4. Statistic Reports.
5. PicturePlan Editing (video tutorials).
Q. How do I order a PicturePlan?
Go to www.vis-home.com/orders
and fill out an order form. The process takes a couple of minutes. You will be given an estimated cost before placing the order. Our sales rep will call you within the next business day to schedule an appointment, unless you request another arrangement.
A. Put the known assessed footage of the house. If you do not know it, give a ball park figure. We need the footage to give you a realistic cost estimation and accurate scheduling, so there is no need to be certain up to a single square foot. Your final bill will be calculated from the actual footage that we measure.
Q. Do I need to include the basement?
A. Including the basement in the PicturePlan™ increases your footage and price. On the other hand, a basement is an important feature of any property. A finished basement is a key selling point and an unfinished basement represents a lot of potential (or lack thereof). Major appliances, furnaces, heaters and plumbing conditions - all of these are very important to the buyer, so they would appreciate you including the basement. Rule of thumb - always include professionally finished basements; consider including even unfinished basements for walk- and look-outs. Leave out dirty and cluttered basements. If you are on a tight budget we can take a couple of extra shots of the basement without a floor plan for a nominal price.
Q. Do I need to include the garage?
A. You have to include the attached garage, since it is an indivisible part of the floor plan. A detached garage may be safely left out.
Q. I do not know my MLS yet. Can I still order a PicturePlan™?
A. Absolutely. PicurePlan can be created without an MLS number. We need the number for linking PicturePlan™ to Realtor.com and other web portals so please report it to us as soon as the property is listed.
Q. How can I get an order scheduled on certain day?
A. Request a certain date and we‘ll try to accommodate you. The more lead time we have the better chances your request will be satisfied. Statistically the least booked days are Fridays and weekends.
Q. I already have a Showcase account with realtor.com. Should I still order a link?
A. Yes. Having a Showcase account alone does not allow you to attach links to to your listing. We have an agreement with Homestore, which owns Realtor.com. We attach the "Tour" button to your listing; you do not have to do anything. Effective March 14th 2006 having a Showcase account will save you the $20 fee.
Q. What is a custom domain and why do I need one?
A. Consider two URLs which are linked to the same PicturePlan™ of 7707 Birchwood: www.vis-home.com/repository/mi/o/7707birchwood.html and www.7707Birchwood.us. The last one is much easier to remember. When people see this URL in a newspaper, TV ad or on a sign rider they are more likely to go look for it on the web. When you order a custom domain we register the requested domain name (usually address.us) and link this name to your regular PicturePlan™. It can be used to impress tour clients: "I will get a special web site just for your house!". If your marketing plan includes different media types it’s certainly a worthy feature.
Q. I have a listing at a distant location. Can I still order a PicturePlan™?
A. We charge for extra gas and time when our technicians have to go to a remote location. If driving time from our office is more than an hour we will call you for special arrangements. Those arrangements may include ordering a number of properties at the same location, longer lead time or charging extra fees.
In case you want us to work on a property more than a day’s drive away you must order at least 12 properties at the same location. Call us and we will make it happen.
Q. I already have tons of photos. Can I order a Floor Plan only?
A. Yes, just select "Floor Plan" in the "service requested" field when ordering on line. We will create a floor plan and attach one exterior photo only. You will get a price break but your photos won’t be part of PicturePlan™. If you want us to incorporate your photos into PicturePlan™ you will have to order a full service. "Floor Plan" option is recommended only for houses under construction.
Q. How much is a PicturePlan™ for a house?
There three factors that affect the price of a PicturePlan™: square footage, location and service ordered. We use fair price structure that reflects actual effort made to get the results. The price per SF gradually drops with increasing footage. It is important to understand that we count MEASURED footage, which can differ from assessed footage. In addition to footage we charge a very reasonable driving fee for miles driven from our office to the property (first 10 miles free). HDRs, links on Realtor.com, custom domains and aerial shots are extra. On average a 2000 SF PicturePlan™ cost $140 with slight local variations. Use our simplified estimator
to see how pricing works.
There is a full estimator embedded into our order form so you know your price before ordering.
Commercial properties are quoted over the phone.
