This last weekend when I was getting lots of feedback on my first try at moving the PFRE blog to a new theme. Nick De Clercq, a brokerage owner and real estate photographer in Gent, Belgium suggested the Magazine style theme that I'm currently testing on the PFRE test blog. I'm liking Nick's suggestion much better than the one I was testing this weekend.
Nick became a PFRE blog reader because he ran into Jan Van der Heyden long time PFRE reader of Antwerp who's story we featured about a year ago here on the blog.
Here is Nick's description of his story as he told it:
I am a 22-year old from Ghent, Belgium, who decided in 2007 (at age 18) to join a real estate franchise network called Engel & Völkers. I became a License Partner and opened the first shop in the Flemish part of Belgium for the brand, and the crisis hit 3 months after opening. Due to the crisis, starting a new company and not having a huge financial backing, I started to look at everything that might aid in the sale of my agencies properties. First came more ads in newspapers, magazines, and so on.
It took me until 2010 to realize that I had to start focusing on having much better photos of all our properties. The first step was that I started to take all of the pictures myself, a rookie mistake but probably what most realtors, brokerage owner's, … would do.
In the beginning of 2011, I had the pleasure to meet a real photographer- Jan Van der Heyden of Frame 24, at work at one of my agencies properties. After seeing the result, I was hooked, I wanted to know more and learn more. I wanted to do what he did. I googled for PFRE and found your blog. I scrolled through everything for hours and hours and found Jan's name a couple of times and knew that I was on the right site. I bought your books, subscribed to your blog, joined the Flickr group. That same week I bought a DSLR, a tripod, a wide angle lens, a remote and read your books.
Midway 2011, after having posted multiple photos and receiving lots of critique, I decided to start "Ampersand Photography | Vastgoedfotografie". From then I really started to get into PFRE and because I am an owner of a real estate agency other agencies aren't eager to use my services, but I am happy to say that I take all the photos for my agency, a colleague's agency and the occasional referral of a friend or a friend of a friend.
I got the urge to send this email because I had the opportunity to shoot a property (terraced house) that my shop letted 2 years ago, and if I may say so myself there is a world of difference between the 2 shoots. Here is the link to the flickr-set that shows my improvement.
This result, is as I said in the beginning because of you, your work, your willingness to share your knowledge with others. I learned everything from you and not to forget the guys on the forum!
This is great to hear how the word about using great photography to market real estate is spreading around the world! I expect Nick to soon be one of the top agents in his area with this kind of marketing enthusiasm. Great job of spreading the message in Belgium.