I've had quite a few discussions lately with real estate photographers who've shared that things are starting to pick up in their market. This is great news, of course, but I can't help thinking about those whose business is still down or are still uncomfortable going out and shooting due to Covid-19. One of the concerns that I'm hearing is a heightened sensitivity about what the new normal might be when business picks up. Specifically, the fear of losing clients to those shooters who are getting back into the market before them and/or will be price-cutting to gain customers.
To address this anxiety, I always tell them two things:
These connections can take many forms. It might be a quick call or email to just to say "hi" and see how they're doing. Having this sort of quick chit-chat focused on caring and curiosity can go a long way keeping the relationship top-of-mind for our clients while being somewhat therapeutic for us! It can also be a functional connection. For instance, knowing that many of your agent clients are living in uncertain times, given the depressed marketplace that exists in many locations, they may be hurting financially. As such, you might decide to give them an extension on paying your invoices (if you're financially able to do this, of course).
The final thing I'll say to those in our community who are experiencing a lull right now is that you have the choice to take action and find opportunities in these challenging times. Perhaps you've wanted to offer drone services but haven't had the time to study/train for the license. Well, maybe now you can. Offering new, innovative services can also help strengthen connections with your existing clients and now is good a time as ever to get creative. Waiting around for the phone to ring or expecting an email with tons of opportunity is not a good strategy. It's been said that the best way to predict the future is to create it. Taking action, in whatever way we can, to do new things while maintaining our relationships is the best way to weather this storm.
I'll end by sharing a quote I saw written on a fence the other day:
This will pass… It might pass like a kidney stone… But, IT WILL PASS
Stay positive, stay focused, and stay safe.
And please feel free to share how you are staying connected with your clients during these trying times.