iGUIDE Helped Julie’s Real Estate Photography Business Grow By 375%
With the cutting-edge technology of iGUIDE Julie Pringle turned her passion for photography into a fast-growing business.
Six months after she started using iGUIDE her business grew by 375 percent. Julie had to hire three people, her first employees, to keep up with the demand. She is also preparing to buy a second iGUIDE camera.
For decades Julie worked in the high-pressure world of pharmaceutical sales and marketing. About eight years ago she moved from Winnipeg to the rolling hills and sun-dappled lakes of the Okanogan Valley. Inspired by the beauty around her Julie doubled-down on her photography.
In the spring of 2016, she opened her own business called Snap Photography, shedding a decades-long career in pharmaceutical sales. Weddings, portraits and events pay the bills for most professional photographers. Julie was not interested in any of that.
So she gravitated to real estate agents and brokers who need a steady supply of beautifully framed and property lit pictures to entice home buyers.
“The best part about it is they are repeat clients,” says Julie. “If you build enough rapport they are clients who will need you over and over again when they have listings.”
One client at a time, by word of mouth, she slowly built her business. She typically provided clients with still photos and 13-frame-panoramas that give viewers a 360-degree peak inside. She paid someone to digitally stitch the images into a panorama.
Then she learned how to take the measurements by hand of every room in a house, and calculate the square-footage. Adding this service to her photography skills gained Julie more clients.
“It would take me about two-and-a-half hours, on average, to go into a home and just do measurements, and manually insert them into floor plans,” she says.
“So it was photography, measurements and floor plans, all going hand-in-hand when they list a place,” says Julie. “It was a no-brainer, it was absolutely something I had to do.”
Business was growing so slowly that every day Julie doubted her decision to jettison that lucrative career. Then Michael Vervena from Planitar called after seeing Julie’s website and social media posts.
Michael quickly explained how Planitar’s technology works and how it would grow her business. It is essentially a professional-grade DSLR camera equipped with a special laser for quickly taking super accurate measurements.
After the camera is set up everything runs through the app on her smartphone. Pictures and measurements are sent automatically to Planitar’s team in downtown Kitchener. Everything is processed there for producing life-like tours of homes with beautiful images and laser-accurate floor plans that can be viewed at the same time on a screen.
“You can actually walk through the home as if you are there yourself,” says Julie.
“The best part about iGUIDE is that it shows the two-dimensional floor plans on the left of the screen, and then it has the 360 room-by-room on the right-hand side,” says Julie.
A self-described non-techie who despises reading instruction manuals, Julie quickly learned how to use her new iGUIDE camera. After covering one-third of her own home, she took it on shoot.
“It was so simple,” says Julie.
When the images and floor plans are ready to be posted on a client’s website, Julie usually spends 15 minutes on the phone, walking them through the steps. The technology measures how long people spend on the virtual tours, and what parts they liked best. It does the same for social media platforms. Her clients get all the analytics.
“What’s my realtor actually doing for me? That’s kind of the ultimate question a lot of sellers have,” says Julie.
“So all of a sudden they are able to say: ‘This is how many people looked at your home, this is how many people looked at the social media, this is how many people looked at the online tour, this is where they clicked on it,” says Julie.
“That’s really where the rubber hits the road.”
The cost of the iGUIDE camera has paid for itself many times over.
“A hundredfold, over and over and over again,” says Julie. “I am on my way to getting another one now. It’s pretty wonderful.”