As long-standing FocalAgent photographers will tell you, things get busy in the first few months of the year. At the end of January, our orders start a steep incline and your earning potential, as a photographer, skyrockets. Here's our advice to help you get the best out of our most exciting time of year:
Having worked for FocalAgent since day one, our Head of Photographer Support, Thomas Shelley knows peak season like the best of them (editor's note: don't tell him that; his ego will get even bigger). He and the Business Coaches have been hard at work over the last few months, making sure our photographers have all the support necessary for the best ever peak season. Here, he shares his top tips for a fruitful few months.
Peak season tip #1: Update jobs as you go along
When the orders are coming in thick and fast, you'll need to provide your estate agent clients more updates than usual. Doing this as you go is the best way to avoid update information being lost or forgotten. We're now at a 95%+ usage rate for the FocalAgent App, and it's designed to help you do exactly this.
Peak season tip #2: Keep a daily schedule and stick to it
You know your diary better than we do. Before peak season, have a chat with your Business Coach. Together, you can figure out how many orders you can complete per day - and remember: the days are short. You'll want to maximise your daylight hours for shooting, so the admin like processing and sending images should be done during a specific, allocated window in your diary.
Peak season tip #3: Know how long everything takes
Now's the perfect time to speak to your Business Coach. Work with them to define how long it takes you to complete a floor plan sketch and process your images. It'll help you so much when making the daily schedule.
Peak season tip #4: Review coverage areas and capacity
When entered inaccurately, this can slow everything down - yourself included. But if they're spot-on, the orders should come in at the right speed and in the right areas.
Peak season tip #5: Talk to us!
...About everything, about anything, about nothing! If you're feeling overwhelmed, we want to know. It may be our busy season, but we're no less dedicated to making sure your life as a FocalAgent photographer is a happy one. And if you're suddenly able to take on more orders due to other freelance work falling through, that may just be music to our ears.
Peak season tip #6: Don't let your call list stack up
If you can't get hold of a home owner or tenant, don't let them stay on your call list. Inform the agent - they might be able to help you out. This takes the pressure off and allows you to spend more time helping the home owners who are more responsive.
Peak season tip #7: Remember:everyone's busy
As you'll see in an upcoming blog post, this is the busiest time of year for all estate agents in the UK. Maintaining our high standards will encourage agents to push professional photography throughout the year. That means your workload will continue to flourish for the six months following peak season. An agent kept happy during the first quarter of the year can be a friend for life!
Peak season tip #8: Don't rush jobs
Efficiency is key, we wouldn't deny that (in fact, we've got some more tips on efficiency here). But remaining positive, professional, communicative and exceptional at what you do is the only way to deliver the best service you can.
Peak season tip #9: If you're running late, call ahead
Treating home owners the same way they treat clients is a consistent trait of our most successful photographers, like those chosen for our Photographer of the Month series.
The most important part...
Peak season tip #10: Enjoy it!
FocalAgent evolved as a company during peak season in 2016. We're not just talking about the guys in HQ - we mean every photographer in our growing tribe. It's a 'trench mentality' and we'll be keeping morale up in many ways during the first few months of the year. This is the best time to earn with us. Embrace your bulging diary!
Psst... If you're a property photographer, then believe us: you'll want to sign up for instant blog notifications. It's not long 'til we reveal the official FocalAgent calendar to show our busiest times of year.