Business & Marketing Strategy for Real Estate Photographers | Steven Ungermann | Skillshare

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Business & Marketing Strategy for Real Estate Photographers

teacher avatar Steven Ungermann, HausPhotoMedia.com

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

15 Lessons (1h 31m)
    • 1. Introduction to the Course

      2:24
    • 2. Trends & Seasonal Factors

      4:36
    • 3. Market Overview

      3:04
    • 4. Client Profile

      3:53
    • 5. Market Research & Testing

      3:49
    • 6. Evaluating Your Competition

      6:03
    • 7. Products & Services

      2:56
    • 8. Pricing Strategy

      3:35
    • 9. Portfolio Development

      2:57
    • 10. Digital Marketing Strategies

      12:12
    • 11. Direct Marketing Strategies

      11:30
    • 12. Business Structure

      15:28
    • 13. Business Finance Overview

      13:40
    • 14. Business Opportunities

      3:23
    • 15. Conclusion of Course

      1:00
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About This Class

This course provides a blueprint for setting up and growing your real estate photography business through an effective business strategy and development of a comprehensive marketing plan. The course has been divided into several modules to cover the most important aspects of the business.

Market Overview

Lectures one and two discuss how under and oversupply of properties in the real estate market influence the demand for real estate photography services. You will also learn how to define your market and understand how to establish your share of the market.

Client Profile

Lecture three covers, in detail, how to develop a strong understanding of your client profile and how their budget, values, and personal and company values affect their decision to use your services.

Market Research & Testing

Market research and testing are explained in lectures 4 and 5, where you will learn how to develop a market research survey, test your photography services, and perform a competitive analysis using the template provided.

Service Development & Pricing Strategy

Lectures 6 and 7 will explain how to develop your service offering and establish your pricing strategy using the resources collected in the previous lecture.

An overview of how to develop your portfolio is covered in lecture eight along with how to present your images to potential clients through a website for your business.

Digital & Direct Marketing Strategies

A comprehensive list of digital and direct marketing strategies are provided in lectures 9 and 10 to assist you in reaching out to potential clients for your business.

Business Structure & Finance

Lecture 11 provides an overview of how to set up your business structure, and in Lecture 12 you will be provided tips on funding your business, in addition to a brief overview of the financial components needed to complete the financial plan templates.

Business Opportunities

The final part of the course outlines potential opportunities to explore after your business is established, such as hiring staff and contractors, new product development, and business acquisitions.

Notes

  • The course is delivered in slide-show format to make it easier for students to refer back to certain lectures in the future at different stages of their business growth. The lectures are delivered at a slow, comfortable pace, however, feel free to speed up or slow-down the instructor’s voice to go at your own speed.
  • Please note this course focuses on the business and marketing aspects of a real estate photography business. If you wish to learn about real estate photography techniques and workflow practices, please refer to our first course in this series; The Real Estate Photography Masterclass.

Why Learn From Us?

The course producer; Steven Ungermann, is a professional real estate photographer and founder of multiple businesses in the fields of property marketing and proptech. Recent accolades include being listed in the Anthill 30 under 30 list and being named a finalist in the Broadcasting & Television 30u30 Awards and the Australian Small Business Champion Awards.

He started his real estate photography business in 2009 while studying at university and grew it into a 6-figure company servicing some of the world’s largest commercial and residential real estate franchises in addition to boutique agencies and property developers. In 2019 he founded Haus Photo Media, to provide photographers with educational resources such as this course, to help start and grow their own real estate photography business.

