Tina and Eniko
Photo taken by Eniko Crozier
The Benefits of Using a Real Estate Photographer
When there are so many options for buyers to choose from and so little buyers to go around, what can help attract a buyer’s attention to your home? Proper real estate photography, that’s what!!!
Fact: Most home buyers today start their home shopping online. There are many websites to view homes on, from public ones like MLS to local site like MH&H to the realtor’s own website. As a seller, it is important for you that your home looks it’s best in every picture. When a realtor takes photos of the seller’s home with their cellphone, the pics are often too dark or too grainy for the potential buyer to connect with your home. This can cause them to completely skip over your home and choose to book a showing with the competition instead!
A seller needs a photographer that can connect with their home. One that can hilight all the benefits of living there, without distorting them. Whether it’s the special features or the little extras inside the home itself, the beautiful gardens & landscaping outside, or the outbuildings. A good photographer not only sees but feels those little subtleties in each property that makes it unique and special to any other property that is for sale. They recognize these features and focus on them to help make your property stand out above the rest!
With proper photos, when a potential buyer views your home online, they are drawn in because the photos help connect them to the property. Now they are booking that showing at your home, instead of skipping over it in favour of your competition!
Real Estate Photographer and Real Estate Professional
Sutton Group-Kilkenny Real Estate
Whatever your business, slow markets or a sluggish economy can make things tough.
It’s natural to respond in fear and shift into self-preservation when that happens.
And it’s the worst thing you can do.
For one thing, it reveals that deep down inside, you believe you can’t make it. Which is a problem, and probably means you’re self-sabotaging in other ways to.
It is also really bad for business.
People operating in a fearful state of self-preservation often cut marketing dollars and put a stop on any investment in their own education.
Flipping on the autopilot and just trying to hang in there is a weak strategy for any business.
Even when money’s tight or when things aren’t selling as quickly as you’d like, it’s still important to invest in your business, your marketing, and yourself.
In fact, during market lulls may be the most important time to do that!
While everyone else is hiding under their desk, hoping the same old strategies will keep them safe, you will be perfecting your skills and understanding of the very things that distinguish your business from the rest.
You’ll lay down a power card while everyone else is lying down.
You’ll pay handsomely with time and money to learn new skills. As you apply what you’ve learned, you’ll surprise your colleagues.
Here’s another point.
Keeping up with the latest trends is critical to your business, no matter what the market is doing.
Even now, where and how people shop for homes is changing. It’s critical to be aware of it, and then know what to do about it. As a real estate agent, I need to know where people are shopping, and how to get in front of them.
When times are tough, don’t hunker down and hope for the best.
Work to understand the trends in your industry. It will require an investment of hundreds of hours of reading and listening to podcasts and attending seminars and workshops. It will also take time to practice using the related new software, platforms, and technologies you’re bound to discover.
Then get out there and be surprisingly generous.
I’ll bet you’re still wondering how this helps one to win clients.
Here’s the thing.
With your keen understanding of the market and trends, (and after some practice and troubleshooting) you’ll know where the clients are and how to get in front of them. Once you’re in front of them, your reputation as a knowledgeable and generous professional will attract people.
I know because it’s how I am attracted to businesses and leaders and authors and speakers.
I also know because as I’ve been generous and applied what I’ve learned, colleagues, competitors, and even clients notice. And they seek me out to ask questions.
Strangers will walk up to me and say “Hey! You’re Tina! I read your blog.” Or they’ll hire me because they found me easily exactly where they were looking. (You know where that is, right?)
What about you?
How do you weather slow times in your business or industry?
When you find that one perfect summer spot that helps you escape it all, you will find yourself returning. I found that spot almost twenty years ago. My daughter was seven or eight when a single mom friend of mine invited us on a camping trip. I hadn’t been able to justify time off or a vacation as a single parent. When I realized I could buy a tent for the price of one night in a hotel room I was committed. Besides, I could use it over and over again. All I needed was a park pass, to rent a campsite, and the gas to get there. Back then $15.00 filled my Chevy Sprint and I could drive a month on a tank. Economical. That was what convinced me to go the first time.
Grand Beach was our destination. Our children played. We ladies chatted. We took turns cooking. Most of all we just loved hanging out at the beach. We started to go every year. Always a memorable time.
After I married Wendell in 2002, we insisted on going back. We used to go the first week of July. It was a bit of a way of celebrating birthdays. My daughter’s birthday is June 29 and mine on July 5. The sun always shines that week. My daughter would bring a friend and off we would go to have a good time. Till the last time. Mama bear and her cubs came through our campsite and that was the last of camping as we knew it. No more sleeping in tents for us.
