Julie Vincent Photography: Blog https://www.julievincentphotography.com/blog en-us (C) Julie Vincent Photography. All rights reserved. (Julie Vincent Photography) Tue, 10 Nov 2020 19:35:00 GMT Tue, 10 Nov 2020 19:35:00 GMT https://www.julievincentphotography.com/img/s/v-12/u276950952-o87891720-50.jpg Julie Vincent Photography: Blog https://www.julievincentphotography.com/blog 120 80 Is it true high-quality, professional real estate photography is expensive? https://www.julievincentphotography.com/blog/2020/11/is-it-true-high-quality-professional-real-estate-photography-is-expensive Is it true high-quality, professional real estate photography is expensive?

Let's do some costing:

According to CREB, in the Calgary market, the average selling price for single-family detached homes is not only stable, but rising over the same period last year.

October Average Price:
October 2019: $530,764
October 2020: $554,985

November Averages:
November 2019: $529,880
November 2020: $536,073

From: https://www.creb.com/Housing_Statistics/Daily_Housing_Summary/?tab=2

Calculations:
Using the 7/3 commission rule and assuming splitting the commission, based on the November average of $536,000 (rounded), an at-list sale will provide a total commission of $10,040 to each agent. Delete the average cost of marketing this same single-family detached home - $1000 - $1500 - and the net is in the area of $8500.

As a benchmark, average annual salary for realtors in Alberta is $89,000. Using that average, we can understand the average number of annual sales per professional will hover between 10 and 15 assuming a mix of single-family and condo/townhome sales. 

High-quality real estate photography for a single-family detached listings will be between $250 and $300 + GST (not including add-ons - social media bumps, drone, measurements). 

If a realtor reserves one half of the commission from one sale for future photography - after costs - providing, on average, $4200, they will put aside enough reserve funds to finance high-quality professional photography for 16 listings - slightly above the average number of sales for realtors in Alberta.

What we know:

  • Professional photography results in faster sales and at-list completions.
  • Professional photography is very important to sellers and critical to realtors in terms of the quality of their marketing and reputation.
  • Consistently excellent marketing and care of reputation are two of the key factors sellers use to choose specific realtors.
  • Consistently pleased sellers whose listings sell quickly for list price will refer their real estate professional to others in their networks.

Caveat: Opting for no, or poor photography for small or low-value listings? 
Not every listing will produce a huge commission. True. The question is "Who is attached to those low-return listings?" The bang for the "excellent work" buck can be huge - in reach and value when real estate professions consider who else may be attached to a low-value listing. 

  • Is the listing occupied by a younger person whose parents put up their down payment? The parents and their contacts and circles are potential clients with much higher-value listings. Are they seeing excellent marketing regardless of return, or are they seeing "This one doesn't matter to me"? 
  • Is the property owned by a landlord? That landlord may have several other properties in their portfolio and will certainly have other multi-unit-owning landlords in their network.

High-quality, professional real estate photography must be your first choice
Always choosing pro photography will, demonstrably, result in faster sales, more at-list completions, more referrals and at least one more sale annually. ONE additional annual sale provides the reserve fund $$ for TWO YEARS of professional photography without the realtor seeing any decrease in their annual revenue.

Photography is a business expense - a cost of doing business that provides a tax write down. The $4200 (average) that pays for photography for 16 listings is, in reality, enough to finance double that number thanks to that tax payment reduction.

The Facts
The numbers prove high-quality professional real estate photography is an essential, valuable, worthwhile part of doing business. Gorgeous, well-crafted photography forms the basis of excellent marketing and of creating and maintaining your reputation as a dedicated, client-focused, determined professional.

WHY HIRE ME?
There is good photography and there is great photography. Many photographers in our local market have good technical skills but may not pay appropriate attention to details:

  • Skewed, bowed, crooked walls
  • Dizzying perspective shots
  • Cut-off or protruding items in the frame
  • Poor composition
  • Items blocking the view
  • Too much focus on not-for-sale items -furniture, decorations
  • Distracting, over-processed windows that pull the viewer's attention from the rooms
  • Animals and/or people in the shot
  • Photographer and/or their gear reflected in glass.

My work is bespoke, considered, excellent.
Whether you're seeking professional photography for a 1000 square foot condo or a 7000 square foot estate, I provide the same, high-quality, representative photography. My goal is to wow your clients and support your marketing and your reputation.  

I look forward to working with you, and providing high-quality professional real estate photography that will delight your clients, make your marketing glow, and support your professional reputation.

Our OFFER. 

  • Excellent, high-quality real estate photography for residential listings, commercial listings, leasing portfolios, and archival photography for contractors, builders, heritage planners, and developers. 
  • We coordinate your photography, your measurements, your drone photography (if/when required), virtual reality tours (Matterport), full floor plans and drawings, design services (NCIDQ/LEED certified), staging and staging consultations. Cleaning (move out/move in) on request. 

Call me today to learn more. 


Julie. 
 

 

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(Julie Vincent Photography) https://www.julievincentphotography.com/blog/2020/11/is-it-true-high-quality-professional-real-estate-photography-is-expensive Tue, 10 Nov 2020 19:34:48 GMT
INDIAN. RELAY.: A photographic exhibition in Calgary 2019 https://www.julievincentphotography.com/blog/2019/6/indian-relay EXHIBITION NOTES and DATES follow this post
This is the story of an old dog, a guy with an injury, and a fence…. The BraveSteven Wolf Tail Rider, Brave, Jockey, Athlete, Warrior, Chief, Son, Friend, Brother.