Meet Your Teacher

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Steven Ungermann

HausPhotoMedia.com

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Transcripts

1. Introduction to the Course: Welcome to the second course in our series, business and marketing strategies for real estate photographers. The content learned throughout this course, in addition to the resources provided, should equip you with the knowledge and research skills to gain a deep understanding of your target market and your competitors. The course will also assist you with establishing your business strategy and enable you to complete a comprehensive marketing plan to kick-start the growth of your real estate photography business. The first two lectures will cover how under an oversupply of properties and the real estate market influence the demand for real estate photography services. You will also learn how to define your market and understand how to establish your businesses. Chair of the market. Lecture three covers in detail how to develop a strong understanding of your clients profile and how their budget, values and personal and company values affect their decision to use your services. Market research and testing is explained in lectures 45, where you will learn how to develop a market research, survey, test your photography services, and perform a competitive analysis using the templates provided. Lecture 67 will explain in detail how to develop your service offering and establish your pricing strategy using what you learned in the previous lecture. An overview of how to develop your portfolio was covered in lecture eight, along with how to present your images to potential clients through a website of your business. A comprehensive list of digital and direct marketing strategies are provided in lectures 910 to assist you in reaching out to potential clients for your business. Lecture 11 provides an overview of how to choose and set up your business structure. And in Lecture 12, you will be provided tips on funding your business in addition to breakdown of financial components, which includes multiple financial templates, the final part of the course outlines potential opportunities to explore after your businesses established, such as hiring staff and contractors, new product development and business acquisitions. Thanks for enrolling in this course, and I hope you enjoy it. 2. Trends & Seasonal Factors: Lecture one, trends and seasonal factors. Photographing real estate with a 35-millimeter SLR film camera 30 years ago, was much more difficult than shooting with a digital SLR camera. Today, the technology has improved so much over the last 30 years that you can compose the image with your flip up live view LCD screen as the cameras sits on your tripod, you can change the ISO by pressing a few buttons instead of changing the film to a new film speed. And can even export the images wirelessly to your laptop computer. Technology that make cameras easier to use resulted in an influx of professional photographers and all genres of photography with portraiture, wedding, and landscape photography being the most popular. Thankfully, real estate photography has remained a niche genre, which means there is still some great opportunities to establish a thriving real estate photography business with relatively few competitors, depending on the locations you wish to service. The two greatest influences on the demand for real estate photography from agents or the property market and the education level of the real estate industry. Over the last decade, there have been fluctuations in demand for real estate photography. As the technology improvements and smart phones and point and shoot cameras had a slight edge on some of the low to medium range digital SLR cameras. Many agents did not understand the value of Professional Real Estate photography and believed a high number of megapixels in their phone or digital camera gave them the ability to produce high-quality images for their listings. Thankfully, in recent times, technology in digital SLR cameras has considerably improved and the real estate industry is much better educated on the value of hiring a professional to photograph their property listings. Large online property platforms have invested in educating their clients, real estate agents, on the importance of high-quality photography as it helps the aesthetics and performance of their own platform by improving the quality of the listings and photographs which generate results for their users. The property market fluctuates over time according to interest rates, government expenditure and microeconomic factors such as consumer demand and rates of unemployment. If the market is tightly held and there are very few sales or rental listings. This is great for existing owners and investors as property prices will steadily increase. However, there are fewer listings for agents to sell and in turn, fewer listings for photographers to shoot. This increases competition between photographers and can lead to some photographers reducing their prices to encourage bookings and maintain cashflow for their business. During these times, it is best to maintain your prices, but also to ensure that you are offering great value to your customers by adding extra value and providing same day turnaround, processing a few additional photos, or even bringing them coffee to the shoots. Occasionally, when there is an oversupply of properties, it can be bad news for investors and agents trying to sell or rent as their listings may sit vacant, unsold on the market for an extended period, resulting in loss rental income and or reduced sale price. Although this is unfortunate for investors and those relying on commissions as an income. It has been official for real estate photographers because an oversupply causes the property market to become even more competitive as more options become available to buyers and renters, smart agents will invest more in their marketing campaigns to help their listings stand out amongst competing listings. This provides greater demand for real estate photographers and their professional photography floor plans and other marketing services. The rental property market is most active during the third quarter of the year as families put their home up for sale or rent and settled into a new home before the Christmas holiday season. Spring is a popular time for people to sell their property as their home tends to look its best due to the enhanced greenery and colors that this season brings. Keeping in mind when the peak seasons are for sales and rental activity in your location will assist you with planning your marketing activities and allocating staff or contractors throughout the year. 4. Client Profile: Lecture three, client profile. You need to be able to provide your clients with services and products that help them create a campaign that generates strong interest, exceeds the anticipated results and then encourages referrals due to the effectiveness of the campaign. To do this, you need to have a deep understanding of your customers to establish their buying motives and the problems that they face daily. Depending on the property sector you wish to focus on. Your clients will consist of commercial and residential real estate agents who require professional photography and other services to use in their listings. Commercial real estate agents will normally require aerial photography, especially if they are selling development sites, large retail stores and industrial buildings as they will need to highlight proximity to road networks, housing estates and or capacity of the car parking facilities. They also need to be able to effectively show potential buyers the size of the building and land size from an elevated height. Residential real estate agents will need good-quality internal and external images. However, some may also require floor plans, video and aerial photography. Depending on the property and budget, your clients will favor and use your services because your business provides them with value and aligns with their budget values. Personal and company preference is, some agents will have a preset marketing budget that will include an allowance for professional photography with sales agents generally having a larger budget than rental and leasing agents. Depending on the anticipated sale price of a property, the agent will discuss with the vendor the need for additional services such as aerial photography, 3D, home tours, Lifestyle photography, floor plans, et cetera. Having a large range of services will assist you in securing these larger listings and in turn, dramatically boost your business revenue. The level of personalization you apply to your business can have an influence on your client's decision to use your services, has some preferred to be heavily involved in the photography process. And we'll organize the photo shoot with the vendor, meet you on site, and even help you style the home during the shoot. However, there are others that are so busy that they find organizing and attending photo shoots and inconvenience. If your client is a part of a large agency with many property managers or agents, sometimes you won't even meet your client and you will receive work orders or bookings by email with the property address and access details. Some may be time poor or place less importance on the photo shoot and will prefer you to organize the photo shoot with the vendor or even pick up the keys. Customizing your service by offering clients the option to have property keys to be collected from their office or photo shoots to be organized with tenants or owners on their behalf can be attractive to some agents who are time poor and looking for a real estate photographer who provides an efficient and streamlined service. If you have an existing relationship with an agent or agency through business connections, family or friends. This can be a good enough reason for an agent to use your services. Customer service and quality control are far easier to manage with a small number of close clients. If you are running a one-person operation, having a high volume of clients can be good financially. However, it can sometimes be better having fewer clients with better client relationships built on a foundation of exceptional customer service and a genuine desire to build real connections. Again, this depends on your personal goals and business strategy. 