Replacing video with virtual tours paid off for Nima Mohammadi

Nima Mohammadi does not like shooting and editing video—never has.

When his real estate photography business took off, he resented it even more.

Back in 2014, Nima was a real estate agent who started photographing properties to help other agents in the office. Two years later this sideline became, in his words—“a nice profitable business.”

His company, Nima Mohammadi Photography, is based in Gambrills, MD. He shoots properties within a 50-mile radius. In 2018 his frustration with recording and editing videos reached a boiling point.

“I didn’t enjoy it at all, I didn’t want to outsource that one in any way, because at that time people liked my style of shooting, and told me: ‘This is great, this is great.’ My video wasn’t on that level, and that bothered me. I didn’t have any passion to do it better because, as I said, I didn’t like even shooting it.”

So, Nima started looking for alternatives.  His intro to the world of virtual tours began when another real estate photographer recommended iGUIDE. Nima checked it out and was impressed right away with the innovations in this leading-edge property tech.

“Matterport takes 45 minutes to an hour per house. That means if it is 3,000 square feet, the operator has to be on the property for two-and-a-half hours. The 3,000-square-feet I can do with iGUIDE in less than 30 minutes,” said Nima.

“It saves us a lot of money because it is now a 30-minute job without any post-processing,” he added.

He paid for the camera in five months. But Nima believes that return-on-investment can be reduced to one month with better marketing—offering real estate agents package deals and promoting properties on social media platforms.

“If you have clients for that, you are probably going to get it back within a month. So, it is a no-brainer.”

Here’s how he did it.

“I offer a combo package. That means photos and iGUIDE. With that you get a $25 discount,” said Nima.

“You didn’t stop there. We have something called day-to-dusk pictures. I turn daylight photos to twilight shots, without being present at the house in the evening. You just replace the sky, add some lighting to the windows, and darken the whole picture. It looks like it was taken in the evening,” said Nima.

When an agent buys the combo package Nima adds the day-to-dusk pics to the package at no extra cost.  He also displays the properties on HDPhotoHub—a popular marketing platform for real estate photographers.

Nima let that package do the talking and selling. Real estate agents started telling others about the new technology in the marketplace. It was the very best kind of advertising—word-of-mouth from satisfied customers.

“I didn’t go to any offices to present what iGUIDE can do,” said Nima.

Nima has Facebook and Instagram accounts dedicated to his real estate photography. Half of his new accounts come from word-of-mouth and the other half from Facebook. He has more than 800 real estate agents on his Facebook account.

“I am heavily into Facebook, not ads, just posts. I post everybody’s pictures on my Facebook page, tag the agents,” said Nima.

He posts the properties on his social media accounts before the listings go public.

“So, before the properties hit the market they know it is coming in the next couple of days, they are ready.  And there has been a bunch of times the property sold solely because they saw it on my Facebook page before it hit the market,” said Nima.

“So, a lot of agents choose to work with me because I advertise and give their listings more exposure,” he adds.

He does the same thing on Instagram. It is a lot of work to keep the social media accounts current when you are shooting four to six houses a day, but it pays off.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the business quickly increased. Nobody wanted homebuyers walking through their properties.

“It is crazy, it is non-stop since March, and I am super-tired, to be honest with you, but we ride the wave as much as we can,” said Nima. “We are almost at 725 houses so far this year.”