In March, 2018, big metal diggers came to tear down the old house next door. We weren’t sad to see it go, given an “interesting” tenant, who had, for the preceding two years, made our day-to-day tense and unpleasant. it was so bad, and the landlord so unwilling to act, we finally contacted a few developers to see if they'd be interested in purchasing the lot next door.  Wonder of wonders, within a month, a developer did buy the lot next door! When the sold sign went up three days after listing, we were thrilled. Two months later, said horrifying tenant boxed up his belongings and left.

The builder, Truman Homes, is very efficient with their projects. The home next door went from tear-down to ready-for-occupancy in just over four months.

Two days before the end of June, a crew of four men, accompanied by a lovely old dog, set up shop in our backyard to remove the old fence and began installing the new. This new fence was an omen of sorts; a definitive, solid barrier between the past and its difficulties and a new chapter.

The old dog lolled peacefully in the warm sun, enjoying the cool grass in the back yard. Eventually, I went out to bring him water, and to say hello to the crew. As I chatted to one of the men, I noticed he had an injury to his leg, and asked him how it had happened. “I came off a horse,” he explained, adding “At a race.” Intrigued, I asked what kind of racing, to which he replied, “Indian relay,”  and, “You should come tomorrow; we’re racing at Strathmore.”

 We did not know then how much this young man’s invitation to the relay would change our summer and our lives. We went, armed with cameras and a hope we’d have a chance to photograph our new friend. The atmosphere was electric, but as we were as yet uninitiated, we did not understand the excitement and intensity of this sport.  As the grandstand began to fill, we could feel anticipation building.

 On a whim, we asked the nearest official-looking person if we could cross the track and shoot from the infield. Yes, but hurry on; the horses and riders were coming in to the area in front of the grandstand.

 Races last a bare three minutes;  Four or five teams of three men with two stirred up and ready-to-run horses take their places in “boxes” delineated with flour lines whist the riders — braves, warriors, chiefs, and maiden racers — fight to keep their mounts held at the start line, waiting for the blast of the start horn. One hot second after that sound, the track is a furry of horseflesh, flying dirt, colour, heat, and screaming riders flashing by.

A bare minute later, they race full tilt towards the boxes, slowing at the last possible moment. The riders are in the air, flying off one still-running horse and bounding with astonishing strength and grace onto the next, then hell-bent-for-leather around the track again. Sweat and mud flying, they race into the boxes, and seconds later they’re off for the last round. Five heartbeats later they’re flying breakneck towards the finish line. The adrenaline is palpable.

We were hooked. In those three minutes,  we didn’t want to be anywhere else but at the relay for the rest of the summer.  We headed down to Kainai First Nation in early July for the rodeo and pow wow. To say I'd become a full-on relay groupie would be benign.

One afternoon, I was with a good friend, and was carrying on like a five-year-old at an amusement park when my friend casually interjected, "I know what your next project should be...." FLASH!!!

As an aside, in March of 2018, I had wrapped up the sixth year of a street photography project that had taken me and my colleague, Chris Tait, around the world. That project had morphed from an accidental one-year thing to a much longer project via a series of unanticipated events. We had decided, after our fifth year travelling, to have a retrospective in year six rather than travel, and to then retire that project. I was feeling quite adrift without a show to put up, so my friend's casual suggestion cemented immediately.

The following weekend, we were at Piikanni First Nation in Brocket, Alberta, and I asked our new friend and rider, Steven Wolf Tail, if he would be willing and comfortable to be the subject of this project. He was, and his parents were as well.

We followed Steven to several more races and then to Walla Walla Washington for the first ever international Championship Relay, where we were granted media access for the weekend.

We are beyond grateful to Steven, his mother Wyonah and his dad Irvin for letting us in to their lives, and to the competitors and people in the nations we've travelled to for their hospitality and friendship. It's been an unparalleled experience. We've learned so much this year.


EXHIBITIONS
Calgary Public Library, New Central Branch: Main floor, June and July 2019; Indigenous section
The Peanut Gallery, October and November 2019

Rosso Coffee Roasters: July and August 2020: Rosso Inglewood and Rosso Ramsay

We have been short-listed to Exhibit at the Prince Takamado Gallery, Canadian Embassy, Tokyo: Watch this space!

With our deep thanks to Steven Wolf Tail and his mother and father, Wyonah and Irv Wolf Tail and to the Canadian Indian Relay Racing Association (CIRRA). 

 

 

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(Julie Vincent Photography) Horse Racing horses Indian Relay Indigenous Sports photographic exhibition Photography photography exhibition Calgary sports photography sports photography in Alberta Traditional Indigenous Sports https://www.julievincentphotography.com/blog/2019/6/indian-relay Mon, 03 Jun 2019 17:19:01 GMT
Travelling, Cancun and Isla Mujeres, Mexico https://www.julievincentphotography.com/blog/2018/12/travelling-cancun-and-isla-mujeres-mexico We spent the last week in Cancun about 20 minutes north of Cancun airport at a nice, but soon-to-be-renovated hotel. We had a lovely ocean-facing room which provided gorgeous views, brilliant sunrises and sunsets. The downside with any hotel in zona hotelaria is it is very windy and it's loud - way more than one would imagine. Small price to pay for how lovely it is, though.

The first day we were there, the humidity was 95 percent. My spouse finds that cloying. I, however, LOVE it. Combined with a sunny, 25 degree day, it was heaven. Interesting tidbit: the combination of very functional air conditioning, high humidity, and tile flooring is instant steam bath and slippery floors if one wishes to leave the patio door open.... Two days after we arrived, I noticed a little warning label on the patio doors to the effect of "Always keep this door closed or the floors will be dangerous." Yup. Confirmed. Also, the wine glasses fog up and are ALSO slippery and there's no excuse for spilling perfectly good wine.

