The Year Ahead at Aryeo - 2022
Customers and supporters of Aryeo,
We are a little over two months into the new year, and the market is already shaping up to be one of the busiest years in the real estate industry! I wanted to take a moment to reach out to all of our customers and let you know where we see the industry moving this year, and what is coming up from the Aryeo team:
"Real Estate Photographers" are becoming "Real Estate Media Companies"
Over the past few years we've seen a distinct trend - our customers are dropping the word "Photography" from their name and becoming "Media" businesses. This may seem obvious, but I think it's important to acknowledge the shift in how agents are viewing what the industry provides. The vast majority of our customers offer at least 3D tours, videos, social media teasers, or floor plans in addition to their photography packages. Not only are these services offered, but they are becoming an increasing portion of businesses’ revenue streams. We will be dedicating significant resources to ensuring our system operates well for whatever type of media you provide, and we are partnering with as many of these providers of other forms of media as possible (Matterport, CubiCasa, iGuide, etc) to help you streamline operations.
Agents won't be your only customers
This may be a surprise for some, but as we've seen photographers shift to becoming media companies, we've also seen their customer bases starting to shift. While real estate agents are still one of the largest consumers of media, we are quickly seeing single family rentals, institutional funds, and appraisal companies all hiring photographers. In the past, this larger clientele was only available to the large national photography companies - they were the only ones that were able to provide national coverage. However, as more and more independent photographers start to use scheduling systems (like Aryeo's), the doors are now being opened to make it logistically possible to compete with these larger players. I'll be writing much more on this in the coming months, and try to break down what kind of opportunities we see and how other companies have been tackling them.
Copyright management may be one of the most important topics in our industry. Over the past few months there have been a steadily increasing number of discussions in the Facebook groups around copyright infringement and how to protect your media. I generally see one camp of people thinking that you should just give the rights away, and another growing camp of those “excited to sue” their clients or infringers. I think there’s an important middle ground here - the goal shouldn’t be to sue people for infringing nor to give away rights for free, but rather to help build new ways to ensure all parties win going forward. The most successful photography companies I know have not built their business suing people or registering their trademarks. They have helped educate, communicate, and most importantly, provide new avenues for customers to legally license the content. As an industry, these issues are only going to increase. I have our team working on new copyright management tools and resources that we can share with the whole industry (regardless of your software provider), and ideally help everyone better manage and work to a successful outcome.
What does this all mean for our customers at Aryeo? Well I'm excited to announce a few new products below, as well as share some of our roadmap for the year ahead:
- We shut down our standalone agent product - we previously had available a marketing product that agents could sign up for to create property websites and marketing materials. We've shut this down. We believe our time is best spent dedicated to helping photographers grow their business and expanding the role content plays in the real estate industry.
- Enabling white-labeling of Aryeo - this has long been one of the most requested features on our platform. We have put this on our docket for the year and intend on making white-labeled accounts available as an upgrade for our clients. There is a surprising amount of work involved in this as it requires supporting thousands of new domains, re-working language throughout the site, and thoroughly testing it with clients. We appreciate your patience as we work on enabling this and I hope to share more details in the coming months.
- Mobile Ordering App - everyone, especially agents, are living on their phones. It's a clunky experience to go to a website, remember your login, and fill out a long order form. I'm excited to share that we will be launching a new "Mobile Ordering App" product for growing photography companies. Your clients will be able to search the app store (starting with iOS) for your business and download your company's app from the store. New customers can register, or existing users can login to their account - they will be able to place new orders, browse past orders, and even download and pay right on the go! We're currently testing this with companies and if you'd like to join the waitlist please submit your information here: https://aryeoappwaitlist.paperform.co/
- Copyright Management Product - as mentioned previously, we are committing to building copyright management products that will be available for the entire industry to use. Regardless if you use Aryeo, or a different provider, you'll be able to use this product and help manage and protect your content. If you're interested in providing feedback on this topic and what’s important to you as a business owner, we would greatly appreciate your input: https://aryeo-copyright-tools.paperform.co/
Thank you to all who have made it through this lengthy email. What we do wouldn’t be possible without all of you, and our entire team thanks you for your constant support, feedback, and trust. We look forward to what the year holds ahead and are excited for this growing industry in real estate media!