What Would You Do?!

By
Real Estate Agent with Reece & Nichols

So I'm on my way to shoot a couple of tours today that I've already scheduled, when it starts to drizzle...  So, what's a little drizzle you think?  Well, when you're shooting the professional photos and virtual tours for a residential real estate listing, it means a lot.  Your interior pictures aren't greatly affected, in fact, the natural lighting is actually better- no more glaring sun and blind spots and sometimes things look better au natural.  That's just not always the case for the exterior shots.  So what's the big deal?  You can always just go back and shoot the outside again......  or do you just take what you can get and call it good?  Do you charge the client to come back on a sunny day?  Or do you just reschedule all together?  Seriously, I'd love to hear your opinions on this. 

Today, I decided to run with it and since the house is right on my way to my parents' house, I can always swing by and reshoot if needed.  No big deal.  Well.......  like I said, I went ahead and headed out.  The first house went fine, the home showed great, all the lights were on, it smelled good, it was clean, the world was happy.  Since it was still sprinkling outside, the exterior was minimized but still not too bad in the meantime.  As I traveled on to the second shoot, the rain really started to come on down.  A true downpour.  So, I took a detour and decided to wait a bit.  I still made it as scheduled and the rain subsided, but never really cleared up....  The exterior pictures, needless to say, the look wet.  Again, no big deal, I'll just reshoot them when the sun comes out in the next day or so... 

The trouble with this shoot is that when I got inside, it just wasn't 100%.  So, I took a look around, turned on the lights, moved the clutter out of the main shots, scooted the laundry on the floor in the teenagers rooms into the closets and since this is a good friend/Realtor that I was taking the pictures for, I even made one of the beds.  (Not a standard business practice of mine, but worth the trouble- or so I thought.)  Once I had the house ready, I started my shoot.  And that's just what I get for doing things out of my standard routine....  I took tons of pictures, every which angle I could get, trying to avoid the big pile of clutter in the kitchen, to avoid the grill cover wadded up on the patio table outside the great room and eat-in kitchen, to keep the fat cat out of the pictures as well as my shoes by the door.  I got home, loaded the pictures on the computer tonight and stitched all my photos and prepared to start on the tour only to realize half way through the latter process that I didn't have ANY pictures of the kids' bedrooms!  How funny is that?!  The rooms I spent half my time preparing, I totally forgot to shoot! 

It was just another one of those days........  so tell me, if you're mother asked you, what would you tell her?  What would you do?  (Sorry, if you have kids, you may recognize the Cat In The Hat connotations, if not, read the book.)

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Rainer
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Ben Nunes ~ Photography & Virtual Tours
New Tour Era, Inc - Atlanta, GA
Oh my, this was my day... YESTERDAY!!! Aside from the weather I COMPLETELY forgot to shoot the kids bedrooms! Luckily the house isn't but 15 minutes away from me, so I will definitely go back to shoot the 2 rooms. I think if the property isn't too far, might as well re-shoot what you missed or what you need to re-do. It IS a waste of resources (gas/time) BUT it will always help you become more aware of what you are doing, even on your off days.
Apr 03, 2008 11:28 PM #1
Rainer
9,804
Chris Grumley
Florida Eye Tours, LLC - Anna Maria, FL

Hi Karisma

I live in Florida on the Gulf Coast. Actually, I live here...

Whenever the sky is grey, or even if there is drizzle in the air I feel that I have to re-schedule. I never consider charging to re-shoot, my clients know that we are only hours or a day away from sunshine and I think we are all on the same page, although it's rarely ever mentioned and my core clients know not to expect me on a rainy or less than perfect day. That's the bonus we enjoy here, but I often wonder how it is if you are in an area that doesn't have the sunshine so often? It can be a real pain to have to re-schedule just one tour, let alone a day full. A tour I did just this past week had to be re-scheduled FIVE times before I finally got in. Interesting post and TGIF!

Chris 

Chris Grumley
Florida Eye Tours, LLC
PO Box 69
Anna Maria
FL 34216

www.FloridaEyeTours.com

Call Chris on 941 219 2106
Call Erin on    941 545 3110

We did this!

www.VirtualTourSample1.com

Apr 04, 2008 01:38 AM #2
Rainer
35,340
Debra Higgins
Four Seasons Virtual Tours - Crown Point, IN

We go back and shoot later, no charge. Sometimes the sun can be the problem, too - especially if it is behind the house (like when it is going down). If the house is really dark inside we have rescheduled (once). If we know the tour has to be up fast we will take front and back stills so that we have something, and republish the tour later with the better pictures.

As far as cleaning up the inside - why is it that some homeowners don't care what potential buyers see? We did a high end home last year ($450,000) that had holes in the walls and junk all over; and the owners had already moved into a newer, bigger house. I wondered if they thought the old one was going to sell overnight just because it was in a prestige neighborhood.

Apr 04, 2008 01:49 AM #3
Rainer
6,884
Karisma Olson
Reece & Nichols - Kansas City, MO

Ben, it does sound like we had the SAME day yesterday!  What a hoot!  To think we both missed the kids bedrooms of all things.  I reshot them today and took advantage of the sunny day to get the exterior as well.  And the best thing was that the kids rooms were cleaned up, beds made, armoires closed and ready to shoot!  The homeowner even came home and caught me just before hand (he was coming to tidy up) and said they really got on to the kids about it and were absolutely amazed and thankful that I did clean it up first. 

