Curb Appeal

Capturing Success. How Yamuna Benedict of Realty ONE Group Achieves Real Estate Excellence with Virtuance

August 08, 2023 Virtuance Season 1 Episode 12
Curb Appeal
Capturing Success. How Yamuna Benedict of Realty ONE Group Achieves Real Estate Excellence with Virtuance
Show Notes Transcript

In the latest episode of Curb Appeal, join us as we chat with Yamuna Benedict, a successful Realty ONE Group real estate agent who has been partnering with Virtuance for a year. Yamuna shares her inspiring journey into the real estate industry and the importance of connecting with people rather than just houses, and how that connection can be created through the visuals you use to market your listings.

Discover the key features Yamuna looks for in a real estate photographer, and how Virtuance's services have made her life easier by providing a one-stop-shop for all her marketing needs. From crystal-clear windows to accurate portrayals of properties, find out how Virtuance's quality services have impressed her clients and helped sell properties faster. Don't miss this episode packed with valuable insights for real estate professionals at all levels!

[00:00:00] Rachel: Hi everyone, I'm really excited to be sharing one of our happy Virtuance clients with you today. Her name is Yamuna Benedict. She is from RealtyOne Group Prestige in Oregon, and she's been using Virtuance for a year now. So I'm really excited to share with you all what she has to say about just partnering with Virtuants and using our services, and just the successes that she's found in partnering with Virtuance.

[00:00:23] So with that, let's go ahead and introduce Yamuna. 

[00:00:27] Just to get started, I would love if you could just share how you got into real estate, what's your story behind getting into the industry, how many years you've been involved, just to share a little bit about you. 

[00:00:38] Yamuna: Awesome. September will be six years.

[00:00:40] I've been a licensed real estate agent. I'm licensed in Oregon and Washington. I got licensed at the age of 42 after raising identical twin boys as a single mom. I got my license the year they graduated high school and it's something I've been in sales my entire life. I worked off [00:01:00] commission the majority of my life.

[00:01:01] So it wasn't something I was afraid of. And something I had thought about since I was pregnant with them. My grandmother was a realtor way, way back in like the fifties and she gave me a check a gift and said, get your real estate license. It will serve you well. So that was it took me 20 years to to finally get it.

[00:01:23] But it's 1 of the best things I've done. I love doing real estate. I love helping people. I love it when people go, Oh, I love homes. I should be a real estate agent too. I said, it's really not about liking homes. It's about liking people. 

[00:01:39] So that's part of why I've always liked sales.

[00:01:40] I like working with the public and learning about people's stories and, you know, understanding that this is usually the biggest purchase and coming and going of money anyone will do in their life. I think really understanding that and coming from a fiduciary [00:02:00] point is why I've been successful in my six years.

[00:02:04] And I started is in a team for learning. And just a year ago this week, actually a year ago, I finally, after almost five years of working on a team, broke off and became a solo agent. And when you're on a team, basically everything's done for you. You know, they have the photographer. I just turned the listing in and all this stuff happens.

[00:02:29] And so last year when. It was time for me to do everything myself. Of course, all these agents are saying, here's a great photographer. So I start calling these 1 man shows and, you know, I need a photo shoot like next 3, 4 days and oh, I can't come for 2 weeks. I'm like, well, this isn't going to work.

[00:02:49] And I actually started my real estate career at Keller Williams. And during, I did the bold training, so this is six years ago, but during the bold training, [00:03:00] Virtuance and sponsored one of the lunches and did an hour presentation and so I actually learned about you guys about six years ago, but only started using you a year ago.

[00:03:10] Rachel: Yeah. Oh, my gosh. Fantastic. I love hearing that origin story of how you found out about us. Love hearing that you came from 1 of those presentations because that was 1 of our goals is to really just raise awareness for our products and services. 

[00:03:23] So going back into your early career, what maybe were some major pain points that you had working with previous photographers?

[00:03:32] So you had mentioned that one was really just accessibility and availability when you're working with a solo photographer. Was there anything else that really kind of came to mind of a pain point that you had while you were working with other previous real estate photographers? 

[00:03:46] Yamuna: Well, I like one of the things I love about Virtuance, it's the one stop shop. It has the Matterport. It has video. It has everything. And so one thing you work with a single photographer, they might [00:04:00] do photography and drone, but they won't do floor plans or Matterport. And then you have to start looking for some, someone else and spend more money to bring someone else in and all the appointments and coordination with the sellers and the home.