We learned a few things this trip. Things are shifting in Cancun. The zona hotelaria has become a bit "Vegas," with huge hotels lining the entire coastline from just north of the airport all the way nearly into the city itself. My impression is the various hotel chains have discovered a new way to fund their builds, being "giving away" adventures in exchange for 90 minutes of your time, in hopes that time will equal you spending a LOT of US dollars for some sounds-good-but-isn't deal. 

Our introduction to this new "vacation feature" came immediately on arrival at our hotel. We were checked in, got our keys, and our bags were whisked off to our room, but before we could head there ourselves - or to dinner, because it was 6 p.m. and we were hungry after a five-hour flight - we were "invited" to sit down with a coordinator to talk about our plans for the week. We mentioned in passing we were going to Isla Mujeres for a day, and to Selvatica (zip lines and other fun outdoor adventure-type stuff) sometime during the week, by which we provided our coordinator the needed entryway.

Our coordinator explained as guests, we had free run of our all-inclusive hotel and the other two in the area; one a few kilometres north, and the other on Isla. Then, we were offered free entry to Salvetica in exchange for a 90 minute "tour" of the hotel up the road.  We knew what we were in for but the per-person entry to Selvatica is $180 US, so in this case, we were willing to take that deal.

The entire pitch was actually 90 minutes, some of which was spent touring the sister hotel and about 45 of which was spent with a sales guy, who offered us food and drinks and more drinks.... followed by a conversation with his "boss," who made the fatal mistake of talking non-stop about himself and how rich he is. NOT a selling feature, when combined with high-pressure tactics to spend $10,000 USD as an initial "investment," and a further "only $210 USD per month" for 10 years, to get a reduced room rate of $700 USD per week, and a bunch of free weeks and transferable rights and all sorts of mumbo jumbo. No thanks.

They gave us $150 pesos for the taxi home though, so that was nice - except we should have saved that money and spend the 12 pesos each for the very convenient local bus that comes every five minutes and stopped directly in front of our hotel... oh well.

While we were up the road, we stopped in a La Isla Dorada - a pretty great outdoor shopping mall filled with mostly US chain vendors but also with a few local vendors. I have to say, Mexican pharmacia are great; they offer pretty much everything you need; flip flops (marked up at La Isla, of course) food, snacks, whatever over the counter drugs you might need, and tequila. LOTS of tequila.

Whilst wandering around La Isla, we happened on a kiosk offering reduced fares over to Isla Mujeres. The regular return fare is $20 USD - not terrible for a 20 minute crossing, but a deal is a deal. That, and the guy selling these reduced fares - $15 USD each - was somehow making college fund money selling these reduced fares.... I asked him several times if there was a sales pitch attached to these reduced fares, but he said 'No" each time. However, he was strident in making sure we contacted him the next day so he could personally escort us to the pier, with a "brief" stop for a free breakfast at a new hotel nearby the ferry terminal. This brief stop was the dreaded 90 minutes of our time.

This particular property was, admittedly, gorgeous. Brand new and on the north point of the zona hotelaria, it benefits from much calmer seas and nearly no wind. We enjoyed breakfast and informed our "guide" we would be saying no to whatever he offered us. He informed us we wouldn't have access to the reduced ferry fees if we didn't stick it out, so as we'd already paid for the crossing fare (I'm cheap like that), we agreed to go have a tour.

 

The tour culminated in a request for a $17,000 "initial investment" which was somehow magically going to be worth more money "next week," a monthly payment of $851 USD on top of that, all for the benefit of "ownership," "transferability," and only 10 years of payments at that rate. We did the math and the cost was about $170,000 USD for the privilege of only paying $650 per week for the 20 weeks vacation we could use in the next 20 years...  Three hours later, we (ok me) became a bit testy, as we wanted to be on our way over to Isla Mujeres... 45 minutes more and we were finally on the pier awaiting transfer, armed with a new beach bag, a bottle of questionable tequila and $300 pesos for the return taxi to our hotel.

As an aside, we had every intention of busing back to the hotel - 12 pesos per person is so cheap! My spouse wanted to make a stop at the Chedraui though. Chedraui is the Mexican equivalent of Walmart. They're everywhere. The one right in the bend of the road in the zona hotelaria is very upscale and has a fantastic food floor - it's a must-see for sure. So we debarked from the bus in front of what we thought was our target. I often leave the travel planning to my spouse - he really likes maps and stuff - and this night was no exception. Except we weren't at the right location. No worries, the other location was only 2k down the road - a nice walk on a warm night, so we set off, only to discover yet again, we were still FAR away from the correct location and we were now unsure of where the bus stop back south was... so the $300 pesos was ultimately spent on taxi fare. My spouse checked his map and realised how far off the mark we were... poor guy. He was chagrined, but nothing a nice meal and some mescal didn't fix.

Isla Mujeres is my favourite place on the Carribian side of Mexico. It's a tiny, weird island 1/2 a km wide and about 7 kms long, with a pirate history, great beaches, some interesting places to visit - a sea turtle intepretive centre and some ruins at the south end of the island - and some pretty great restaurants and shops at the north end. LOADs of US expats living there. My spouse mused about what might happen were one to enter a crowded place and yell "Maintenance Enforcement!" Isla is definitely worth a day trip and wonderful as a place to spend a few days. The bulk of the tourists head back over to the mainland at the end of the day, and Isla becomes very Mexican in the evenings. Good food, good music.


