Transcript: Intro to REMARK.re Instant Booking Service for RE Photographers17739
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WGAN-TV | Introduction to www.REMARK.re Traffic-Aware Instant Booking Service for Real Estate Photographers | Guest: Remark Founder and CEO Alex Gustafson | www.REMARK.re | Thursday, 27 October 2022 | Episode: 165 | WGAN Forum Member Name: @_AG
WGAN-TV Training U
WGAN-TV Training U (Free Course) | Introduction to www.REMARK.re Traffic-Aware Instant Booking Service for Real Estate Photographers | Guest: Remark Founder and CEO Alex Gustafson | www.REMARK.re | Thursday, 27 October 2022 | Episode: 165 | WGAN Forum Member Name: @_AG | WGAN-TV Podcast | WGAN Forum Podcast
REMARK | www.REMARK.re
REMARK | www.REMARK.re
Video: Traffic Aware Instant Booking [New Tool] | video courtesy of Alex Gustafson YouTube Channel | 25 October 2022
WGAN-TV | Introduction to REMARK.re Traffic-Aware Instant Booking Service for Real Estate Photographers
[Transcript below ...]
▶ Demo of REMARK.re from the real estate agent's perspective (front-end demo)
▶ Demo of REMARK.re from the real estate photographer's perspective (back-end demo)
For pricing - including a free-tier - REMARK.re Website
How do you easily, quickly and efficiently enable your clients book your services instantly?
Find out on Thursday, 27 October 2022 on WGAN-TV Live at 5:
▶ WGAN-TV | Introduction to REMARK.re Traffic-Aware Instant Booking Service for Real Estate Photographers
My guest will be Remark Founder and CEO Alex Gustafson (@_AG).
▶ Problems that REMARK.re solves
▶ Getting Started
▶ Building your portfolio
▶ Traffic Times Built In
▶ How to set availability
▶ Syncs with Google Calendar
▶ Configuring your booking checkout and confirmation page
▶ The checkout process
▶ Going live
▶ Text and Email Confirmations
▶ Hands Off Booking: Ultimate Control
▶ Your Services on a Pedestal
▶ Offer Same Day Bookings
▶ Set Service Time Variables
▶ Offer Variable or Fixed Pricing [SQFT; tiers; based on listing price; bundles, complex pricing]
▶ Set max travel radius [options to charge travel time or by the mile]
▶ Add custom buffers
▶ Benefits of charging a finely-tuned travel fee
▶ Patent pending traffic aware instant booking
▶ And More
▶ Existing scheduling tools aren't for people who drive. Remark.re changes this by padding your
appointments with real future drive time estimates.
▶ Our patent pending traffic aware booking tool is made for real estate photographers by real estate photographers. Customers only see availability if you have time to make the drive to and from their location.
Questions that I should ask Alex on WGAN-TV Live at 5?
WGAN-TV | Introduction to www.REMARK.re Traffic-Aware Instant Booking Service for Real Estate Photographers | Guest: Remark Founder and CEO Alex Gustafson | www.REMARK.re | Thursday, 27 October 2022 | Episode: 165 | WGAN Forum Member Name: @_AG
Transcript (WGAN-TV show about)
Dan Smigrod: Hi, all. I'm Dan Smigrod, Founder of the We Get Around Network Forum. Today is Thursday, October 27th, 2022, and you're watching WGAN-TV Live at 5.
We have a REMARK-able show for you today: Intro to REMARK.re Traffic-Aware Instant Booking Service for Real Estate Photographers. Here to show and tell us about it is REMARK Founder and CEO Alex Gustafson. Alex, good to see you again.
Alex Gustafson: Great to see you too, Dan. Thanks for having me on.
Dan Smigrod: Thank you, Alex. Thanks for being on the show today. Now, Alex, before we jump into show and tell of the REMARK.re platform, give us your backstory; it's relevant to what we're going to talk about today.
Alex Gustafson: Yeah, absolutely. About 10 years ago, I started a real estate photography and video company. We quickly grew to have multiple photographers and offer Matterport and other services.
At the time, early on, we were competing with helicopter companies and building our own drones, when you couldn't really buy them. I was really involved in the technology side of real estate photography.
That's what really set us apart and kept me focused and happy on all the day-to-day with all the random things that come about throughout your average real estate photographer's day.
