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How to Put Backend Features in a Real Estate Photography Website

July 22nd, 2018

Rom in New Jersey says:

I have been struggling for a while with the goal of creating a website for real estate photography services. I am looking for a provider that not only offers slick templates but also the entire suite of back-end functionalities (CRM, online booking, automated payments, etc.) So many providers out there. I was wondering if you had any insight on this part of the business?


The key thing to understand is that features that you want to add to your real estate photography website are completely independent of the website and where it is hosted. That is, you can host your real estate photography website anywhere and still add these features like CRM, online booking, automated payment, etc., that you want.

For example, you can build a slick template portfolio website at squarespace.com (one of the more popular places to build a portfolio site) and add all the great real estate photography services that are provided by GoFullFrame.com (a PFRE advertiser). And it’s not just GoFullFrame.com that works this way; all of these website services work this way.

Barry Fisch at GoFullFrame.com pointed out that GoFullFrame.com subscribers can have them set up their client center and property website addresses as subdomains of their own business domain in order to make it appear that the GoFullFrame.com software is their own.

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9 Responses to “How to Put Backend Features in a Real Estate Photography Website”

  • I have a built from scratch Real Estate Photography website that does pretty much everything Rom wants (plus more) built in. Check it out and feel free to contact me with any questions.

  • A few cautions. When you use a web host’s templates and online services, you are tying your business to that provider. If they change their terms/prices or hosting features or if they suddenly decide to host more customers on each server slowing down your site, you don’t have any recourse. If it impacts you too much to deal with those changes, you will have to completely rebuild all of it with another provider. I had a web host triple their rates when it came time for renewal which is not all that unusual. Since I independently register my domain names and maintain backups of my WordPress based web sites, I switched to a new provider the same day I received the renewal invoice. There are even hosts that offer very cheap rates with a free domain name that retain ownership of the domain names which is something else to look out for.

    I prefer to have my CRM (such as it is), accounting and booking off-line so should my or a company’s internet service be down, I can still do business. I also don’t like automated anything very much. There is such a big push to make everything “cloud” based when a simple spreadsheet or even simpler legal pad and pencil more than suffice. How much business are you doing now and are you being reasonable to think that it will increase beyond your capacity to manage? Do you really need to send an invoice from the field? I have never run into a problem sending invoices later the same day when I get back to the office. Even plumbers will create an invoice by hand after a job without anybody finding that “so old fashioned”.

    If you really do need a sophisticated back end because you are running a business with multiple photographers, office staff and are billing on terms, you would be in better hands contracting with a web designer with ecommerce experience that can build a system that is tailored to your needs that is also responsive and portable. Start with the bare basics and see what you really need to add over time. The last thing you want is to bury yourself in non-photography office work if your objective is to be out there doing work as a photographer.

  • I ditto what Ken Brown said. Now don’t get me wrong I have a fantastic web site in my unhumble opinion. But I don’t do back end stuff there. Well except for collecting on invoices. If an agent wants to pay by CC they just click a button and type in their name and invoice date and amount and their done. Using Paypal for collections they keep all the records and I can download anything I want from them or even spend the money or transfer or refund or give credits painlessly.

    All of my scheduling, expense tracking, P&L, client performance, book keeping and invoicing is done using a BGSS. Let’s face it no matter what service you use you still have to enter the data. The BGSS is available across all my devices and instantly synchronized no matter what I use to update it. MS Office 365 is low priced and works on Apple, Android, PC’s, Macs, tablets etc. BGSS = Big Giant Spreadsheet in MS Excel.

    Now as far a scheduling again I enter and look on my BGSS. I only accept requests for shoots Via email, if a client calls I will still schedule them but I request an email from them confirming the order. Scheduling in this business is actually kind of complex. I know of no service (other than a wife in the business) that can calculate mileage and travel time between shoot (including time of day traffic) that can instinctively know the best time of day for that specific shoot, know how long it will take based on the pain in the rear agent site conditions and size of home and options wanted. Then to boot you still have to type it in. I just use google maps looking at the property on sat view and road view. That tells me the time and the mileage and the distance to the next shoot. At least I don’t know of scheduling programs that can do that and have you arrive on time to the minute.

  • I built my own website using Mobirise.com. Then I embed the following:

    Booking Form: https://www.jotform.com
    Availability Calendar: https://www.availabilitycalendar.com/
    Invoicing: https://www.photoinvoice.com/ or PayPal.
    CRM? Ha, don’t need it. I use Excel Spreadsheet

    Easy as Pie.

  • Frank,
    As a graphic designer I find your website way to busy with information.The beautiful photos are covered with your message….and they should speak for your talent. You have 30 seconds to grab their attention, otherwise people will move on. Save your message for an about page and a contact page.

  • Thank you Larry for posting my question.

    @Gavin, I love your site. That is what I have in mind in term of going for a “clean and simple” feel.

    @Ken B. and Frank, thank you for your comments. Noted and helpful.

    @Ken F. thank you for providing your embedded tools.
    That is actually what I am also looking for – an end to end tool(s) that allows a client to book a shoot based on me configuring my availability and pre-paying for the package they selected.

    I use Tourbuzz and I see that they have added some of those services (payment solution, etc…).

  • @Rom C if you want to learn more about my site and how I may be able to help contact me through the website.

  • I attempted to create a simple website for re photography. Last night started playing around with a plug-in for my slider as I love the fade transition effects but notice it has wreaked havoc on my images. Anyway, this is the Divi theme for WordPress which provides quite a lot of options but I have not included any back-end functionalities either. I also really like Gavin’s website – a clean, simple, bright and professional look.

  • Ken Brown is spot on. You want a domain and CMS that you can take to what ever host you want. I would stick to wordpress for my CMS and add a booking plugin. For billing use PayPal or Strip. You really don’t want to be storing financial records on your server. Plus you will need an EV SSL certificate that will run $100 plus per year. Let a 3rd party process them like Stripe pr PayPal.

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