5. Market Research & Testing: Lecture for market research and testing. To fully understand the real estate photography market in the region U will be servicing. You must engage with your market from an early stage. Ideally, when you are writing your business plan and developing your shooting technique and Portfolio. One of the most cost effective methods to research your customer is to create a survey and distribute this to the agents in your area. You can hire a freelancer to compile a list of real estate agents in your region along with their contact details which are usually available on each agency website. Using the information you have collected, you can individually email or call each agent with an introduction to your upcoming business venture and then provide them a link to your online survey. The survey should be broken down into multiple sections with questions based around demographics, business information, current hiring activities, products and services, and pricing and payment preferences. When developing the survey, it is a good idea to include a small prize that will be drawn at random by a due date. People are much more likely to give you their time and complete your survey. If you are offering the chance to win something of value to them, the prize could be anything from a cash prize, gift, voucher, bottles of wine, or even an iPad, depending on your budget. To save money on the cash prize. You can also partner with a local wine producer or local retailer to advertise their business in the prize section of the survey so that they can gain exposure from the people that you contact in exchange for a prize. There are many online survey platforms available for free, such as Survey Monkey type forms and Google Forms. A copy of a survey template has also been included as a part of this lecture. Testing your photography and marketing services. As you develop your portfolio, you should test the quality of your product, photography, floor plans and other services you're providing. By establishing a virtual focus group of local real estate agents to review your photographs. He may also like to get feedback from online forums that many real estate photography groups on Facebook and family and friends who have sold their home before. Another way to test your product and grow your portfolio at the same time is to complete a free photo shoot for a trusted agent, friend or family member who is selling a home. They will be able to provide feedback. And if the home receives a lot of inquiries, you will have more confidence in the quality of your paid photo shoots. Regarding free photo shoots, you should avoid doing these if an agent asks you to do it for free with the promise of giving you more work in the future. It's fine if you ask them if you can do it for free to build your portfolio. But most agents that request free photo shoots normally lack the ability to sell. The importance of investing in marketing to their client, let alone the ability to sell a home. You will find that real estate agents who asked for free photo shoots will not become a long-term client and will eventually exit the industry due to poor performance. Results of testing. The results from your survey focus group and test shoot feedback should be used to develop your service offering and pricing strategy. Discussed in lecture 56, as you will have an understanding of your target markets, budget, and service requirements. In addition to this important information, you will also be able to identify areas in your photography skills and other services you offer that need improvement. 6. Evaluating Your Competition: Lecture five, evaluating your competition. Preparing an evaluation of your competitors will give you a clear indication of your position within the market regarding brand power, pricing, strengths and weaknesses, marketing activities, service offering, and quality of work. It also helps identify areas of your business that you can improve to give yourself a competitive advantage. Please download the competitor analysis template that comes with this lecture so that you can complete your own analysis as you work through this lecture, you will need to conduct your own research to complete a list of all the real estate photographers and your service area, and then complete the inputs for each column to complete the analysis. Competitor swot analysis. Swot stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. A swot analysis is an exercise that can help you clarify and focus on the specifics that make up the four areas that most affect your business. The purpose of a swot analysis is to help you build on your businesses strengths, minimize and strengthen weaknesses, and take the greatest possible advantage of potential opportunities while formulating a plan to deal with potential threats from your competitors. The swot analysis is a tool for auditing your business and its environment, both internal and external. It forms an important part of your strategic planning process and takes into account not only your business, but also your competitors activities and current industry and marketplace trends. You can use this analysis as a tool to identify different internal and external factors that may affect your real estate photography business. To assist with gathering the information required for a swot analysis, you can research your competitors online and view their business reviews and testimonials. You can also research their websites to find portfolios and pricing forums and online discussion groups. My E Facebook groups will also provide valuable information on your competitors. There are services you can use to discover your competitors marketing activities. Websites such as SEM rush and rival iq.com are great tools for social media analysis, email tracking and keyword analysis of their SEO activities. What are your competitors strengths? Find out what your competition is doing right, and be better at it than they are in as many areas as possible. To develop your strategy by asking yourself the following questions. Do they have fast turnaround times? If they provide their clients with completed photographs within 24 hours or the shoot, you can try to provide your photographs on the same day as the shoot. You will need to set up an efficient to post-production process and upload the files to your editors immediately after each photo shoot. Photo editing services such as property rendered.com can edit and deliver photos on the same day. Is their website well-presented and easy to navigate? Spend time analyzing their website to see what areas you can improve on your website. Don't copy there's, but take the best features from each of your competitors websites and to build your own website inspired by these elements, what are your competitors weaknesses. Your competition will have weaknesses like any other company. So you need to understand how to turn your competition's weaknesses into opportunities for your business. Are there Services Limited to basic real estate photography? You should also look at the opportunities that arise from what your competitor does not do. And then capitalize on this. For example, if they don't yet offer 3D home scans. But you can see a growing demand for this product. You should approach their clients with this service, with the potential for them to switch to your business if you can provide a one-stop shop, what are your competitors opportunities? It's been official to identify your competitors opportunities so that you can have an understanding of their next move. If your business is in a similar stage of growth, you may be able to jump on these upcoming opportunities before them and gain a competitive advantage. What threats does the competition pose? Focusing on threats is just as important as strengths and weaknesses. Listing your competitors threats can help identify areas in your own business that you will need to improve to grow and remain competitive. For example, if you see in your local job classifieds that one of your competitors is hiring new photographers. This is a good indication that they are growing or have secured a new contract with a large real estate agency. If your competitor has a strong relationship with local real estate agents, it may be difficult to break into the local market. You'll need to ensure your marketing strategy has a focus on building relationships with agents through networking and face to face meetings. Because they will probably ignore any print or digital media promotions if they are already happy with their photographer. Conducting a swot analysis will help you see where you are positioned within the real estate photography industry and aid you in using your competitors strengths and weaknesses for your benefit, as well as realising opportunities early. It also enables you to identify threats and deal with them before they negatively impact your business. A competitive advantage can be in the form of competitive pricing. Faster turnaround times, high-quality photography and services. A high level of innovation and many more qualities favored by the real estate industry. The level of your competitive advantage depends on the number of your competitors and the quality of service that they offer. 7. Products & Services: Lecture six, products and services. To develop your services and products offering, you need to gather the results from the competitor analysis, survey results, and you also need to list your skills and experience. Keep in mind, you will need to offer at least the primary services required to compile an online real estate listing, which usually includes interior and exterior photography and floor plans. Solely offering photography can discourage clients from using your services as they will be required to contact another real estate photographer for additional services such as floor plans that are regularly packaged with photography. If this happens, they will most likely use their photography services to, as it will be much easier for them to deal with one business instead of to. The photography services you offer will set the foundation for your real estate photography business. The different types of photography services to be provided should include daytime, residential and commercial photography, twilight photography, and aerial photography, as well as floor plans. You would typically provide the client with at least eight to 16 images of their property, depending on the type of shoot IE sale or rental and the size of property. As a rule, you should have the ability to offer your clients next day turnaround on the photographs as they are normally under pressure from their clients to publish their property listing in a timely manner to offer next day or even same-day turnaround, you will need to have editing staff for contractors to edit the images as soon as possible to ensure that the images are ready to send to the client by the next morning. Depending on your resources, you can also offer a variety of secondary services to cater for different property subsectors and agents who specialize in projects marketing. Examples of additional services can include 362 years. Slide shows, virtual staging, real estate video, and other innovative services. 8. Pricing Strategy: Lecture seven, pricing strategy. When setting prices for each of your services, there are many things you need to take into consideration. The three main influences on your pricing are the survey results from the market, your competitor's pricing, from your competitor analysis. And whether your goal is to be priced in the low, middle, or high end of the market. Each price point has its own set of advantages and disadvantages that you also need to consider when setting your price lower and pricing, making your services affordable and slightly lower than your competitors can make it easier for you to find clients in the beginning, you're low prices might attract less experienced agents. However, it will still give you a chance to build a client base and earn some revenue to help you build your business. This pricing strategy may also be fair if you are just starting and the quality of your work needs improvement. Be careful with setting your price is too low as this can damage your brand from the very beginning. Your prices can be an indicator of the quality of the work people can expect. When many newcomers enter the market with extremely low prices, it can drag down the prices that other photographers can charge, especially if the work is similar and quality. Low pricing can be dangerous not only for your company image, but also your bottom line, as it may barely be enough to cover travel, editing and business expenses. Mid-range pricing, pricing your services in the mid-range of the market is generally the safest option as your services are still affordable to the majority of the market. And you should be making an acceptable profit after accounting for your expenses. There will be more competition in this price range. However, this gives you the opportunity to stand out by offering greater value than your competitors through faster turnaround times, better quality services, and different add ons to your existing services such as free basic digital de-cluttering, upper end pricing. When you price your services at a premium, this means that you have the potential to achieve a high profit margin for your business and require a lower volume of sales to achieve the same profit than if you priced your services at the low or mid-range. Premium pricing can help to enhance your brand identity and will cater to the budgets of agents marketing luxury homes. The challenge with premium pricing is that this can be difficult to initiate and maintain as you need to have a strong brand and a loyal customer base of agents with generous marketing budgets, the quality of your work is required to be an extremely high standard and needs to consistently produce results for your client, for them to justify paying the higher prices for your services. If you can't provide them with these benefits, there's a chance they will work with one of your competitors with more affordable pricing and similar or better quality work. Factors to consider in your pricing strategy. There are many ongoing costs associated with running a real estate photography business. These include camera gear, repairs, computer, software subscriptions, editing fees, website hosting services, marketing expenses, internet and phone, vehicle and travel costs, insurance, et cetera. You need to consider these when finalizing your pricing to ensure that you cover these expenses and still make an acceptable profit. More of the financial aspect of the business will be covered in lecture 12. 