Dan Smigrod: You started as one photographer, you, and then you grew into more. What problems happened, as a result of that, that resulted in our conversation today?
Alex Gustafson: As we grew, it was hard to keep track of files and everything like that. Even before we started bringing on additional people, when it was just me, it was very hard to take bookings while I was out on shoots or deliver files, obviously editing files and all that's a challenge too.
But what really killed me was when I would be out shooting and I didn't have Wi-Fi service or personally, I tried to shut my phone off – or my ringer off – while I'm on-site and focused on the shoot.
Then I would come out (of the shoot) and try calling people back while on my way to the next shoot. That was just extremely stressful.
It took a lot of the fun out of the day-to-day, but also I would lose bookings every once in a while because you get the occasional person that ends up calling somebody else, especially clients that have never used you before, and maybe we're going to give you a shot, and if you don't end up picking up the phone right away, they're more likely to go elsewhere, if they haven't used you yet.
Dan Smigrod: An abundance of problems based on trying to do your shoot and also accept bookings and then; obviously some coordination challenges among photographers. So, then what happened?
Alex Gustafson: We actually had to hire somebody to help with dispatching and they would be answering the phone, answering emails.
We then made it, so we had a form that people would come on and select the time that they want and there would be back-and-forth still. We did that for a while and then we tried to make an instant booking form that showed the customers where we would be.
It would show just the zip code of where we would be and we released that, and sure enough, our customers just didn't really care about where it said we would be, they would just book. They wouldn't really do the math of the travel time, so that didn't work.
We went back to the manual dispatching person for a while and then a little bit ago we ended up building an algorithm that actually pulls in traffic data and scans the calendar in the future based on your locations and everything like that and the size of the property, and it does the scheduling based on all of that. That's why we're here today.
Dan Smigrod: You had a thriving real estate photography agency business, multiple photographers. You literally built the platform you're going to show us today in order to service your business. Then I imagine, "Aha! This is a really awesome platform. I should offer it to other real estate photographers."
Alex Gustafson: Yeah, exactly.
Dan Smigrod: Great. Let's take a look at www.REMARK.re, and let's assume that you're a real estate agent, so we'll just focus, first, on the booking side to experience: REMARK.re ... Traffic-Aware Instant Booking Service for Real Estate Photographers (from that real estate agent's perspective).
Alex Gustafson: Sure. Let me share my screen.
Dan Smigrod: While Alex is doing that, you can check out the website www.REMARK.re
Alex Gustafson: Yes. I think that's French Reunion Island.
Alex Gustafson: We are pretending that we are just a real estate agent or a booker using the REMARK.re service. This is the page they would see on your photography website.
You can embed it in your own website. I don't have it embedded in my own website, it's just a blank background. Imagine your website is behind it.
This is the landing page area. They come on and all of your services pop up.
These are just demo services right now, so I probably could have put a little more thought into the descriptions and things like that, but I just wanted to show how everything looks and it's very visual so they can hop on and see different portfolios, and flip through your portfolio and see an expanded description along with your tagline for each service.
You get the main service title. You get a tagline like a subtitle. You can set the duration. (Sorry. I'm talking as a photographer.) I'll pretend I'm talking to a (real estate agent) booker. Makes it easy to see what you're going to get. After looking at this, if I want to add this service, I can add it right into the cart. Then I can go back. Sorry, I've got the screen-share controls, I can't see the top of the screen.
Alex Gustafson: Let's say, now we want to go on and move forward and book.
Alex Gustafson: Before I move forward, actually, let me just say a couple of quick things. I've already put in the property details. Here's the address I put in and the square footage.
Alex Gustafson: As a booker, these details are prompted; if I didn't put it in already and I went to select the service and there's no prices given until all the relevant details are entered. I had shown you the view after I had already put in that information, and that's how these prices here are calculated; based on the pricing methodologies inside those service listings.
Then I can hop on here. I can select a date or time that works for me. I can look around. I see that these ones have a fee. Then I can see other days. Or, I can continue to book. I'm going to say, "I want 1 pm on the 2nd." I'm going to move forward and go to Book. This is just a simple checkout page. [Filling in online booking form.]
