eBook: Photographers / 8 Reasons Join Urbanimmersive Franchise Network17493
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WGAN-TV Podcast | WGAN Forum Podcast
WGAN-TV Podcast (Audio and Video) | Real Estate Pros: Intro to Urbanimmersive Real Estate Photography Services | Guest: Urbanimmersive VP, Business Development and Partnerships François-Hugues Liberge | Episode: 148 | Thursday, 9 June 2022 | Urbanimmersive website | WGAN-TV Podcast | WGAN-TV Podcast
WGAN-TV Podcast (Audio and Video) | 8 Reasons Real Estate Photographers Should Join the Urbanimmersive Franchise Network | Guest: Urbanimmersive VP, Business Development and Partnerships François-Hugues Liberge | Episode: 160 | Thursday, 15 September 2022 | Urbanimmersive Franchise Network | WGAN-TV Podcast | WGAN-TV Podcast
WGAN-TV Podcast | Part 1 of 2 | Real Estate Pros: Intro to Urbanimmersive Real Estate Photography Services | Guest: Urbanimmersive VP, Business Development and Partnerships François-Hugues Liberge | Episode: 148 | Thursday, 9 June 2022 | Urbanimmersive website | WGAN-TV Podcast
WGAN-TV Podcast | Part 2 of 2 (Audio and Video) | 8 Reasons Real Estate Photographers Should Join the Urbanimmersive Franchise Network | Guest: Urbanimmersive VP, Business Development and Partnerships François-Hugues Liberge | Episode: 160 | Thursday, 15 September 2022 | Urbanimmersive Franchise Network | WGAN-TV Podcast | WGAN-TV Podcast
WGAN Forum Podcast (Audio Only) | Part 1 of 2 | Real Estate Pros: Intro to Urbanimmersive Real Estate Photography Services | Guest: Urbanimmersive VP, Business Development and Partnerships François-Hugues Liberge | Episode: 148 | Thursday, 9 June 2022 | Urbanimmersive website | WGAN-TV Podcast
WGAN Forum Podcast (Audio Only) | Part 2 of 2 | 8 Reasons Real Estate Photographers Should Join the Urbanimmersive Franchise Network | Guest: Urbanimmersive VP, Business Development and Partnerships François-Hugues Liberge | Episode: 160 | Thursday, 15 September 2022 | Urbanimmersive Franchise Network | WGAN-TV Podcast | WGAN-TV Podcast
WGAN-TV eBook | Part 1 of 2 | Real Estate Pros: Intro to Urbanimmersive Real Estate Photography Services | Guest: Urbanimmersive VP, Business Development and Partnerships François-Hugues Liberge | Episode: 148 | Thursday, 9 June 2022 | Urbanimmersive website | WGAN-TV Podcast
WGAN-TV eBook | Part 2 of 2 | 8 Reasons Real Estate Photographers Should Join the Urbanimmersive Franchise Network | Guest: Urbanimmersive VP, Business Development and Partnerships François-Hugues Liberge | Episode: 160 | Thursday, 15 September 2022 | Urbanimmersive Franchise Network | WGAN-TV Podcast | WGAN-TV Podcast
Part 1 of 2 | WGAN-TV | Real Estate Pros: Intro to Urbanimmersive Real Estate Photography Services | Guest: Urbanimmersive VP, Business Development and Partnerships François-Hugues Liberge | Episode: 148 | Thursday, 9 June 2022 | Urbanimmersive website | WGAN-TV Podcast
Part 2 of 2 | WGAN-TV | 8 Reasons Real Estate Photographers Should Join the Urbanimmersive Franchise Network | Guest: Urbanimmersive VP, Business Development and Partnerships François-Hugues Liberge | Episode: 160 | Thursday, 15 September 2022 | Urbanimmersive Franchise Network | WGAN-TV Podcast | WGAN-TV Podcast
Urbanimmersive Franchise Network
WGAN-TV eBook: Photographers | 8 Reasons Join Urbanimmersive Franchise Network
[WGAN-TV eBook (above) ...]
If you are a busy, successful real estate photographer (or real estate photography agency) and wondering how you could be more efficient (make more money, get more time with family and friends), this WGAN-TV Live at 5 show is for you. [Recording above; transcript below]
1. What is the Urbanimmersive Franchise Network?
2. What are the 8 reasons real estate photographers should join the Urbanimmersive Franchise Network?
Watch WGAN-TV Live at 5 on Thursday, 15 September 2022 when my guest will be Urbanimmersive VP, Business Development and Partnerships François-Hugues Liberge :
WGAN-TV | 8 Reasons Real Estate Photographers Should Join the Urbanimmersive Franchise Network
I will ask François to elaborate on these eight (8) reasons rReal estate photographers should join the Urbanimmersive Franchise Network:
1. Focus on what you love
2. Join a national group while keeping your own identify
3. Get preferred pricing on Urbanimmersive services
4. Create recurring revenue streams
5. Get help with your marketing
6. Protect your clients
7. Receive potential orders from national accounts
8. Help you with taking care of your customer service
Questions I should ask François on WGAN-TV Live at 5 about the Urbanimmersive Franchise Network?
To get up-to-speed on Urbanimmersive services, watch this WGAN-TV Live at 5 show that aired live on Thursday, 9 June 2022:
WGAN-TV | Real Estate Pros: Intro to Urbanimmersive Real Estate Photography Services | Guest: Urbanimmersive VP, Business Development and Partnerships François-Hugues Liberge | Episode: 148 | Thursday, 9 June 2022 | Urbanimmersive website | WGAN-TV Podcast
On this WGAN-TV Live at 5 show (above), Urbanimmersive VP, Business Development and Partnerships François-Hugues Liberge did show and tell about these =Tourbuzz services powered by Urbanimmersive, including:
1. 3D Tours
2. Interactive Floor Plans within 3D Tour (Hotspot Editor)
3. Floor Plans created from 3D Tours
4. UiMeet3D with live guided video chat
5. Single Property Website (Many Styles; branded and Unbranded)
6. Flyers (auto-generated) (free)
7. Media Delivery
8. Photo Editing
1. Urbanimmersive Website
2. Urbanimmersive Franchise Network (micro-website)
3. Urbanimmersive Facebook Page
4. Urbanimmersive YouTube Channel
5. Urbanimmersive LinkedIn Page
6. Urbanimmersive on Twitter
7. Urbanimmersive VP, Business Development and Partnerships François-Hugues Liberge
Transcript (video above)
Dan Smigrod: What is the Urbanimmersive Franchise Network? What are the 8 Reasons Real Estate Photographers Should Join the Urbanimmersive Franchise Network? Stay tuned. Hi all, I'm Dan Smigrod, Founder of the We Get Around Network Forum.