[00:04:17] And so 1 of the, that was challenging and annoying. And so. When I moved over to Realty ONE year ago, they're partnered with Virtuance and so we, I like it, we get a little discount and I had learned about it six years ago and I was sick of calling these guys so I just went on the website, oh there's three photographers that can come tomorrow, oh they'll do a floor plan for me, oh and then I was, that's all I've used the last year and I've told so many agents because they're, oh I can't find a photographer, I'm like, go to Virtuance.

[00:04:49] I said, I focus on listings 90% of my sales I've done over $60 million, 90% is listings. I [00:05:00] understand the quality that needs to be presented online to get the buyers in. 

[00:05:06] I have a closing today. It was 30 days on the market to closing because I had awesome photos. We had a bunch of showings. It definitely helps me sell my houses faster. 

[00:05:16] Any changes I've needed done to floor plans or photos. One time I had a TV, but it looked like a fireplace in the photo and they put the fire and I had to call and say, "That's not a fireplace." [Virtuance] "Oh, we'll fix that right away." 

[00:05:31] And the customer service is awesome. They take care of everything on the phone with you. Resend you the file. I love that you have your unique URL for your home. That's another cost or I have agents too. They're going into Canva and making their own websites. I'm like, that's all done for me with my photo shoot. Like, what are you doing?

[00:05:54] Rachel: I love that you're taking advantage of our Virtuance Marketing Suite with those built in single property listing websites. And just as [00:06:00] you mentioned the custom URLs because all of those things can really just play into your online visibility, especially when you talk about it from a seller standpoint and really needing to push and promote your property as buyers see it.

[00:06:12] So I love that. I love hearing all of those different features. Love that you love our customer support. I love our customer support team. They're just so incredible. 

[00:06:21] So I want to talk about when you are looking at your photos for a listing, what would you say are some of those key features that you require when you are selecting a photographer? 

[00:06:31] Yamuna: First window clarity. When you look online and you can see our phones take great photos and there's agents that are using their phones, but you can tell in the way the room looks. The windows are blown out. They're gray, fuzzy looking. 

[00:06:50] 80% of buyers are found from online websites. I want my photos online to make you feel like you are in the house when you're in the dining room and you're looking out the window, you can see green or you can see there's a house right next door and you're looking in their living room too.

[00:07:08] And so the clarity of the windows and then not taking photos of their things or the staging of the furniture, which I see a lot there. It's a close up of the stove. It's a close up of the table. We're not selling stoves and I'm selling a house. I need the whole room captured. So working with a professional real estate photography company, they understand how to capture the entire room without using fish eyes or warping the size of the kitchen to make it look four times as big when it's small because you lose your buyers.

[00:07:44] So looking for accurate portrayal of the house, crystal clear windows, not focusing on the furniture, but on the room. Yeah, absolutely. That room composition is so key because you have to display all those different connections and those details and you don't get that by zooming in on, on a bed. Or my no, and I see pictures like this all the time and I'm like, okay, there is an end table.

[00:08:11] Great. Oh, look, there's the sink. Yeah, every kitchen has a seat. 

[00:08:16] Rachel: My favorite is when you see so see a picture and it's like zoomed in on a toilet and I'm like, that is really interesting. 

[00:08:24] Yamuna: I love working also with the photographers. I have found them very conscientious and thoughtful and, you know, something should be moved out of the frame or something.

[00:08:35] Um, so I love having that personal connection and being able to work with the photographer. 

[00:08:41] Rachel: That's awesome. That's great to hear. 

[00:08:44] So in your year of using us, have you heard any specific feedback from maybe your sellers on the marketing you've been using through Virtuance? 

[00:08:52] Yamuna: Well, every single seller that I send, I just send them their unique URL to see their photos.

[00:08:58] So when I get the listing ready, I send everything to my client for review, the MLS sheet, and then a link to their photos. So I send them their unique URL and then a PDF and to please review anything. And every single time, as soon as they click the photos, I'm getting, Oh my God, the house is so beautiful.

[00:09:18] It's so beautiful. So every client is beyond thrilled with the way the photos come out of their home. 

[00:09:25] Rachel: Yeah, that's awesome. I always love hearing like what the clients themselves are saying. Cause obviously as a real estate professional, you're, you're investing in these beautiful photos to help sell the property, but like when you look at it from a client's perspective, that's their home. That's where they made memories. And how are you capturing it? And how are you telling that story for the next family who comes in, right? So, hearing that your clients have been really satisfied and just amazed at how their property's been captured. 

[00:09:51] Yamuna: Yeah, they all want a copy of the photos. They're they're beyond thrilled. And that is what I want to do is make them so excited [00:10:00] about the presentation of the home. Yeah, absolutely. 