Alex Gustafson: Then I can review the cancellation policy, here, and anything else that might be relevant. I can decide if I want to change any details or move forward. Assuming everything's good, I'm just going to click "Place Booking" and then you end up on this booking confirmation page.
Let's say I have some friends or an assistant that needs to come, I can just copy this URL and share this with anybody. It's a secure URL that anybody involved in the booking has access to.
There's the cancellation policy; all the services that I've ordered; the appointment notes; so that anybody that has this link will understand what is going to happen at this appointment.
Then should there be an issue, I can go on here and click "Cancel", and then I'll be able to reschedule or whatever needs to be done. As real estate photographers know, that's quite frequent. Anywhere between 10 and 30 percent, depending on the time of the year of appointments, get canceled or rescheduled. It was a lot higher during COVID in 2020, but those numbers are still a lot.
It's always good to have a self-serve method. I was nervous at first about giving our customers the ability to self-cancel, but I just didn't want people to abuse it. I noticed that nothing really changed about the amount of cancellations that were actually canceled. But the number of relevant bookings or valid bookings increase.
Dan Smigrod: That was easy. That was easy for a real estate agent to go on and book: first to put in the property address (and SQFT) and then to look at the available services.
Had we stayed on that page, I think what we would have seen is that whether it was photos, videos, aerial, Matterport – or some other service – that the real estate agent could look at a portfolio of multiple examples by service.
Alex Gustafson: Exactly, yes.
Dan Smigrod: Before we move on to the real estate photographer to see how this is done on the back-end, anything else from the perspective of the person; the real estate agent that's booking real estate photographer's services?
Alex Gustafson: Yes. What you didn't see there was when the bookings are actually placed, the photographer gets an email confirming that the bookings are in place, the agent gets an email, and then both parties also get a confirmation text message as well.
Then the same goes if there's any cancellation or rescheduling. The other thing on this particular portfolio, I didn't have any video or embedded content in any of the services, but we just released a feature that allows you to upload video and embed. You can place embed code into the galleries so it treats those just like a portfolio item.
Dan Smigrod: Great. Let's say I'm a real estate photographer. I'm ready to sign up. Do you want to take us through the process?
Alex Gustafson: Sure.
Dan Smigrod: Why don't you onboard me?
Alex Gustafson: All right. I don't know how soon I can start the on-boarding process because I've already done it, and you have to connect your calendar.
Dan Smigrod: Okay.
Alex Gustafson: With respect to time, I'll just explain that stuff quickly. On our homepage www.REMARK.re you click sign up, and we have a couple of packages right now. There's a free package and then there's a premium package.
When you choose a package and sign up, it'll take you through the on-boarding process. The first thing you have to do is set your address; your home location.
This could be your office or wherever you spend the most time or wherever you're typically leaving for shoots from or starting your day or ending your day from. Once you set that you'll be taken to connect your calendar and this is why I've already connected my calendar, so I don't have to go and un-authorize.
Dan Smigrod: Yes. You've synced to your Google Calendar.
Alex Gustafson: Exactly. That's the only step that's missing [it works; just not showing], and then you plopped right here on the service setup page.
This page, by default, we create a handful of services for you. You don't have to create them from scratch. You can disable them or just build off of them.
But we figured it was easier to just see what it was and get to mess around with it from the start rather than have to create a bunch of services – first – just to test it out. We add some services for you that you can delete if you want or just build off of them. They're pretty basic standard services.
Dan Smigrod: Excuse me. Why don't we go into maybe Matterport and the floor plan?
Alex Gustafson: Sure. Then once you hop in, you'll see a pretty simple service editor.
Alex Gustafson: I always go back and forth on whether this has one or two words. I personally think it should be one, but I'm pretty sure it's two. Then you could fill in all the details. Your subtitle: obviously shows up right below. Let's say that's the only change I have.
Then you can go into time. The fixed amount of time and the minutes per thousand square feet. These are your fixed and your variable amount of time and it's important that you set these based on your experience. If you're new, we're always happy to help and give some suggestions. This for me is plenty of time, and we've dialed in these numbers over the years.
Obviously, Matterport is getting faster. But as a rule of thumb, I mean, this is a pretty general assumption for how long it'll take. You've got your fixed time, which is how much time it takes you to set up and get started and then based on each a thousand square feet, so the home is 3,000 square feet, this would take an hour and 20 minutes.