Last year I was offered an amazing opportunity. I did an opinion of value for a few places in Grand beach. As payment I was offered cash or a few nights at a cottage I had evaluated. That was a no brainer choice. I responded whole heartedly with a YES to the cottage. Since I started real estate in 2010 I had not been on vacation with my husband. I had not even had a day off! I found some trustworthy people to look after business on my behalf and Wendell and I went to the cottage and we’re delighted that my daughter Jerica was able to join us. We had such a great time that I booked the cottage in advance for a week this summer.
I just returned from a memorable week at Grand Beach. I felt happy. Watching young children playing in the sand and water the way my daughter did as a child filled me with happy memories and put many smiles on my face. Watching the teenage girls reminded me of the summers that I took teenage foster girls with me to this very beach. We had amazing weather. We had a windy day where we played like children in the waves. We had leisure time laying in the hot sun. We went on walks every day along the shore line. Most of all we just enjoyed each other’s company in a relaxing environment. Wendell is my best friend and I find him so easy to be with.
While we were there I was notified that my cousin had passed away at 43 years of age. I was glad for some quiet time to reflect, to pray for the family, and consider priorities in my own life.
In my absence, I left my business to my partner and friend Eniko Crozier. I was only gone 5 days. I had a listing coming up and she was to list it while I was away. The seller had confidence in her because I do. But upon my return I find out that she listed three properties in my absence! Aside from showing listings, showing homes to buyers, and getting a SOLD sign put up on my co-list with Yvette Kent, she took my calls and emails so I could relax.
I feel blessed. Truly blessed. Personally. In business. I truly enjoy my career. I truly enjoy having time at home with my husband. Now I can truly have work be uninterrupted when I take a break. Thank you Eniko. I appreciate you and so will each of my clients. You work hard and I want you to be blessed all the days of your life.
(Picture from my flower garden)
This week I’m celebrating my one-year anniversary! It’s been one glorious year since I had my first scheduled day off. That might sound weird to some people, but self-employed people know how difficult it can be to not work when people expect you to.
It’s been an adjustment, but I don’t plan to go back! I went from doing it all on my own to joining a team of professionals, to customizing my own team with Eniko as my right hand woman.
It’s sometimes a challenge to share work with a team mate when I’m perfectly capable of doing it. I’ve done it on my own for so long, I’m used to just doing… everything! But it’s getting easier to share the load – and what a brilliant invention team work is! We can each operate in our strengths, and get help with the things we’re terrible at, or just hate doing.
Probably the biggest adjustment has been letting go of the pride of being busy. We tend to wear busyness like a badge of honor. As an eager, goal-oriented person, it’s tough for me to sit still sometimes.
It helped to read a blog lately, where Tyler Ward said, “Busy isn’t respectable anymore”. I was challenged by that, but also relieved. Being overly busy is not the accolade it once was – now it’s seen more as an inability to manage time, or a self-control issue. (are you squirming? I was!)
So I’ve been intentionally working toward a lifestyle of less busy.
I don’t respond like a paramedic anymore, just because someone calls. Sometimes I’m at a wedding or a funeral, and that’s okay.
Working with a partner frees me to take a day off, so I use it to garden, go to the beach, do housework(groan), or whatever I feel like. I try very hard not to use it for working!
I also make a point to put everything aside when hubby gets home, so I can give him my undivided attention for a while. It’s my way of loving and honoring him, and it doesn’t cost anything. Just setting myself aside for an hour? I can do that.
As I practice these, I find my stress level has dropped considerably. I also find it easier to be in the moment, enjoying wherever I am, even if it’s an open house in the middle of a thunderstorm.
I can’t wait to see what the next year has in store! …How do you avoid the busy badge?
This week at the bank, I stood in line just like people in bank lines apparently should – facing forward, avoiding eye contact, and trying not to feel like herded cattle. As we all stood there, slowly shuffling forward, the woman next to me turned and we realized we knew each other. We started chatting and it didn’t take long before the conversation turned to something I’d said online. (Online presence comes up a lot!)
She had read about how Eniko had recently partnered up with me. Apparently she’d been reading my blog for a while because she smiled and said, “So you made another change.” Then, with a smirk and head shake, she added, “Man, you’re just not scared of anything.”
Oddly, I felt a sudden need to defend myself. What? Of course I’m scared of stuff. I WAS scared to include Eniko – oh wait. No. Actually I wasn’t. If anything, I was afraid not to.
That evening at home I came across a Facebook personality quiz. I love personality profiles, so I took the quiz. The result made me laugh. It revealed what I already knew- that the reasons I’m perceived as fearless are my strengths – innovation, team work, and staying ahead of the curve for example. It also pointed out my weaknesses accurately.
