All Posts By

Matt

Getting Familiar With The New TourVista

By | 1000 Little Things, All, How To's, Improvements to TourVista.com, Suggestions from YOU, Tutorials | No Comments

We’ve completely rebuilt the back-end pages for managing your TourVista account and virtual tours. Here’s a tour of the new design and features that you’re sure to love.

The Home Page

A slick new design awaits when you login to your TourVista account. The home page acts as a control panel for your entire account, showing your most Recent Tours and a nifty widget for quickly creating a New Tour.

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Video Tutorial for Posting to Craigslist Using TourVista’s New (Awesome!) Templates

By | 1000 Little Things, All, Apartment Websites, Articles on Marketing Real Estate, Craigslist, How To's, Improvements to TourVista.com, Tutorials | 2 Comments

If you haven’t used our new Craigslist templates, check ’em out at tourvista.com/craigslist

Here’s a detailed video tutorial that for the Craigslist newbies that goes through each step of adding your post to the appropriate real estate section on Craigslist:

Learn more about our new Craigslist templates here and see why it’s important to include more than just plain text on your listings if you want them to stand out amongst the masses on Craigslist.

Free Craigslist Templates for Real Estate Listings

By | All, Craigslist, Improvements to TourVista.com, Suggestions from YOU | No Comments

We’ve received a huge response to our new Craigslist templates that went live last week.  So big in fact we’ve decided to allow ANYONE to use them — no TourVista account required.

Just go to tourvista.com/craigslist and enter your property information as demonstrated in this video:

Ya baby! Hope you enjoy!!

Not sure what the big deal is? Recently Craigslist hammered down on their real estate listing guidelines, essentially reducing all listings to plain text.  No externally-hosted images. No fancy HTML formatting. More info at our blog posts here and here.

New Craigslist Template From TourVista Makes Your Real Estate Listings Pop!

By | 1000 Little Things, All, Articles on Marketing Real Estate, Craigslist, Improvements to TourVista.com, Suggestions from YOU | 2 Comments

Nov 20th Update: More customizable and no TourVista account required! Visit tourvista.com/craigslist

In response to our blog post yesterday about Craigslist hammering down on images and styling , we are pleased to release the initial version of our New & Improved Craigslist Template for Real Estate!

While your competition is sprinkling in bold text and bulleted lists to their boring plain text ads, your listings will shine with TourVista’s new Craigslist design.

Here’s a video of the new templates – and if you haven’t already, setup a free account on TourVista and start using our new Craiglist template today!

Craigslist Lays the Smack Down on Real Estate Listings!

By | All, Articles on Marketing Real Estate, Craigslist, Improvements to TourVista.com, Suggestions from YOU | 6 Comments

Nov 20th Update: Better yet – no TourVista account required! Visit tourvista.com/craigslist

Nov 14th Update: We’ve released a new & improved version of our Craigslist template! Details here

WOW! is all I have to say about this.

Craigslist is now removing all externally-hosted images and most other formatting from your real estate posts.

That is, your beautiful posts created using various Craigslist templates like TourVista’s are now stripped naked and in most cases looking very ugly. 

No images. No fancy styling. No well-designed layout. 

Just plain text and some minor formatting like bold and italics. Excuse me while I barf.

TourVista's original Craigslist template (left) shows images and other styling. Craigslist converts it all to boring, plain text (right).

TourVista’s original Craigslist template (left) shows images and other styling. Craigslist converts it all to boring, plain text (right).

Is this just an effort to blast us all back to 1995? I don’t think so. Craigslist has always gone the route of “less is more” with their design and overall user experience. Instead, it feels more like a way to manage the look of all posts for consistency in an effort to level the playing field for everyone.

No need to freak out…

While this does have most real estate marketers in a state of shock, it is actually good news.  By removing all images and fancy styling and forcing all posts to be plain text, ANYTHING that we can do to make your text better than just plain text will help it stand out.

And that’s what we are working on right now — an updated Craigslist template that takes your property info from TourVista and generates “better than plain text” copy/paste code to help it POP on Craigslist.

Stay tuned… and let us know if you have any ideas!