The day trip to Salvatica was loads of fun. The facility has an interesting history - some expat who crashed his plane there 90 years ago, and decided to stick around. There is an old, wrecked DC3 on the site - rumoured to be the real McCoy. Who knows.... There are a bunch of zip lines, some of which you're flying on in "Superman" position, and others hanging. They have a jungle roller coaster complete with noisy, rough, "is this safe" rickety metal tracks. There's a gorgeous cenote - essentially a 25 foot deep crater in the limestone - filled with lovely, cool water, into which you can dive or fling off a trapeze line. And there are ATVs and some lovely, huge mud puddles to plow through, following which you're back to the cenote to dive in and wash the red mud off. Included is a mid-day meal and a light supper of chicken, rice and beans. Very satisfying after a fun day.

So. Advice. Pick your battles. You may pick up a GREAT deal on an adventure, meaning you may end up saving a wad of cash by giving up 90 minutes of your time, providing you are offered this through your hotel. The deals offered at the various kiosks in La Isla, and various other locations littered throughout the zona hotelaria, however are "avoid, avoid." Those deals are not "sweet" enough by any stretch and the 90 minutes can quickly turn into three hours of forceful, confusing sales pitches.

Above all, be forewarned: these sales pitches SOUND like they're potentially selling a great deal. They do NOT. They are as close to a scam as legally possible and they rope you in to a non-resellable "investment" that is not an investment at all. Learn to smile, nod, take the freebies, and say NO. A lot. To whatever they offer.

Isla Mujeres, MexicoUnknown dancer

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(Julie Vincent Photography) cancun caribbean coastline dorada isla la mexican mexico mujeres ocean pitch sales scams timeshare travel https://www.julievincentphotography.com/blog/2018/12/travelling-cancun-and-isla-mujeres-mexico Wed, 19 Dec 2018 03:18:47 GMT
Wait, WHAT? License fee? What's that? https://www.julievincentphotography.com/blog/2018/3/wait-what-license-fee-whats-that So, you've had a new set of head shots done and you're about to go get your marketing on, but all of a sudden, your photographer is asking you for a license fee. Can they do that?

Yes.

When you're booking your photographer, it is important you communicate what you want to do with your images: do you want them for personal use on social media? Your personal websites? The sides of buses? Billboards? A print ad campaign? Your business cards? Are you a private individual or a business?

The images your photographer makes are copyright, and the photographer is always the first owner of those images. You are granted a use license. Will every photographer put this into writing? Nope. Should they? Yup. Can they come back to you for license fee if you use the images they make for you in a commercial, or advertising capacity? Yes, they sure can.

In 2012, Canada modernized the Copyright act. Prior to that, photographers were not covered, and were required to add an ownership clause to any contract. Since 2012, however, it is written into law photographers own their work, regardless who it is done for, or why.

Here's the core of the act, as it relates to personal and commercial uses:
Personal Use:
"In the case of a private order for a photograph or image made by an individual for non-commercial purposes, the person who makes the order has the right to reproduce the photo as he sees fit, without the photographer’s authorization. This person has the right to authorize anyone to do the same. He may print as many copies as he wishes, distribute them, or publish them on the Internet without limits."

A note on the "unlimited" bit here: your photographer CAN write a contract that limits or specifically prevents you from reproducing the images. Do you have to sign that contract? No.
Can your photographer structure their contracts and their business in a way that protects their work and their income? Absolutely.
Do photographers who don't protect their business and their work stay in business very long? Nope.
Are there other similar protections in the business world? There sure are; patents, trademarks, non-disclosure agreements, non-compete agreements. No viable business gives its product/process away.

Commercial Use of Photography:
"Any commercial use is prohibited without the author’s authorization. The customer may give the photo to another individual (such as his mother or his sister), but may not sell it. He also may not give it to an organization (for example, the firm for which he works), so that the business can use it in its communications or on its website, because this constitutes commercial use, related to marketing and public relations."

 

A professional photographer will have structured packages, but unless that photographer is a commercial photographer, and if you haven't disclosed your intentions, you may not see a section in that contract specifying the license fee for commercial use.

Don't assume that fee won't apply if you are going to commercialize your images. You must tell your photographer what your intentions are. It is not enough to say, "I just want a few digital images for my website," and saying that can get you into trouble if, later, those images appear in an ad campaign.

As always, if you're not sure, ask.

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(Julie Vincent Photography) commercial photography license fees photography when do license fees apply https://www.julievincentphotography.com/blog/2018/3/wait-what-license-fee-whats-that Sun, 04 Mar 2018 05:42:49 GMT
One Hour https://www.julievincentphotography.com/blog/2018/1/one-hour Every so often, I, like all humans, get into a funk, or a rut, or it's dark and cold outside and, well.... It's easy to become distracted, or to invent some distractions at those times. I also occasionally fall into the "there's nothing to shoot" trap.

In the middle of January, a bare two weeks after the hype of the holidays, when the holiday decorations are 80 percent off, and the music is back to normal "muzak" in the shops, and when spring is yet another eight weeks away - and you know there's a few weeks of wicked cold still to come, hunkering down is a pretty attractive pass time. Today, in one of those moments, I settled in with a photography book I've had for a few months, and have cracked but not studied: Mike Drew's On the Road.

Mike is a seasoned photographer. He's been with the Calgary Sun since the Sun began and has travelled all over the planet shoot and working. This book, On the Road, is home-grown, simple, uncomplicated, deep and beautiful: it covers the roads around Calgary to a bunch of small, out-of-the-way places, where probably a few people would think, "there's nothing there too shoot."  And yet, there's everything to shoot. I read all the words, which Mike wrote, so much in his own voice. As I put the book down, having read it still in my jammies at 10 a.m., I thought, "What am I still doing inside? It's the middle of January, it's a gorgeous Alberta day, four degrees, and I have time before my shoot today."