9. Portfolio Development: Lecture eight, portfolio and website development. Your photography and service portfolio will be one of your strongest marketing tools as people will rarely use your real estate photography services without first viewing samples of your photography and learning more about what you can offer them. You should promote your portfolio on a well-designed, easy to navigate website and also on your businesses social media platforms. While building your portfolio, you should also be building the website that you will be hosting your image gallery and services on. The website will provide information for new and existing customers and should also provide clients with a convenient way to book a property shoot online. The website needs to be attractive and consistent with your businesses branding. It should contain a portfolio, contact details, social media links, and detailed information on each of your services. There are many freelance web developers online who can build your website according to your specifications, or you can easily build one yourself at Wix.com. The portfolio was the foundation of your business growth. As everyone you approach will want to see the quality of your work before investing their or their clients money. Before you have regular photo shoot bookings, it can be difficult to have access to a variety of properties to photograph and build up your portfolio. Some methods of accessing modern and well styled homes include visiting display homes, photographing your own home, asking friends and family and offering free shoots. Many new housing estates and apartment buildings will have a variety of display homes and apartments for the public to view. If you approach the sales agent and explained to them that you are trying to build a real estate photography portfolio. They will usually let you take photos of the display homes. It is best to only approach them on a weekday when the display suites are quiet as you will have a better chance of being allowed to go through with your camera equipment. Make use of your connections by approaching friends and family and asking if you can photograph their home in exchange for a set of images of their property. If they are putting their home on the market, they may be able to provide these images to the real estate agent who is selling or renting the property. If the agent likes the images, they may also contact you to shoot their future listings. Completing free photo shoots for new real estate agents is an excellent way to grow your portfolio when you are starting out, they will be able to provide feedback. And if the home receives a lot of inquiries, you can offer to shoot for them in the future. Once you have established a strong portfolio for the photography and the marketing services you plan to offer. You'll be able to maximize the effectiveness of the marketing strategies discussed in Lecture 910 of this course. 10. Digital Marketing Strategies : Lecture nine, marketing and promotion strategies. There are many marketing strategies that can be applied to this business, and fortunately, many are relatively low-cost. These marketing strategies should not only help you win new clients, but will also help you grow your brand awareness over the long term. You should have your portfolio and website completed prior to executing these promotional strategies so that potential clients have somewhere to go to see the quality of your work. Learn about your services and contact you to make bookings. Utilize the marketing action plan template included in this lecture to plan, execute, and keep track of the marketing and promotional strategies in this course. Although there are some marketing methods described below that can help you obtain new clients quickly. In the beginning, you should think of your marketing as planting seeds. Every email, networking breakfast, or Facebook advertisement is a seed planted that can sprout when you receive a reply, email, phone call, or Facebook message sometime in the future, there's no need to panic if you don't get results from your marketing strategies straight away. Remember that the more CG plant, the more chance your efforts will result in new clients down the track. Potential clients may not need your services right away when they see your Instagram ad or when you sent them an email. However, when the time comes for them to sell or lease a property, they may go back through their inbox to find your email and reach out. Social media is a free tool that everyone should utilize as it is one of the most effective ways to connect with potential clients. Not only is it free, but it is one of the best ways to organically grow your audience through content creation and to brand awareness, which leads to inquiries about your service from potential clients. There are several major social media platforms that you should have a presence on, but the most frequently used by the real estate industry, our Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, house, and YouTube. Makes sure that you consistently post your best work and engage with your followers by following back on their accounts and replying to all comments. To save time scheduling and posting on all your social media accounts use a scheduling tool such as buffer.com. Having more than almost 2 billion users. Facebook is the most popular social media platform and one of the most visited websites in the world. It gives you the ability to connect with your chosen demographic through paid advertising. However, it is also great for organic growth through people liking and sharing your posts with their network. The paid promotion feature can be a creative and effective part of your sales funnel to acquire new clients in your local area and boost visitors to your website. Spend time searching and joining the mini real estate and real estate photography groups. Having a presence and participating in genuine conversation within these groups can make it easier to connect with those looking for new photographers. Instagram is an image-based social media platform that works well for photographers. It can be a great tool to promote your work without overselling yourself. You can use Instagram to curate your best photos while also sharing bits about your profession and life to show that there is a real person behind the camera. Add some behind the scenes shots from projects to show a more human side to your business and highlight your business culture. Having a Twitter account is an excellent tool for connecting with business and influencers. Twitter is very different from other social platforms since there's a 280 character limit. Use Twitter to promote your work and link up your blog post or post photos from your recent projects. Follow other photographers and real estate agents in your area and connect to network with people from your industry. Twitter is all about community. So connect, tweet and retweet content to get the most out of this platform. When it comes to professional networking online, LinkedIn is the top platform, not Twitter and not even Facebook. It has fewer members and Facebook with around 500 million users worldwide. But the platform provides a robust marketing and engagement system featuring group discussion boards, private messaging, and blogging. All those statistics show that this social platform is used mostly by people looking for crafting or fashion inspiration. Pinterest can be used for the real estate photography business as well. The best way to use Pinterest is to promote your work and link these images to your website. Make sure that you create appropriate boards that connect to your work such as bathrooms, kitchens, exteriors, et cetera. Many photographers and the real estate industry all over the world are active on how's it is a great place to promote some of your best work to the Industry, List your services, and provide your contact details so that potential clients can get in touch if they would like more information. If you are providing real estate video services to your clients, you should have a YouTube channel where you are hosting your clients videos. It is also a great method of promoting your work and connecting with your clients and target market by following their channels and staying up to date with their listings and progress. Seo ensures your website can be easily found in search engines when people are searching words relevant to your business. Offering. A great SEO campaign results in better exposure, more website traffic, and increased trust from the consumer, which leads to more inquiries about your services. And effective SEO strategy should comprise of creating a great user experience, quality content, link, building relevant meta descriptions and headlines. Ensure your website is quick to load, does not include unnecessary information and is also optimized for use on mobile platforms. Each page on your website should utilize descriptive page titles, keywords, and meta descriptions in addition to a strong call-to-action IE book. Now, Contact me, call us, et cetera. The content on your website should be unique and relevant to your target audience to improve its scoring by Google. When writing articles for your blog, you should use forward keywords and long-form content for better results. For example, instead of floor plans, you should write floor plans for real estate as a headline. A strong and catchy headline attracts attention from the user and the search results, while well-constructed and relevant meta descriptions can have a positive influence on click-through rates. As Google generally ranks your website in search results based on the quality and number of backlinks that has, it is important to spend time building high-quality and genuine backlinks. Some methods include guest blogging, submitting articles and links to various websites, targeting high profile websites, contributing to forums, completing online interviews and submitting testimonials. Creating and executing a strong SEO campaign is time-consuming and requires a lot of effort, but it is fundamental in establishing a high ranking on Google search results organically. If you want to save time that is involved in planning and executing an SEO strategy, you can outsource this work to an SEO professional. Ppc is a type of Internet Marketing where you are charged a fee when somebody clicks on your advertisement. The three types of PPC advertising methods that can be effective for your real estate photography business includes social media advertising, paid search marketing, IE, Google ads, and display advertising. The most effective social media platforms for paid advertising, our Facebook and Instagram, as they have the largest audiences and you can target certain demographics and interests, resulting in higher click-through rates and more genuine