Then this is where you put your turnaround time. This shows up to the customer on the booking page. This can be anything you want really; best to keep it short. Then over here is where you can add items to your portfolio for this particular service. You can actually just hit the three little dots.
This is the new feature. Hit the three little dots, and you can paste in embed code, or you can just put in the URL here and then hit "Add" and that'll just go right into the gallery.
Dan Smigrod: Great, and then the pricing?
Alex Gustafson: The pricing is up top, and so for this particular service, we have based on per square foot with minimum and maximum. Pretty self-explanatory here.
Let's say you want to do $249 as your minimum price and let's say you want $0.10 SQFT just for my own brain to do the math. Once you're at around 2,500 square feet, that's when the price will start to go up based on each square foot adding $0.10. So, 10 more SQFT –
Dan Smigrod: Got it. That's super-straightforward. How do I handle bundles?
Alex Gustafson: With bundles, what you can do right now, we have this Matterport and floor plan package; which is one package. First, let me show you real quick. There are these other ones, and the other pricing methodologies that you can choose from.
Mine on this is more like step pricing for 1 SQFT =1 unit for price, essentially. Then you can go fix or SQFT tiers or listing price tiers. To get back to your question about bundles, that's a feature that we're working on right now; giving some more advanced ways to bundle services together – and some conditions around that right now.
Dan Smigrod: Presently, the way to bundle is to just create that as a package. In this case – Matterport + floor plan – is a bundle. It's just a very simple bundle.
Alex Gustafson: Exactly. Yeah.
Dan Smigrod: This bundle could actually be Matterport photos and floor plan and in the gallery, it might include Matterport, floor plans and photos as an example.
Alex Gustafson: Exactly, yeah.
Dan Smigrod: Great. Is there anything else to take a look at on the back-end?
Alex Gustafson: This is a service icon, which is a placeholder. You don't necessarily need to put anything in there. If you don't put anything, it'll just make one of these icons for you.
Dan Smigrod: Yes.
Alex Gustafson: Which is randomly generated. Then the next thing I would say is – With regards to bundling, I am looking forward to having a little bit more control over the packages that are presented as bundles.
However, I have to say from experience, we haven't had much of a problem just getting away with the bundles like this. There's not too much complexity behind it. If you can get away with that, that's probably the ideal thing. That's not to say we're not working on that feature.
Dan Smigrod: Okay. I "get it" on this page in terms of services. So, now I start to get orders. Do you want to take us into the back-end to see the order queue and how you can immediately see – perhaps there's a calendar to take a look at?
Alex Gustafson: Yeah. It hooks up to your [Google] calendar, it's bare bones. It is a bare-bones product. We built these different ways and figured there can be a lot of different ways to make this product and decided that it really was about making something that was a Swiss Army knife that really did a great job of finding availability and calculating your drive times and everything like that.
Dan Smigrod: Let's focus on that a moment because that's almost the secret sauce for REMARK.re ...
Talk to me about, I did the introduction, I said: Intro to REMARK.re Traffic-Aware Instant Booking Service. It sounds like that sentence has two different things: 1) Instant booking. I get that. But what does 2) traffic-aware mean? How does that work? How does that work for the benefit of the real estate agent? How does that benefit from the perspective of the real estate photographer?
Alex Gustafson: Sure. Essentially what we mean by that – with the traffic-aware instant booking – is we actually calculate the drive time from your home or any other shoots you have. I mean, they don't have to be shoots. Any other events you have on your calendar: to and from the proposed location and at every time of day.
For instance, I started my company out of Boston and the traffic is atrocious there. Now, I live right between Los Angeles and San Diego, so not much better, just seven lanes of it. At 9 a.m. going into the city could take an hour. At 10 a.m., it could take 30 minutes.
Dan Smigrod: I get that. What's happening is that REMARK.re is looking at the estimated traffic at that hour on that day. Is that correct?
Alex Gustafson: Exactly. Yeah.
Dan Smigrod: So how does that help the real estate photographer? How does that help the real estate agent that you're using essentially real-time, historic traffic data in terms of doing the calculations?