Q. I was quoted one price on the ordering form, but my bill is much higher. How come?
A. Our estimation is as precise as the information that you enter. Here is why your bill may be higher: - you entered 2000 SF for a 4000 SF home; - you ordered no CDs and later called us and asked to print 20 of them; - you forgot to input a ZIP code;
Our bill shows measured footage and services provided for each property. If you still feel that the bill is not correct please call us. We do not want to overcharge our clients, we survive on your repeat business.
More often it happens that our bill is less than the estimation, but people usually do not have questions about that.
Q. I already have a floor plan. Can I get a price break for that?
A. It depends on what kind of floor plan you have. Construction blueprints are not suitable for online presentation and have to be re-drawn. It will save some time at the property, but we will spend much more time re-drawing the plan. There is no discount for using these. We will only use construction blueprints in cases of unusual layouts or extreme hurry.
Many newer houses have presentation or "model" floor plans. These can be scanned and used as a basis for PicturePlan™. It saves a little time so we offer a discount for using those. With very little exception though actual floor plans vary from the model and these variations won’t be in the PicturePlan™.
The floor plan should be presentable and suitable for scanning. The technician will help you decide what kind of floor plan you need to use - one scanned or one generated by us.
Q. Do you have volume discounts?
A. Certainly, we love volume. Please call us to discuss your circumstances or better yet ask your broker to call us.
We have several hubs in each service area. We count roundtrip mileage from the closest service hub to the property and charge per mile (first 10 miles are free). If you schedule more than one property in one location the mileage applies only to the first one. The full estimator embedded into our order form
shows you price adjusted for driving.
Call us for quote on driving to remote locations.
Q. How do I pay for PicturePlan™?
A. Check with your broker. For some offices we have centralized billing, so we send the bill to your company and they pay us and charge your account later. If this is not the case, we expect full payment upon acceptance of the job. All sales are final upon e-mail delivery of ordered materials-no refunds. Use the secure link that we send you to finish payment with your credit card. Personal or business checks are OK, just let us know that you prefer this form of payment. Never send your Credit Card information over e-mail or not secured web site.
We do not ask any money upfront for clients in good standing.
Q. What happens to people who do not pay?
A.You do not want to know.
Q. How long does it take to create a PicturePlan™?
A.About an hour and a half per each 2000 sf measured. In cases of unusual layout it may take longer.
Q. Do I need to be present during the appointment?
A. No, you do not. You are more than welcome to watch our technicians create their magic with laser measurers and pocket computers and chat with them (after they are through). You may help by locking/unlocking the house, opening/closing blinds and keeping your pets and kids out of the frame, but it is not necessary. We are a member of Board of Realtors and carry insurance so there is nothing to worry about
Q. Who tells you what photos to take?
A. Our technicians take 200 shots daily on average. They know what angle is best for different types of rooms and interiors. If you have a special request for a certain shot i.e. original tiles or woodwork let us know when ordering - we will be happy to accommodate.
Q. What happens if it is raining or overcast on the day of my appointment?
A. Many people are surprised to learn that overcast is best for photography. There are no shadows and you can take photos of the exterior from all directions. On sunny days it is impossible to take shots against the sun. If your house faces north you simply can not take front photos on a sunny day. When overcast you can’t get blue skys or clouds and the sky is plain white.
We can not shoot exteriors during heavy rain or snow. In that case we complete the floor plan and interior shots, hoping to catch 10 minutes of not so bad weather to complete exteriors. If we can not get even that we can use your exterior shots. In the worst case we will return later, when our schedule allows.
Q. I do not like the photos that you took. What now?
A. Quality of our photos is consistent. They are all made with the same equipment by the same people following the same rules. All PicturePlans™ undergo QA.
In the unlikely event that certain photos are technically incompetent (over- or under- exposed, fuzzy or blurry) we will try the following remedies:
1. Substitute with another photo;
2. Digitally enhance the photo;
3. Drop the photo;
4. Re-schedule and re-shoot at our expense ONLY if the photo can not be dropped (front shot or another key photo), fixed or substituted.
We can not be held responsible for a house that is not presentable for the photo shoot. We can clone out a dog feeder, dirty dumpster or hanging wire, but within certain limits. We can open and close blinds, doors and toilet lids, but we do not make beds, do dishes or laundry.
