How Online Scheduling Helps Square Foot Photography Thrive.
We caught up with Alex Schnell, Director of Square Foot Photography, to understand how she runs a real estate photography business online. Alex discusses how photoshoot appointment software from Setmore has helped her to centralize booking information, and collaborate with team members across different locations.
Here’s how a booking site for photographers has increased the company’s client base and kept all team members in the loop with photo shoot details. Read on for advice on how to get real estate photography customers online.
Behind the lens.
Square Foot Photography provides high quality photography services to real estate professionals in Texas. The company aims to deliver a simple and cost-effective marketing solution for property owners and their representatives in the Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio areas.
“Square Foot Photography started out from the need for quick, affordable, and quality real estate photography,” Alex explains. “We wanted to offer agents and brokers a way to market their listing by using a professional, because we saw the low quality images that were being used on listings.”
As the Director of Operations, Alex manages a multidisciplinary team of photographers, image editors and administrators, based in various cities in Texas. She uses Setmore to accept and gather details for photo shoot bookings 24/7.
“We firmly believe that in today’s real estate industry, the first showing always happens online. So we want to make sure that we offer great photos, so that everyone can have a good first impression,” she says. “Our goal is to deliver the best images possible so that they can market their property in the best way they can.“
A bird’s-eye view.
Alex and her team take on both residential and commercial real estate projects across the state. This can mean shooting anything from a private condo to a commercial skyscraper. As well as digital photos, Square Foot Photography offers aerial imaging and virtual staging as part of its services. We asked Alex what made her decide to expand her portfolio and include drone photography in her packages.
“We felt that drone photography was important for residential and commercial properties because it offers a unique perspective on a property. Especially when you have a property that’s close to the beach or close to downtown. Drone photography allows us to show the proximity to unique landforms,” she explains.
Booking photography clients in a snap.
In-keeping with the company’s promise to offer a fast and reliable service, Alex uses her photographer booking website from Setmore to streamline scheduling. Clients can self-book a shoot directly from Square Foot Photography’s website, without having to call or email.
The team discovered Setmore while researching online calendars for photographers and were drawn to the collaboration tools. Alex needed an online booking system that would allow her to coordinate easily with her clients and team members across different locations. It was essential for staff to be able to log in from Anywhere to access booking information.
“Our must-haves for online scheduling was the ability to have multiple staff members in various cities. And the ability for our customers to add specific notes to their appointments, such as square footage, on site contact, or specific details about the property,” the Director explains.
Square Foot Photography’s online Booking Page displays each team member’s availability in real-time. Clients can choose a service, photographer and payment method while scheduling an appointment. Once everything is confirmed, Alex, the relevant staff member, and the client each receive automated email confirmations with the booking details.
This automated booking process cuts down the need for back-and-forth communication – internally and with clients.
“There are many moving parts involved in general with listing a home or property. So this [Setmore] was important for us, and for our customers to make scheduling as easy and smooth as possible,” she tells us.
Ready, set, shoot.
Alex describes real estate photography as a three-part process: prep, shoot, and sell.
“We send over our customers a property prep list, whether it’s for [a] residential or commercial property. And it’s basically a checklist of how to prepare the property so that we, as a photography company, can show that property in its best light,” she begins.
“So prepping the property is the first step. The second step is sending one of our experienced photographers to the property to shoot the listing. All of our photographers are trained and have a lot of experience in shooting real estate, so they know what shots are going to make the property look best.”
Each member of the Square Foot Photography creative team has a staff profile on Setmore. This allows them to manage their own schedules and receive appointment information for upcoming shoots. Everyone receives all the information they need for a job, despite being based in different cities.
“As a business, we love using Setmore. Our photographers love using Setmore as well,” she reveals. “Each day, when we make our schedule, our editors are able to go in and see the address for each appointment. And then, our photographers are able to know where they’re going for a shoot, pull up all the details for the shoot, plus know the customer name and the customer info.”
The team uses Setmore to centralize their booking information and collaborate virtually on projects. Alex tells us each step of the process goes through their photo session booking software at some point, “Having everything in one place makes it easy for our whole business to run smoothly.”
How to get real estate photography clients online.
We asked Alex if she had any tips on how to market a real estate photography business. Operating in a visual field, it’s important for photography companies to maintain a strong online presence. Square Foot Photography uses social media and email marketing to advertise their services, and attract and nurture new clients.
“We love the ‘Book Now’ option because we’re able to link it directly to our Instagram and Facebook,” she says. “We can also post a link to our Booking Page on our marketing emails and social media posts.”
Social media is one of the best ways to market a photography business in this digital era. By adding a booking button to the Instagram and Facebook business pages, Alex gives online visitors the chance to schedule an appointment right away. The buttons link to the company’s Booking Page where clients can arrange a shoot, without leaving their apps.
A focus on remote working.
With a remote work model already set up, the Square Foot Photography team was able to adapt quickly to Covid-19 restrictions.
“After the pandemic started, we had to make several changes. But as a small business, we were fortunate in that our team was already accustomed to working primarily as an online platform. Setmore helped us in this way,” Alex tells us.
Free online real estate photography appointment software allows Alex to coordinate with team members across the US. As well as scheduling photoshoot appointments, Setmore connects with a number of apps to power virtual collaboration.
A key integration is with Teleport video conferencing, which automates video meeting links in Square Foot Photography’s booking confirmations. With one click, Alex and her team can meet clients online for a preliminary consultation.
In addition to this, real estate photography businesses can accept payments in advance through the Square, Stripe or PayPal integrations.
When asked why she would recommend Setmore to other businesses, Alex highlights its convenience.
“The single biggest reason why I would recommend Setmore to other photographers or other companies is that it just makes our life easier by basically doing all of the scheduling work for us. That would sell it.”
If you’re considering how to increase your real estate photography jobs, explore photographer appointment software. You can connect with more leads and manage your calendar from anywhere. Need a Setmore account? Create one for free and head to resources for guides and videos to help raise awareness of your services.