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Pro struggling to get started>Your thoughts?3969

Forum Founder DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
Hi All,

A Member of the Forum sent me this email Sunday. I am chatting with the Member by phone on Tuesday (28 February 2017).

Any suggestions of questions that I should ask or feedback that I should provide?

Dan

----

Hi Dan,

Back in December [2016] I reached out to you and you were very responsive and helpful, THANK YOU for that!! I just wanted to reach out to you again and see if you could help me with some business questions. I was going to email you last week because I was getting very discouraged with building clients and wanted your personal advice versus posting on the forum.

I try and read the forum on a daily basis and have read every forum discussion on starting a matterport business and building clients, but I am still struggling trying to sell the service. Currently out of the 50+ emails I have sent out and the 30+ doors I have knocked on I have had zero responses. I have a website, business flyers, price structure and very professional background ([career redacted] for [many] years working with suppliers and customers) but I can't seem to explain how a virtual tour is more beneficial to a video "virtual" tour or why their customers would want to see a 3D virtual tour/layout. Do you have any quick tips or pointers to getting your first client? My latest idea is to give out free trial periods... have you heard of anyone doing this?

With that said, I think I may have my first client as of yesterday. And the only reason I was able to get this client is because my friend works at the company. I don't want to rely on all my contacts in order to build a business but it seems like it's the only way to contact the right person, the decision maker if you will. How do you go about finding the right person to contact?

....


Thank you,

[redacted]
Post 1 • IP   flag post
Standard Chemistrydoc private msg quote post Address this user
I would suggest that the person utilize the Matterport tools to show agents how to WIN BIGGER LISTINGS MORE OFTEN (Dan's catch phrase) with Matterport. Often, I notice myself slipping into the routine of describing the "cool" factor, and that it's a great tour for potential buyers. The main thing that will get the agents off the fence is if they are convinced they will win more listings, and that up front investment will pay off at least with a split commission.
Post 2 • IP   flag post
justinv private msg quote post Address this user
@DanSmigrod

Is this person going after businesses or real estate agents?

If it is real estate, I would look on zillow or drive around and find a high volume realtor. Tell them you are just getting started and ask if you can do one of their listings for your portfolio. Go all out and build WP3D page and custom .info URL. I don't recommend giving services away but if you have to, then do it.

Then ask them if you can let people know you did one for them. Maybe record your screen and turn it to a Facebook ad geared toward realtors.
Post 3 • IP   flag post
Standard Chemistrydoc private msg quote post Address this user
@justinv

Couldn't agree more - my best client came about that way.
Post 4 • IP   flag post
justinv private msg quote post Address this user
Another idea, call the broker at the real estate office and ask if you can come by and give a 10 minute demo at their weekly/monthly meeting. Take up everyone's business card and draw for a free scan and website. Then email everyone you got cards from and maybe offer some kind of discount for their next listing within the next month or two. Do that at every office in town and they should at least get some kind of business going.

One thing I figured out pretty fast is that realtors want a one stop shop, so they are going to need to learn to take pictures.
Post 5 • IP   flag post
mcatino private msg quote post Address this user
I don't want to be a Kill Joy but I don't know where this post will go I usually write from the heart.

Dear Redacted,

Well your not the only one. I have also been reading the forum on a daily basis trying to get a feel for all of this, in my heart and mind I'm all in. I was since I first saw MP but there is a BIG BUT!. That would be everything I have learned and read here since joining the forum. (My Hat is off to Dan Smigrod for this place, a thousand thanks, great job)

The problem for me though as a wanna-be newbie (no MP camera yet)is the over head cost of the plans for me to dive in. They are just too much for me to absorb right now. I can do the camera for $3,500 but then need to go get some places to shoot just to get my feet wet.

The $900 Matterport discount for the camera has been around for at least the past two months and there was two show discounts of a extra $100. This came with one month free hosting when purchased with a subscription to one of their plans, as you all probably know already.

I showed allot of people and even offered to do MP free for a local retailer and home owner and still no takers. So for me the plans would be a big waste of money with nothing to shoot out of the gate. I will need a website to show my work (not too keen on showing the MP sample they supplied).

I am a old school photographer and thought about this allot and even thought of other ways around it. For right now MP is the hands down winner when it comes to the cool factor, everything else is a spin on VR tours. I even looked into immoviewer and contacted @Juliaatimmoviewer but at $69.00 for 5 active listings a month, that would do none of us any good on a long term basis. The best they offer is 20 active listing for 159.00 a month. I guess they are going after the Real Estate market exclusively and IMHO they are missing the boat by a long shot.

