"The bitterness of poor service remains long after the sweetness of paying a low price is gone" by Brian Sokolowski

The basic definitions of Price and Cost:

Price: The amount of money expected, required, or given in payment for something.

Cost: The price paid to acquire, produce, accomplish, or maintain anything.

(The key pieces of these definitions are "required" in the price definition and "maintain" in the cost definition. As in how long will paying the minimum "required" price allow you to "maintain" an acceptable level of service? if you ever receive appropriate service at all.)

I talk to too many people who say that they just love their photographer because they’re the best. And when pried a little further… ‘They’re the cheapest!’ The last thing I want to hear when people describe my services is ‘he’s the cheapest!’ Think about that… when someone describes someone or something as ‘cheap’, it’s hardly a compliment. Then, when I pry even further why they love their photographer, they have trouble coming up with anything else. There is a reason why they’re the cheapest, and it has nothing to do with value.

Unless you are very lucky, chasing the lowest price will cost you, it is just a matter of when. The other point to consider is that this is just one aspect of the business relationship, this doesn't take into account other areas that could suffer such as: customer service, overall quality of work, resources at the customer's disposal, and most important- YOUR BRAND. This is something to consider the next time you have a chance to save $50.

The Main Value to An Agent - the main value we bring to an agent is NOT ONLY "better photos". It is establishing a "personal brand" that communicates to the public that a quality experience can be expected if you call them. When you choose one quality photographer, you’re also getting consistency. You’re getting a ‘look’ that when perspective clients shop and view your portfolio they not only immediately see the high quality of the work, but that it’s stylistically consistent. That you’ve worked hard on your brand.

Whether it’s myself, or someone else, I highly recommend that you interview your potential photographer. Why techniques do you use? Which post-processing techniques do you use? Will I work with the same photographer on every listing to achieve uniform results? Do you stand by your work?

"You get what you pay for"

‘The Jam Study’, and Visual Marketing for Real Estate. by Brian Sokolowski

‘In a California gourmet market, Professor Iyengar and her research assistants set up a booth of samples of Wilkin & Sons jams. Every few hours, they switched from offering a selection of 24 jams to a group of six jams. On average, customers tasted two jams, regardless of the size of the assortment, and each one received a coupon good for $1 off one Wilkin & Sons jam.’

‘Here’s the interesting part. Sixty percent of customers were drawn to the large assortment, while only 40 percent stopped by the small one. But 30 percent of the people who had sampled from the small assortment decided to buy jam, while only 3 percent of those confronted with the two dozen jams purchased a jar.’

Jam Study

 

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How does the Jam Study relate to Visual Real Estate Marketing? When potential Home Buyers are presented with too many choices, photographs, videos, 3D graphics- they check out… literally. Click fatigue sets in, and their brains realize that they’re being made to WORK MORE, and they begin to look for an out.

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 In this case, that ‘out’ being the next listing. If given the choice between blankly staring at 50-70 mediocre photos, a three minute video, and a virtual realty tour, or 15-25 well crafted, well thought out photographs that promote a way of living, and create a portrait of that potential new way of life, consumers are almost always going to choose the latter. But don’t take my word for it- check out this article from The Marketing Insider Group: Why Less Is More

‘2018 doesn’t have to be the year you adopt every new marketing innovation. That’s not what will give your customers the best experience. Pay attention to what people are begging for – it’s space and simplicity. That doesn’t mean your customers want to be ignored, far from it. But they want to focus on what matters, so make your brand fit into their idea of what’s essential.’ Michael Brenner, author of The Content Formula

In 2018, we’re at a point of over-saturation. Consumers are moving towards a more minimal approach to their lives. Why don’t we take advantage of that in our marketing approach, and create something that compliments this? As always, thanks for reading, and we hope to see you soon!

Taking advantage of South Florida’s demographic. Or, ‘Why aren’t we?’ by Brian Sokolowski

If you spend any time looking at Real Estate Photography from Europe, you’d find that it’s very different than American Real Estate Photography. In fact, they don’t even call it Real Estate Photography… it’s ‘Property Photography’ there. They don’t utilize HDR- that’s an inferior process- therefore it’s not even in their lexicon. They shoot with a lot of natural light, and flash blended with natural light. Generally they leave the lights off- this gives a much cleaner, airy and open feel to the photos, and eliminates any ugly color casts which can destroy the mood of the photo. In general, to survive as a property photographer there- you need to be good… really good. 

What has that done to the market, and to the consumer? It’s made them much more visually literate. Simply put- they’re used to looking at very high quality photography. So why aren’t we as a market taking advantage of the large European real estate contingency in South Florida? Why aren’t we bringing them home- so to speak? If you have a moment, take a look at the photography marketing page of Fantastic Frank’s Real Estate (Berlin and Stockholm) Web-site. And then have a look at The South Florida MLS.  

Fantastic Frank

I’m willing to bet that if we started to emulate what the buyers market is used to seeing, the numbers would rise. And maybe more importantly, so would your brand recognition.