Alex Gustafson: So a lot of other [scheduling] options are built for businesses with a fixed location or like Calendly, etc. Or, they'd go off time blocks, things like that. So, by getting the real drive-time – to and from – at that particular moment – you are able to maximize the amount of appointments you can put in a day and really make your schedule more efficient.
And then by adding a travel fee, which is optional, by the way, you don't have to add a travel fee, but, if you add a travel fee and I think the address they put it in on the demo, there's a fee for every single one. So, it didn't really make a difference, because it was further away than I meant to type in, but you would see some have a fee and some don't.
And so the person who's booking or if it's 9 a.m. – has a fee because it's rush hour – and then 10 a.m. doesn't have a fee, they're probably going to book 10 a.m. because it's cheaper. And if they book 9 a.m., then, you're getting paid what you wanted anyway, to sit in traffic.
So it works out on making your schedule more efficient in that regard just by sharing the pain point or tying the pain point of the agent, not wanting to spend more to you, not wanting him to sit in traffic for no money. So, that's a big thing.
Dan Smigrod: So, I see two things there. Let me just do a follow-up. 1) So the first is without any more energy or effort on the part of the real estate photographer. The likelihood or the expectation is that you should be able to book more jobs per day because your time is being used efficiently for scheduling?
Alex Gustafson: Yeah. For fully automated during the busy season. It's not uncommon for some of our people to get eight bookings in a day using this.
Dan Smigrod: 2) So, the other piece is the instant booking the same day. So let's say you have five bookings as a real estate photographer already today.
So I believe, correct me if I'm wrong, but what's happening is okay, REMARK.re knows where you're shooting today. It knows what the traffic will be when you're moving around.
And so when the real estate agent enters in an address, REMARK.re is displaying the times that are actually doable based on everything that you know in terms of how long it takes to shoot the job; how long it takes to get there; how long it takes to go to the next job.
Alex Gustafson: Yes. It does all that. And another case would be like, let's say you're staying at your parent's house or visiting family on Wednesday night; at the end of the day, just mark that as your end location on your calendar.
And if it happens to be further away from where you normally shoot and an agent goes on, they'll see "Oh, Wednesday at 4 p.m. or whatever. It's cheaper because they don't know, but it's cheaper because you're going to be in the area already. Same goes if you have a shoot in the area.
Dan Smigrod: So let me just see if I understand that in terms of the fee for mileage [time], for example. So, you built the platform essentially for your Boston-based real estate photography agency.
So, in order to avoid a photographer shooting the first shoot on one side of Boston and the second shoot on the other side of Boston and the third shoot back on the first side of Boston, correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like what REMARK.re is doing is essentially saying to the real estate agent,: hey, it's going to be cheaper to shoot this job at this time because the photographer is actually going to be there.
And if you still want to send me all the way across town in order to shoot this job, you can, but I'm going to get paid to go do that." So through pricing, REMARK.re is helping the real estate agent be efficient with the photographer's time.
Alex Gustafson: Yeah. I think it could also be like an efficiency charge or something like that. I mean, realistically, it's the green thing to do: to pick the slot that's cheapest for everybody.
Dan Smigrod: Awesome. So we've been talking for a while. What else from a photographer's standpoint would be helpful to know? We talked about traffic times. We are talking about syncing to Google Calendar. We talked about text and email confirmations.
What about a manual booking? If I still have clients that want to text me and say, "Hey, are you free at 3 p.m. on Tuesday and I already know that that client orders the following package every time that they engage me, but we could have that little shorthand conversation in a text. Can I go into the back-end of REMARK.re and just go ahead and book that?
Alex Gustafson: Right now there's not really any need to. You can just continue doing that as you would normally. You can just put it right on your calendar and it'll register so we won't double book you.
Dan Smigrod: Just literally put it on your Google Calendar and then that time is blocked out. And then, however, I handled that client with that payment mechanism. We didn't talk about payment. Are you using Stripe as the back-end mechanism so that it syncs to the photographer's Stripe account or something else?
Alex Gustafson: So right now there is no paywall. So that's a feature that we're working on that'll probably be available soon. It's in development. And it is something that we have already developed and have been using, but we're expanding the use to other third parties.
Dan Smigrod: So, today is Thursday, October 27, 2022. If I use the platform today, REMARK.re is presently limited to traffic-aware instant booking: not for the payment mechanism.
