Thoughts on location tours?


#1

Hi there,
So I was wondering if anyone out there does NOT allow tours of their rental space and if so, why?

Whenever a renter is planning something like a large production, it makes sense that they test light levels, measurements, acoustics, etc, but what about little tiny photoshoots or meetings? It feels like a time waster, like most phone consultations.

It would seem to me that if you already have lots of high quality photos (we have close to 100), that showing your space to every prospective renter is kind of a waste of time. Plus, it’s a security risk. When a prospective renter hasn’t booked your space and has no reviews, you don’t know who in the world they even are, if the information given to Peerspace is correct, etc. At least once they’ve booked, their payment puts some skin in the game and is more than likely a confirmation of their identity.

My perspective/experience: Our space is our home and photography studio and it’s very disruptive to spend hours cleaning the place, waiting for the people to show up, only to have them walk around and see that the space is exactly the same as the photos, chit chat for 30 minutes and then get back to being a live photo studio. I just don’t see the point in showing it to everyone.

Our best renters have just booked using the photos on our listing. Every person who has toured our space has either tried to game us for a discount, or said “this looks great, but I’m not looking to book until next month” or they ask to put down a 50% deposit ‘next week’ (not understanding that Peerspace charges them up front).

I know the majority will disagree with me and that’s cool (please no soapboxing about it though haha) but does anyone else feel the same?


#2

I do it, but added one new rule. I tell them up front they only have 15 minutes to look over space, and ask questions. This way they do not waste to much of my time. My last guest spent 1.5 hours preshooting for ideas. Never again! I didn’t even get paid for it.


#3

I usually allow 15 mins, at that point they should know if the place is good for them or not.


#4

wow, that is an AMAZING idea you guys! I never even thought about that!

We’d had a renter a while back through a different service that came by and just…weirdly stood around for 30 minutes, made a call in a different language to her DP for another 20 minutes and then started taking pictures for 15 minutes before finally leaving.

She then made another appointment and came by with three other people, who all weirdly stood around speaking in a different language (and to be clear, I have no problem with different languages, but it scares me when someone is clearly talking about me and/or my home and doesn’t want me to hear what they’re saying). They were here for almost an hour before I asked them to leave.

She then tried to set a third appointment and I finally said no.

She DID rent and the three day shoot went GREAT, but she wasted a lot of time and I was unnerved.

We’re a photography studio by day and there’s a LOT of expensive equipment, so it makes me feel a little uncomfortable to have a complete stranger just in our place.

But I think the 15 minute rule is VERY sound and maybe I won’t allow photos, as I don’t want people taking pictures of our equipment, security camera positions, alarm panels, etc.

THANK YOU BOTH!!! :slight_smile:


#5

I host for film/video/photo shoots and do the same thing - 15 mins to 1/2 hour depending on the details of the shoot (if they are dressing the space or doing any kind of build I will sometimes do the 1/2 hr).
If a potential guest wants to book under my minimum booking hrs and I accept (I sometimes can squeeze them in between two bookings or give them a very early start time) I rarely allow a scout. Same goes for last min bookings - if a guest books just a few days before their shoot and then asks for a scout sometimes it is not convenient or possible to accommodate with such short notice.
:slightly_smiling_face:


#6

I always accomodate scout visits. The majority of clients shooting here request them, so I can’t ignore how important it is to their process. I’ve definitely made myself available for multiple scout visits from one client, but they’re big ones (Toyota, Amazon). I’m tidy anyway, so I’m cool with clean up before appointments (although I’ve grumbled through it a few times). I try to keep it all in perspective, remind myself of the revenue stream. Most of my scout visits have resulted in bookings. If they didn’t, I would probably begin to feel somewhat disgruntled, constantly opening the revolving door for lookie-loos.


#7

I like how you put that!
Your space must be REALLY nice - those are some high ticket clients!

Yes, I think that’s where I’m at. Because this is an active studio (and also an active home with a 2 year old), it actually takes us an hour minimum to get the place into ‘show mode’. It’s never really messy, but I like the place to be immaculate before I show it.

Often when I show it to potential renters, there’s really no point to it. They just walk around, or they take photos (and I never can tell what they’re getting that isn’t already in the listing) and then leave.

At least half of them have asked for discounts and more than half have showed up more than 30 minutes late.

I believe once our lease is up, I need to invest in a purely commercial location and a purely residential!


#8

I can relate, Deacon, on all of your points. Our spaces are very different (mine is a farmhouse/barn/cottage with lots of patina, in semi rural neighborhood), but we live here full time, family of four. The frustrating dialogue, trying to explain to my teenage daughter that she needs to vacate her room by 7:00am on a Sun, for a weekend booking, omg. Many of my scout visits are late too. Now I give a reasonable time window in advance (typically 45 minutes) which I’m available to meet. I go for “show mode immaculate” too, a trait of mine which is a blessing and a curse. I vowed in 2019 to ease up a bit, because I don’t think clients really notice that I vacuumed inside the closets this time, etc…


#9

I think that in your case ,a studio that is also your home, it can be quite disruptive to give every inquirer a tour… As I work in my studio/ work loft all day, it isn’t disruptive at all to let someone come and tour for a few minutes but I always do it by appointment though