They all are missing it, I think, a niche product to a niche clientele, somebody is going to run out of money and funding then their product is "no more" and will die like it did in the early day's.

I bought my first Pano/VR rig (2005 I think) at B&H Photo in NYC after a demo of The Precision 360 Head with Stitcher 5 software (bought-out by AutoDesk and dropped,hmm). It was able do Quicktime VR spheres and you could do VR tours on a Nikon D70 with seven,6meg images per sphere and the quality (with or with out photoshop editing) was great for stills and fantastic for QTVR which you could email and embed in websites. The big guys jumped in but it wasn't going anywhere locally for me.

I just don't think VR wasn't ready for primetime then (IMHO). The internet was what it was then, doable, but there was no iPhone (2007) or tablets that were "house hold" names yet, fast download speeds and website were not accessible as a WordPress site is today.

Fast forward to the 2017 Super Bowl in 3D, BAM! I have something to start a conversation with. But I digress, back to the matter at hand for Redacted or a photographer trying to bring Matterport into the fold it is a extreme leap of faith (Matterport can be bought out tomorrow like Stitcher and dropped by the big fish (Google) in a blink of a eye. Apple started out with the proprietary thing that didn't serve them or me well (I started out on a PC with PS 3 and paid others to retouch my work until I had the money for everything).

Right now I need samples for my website and "right now" no one is biting with my offers. The preverbal Catch 22. I also see some MP providers in here offering MP scans for next to nothing (one company in Phoenix, AZ) here as low as $.06 sf for under 5,000 sq. ft. with a $100 min.) Really? How much is gas in Arizona? Maybe all the houses in AZ. are 4,900 sq. ft. or bigger (good if you can get it).

Here on the East coast I think you can get a bit more than that. I agree 100% with all of you about bundling and I'm cool with that. I already can give way more (I am not bragging and I am not @metroplex) than the average MP guy, if I was a MP guy, at least from a photographers stand point.

I have most if not all the equipment, I have the talent (seems you don't need any with MP) what I don't have is the knowledge to make great scans or scans as good as everyone else plus the people willing to try it for me to get started (dam those plans).

Don't get me wrong I am not going anywhere, like I first said I am all in with MP as something I want to offer. I just hope they are still around when I do get there I would hate to have a $3,500 paper weight. Can I interest anyone in a Postscript Printer? ..........didn't think so (it's a Apple joke).

So Dear Redacted, even if the fish don't bite today, I am still going fishing tomorrow and the day after that and the next day and the day after that.I can just ask you to not give up, never give up.
Post 6 • IP   flag post
Standard Chemistrydoc private msg quote post Address this user
@mcatino

Sorry to hear of your experiences.I've found that I can make a living with MP alone, although I have a number of other services. The point is to sell agents on how to WIN LISTINGS using Matterport!

I cannot foresee MP becoming a paperweight. I'm more concerned that I'll wear mine out (and have bought a second unit as a spare). I, like you, am concerned about a race to the bottom, price-wise.

Big point though that you have to drive home - yes, you can buy a camera, point it and shoot and get a passable result. HOWEVER, there are HUGE differences between those kinds of efforts and what a professional photographer with full training and understanding of the technology can achieve. I have a "wall of shame" - a private gallery of horrendous MP showcases that some area folks have done. It's important that we drive both the Via Positiva and the Via Negativa!

Best Wishes!
Post 7 • IP   flag post
justinv private msg quote post Address this user
@DanSmigrod