Today is Thursday, September 15th, 2022 and you're watching WGAN-TV Live at 5. We have an awesome show for you today: 8 Reasons Real Estate photographers Should Join the Urbanimmersive Franchise Network. Here to talk to us about that is François Huges Liberge. Hey François, thanks for being on the show again.
François-Hugues Liberge: My pleasure, Dan, how are you?
Dan Smigrod: Awesome. Looking forward to today's topic. You are Urbanimmersive VP, Business Development and Partnerships. Actually, and the go-to for the Urbanimmersive Franchise Network. Before we jump into today's topic, how about taking our viewers through what is Urbanimmersive, as of today?
François-Hugues Liberge: Well, today Urbanimmersive is a publicly traded company that was established in 2007. We have around 160 employees right now. Mostly we're a tech-oriented service company, that's the best way to sum it up.
We have our own 3D technology. We have our own platform for real estate photographers. Our own business solutions. That's why we have everything service-oriented to help serve real estate photographers.
Dan Smigrod: Urbanimmersive in the last 15 months acquired eight real estate photography agencies.
François-Hugues Liberge: Exactly. We did acquire a few: a lot of them in Canada. A few of them are in the United States, and even one in Mexico. We acquired different sizes of photography agencies, but photography agencies that are well established in the market and we are helping out to improve with their systems.
Dan Smigrod: Why does the acquisitions of the eight large photography agencies matter or perhaps how did that inspire the Urbanimmersive Franchise Network?
François-Hugues Liberge: We tested. It allowed us to test direct customer services and tech directly with the customers. We could test - using our own divisions - providing tech-enabled solutions. We saw that our systems -- the different tech-enabled solutions that I will talk about later on -- are able to help improve the real estate photography business. It is an in-house testing lab. We said going forward, what do we want to do?
Do we want to keep buying companies or do we want to have a broader Network? We thought franchising those services would be the best way for us to help our customers who are real estate photographers.
Because many of them would like to come on board, but maybe not want to sell their businesses, so we thought that could be the in-between sweet spot for us to be able to help them out. Photographers own their business and still have access to our services and our technology. Awesome. François, I should ask you this open-ended question.
I signed up as a franchisee. What is the Urbanimmersive Franchise Network, what do I get? Yes, there's different things. First of all, there's a philosophy behind it. We don't want to take your business, we want to improve your business.
Right now there's a big consolidation happening in the real estate photography market, so we want to help the photographer help improve their business and be part of a bigger, broader company with gearing him or her the chance to still keep what's successful with their businesses and to be able to remain themselves, pretty much.
Dan Smigrod: I'm going to ask you about success a little bit later on about helping photographers succeed faster. But I really want to have something I can get my hands around in terms of, "Okay. What are the services of an Urbanimmersive Franchise Network?"
François-Hugues Liberge: Yes. The good thing is that the services that they can have -- Again, if we go again with the corporate franchises that we have, it's a full scope of services. The franchisee would have the same services our corporate franchises have.
Because, what we want for photographers -- photographers love to be photographers. But they don't like the marketing and the managing part of it. We want them to be photographers. Let you be you. That's pretty much it. With that, we'll want to help take care of everything that's around that.
When you talk about invoicing, ordering, payment processing, marketing -- all that, we'll take care of that for them. Payroll also, defining zone travel, travel fees, all that. Our system will allow them to not worry about that anymore and we will be able to help them with that.
Dan Smigrod: I'm going to ask some follow-up questions about that, but I think it's probably helpful to note that Urbanimmersive through its Tourbuzz platform provides around 10 different services. 3D Tours, UiMeet3D, 2D floor plans, interactive floor plans, single property websites, media delivery, creation of flyers, photo editing, HDR image processing.
I think for anyone that's tuning in today's show to find out about the franchise, it's probably helpful to see part 1 of our discussion first. You and I did a previous show on WGAN-TV Live at 5. The title was ... Real Estate Photographer pros: Intro to Urbanimmersive Real Estate Photography Services. That episode aired back on June 9th, 2022.
To find that episode, go to the We Get Around Network Forum: www.WGANForum.com At the top of the Forum is a tab: WGAN-TV Podcast -- and search for Episode 148. Or simply Google: "WGAN-TV Podcast Intro to Urbanimmersive Real Estate Photography Services.
On today's show, we weren't planning to talk about what all of those services are because we actually did an hour-long show about it. But you started to talk about some things that we haven't talked about that are actually unique and specific to the Urbanimmersive Franchise Network.
The ERP platform, you mentioned the Enterprise Resource Platform, which integrates all the business processes for a photographer service business. I'm just going to highlight the titles of what I'm going to ask you about: booking, scheduling, invoicing, delivery, Customer Support, nationwide marketing campaign, lead generation, Prime Subscription program, and keep your own brand.
That's a lot to cover in today's show. I just thought I'd begin with the ERP platform, and help me understand, maybe you could give an example of how that's totally integrated for a real estate photographer with clients.
François-Hugues Liberge: Yes. Our ERP, like our business solution, ERP photographer franchises will have access to that. Their customers will be there. That will allow the customers to go online and order. It's not just simple online ordering. Also, have instant booking. A lot of people sometimes say, "Oh. We've purchased that" ...