Alex Gustafson: Correct.
Dan Smigrod: That's a feature that's coming – and perhaps it's not all that far in the future because you actually use the payment mechanism for your existing real estate photography business?
Alex Gustafson: Exactly. It'll be very soon actually.
Alex Gustafson: But, at the end, it does show the pricing and everything. So the customer is well aware of the price. You can generate an invoice based on that; for the time being.
Dan Smigrod: How about maximum travel radius? So the world is not a perfect diameter around Atlanta, for example, so is there a drawing tool where I actually draw and say Alpharetta. Roswell. Atlanta?
Alex Gustafson: No, there's not, but you are able to, I mean, with the travel fee, it works itself out because the fees – I think earlier you might have said mileage based – it's actually minute based. So you set a fee per minute that you're forecasted to spend driving, so we'll calculate your round trip.
And you mark how long you're willing to travel for free. So let's say you're willing to travel 30 minutes for free to and from the listing, that's a combined 60 minutes.
But the forecasted drive for rush hour is a combined 2 hours, so that's 60 minutes; above and beyond that, you can charge whatever you want. So I think, me, I have it marked as $2 per minute, on that demo account.
Dan Smigrod: (Alex, come forward a little bit. That sunlight on your nose is driving me nuts. ;-)
Alex Gustafson: Oh, sorry. ;-) I don't live in Boston anymore.
Dan Smigrod: We're photographers! We care about light. ;-)
Alex Gustafson: Sorry. ;-)
Dan Smigrod: I get it. Instead of thinking about, "I'm going to add $0.50 a mile or $1 a mile," think about it, "I'm adding $1 or $2 a minute," whatever I decide, and that essentially in Atlanta or the greater Atlanta area, well, Atlanta is pretty big, but now we start talking about Roswell and Alpharetta and all of a sudden the greater Atlanta area could be – really almost half-hour, hour North.
In that calculation of the travel time, that potential client could see a big difference in that fee if they booked me at 9 a.m. or if they booked me at 2 p.m. because at 9 a.m. maybe I'm in Brookhaven, but maybe 2 p.m. I'm up in Alpharetta and then the next one who wants to book me is also in Alpharetta.
All of a sudden, there is not this larger fee for booking. Am I close in terms of that travel time piece or is the travel time based on the previous job or is it based on where my home base is?
Alex Gustafson: Either. If you don't have a job at all, it'll go based on your home address or your office address.
Dan Smigrod: If I'm coming from a job, do I have a choice to say base travel based on my office? Or no, it's really going to do it based on where I'm coming from is my last job?
Alex Gustafson: It'll be calculating you coming from your last job and going home.
Alex Gustafson: It'll say, how many minutes from that appointment to this next proposed appointment? Then at the end of that, how many minutes from that appointment to home. That's your combined travel time for that particular spot.
Dan Smigrod: In Atlanta, and this may be true of Boston or North of San Diego.
Alex Gustafson: Yes, Atlanta traffic is just as bad.
Dan Smigrod: Atlanta could be an hour and 20 minutes during rush hour, and it could be 22 minutes close to midnight. Really time-of-day really matters when you're booking. It's almost two things: 1) It's the time of day that the booking is happening and 2) where I am going before and after that shoot. REMARK.re is calculating the travel time before and after that shoot based on, "I'm coming from Roswell, I'm going to Atlanta."
Then after that shoot "from Atlanta, I'm going to Dunwoody." That's all known either between the photographer's Google Calendar and, therefore, it can calculate that travel time in real-time based on real historic travel data that REMARK.re is doing a lookup one.
Alex Gustafson: Exactly. Let's say you have two appointments already. You have one that goes from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and then you have another one that goes from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
When somebody scans for availability, it'll see maybe you start your day at 8 a.m., all those things you can set on your REMARK.re account. Let's say you start your day at 8 a.m., it will see if you can get that appointment done before you have to go to your 10 a.m. and actually make it there on time.
Then it will also check at 11 a.m. and see if you have the time to fit it in there. Obviously, the time is based on square footage of the home. It works really well and REMARK.re finds all the spots and it will return it to the customer.
Alex Gustafson: All the travel fees are built-in. At the end of the day, it'll just think you're going back home or back to your office unless you put an event at the end of the day, if you have a doctor's appointment or whatever. You can put an approximate address and it will read off that.