I'm going to take advantage of these lulls, the days I'm unmotivated, the days I need to remember my photojournalism instructor's gruff, "Go shoot wild art," directives and how forcing point of view is a darned good means of pulling the focus in to a single point, and how calming that is. I've shot some of my favourite work on days I thought I didn't have time.

So this occasional series called One Hour will be the results of chasing wild art. Yesterday, I took my gear, my dog, and my hour, and went to the Weaslehead in North Glenmore Park in Calgary. It was nice.


Click this link for the gallery; Prints are available for purchase.
Enjoy.

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(Julie Vincent Photography) get out of that rut girl shooter go shoot one hour whatever wild art https://www.julievincentphotography.com/blog/2018/1/one-hour Sun, 21 Jan 2018 02:53:50 GMT
A Big Story about How It's the Little Things... https://www.julievincentphotography.com/blog/2017/12/a-big-story-about-how-its-the-little-things It's been an interesting 20 months around our house - literally "around" due to a renter, who moved in next door....

 

I learned a lot of things in the last year and a half - about social behaviour, about patience, about ear-plugs, about wind, and what it does to curtained gazebos, and about the minutia of the landlord/tenant legislation in Alberta. I also learned about what it feels like to be a potential seller, and how a careless comment can put a hole in a heart....

Our neighbour of more than 20 years has an agreement with their landlord which allows them to sublet. There have always been sub-tenants next door, but in all that time, beyond the occasional parking crunch (mostly on-street around here), there have been zero issues.

Last year, a sub-tenant moved in, leaving all propriety, manners, and privacy somewhere else.  Our dining room window faces their stairs and porch. Between the six times daily smoking on the porch punctuated by also-six-times-daily phlegm ejection into junipers beside the stairs, the sub-tenant was an ever-present fixture. It didn't help their attire of choice, regardless of weather,  was shorts. Just shorts, and I mean JUST shorts..... nothing else.  At. All.And, if that tenant wasn't on the porch, they were in the back yard, where they'd placed their bbq against the fence (no, I don't know what they were thinking...), which meant they were either watching us come and go from the front, or watching us through the fence; hence the curtained gazebo. Also hence the opaque window film and a change from open for breeze to closed to keep out the smoke.

The situation did not improve after I lost my cool one day and suggested, strongly, the tenant please, please use his bathroom indoors as a receptacle for what was coming out of his lungs. This did not land well, and was met with strong language and threats, an uptake in phlegm ejection and the addition of "farmer blows."

Worse, the tenant began to listen for our back door; any time they heard us outside, they were out there, smoking and spewing... it was gross. Eighteen months of daily incursions resulted in two letters to the owner and, finally, when it got to be too much, a phone call.

It was at this point I understood one of the finer points of the provincial tenancy act is this: our neighbour of 20 years is the tenant of the landlord. They are the landlord of the tenant they sublet to. What this meant is the actual owner didn't necessarily have the legal footing to act with respect to the sub-tenant, although he did speak to his long-term tenant. It didn't make any difference, unfortunately; the sub-tenant was on a mission.

For the record, the tenants in the other side of the residence - a duplex - have posed some challenges over the last 10 years as well, including an aggressive dog and one of them hitting my car and busting off the front bumper while my entire family was watching during dinner, and their "I didn't do that and I have no idea who you are, or where you live," comments when we confronted them....

So, around the time the entire situation became unbearable, I mentioned the residence to a builder who is very active in this community. I didn't expect that mention would result in anything, necessarily.

Imagine my joy three weeks later, when a For Sale sign appeared on the lawn next door! I was ecstatic but my enthusiasm turned into confusion and not a little panic within hours, when said builder, hoping to acquire an "assembly" a term I'd never heard, made us an offer.

As a real estate photographer, I am regularly in contact with realtors, sellers, buyers and buyers agents. I thought I had a pretty good handle on the drill, until this offer landed in my ear.

I know this builder well. They do beautiful work. Because I had made the initial overture to the builder, and because I had suggested our property might also be available, and because the rep knows what work I do, their representative rightly felt free to speak frankly to me. There is a gap, however, between business, and one's attachment to the home they've lived in for 30 years; the rep's comment, "You should take this deal, your house is just a tear-down" was an unintended but painful slap. It was at that moment my understanding of how a little comment - and a presumption - can kill a deal. To be clear, the rep in no way meant to be hurtful but I was shocked by how hard that comment hit, even though I know it is correct. But that unintended lack of awareness killed the deal for me.

The lesson I learned is this; even though a seller/potential seller brings you the deal, is motivated, driven, decided - whatever - they will have bits of their heart and soul stored in the walls and spaces of their home. Even knowing the seller wants it sold, we must always keep, in our back pocket, the knowledge sellers will leave a bit of themselves in that home.

I bear no ill-will at all towards that builder's rep. He has an excellent reputation, and was doing his job. I'm very glad to have had this experience. It shone a bright light on a little, important detail.

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(Julie Vincent Photography) home buyers home selling landlord and tenant real estate reputation selling tenants https://www.julievincentphotography.com/blog/2017/12/a-big-story-about-how-its-the-little-things Fri, 01 Dec 2017 18:51:35 GMT
Real Estate Photography; Why you SHOULD hire a professional https://www.julievincentphotography.com/blog/2017/6/real-estate-photography-why-you-should-hire-a-professional Most of us have those times of trying to be all things to all people, and most of us fail. Jack/Jill-of-all-trades is a great idea, but is rarely functional in real life. When I was in business school, the idea of being great at what I do and hiring others who are great at what they do was reinforced daily.

Where it comes to marketing generally, and specifically when your marketing concerns a specific person or family, and a product - a home purchase - a highly-emotional process - quality of marketing really matters to that client, and to you. Trying to be "all things to all people" can fail badly. It isn't a question of desiring to be the best at everything, but a fact time simply doesn't permit.