leads. Using banners, text, and image ads on different websites that link back to your own is known as display advertising. These generally are less effective than social media and paid search marketing, however, they are great for building brand awareness. The largest provider of paid search marketing is Google Ads, which show your ads to users that are searching the keywords you have selected when setting up your ad campaign. It allows you to bid on the maximum price you wish to pay for your ad to appear in the Google search results when someone carries out a search that comprises the keyword. For example, if you've been on real estate photography, it may appear at the top of the search results when an agent types this into Google, the cost per click is higher for more popular words, with some of the most expensive words being insurance, casino, business services costing more than $55 per-click in 2018. The word photography is also expensive, but narrowing down the keyword search to property photography, real estate photos, et cetera, is more affordable as less people are bidding on these keywords. To get the best results from your PPC advertising, you should start with a relatively small budget and experiment with different ads by changing the headlines, graphics, and other variance depending on which type of PPC advertising you are using. Other forms of PPC advertising include affiliate marketing and price comparison website advertising. However, these are not usually irrelevant to service-based businesses, such as real estate photography. High-quality articles form the basis of content marketing to help raise brand awareness, bring new visitors to your website and contribute to a successful SEO campaign. All three of these factors improve leads and generate new clients. You should write articles that provide free advice and tips to your audience and then publish this on your website, social media platforms, and on free press release and article submission websites such as Medium.com. You can extend your reach by compiling a list of real estate architecture, home decor, sales and marketing blogs and asking them if you can publish an article on their website as a guest writer. This exposes your brand to a new audience that is relevant to your business. Example topics include how to generate more genuine leads for your listing. How technology is changing the way we market real estate. Ten tips to lease your property faster, et cetera. Your articles should provide value to the reader and not directly promote your business. However, it is important to mention your company within the article and provide a link to your website. If the website you approach to publish your article receives a high volume of web traffic. You may need to submit a sponsored post in which you pay them to publish your article. This can be beneficial if it suits your budget and their readers or your target market. However, if they are charging significant amounts of money for sponsored posts, you should request a media kit to see if they are worth the investment. This document should outline the number of subscribers, social media followers they have for each platform. In addition to their websites, monthly page views, monthly unique visitors and reader demographics, people are more likely to leave a review about a business on Google business page or Facebook page if they are unhappy with the service than if they were happy with the service. Because of this, you should politely ask each of your friends and clients if they can leave a review on your Google business page, Facebook page, et cetera. And you can offer to do the same for them, for their business. Having many positive reviews can have a significant effect on the growth of your business as potential clients will trust the quality of your service if they can see that dozens of successful agents are impressed enough with your service, that they are taking the time to write reviews. After you have received some great reviews, you should copy and paste the best onto your website to be displayed on your homepage or testimonial page to promote the credibility of your services. Further, in the next lecture, we will discuss some more traditional direct marketing strategies you can deploy to grow your business. 11. Direct Marketing Strategies: Lecture ten, direct marketing strategies. In this lecture, we will cover a range of direct marketing strategies to help grow your business. Remember to use the marketing action plan included in the previous lecture to keep track of your marketing activities. Referrals or word of mouth, are the most effective method of advertising is it helps your business grow organically and your existing customers do all the work for you. You never have to sell the benefits of your service as your customers do that for you by telling their friends or colleagues about the wonderful experiences they've had using your business. Referrals really are the key to long-term growth in this business. For example, if you are working with one agent within an agency and they encouraged three of their colleagues within the same office to start using your services. You now for clients without having to spend any money on advertising. If each agent in that office is listing one sale or rental property per week and you charge a $150 per photo shoot, your revenue just increased from $600 per month to $2400 per month without spending a cent on marketing. All you did was provide a great service that your existing client was happy enough with to share with their colleagues. Real estate agents and property managers tend to change companies quite frequently as their careers developed or they are poached by other agencies as agents, switch offices and continue to refer their new colleagues to your business, you will eventually establish a substantial client base. For example, if you are working with four agents from one agency and two of those agents move to different agencies after a few months. They may refer your business to three more agents in each of these two new agencies. If this same scenario happens to any of the agents within these two new agencies, after another few months, you would now be providing real estate photography services to 22 agents across seven agencies. This allows you to go from 2400 per month to 13,200 total revenue per month and less than 12 months. If you encourage referrals through great service. In addition to executing the marketing strategies outlined in this course, you should experience significant business growth, leading to new opportunities such as hiring staff or acquiring a competitor. Is business. The best way to get referrals like this is to work with highly respected agents and provide them with an outstanding service that they will want to share with their entire team. If you wish to encourage your existing clients to refer your business to their colleagues and friends in the industry. You can also offer an incentive such as a gift card for each new client. They refer to your business. Referral partnerships involve working with a business that you are not competing with, but both of you share the same type of client. For example, a cleaner is typically hired by a property manager or on-site manager who is responsible for leasing and maintenance of the property. They are also in charge of hiring photographers to provide the visual materials when it comes time to lease one of the properties they manage. If the cleaner has agreed to a referral partnership with you, they can recommend your business to their clients in exchange for you to do the same with your existing and future clients. As the referral comes from someone that the property manager knows and trusts, they will be more likely to give your services, uh, try the next time they are required. Referral partnerships can also work online by sending traffic to another company's website in exchange for them sending traffic to your website. This can be done by simply having a partner's page on your website where you list your referral partner logos. You can also do mutual shoutouts on social media where you both advertise each other's service and they post on social media. Attending open homes to meet the residential sales or leasing agent is a type of face-to-face marketing strategy that involves going to open homes, introducing yourself to the agent and briefly telling them about your services. It also gives you a chance to learn about their business, their requirements, and helps build some rapport with the agent. Keep the conversation short and sweet. As they have limited time at each open home and will need to pay attention to others who are inspecting the open home. Simply make a list of all the open homes in the area you wish to target and then attend each one to meet the agent and give them your business card. They will most likely give you a copy of their business card too, and you can send them a follow-up email the following week. Depending on how busy the open homes are in your target area, you may need to attend mid-week open homes as you don't want to be an inconvenience by taking away time that could have been spent answering other people's questions. Although direct mail is becoming obsolete, mailing out a copy of your brochure or flyer to all the real estate agencies in your target area can be used as a form of safety net. If the receptionist or administration manager doesn't throw your flyer into the bin, there is a chance it will end up on the desk of one of their agents, business development manager or marketing manager. If this person is planning to hire a photographer, there's a chance that they could call or email you, in which you can then organize a meeting or a photo shoot with this agency. It is also worth following up the agency a week after sending out the flyers to see if they have received your brochure and whether they have any questions about your services. If they don't wish to use your services, there's still an opportunity to ask them a few questions and learn about their business. Keep copies of your brochures in your car and dropped these into the mailboxes of houses with a for sale sign in the front yard. The owner may pass this onto the agent or higher you privately to shoot their home. You and your staff will spend many hours on the road traveling between shoots. Take advantage of a free advertising opportunity, using a vehicle wrap or car signage to promote your business branding services and websites while you're on the road. A well-designed vehicle wrap may prompt more phone calls, website visits, and bookings. If a full vehicle rap is out of your budget or not practical for you. You can also start with a decal on the rear window of the car. Networking is a great way to meet potential clients as the attendees are usually motivated to meet new people in the industry and to make genuine business connections. Start by making a list of networking events in your area that you can attend for free or at a minimal cost. Try to find events that your target market will be attending, such as real estate investment and real estate marketing training events. Conferences also provide great networking opportunities. However, there is usually a substantial cost associated with attending these type of multi-day events. To find upcoming networking events, either perform a Google search using events website such as eventbrite.com, or look up the events page of your local real estate Institute, chamber of commerce or business bureau websites. When attending networking events. Remember that the key to being a good conversationalist is being a good listener. Ensure you get a chance to tell the person about what you do. Give them plenty of time to tell you about themselves and what they do. Keep the conversation relatively short as you don't want to take up too much of people's time. They want to meet other people in the room. And so do you. Many events provide catering. However, it's best to avoid eating during the networking session