They say: "My customers do not want to order online. They want to talk to somebody. " Even those who have an online ordering system, there's always an attraction because the customer requests for a booking, but there's no confirmation.
The way our ERP system works -- we have guaranteed hours. Online. Customers will be able to order online. Real estate agents will go online, orders and schedules right away (including which services) and receive an instant booking confirmation, say, "for 10 am tomorrow." Why is it so popular? There is no human interaction.
That way, real estate agents are encouraged to go online because they know that they can book at any hour. For example, late at night -- books a photographer for tomorrow without having to wait for a human confirmation.
Order services. Schedule photographer. Confirmation. Done. The way our system works is it will build the schedule for the photographers. If an agency has multiple photographers, again, there'll be a zone: photographer's coverage area. If you go outside of that zone, there are travel fees that can be applied.
If they have multiple services, let's say drone services and one photographer does not offer it, but the real estate agent wants drone photos/video, then there'll be a limitation of which photographers the agent can choose from within this photography agency. There'll only be able to choose the ones that can offer the drone services. It's really a system that's foolproof and that it's really efficient and really powerful for that.
Instead of having to be okay, "what's my schedule tomorrow and work on it and workarounds kind of things." This will rebuild schedules automatically. It gives the photographer -- allowing more liberty -- and less headaches from scheduling.
Dan Smigrod: Let's unpack that because you said a whole lot in a short period of time. I could imagine that some photographers might say, "Well, I'm used to the process of doing emails, of doing texts then the client tells me the services they want and then I give them a price and then we go back-and-forth and then we figure out a time."
I suspect what Urbanimmersive has done, particularly with the eight large photography agencies, is to say, "Hey. There really is a process that will result in far more business and business operating efficiency by using the Urbanimmersive platform."
If we break it down a little bit, I could imagine first is, well, how do you know when either I as a photographer am available or I and our team Members. Is that syncing to a Google calendar?
François-Hugues Liberge: It can be synced to a Google calendar. Exactly. Yes.
Dan Smigrod: That's literally the easiest way. As long as there's not something blocked out in my calendar or my photographer's calendar, then that time is available. I don't want to shoot before 10 am. I need to make sure that my Google calendar is blocked before 10 am after 6 pm?
François-Hugues Liberge: Exactly, yes.
Dan Smigrod: I get that in terms of how you know the availability of the photographers. Then how do you do pricing? I'm presuming it's not Urbanimmersive pricing, it's the photographer's pricing.
François-Hugues Liberge: The pricing is based on what the photographer would like and then added to the ERP platform. With that, everything will be there. If there are items that need to be adjusted afterwards, the note will be there.
They'll see the pricing. This amount will be charged afterwards because it depends on actual square footage or the quantity of pictures taken, but usually our system is pretty seamless, so it's really simple and we're trying to narrow it down to simple packages.
Dan Smigrod: Okay. The photographer to begin the on-boarding process might say, "this is how I charged for photos, for video, for a 3D tour, for floor plans, for single property websites, for edited photos, for aerial, for painted rocks, whatever the services are that the photographer offers and what the pricing is." It sounds like Urbanimmersive may suggest some packages.
François-Hugues Liberge: Yes, exactly.
Dan Smigrod: That's a conversation back-and-forth in the on-boarding process because the photographer actually does have the pricing that they want to charge in their market --
François-Hugues Liberge: Exactly, because every market is different, yes.
Dan Smigrod: Can that vary by photographer as well within the agency?
François-Hugues Liberge: It can be, but we don't recommend it. Usually it's per agency pricing (not per photographer).
Dan Smigrod: Can that pricing be both public and private? What I mean by that is here's the public pricing for new clients. Here is the private link for pricing for my existing clients.
François-Hugues Liberge: The real estate agent has an account. In their account, they can have some promos or some discounts that can be applied over there, so they wouldn't know it.
Dan Smigrod: Because this question comes up a lot in the We Get Around Network Forum is, "I don't really want to increase my prices. My clients are loyal. I've had them for a long time. I'm happy. They're happy. I don't want to rock the boat," but I always think about, "well, your next incremental business you ought to be charging more." The Urbanimmersive Franchise Network ERP platform allows for different pricing by account.
François-Hugues Liberge: Exactly. The price for standard service will be the same, but we can apply some discounts on that.
Dan Smigrod: Even if the photographer wants to offer a coupon code or some other --
François-Hugues Liberge: Exactly.
Dan Smigrod: -- mechanism there is that opportunity now.
François-Hugues Liberge: Exactly, yes.
Dan Smigrod: Then, I would imagine that where a potential customer is going is on the photographer's website, not on the Urbanimmersive website, correct?
François-Hugues Liberge: Exactly. Is this what we're primarily thinking though with the initial investment that the photographer will make to join our Network, we will provide them with a website and that website will be a standard website.
That will allow also for the marketing purposes for us to track when their customers are visiting their website, which pages that have visited all that and we'll provide them with that info with our CRM that's built into the platform. With that, that will allow us and allow the franchisee to have a better system to implement everything that we will be providing them with.
Dan Smigrod: This opens up another question here. It's not that Urbanimmersive is providing an embeddable widget. Urbanimmersive is providing a turnkey website that is branded with the photographer's branding.
François-Hugues Liberge: Exactly, yeah.
Dan Smigrod: That may say, does it say powered by Urbanimmersive?
François-Hugues Liberge: Urbanimmersive Franchisee, yes. That will be mentioned, yes.
Dan Smigrod: I missed what that is.
François-Hugues Liberge: Urbanimmersive franchisee, yes.
Dan Smigrod: An official Urbanimmersive franchisee, yes.
Dan Smigrod: The photographer has an existing website, I can imagine there could be a little bit of friction there about, "well, we've been working so hard. We've tweaked our website, we've got it where we're happy. You're asking me to switch websites." I imagine the first is that once the website goes live,
Dan Smigrod: help me out here, I'm a marketing person not a geek or I'm geeky but not a tech. There's an IP address.
