Jonathan E Spence

Convincing Real Estate Agents

17 posts in this topic

Hello Everyone. I started my aerial photography company about 2 months ago. I focus primarily on real estate. In the 2 months I have been operational the response as been great, but its still not where I want to be. I often run into real estate agents who just don't seem to get it. Given, most real estate agents are part time and are just trying to make some extra money on the side. These are the same people that take pictures of their listings with their phone so I'm not expecting them to pay for my service. However, what about the full timers? How do we convince them? All of my clients have loved my work and are returning customers. My prices are low, I have my FAA license, I have the waivers, my work is great. So how do I get more customers? Any advice is very much appreciated!

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Just an idea, instead of approaching real estate agents, hit the brokers instead.  

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Thanks for the reply. I contact brokers also, but it's ultimately up to the real estate agent 

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Been at this since Dec 2015, Jonathan. Real estate aerial photography is a nut breaker, hard, but not impossible to make a profit, they want a lot for very little. (and yes, for the most part, they are  cheap...) No offense to any realtors reading this; they are trying to make the most while keeping you cut as low as you'll go. Sometimes I just say no and walk away.

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@Jonathan E Spence, have you tried swimming upstream? Meaning, going after higher-end real estate like golf courses, commercial property managers, real estate developers, luxury homes, resort properties, hotels, restaurant chains, car dealerships, etc.?

You can also experiment with doing more technical work like mapping / modeling, teaming up with a roof inspector, asphalt repair company, etc.

Keep at it. Keep searching. To use @Uaviator53's comment, you'll crack the nut eventually!

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On 3/14/2017 at 11:19 AM, Joseph said:

Just an idea, instead of approaching real estate agents, hit the brokers instead.  

Excellent suggestion! Find the high producers who understand the value and other agents will typically follow. You won't be able to convince them all, but I think you will find you won't want the hassle working with the super frugal agents anyway. Typically MLS boards will invite their affiliate members (those who are selling services to realtors) to some networking events and you may even get a contact list of all their members.

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I shoot a lot for real estate agents.... I also concentrate on high end properties (I shot a lot of little stuff to progress to where Im at).  They usually have larger lots... so aerial is a benefit to them.  I also use aerial as an ad on service.... most of my work/money is from shooting ground level.  Not sure I could make aerial a business by itself.  

Real estate agents are a funny breed.... if you are good and reasonable prices, it will eventually come together.  They work so much with referrals... one agent will see another agents work... and find out where they got it done.  And remember, there are a lot of Realtors... but only a small percentage are Sellers Agent... the Listing Agent. Because it also takes a lot of work on their part to get the listings.... and money (photography, marketings, etc.).

Go after the agents with five ore more listings. Do a few free shoots to show them the benefits.... especially if they have a lot of listings.... and always deliver more than they expect.

Below is one I shot last week.... again, I also did ground level interior and exterior.

0101.jpg

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Wow! Great responses. I was just reminded of this blog on @Alan Perlman community update email. I have notifications on now so let the responses continue! 

@Uaviator53 I definitely  agree. 9/10 agents aren't interested because they do it part time. These are the same realtors who take pictures with their phones. Overall, making a profit is fairly easy as long as your work is half decent. It may take a while to get in the green but it shouldn't take more than a couple months as long as you keep your costs low. 

@Alan Perlman I swam upstream accidentally. In the midst of contacting realtors I found the top dogs and they are the ones have used me for a couple of jobs now. I have a shoot for a golf course in May once everything greens up. I'm 1/1 on golf courses but have a list of 23 I am going to talk to. I have started with construction using drone deploy. It's awesome technology and very useful in construction. 

@RTV, Inc. - Jay Great advice! 

@PLKetchum Me and you need to talk some more. I would love to start offering matter port, interior, and exterior photos. I feel as if I am under cutting myself my only offering aerial photos and videos. 

The agents I currently work with on a regular basis are the high end real estate agents. They are full time and understand the value. To build up my portfolio and obtain connections I offered aerial photos and videos for free for first time clients. This worked great. However, even though some of them loved my work and one realtor even got a showing because of the video getting shared on Facebook, they don't always return. I may go back to offering it for free for first time clients. 

Overall, the best thing to do is offer low prices and be damn good at what you do. Also be qualified. Be sure to be the professional in the area, not the guy who owns and drone and knows nothing about photography. Flying a drone and cinematography are completely to different skills sets. 

Which brings me to another point, there is a HUGE market for selling photos to local tourist shops as postcards and greetings cards. I live in Floyd, VA and I took pictures of Floyd early morning after a rain when the fog was lifting and sun was rising. The Floyd Country Store is buying 500 copies of 3 photos (1500 total) for postcards, another 1500 for greeting cards, 30 8x10 and 6 11x14. Plus they want me to take pictures through out the year as seasons change. If you guys aren't doing this, you should look into it. It's a continuing income as the pictures sell. 

I have one question- how do we get rid of the people who are offering the same services as us with no license? Theres guys like that in my area and its a real bummer cause my work is better and I am qualified, licensed, and have obtained 1 year waivers to fly in Roanoke VA and Blacksburg VA airspaces all but within 2NM of the airport and not to exceed a certain height. I just feel as if its unfair that the guys who aren't licensed are taking jobs from those who have went through the hurdles to become licensed. 

Thanks for the replies! Keep em coming. This is very helpful. 

PS my notifications are on now. 

