fee
- Plan the capture
- Assets needed
- Work to be done
- Tour & Stills
- Image Correction
- Tour construction
Share and use your new asset
- Add tour your website
- Share on social media
From capture to publish is usually 5 business days or less for GSV.
- Turnaround time for custom tours will be discussed at your consultation.
- Rush turnaround times are available.
Terms & Definitions
Will a tour capture disrupt my business?
We are here to help you do more business and will make every effort to minimize any disruption. For this reason, we aim to schedule tours before or after business hours.
For average-size tours, capture takes from 20 – 40 min without interruptions.
If you would prefer to shoot during business hours some disruption is likely, and there is an extra fee, for the additional time and steps it will take to capture the tour properly. Full Circle Media may waive this fee for any or all of the following reasons: the location is not busy and capture time is not significantly affected, having people present is part of the plan, or if you choose to close temporarily during the capture.
These logistics will be discussed at your consultation.
Can I expand my tour at a later date?
It is possible to add more spins (nodes, photospheres) to a tour at a later date, however it depend on a few critical factors: Location of the new spins, visibility of the previous spins to new spins, and amount of change to the space layout. It may be necessary to recapture some or all of the previous tour spins, which would result in additional charges.
What about inclement weather?
If the weather prohibits the shoot, we will reschedule. If the shoot is possible, and the weather is not a key factor for the purpose of the shoot. We will shoot as scheduled. At the discretion of the photographer, photo editing techniques such as sky replacement, may be used to improve the look of the outdoor images shot during less than desirable weather.
What is the appointment cancelation policy?
To ensure a smooth scheduling process and accommodate the needs of all our clients, please adhere to the following guidelines for canceling appointments:
1. Cancellation Notice: If you need to cancel a Capture appointment, kindly inform us via phone or text at least 48 hours prior to the scheduled shoot. We understand that unforeseen situations can arise, and we’re here to work with you.
2. Mitigating Circumstances: We recognize that there might be exceptional situations beyond your control. In such cases, please reach out to us to discuss the circumstances, and we will assess the best way to proceed.
3. Rescheduling: Should you need to cancel within the 48-hour window, experience a no-show, or face multiple cancellations, a rescheduling fee of $25 will apply. This fee helps cover the costs associated with adjusting our scheduling and resources.
4. Complete Cancellations: If you choose to cancel the appointment entirely, please note that the capture fee collected at the time of booking will be forfeited. Additionally, in the case of a complete cancellation, your subscription will be terminated, and no further payments will be charged.
We value your understanding of the importance of adhering to these guidelines. By doing so, we can maintain a reliable and efficient appointment system that benefits all our clients. Should you have any questions or need assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team.
What happens when I cancel my subscription?
All tour subscriptions are for a one-year term regardless of payment frequency. Tours that are canceled before the renewal date will incur the cost of the balance of reoccurring fees. The tour will remain published till the end of the term.
Missed payments & Cancelation
We recognize that unexpected circumstances can arise. Sometimes, credit card information needs updating or oversights can occur. Should you miss a payment, we will promptly reach out to you to assist in rectifying the situation and ensuring your account is up to date.
However, if two or more consecutive payments are missed without prior communication and arrangement, certain actions will be taken to address the matter:
1. Tour Status: In the event of repeated missed payments, we may take the step of temporarily removing your tour from our platform to ensure fairness to all our clients.
2. Watermark Notification: Alternatively, we might opt to place a watermark on your tour reading “Suspended for non-payment.” This measure serves as a gentle reminder to address any outstanding payments.
3. Suspension of Services: The bundled services and software associated with your subscription will be temporarily suspended until the payment issue is resolved.
4. Invoice Generation: An invoice for the remaining term of your contract will be generated, reflecting the outstanding payments.
5. Contractual Implication: Persistent missed payments may result in your contract being considered in breach. As a consequence, your tour may be removed from our platform to maintain the integrity of our services.
We genuinely value your partnership and understand that unforeseen circumstances can occur. Our intention is to collaborate and find solutions that benefit both parties. Please don’t hesitate to reach out and communicate with us if you encounter difficulties with payments. We’re here to work together toward a positive resolution.
Who owns the images?
All images are owned and copyrighted by Full Circle Media. The images will be licencd to you, your business, and Google. The only thing that you can’t do with the images is resell them. If you have questions or want the full copyright please discuss this with me at tour consult.
Could my tour be removed?
Google reserves the right to remove images that contain offensive, illegal, vulgar, or discriminatory material. It is likely that if we are talking these are not present in our space. During your shoot, I survey the space for any potential problems. It is unlikely that Google will remove your tour for any of these reasons.
It must be noted that Google is a third party-and can change its policies at any time. Any policy changes by Google relating to image hosting are outside the scope of Full Circle Media.
Why should I put the virtual tour on my website?
You are getting tremendous value from your GSV tour on your Google Business Profile. By embedding your tour on your site, you get that benefit in both places. The more popular your tour becomes the more it will be shown. You should link it as many places as you can.
I am not tech savvy. How will I post the tour?
This is a done-for-you service. We capture and publish your tour to Google or our servers. FCM provide you with a link for social media, and embed code for your website, and how to instructions to keep things simple. If you are still overwhelmed, we can provide these serveces for an additional fee.
How do I put my GSV or custom tour on my website?
FCM provides you with simple embed code and instruction for you or your web developer to place on your site. Easy pezy lemon squeezy.