Don’t Major in the Minor – Setting Up Systems

I saw a segment on a morning show this week where the panel talked about the best advice they had ever gotten and the one that really struck me was the advice to Not Major in the Minor.  Along the lines of Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, this advice is something I have to remind myself of regularly.

We are a national virtual tour company so we have many details to juggle that the average real estate virtual tour photographer does not deal with.  We travel more than 50,000 miles per year and are on the road about 75% of the time.  Don’t get me wrong – with a business like ours, we have to focus on the details…but the key to our success is to not get bogged down by the details.
For us the key to that has been to implement systems that allow us to automate the details and to set realistic expectations for ourselves.  In Part one of this blog, I will talk about three of the systems that allow us to focus on the big picture and automate the details.

Quickbooks Online — One of the best investments we have ever made was moving to Quickbooks Online for our bookkeeping software.  This program allows us to have an easy overview of our finances no matter where we are.  Every morning, my husband gets online and updates our Quickbooks which means that from my computer, ipad or iphone, I can look at the status of all our accounts, who owes us and who we owe.  I can take a look at our Profit and Loss for the month or quarter or year.  I can see a balance sheet that shows us all of our liabilities and assets in real time.
Promote Control Trigger — We photograph all of our images using High Dynamic Range imaging.  This means that we take 9 different exposures and blend them together to create an exceptional level of detail and clarity.  The Promote Control Trigger allows us to set up our camera to automatically adjust the shutter exposures and take these 9 shots with just one click.  To create our virtual tours, we use 7 different software programs and Greg has automated his processes to create a strategic work flow that allows him to build tours quickly and efficiently.  To learn more about the Promote Control Trigger – visit our website www.DIYVirtualTours.com and click on the banner for Promote Control at the bottom.

SalesForce — I currently have over 32,000 messages in my “All Mail” folder of our email.  In addition to that, I have 1,200 individual prospects that I have entered into SalesForce.  We have photographed almost 1,000 virtual tours.  Want to talk about details?  I am a great strategist and big picture thinker but I am not known for my short term memory or attention to detail.  This means that I rely heavily on my contact management system to gather all these details into a manageable system.

Apple iCloud — We are a tried and true Apple family and for good reasons.  We each have our own MacBook laptop, iphone and ipad and AppleTV.  We love our Apple devices but we really love the fact that with the iCloud, all of our devices communicate with each other.  I can put an event on our calendar and immediately it shows up on all of our devices.  We can easily exchange documents and pictures and have the most updated versions of everything available to us.

These are just a few of the systems that we use to make our virtual tour businessrun smoothly.  Remember that systems are only as good as their users.  If we don’t keep the systems updated, then the details get lost.  The key is to integrate systems into our daily lives so that the systems work for us!

Vision Quest Virtual Tours is a national virtual tour company with a strong presence in North Georgia, Charleston, SC and Western, IL.  We specialize in virtual tours for healthcare, hospitality and education and have photographed in over 30 states.  To learn more about us, visit www.VisionQuestVirtualTours.com or give us a call at 404-863-9769.