as nothing makes a worst first impression than greeting someone knew with a piece of spinach stuck in your teeth or having horrible breath from the blue cheese you just engulfed. Just hold a drink in your left hand and keep your right-hand free for handshakes when you introduce yourself to new connections. Within a couple of days after the event, send each of the people you met a personalized email asking if they would like to catch up for coffee to continue the conversation and discuss ways you could help them with their business. Remember to exchange business cards at the event. So you have their details and don't forget to bring plenty of business cards of your own because you don't want to run out a coffee ketchup within a week after a networking event is a great way to lay the foundation for a solid business relationship, which will hopefully lead to them being a long-term client for your business. After the face-to-face meeting, don't forget to connect with their businesses social media pages so you can keep up to date with their business activities. Although sponsoring real estate industry events can be quite expensive, it can have great results as everyone at the event as a potential client and to the boost and brand awareness can be substantial. Make a list of the real estate award nights, business breakfasts, real estate training seminars and other real estate industry focus networking events in your area and then contact the organizers to collect details on sponsorship opportunities for their event. Depending on the type of sponsorship deal you negotiate with the event organizer. You may be able to distribute some of your marketing materials or give a speech in addition to having your logo and business name displayed on banners and other events signage, the face-to-face process involves calling the respondents from your market research survey and telling them about your services. If they are interested, they can make a booking or organize a meeting to discuss the services further. This method is also effective because communication is direct to the customers and they are already aware of your business because you have contacted them previously. Other essentials that you should have once you've finalized your business branding are a small range of stationery and promotional merchandise. Ie pins, note pads, and key rings that you can hand out to new and existing clients. When they need photography and marketing materials, your business name will be the first thing they think of if they regularly see your branding on their desk. Although letterheads are rarely used for this type of business, you should have a professional email signature comprised of your logo and the business name, name, tidal, website, phone number, address, and social media icons linking to your businesses, social media platforms. You should also consider your competitors marketing strategies and think about what platforms you have seen their ads on and what message they are trying to send. If you already have a friend or connection in the real estate industry or current client that you trust. You can ask them how other real estate photographers market their services to them. This can give you an insight into how your competitors are advertising their business and how much they are charging for their services. These insights will help you design your marketing strategy. So you're advertising methods are unique compared to your competitors. Ensure that you apply these marketing strategies to your business by utilizing the marketing action plan included in this course that outlines marketing channels. Action required, estimated cost, data of execution and measurement of success. The plan should be streamlined and measurable to assist budgeting and analyzing the results from your strategies. 12. Business Structure: Business structure and legal requirements. The legal components around a business are an essential part of setting the foundation for your real estate photography business. Taking the time to research, consult a professional, and then set up the appropriate business structure to suit your goals, will ensure everything runs smoothly from the start and can protect you from any nasty surprises in the future. This lecture has been structured to assist with choosing a business name, registering trademarks, and establishing the correct business structure. However, it's important to keep in mind that government regulations will differ between countries. The entire process involved in legally setting up the business may seem daunting, but it can be set up in a few days depending on the country in which you are establishing your business. The information provided in this lecture should be used strictly for informative purposes only, and you should seek your own professional advice outside of this course. Decide on a business name. Choosing a business name as a creative process, but it demands some careful planning to the business name should be catchy and easy to remember. It should reflect what the business does and it should inspire confidence. What's in a business name? A lot actually, your businesses named speaks volumes about what you represent and what you do. It is both a mark of identification and a branding and marketing mechanism. It needs to be something that can be easily recognized and remembered, as well as something that identifies both you and your line of business, photography and real estate. You should avoid using your name, especially if you are hoping to sell the business one day in the future. The business name should be short and catchy so that it is more interesting and more memorable. Avoid using location specific names in case your business changes or expands into new territories. Make sure that you check that your desired business name is also available as a domain name before registering it. Once you've chosen the name, you will need to legally registered ownership of your business name. Depending on where you will operate. You may be required to register that name with a local or government agency after checking its availability. You can research online or contact your local governments, Small Business Department or Chamber of Commerce to learn more about business name registration. After you've cleaned your name as your own, you can use it in other ways, such as in your company's branding and website, domain name, business type and tax strategy, you must determine the business structure that best suits you before you register your business with your local government body as each structure has its own legal and tax implications. It is important to note that each type of business structure in this lecture may be recognized under a different name depending on the country you are operating your business in, as well as the differences in legal and tax implications. The simplest business structure to operate within its sole proprietorship, which means you are self employed. Setting up as a sole trader is relatively simple, as you do not need to complete a significant amount of paperwork to get started and only need to complete a self-assessment tax form each year. There are many advantages including minimal setup costs and to basic tax reporting requirements. So there is no legal separation between you and your business. Being the sole owner, you also have total control over the business allowing you to make all the decisions and to benefit from all profits. However, as your business grows, you may find this structure restrictive and being a sole trader can carry a number of risks, particularly, and that's your liability for debts and any legal action taken against you is unlimited. You can be personally responsible for the liabilities and obligations of your business because there is no legal separation between the two parties. It can also be difficult to raise capital when needed, as banks and other lending institutions are hesitant to lend to a sole proprietor as they are perceived to have a lack of credibility when repaying business debts. A partnership consists of two or more people setting up a business together as self-employed individuals. Both parties share all the risks, responsibilities, profits, and expenses within the partnership. While there is no legal requirement for a partnership agreement or contract to exist, it is a good idea to have a partnership agreement drawn up. The agreement should also outline percentage of ownership, IE 50-50, profit share, dispute resolution, withdrawal or death. This method may work if you wish to start your real estate photography business with a business partner who specializes in one area such as photography or digital marketing. As it allows each business partner to focus on their strengths. There are three different types of partnerships within the United States, including a standard partnership, a limited partnership, and a limited liability partnership. You need to be aware of how they differ as each structure will suit a different situation. However, the main factor of consideration is liability. As only an LLP will protect the assets of all partners should the business run into trouble. The types of partnership structures available will differ according to your country. Partnerships can be more cost-effective as the business expenses and start up costs are shared. You also have the productivity power of two or more people instead of one. Which means you not only have increased work output to get the business up and running smoothly, but you also have access to a wider network of professional contacts who can help introduce clients and the beginning. Similar to a sole proprietorship, the partnership structure can have limitations to business growth and carries the risk of the partners being personally liable for any debts and legal action, as there is still no legal separation between the business and the partners involved. Disagreements can also occur between business partners, which can be detrimental to the business growth if not resolved quickly. Therefore, it is essential to have a dispute resolution clause within the agreement before commencing. The structure of a corporation or a company is multifaceted and more expensive to set up. The control of the corporation stays with the people who hold shares in the stock. If a particular stock holder or a group of Stockholders own a minimum 51% of the stock. They are eligible to make policies and decisions. The size of the corporation will reflect on the functioning of the organization, IE, whether it operates formally or informally. Shareholders personal assets are protected from the corporations debts and actions. And corporations need to file a tax assessment separate to those of their owners. The owners only pay taxes on corporate profits paid to them in the form of dividends and bonuses. Any additional profits are awarded a corporate tax rate, which is commonly lower than a personal income tax rate. A corporation is an independent entity owned by stakeholders. It is separate from its owners, so it requires complying with more regulations and tax requirements. This structure is more expensive and complex than most other business structures. Trademarks. A trademark is a way of distinguishing your business from competitors in your industry. In the photography industry, it is typical for a trademark to be in the form of a word or words, business name, or logo. However, a trademark can also be a number, letter, phrase, jingle, picture, or a combination of these. It's not essential to register your business name or logo as a trademark, but it can give you that extra protection and peace of mind. There isn't a universal trademark registration currently available, and each trademark must be registered by the government of the country it is active within. For example, the Indonesian government does not have the power to register a trademark for US and Australia, and vice versa. When applying for a trademark, it is strongly recommended that you consult a trademark attorney as