Q. How does the PicturePlan™ get to MLS?
A. Each MLS has it’s own rules. As per March 2006 Realcomp online has automatic feed and MIREALSource gets PicturePlans™ via e-mail. So for these two we post links, given an MLS number is assigned. For Ann Arbor Board and both Chicago systems it is the responsibility of the listing agent. If you want to post PicturePlans™ on MLS yourself, call us and we will explain to you step by step what to do. Make sure you post your link to an UNBRANDED version of PicturePlan™. Most boards frown upon agent photos and contact information in MLS, and some even impose fines.
Q. Why is my PicturePlan™ not on Realtor.com?
A. These are the possible reasons:
1. The listing is too young. It takes a couple of days for MLS to feed new listings to the Realtor.com database. If you do not see the listing at all, there is a good chance you won’t see the attached PicturePlan™ either.
2. You re-listed a property and forgot to notify us. E-mail us old and new MLS numbers and we will restore the link in no time.
3. You forgot to order this option. Please do not try to save $20 here. That’s the place where 70% of buyers shop for houses. Order immediately!
4. The zip code ork MLS you provided is incorrect. The MLS should match the zip code, otherwise it is rejected.
In any such case let us know. You want your PicturePlan™ to be on Realtor.com, and so do sellers and buyers.
Q. Can I use your photos for MLS and other purposes?
A. Absolutely. Please press tab "Photo Downloads" on the notification page that you receive upon completion of your order. There are number of options for downloading photos in different resolutions. You can download photos individually or all together inside a zip file. You can even specify your own resolution on the "Download custom sized images" page.
We shall retain your print-quality photos for 2 years on our server after they were initially photographed. After that time has elapsed we will be able to "unfreeze" the print-quality photos and re-upload them to our server, at an additional cost of $20.
Q. Why isn’t the printable brochure working?
A. If it says "page can’t be found" we should know about it and most likely it can be fixed in minutes.
If it shows a white screen of Adobe Reader and hangs, or you can see it on one computer but not on another, you probably have a slow internet connection. In many cases cleaning your temporary files helps. In MS Internet Explorer click "Tools->Internet Options->Delete Temporary Files" If you do not remember the last time you did this the operation will take a while, but after that your explorer will run much better.
Q. I just re-listed property. Is my PicturePlan™ lost?
A. Not at all. Just send us your old and new MLS number and we will re-instate it free of charge.
Q. I received statistics about online viewings of my PicturePlan™. What are these numbers?
The numbers in your report tell you how much attention the PicturePlan
Summary averages the numbers for easy understanding. Showing is counted as sequence of the web requests (hits) coming from the same computer (or computer network) during one day.
Duration of a median showing indicates how much time most of the visitors spent exploring the PicturePlan™
List of showings gives you more detailed information: date and duration of each showing, number of hits performed during the showing and internet ID of the computer where these requests were made from (IP).
Q. How do you collect your statistic data for online viewings? A. When someone clicks on PicturePlan™ link from Realtor.com or other web site we count the first hit and start the showing. As soon as this person clicks hotspot to see different picture we count another hit. When the user exit the PicturePlan or close the browser window we record end of the session. If this or different user opens the PicturePlan™ from the same computer during the same day we re-open the session and continue counting. We can not tell if this is the same person or someone else.
A. You can not. The only thing you can find is a vague geographic location of the Internet provider for each showing. Imagine computer in public library, or internet cafe. There is no way to tell who is behind the keyboard. You can’t even tell who was the user if request was made from laptop connected to wi-fi in Starbucks or Borders. You only know who provide the Internet access to this user.
Q. Why some dates in my report are in the future
A. We get the showing time from the computer which runs the browser. Some computer clocks are not set correctly. That’s why we can get timestamps ranging from 1970 and up.
Q. Why do I need these reports
You ordered a PicturePlan
™ with a purpose to show buyers the subject property. The viewing report is a tool to find out how good the PicturePlan
™ serves the purpose.
When there is no physical showings of a house sellers are getting nervous sometimes. You can share this report with the seller to show the activity and it may be used to persuade the sellers to reduce the price: "There are a lot of online showings, and yet there are no inquiries about the! Perhaps price is not right?".
In one case, a seller was very upset that nobody requested a showing of the home and the seller blamed the agent for not marketing the home properly. The report saved the listing.
You can also spot out of town people looking for the property by looking of the list of IPs.