Dan Smigrod: The big picture here is that REMARK.re is making it super-easy for the real estate photographer to be efficient with the photographer's time.
Because you're doing all these calculations because that's a 3,500 SQFT property in Zip Code (X) and it's going to take this much time to get there based on historic traffic and then go from there to the next job. It's doing all these calculations that the photographer might be thinking if you get a text, say, could I do that job? "Well, gee, how far is that?" "Well, what time of day is that?"
The photographer doesn't have to think about any of that. REMARK.re will magically – easy-peasy – do calculations of time and money.
Alex Gustafson: I hate doing that: the thought process. "Do I really want to be driving in traffic?"
Dan Smigrod: (I know you're going to move that light there. ;-) The easiest way to explain it is from the client's perspective: "we're just trying to be 'green' and efficient by reducing our carbon footprint of the number of miles that we're driving to do our shoots." By the way, I'm a busy photographer, but I have clients that still want to shoot. Is there a way for them to be on a waiting list?
Alex Gustafson: Actually, yes. You must have read that on the features because I forgot to bring that up. That's obviously a problem.
Sometimes during the year it gets super-busy and you actually don't have the time. That's when I would be like, maybe this instant booking thing isn't a great idea because I don't want to lose any of those leads going somewhere else just because they go on my site and see I'm not available.
We made it so they can subscribe to availability alerts. Essentially, that just shoots you a text message and says, "hey, this person is waiting for a time to open up on this day" and it tells you how long the appointment is going to be. Sometimes, I'll have personal time blocked off at the beginning and the end of the day and I'll be willing to move things around.
Dan Smigrod: I'm confused. Is the real estate agent essentially going through the buying experience? You do know that the listing is 3,500 SQFT.
They want Matterport; photos, video and floor plans. You know how long it's going to take to do that job, how much that job's going to pay. Now, it's sitting in a queue. If that opportunity comes up on that day, it's going to email the client to say it's now available, you've got five-minutes to book it.
Alex Gustafson: It doesn't do that yet, although that's something that we've considered making or putting out onto the main product, but it doesn't really happen a tremendous amount.
Alex Gustafson: It basically just tells you what you need to know and it tells the agent that, "hey, sorry, the availability doesn't show for that day, but we're going to see if we can do anything and we'll keep you posted."
Dan Smigrod: Sounds great. Two last questions. 1) Is there anything that we haven't talked about that we should be talking about on REMARK.re...?
Alex Gustafson: The confirmation page is really cool. Maybe I don't market it very well, but I think it's very useful and it's a newer feature. We don't really use this for my own personal business yet and I want to because we have video that's embedded in it so you can put your own video saying what happens next.
Alex Gustafson: You don't have to put a video. You can put just text and it shows the cancellation policy. It also gives that sharing link, which I think is important because there are a lot of times you get people that have assistants or they're booking it on behalf of somebody else.
This is just an easy way for everybody to stay in the loop. That was the one thing that I really liked as a feature. Then all the travel and location stuff. The only one thing we skipped over there was you can add a buffer too. In addition to the traffic, if it's a 30-minute drive, I add 10 minutes for parking and whatever. That's customizable.
Dan Smigrod: Last question. 2) I know we've talked for quite some time now about REMARK.re ... But if you get on the elevator and I go, "hey, Alex, what do you do for a living?" What are you going to tell me in 30 seconds by the time we get to the 20th floor?
Alex Gustafson: Oh my gosh. "I make software and I love making software. I like making videos. I like taking pictures. But this has been my brainchild for a while now."
I would tell you it's instant booking for traveling service providers who want to be able to fit more bookings into their day. Are we on the 20th floor yet? ;-)
Dan Smigrod: REMARK.re ... So check it out: www.REMARK.re REMARK.re has a free tier, so you can take it for a spin at no charge, or there's at least one package there that you can sign up today. Alex, thanks for being on the show today.
Alex Gustafson: Absolutely. Thanks so much, Dan, and appreciate all you do.
Dan Smigrod: Thank you. We've been visiting with REMARK Founder and CEO, Alex Gustafson. I'm Dan Smigrod, Founder of the We Get Around Network Forum. You've been watching WGAN-TV Live at 5.
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