Key Things You Can Do That Factor Into Business Growth With Happy Clients

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Key Things You Can Do That Factor Into Business Growth With Happy Clients

Being a professional real estate photographer is not only about providing awesome home photos. A business needs to be run professionally and clients need to be treated appropriately. Customer service goes a long way in helping your business grow and keeping happy clients on your list means you’ll continue to have work.

Here are the key things you can do that will factor into business growth and keep your clients happy.

  • Be On Time for Shoots
    • Seems like a no-brainer, right? But think about the other vendor/service industry companies that send people to your home. When is the last time you’ve scheduled a cable appointment and not only did they give you a 4-hour window, but they showed up at the VERY END of that window! Or worse yet, they didn’t show up at all!Being on time shows professionalism and doesn’t give your clients an excuse to go looking elsewhere. If you are accountable, they’ll continue to return back to you and book shoots.
  • Don’t Over Book or Double Book
    • Treat every client like they are your best and only client. When you give them a time slot make sure you are able to be at the property at the given time and that you give yourself enough time to complete the job. You don’t want to sound like you are in a hurry.Additionally, don’t double book appointments! I have clients who are known to cancel so it’s really tempting to double book shoots over them. However if you have proper policies in place, a cancellation is unfortunate, but it at least will either give you some money for a loss of an appointment, or it’ll be done in enough time that allows you to fill the slot. I’ve had new clients come to me after their photographer double booked and all of the sudden couldn’t show up to a property – not good!
  • Deliver a Consistent Product
    • New clients usually come to you after seeing your work, or hearing about you through a referral. They are going to expect the same quality as they have seen or heard about. Make sure you continue to provide a consistent product, by editing the photos the same way each time. Sure your editing style will change over time – mine definitely has! Don’t be afraid to change some things to improve quality, however make sure each shoot you deliver is a consistently outstanding product.
  • Deliver the End Product On Time
    • The real estate industry is quite often time sensitive. Realtors want properties listed as soon as possible, so they usually want the photos back to them yesterday! Although it’s great to have a very fast turnaround time, I think it’s more important to just be on time, regardless of what your stated deliverable is. If you tell your agents you’ll have photos returned to them within 24 hours, make sure you meet that deadline – every time. I tell my agents 24-48 hours to give myself some breathing room, however nine times out of ten the photos are delivered the following morning. Under promise and over deliver consistently. When you do run into a snag, it’ll be outside the norm and your clients will understand when you explain the situation.
  • Charge What You Are Worth
    • Our products are valuable. With over 90% of home buyers starting their search online, our photos are usually the “first showing”. YOU are valuable. Your TIME is valuable. You deserve to get paid a decent wage for your hard work and agents that appreciate and see the value in your work will be willing to pay you. Pricing plays a role in keeping happy clients because of the type of client you’ll attract based off your pricing. Undercutting your competition and offering a cheap service? You’ll be attracting agents always looking for a deal, they’ll constantly be looking for another photographer who is even cheaper, and they’ll most likely be your most difficult clients to work with. Attracting clients who are willing to pay you for your value and outstanding customer service develops a mutual business relationship that lasts.
  • Keep Communication Open
    • Because you aren’t over or double booking, you will probably arrive at every shoot on time. But sometimes things come up that keep you from being on time and you need to communicate that with your real estate agent or home seller as soon as possible. I had a flat tire once and I left early enough that I was able to put the spare on and still make the appointment on time. Calling the agent and letting them know about the situation shows them respect for their time, and being on time even after the issue speaks volumes for you!I have gained clients because other photographers simply haven’t shown up for one reason or another. They have failed to communicate to the Realtor and if they are unreliable, that agent is going to find someone else pronto! Be that photographer that they seek – not the one that they leave in the dust.
  • Set Expectations Early
    • Providing a consistent experience to your clients requires that you have policies and expectations set in place from day one. When you bring on a new client make sure you let them know about your cancellation policy, how you schedule shoots and what your deliverable timeframe is. Making sure your new client is on the same page as you gets you off on the right start to a successful business relationship. I like to send my expectations via email so it’s in writing and can be referenced at a later time if need be.
  • Stay Classy Handling Complaints
    • It happens, we mess up. If you haven’t yet, you will! But don’t sweat it. We are human and remember we aren’t performing open-heart surgery here. It’s very easy to get wrapped up in our businesses and get defensive when a client complains. It can be stressful knowing that we let someone down. Take a deep breath and handle the situation promptly so you and your client can move on.
  • Treat Home Sellers With Respect
    • Being a real estate photographer, we are an extension of the agent’s brand. It’s common to shoot photos of the property without the agent being there. Treat the home seller and their home with respect so they enjoy the time that was spent with you. You never know what type of situation the home seller is in. Some sellers are happy to be selling and some might have life events requiring them to leave. Be open to communicate with the seller to make sure their home selling experience is the least stressful it can be.
  • Simplify Your Services
    • Make it easy for clients to understand your services and pricing. When new clients find your company, they’ll be able to make quicker decisions if your service offering is simplified. Having a lot of variables in the pricing creates confusion and increases the time it will take for you to explain your services when clients call. Save yourself time and prevent clients from getting headaches by adding clarity to your services.
  • Accomodate Client Requests
    • Within reason, of course! Take a couple of amenity shots for a property or label photos a certain way if a client requests it. Small requests within reason can probably be completed for clients at no charge. But be careful! If requests seem to be growing and taking up too much of your time, it’s important you address the issue promptly. Kindly explain the situation to the client and that the work they are requesting is outside of your standard service. If they would like to continue to receive this level of service, they will be billed appropriately.
  • Provide Excellent Customer Service
    • Everything we discussed above boils down to providing excellent customer service. Running your business professionally and consistently will keep clients coming back for more photo shoots. Try not to slip up, but if you do, fix it as soon as possible. Keep your business running smoothly and over time you will see growth.
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By | 2017-06-10T16:11:28+00:00 July 15th, 2014|General Info|2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Paul October 10, 2014 at 6:39 pm - Reply

    Hi Lance,

    All very sage advice! It is always refreshing to see or hear about somebody else with solid values being successful in spite of a rough and tumble marketplace. The old sayings “common sense isn’t so common” and “treat others as you would like to be treated” both provide a good summary of your post. Thank you for sharing!

    Paul

  2. Thomas May 23, 2017 at 6:28 am - Reply

    I now see my mistakes and it is time to correct them, thank you..

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