Property Photography - Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs


 

How do I become a FocalAgent Inventory Clerk?

 

It’s really easy to become a FocalAgent Inventory Clerk. You can find everything you need to know about what it’s like to become one of our Inventory Clerks by clicking here and registering with us. Once you’re registered, you can apply to join our network.

 

Do I need to have prior experience?

 

Currently yes. Any applicant will need to have completed property inventories and check-outs. FocalAgent are working on setting up training for novice clerks soon, so if it’s an industry you’d like to get involved with, watch this space!

 

Will I be required to complete any training during the recruitment process?

 

Yes, as part of our training program, you will be required to submit a dummy inspection. You will be given detailed instructions and guidance throughout the process, as well as feedback and support. We’ll also discuss with you your previous experience in property inventories and talk you through all the specificities of working with FocalAgent

 

How long does the training take?

 

The majority of our Inventory Clerks complete their training within a week or two of getting started. Little things, like returning your dummy job to us promptly will help speed up the process.

 

Will I receive any support?

 

Of course! Our training program is designed to get you up and running as quickly as possible without compromising our quality standards. The trial jobs give us an opportunity to assess your work and provide feedback on how you’re doing.  We will be available throughout the process to ensure it all runs smoothly.

 

What happens when the training is complete?

 

Once you’ve demonstrated that you have the right skills, you will need to upload proof of insurances and a basic DBS check, as well signed copy of our contract. We require each of these documents back before we can set you up to receive live work.

 

How does it all work?

Working with FocalAgent is easy and convenient – we allocate you work based on your proximity to our customers, you then liaise with the customer to book the appointment. Once onsite, you carry out the job, select your best images and upload the files – we take care of the editing and post-production before sending the final images on to the customer.

 

How do I manage my orders?

All of your orders will be stored in the online portal and app. You can accept or decline work, manage your appointments, leave us a message, or add notes to particular jobs – all in one, convenient place.

 

How will I receive the work?

You will have your own profile on the FocalAgent portal where you can manage all of your work with us (or, via the app). All new jobs will be listed under your profile, ready for you to action. You will also receive an email notification when a new job has been allocated – just remember to accept or decline it as soon as possible.

 

Who do I call to arrange the appointment?

There will always be keyholder information on the order details – simply contact them to arrange your appointment. The keyholder could be an estate agent, a vendor, a landlord, or a tenant. If you experience any issues with contacting the keyholder, please get in touch with your Territory Manager, who will help you resolve the issue.

 

What do I do if there's an issue arranging the appointment?

We ask that you contact the keyholder within three (3) hours of accepting the job, if possible. If you’re unable to reach the keyholder, please call the branch that issued the order and let them know you have attempted contact; the branch should then step in to make alternative arrangements. Remember to add a note to the order each time you have tried to call the keyholder to prevent any miscommunications between yourself and the photography support team.

 

How will I gain access to the property?

Access to the property is always granted by the keyholder – which can be different for each order: e.g. the vendor or a tenant who lives in the property. On rare occasions, you might be asked to fetch the keys from a local branch if the keyholder is unable to meet you at the property.

 

What if I can’t access the property

If you show up at the property and no one is there to provide access as arranged, please call the branch that issued the order and advise them of the situation. The job may need to be rearranged, and in this case, you would receive a cancellation fee.

 

What if the property is not ready for photography

Please contact the estate agent/local branch and confirm whether they’d like you to go ahead with the shoot. If the order is cancelled, you will receive a cancellation fee. All of our customers are sent a home-staging guide in advance – you could politely remind them of this when arranging the appointment to ensure the property is ready before you arrive.

 

How are my jobs allocated?

Jobs are automatically allocated via our system, which is based on your location and proximity to the customer/order.

 

How far am I expected to travel, and will my travel costs be covered?

To make things fair and convenient for all our FocalPros, we will always try and send you work within a 15-mile radius of your home address. Reimbursement for travel can be requested on orders that exceed 15 miles; however, this is done at our discretion.

 

What sort of clients will I work with?

Our customers range from major corporate and online estate agents to boutique and independent estate agents, which means you’ll be working with a diverse range of clientele within the property industry.

 

What do I do if the weather is affecting my photographs?

Generally, you would still be asked to proceed with the shoot, as our advanced post-production software can turn even the rainiest of days into sunny skies. In extreme cases where bad weather is affecting your ability to reach the property, please call the estate agent to rearrange the appointment and add a note for the photography support team.

 

What time of the day should I book the appointments for?

Please always arrange appointment during the daytime where there is natural sunlight, as this is the best for interior and exterior shots. Remember that in winter, the days are much shorter, so you will have to manage your time efficiently to get those orders completed.

 

If the customer requests a weekend or a day outside of SLA’s can I still book this in?