Chris, thanks for the jealous envy you've imposed with your Floriday sunshine on a cloudy day!  I don't know that I'd get any work done with beautiful weather and the temptation of the beach everyday.

Debra, I agree- I always go back, no charge, especially if I can't just reschedule it all together.  It's just hard when you've got a busy week already lined up and so worth it to get the ball rolling.  I just wanted to know what everyone else did?!  Thanks for your feedback.  As for the sloppy homeowners and the $450,000 home with holes in the walls- some people just have more money than sense, I guess!  And it's really hard for me to just leave things as they are, but I always remember what my broker always tells us in real estate and when negotiating- we can't want it more than they do.  If they don't want to clean it up and make it marketable and showing friendly- maybe seeing those pictures of their home live and on the internet in that condition will really wake them up and inspire them to clean it up and pay for the reshoot themselves!  If for nothing else, then to at least get those pictures taken off!  :O)

Apr 04, 2008 02:44 PM #4
Rainer
56,997
Acai Berry Select
Acai Berry Select - Downers Grove, IL

I would go back and reshoot also as this would be a representation of your work. 

 

Peter

realfeeltours.com 

 

Apr 05, 2008 04:51 PM #5
Rainer
3,285
Renard Johnson
Creative Realty Solutions, LLC - Waldorf, MD
Great story and a learning experience for all of us
Apr 06, 2008 08:27 AM #6
Rainmaker
254,432
Robert Machado
HomePointe Property Management, CRMC - Sacramento, CA
CPM MPM - Property Manager and Property Management
I  don't think you can charge the client, aren't you getting a commisison?  What does smell have to do with taking pictures?  If you hate taking pictures you could hire that out.  Just think of all the showing you won't have to do since you have the photos online, that might make you a little happier.
Apr 06, 2008 08:42 AM #7
Rainmaker
1,051,946
Steve Loynd
Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., - Lincoln, NH
800-926-5653, White Mountains NH
I just asked a seller to day to send me an email with his favorite pictures because I have had a few less than perfect weather days in a row. He was thrilled to send me some of a sunset, sun-rise sunny window view etc..Because he had them..
Apr 06, 2008 09:20 AM #8
Rainer
6,884
Karisma Olson
Reece & Nichols - Kansas City, MO

Robert, thanks for the comment.  I should clarify- yes, I am a Realtor, but I am also a virtual tour provider.  In this case, I'm not getting a commission, just a set fee charged to the Realtor, aka- my client.  Of course, I would never charge for something that was my mistake- like forgeting to take pictures of the kids' rooms, etc....  I just never know how to approach the weather situation, I had a seller get upset with me the other day because I wouldn't schedule on a rainy day- besides the fact that he wanted me to drop what I was doing and come over that very minute.....  I think when I came the next day and when the sun was out and the sky was blue and the pictures all turned out fantastic, he was pleased with the wait.

As for the smell....  it has nothing to do with the pictures, but the actual feel and flow of the house- is it "showing ready?!"  Most of the appointments I make, are scheduled as previews through the centralized showing companies and the feedback is also given to the listing agents as well.  A lot of them prefer it this way so the seller doesn't have to be home and it fully prepares them for the showings to come!

Steve, I like that idea too!  Over the winter months I did have several sellers leave pictures for me to scan and import as well.  That worked great too! 

Apr 06, 2008 01:21 PM #9
Rainer
10,560
Sandra Gibson
powerplaymmp - Allen, MI

Karisma,

Thanks for sharing this experience, one for all of us to learn from. 

The only answer is to go back and shoot when the weather is better, if you want original pics.  But the scan solution is good too.

Sandra Gibson
Power Play Multi-Media Productions
http://www.powerplaymmp.com
Call to Schedule TOUR 517-869-2707

sandragibson@powerplaymmp.com

Apr 07, 2008 12:56 AM #10
Rainer
6,188
Lance Ziegler
Real Estate Virtual Tours - Bradenton, FL

Karisma,

I think you going the extra mile to make everything look just right will always come across as a good thing. You will be looked at in a way that will show your professionalism. Be meticulous and your client will appreciate that. Just don't let them get in the habit of making you clean up for every property. But do make an exception from time to time.

As for the weather, in the past I would shoot the inside if it wasn't too bad. Later I would come back at a more convenient time to shoot the outside. Use your own judgment.

Apr 07, 2008 03:59 AM #11
Rainer
6,884
Karisma Olson
Reece & Nichols - Kansas City, MO
Thanks for the great advice. I agree that being meticulous is important, but I don't want to be taken advantage of either. I have to admit that even after the agent talked to a seller and we scheduled it, I went out and the place was in no way really ready- I took the pictures anyway- how am I supposed to know that they care?! After all, we had had the appointment and ample time to get it ready.... the agent was stunned and really set that seller straight! Needless to say, they did have me come back for a reshoot. I had a feeling, so I sent the stills from the first time out to the agent before actually creating the full tour and I only charged a minimal fee for the second trip out.
Apr 07, 2008 01:52 PM #12
Rainer
8,656
Brett Weaver
SpotLight Virtual Tours - Florence, AL
Owner/Photographer
It's tough sometimes, but I think erring on the side of good customer service will always return more than it costs in the long run.
Apr 07, 2008 04:35 PM #13
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