François-Hugues Liberge: URL, yes.
Dan Smigrod: It's a simple process to just redirect all the traffic that's been going to www.WeGetAroundNetwork.com.
François-Hugues Liberge: It could be www.WeGetAroundNetwork.com. You got to just change the website and that's it.
Dan Smigrod: A little bit of magic takes place in the background.
François-Hugues Liberge: Exactly.
Dan Smigrod: I don't have to understand that. Urbanimmersive does that for me. That's part of the service.
So help me out. Why, if I've got two all this energy and effort to create a website, I should do this act of faith to say Urbanimmersive is actually going to provide a professionally designed website. What are the advantages of doing that?
François-Hugues Liberge: There's two advantages. Just like the first one being, it's a marketing powerhouse because with those websites we'll be able to track all the action generated by the website. If we have specific landing pages, if we have promos or just standard pages, we can have call-to-actions also with that. There'll be a lot more involvement on their side -- marketing wise -- to help create lead generation.
If we have a customer that's been on the website five times on the service pages or contact page, we'll provide the franchisee with that and you can check, "okay, that customer has not reached out," then reach out.
The marketing power of that is really worth it. Also because all the websites will be more standardized, but always branded for the photographer: photographer name, logo, etc. But still it will remain about the same. People will know that, okay, that they're part of the Network, part of a bigger thing. They'll know if I deal with a franchisee, that's what I'll expect. As our Network grows, the standardized website will just make, "Okay. That's professional, I know where I am."
Dan Smigrod: It sounds like with Urbanimmersive Franchise Network, maintaining the photographer's website, then it's a little bit easier to globally change what may be appropriate for whatever reason.
François-Hugues Liberge: if we come up with new models, net new features, it'll be a lot easier to implement. Instead of going back to your web developer. "We'll have to talk." That way, it's a lot easier for it to integrate new processes, new features.
Dan Smigrod: If I have an outside developer, web person, the assumption is that they won't have that expense going forward because really, Urbanimmersive will take that over?
François-Hugues Liberge: Exactly. One less thing to worry about.
Dan Smigrod: Okay. Urbanimmersive maintains the website. It's customized to the extent that it's based on the services the photographer offers. If the photographer doesn't want to offer aerial photography, perfectly fine, that module doesn't get implemented.
François-Hugues Liberge: Exactly. Yes.
Dan Smigrod: Then when you go to schedule -- Can you talk a little bit about this real-time scheduling? What happens? The client comes to the website?
François-Hugues Liberge: Hits the website. There's an order now button, places the order. Goes to -- the menu pops up. Gets the credentials in there, logs into his account, chooses the service he wants.
François-Hugues Liberge: Once that is established, now he gets some information about the property address. Services have been established for why you chose that before, which photography wants to deal with.
If there's many photographers in that agency, then everything is calculated automatically. Then with that, we can say those are the times they are offered to you. With that, you can go directly and choose a time where they want. They go to select, say instant booking. The confirmation with the guaranteed hour.
Dan Smigrod: From the real estate agent's perspective is when they hit the page and they say, "I need photos, video, a 3D tour, a single property website. I don't want aerial photography. I would like a video from it."
Then, am I picking a la carte as a real estate agent? Am I picking a package? I'm looking at -- here are three packages, "oh, that's the package I want."
François-Hugues Liberge: Usually, we work with packages, but there's a la carte also option, but that depends on what the photographer wants to offer.
Dan Smigrod: Part of the services that Urbanimmersive Franchise Network are providing is the expertise; having worked with eight large photography agencies, essentially as the first franchise clients, they just have to be, let's call it "company-owned stores" that you already know what packages you're going to have the most success with.
François-Hugues Liberge: Exactly.
Dan Smigrod: Extending business advice to a client to say, "hey, these are the packages you might want to consider." I imagine that the amount of time that it takes to do a job in Atlanta is different from Los Angeles, and is different from New York.
Is there some back-end arrangement where I am a busy, successful professional photographer and I know how much time I want to take for each of those services, that I get to specify -- allow this much time?
François-Hugues Liberge: No. We will know exactly. Because there will be time allowed for every package. Except for travel time, usually we know 35 pictures takes about that amount of time, 25 pictures takes about that amount of time. We know that, but will vary also to make sure that it's a schedule that's doable and that they can deliver.
Dan Smigrod: Real estate agent places an order. Then what happens from the real estate agent's perspective, from the owner of the photography agency perspective. If there's a photographer that's different from the owner; three different audiences, maybe there's even more. Can you take us through that?
François-Hugues Liberge: They will all receive a confirmation. The good thing is, real estate agents go out to see prospective customers. They give him the listing. Perfect. Go back to the office. Then at 10 pm, goes on his phone.
Can directly book his services. "I need 25 pictures, 3D tour." They do all that. Then goes online, orders it, schedules it for three days from now at 10 am. Perfect. Then you receive the confirmation. You can choose a photographer if there's multiple photographers, "I really want to deal with Dan because he's my favorite photographer."
"Perfect, Dan is available." Cool. He books everything. Then he'll receive a confirmation. Saturday 10 am, Dan will be there at your house at this time. He will be there, which is to take photos for those services. The owner will receive confirmation. Perfect. That has been booked. The photographer will receive notifications, "you have a shooting on Saturday at 10 am."
Dan Smigrod: Photographer shows up, shoots the job. Then what happens?
François-Hugues Liberge: But then it's a regular process. He goes back to his office and downloads everything to our systems like a regular photographer does.
Dan Smigrod: I want to say it's maybe a little bit different if you're self-employed presently and you're editing your own pictures.
François-Hugues Liberge: Will have services then that part will be a bit different though. Exactly, depending on the photographer.
Dan Smigrod: I suspect this is a huge difference between what Urbanimmersive Franchise Network offers versus perhaps how photographers presently operate.
