Susanne Hayek, a Real Estate Photographer in Arcadia, CA sent me a request to be in the RE Photographer Directory today and I was looking at her website and noticed several interesting ideas I though others could benefit from.
The first is the concept of a property website. For $300 she creates a web site for a property with it's unique registered domain name for 6 months (here is an example). Her property web sites consists of a slide show of photos of the property along with the agents branding. She also supplies a unbranded version for use on the MLS. The interesting aspect of property websites is that they are an "upper-end" name for a virtual tour with a registered domain name. For those RE photographers with a few HTML skills this is a good way to add to your basic services. Susanne says she has competitors charging $600 for property websites.
Another feature of Susanne's business model I like is charging by the hour. When you are charging by the hour if then when additional opportunities come up during the shoot (like consulting on staging) you get paid for your time. Susanne says she started charging by the hour because "...that I was spending a lot of time staging and clearing clutter and cleaning that I wasn't getting paid for". I think this is a great way to provide a higher level of service and make sure you are getting paid for it.
The third thing that caught my eye on Susanne's site is the way that she makes use of PhotoSite.com to provide a large gallery of her work for the site. I'm a big believer in using extensive galleries to promote your work and using an external site like PhotoSite.com or flickr.com or one of the many other gallery sites is an easy way to do this.
Thanks Susanne for all the great ideas!