What city does this person live in? I was wondering if they have any competition.
Post 8 • IP   flag post
Standard JonJ private msg quote post Address this user
They could try "partnering" with brand new agents. New agents are much more accepting of the technology and understand that it is something tangible that they can point to when trying to market themselves to potential clients. After all, they don't have years of experience, no track record, no 100s of sales under their belt.
Work with new agents, create a marketing piece for them with your branding and tell them they can use it during listing presentations or on their website/Facebook page to show potential clients how they will market their home. And once they get the listing, they will give you a call. In theory....
Post 9 • IP   flag post
justinv private msg quote post Address this user
Definitely go for the younger agents. I was at a real estate about two weeks ago and everyone was very open to it but one couple. They were about 70 and he was like "I don't know how it will benefit me, I like to go show them the house instead of letting them see it online." He asked me to email him more info and I thought to myself you are the last person I want to do work for! He never received the pricing.
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Basic htimsabbub23 private msg quote post Address this user
When you approach people their mind has three reactions. Have I seen this before (if so, don't bother me) am I afraid of this (if so, I'll run) is this new and exciting. (if so, I'll listen and process the information) remember their money is not the prize. Stop being needy, THEIR MONEY IS NOT THE PRIZE. The prize is you and your amazing product. You do the best photos, You offer the best virtual tour on the market, you offer cutting edge drone images, and you sure as hell package it all together in one easy to share single property page! That's worth double whatever you're asking! Their money is not the prize, money is everywhere, it's printed every day. But your product now that's a real prize! Here is the amazing look that WP3D gives and a $3 godaddy Info web address forwarded to the page. www.39450delafieldroad.info
Post 11 • IP   flag post
justinv private msg quote post Address this user
I thought about this earlier and @htimsabbub23 just jogged my memory. When I go out and approach new agents about my services, I NEVER say Matterport. I call it a 3d tour that is similar to GSV for homes. Most people don't know what or who Matterport is and don't have the time to learn. They don't care how you produce the tour, just so it looks good. The photographer doesn't say let me bring my Canon or Nikon over and take pictures. They just want pictures taken and the same with tours. I guess the point to this is, don't use too many words they don't understand to try and impress them. Just show them an example and either they like it or not.
Post 12 • IP   flag post
Forum Founder DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
@Chemistrydoc
@justinv
@htimsabbub23
@JonJ
@mcatino

Thank you for your help. I have included your thoughts here ...


Hi All,

My talking points for today's call ...

1. "help you win more and bigger listings more often" by helping your differentiate your listing presentation to have a competitive advantage. ( "It's like Google Street View on Steroids" )

2. Ask your trusted relationships for introductions. This is your single most valuable assets. You are helping your friends succeed faster. They will be happy you asked for an intro. You got your first potential client via a friend. Replicate that.

3. You must get in front of potential clients for 1:1 show and tell. (breakfast and lunch events / shows / conferences)

4. Real Estate agents are NOT the only prospects. What spaces should be scanned in your previous business career? Your expertise in your previous career makes you a subject matter expert meets Matterport.

5. Offer to a potential client to scan the non-profit of their choice (Look at their LinkedIn profile to see what non-profit boards they are on. Great way to establish a relationship without giving away free to the client, and getting experience scanning with the non-profit.

6. Tell stories. Imagine your next listing presentation. We're going to help sell your home for the most money, in the shortest period of time with the least amount of stress (by enabling a 24/7 open house for all agents to pre-tour for their clients; enable cross-town buyers and out-of-town buyers to tour your home; and fewer times packing up the kids and cleaning the house by having potential buyers pre-walk your home.

7. Hang in there. In baseball, getting a hit 4 out of 10 times is HUGE. That still means 6 out of 10 did not work out.

8. Getting 10 orders from different people in a new business is very hard work. Getting those 10 to buy a second time means you are on your way to success.

9. Ask for help. (Reading the Forum is a great start.)

10. Ask for a video testimonial in exchange for free.

What else would you add?

Best,

Dan
Post 13 • IP   flag post
Standard Chemistrydoc private msg quote post Address this user
For agents, create a whitepaper script for them to follow to introduce Matterport as the "home run hitter". Even use this as a basis for a short "sales training session".....have just rolled this out myself and will update success.

Keith
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Basic htimsabbub23 private msg quote post Address this user
What I said above was to establish confidence. Not just in self but in the product. Simple word tracks when they seem disinterested. Such as, if you aren't looking to progress and have the best marketing campaign, I understand, we may not be a good match. Pack your stuff up and start to leave. This puts the potential client on their heels, Trust me more time than not they will now start selling you on why you two should work together. Don't thank people for their time. When you talk to people, use a simple. Word track "I'm glad I found the time to meet with you" we are all offering basically the same product here. Success isn't in the product, success is in the pitch.
Post 15 • IP   flag post
justinv private msg quote post Address this user
@DanSmigrod

First my hats off to you for taking the time to make sure this MSP makes it.

1.See if you can tell us what area they are in? Maybe someone nearby can come in and give hints about that market.

2.What career did they have before? This can help everyone think outside the box for this person.

3.What is their ideal target market? I know how to run Facebook ads and would be willing to help them get that started. If it is real estate, you can target people that work for different forms and run it just for that company. Then they would know you could help market it further than just a tour. I am sure the guy always talking about SEO, Glenn I think, could give him some ideas on marketing too.

I just had an agent text last night and tell me that the last scan I did for her, had already got her another listing, so it does work!
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