the registration procedure can be difficult and time-consuming if you're inexperienced in this process. Costs vary considerably between countries, but as a guide, it costs approximately 275, $475 to register a trademark nationwide for each class of goods or services within the United States through an attorney. Depending on their experience. Insurance. Insurance is one of the most important parts of setting up the legal side of your business, as you will be carrying out photo shoots and other services at people's properties. And you will be transporting and using expensive camera equipment. Once you have sorted the company structure and have registered your business, you will need to organize insurance products to protect yourself and your business. Once you have invested in the photographic equipment, you will need equipment insurance to cover any theft, damage or loss of your gear at any time, not just while you are carrying out a photo shoot. Ensure you include all equipments such as lenses, camera bodies, lighting, and laptop. Public liability insurance is by far the most important type of insurance, as most agents and other clients won't hire you for your services unless you have public liability insurance to cover at least $10 million in damages. This type of insurance should cover a broad range of potential legal actions resulting from third-party property damage, accidents, and other incidents. This type of insurance typically costs between 75250 US dollars per month. Depending on the insurance provider and a range of other factors relating to your location, history, and business structure. While you're growing your company, you will spend most of your time on the road for meetings and photo shoots. Therefore, you will need commercial vehicle insurance. If your current car insurance does not cover commercial use, it's important to check with your current automobile insurance provider and then obtain this insurance if it does not currently cover injury and physical damage resulting from an accident in a vehicle for commercial use. Although you don't necessarily need a studio or office away from home. If you decide to go down this route in the future, you will need to make sure the appropriate property insurance is in place. If you are working from a home office, it's important to check whether your existing property insurance is up to date. Optional insurance products include different types of life insurance products, such as income protection, Life Cover, and total into permanent disability coverage. In the event of a serious injury or illness occurring, there is the chance that you may not be able to continue working. Permanent disability coverage is ideal if the business is your sole source of income for supporting yourself and your family. This type of coverage is normally purchased with live coverage insurance as a financial safety net in the unfortunate event of a serious injury or illness that prevents you from working. Contracts and legal policies. The terms and conditions, also known as Terms of Service, is the contract between you and your client that is formed when they book your services. The TNC c's should be easy to find on your website. Generally with a link on the website footer beside the link to your privacy policy. If you are allowing online bookings, you should also require the user to click a box to confirm that they agree to the terms and conditions of your services. You should also e-mail your clients a PDF copy of this document. The terms of service contract outlines the professional relationship between your photography company and the client who is paying for your services. It should define the deliverables, licensing, and payment processes, and to indemnify your business against any claims and damages that are the result of the clients or vendors use of the images. Important terms relating to the service include the following. Products and services. Outline the service that you provide and what is included as part of these products and services. Make a note of the estimated delivery timeframes, how the files are delivered, and any digital enhancements made to the images. Travel fees. If you only serve as a certain area, but are willing to work outside this location for an additional travel fee. This is where you'd explain the details of how your travel fee is calculated. An example of this is setting a preferred zone that you would like to travel IE 35 miles from your location, and then charge $0.50 US per mile traveled outside of the zone. Copyright. It's common for the client to be confused about the copyright and licensing associated with the images they have purchased. They often believe that they owned the images once they have paid for their professional real estate photo shoot. Unless you wish to sell the copyright to your images, which is not recommended, you should only be granting your client than non-exclusive right to use the photographs and other materials to market the property for sale or lease promotional use. You should include the statement explaining that you retain the right to use the images for purposes of marketing and promotion of your business and its services, and that you may resell the image rights to third parties or the real estate agents or agencies. Cancellation. Create a policy to avoid lost income due to last minute cancellations. By having a cancellation policy, your clients will be encouraged to make cancellations early if necessary. And then you will avoid lost income from turning away bookings you could have otherwise made with other clients. This can be as simple as stating that all cancellations made within 24 hours of the booking will incur a fee of $50 payment. It's best to request partial payment to our full payment on the day of the photo shoot for private sellers. Agencies and other B2B clients are typically given 14 days from the date of invoice to pay for the services your company provided. Keep in mind that some larger agencies have their own payment terms that you will need to take into consideration. For example, their accounts department may only pay invoices at the end of the month or will only pay invoices for photography and marketing services, wants the property has been sold or least. This means that you need to carefully plan your business expenses so that you don't run into any cashflow problems. Other terms and conditions you should state include force, measure, indemnification, confidentiality, waivers, and transfers. It is strongly recommended that you consult a legal professional to assist you with writing these two documents, which must be easily accessible from your website. On your website. You will also need to include a privacy policy to inform your website users on how you gather, use, disclose, and to manage the data and information collected from your clients and your website to users. You are legally required to protect your client's privacy when collecting information about them. 13. Business Finance Overview: Lecture 12, Business Finance overview. This lecture provides a brief overview of methods of funding your business in addition to a breakdown of financial components to assist you in developing your financial plan for the business using the templates provided. The information provided in this lecture should be used strictly for informative purposes only. And you should seek your own professional advice outside of this course. The startup costs for this type of business are quite low. And if you are already a professional or amateur photographer, you will already own most of the equipment required. Depending on your financial situation, you may need to borrow funds if you do not own a mid to high end digital SLR camera, do not own a vehicle, or you wish to purchase a real estate photography franchise instead of starting your own business from scratch. If you have done your research on starting a real estate photography business, he would have come across franchise opportunities available in your location. The franchise option can assist you with getting started if you have no experience in real estate photography, as they usually provide training equipment and some even offer guaranteed income for a certain period. Be aware that guaranteed income is just cash back from the initial sum of money you used to purchase the franchise. Some disadvantages with the franchise option are restrictions to operating in a specific location and needing to share your profit with the franchisor. The franchise agreement will also dictate how you run your business, which limits your input and creativity. Purchasing a franchise can be beneficial in some industries when you want to benefit from the strength of an established brand, IE, purchasing a Subway franchise if you are going into the sandwich business. In real estate photography, it is quite easy to set up your own business and your clients will judge you by the quality of your work and not the name of your company or franchise. You're much better off learning the skills you need to produce high-quality work through practice and learning with online resources and saving the money you would have invested in a franchise. Invest this money into the business to assist with cashflow throughout slow periods and your marketing budget. I believe the best way to start this type of business is to begin with the bare minimum and then invest the money you earn from your first few jobs back into your business to upgrade your equipment and deploy your marketing strategies. If you do not already owned the equipment necessary and need to purchase additional equipment or cover other expenses related to starting the business. There are many ways to fund these costs. In every business, always consider yourself as the first investor, either with your cache or with collateral on your assets. There are no interest repayments if you use your savings to pay for startup costs and you will generally be more invested in the business and its success if you have funded it yourself. Instead of borrowing other people's money, if you have no other source of income when you start your business, ensure that you have an emergency fund saved so that you can afford your living expenses for at least 12 months in case your business does not generate an income as soon as you anticipated, avoid tapping into this emergency fund to pay for business expenses. Another source can be your friends and family, also known as patient capital, which is money that will be repaid sometime in the future as your business profits increase, usually with no interests, depending on your relationship with friends and family. Be careful when borrowing money from friends and family as they may expect, to own a share of the business. And if things don't go to plan and you can't afford to repay them. It can sometimes harmed the relationship. Even though the money is borrowed from friends and family, it is still a good idea to prepare a contract before any money is transferred. There are many financial products available to assist with funding your business expenses. Bank loans are the most commonly used source of funding for small and medium sized businesses with many fixed and variable rate loans offered. Make sure you review the different financial products available by your current financial institution to decide whether a personal loan or business loan would be best for your situation and to be aware of any additional upfront and ongoing fees that the financial institution may charge. Another form of funding is with Equipment Finance, which is effectively secured borrowings against new equipment, you may require Profit and Loss. Estimating your monthly and annual sales and expenses for the business will help you understand whether you can expect to make a profit, loss or break even in the first year. You should however, generate a profit in the first year, assuming that your marketing strategy is executed effectively and service quality is of a high standard. To estimate your profit, you