Because if you're presently outsourcing photo editing to one company, single property websites to another company, HDR to another company, getting floor plans from another company, I suspect that one of the advantages of working with Urbanimmersive: it's one company offers a suite of solutions that typically a busy professional real estate photographer needs so that you don't have to outsource and keep track of multiple things.
Then all that essentially is one platform. I presume the photographer is uploading the photos to Urbanimmersive, uploading the 3D tour to Urbanimmersive and so forth.
François-Hugues Liberge: Yeah.
Dan Smigrod: Which I presume is then building a single property website.
François-Hugues Liberge: If you sum up the scope of services that we'll be offering our franchisees, they're divided in two categories.
The basic ones that comes with the ERP pretty much are services that they know, that they're used to having with our Tourbuzz platform, which are single property websites, the delivery of real estate videos that will be included standard with the first sign of services that they'll get for the pictures they have taken.
Plus that, what we're offering is a cost-plus service for Add On services, for everything like 3D tours, photo editing, floor plans. That will be a cost-plus.
Customers that already have or are using our Tourbuzz platform will pay less than what they're paying right now, and it's a direct cost. It's not cost of management and all that, just direct costs, like if you buy a car from Ford, you would only pay what it cost to manufacture the car. That's it.
No R&D, no private quality control, all that. Just the centered costs related to that product. That's what we're charging them, cost-plus for those photo editing and 3D tours for clients.
Dan Smigrod: Then invoicing. The client gets a single property website delivered, gets their content delivered. Who's sending the invoice? How is that generated?
François-Hugues Liberge: Exactly. With that, the invoice will be generated automatically into our ERP platform. When the customer orders it, once the job is done, everything will be charged to the customer automatically, so you don't have to manually invoice them or invoice afterwards.
We'll also take care of all the payments processing. That's one less fee for the photographer. They won't have any credit card fees. We'll take care of it. That's included in our package.
Dan Smigrod: Is everything handled by credit card or do you accept checks? Do you accept ACH payments, PayPal?
François-Hugues Liberge: Yes. Usually credit cards, most people prefer, also, we can offer a line of credit. End of the month, they'll pay for that.
Dan Smigrod: You've been receiving checks as a function of the Urbanimmersive?
François-Hugues Liberge: Receiving check actually, no. It has to be any digital payment.
Dan Smigrod: Any digital payments. You still might go to a screen and enter your bank account to do an ACH transfer or credit card?
François-Hugues Liberge: Exactly.
Dan Smigrod: Or PayPal or other electronic payments?
François-Hugues Liberge: PayPal, I'm not sure. I'd have to check for PayPal, but usually that's not something that has been requested a lot on our part. Usually credit cards and transfers.
Dan Smigrod: The idea is to streamline workflow. Frankly, most real estate agents, being self-employed, probably have a credit card that earns them points. Maybe as a photographer, you haven't been accepting credit cards because you didn't want to pay the processing fee.
That's included as part of the Urbanimmersive Franchise Network, so you're not incurring a credit card fee and it's giving the points on the credit card to the client, airline points, hotel points, whatever it might be?
François-Hugues Liberge: Yes. Also if she has multiple photographers, our ERP will calculate the payroll for those photographers. We can personalize the payroll per photographer. These photographers have more experience so you're paying more for shooting.
This one has less experience so he gets a different wage. We can calculate everything, and we'll tell you what the amount of check that has to be done for that photographer.
Dan Smigrod: Two questions on the payroll: both in the United States. Is that for W9 and for 1099 (independent contractors)? Does the platform support both kinds?
François-Hugues Liberge: Yes.
Dan Smigrod: Both kinds. Then the actual checks that get cut, you're doing all the calculations about -- Help me if I misstate something, but do you tell what the withholdings are as well or just the gross amount of the payment?
François-Hugues Liberge: We're working to get the net amount. The gross amounts for sure, but the net amount we're working on it. Depending on the states where we're at right now, yes, we do. But when we open the franchises in different states, then we will get that for them also.
Dan Smigrod: It's probably worth pointing out that Urbanimmersive just launched the Urbanimmersive Franchise Network.
Literally, just this month September 2022, and you have back-end clients already which are essentially the "company-owned franchise stores" so you're still figuring out what the internal clients would like. In terms of beyond gross; meaning, do they want the net numbers for doing payroll or some other mechanism?
François-Hugues Liberge: Exactly.
Dan Smigrod: Customer Support.
François-Hugues Liberge: Customer Support, that's an option that photographers can get from us, if they want. We'll take care of everything.
Dan Smigrod: What does that mean? "We'll take care of everything?"
François-Hugues Liberge: Any phone calls that come in, e-mails, that we'll take care of. For any reasons, booking issues,
François-Hugues Liberge: technological issues like "how does that 3D tours work?" We could take care of that for the photographer. Every request from customers will go through us.
Dan Smigrod: If I want to keep that module and have the customer contact, I can and if I am ready to give it up, then I have that option too?
François-Hugues Liberge: Exactly. The way I see it I think is get on board. Come and we will get to know each other, and then after that, phase 2. If you want to go further with us, then we can take care of Customer Support for you.
Because the relationship with the customer is important for a photographer, and we want the photographers to keep that, to still have that relationship.
But sometimes there's little questions that are not as important. Important, yes but on a different level of importance. The day-to-day Customer Support, then we can take care of that.
Also for deliveries, we can take care of delivery when the pictures are already edited, 3D tour is ready and all that. We could take care of it. In Customer Support, we could take care of deliveries of digital assets to customers.
Dan Smigrod: Again, just pointing out one of the services that Urbanimmersive does is photo editing: enhanced images. If you want to upload those images to the Urbanimmersive platform, then, in terms of delivery, Urbanimmersive can easily handle that.
François-Hugues Liberge: That's it. Exactly. That would be part of the Customer Service option.
Dan Smigrod: National Marketing Campaign.
François-Hugues Liberge: There's two different levels of marketing that we'll be offering. The first one will be national marketing. We'll target large audiences of Real Estate agent associations and bigger campaigns, and with that we'll cover Google AdWords.