[00:10:04] Rachel: So when we kind of switch gears and talk a little bit more about like quantifiable statistics, have you noticed from using virtuance versus another photographer any differences in the amount of time your listings are on market?

[00:10:16] Yamuna: Before I was with Realty ONE and I worked in a small boutique agency and it focused on luxury real estate. So she had awesome photos. So it's where I learned the importance of having quality photos. 

[00:10:33] So I can't say I've had not good photos in my listings because it was done for me and it was a luxury company and so everything was really really done but I have a friend that's trying to get into real estate photography and I said I will try you and he has a website and I looked at photos.

[00:10:57] And. I let him [00:11:00] photograph one of my listings this year. And I, as soon as I saw the pictures, I went on Virtuance schedule and I was like, we were supposed to go live and they could come first thing in the morning. I had to be embarrassed. I had to call my client. But he it was in the living room was a picture of the couch.

[00:11:17] And then the moldings, the, you know, this was a 1920s house. There's crown moldings and the way he photographed and made like the room was angled. And I'm like, what is going on? 

[00:11:29] And so I was very honest with him and gave him the critique that he needed what I'm looking for. And I actually said, you should go work for Virtuance. They'll probably train you up. 

[00:11:40] Rachel: We do that. Yeah. All of our photographers are trained exactly the same. So to your earlier point. No matter who you get, the quality and the consistency is going to be the same. 

[00:11:50] Yamuna: That's what I love. And then the availability that I don't have to wait, you know, when my client wants to go on the market.

[00:11:57] I mean, sometimes you sign a listing, [00:12:00] this one that's closing day, I signed the listing Monday. We went active Wednesday. Yeah. June 21st, and we're closing July 21st, and I don't know any photographer that I could have gotten 48 hours from signing the listing, scheduled, and got all my photos back to put the house up online.

[00:12:19] Rachel: Crazy. The best part too is we just came out this year with same day shoots so you could go online and schedule and if we've got a photographer available, they could come out and shoot your property today. 

[00:12:29] Yamuna: And then I love I just recently learned you can have your favorite photographer. So there's one gentleman I'm really enjoying working with.

[00:12:37] He's really personable and detailed and so I have a high end listing right now and I went to schedule he wasn't coming up and I had to pick someone else but we had a photo shoot the day before and he was my photographer so I started telling him he goes no I'm available call that call him up say you want me and ask for me to be your preferred photographer and so now [00:13:00] he comes up all the time and I, so I just learned that feature, which I was thrilled about.

[00:13:06] Rachel: Awesome. So as we wrap up here, just in the last like couple minutes or so, I just have a couple kind of more fire round questions. 

[00:13:13] So in your opinion, what is the best part about being partnered with Virtuance? 

[00:13:19] Yamuna: The ease. The quickness for scheduling, receiving the photos, editing, if you need any changes, like I said at the very beginning, I call it the one stop shop for all the real estate marketing that I need to sell a house. I love it. 

[00:13:34] Rachel: And then, as far as products and features and services, what is your favorite product to use from Virtuance?

[00:13:43] Yamuna: Well, every shoot depend on the list in a lot of dusk shots. So I just use the virtual dusk shot for the first time. So it was just added. And so I love that feature. 

[00:13:53] I do the floor plans for almost all my listings. I've done Matterport tours. And so I just, [00:14:00] I love that I can just put my photo order in. I want a YouTube video. It's all right there. Click, click, click. What do I need? It's so easy. 

[00:14:08] And then I love the back office, you know, and usually I'll end up editing out a few photos. I don't like to show all the bathrooms when they haven't, we don't need to look at all the toilets.

[00:14:21] And then I have, I can edit, I can upload, because sometimes the sellers also send you photos of their yard. Because, you know, we're gray and wet a lot of times and there's beautiful color in the spring and that I can upload other photos to the website to make the clients happy. It's versatile, it's easy to use, it's great customer service, and it has everything you need to market a home.

[00:14:47] Rachel: Fantastic. Well, Yamuna, thank you so much for your time. I, one, just really appreciate it, and all of the highly encouraging words you've spoken today, and just sharing your experience with Virtuance. 

[00:14:58] I know on behalf of our company, we're so thankful for you trusting us to capture your listings and, we're really grateful for just your loyalty to us.

[00:15:06] We wish you the best of luck and the most success, finishing out the year and as you continue into your career and we can't wait till you say I've been using Virtuance for two, three, four, five years. So we're really excited. 

[00:15:19] Yamuna: We're celebrating our first anniversary this week. It's so exciting. Oh my gosh, I love that.

[00:15:24] Well, thank you again. I'll be scheduling another photo shoot next week. 

[00:15:28] Yes, yes, do that for sure.