must first establish your pricing strategy so that you know how much you will earn from each type of photo shoot and other services booked by your client's. Estimate how many bookings you will receive for each service each week. And then multiply this by four to calculate the total monthly revenue. Make an allowance for growth each month as you repeat the calculation for the next 12 months of operation, the total of 12 months will give you your total profit. The cost of sales includes transport and editing costs in addition to your time spent traveling and completing the services at the property, editing or post-production costs, we'll apply to all services you provide. So you must ensure these processes are setup before starting your business. The most cost-effective method of post-production is to outsource to a third party that can process large volumes of images for a low price. For example, 12 $3 US per image or ten to 20 US dollars per floor plan would be a reasonable price to pay for the services depending on the quality of the output. If you provide ten images per photo shoot and you have ten bookings per week, you would multiply 100 by the cost of editing per image from your supplier. If your editor has priced, they're editing services at $1.50 US per image. Your monthly editing costs would be $600 US. This can seem like a large cost. However, you could not physically edit the photos from this mini shoots yourself and spend time growing the business. Travel expenses include the gas used to and from each shoot, as well as any parking fees that you may need to pay. If you are doing many inner city shoots and there is no visitor parking available, the parking fees can be quite significant. Other business expenses are related to equipment purchases and to repairs, phone and internet, marketing and advertising costs, vehicle expenses, maintenance, lease repayments, car insurance and registration. Many of these are predictable expenses as they recur on a monthly or yearly basis. And some need to have an allowance made for them as they are less predictable, IE equipment repairs and vehicle maintenance. If you complete your profit and loss projections and the results show a loss, it could be due to multiple issues, such as your prices being too low, your expenses being too high. The anticipated demand for your services is not strong enough or the results from your marketing plan are not enough to generate business growth. Cash flow forecast. A statement of cash flows, or cash flow statement, shows the movement in the cash account of a business. It presents cash inflows being receipts and outflows being payments. In the three activities have business, operating, investing, and financing. This differs to profit and loss as the profit and loss record income when generated and expenses when incurred. The profit and loss does not record cash inflows from financing activities nor outflows concerning loan repayments. Completing a cash flow forecast for at least 12 months will enable you to take into consideration different factors such as payments received, seasonal adjustments, holiday periods, and significant expenses or capital les throughout the year. It allows you to see in advance when you may need to be careful with business expenditure throughout the year to avoid facing cashflow issues and requiring additional funding to keep afloat. Cash inflows include receipt of fees for your services, can sometimes include re licensing fees for images, referral fees or proceeds from alone. Cash outflows include payment of expenses, disbursements involved in operating the business, and repayment of loans. When booking a photo shoot. Remember that it could take up to a month or more to receive the funds depending on your agreed payment terms between your business and the client. This is one typical difference between a profit and loss statement and cash flow statement. Income generated in month May 1 not be received until month two or three. Always bear in mind that real estate photography can be quite seasonal. So you need to plan accordingly, reduce expenses in the months where the volume of bookings is anticipated to be low and allow for increased expenses in the months after the slow period. You will receive payments in the first month of the slow period from the previous months bookings, however, you will also have reduced inflow of payments into the month proceeding a quiet period depending on your payment terms. If you have significant expenses do each year such as vehicle registration. New equipment purchases or marketing and advertising campaigns that involve a significant financial investment. You should try to position these around to periods of high cash inflow to ensure you have enough money to cover this expense, but also the regular expenses and costs of sales. Cache allows your business to survive and prosper and is considered the primary indicator of your businesses status. It is important to remember that businesses can survive for some time without sales or profits, but without cash, it will die. To be able to trade effectively and grow your real estate photography business, you must build up cash reserves that will ensure that the timing of cash movements will put you in an overall positive cashflow situation. Preparing a cash flow projection is one of the most critical elements of financial and business planning. The process allows you to identify potential problems you may be encountering and modify your business practices accordingly to avoid financial problems. Breakeven analysis. One important aspect of the financial plan is the assessment of the breakeven point indicating the minimum number of photo shoot bookings the business will have to receive to pay off the expenses. It can also be used to estimate the earnings impact of a new marketing strategy. Balance sheet forecast. Creating a balance sheet forecast will enable you to see a snapshot of your business to after its first year of operation by estimating its net assets based on the projected assets and liabilities. The purpose of generating a balance sheet is to highlight the businesses, assets, and liabilities at a certain point in time to assist with analyzing its capital structure and financial health. It's made up of three parts. Assets. What's your business owns? Ie equipment, cash, property, liabilities, money that your business owes, IE loans or debt owners equity, the investment made by the business owner, which is calculated by subtracting total liabilities from total assets, accounts receivable, and accounts payable. As mentioned in the explanation of cashflows, you might invoice in month one but not receive payment until a later time. This is called accounts receivable. Similarly, and the expense might be incurred at the start of the month, but not due to be paid until the end of the month. This is called the accounts payable. Accounts receivable and accounts payable can heavily impact your cashflow. So managing them is important. Making sure you get paid within your payment terms and using expense payment terms to your advantage is what successful businesses do. Well, unfortunately, these typically don't balance each other out as most expenses will need to be paid at a point of sale, yet you won't get paid until after delivery of the photos or services. Management of your accounts will affect all three of your financial reports. Profit and Loss, balance sheet and cash flow statement. Setting financial targets. Your main financial goal should be to increase business profits by setting several smaller goals aimed at helping achieve this larger goal. Profits can be increased by decreasing the cost per sale and other expenses. Eliminating any debt that the business may have, improving cashflow and increasing prices or the volume of bookings received. The smaller steps should be written down to achieve each of these small goals. Utilize the financial templates provided in this lecture to establish your business finances, forecast projections, and manage your cash flow when your business is up and running. 14. Business Opportunities: Lecture 13, business opportunities. When you have established to your business and have developed a strong cashflow and client base, there are many opportunities to generate further revenue. Some of the opportunities that you may consider once you have a solid client base and consistent cashflow can include the following additional services. In addition to real estate photography services, there are dozens of other services that you can also offer to your clients. Every marketing product and service that a real estate agent utilizes for a marketing campaign can also be provided by your business depending on your skills and resources. Examples of these extra services include signage, printing, and installation, property microsites, virtual tours, real estate video agents, portraits, digital marketing, brochure, design and printing. Although it takes time to set up the processes and suppliers for these products, it can generate significantly more income for your business as you become a one-stop shop for your clients, property marketing needs, staff and contractors. If you invest time and effort into marketing and growing the business, you will eventually reach a point where you will no longer be able to accommodate all the bookings you receive. The tipping point is around six to eight shoots per day before you need to start hiring staff or contractors. This is a good problem to have as it means all your hard work has paid off and you now have the option to hire an additional photographer to assist you in accommodating all the bookings. If this is not something you wish to do, there's always the option of increasing your prices or being selective in which clients you work with. When hiring a contractor or employee, it is important to establish a written contract between your business and the person you are hiring. That clearly outlines terms and conditions that they must adhere by when representing your business. The contract should focus on fees and invoicing, appearance and Equipment, file delivery and confidentiality. Business acquisition. You may purchase a competing business to acquire their client base or to buy into one of their strengths or services that they are well known for that you would like to offer in your business. Ie virtual tours, commercial photography, etc. The acquisition of one of your suppliers, IE signage and printing company, is an ideal way to reduce the cost that you pay for this service and to generate an additional revenue stream through this established business. It's important to consult with your lawyer when purchasing a business as they can assist with due diligence and advise on the correct companies structuring contractual issues and tax consequences. Franchising. Once you have established a sound business structure and have grown your brand to a regional or state level. You may be able to franchise your company's brand and to business model. Franchising is a growth strategy with several advantages, including increased profitability and access to motivated management and staff. If your business has the brand power and you have streamlined the business processes, then this may be a good direction to take the business. 15. Conclusion of Course: The content learned throughout this course, in addition to the resources provided, should have equipped you with the knowledge and research skills to gain a deep understanding of your target market and your competitors. You should now also have the skills to establish your business strategy and complete a comprehensive marketing plan to kick-start the growth of your real estate photography business. Congratulations on completing the course, and we wish you all the best with your photography endeavors. Remember to work hard and have fun while building your business. If you wish to contact the course producer, please send an email to info at House Photo media.com. That's info at AHA us, ph o TOM DIA.com.