Here are some facts about real estate and realtors - and these are general; every area of the country, and cities and towns within those areas, will have their peculiarities:

  • On average, realtors sell between 12 and 15 homes a year. Some are very high-producers and some not; generally, however, those figures form the average.
  • In major markets, single-family homes sell between $450,000 and $650,000 - and again, these are averages; Vancouver and Toronto currently skew national averages quite a bit.
  • Most commissions are shared between two realtors, so, on an average sale, each realtor will make in the area of $9000 before brokerage fees and marketing costs, based on the average sold price.


Photography for an entire year is half of one commission, is a cost of doing business and is a write-off against annual income: Win/Win.

Some people see photography as an unnecessary cost; here's how I see it:

  • It is important to understand almost all those looking for a realtor, and those looking to buy a home, begin their research on line. On this basis alone, the quality of listing photography is paramount. Why? because studies over the last five years show clearly home-seekers click away from poorly-photographed listings: your listing may be wonderful, but if it doesn't look wonderful on line, a potential buyer may skip over it. Worse, if your listings look poor, potential clients will move on to another realtor, whose listings look great.
  • From the client's perspective, excellent listing photography means the seller sees their home looking gorgeous. My goal is to hear, "Wow, that looks amazing! I'd buy that," from the client.
  • From the realtor's perspective, if their MLS listings consistently look gorgeous they'll attract more - and better - clients. Clients are attracted by beautiful listings and beautiful listings mean a dedicated professional realtor.
  • Beautifully-photographed listings sell faster. This is a fact, and this also plays into reputation and more importantly, into referrals!
  • Clients have higher regard for realtors who have a team of professionals around them.

Beautiful photography matters; it is influential, it establishes you as a pro and as a reliable professional, and, most importantly, it shows your clients they are your primary concern.

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(Julie Vincent Photography) estate Home buyers home selling home staging photography prepare your home for sale real reputation https://www.julievincentphotography.com/blog/2017/6/real-estate-photography-why-you-should-hire-a-professional Tue, 06 Jun 2017 17:34:28 GMT
How to stage your home for real estate photography https://www.julievincentphotography.com/blog/2016/3/how-to-stage-your-home-for-real-estate-photography How can you maximize exposure for your for-sale home? Details. Take care of the details. Make your home attractive to potential buyers.
Here are some staging tips.

START HERE: Narrow your view

An easy way to see better what a potential buyer will see when they view your for-sale home is to photograph each room, and view the images on a computer screen. Pay attention to what items in those images jump out, or draw your eye, and make notes for each room. Note clutter, burnt-out or different colour light bulbs, crooked lamp shades, damaged or dirty walls, items showing above cabinets or below beds. Take one shot from the door of each bedroom, and from two angles of your living room, kitchen and basement.

Main Floor

De-clutter and make space. You may be very comfortable in your space, but if you intend to sell and sell quickly, your goal is to make buyers comfortable in that space. Give potential buyers every opportunity to see themselves and their stuff in that space.

  • Remove personal items - knick-knacks, personal photos, magazines, newspapers, anything you don't use at least on a weekly basis.
  • Hide your TV/stereo remotes in a drawer.
  • Edit your furniture; make your rooms look larger by removing anything that doesn't need to be there.
  • Vacuum/sweep floors, including under rugs and throws.
  • De-clutter your kitchen, and be ruthless about it. Remove anything you don't use every day. Scrub and shine the sink and counter tops, and wipe down cabinets.
  • Hide dishcloths, dish scrubs, dish washing soap; if these items are out, your potential buyer instantly thinks, "needs cleaning." Out of view and your buyer thinks, "Already very clean."
  • Clean off the fridge. There should be nothing on top of or attached to the fridge.
  • Remove items from bulletin boards.
  • Hide the garbage bins - and fire your photographer if they photograph garbage bins inside the house. Nobody wants to buy trash.

Bedrooms

  • Make the beds. Make, not pull up the sheets; make them and dress them up a bit. If your box spring is exposed, get a bed skirt. This will instantly make the room look cleaner, and gives you extra under-bed, invisible storage.
  • Remove laundry hampers and hang up/store all clothing; your buyer wants to step into their potential bedroom, not to feel like they're invading your private space.
  • If you're having showings, wash the sheets; you may not be able to smell yourself, but anyone viewing the home will. Clean sheets make a huge difference.
  • Deodorize carpets with baking soda: buy large boxes of baking soda, perforate the box top with a sturdy skewer to make 10 - 15 large-ish holes, and sprinkle the baking soda over your carpets. Let it sit for 30 - 45 minutes, then vacuum.
  • Store extra blankets and bedding.

Basement

  • If your basement is finished, treat it as you would your main floor living areas: de-clutter, remove personal items, sweep/vacuum and deodorize. On the point of deodorize, take care with spray scents and incense; those can leave bitter smells, and some people are sensitive to strong odours. Wash anything washable - blankets and throws, and throw pillows if they're washable. Most throws and pillows can spend 10 minutes in a warm dryer, with a dryer sheet, to freshen up.
  • If your basement is unfinished, the more you can contain items in one area, the larger the space will look and the easier it will be for potential buyers to imagine themselves and their stuff there.
  • Use clean sheets to "wall off" your storage area; by hiding your boxes you instantly make the basement clean!


