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10 Ideas to Be Productive in Your Business During COVID-19 Social Distancing

Published: 20/03/2020
By: Brandon

I'm pleased to have received a guest post from regular contributor and PFRE's reigning Photographer of the Year, Garey Gomez, with some wonderful suggestions on how to stay busy during the down-time that many of us are experiencing during the COVID-19 outbreak. While these are certainly stressful times, we must all be diligent in staying focused and productive so that we can hit the ground running when this outbreak is done--and it will be done at some point!

Anyway, my thanks to Garey for this terrific article. I hope you enjoy it!

......................................................................................................................................................................................................................

Who could have ever predicted something like this?

There are the health concerns which is the first thing we think about. But across the world, most businesses are experiencing reduced revenue and closures due to the spread of COVID-19. I can only speak for myself, but my business has been impacted as well. While many businesses are still up and running, at least here in the USA, I suspect it won't be long before most local governments and/or the federal government mandate shutdowns of non-essential businesses. Time will tell...

While I'm bracing for the harsh reality that revenues will be greatly reduced--possibly down to zero--I am trying to make progress in other areas of my business that I often feel too busy to address. Making good, productive use of our new-found free schedule could set us up to hit the ground running when COVID-19 is behind us and business begins to pick back up. In times of stress, I always find comfort in facts and planning. Facts keep us grounded in reality, and planning gives us a playbook as the poop is hitting the fan so we can handle it effectively and with a little bit of grace.

Here are 10 things you can work on while social distancing:

  1. Practice: shoot your own home. Shoot it at different times of day. You don't need to share the photos with anyone, but if you've been curious about trying a new technique, here's your chance to get it down.
  2. Shoot for your portfolio, or for pleasure: Is there something you've been dying to photograph but haven't had the time? Well, go out and do it (by yourself, for goodness sake! And bring hand sanitizer!).
  3. Work on your marketing: Put together a list of targeted clients that you want to work with; create or dial in your pitch; make the calls, send the emails. This will set you up to be top-of-mind, and maybe even pick up a few new clients when business picks back up.
  4. Education: Have you been thinking about taking a course? Buying a tutorial? Maybe you have one or two that you have bought but have not watched yet. Or maybe you're due for a refresher and want to watch one again. Do it now, then refer to #1 above. Also, if you are interested in Mastering Real Estate Photography or Tony Colangelo's The Art & Science of Great Composition, Tony and I decided to offer discounts through the end of April. Use the discount code APRIL2020 at checkout to receive $30 off my course, and $20 off Tony's.
  5. Update your website: We are shooting so much that there is little time to make updates to your website. Now might be a good time to update it with your newest, best work. As a bonus, if you've been working on your craft and have seen improvements in the quality of your work, then it's especially helpful to remove those older photos that don't quite hold up to your current quality of work! I get a real kick out of that, personally. See Tony Colangelo's article from June, 2019 on the topic of updating your website HERE.
  6. Backup your photos: Do you have a solid backup plan in place? If not, do it now before it's too late. I recommend the 3-2-1 backup strategy, outlined HERE. I have my working drives, as well as a daily backup onto a carbon copy. That makes two copies of ALL of my data, right here at my desk. Then I use Backblaze for constant cloud backup. It's really cheap, and honestly a no-brainer. No matter what happens to any of my data, I am covered. You should be, too.
  7. Register your photos with the Copyright Office (in the US... your local process might be different if you live outside the US). This is something I regrettably put off for too long. Now I am 100% registered, and I am pursuing several cases. It feels good to be protected! The process isn't very streamlined, but it is not difficult to do. My first registration was a bit of a learning curve but now it's really easy. Mike Boatman has contributed a few excellent articles here on PFRE in recent months explaining the benefits of registering your work. Go read them if you haven't.
  8. Clean and organize your office space: I'm not the tidiest guy when it comes to my office space. Things pile up... What I really need is a new habit of dealing with the "stuff" as it comes in, rather than waiting to be surrounded by "stuff" to the point of clutter. Anyway, I feel pretty great when I clean my desk and it's incredible how much more productive I tend to be when the clutter has been eliminated!
  9. Call your mom.
  10. Wash your hands.

Please be safe out there. Take care of yourselves and each other so we can put this all behind us as quickly as possible and get back to doing what we love.

 

Garey Gomez is an architectural photographer based in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a three-time PFRE Photographer of the Month, and the creator of the Mastering Real Estate Photography tutorial series.

10 comments on “10 Ideas to Be Productive in Your Business During COVID-19 Social Distancing”

  1. Love all of these and a perfect list for the time to come. I plan on learning my new camera, retaking Garey's course, website updating and future marketing done and in a folder for use in the summer and fall markets. Like Garey said call your parents, friends and siblings - make fun plans for when we can travel again (don't have to book anything just make that fun list) learn to slow down - this time will definitely make us SLOW DOWN and hopefully keep those habits and thoughts on the way back out of this time. Be safe everyone and enjoy your family time.

  2. Who could have ever predicted something like this? Nobody. But 'planning'? That's a whole different story!
    Years ago when I first got into this business, I learned that I needed a 'nest egg' for the slow winter months.

    Thankfully, I kept adding to that nest egg every summer while the 'skies were sunny'.
    While I feel sorry for the photographers who haven't had time to do this, it's a bit harder to have sympathy for the people who put a little away and spent the rest on things that won't help them to get through these hard times.
    That being said? ...I do pray for EVERY American.

  3. Garey this is excellent!!!! I had given this some thought and know of a house that would be so cool to shoot, I will be reaching out to him to shoot for my portfolio! Don't forget about personal projects!

    Read Dave Ramsey's book "Total Money Makeover". It will be the best $15 dollars you ever spent! Its never too late to learn!

    Be safe everyone!

    Aloha,

    Ethan

  4. Tough times for the real estate industry and who knows where this could go. Our statement on our website and through emails to clients:

    "Unfortunately, due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, we have decided to halt operations until the beginning of May.

    We believe it’s too risky for the staff to be entering so many homes and coming into close contact with a lot of people on a daily basis.

    We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and will be back up and running once everything settles down a little bit".

  5. Send your valued clients a personal email and ask whether there's any way you can be of assistance.

    Suggestion: snap some photos that illustrate the difference between then and now, and make those photos available to your clients for social media.

    The best way to remain productive is to produce for your clients, and add value to your service

  6. I'm still busy and I would say only 1 out of 20 appointments are people concerned. None are concerned enough to stop working.

  7. Good list Garey...I've done a couple of these already the last day or two and will continue. Don't serve time, let the time serve you!

  8. Our governor (Missouri) is fairly resistant to the idea of a lockdown, but that's where we will end up. But if I read the rules right, they will suggest that Realtors avoid live showings in favor of virtual media. My guess is that I have a pretty good case for an exemption to create virtual media.

    I have asked my agents for weeks to make the property vacant for the appointment if at all possible, including having the family just go for a drive. I wear gloves, wash my hands before and after the shoot, eat in my car with food I brought from home, make no side trips inside banks, stores, or gas stations, and shower before and after my day outside.

  9. The government is taking all necessary steps to ensure that we are prepared well to face the challenge and threat posed by the growing pandemic of COVID 19 – the Corona Virus. With the active support of the people, we have been able to contain the spread of the virus in our country. The most important factor in preventing the spread of the Virus locally is to empower the citizens with the right information and taking precautions as per the advisories being issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.

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