I don’t have a lot of competition, but I do have one guy in our limited market area who is a real go getter. My competition takes very nice photos, offers quick shoots, and a fast turn around time. He is a formidable foe, so to speak (I do respect him and his work a great deal.) What sets my virtual tour company and business apart from his? Here’s what my client’s tell me:
1. His photos are absolutely perfect high resolution shots. Although I shoot at 10 megapixels, I don’t go for high res clear. I go for capturing the right view, the right center point, and the right lighting. I don’t always shoot from the middle of rooms, especially small rooms, where I like to shoot from doorways. This is the view that people will scan a room to get the big picture quickly. Also it shows the quality of the room, floor walls, and all. A full 360 spin from the center of a small room shows a traveling wall, not a “room.”
2. He is quick, but that quickness comes off to his clients as cheap and superficial. Even though his photography is at least good, he appears apathetic. While I don’t waste time, I like to get down to business by first touring a property, discussing each unique trait, and planning in my head my plan of photographic attack. I make each set up deliberate, looking through the camera viewfinder as I spin around to make sure I like the whole spin – before I shoot. I often make adjustments to the placement of height of the tripod. When you come in to “shoot and get out” you miss stuff. Shooting everything from eye level often puts too much wall or ceiling in and not enough important features or it makes a room look unrealistically odd.
3. He charges for every little thing. I offer one set price for a basic tour and one price for additional spins and one price for CDs. I started out offering various tour packages and lots of options but what agents want is a simple, predictable, and consistent product that requires little or no extra decision making. I find so many Realtors are tech shy or too much in the hustle and bustle of selling that they just don’t want to become overwhelmed by options, options, options. Besides, this way they don’t feel like they are getting “nickeled and dimed” to death.
What I offer is a great virtual tour service and that’s what I give them. I contract to deliver a product and no matter what it takes, I give them that product. Sometimes I deal with a few change requests and I don’t charge for them. Sometimes I put in more time that the price of one tour is worth, but the payback comes with more orders and more referrals from dedicated clients. Any agent can buy a virtual tour set up, and while some do, what they get from me is excellent service. You see, service is the product, not just a set of photographs.
RE Marketing, Video and Virtual Tours