AdWords campaign, social posts, email campaigns, magazines, television promotional video, and other related marketing items for that. Also we'll provide a new franchisee with a launch marketing campaign.
With that, they can broadcast on their social media for the first month saying, "as of today, Dan is an Urbanimmersive franchisee." Then for the coming month, explaining what changes. and what benefits your customers would get from that.
Then we'll explain the online booking. Instant Booking of a 3D tour. Our Prime Subscriptions (and we can get into that shortly). With that, we'll explain the different things that those customers will get as benefits from their photographer becoming an Urbanimmersive franchisee.
Dan Smigrod: I think what I'm hearing: two things. 1) One is for the photographer that retains their own brand with a member of the Urbanimmersive Franchise Network, the Urbanimmersive Franchise Network will do national marketing. I'm going to ask you about leads in a second.
The presumption is the national marketing is to generate inbound leads. (Yes.) 2) The second is that Urbanimmersive Franchise Network will provide digital assets that the local photographer can use in their social media, in their email blasts, in any touch points that they have with clients or potential clients, and those digital assets are just provided by the Urbanimmersive Franchise Network.
So when you do your national marketing campaign, tell me about potential leads as a member of the Urbanimmersive Franchise Network?
François-Hugues Liberge: There'll be two different national marketing campaigns. 1) The first one is really a national campaign just for marketing purposes, like you said, trying to get the attention of real estate agents on a regular basis.
Then, when they'll get to us, we'll distribute them to a franchisee that is in their area. If there's more than one franchisee in one area, we'll go in a round robin process. The first one we'll get the first one, then the second one will get the second one to help make sure that everybody gets leads because for us it's important to be as fair as possible for that.
If there's only one franchisee, then he'll get the leads in that area. Our corporate franchisee also will be considered as a franchise so they won't have more advantages than the other ones. They'll be on the same level as the franchisee that comes in.
François-Hugues Liberge: 2) Also, we'll get national accounts. If we get some deals with national brands that are from coast-to-coast, and the power of the Network is pretty much that; is to be able to attract national brands to the Network.
We have boots on the ground in every market in the U.S. or Canada, and then we'll be able to help serve their network of REALTORS or if it's short-term rental and things like that, so we'll be there for you and we can cover every market. With that, when those leads come in, then again, we'll distribute them through the Urbanimmersive Franchise Network.
Dan Smigrod: That's a little subtle. Let me see if I can ask that -- parse that out a little bit differently. Let's say there are large national brands that do not want to place orders with 150 photographers in 37 states.
They want to go to one company and have that one company manage the entire process. What happens then? Are you going back to the photographer and asking what they charge or do you go back and say, "This is what we pay, and we have an opportunity for this specific opportunity in your market?"
François-Hugues Liberge: We know that prices can be different from one market to the other depending on like you said, cost of labor, travel, distances and all that. Dan, we know there could be some regional differences.
But of course, if we get those deals with one large account, we could have special pricing for that customer. The power of our business solution or we are pieces, we can create a profile for this customer that could be for all the franchisees, so that way, we'll get to them, "is that interesting for you to serve as a provider?"
Usually, we have our own corporate franchises. I'll be there also, so that's why we'll make sure it's a deal that could be a win-win for everybody, the customer and our franchisees and us.
Dan Smigrod: There's two different leads.
François-Hugues Liberge: Yes.
Dan Smigrod: 1) There are leads that come in that get parsed out to the Urbanimmersive Franchise Network and it's the local pricing. It's up to the photographer to take the lead and convert it into a sale.
François-Hugues Liberge: Yes.
Dan Smigrod: 2) Then the second kind of lead is this actual business that probably pays a specific rate and I think of it as a project card. You get a national account.
You could have two pages of instructions that say, "Okay. We need 35 photos. In those photos, 10 of them we need to have this and five of them this, and make sure you get that." It's really a very specific package of what they're looking for.
I would imagine the photographer would know that there is an opportunity in their market. Here is the project card for that potential client, may not reveal who the client is, but here's that project card, and here's what that project pays.
François-Hugues Liberge: Yes.
Dan Smigrod: Then if that makes sense, you're making essentially -- let's see how to say -- Urbanimmersive Franchise Network is acting as the --
François-Hugues Liberge: Almost a broker.
Dan Smigrod: Well, it actually may not really be a broker. You're really one point of contact.
François-Hugues Liberge: A dispatcher.
Dan Smigrod: Ways that you send to the client, but you're handling all the deliverables are going to Urbanimmersive to then delivered to the client.
François-Hugues Liberge: Exactly.
Dan Smigrod: Prime Subscription.
François-Hugues Liberge: Yes. The Prime Subscription is something we came out with last spring and we had great success with it. It's the same thing as a Prime Subscription from Amazon. So you know what you get with that. With that, the Prime Subscription customers that order a Prime membership -- who becomes a member for that.
Then they order pre-established packages; they'll be able to get 3D tours, 2D floor plans, single property websites, and flyers, in every order that they do. The good thing for that -- is for a photographer, it's recurring revenue because this is a monthly subscription.
Dan Smigrod: That actually leads us into what are eight reasons -- In fact, before I get to eight reasons, are there any other features of the Urbanimmersive Franchise Network, the stuff, the deliverables that a photographer gets?
François-Hugues Liberge: I think we covered them.
Dan Smigrod: We covered it?
François-Hugues Liberge: Yeah. We covered it.
Dan Smigrod: We covered a lot because.
François-Hugues Liberge: Yes.
Dan Smigrod: I think it's actually about 20+ different things. I'm going to go through a list. If it's possible and you catch something I don't say, please add it to the list.
François-Hugues Liberge: Yes.
Dan Smigrod: As a real estate photographer working with the Urbanimmersive Franchise Network, Urbanimmersive offers 3D Tours, UiMeet3D -- that's the live guided tour within a 3D Tour -- 2D floor plans, interactive floor plans, single property websites, media delivery, a tool for creating flyers from the digital assets, photo editing, HDR image editing, and an ERP platform.
