One of my least favorite phrases has always been “It’s not my job.” Having owned my own company prior to entering the corporate world, I never understood how the ultimate success of any organization was not the job of every single employee. Now that I am back to being a small business owner, the question of “Is this my job?” takes on an even greater importance.
I visited the website of another virtual tour provider to check out our competition. On their website, they have samples of their work and the tour that they chose to showcase their services has a panoramic spin with someone sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor working on the dishwasher. Seriously, of all the tours that you could choose to represent yourself, you couldn’t find one that didn’t have the dishwasher repair man sitting in the middle of the floor?
One of the challenges Realtors face is that their clients often don’t see their own clutter but as an outsider coming into a home for the first time, you’d think one would notice the dishwasher repair man.
At our virtual tour software company, we work as a team. With close to 15 years as a professional photographer, Greg stays behind the camera and I go in front of him to prepare each room to showcase the property in the very best light. It is not unusual for him to have to wait on me to finish staging an area because our work represents both us, the Realtor or business owner and the property we are shooting.
Earlier this week, we were photographing a multimillion dollar beach house with panoramic ocean views. The only problem was that the views were completely clouded by dirt and pollen on the huge windows and the sun shining through just accentuated the grime. We were by ourselves at the house and had a few choices at that point. We could leave and tell them they needed to send someone to clean the windows. We could have photographed the living room with the dirty windows and told them, “Tough luck, we only shot what you gave us.” Or we could clean the windows to the best of our abilities and finish the tour.
I can assure you that it was absolutely NOT MY JOB to go out to our car and get newspaper and scrub the windows with Windex but that’s exactly what I did. It was not an easy job because after the first attempt, the windows were streaked and that looked as bad as the grime did. I am absolutely NOT saying that I clean every dirty window we encounter because if we did, we’d never get out of a house. In this case, I only cleaned the windows that affected the view and yes, it was frustrating to have to do it.
One of our marketing tag lines is “The Big Picture Makes a Big Difference” and in the big picture on this house, the best option for us to get the shots we needed was for me to clean the windows and allow Ben to capture the dynamite view. We had to weigh the cost…it was an hour round trip to get to this house and we had shot five other houses on the same island that day. This was one of our better clients who provides us a steady stream of income and is delightful to work with. Had I told them, they would have scheduled their housekeepers to come clean every window but that would have meant we had to reschedule and drive back later.
No, it’s not my job to move children’s toys or the dog bed and bowls or the plunger and toilet brush. I’s not my job to clean counters and de-clutter the coffee table. It’s not my job to hide the dirty dishes (and let me state emphatically for the record – I will hide the dishes but I am not washing them!!) It is not my job but IT IS OUR BUSINESS and since excellence is our standard sometimes, we suck it up and do these things anyway.
We look forward to many years of providing the best hotel photography in the industry!