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Need advice12877

Shawn_P private msg quote post Address this user
Hello all,

I see a lot of people crushing the 3D tour and photography gig. I'm in the DFW area and everyone's business seems to be booming but mine. I got my foot in the door with a national custom builder but they seem to run hot and cold. I do some real estate photos and Matterport tours for residential realtors but really don't have any real sustainability. The realtors in the area seem more intent on doing photos only and open houses. Yes, open houses with all that's going on.

I want to widen my net so to speak. Who is it I should be talking to at a custom builder or in a commercial real estate office and how do I keep the door from getting shut in my face (figuratively).

Thanks in advance,

Shawn P
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rzphotoman private msg quote post Address this user
Research your competitors and offer a better product at a better price and also work on getting to page one of google.
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JonJ private msg quote post Address this user
Hi @Shawn_P,

I want to start out by saying that I understand your frustration! It can be difficult to operate a business and do everything "right", but not get the traction you expect. This frustration can be further exacerbated when it appears as though your competitors businesses are booming. During these times, it is important to take some time and take inventory of how far you have gone and how much you have learned. Remember, building a business is not a sprint, but a marathon. Do not compare yourself with you competitors. Everyone starts off with different skills and we all have different strengths. You cannot expect to be as successful as someone that has a background in sales/business with an extensive network of potential clients if you do not have this same background.

That being said, here are some actionable steps that you can take to grow your client base.

1) Research which agents/teams are the most successful in your area and review the photos that they have on their current listings. If your work is comparable or better than what they currently have, offer to photograph a property for them for free and see if you can win their business. If your work is not as good or at least comparable, move on to the next agent and keep improving your skills. Remember, agents will not change providers if there is no incentive. You will have to be as good as their current provider and provide additional value (faster, cheaper, better...) to them in order for them to switch to you. And just so that I am clear, I don't mean marginally better value, I mean a lot more value.

2) For the agents that you have worked with, see if they would be willing to introduce you to some agents in their office. Do not ask for a referral, ask for an introduction. I make this distinction because you want to be viewed as a commodity that they only engage when they have a property to list, but you want to be viewed as their trusted advisor whenever they have questions about creating and distributing marketing content. You could meet with them to review their current marketing and offer advice on how you can add value to their offerings.

3) Go into builder model homes and ask the sales agent if they would be willing to let you photograph one of their models or one of their spec homes. In return, you would deliver the final images to their marketing team free of charge. This is a great way to connect with the marketing team and if you do a good job and your rates are in line with their marketing budget, they may be willing to use you on future shoots. If you do go this route, be sure that you are insured and meet the requirements of the specific builder. More than likely, they will want to be added as an additional insured on your policy.


I hope this helps!
Jon J
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Shawn_P private msg quote post Address this user
@JonJ Thanks man. Much appreciated. It's been tough trying to balance marketing and remote schooling for two under kids under 12.

I don't know what it is, but I seem to run into a bunch of "flakes." One thing I've been hearing is "People are still wanting to come in person." I've put all my eggs in one basket with the custom builder that I do work for. I know for a fact that my prices are probably the cheapest in the area. Someone suggested that since my fee is low that it may give the impression that I don't know what I'm doing and are leery of hiring me.

I have to keep in mind that, as you said, it's a marathon and not a sprint.
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JonJ private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn_P
I don't know what it is, but I seem to run into a bunch of "flakes." One thing I've been hearing is "People are still wanting to come in person." I've put all my eggs in one basket with the custom builder that I do work for. I know for a fact that my prices are probably the cheapest in the area. Someone suggested that since my fee is low that it may give the impression that I don't know what I'm doing and are leery of hiring me.


I think that part of the reason you seem to run into a bunch of "flakes" is because of your low pricing. When you are starting out, or even if you have been in business for a while, it seems like it makes sense to come in at a lower price point and "steal" business from your competitors. This is not a good practice for a number of reasons.

If you are competing on price, everyone loses. By offering a low price, you devalue the product. You work for less than you should be working for which demotivates you in the long run and results in less than your best work. And finally, your clients do not value the services that you provide. You think to yourself that you can always raise prices later...once you have a steady client base...but you CAN'T. The clients that you have attracted will leave you once they find another provider with a lower fee...just like they did when they switched to you!

A better practice would be to identify the clients that you want to work with and build your business and marketing to attract those clients. This may be a slower path, but you are building long term relationships with clients that you want to work with and that will stick with you even if someone comes in with a lower price.

That being said, all of this is predicated on the assumption that you can deliver a high quality product in a timely manner. If all you are offering at the moment is Matterport, this can be quite challenging since there is very little that you can do to differentiate you from other providers. My advice to you is to focus on attracting clients with traditional photography or video since the level of quality and style for these services can vary widely. Once you secure the clients based on these services, they will naturally engage you for 3D tour services.

Hope this makes sense!
Jon
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