That ERP platform consists of bookings, scheduling, invoicing, delivery, Customer Support, payroll an optional feature be part of a national marketing campaign for generating potential inbound leads and also potentially generating national accounts that Urbanimmersive Franchise Network can ask members if they want to opt-in to participate in order for Urbanimmersive to do one order, multiple markets, one invoice, one point of contact. And the Prime Subscription Program.
Dan Smigrod: Did I leave anything out of that list?
François-Hugues Liberge: No. That covers it.
Dan Smigrod: That leads us to -- now that we know what the components of the Urbanimmersive Franchise Network includes, what are the eight reasons real-estate photographers should join the Urbanimmersive Franchise Network? You've provided those eight to me, but I'm going to ask you to embellish. 1) Create Recurring Revenue Streams.
François-Hugues Liberge: Yes. With the Prime Subscription Membership that we just talked about, that's a Prime Subscription Membership for a real estate agent customer, and then we can establish a price. But usually, it's around $30 a month that real estate agents will pay for. With that recurring revenue, it comes every month whether an order is placed or not.
The good thing with that is it allows the real estate agent to be more loyal to a photographer because they know by dealing with you, because they have a Prime Subscription on every 3D tour, photo and floor plan package, as I said earlier -- 3D tour, 2D floor plan, photos single property websites, and flyers, so they know they'll get that with their pictures.
With that said, the photographer that offers that will be the go-to photographer for the real-estate agent. Because most of them have their preferred photographer, they always have another backup. Instead of going 60-40 with that, usually they go for 80-20 towards their preferred photographer. It's a nice way to ensure loyalty of your customers.
We did some marketing with that with some photographers and we saw the great impact within their own business. Are they attracting more? The conversion rates of existing customers that go into Prime Subscription Membership is surprisingly nice, surprisingly high. The amount of business they are bringing in has improved a lot because of that.
Dan Smigrod: We all have Amazon Prime Memberships, and so that's the metaphor here (yes), that you buy an Amazon Prime Membership and you get a variety of benefits including two-day free shipping or one-day free shipping and Prime cable service and 27 other features.
As a photographer, you now will be able to offer a Prime Subscription Membership to residential real estate accounts who pay a monthly recurring fee in order to gain the benefits that are in that Prime account, and there's a revenue share on that between the photographer's agency and Urbanimmersive Franchise Network.
François-Hugues Liberge: Yes.
Dan Smigrod: Great. I know that our viewers are going to have questions about that and certainly you can go to: www.Urbanimmersive.com or go to: www.Urbanimmersive.com/franchise You can learn more, and you can also email: Franchise@Urbanimmersive.com
I know I probably have follow-up questions, but I think I would defer to our viewers if you've got questions about how that module works, send an email, set up a Zoom call and ask your questions on that. We've talked about eight reasons. The first is creating recurring revenue streams. 2) Second, focus on what you love.
François-Hugues Liberge: As we talked about -- photographer's really love doing photography. They hate doing direct marketing and they hate taking care of the administrative part of their business. That's what we want them to be -- Photographers are great with the customers onsite and go there and meet your customers and have fun with them in the house.
But marketing cold calls and all that with the marketing tools that will provide you with, that will allow you to do a lot less of those. With the ERP, everything, business administration with online booking, scheduling, payroll invoicing -- that will be taken care of by us. That's why you'll be able to focus on what you like. That's why we want to help you with that.
Dan Smigrod: Essentially, if you're a busy, successful, professional real-estate photographer, you know how many processes there are. If you could take all those processes and outsource them, you'd have way more time for you and your other photographers to actually be out shooting, and you don't make money unless you're onsite shooting.
François-Hugues Liberge: -Exactly.
Dan Smigrod: -Focus on what you love. 3) Three, join a national group while keeping your own identity.
François-Hugues Liberge: -Exactly. We want the photographers that are joining our Network to keep their brand. Their brand is strong, their customers know the brand, and want them to keep that. We just want to announce that they are becoming an Urbanimmersive franchise, but their brand will be the one that is upfront.
With that, the good thing about that is if you look at other franchises that are out there, some have good marketing pitches and all that, but it's always a marketing pitch and you have to hide behind that. As a photographer, you lose your identity, you lose your personality, and you lose your name for that.
If something goes bad in two years from now, say "that's not for me" you are starting from scratch. With us, at least you keep your own brand.
We want power. We think that all together we're stronger and with that, every photographer that we know and we've talked to so far are strong in their local market and we just want to build on that. We want them to bring their business to the next level by keeping their identity and helping them out with other services.
One thing that's good is Urbanimmersive. We control everything that we're offering to the photographers and becoming franchisees are our own -- solely owned by us.
All the systems -- we own them, so we don't rely on third parties. 3D tours are our own 3D tours, the same thing for photo editing is our photo editing, rather than from a supplier, we can offer them directly. Our ERP is our own solution -- our own platform, single property websites -- our on platform.
The good thing about that is, if we won't do anything stupid that will hurt our franchisees and they have input also. If something that they'd like for us to develop, if it makes sense, we'll listen to them and will be there for them.
That's a big difference. I see it as a big family where each member can have different input at the table and bring something. We think that we'll go further along that way if we work all together like that; we can enrich ourselves by the feedback that franchisees will bring to us and that will help develop and refine our systems more.
Dan Smigrod: 4) -Four, get preferred pricing on Urbanimmersive services.
François-Hugues Liberge: -Like I said earlier, it's a cost-plus thing. For the 3D tours, instead of being charged as, right now let's say our customers from Tourbuzz that we have been ordering a service online. We have the price there, that's like a retail price. What we'll do is a cost-plus, a direct cost that is involved related to that.
The post-production part is only related to producing a 3D tour and floor plan. They'll be able to save at least 50% of what they're paying right now. That's conservative; as a figure. I said when we are talking in the same boat, we'll just work together with them.