Nov 20th Update: Better yet – no TourVista account required! Visit tourvista.com/craigslist

Nov 14th Update: We’ve released a new & improved version of our Craigslist template! Details here

Matt, TourVista Founder

November 13, 2013 at 2:32 pm PST

PS: Craig sends his love 🙂

Craigslist Lays the Smack Down!

Craigslist takes the hammer to your once pretty ads and makes them all plain text, eck.

How To Change the Arrow Color on Your Interactive Floor Plans

By | How To's, Improvements to TourVista.com, Interactive Floor Plans, Tutorials | No Comments

This is a really cool update that allows you to further customize your virtual tour with interactive floor plans by choosing the color for your arrows.

It’s super easy to customize the arrow colors:

Floor plans link

Step 1

Login to your account at TourVista.com and click the Floor Plan link for the tour you’d like to edit.

Setup interactive floor plans link

Step 2

Then click the link to “Connect your photos to these floor plans”

Change arrows link

Step 3

Click the “Change” link to select different color arrows for both the “on” and “off” states as shown on your interactive floor plans.

Custom arrow colors on this interactive floor plan

Step 4

Save and view your tour! Aren’t you snazzy? But of course you are 😉

Here’s a video tutorial that walks you through the above steps:

How To Auto-Play Your Photo Slideshow

By | How To's, Improvements to TourVista.com, Tutorials | No Comments

Hopefully you’ve figured out that you can simply click on any photo in your virtual tour to launch the full-size photo slideshow, like this post explains.

But, did you know that you can press the SPACEBAR on your keyboard to play the slideshow automatically?  How cool is that?  We’ve even added a little notification at the top of the slideshow so your viewers know that they have this option, too.

You guessed it, pressing the spacebar again pauses the slideshow. 

Spacebar plays slideshow

Click the spacebar on your keyboard to play/pause the slideshow.

Big (We Mean HUGE) Interactive Floor Plans

By | Improvements to TourVista.com, Interactive Floor Plans, Suggestions from YOU | No Comments

TourVista was one of the first companies on the web to allow users to setup interactive floor plans for marketing their real estate. And while our interface for viewing the interactive floor plan was nice and clean… it was a bit small.

Most of our users figured out that their floor plans should be drawn such that they would fit nicely on the tour page, including cropping them tight so there was no unnecessary white space around the edge, resulting in the largest floor plan possible.  Even still, if your property had a big, complex floor plan, it became very small and hard to read.

Well, it is my pleasure to announce that we’ve updated our tour page with a link “+Enlarge” that shows your interactive floor plan in a MUCH larger view!  Yeehaw!  Check it out:

If that’s the good news, the better news is that all of your existing virtual tours with interactive floor plans have been updated automatically to show the larger view. Sweet!

Here’s a quick screencast demonstrating the large interactive floor plans:

Slideshow Gets a Super Cool New “Lightbox” Style!

By | 1000 Little Things, All, Improvements to TourVista.com, Suggestions from YOU | No Comments

We’ve heard from a few users that they would prefer a more obvious way to view full size versions of the photos and floor plans on their virtual tours. 

Ask and you shall receive!

The two screenshots above show (on the left) the Photos tab for an interactive floor plan and (on the right) the lightbox for viewing each photo at full size.  

Tip: once the lightbox is showing, you can use the left/right arrow keys on your keyboard to quickly scroll through the photos.

Just visit one of your virtual tours and you’ll see that the lightbox has already been applied*.

* This update applies to Premium tours only, not free tours.

 

For Mac Users Only: How to Unzip a File (Fixing Mac Error 1 – Operation Not Permitted)

By | 1000 Little Things, All, How To's | 3 Comments

We love our Macs. But occasionally a funky bug pops up. Fortunately, there’s usually a helpful explanation online that shows you a good work-around.

This video demos how to get past the “Error 1 – Operation Not Permitted” error that occurs when trying to unzip a zip file created at TourVista.com.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6–dQQ9U1fs

The solution is to use Terminal, a built-in program on the Mac.

  1. Open Terminal.  You can use the Mac search at the top right and start typing Terminal.  It will appear, click on it to open the program.
  2. Type “unzip” and a space, then drag/drop the zip file into the Terminal window.
  3. Press Enter and the zip file will be unzipped, storing all files on your computer.

Your unzipped files will go to your user account folder which you can easily access using Finder.