Bathrooms

  • Of all the rooms in your home, the bathrooms must be spotless. Clean the floors and super-clean mirrors; spend money on a set of good, white or off-white towels - and only have those up for photos and showings
  • Hang a white shower curtain; remove old bathroom/shower rugs; make sure the area around the sink(s), shower and tub are free of mould and discolouration. Beach if necessary, or remove and replace old caulking/silcone
  • De-clutter your personal care items. Box up everything you don't use daily. Items you use often - every couple days or weekly at least - can be stored in drawers or under the sink. During photography and showings, your shower and bath should be empty of personal care items
  • Remove branded items and clear counters around the sink; these areas should be free of soaps, toothbrushes, hair brushes, and personal items.
  • Some personal items should be removed all together. Although they should not, potential buyers will open cupboards and drawers, so certain personal items should disappear entirely during showings.

Exteriors

  • Curb-appeal also matters: store garden tools, hoses, shovels, toys and lawn/yard-care implements; hide trash bins; cut the lawn, or shovel; make sure all pathways are clear and free from debris and ice. 
  • Spray gate hinges and locks with WD-40 and tighten up any loose gate screws. Make sure your lawn/common areas are free of dog and cat 'dirt.'

Photography

After the amount of work you will do to prepare your home for sale, you should expect excellent photography. A gorgeous home can look used and dark when poorly photographed.

  • Insist your realtor use a skilled, professional real estate photographer.
  • Check out potential realtors' listings on MLS.ca to see the quality of their listing photography.
  • More than 95 percent of potential buyers start their search on line.
  • Of that 95 percent, more than 90 percent skip listings with poor photography.

As a point of reference, on average, realtors sell 10 - 15 homes per year. The cost of professional photography for 15 listings is approximately equal to HALF the commission of ONE listing, and that cost is a tax write-off business expense. Professional photography should be part of your realtor's marketing package.

Staging
Selling a home is a lot of work, the goal being a quick sale. A staged home will always photograph better and sell more quickly than a comparable lived-in home. If it's all too much, or you don't have time to prepare, there are excellent organisation and staging companies in YYC; definitely worth contacting, if you don't have time, or need assistance preparing your home for sale.

Save Time and Reduce Stress Prior to Moving:
As you edit the furnishings and clutter in your home, begin packing away (in labelled boxes) all non-essential items. Anything you don't use on a regular basis should be boxed and labelled. As a bonus, you'll be able to start your "donate" and "toss" boxes. When it comes time to move, you may find you have 50 percent of the job done - a huge stress reducer prior to a move.

Need some specific help?

Want professional photography?
Email me! info@julievincentphotography

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(Julie Vincent Photography) Home buyers home selling home staging prepare your home for sale real estate real estate photography https://www.julievincentphotography.com/blog/2016/3/how-to-stage-your-home-for-real-estate-photography Wed, 02 Mar 2016 01:09:30 GMT
Paris: A Travel Blog https://www.julievincentphotography.com/blog/2015/11/paris-a-travel-blog We're just back from our week-long trip to Paris, where we - my colleague, Chris Tait of www.christait.ca - and I made the work for our upcoming exhibition. We're four years in to a project we thought was going to be a one-off, but now looks not to really have an end date.

Chris had been to Paris previously, as a kid, with his parents. I had not, despite my ancestors coming from Montbeliard, which is near the France, Switzerland border;

Paris is a beautiful city. The Seine sweeps through the centre of the arrondisments like a shimmering ribbon bordered by gorgeous and stately architecture. The city is immensely walkable, as it isn't large in terms of area. One can become happily lost with not a worry, as there are metros everywhere by which one can quickly orient themselves and return to their starting point.

Otherwise, Paris is a stately city. The pace of life is peaceful, owing in some part to the reality of two-hour lunches and late dinners; it's usual for people to have their evening meal around 8 p.m. That said, Chris and I were both a little surprised at just how laid back things were. Unlike London, where the communities around any given tube stop have very much their own character, and where there is a certain electric vibrancy, and also unlike Mexico City that is a riot of colour and noise, or New York, where there is endless bustle, Paris was calm; endlessly calm. We walked some 85 kilometres over our five days in the city and found there was little difference from community to community.

The upswing is there are cafes on every corner, where one can go, have a coffee or wine or a little meal totally undisturbed, particularly by the wait staff, who are generally expert at leaving patrons alone. The idea the waiter would barge in on a conversation is unheard of. I LOVED that.

There are pastry shops and sandwich shops and street-side fish shops all over the place and the quality is excellent no matter where one ends up. The baseline food quality is beyond compare - even the late-night kabab shop we ate at (for so cheap!) was excellent. Of all the yum we consumed, Du Pain et des Idees was utterly brilliant. Thanks to Anthony Bourdaine for the recommendation via The Stopover.

We both understood why Paris is a top-shelf choice for honeymooners. Peaceful and lovely and not taxing, even in crowded places - assuming the crowds were Parisians rather than tourists. It was challenging, however, to find the soul of the city. Because we were working, we avoided tourist spots for the most part. We did indulge ourselves in a couple gorgeous installations at Musee d'Orsey, which is, frankly, a MUST-SEE if just for the delicious building. It was a train station set for demolition until some smart, forward-thinking person decided it should be a museum. Fantastic.

You're hereby invited to our exhibition, Tripping the Streets Fantastic: Paris. It goes up February 1st in the lower-level gallery of 209 - 8th Ave SW, Calgary. We'll post more information closer to the date, and you'll find our listing in the 2016 edition of Exposure Photography Festival's program, which should be out in mid-January. http://www.exposurephotofestival.com otherwise.

Tips for Travel to Paris:

Transportation from Orly (ORY): take the ORLYVAL train to metro Anthony, and take the metro to your hotel, or taxi from here. It's fun, inexpensive and fast. That said, if there are more than two travelling, and your hotel is down town, taxi right from Orly is your least expensive option if you're ready to try out Parisian traffic. The Orlyval train and metro combination is fast and safe though, and filled with people who live in the city.

