Frequently Asked Questions

 

How do I become a FocalPro?

It’s really easy to become a FocalPro – provided you have the right kit! You can find everything you need to know about what it’s like to become one of our FocalPro’s by clicking here and registering with us as a professional photographer, DEA or videographer. Once you’re registered, you can apply to join our network.

 

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 trial job relevant to the work you wish to carry out for us (in this case, property photography). You will be given detailed instructions and guidance throughout the process, as well as feedback and support from our training and onboarding team.

 

How long does the training take?

It largely depends on individual talent, but the majority of our FocalPro’s complete their training within a week or two of getting started. Little things, like returning your trial job to us within three (3) working days, 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. You will have access to a dedicated training and onboarding team, who will be with you every step of the way until you’re ready to go out there on your own.

 

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. You will be introduced to your Territory Manager (and the Photography Support Team) once all the necessary documentation has been uploaded.

 

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).

 

What equipment will I need?

As this is freelance work, you are required to provide your own equipment when completing your orders. We have included a handy visual of what you need, below. If you find you need some items, just let us know and we can point you in the right direction (we know where the best deals are):

 

photographer-equipment-05

 

What are the requirements of each job?

The majority of orders you will be asked to complete are our ‘standard order’. This means that you will be required to take twenty (20) interior photographs, one (1) exterior photograph, one (1) streetscape photograph, and produce one (1) floor plan sketch. We ask that you try and capture at least 2-3 angles of each room to give our customers more choice. Once the package is complete, simply upload the images, which we will then edit/enhance, and send on to the customer.

 

What is a streetscape?

A streetscape is a general view of the road that the property is on; whereas an exterior shot is a view of the property itself. Streetscape shots need to be aesthetically pleasing and capture the area in its best possible light (so, no potholes, rubbish bins, or eyesores in the image).

 

Do I need to edit my photos?

Nope! We will do all the editing and postproduction for you. All you have to do is take the shots, upload them via the portal, and we’ll take care of the rest.

 

What shots should I take?

As part of our standard order, we ask that you take twenty (20) interior shots, one (1) external property shot, one (1) streetscape shot, and produce one (1) accurate floor plan sketch. Please cover 2-3 angles of each room to give our customers more options – for small rooms (e.g. toilets), one (1) angle is sufficient; we just ask that you use your creative judgement.

 

Can I use an app to draw the floorplan?

Yes; you may use whatever medium you’re most comfortable with when producing floor plan sketches. We would recommend drawing the floorplan by hand using graph paper, however, as our FocalPros have found this to be the quickest and most convenient way. All floor plans – be they digital or sketched – are edited and enhanced by our production team.

 

Do all properties require a floorplan?

Yes, as floor plans form part of our standard service offering. There are rare occasions where a floor plan isn’t required; if this is the case, a note will be added to the order to inform you.

 

Where do I apply for DBS/Insurances?

As a freelance photographer, you will need to be covered for Public Liability insurance (min. cover £100,000) and Professional Indemnity insurance min. cover £50,000) to be compliant with UK legislation. We recommend that you shop around to find the best insurer for you – however, we would gladly suggest some insurers if you need some guidance. You would also have to apply for a basic criminal background check to give our customers peace of mind. You can apply for a basic DBS check here (please note that it usually takes around two weeks for the certificate to arrive).

 

Realistically, how many orders will I get?

New photographers generally receive between 5-15 orders per week, which can increase once they start to build a good reputation and relationship with our customers. Order frequency also depends on your location, the number of photographers in your area, and order levels/demand from local customers – however, we will always aim to provide you with a consistent level of orders.

 

How will I get paid?

We have an automated billing system which means once you complete a job, it is automatically added to your monthly invoice and you are paid on the last working day of the month. You will be able to review your monthly invoice in real time to track your earnings. Please note that our pay schedule is one month in arrears (e.g. the orders you complete in December would be paid at the end of January).

 

What is the earning potential?

How much you earn is entirely up to you. You control your hours, the location you’re willing to cover, and the number of branches you would like to work with. As each area is different, we’ve created a handy ‘earnings calculator’ to give you an idea of your earning potential.

 

Are there extra fees, and if so, how do I claim them?

We provide extra fees under specific scenarios. For example, large property fees, cancellation fees, and additional service fees. In some instances, travel fees may also be included; however, this is only if you exceed the 15-mile radius and is handled on a case-by-case basis.

 

Is travel included?

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 happens if a job is cancelled last minute or if you arrive to the job and no one is there?

In the unlikely scenario that a job is cancelled (or if the keyholder is unable to fulfil the appointment), you would be paid a late cancellation fee. Please always add a note to the order and let the photographer support team know so they can add the fee to your invoice.

 

Who will be my point of contact at FocalAgent?

You will be in safe hands here at FocalAgent. We have a photographer support team – comprised of Territory Managers, Training Managers, Account Managers, and other support staff – all of which are ready to support you throughout your time with us. You will have a direct point of contact on the support team who you can liaise with regarding your orders and any issues whilst out on the field.

 

What products/services do you offer your clients?

Professional Photography, Video Trailers, Floorplans, EPC’s and Smart Viewing – pretty much anything that involves brilliant visual content.

 

What areas do you operate in?

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

 

Are there ever any special requests?

Our customers occasionally put in unusual requests for orders such as professional staff headshots, lifestyle shots, and branch shots (which is similar to our standard order). These requests will be handled on a case-by-case basis.