Jonathan Spence

 

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Another untouched resource (and a tax deduction) is to do 2D/3D/short video of churches. You can look up churches in your area and also the state church/conventions/synods/county associations, etc. Send them several samples of your work (screen shots of a 2D/3D, close ups of church roof damage, asphalt parking lots, gutters, etc. and then charge a ridiculous amount ($80-$120) and when you send them the invoice show the going rate of what you normally charge (our case was $485) and then show the cost to them ($120) and take the difference as a donation/benevolence deduction. At 10 churches per county (and depending on where you are you can get 10 - 30 churches per county [sometimes per city]), @ $120 per job, for 80 counties = $96,000. So there is business out and about. You just need to find your niche. 

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On 3/26/2017 at 3:43 PM, Davion said:

Another untouched resource (and a tax deduction) is to do 2D/3D/short video of churches. You can look up churches in your area and also the state church/conventions/synods/county associations, etc. Send them several samples of your work (screen shots of a 2D/3D, close ups of church roof damage, asphalt parking lots, gutters, etc. and then charge a ridiculous amount ($80-$120) and when you send them the invoice show the going rate of what you normally charge (our case was $485) and then show the cost to them ($120) and take the difference as a donation/benevolence deduction. At 10 churches per county (and depending on where you are you can get 10 - 30 churches per county [sometimes per city]), @ $120 per job, for 80 counties = $96,000. So there is business out and about. You just need to find your niche. 

Love the creativity. What a great example.

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On 3/26/2017 at 3:43 PM, Davion said:

Another untouched resource (and a tax deduction) is to do 2D/3D/short video of churches. You can look up churches in your area and also the state church/conventions/synods/county associations, etc. Send them several samples of your work (screen shots of a 2D/3D, close ups of church roof damage, asphalt parking lots, gutters, etc. and then charge a ridiculous amount ($80-$120) and when you send them the invoice show the going rate of what you normally charge (our case was $485) and then show the cost to them ($120) and take the difference as a donation/benevolence deduction. At 10 churches per county (and depending on where you are you can get 10 - 30 churches per county [sometimes per city]), @ $120 per job, for 80 counties = $96,000. So there is business out and about. You just need to find your niche. 

Don't forget county courthouses. I cannot speak for the rest of the country but each Texas county seat has a courthouse built before there was dirt and the people of that county are very proud of it. A full 3D workup of a small city block goes a long way in promoting your business.

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Good point about court houses. You can also check with you local county/parish school districts to do summer/weekend shoots of school properties and schools. Talk about how your shots and 2D/3D can be used for school year books, campus brochures/flyers, etc. Help them see where maintenance is needed, up to date maps of property, where asphalt may need repair, where yellow and/or stripes need painting or repainting, possible 3D of a stadium. Got a IR/thermal drone? Can be used to shot wet spots in insulation and/or cold air/hot air leakage. For around $249 for a FLIR One for IOS/Androids you can also use your phone to further investigate areas close to ground level, windows, etc. 

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@Jonathan E Spence Glad to hear you started your own drone aerial photography company. We would love to have you list your services on Up Sonder. We are an online marketplace for drone services and rental. We are working with drone pilots and drone owners around the country to help them make money using their drones.

Right now if you sign up and list your aerial photography business with us we'll pay back the $150 cost of getting your Part 107 license! See our website for more details.

Also are website is still in Beta, so if you have any feedback, the Up Sonder team would love to hear from you!

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@Up Sonder great news, I'll clarify for others here that it is paid back over the 1st 15 payouts. 

Also, If I could change your status from Newbie to NewBee, I would do it in a heartBeet. :D

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I posted this to another thread and just copy and pasted.

Looking for all the help I can get. 

Good read so far another suggestions??Looks Like no one has Posted here in awhile. Any new suggestions? Mercy I love to fly drones. I just sold my 

P3S I currently have

a P3P a P4, P4Pro Plus and an Inspire 1 2.0 version. Not bragging at all. This has been almost 2 year planing project. I am retired and have pick up a young partner named Joe Williams. At a Christmas party the year before my other half said they gave away a Drone at the place she worked. I had several small drones but had trouble flying them. I spent 150 bucks that I thought was just crazy. It was like I was spending 5,000 bucks!! Anyway I couldn't fly it very well. My son comes over and he is a 'Gamer". NO problem for him. SO I read somewhere that the DJI drones anyone could fly. I  bought the P#S and it's been down hill since.. LOL

I am currently using RTV www.realtourvision.com that I learned about form Alan. It works great but getting Brokers, agents, small business owners to sign up has been tough. I live in Arkansas. Van Buren, Ft Smith area.

ANY new info? I and charging 150 bucks for stills of a home and 250 bucks for the drone included. Really depends on the home.

BUT signing up anyone has been a brick wall. I really thought since I know so may people this was going to be a a snap. NOT SO!!

 

Lets see if this works??

http://fusion.realtourvision.com/156652

http://fusion.realtourvision.com/577264

I have thousands of Pics and vidoes. 

Mike Tucker

www.landupsolutions.com (Still under construction) But useable

tucker6453@cox.net OR landupsolutions@gmail.com

ANYONE care to update and share?? I may post this to the signing agents thread, Thanks in advance.

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I feel your pain, and took a slightly different approach than most when building our clientele.  The thing to remember is that, after the property sells, in the realtor's mind none of that beautiful media matters anymore.  The home is gone, off the market, and they've moved onto the next.

However, I choose to point out that their property marketing media is more than just selling the home.  It serves as a sales tool to prospective seller clients, long after the initial home sale.  Try that angle, and target the high volume realtors.  Brokers are a great contact and endorsement tool, but they gotta be onboard with what you offer.  Otherwise, they'll tell the realtors to not bother.

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