Alan in the Seattle area asks:
This morning, one of my best clients scheduled me for a shoot and when I arrived, nobody was there. When I called the client’s admin/assistant, he said they no longer are listing the home and he forgot to cancel my shoot. My contract states that a no-show or cancellation within 24 hours is charged full price of the shoot. Being the agent is one of my best clients, how would you handle this? The fact is, I not only spent over an hour in the car round trip, but I turned down another client who needed a shoot at the same time.
Tough question! How you handle a cancelation situation like this is totally dependent on what kind of a client this person is and your relationship with them. It's not black and white!
If this client is hiring you for many shoots a year, you have a positive relationship with them; they recommend you to their friends; and this is the first instance of its kind, I could easily see blowing the situation off. It sounds like it could have possibly been caused by the agent's assistant. I would have a friendly chat with the agent and find out exactly what the problem was. Don't get all worked up over this if it may lead to losing a great client. Give them another chance. Finding and training a good real estate assistant is hard!
On the other hand, if this is not the first time a no-show has happened with this client I would not let it go... it's likely to happen again.