James in Georgia asks:
Is anyone doing direct marketing to FSBOs (For Sale By Owners)? I gather names from Zillow but never get a response from the mail that I send.
In general, I don't recommend that real estate photographers market directly to FSBOs for the following reasons:
I think that it makes much more sense to spend your marketing time and energy on Realtors who could be giving you repeat business. Better yet, spend some time going through your local broker sites finding the Realtors who have the most active listings. This would indicate that they specialize in listing property.
Sure, this means you will have to compete with other real estate photographers for the business but in the end, I think you are more likely to build a sustainable business. Eventually, once you get a clientele built up, you won't even have to do any marketing.
That said, in really hot markets like the Seattle area, the number of FSBOs are increasing wildly. Last month, net residential sales were 150% of the number of properties listed on the MLS. Probably the way to tap into this market is to be a Zillow Certified Photographer.