Darrin in LA asks:
I'm new to RE photography and recently signed on as an affiliate member at my local Realtor's association. What I was really after was a roster of members, which I did receive. Other benefits mostly involve me spending more money to sponsor events, classes, etc. So I have signed up for one such event. Time will tell if it was worth the money.
That gets to the crux of my question. As a new business owner with a small marketing budget, I wonder how many real estate photographers are members of their local associations. If they are, what is the benefit that gives them the biggest bang for their buck? If they are not, why have they decided not to join the local association?
I have a couple of comments about local Realtor associations:
- To me, a much better way to get a list of local Realtors is to just sit down with Excel and look at the agent pages of the local office websites for your local offices. In addition to getting contact info, you will be able to pick out the listing agents from the buyer's agents (you are only interested in marketing listing agents) and you will also be able to see all the top listing agents by seeing how many listings they have and what price range their listings are in. Sure, this takes a while but it is well worth the time. This exercise gives tremendous insight into your local real estate community.
- Many real estate photographers become affiliate members of the local Realtor's association as you have. The purpose a real estate photographer would become an affiliate member of the local association is to meet the Realtors. That is, to have another way to meet potential clients and become visible in the local Realtor community. Realtors are social people so the best way to market to them is by getting to know them face to face. Affiliate membership is a way to become part of their social group.
What are the experiences of those of you who have joined your local Realtor association? Is it worthwhile?