Of course, just always add a note to the order to explain why this is the case. If you can’t accommodate the requested time, please politely let the customer know that a different photographer will be handling the order and decline the job on your portal. Remember to add a note and let the photography support team know that we can reallocate the order to another FocalPro.

 

What are the expected turnaround times?

Our service is built around quality and efficiency. As such, our standard turnaround time for orders is three (3) working days from the date of appointment (although this can vary depending on specific customer requests).

How does it all work?

 

Working with FocalAgent is easy and convenient – we allocate you work based on your proximity to our customers, you then liaise with the customer to book the appointment. Once on-site, you carry out the job and occasionally complete a check-in. Once home, all you need to do is upload you 360° images and we’ll take care of the rest

 

How do I manage my orders?

 

All of your orders will be stored in the online portal and app. You can accept or decline work, manage your appointments, leave us a message, or add notes to particular jobs – all in one, convenient place.

 

How will I receive the work?

 

You will have your own profile on the FocalAgent Inventory portal where you can manage all of your work with us (or, via the app). All new jobs will be listed under your profile, ready for you to action. You will also receive an email notification when a new job has been allocated – just remember to accept it as soon as possible.

 

Who do I call to arrange the appointment?

 

There will always be keyholder information on the order details – simply contact them to arrange your appointment. The keyholder in most cases will be an estate agent, but it could also be a landlord, or a tenant. If you experience any issues with contacting the keyholder, please get in touch with FocalAgent, we will help you resolve the issue.

 

What do I do if there's an issue arranging the appointment?

 

If, after a couple of attempts, you’ve not able to contact a branch to arrange an appointment, just contact FocalAgent and we’ll try to reach out.

 

How will I gain access to the property?

 

In almost all cases, the branch will be providing keys. Usually you will need to go to their local office to collect; occasionally they will meet you on-site.

 

What if I can’t access the property

 

 Simply call the branch from whom you collected the keys. If they’re unable to assist, the job will likely need to be rearranged. In these cases, let FocalAgent know and we’ll arrange a cancellation fee.

 

What if the property is not ready for inspection?

 

As above, simply inform the branch and FocalAgent. We will assist with getting the order rearranged.

 

How are my jobs allocated?

 

Jobs are allocated via our system, based on your location, proximity to the customer/order and your availability on the inspection date.

 

How far am I expected to travel, and will my travel costs be covered?

 

You can define the radius in which you want to work, and you can decline any job that’s too far away. It goes without saying that the further you’re willing to travel, the more work we can send you. We usually recommend a 15-mile radius of cover, unless working in London.

Travel costs are added at FocalAgent’s discretion and must always be agreed prior to a job being confirmed. These are reserved for times when we ask you to travel well outside of your usual coverage area.

 

What sort of clients will I work with?

 

Our customers range from major corporate and online estate agents to boutique and independent estate agents, which means you’ll be working with a diverse range of clientele within the property industry.

 

What time of the day should I book the appointments for?

 

This is usually determined by the agent. It’s abnormal for an appointment to start outside of 9am-6pm. It’s preferable to work during daylight hours, so appointments may have to start earlier in Winter.

 

What equipment will I need?

 

Not a lot! To complete FocalAgent Inventories, you will need the following:

  • An IOS or Android smartphone or tablet (preferably no more than 3 years old) with 4G connection
  • A 360° camera
    • These are relatively affordable and easy to use
  • A small tripod for the camera
  • Access to a vehicle

That’s it!

 

What are the requirements of each job?

 

It depends on the order. Agents have a choice between two service levels – Standard Inventories and 360 Visual Inventories. Out standard inventories include a full schedule of contents and condition; 360VIs include the same as well as 360 imagery of every room and a Compliance Overview sheet.

 

What is a Compliance Overview?

 

Our Compliance Overview sheet is a document sent to agent from site, highlighting any matters of compliance that could delay check-in. This includes results of alarm testing, fire safety labels and safety apparatus on blind cords. In sending this to the agent immediately, they have more time to head-off any potential problems.

 

What images are included in the inventory?

 

We like every item documented in the inventory to be included in the photos. This includes structural elements (floors, ceilings, walls…), furniture, decoration and utensils. Good, copious photos are the best way of avoiding and resolving disputes, so we always include a lot.

 

How do the 360 images work?

 

The 360 images are embedded in our reports. Our reports are always digital, so anyone viewing the property can open them up and have a look around. As the 360 images are, just like the standard photos, date-stamped they can be used to help with disputes.

 What products/services do you offer your clients?

 

Along with inventory services, we offer Professional Photography, Video Trailers, Floorplans, EPC’s and Smart Viewing – pretty much anything that involves brilliant visual content and helps each property we touch sell/let quicker.

 

What areas do you operate in?

 

We proudly operate across the entire United Kingdom – from Portsmouth to Dundee, and everything in between!

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