Pivot Step for COVID-19

Stylized 3D rendering of a corona type virus on a red background.  ©Chris Gardiner

Moving Forward

It feels like everything might have hit a stand still at this point, in our work and personal lives, but to me, that's why it feels important now more than ever to keep moving forward.  Keep your momentum up and be ready for the pivotal steps you can take when our full range of motion returns.

I've had more free time in the last 5 days than I have in many months, or maybe even years. Here's what I have been doing, as a creator of digital media content.

virtual staging view of a vacant home and 3d digitally rendered furniture included ©Chris Gardiner
Real Estate is my bread and butter.
Shooting in occupied homes is off the table for now. Even if I was allowed to be in there, I don't want to.  In this time, now more than ever, our home is our only true sanctuary we're meant to have. No one should enter yours, including me. 
That doesn't mean I can't help with marketing properties and getting great photos, here are some ideas I've passed onto my regulars about how I can help; 
  • coaching to take better photos - the cameras in our phones are literally incredible now. Better in many ways than my first DSLR.  While equipment is important to what I do, I can get you part of the way there with simple coaching of composition and exposure specifically as it relates to real estate photography. 
  • editing your photos - tying into the above, taking the photo on site is only part of what I do.  Editing them for maximum effect is the other, crucially important, half. Just because a realtor or homeowner the photos on a cell phone, doesn't mean I can't edit them.  Special software, calibrated monitors,  and years of experience. Let me help you.
  • virtual staging - I've got a whole post on this in the works, but this is one thing that I think will be a big deal for real estate in this trying time.  Stagers are having a hard time accessing homes as photographers are, but the homes still need to appear their best. Cue 3D renderings. Where photoshop fails, or requires way too much time to make changes, 3D will excel at.  Virtual staging involves taking a relatively empty or vacant scene and breathing life into it through digital furniture. Furniture is what helps us connect to the scale of a space, and not only that it gives the light in a room something to bounce off of.  Stay tuned for a more in depth look at virtual staging.
  • Matterport Tours - matterport is almost a household name now maybe, at least among people who deal with property. I've had my eye on them for a very long time now, and never quite had the demand from clients, but it's recently become more streamlined than ever to provide the service for realtors, and it is now on the roster of real estate services I provide locally.  Now these do require me to visit the home, so it's not an option in this short term outlook of a non-essential shut down, however when things ramp up again I can see the demand having grown and I'll be ready for it. 
  • iGuide Tours - similar but different to matterport systems. Who offers both? not many, but I will.  All of my clients have different needs and expectations for their marketing collateral, and I am more than happy and capable of addressing them all, once Collingwood's hot real estate market picks up after the current coronavirus downturn.
  • Video Tours - I've been offering high quality video services for realtors already for years. It's allowed me to position myself as a reputable supplier of these tours in the area amongst the realtors who were already sold on the concept. Now, that demand will surely only increase.  I am expecting that the videos themselves will in some way evolve with the times to better suit the needs of buyers wishing to see homes without entering them.
  • Real Estate Marketing Across the World - what you may not be aware of is the massive market of freelancers across the globe who use outsourced editors on the internet to handle their computer portion of creative work.  I've worked in similar fashions in the past, and have edited a handful of video tours for other creators with high praising feedback, so I'm sure I could make this a serious gap filler in my schedule, as anyone with similar skills could start to do with a slow local market and possible opportunities or boom times happening abroad.
virtual staging view of a vacant home and 3d digitally rendered furniture included ©Chris Gardiner
Long story short, I still have a number of ways I intend to continue servicing real estate industries of the Collingwood and Georgian Bay areas, however, I am not setting my sights on any timeframes, or business volumes too soon. 

Stay well and thanks for reading!

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