They can offer those services at a preferred rate because they're a member of the family. That's why with that, we'll just cover expenses with those offers.
Same thing with photo editing. We have two different levels of photo editing, so they can choose between those two. Again, it's in-house or it's a supplier that we have, but it's something we really control.
That way, as we talked about earlier -- focus on photography. When they come back from a shoot at night, they don't have to do any photo editing. We can take care of that for them.
Dan Smigrod: 5) -Five, get help with your marketing.
François-Hugues Liberge: -Like we said, we'll take care of national campaigns, we will be able to provide them with content that they can broadcast on their social media. Also, there'll be an option if they want we could take care of marketing one step further.
That's almost in Customer Support. We could track when we talked earlier about the website where we can track the people going in. We could take care of that for them if they want also. We can be an inside sales for them with their marketing.
Dan Smigrod: 6) -Six, protect your clients. -Every customer that the photographer has will be protected in the system. If we publicize www.Urbanimmersive.com Order online to all the RE/MAX agents out there.
If this is already a customer of one photographer, when they login to the platform, you will only see that photographer, so the photographer is protected. If somebody wants to go to a different photographer for any reason, we can not say no. We cannot refuse them to do that. New customers will see real estate photographers in their area.
Dan Smigrod: -Urbanimmersive has at least eight photography agencies that it owns. Is the photographer at risk of those agencies poaching their clients?
François-Hugues Liberge: -Our corporate franchises will be treated as regular franchisees. They have the same protection as everyone. They will be at the same level in our system; they'll be at the same level. There won't be any risk for that. We want our franchisees to be successful so there'll be no reasons for us to hurt franchisees.
Dan Smigrod: -I asked because there's some other companies that create some angst on this topic.
François-Hugues Liberge: -I know! And that's not what we want to do! As I said, we want to be 100% honest and transparent about that. We really see that as a big family. We are all together and our corporate franchises were labs that allowed us to test our systems and improve our system so we can offer that to roll out on the bigger perspective.
Dan Smigrod: 7) -Seven, receive potential orders from national accounts.
François-Hugues Liberge: -Yes. What we said earlier, if we will have national accounts that we'll be dealing with, eBuyers, short-term rentals, all that. With that, when we negotiate that. We'll redirect them to the franchisee in every market that we have.
Dan Smigrod: 8) -Eight, help you take care of your customer service.
François-Hugues Liberge: -Yes. As an option, if they want we will be able to take care of that for them. We will take care of everything that's customer-related. If a customer has questions, instead of their phone ringing at night or receiving the email at night, we'll be the ones taking care of that for them.
François-Hugues Liberge: We know that photographers are on the road a lot. They go back at night, then they have like 15 emails, and 10 voicemails to reply to. Then we will be there for them and we'll take care of that during the day. It's hassle-free.
That's a solution for them and with that, we know, especially because we know that sometimes the questions are really simple questions like, "how do I open my 3D tour?" "Can I send a 3D tour to our customer?" With that, we'd be able to help the customer who has those questions without the photographer being bothered by that.
Dan Smigrod: -François, we've talked about: 8 Reasons Real Estate Photographers Should Join the Urbanimmersive Franchise Network. What's the sweet spot? What's the ideal photographer that this program was designed for?
François-Hugues Liberge: -Real estate photographers that are already in business; already successful, but you really want to go to the next level and want to be part of something that is bigger than him or her. That's what we want to offer them and be part of and, like I said, not lose their identity, not lose the way of doing business, we just want to improve that. If you look at our marketing, we're not targeting anybody.
We're not saying, "you're looking to start a business, come and join us." We're really saying, "we can offer you something. We don't want to do any babysitting. We want people that are professionals. That know what real estate photography is." Don't need help, but would like to have access to bigger systems, being a part of a bigger organization that will allow them to have access to services at a different rate, cheaper rates actually than just going with different suppliers and different third parties.
Dan Smigrod: -Is the Urbanimmersive Franchise Network better for a busy, successful, professional photographer versus someone that is just entering the business?
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François-Hugues Liberge: -It's for both. In the franchises that we acquired, the agencies that we have acquired. We acquired a big agency. We have like 60 photographers and another one that has only two photographers.
We serve both of them well. Our systems are flexible so with that, even a smaller one will not feel, "I'm too small for that." But it helps for sure if you're already in business, you just need some help to improve your business, improve the way you work and all that, we will be there for you to help you out. But for somebody who is really already successful.
For them, the advantages would be maybe more money-wise so they'll be able to have access to different services cheaper than where they are having right now. Because it'll be like really a one-stop shop for them. As somebody who's only restarting, then we'll have more support for them, we'll be able to help them out to improve their business by the knowledge that we have, the expertise that we have.
Dan Smigrod: -If you just had 30 seconds to describe Urbanimmersive Franchise Network to a photographer, how do you describe it?
François-Hugues Liberge: -It's really the power of a Network. That is the main word is "power of a Network." It's a co-op where everybody brings their experience and brings their strength and power just to improve and make the benefit of the whole group for that, and we want to offer them as much services we can and help them out with their business as much as we can. -Is there anything that we didn't cover that we should talk about? -I think we went through everything.
Dan Smigrod: -Again, for anyone that wants to follow-up about the Urbanimmersive Franchise Network: two resources. 1) first: www.Urbanimmersive.com the franchise page, www.Urbanimmersive.com/franchise.
Watch our first show that François did with me. We covered half the services. Just Google: WGAN-TV Podcast: Real Estate Photographers - Intro to Urbanimmersive Real Estate Photography Services.
It will really give you a good hour talking about a lot of the services. We didn't cover the ERP platform in that first show, we covered that today. You can also email: Franchise@Urbanimmersive.com
For Francois in the greater Montreal or Quebec, Canada area, I'm Dan Smigrod, Founder of the We Get Around Network Forum in Atlanta, and you've been watching WGAN-TV Live at 5.
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