The cool part was seeing how Eniko’s and my strengths and weaknesses compliment each other perfectly. It was a shot of affirmation that made my week. What a perfect pairing!
I do enjoy change. It’s part of who I am. Lucky for me, it’s vital to success in business. A business can’t grow without change. How would that work? I mean, growth IS change.
So here’s to growth (and, consequently, change) – personal growth, spiritual growth, and business growth.
What changes are you expecting this year? Are you excited, or nervous about them?
When you think of an entrepreneur, what do you imagine? A determined individual working late each night forging a living out of determination? Somehow we got this idea that successful business people are awesome enough to do it all on their own.
We couldn’t be more wrong.
Who is that one person who became a lone guru? Really. Bill Gates? Any of the ‘dragons’ on Dragons’ Den? Oprah? Jerry Seinfeld? Billy Graham? They’re all successful in their fields. Not a single one though, would have become anything without the people they surrounded themselves with.
These intelligent people know the secret: success is teamwork.
I’ve learned this is true for me too. I’ve worked hard, invested time and money, and built my business as big as I can on my own. I have decided to move my business forward by doing what successful people do – work with a power team.
And I do mean team, not staff. I don’t want to hire people to work for me, though I do that too. What I really want partners to work WITH me. I want to work WITH them to build up their business too. The difference is motivation and passion. As I’ve prayed and searched, I’ve found them! This group of like-minded, dynamic professionals is just what I’ve been looking for. I feel super blessed to work alongside of them!
And the best part is that nothing about my business has to change. It’s still my own, I keep the same signs, agency, phone number and ads… I’m not replacing or starting over, I’m adding to what I’ve already built. I can’t tell you what a relief this is.
The set up is different than the industry standard of hiring staff. Basically, we are all like-minded in our high standards of service. We all want to serve our clients even better, but without running faster. It’s a synergistic approach I guess, which is a fancy way of saying we’ll help each other. We’re all skilled in different, complimentary areas, so helping will really help.
It’s kind of like… if you and I are friends, and you adore paper work. Nothing makes you happier than filing. And I hate paperwork, and it makes me want to cry. But you hate writing property descriptions, and I love it and do it well. Because we’re friends and care about each other’s success, I would eagerly help you with writing property descriptions and you would happily do my filing. And we don’t have to move in together. We can continue to live our separate lives while cheering on each one’s success.
Simple. Synergistic. Super efficient.
Stay tuned for the introduction to my professional, like-minded peers that I will be teaming up with.
It’s finally happening – the business break through I’ve been working for is here! And on my birthday no less! I will be getting a scheduled day off!
Every week. You know, like most of the population? I’m SO excited!
Have you ever worked an entire year with no scheduled day off? It’s madness. Four years of it is… well,(what is madness multiplied by four?) Basically, I’m ready for an intentional, scheduled, even – dare I say it – regular day off. And I finally can!
I know, you’re probably wondering why I couldn’t before? I could. A day off would have been possible. As long as I would be willing to…
- hand my clients, inquiries and hard-earned commissions over to someone else -who, by the way, is not personally invested in my business but is actually competition! Would you trust your business to your competition?
- Entrust my client relationship to another agent who may not care about them like I do
- Trust another agent to handle inquiries – that is, potential new clients – and present the professional, high quality service my brand is about.
- Share my hard earned commissions with another agent if a deal happens to close on the day they are taking my place. Percentages are high for shared commissions. Would I give away 50% of my profit after marketing a property for 4 months?
- Or, I could forget about hiring or partnering with anyone and simply turn off my phone. It would mean my reputation for excellent service would be compromised, I would be unavailable to new and existing clients for any reason – even to sign a deal -and I would lose business. But at least I would have a day off…
These have been non-options. I am not in business just for something to do. I love people, and want to give the best doggone service humanly possible. To have someone else take over for a day, that person would have to represent MY business, not allowing their own goals and ambitions to flavor the way they treat my clients. It would require someone who is selfless and has integrity. No stealing? No pressuring? No doing whatever it takes to push someone to a decision? That is hard to find in this business.
But I found it!
I found someone I trust to serve my clients with the same zeal I would. In fact, I found someone who, just like me, highly value quality service, integrity, and honesty even at great personal cost. THAT is the kind of person I would entrust my business to for a few hours. I know she will bring her best to the table, and my clients and business will be well taken care of.
So, starting this July 5th and every Wednesday after, I plan to enjoy a day off.
If you’re a collegue, a reader or a client, know you will be – for that one day – in the excellent care of a hand picked professional of integrity. Then I’ll be back the very next day. No worries, k?
Now… what will I do with my glorious, fabulous day off?
Whatever it is, it will involve me smiling. Alot.