Taking a 360° view
PUBLISHED: 13:54 13 October 2016 | UPDATED: 18:14 13 October 2016
Photographer with a difference Ollie Kilvert
Now a resident of Cambridgeshire, Ollie Kilvert is a Norfolk-born entrepreneur who formed an independent company called The 360 View earlier this year.
“I offer an end-to-end service for producing beautiful walkthrough virtual tours,” he explains. “These tours are immersive, interesting and emotionally engaging – which makes them a powerful way to showcase any home or business.
“Before setting up The 360 View, I began my career as a transportation broker in the USA. After returning to this side of the pond – and realising my calling in life wasn’t in sales – I set up and launched a couple of websites, before working in the marketing team at the retailer GO Outdoors.
“At the beginning of the year my wife and I put our house on the market,” says the 31-year-old businessman. “To win our business, the estate agent introduced us to a virtual reality camera.
“A few months later, we ended up selling our home to a retired British couple from Singapore, and it was all thanks to the virtual tour. Having previously started up a couple of ventures/businesses, it seemed the right time to offer this service myself.”
“I love interacting with people and helping them capture their homes at their best,” enthuses Kilvert, revealing what he likes most about his job. “I’m also quite fond of a challenge because a challenge usually offers me an opportunity to develop, to go outside my comfort zone and to stretch my creative side. Being able to balance a home/work life is very important to me, so if a job runs into the evening, or needs to happen at the weekend, I miss my family.”
How has the popularity of virtual tours changed in the last few years? Do more and more people prefer to view properties this way?
“Virtual tours have advanced significantly over the last few years,” replies the tech-savvy family man (his equipment of choice is the Matterport Pro 3D Camera), “and I am absolutely certain that they will become a key element of property marketing.
“Some of the new enhancements, like integrated floor plans and dolls house views, give potential buyers a real-life feel for a property while they’re sitting at their computer. Exploring your dream house could one day be as simple as popping a virtual reality headset in front of your eyes. “Obviously they will never ever replace physical viewings, but they act as a great aid to selling a home.”
Discussing the advantages of this increasingly popular trend, Kilvert muses: “It’s a time saver. Searching for the right property is time consuming and costly. Virtual Tours can now eliminate wasted hours for both the buyer and the agent. There is a worldwide appeal. “Virtual tours can catch the attention of prospects all around the world with just a click of the mouse. “Also, research has shown that prospective buyers are less interested in seeing interior shots, but love exploring to see how much storage there is or what the views are like.”
On the negative side, Kilvert commented: “Letting someone walk around a house is much more immersive than photos, so it can also be a double-edged sword as if you have an untidy house or plenty of clutter then you have less control.”
What have been some of the most memorable properties Ollie has filmed? “The most memorable was doing a theatre in the Lakes... It required me to cover every single foot of the building, from the backstage area to the stalls. I also love doing properties with historical charm.”
To conclude, Ollie spoke of his plans for the company. “I have some very interesting projects in the pipeline, which will require me to employ some additional help,” he says. “I am very keen to grow a business to serve the East of England and the Home Counties.”