If you’ve ever visited New Orleans, you may have heard the word “Lagniappe”. Lagniappe derives from New World Spanish la ñapa, “the gift,” and ultimately from Quechua yapay, “to give more.” It is still used in the Gulf states, especially southern Louisiana, to denote a little bonus that a friendly shopkeeper might add to a purchase. I’ve always considered Lagniappe to mean a little something extra — a bonus which is appreciated but was certainly not expected.
For our Charleston virtual tour business, our Lagniappe comes in the form of RTV’s Tour Track jobs.
RTV is a national virtual tour company with a strong web presence so it’s not unusual for them to get leads or to land national clients who need virtual tours in different areas. Because we are a part of their network of virtual tour photographers, they share those virtual tour leads with us when one of the leads is in our area.
As an independent virtual tour business owner, if we don’t shoot, we don’t eat. Any entrepreneur knows the feeling of waking up everyday knowing that it is our responsibility to close new business if we want to keep our virtual tour business going. As our business has become more established, more of our business comes from referrals and repeat business from existing customers that we have closed ourselves. At the same time, as our skills and experience photographing virtual tours has increased, we have had the opportunity to photograph more Tour Track jobs.
As the sales and marketing person for our virtual tour business, I am ecstatic when we get a Tour Track order. Tour Track jobs are photography and virtual tour business that someone else closed and all I have to do is schedule the virtual tour and show up to shoot. I don’t have to solicit the sale, negotiate the price, or convince the customer of the value of a virtual tour. For me, getting a Tour Track order is like finding money in a coat pocket that I haven’t worn for a while. I don’t expect it, I don’t depend on it, but I certainly do appreciate it when it comes.