While in Paris, if you intend to use the metro more than twice a day during your stay, get a metro pass. It's called a Navigo Pass and you can purchase them in most metro stations, including Anthony. You will need a 1" x 1" photo of yourself for this pass, so bring one, or you'll be stuck paying 5 Euros for photos in a photo booth. The pass is, as Chris put it, an arts and crafts project involving sticking things together and then fitting the two-part card into its plastic holder, in the correct manner so the numbers line up and your photo and signature are stuck down correctly. The metro police are in full swing on weekends, so a properly created Navigo pass is de rigeur.

Walk. Just do it. The city is really beautiful and there are cafes and parks everywhere. Like I say, we walked 85 Kms in five days and it was zero effort.

Eat. Because you will walk a lot of kilometres and the food is gorgeous. I lost about 5 lbs the week we were there and ate lovely cheese and meats, pain au chocolat, brioche, and eggs for breakfast - washed down with also-lovely coffee.

Watch your wallet; an inside, zipped pocket is a really, really good idea. Also watch your phone, which should also be in an inside, zipped pocket. Otherwise, you may discover your phone being hawked on a side walk near a metro in an out-lying community...

Learn to say No several times in succession: in Montmartre and at the Tour Eiffel, and various other tourist spots, there are groups of men selling all sorts of crap, including bracelets made of embroidery floss - read: worth about 3 cents - which they will make and attach to your wrist before you know what has hit you, and then demand money. Say NO and also "Do Not Touch Me." English is fine. Also say NO to groups of young women who approach you to sign a "petition" and give money to the deaf. They're not deaf and they're pocketing your money - and your wallet if you're not paying attention. Hold on to your wallet and your cash. Same goes for busy metro cars and cafes; don't leave your phone or wallet on a table at a cafe, as occasionally people will pass by and hook your belongings, and make a run for it.

The cafe at the Grand Mosque of Paris is well worth going to. They serve lovely sweets and savouries and a delicious, sweet mint tea. There's a restaurant there as well if you want a meal. You may enter the mosque itself if your head is covered (women).

Go to Le Bouillon Chartier. This bistro is a very authentic, turn of the century restaurant that offers homey traditional food served up by severe and very efficient waiters. Fantastic. 7 Rue du Faubourg Montmartre. Nearest metro is just two blocks away: Bonne Nouvelle. 

Also go to Du Pain et Des Idees. Just go. Seriously. You will thank us. Fantastic, world-class pastries, particularly the "escargot" made of pistachios or coffee and noisette. There's a coffee shop facing. You'll need that coffee. Address is

Going back?
Mais certs!

 

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(Julie Vincent Photography) Paris Travel to Paris coffee pastries say no travelling in Paris walking https://www.julievincentphotography.com/blog/2015/11/paris-a-travel-blog Thu, 05 Nov 2015 23:02:54 GMT
Professional Photography; Real Costs https://www.julievincentphotography.com/blog/2015/9/professional-photography-real-costs Professional photography is too expensive. I hear this a few times a month. Is this true? 

Consider these details:

Most importantly, real estate is a referral-driven business: your reputation - which absolutely depends on the quality of your work and your marketing - is everything. 

MLS for Calgary and area shows a distinct move to professional photography over just a few years ago. This means listings with poor photography stick out, and not in a good way.

Nearly 100 percent (98 percent, to be accurate) of potential buyers use MLS as the starting point for their home search - and for a realtor, if they don't already have a dedicated professional.

When a buyer clicks on a digital listing, they spend 60 percent of their time there looking at the photos. They spend only 20 percent of their time reading the listing description. 

Of that 98 percent, more than 90 percent of those potential buyers skip listings with poor photography. This potentially means your listing is NOT being seen or only briefly seen by a very large number of possible buyers. I'm not sure about you, but I sure can't afford to lose that many eyes.... 

So what are the real costs?
Some details: in Calgary, single family detached homes are selling at an average price of $525,000; single family attached homes average $400,000 and condo apartments are averaging $275,000.

Shared commissions respectively (rounded) are $9800, $8000, and $6500. Non-shared is double. 

The cost of professional photography is $325 for single family detached (non-estate homes); $275, single family attached, and $200 for apartment/condo. 

What does all this mean? This: Half of the commission for ONE single family detached home sale is slightly more than the cost of professional photography for 15 homes (the average number of sales per year in the Calgary market for most realtors).

With HALF the commission from the sale of ONE single family home, you have financed professional photography for 15 single family detached listings. If you take those dollars, put them in a TFSA (tax-free savings account), not only are you going to get a tax write-off at the end of the year, you're making interest on those funds. Win Win!

Photography is a business expense.

So now that you know the real costs of professional photography, add in photography fees are a cost of doing business, and now you have an excellent write off. 

There is very little downside to excellent photography, and there are undeniable benefits: happy clients, faster sales, more eyes, enhanced reputation, and a business write-off in addition. 

Now you know! 
Call me today to book photography for your next listing
 

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(Julie Vincent Photography) Alberta Calgary Estate Real estate marketing photography professional real reputation https://www.julievincentphotography.com/blog/2015/9/professional-photography-real-costs Tue, 29 Sep 2015 22:40:52 GMT
Upgrading and going live https://www.julievincentphotography.com/blog/2015/8/upgrading-and-going-live Recently, our sister company, J&J Lawrence Photography, joined Zenfolio and is successfully using it as a gallery and sales site. Not to be left in the digital dust, I'm migrating over here too.

Watch this space for new galleries, updates, tips, tricks, links to articles.

J.

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(Julie Vincent Photography) https://www.julievincentphotography.com/blog/2015/8/upgrading-and-going-live Tue, 25 Aug 2015 23:55:00 GMT