Last June I took a leap and left the Virtual Tour company I’d been with for 10 years.
Let me say, it was the best move I ever made! I am happier, more confident, and more invested in my photography. This first year on my own has flown by, I was delighted at how many agents continued to choose me for their photos and more than a bit surprised at how many new agents are now regular clients.
Thank you to everyone who has used my services over the last year
I started out doing what I knew – pretty much followed the pricing and packages of the VT company because that is what I and my clients were familiar with. Over the months I began to realise that there are some things I’d like to do differently. Mainly I hate counting photos, each package comes with a set number of photos but different properties require different amounts. I wanted more freedom.
Also, sometimes, I can arrive at the occasional property and realise it’s going to take longer to shoot whether or not the agent requests a higher number of photos. If I know ahead of time and if the agent asks for more photos it’s not a problem, but if I only realise it once I get there it can be a bit stressful – I’ll end up spending longer at the property and then have to whittle down the photos I do take to make them fit a regular package. This wastes quite a bit of time, upsets my schedule, and is not a sustainable way of doing things.
Anyone who knows me probably realises that if I’m 5 minutes late for an appointment that I’m already in a panic. I have to be on time!! I think it’s part of a good relationship with agents, I appreciate that you all have schedules to keep and that I’m just one little time slot in that schedule. I think I’ve hit on a plan that could benefit us all. These larger properties make up maybe 5% of homes, I’d say if they are over 2500 sq ft it’s safe to consider it larger property, if there are extensive grounds that need to be featured or if it’s just a very unique property.
With that in mind here is my plan – IF you have a larger property, I can offer two options, so that you can choose which works better for your client and your budget. If you let me know ahead of time I can do either:
Option 1 – I shoot a standard package and am on site the normal amount of time – up to 45 mins, and your cost remains the same. BUT I focus on the highlights of the property – the main living area, kitchen, master bed/bath and grounds. Rooms such as second, third bedrooms, laundry etc. will not be shot.
Option 2 – I shoot a Plus package and am on site up to 75 mins and deliver more photos covering all the rooms and grounds.
This helps us both stay on schedule, and lets you decide how you’d like to showcase the property.
Other than that I am restructuring my packages to focus more on time on site than number of photos. Again we both benefit – I can stay on schedule and you get the number of photos needed to cover the property, you don’t need to forego a shot of a beautiful fireplace for example, in order to show a third bedroom. That said, I firmly believe in quality over quantity and most regular homes will probably run between 25-35 photos. I want people to look at the photos and want to see more of the home, I don’t want them to know how the house looks from every conceivable angle, or see every nook and cranny. Did you know that less photos rather than more is actually a good marketing tactic? In some countries it’s common to only show 8 or 10 images of home, providing they are quality photos they will leave prospective buyers wanting to book a viewing to see more.
So there it is – a Standard package will include up to 45 mins on site and the Virtual Tour hosting, a Plus package will allow for 75 minutes on site, include the Virtual Tour Hosting as well as a YouTube video. Extra time/images can be purchased if you need it, and for small properties there will be a Lite package that just includes photos, no Virtual Tour.
Optional add-ons will be Panoramic Images, Virtual Tour (for Lite package), YouTube Video (for Lite and Standard packages), Extra time/images, Custom Domains and Custom Feature Sheets.
Phew! Thanks for your patience and understanding if you’ve read this far, here’s to year number two and making it even better than the first!